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Ocean & Air Freight Shipping to Sweden

Get information and quote for FCL, LCL and Air shipping

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Updated on 16 Sep 202110 min read

Sweden participates in active trade with many countries around the world and is currently the 30th-largest importer globally. The Scandinavian nation imported goods worth $141 billion (USD) in 2017, mainly from its European neighbors Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway.

If you plan to import to Sweden, then you are in the right place. We are here to make international ocean and air shipping easier for you. This starts with providing vital information about different transport methods, shipping rates, transit times, customs clearance procedures, and ports.

What Are Your Options for Shipping Freight to Sweden?

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

Unless your cargo can be transported to Sweden via land, you will have to ship your goods either by air or by sea. Both alternatives have certain advantages and disadvantages. We will discuss the two options, so that you can make the right choice.

Ocean Freight to Sweden

Less than Container Load (LCL): When you book an LCL shipment to Sweden, