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Ocean and Air Freight Shipping to Norway

FCL, LCL and Air shipping comprehensive guide and instant online quote

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Updated on 16 Sep 20219 min read

Norway imported nearly $86 billion of goods in 2019. Electric machinery, furniture, plastics, and pharmaceuticals were among the top ten imports. Over $10 billion of Norwegian imports originated from neighboring Sweden. The biggest overseas sources of imports to Norway include Germany ($9.6 bn), China ($8.2 bn), and the United States ($5.5 bn).

Wherever the origin of your imports to Norway, this page should come in handy. It features details about shipping rates, customs clearance and timings. Plus there’s information about the airport and seaport in the Norwegian capital city of Oslo.

What Are Your Options for Shipping Freight to Norway?

Flag of Norway to show Shipa Freight capacity to ship to Norway

Freight forwarders will almost certainly route ocean shipments to the Port of Oslo and air freight to the Norwegian capital’s international airport. Both forms of shipping have positive and negative aspects which we’ll deal with on this page.

Ocean Freight to Norway

Less than Container Load (LCL): If you’re happy for your cargo to share a container with freight from other shippers, LCL could be right for you. It’s particularly suited to smaller consignments that cannot be shipped as air cargo.

Full Container Load (FCL): If you wish to hire a container exclusively for your products, FCL shipping is the option to choose. It’s often the fastest way to ship goods to Norway by sea and is sometimes less expensive than LCL.

Air Freight to Norway

The quickest way to transport goods to Norway is to send it as air freight. However, it’s the most expensive way to ship goods too.

How Much Does it Cost to Ship Cargo to Norway?

Many variables need to be considered by a freight forwarder before they can give you a quote for your shipment. These include:

  • The nature of the goods requiring transportation
  • Whether air shipping or FCL / LCL ocean shipping is chosen
  • The size of the consignment
  • The volume of goods being shipped
  • The weight of the cargo
  • How far away the port or airport of origin is from Oslo
  • If a port-to-port, door-to-door, port-to-door, or door-to-port delivery service is needed

If your consignment weighs over 100 kg, you’re likely to find ocean carriers offer a more cost-effective way to get your goods to Norway. Air freight is expensive for heavier goods.

There won’t be much to choose between the quotes you get for air or ocean shipping if your consignment weighs less than 100 kg. If you’re planning to ship a consignment that weighs 35 kg or less, you should contact international carriers for a quote. Freight forwarders do not handle such light loads.

How Long Does it Take to Ship Cargo to Norway?

Norway is a Nordic nation of over 5.4 million people located in Northwestern Europe. The time shipments take to reach Oslo’s seaport depends on two factors—how far your port of origin is from Norway, and your choice of FCL or LCL shipping.

Typically, LCL shipments (in which your goods share a container) take between 23 and 43 days to reach Oslo from locations outside of Europe. FCL shipments usually require 31 to 54 days.

Air shipments are much faster. It’s realistic to expect a consignment to reach Oslo from any major international airport in two to eight days. Your cargo can be shipped aboard direct or indirect passenger or cargo-only services.

How Long Does It Take to Ship Cargo by Sea to Norway?

Here are some typical ocean shipping times to Norway from various seaports around the world:

Country of Origin Port of Origin Destination Port Transit Time LCL Transit Time FCL
  China Ningbo Oslo 36 Days 44 Days
China Nansha Oslo 45 Days
China Shanghai Oslo 43 Days 46 Days
China Shenzhen Oslo 36 Days
China Tianjin Oslo 49 Days
China Wuhan Oslo 54 Days
India Kolkata Oslo 41 Days
India   Mundra Oslo 31 Days
India Nhava Sheva Oslo 34 Days
Indonesia Jakarta Oslo 41 Days
USA Charleston Oslo 23 Days

How Long Does It Take to Ship Cargo by Air to Norway?

The sample air shipping durations below will give you an idea of the time needed to ship freight to Oslo from key international airports:

Country of Origin Airport of Origin Destination Airport Transit Time
Australia Sydney Oslo 5 Days
China Shanghai Oslo 8 Days
India Mumbai Oslo 4 Days
India Chennai Oslo 8 Days
Indonesia Surabaya Oslo 6 Days
Philippines Cebu Oslo 3 Days
UAE Dubai Oslo 4 Days
USA New York Oslo 2 Days
USA Los Angeles Oslo 4 Days

Import Customs Clearance in Norway

Inspector checking containers as Shipa Freight helps with customs clearance

Like many nations, Norway has fairly complex customs rules and regulations that all exports or imports must adhere to. Unless you’re an international shipping expert, these regulations are likely to be confusing. Hiring a freight forwarder to handle the customs process is often a wise move. They can help avoid unnecessary shipping delays and ensure your consignment complies with the relevant rules.

Whether or not you choose to hire a forwarder, customs officials at Oslo’s airport and seaport will expect specific documentation to accompany your shipment, whatever it is, and wherever it’s being shipped from. These documents will include:

  1. A Commercial Invoice

  2. A Packing List

  3. A Certificate of Origin

  4. A Letter of Credit or other payment terms (depends on the contract between the parties involved)

  5. A Bill of Lading for ocean freight or Airway Bill for air freight (Shipa Freight will provide this for you)

Depending on the nature of your goods, you may be required to submit additional paperwork, perhaps a license, certificate, or permit. It’s something your freight forwarder will let you know about. Whatever the requirements for your consignment, you can take a closer look at the documents listed above on this documents list page we’ve created.

Ship Ocean Freight to Norway: FCL or LCL?

Freight forwarders route the majority of ocean shipping bound for Norway into the port of Oslo. Most sea freight is transported in shipping containers onboard a cargo vessel. Standard containers are usually 20ft or 40ft long. The shorter containers have the capacity for 33 cubic meters of cargo, while larger containers can hold 67 cubic meters of freight.

Depending on the nature of your goods, your consignment may require a container with an open-top, refrigeration, ventilation, or another special feature. It’s something about which your freight forwarder will advise. They can also help you decide whether LCL or FCL shipping is best for your goods. Each has positives and negatives which we detail below:

Less Than Container Load (LCL) Shipping to Norway

An LCL shipment is one in which goods from multiple shippers share the same container. It’s often chosen by businesses:

  • With a relatively small consignment that won’t fill a container
  • That only want to pay for the container-capacity they use
  • That don’t mind their goods sharing a container
  • That don’t have a pressing delivery deadline to meet
  • With cargo that’s too large or heavy to be shipped as air freight

Potential downsides of LCL shipping include the fact that you can’t choose the freight your cargo shares a container with. You also cannot stuff or seal an LCL container yourself. This must be done in port by freight handlers following the consolidation of freight from multiple shippers.

You might want to consider alternatives to LCL shipping if:

  • You want to predict with accuracy when your ocean freight will reach Norway
  • You don’t want your freight handled too often
  • You are sending fragile or perishable goods that aren’t suited for shipping in a shared container
  • Your consignment is very big or extremely heavy

Learn more about Less than Container Load on our dedicated page on LCL shipping.

Full Container Load (FCL) Shipping to Norway

An FCL shipment is one in which you pay to rent and ship a container exclusively for your goods. The container can be wholly or partially filled with products. It’s often the preferred mode of transit for shippers with:

  • Consignments required in Norway by a specific date
  • Goods that will take up at least half the capacity of a 20ft shipping container
  • Fragile or heavy goods that can’t be transported in a shared container

Learn more about Full Container Load on our dedicated page on FCL shipping.

Cargo Port of Arrival in Norway


Port Facts:

  • Norway’s biggest seaport
  • Over half of Norway’s 5.4 million inhabitants live within three hours of the port
  • Infrastructure includes two container terminals and over 2,600 square meters of storage space
  • Easy onward transportation of goods to Oslo, Lambertseter, Ulleval, or Bjerke
  • Facilities include six environmentally-friendly electric trucks

Owned By: Oslo Ports Authority.

Annual Container Volume: >260,000 TEUs.


Air Shipping for Your Freight to Norway

Choose air shipping to transport your goods to Norway if:

  • You want the fastest mode of international shipping
  • Your goods are perishable or fragile
  • You want a lower insurance premium than with ocean shipping
  • Your goods are needed urgently in Norway
  • You’re shipping a small consignment—no more than three pallets
  • Your consignment is valuable and needs airport-levels of security

Learn more about Air Freight on our dedicated page by clicking here.

Airport of Arrival in Norway

Oslo (IATA Code: OSL)

Airport Facts:

  • Also known as Oslo Gardermoen Airport
  • Located 35 kilometers northeast of the city center
  • Second-busiest airport in the Nordics
  • A new 17,000 square foot seafood air cargo facility opens in 2020
  • Over 180,000 tonnes of air freight was processed in 2017

Ocean and Air Shipping to Norway: Why Choose Shipa Freight?

Shipa Freight is a digital-only freight forwarder. It’s our mission to make ocean and air shipping to Norway easier for everyone. Our simple-to-use website is where your business can manage multiple shipments—to Norway and beyond.

Registering as a new user is quick and easy, and you can speedily get quotes, compare them, and then book and pay for shipments to Norway. Use a debit card, credit card or wire transfer to pay. It’s up to you.

Other reasons to use Shipa Freight when importing to Norway include:

  • 24/7 customer support service via online chat, phone, or email
  • We handle customs complexities so you can concentrate on running your business
  • You can trust us to show you the legal documents that must accompany your consignment
  • We’ll ensure your shipment complies with international regulations

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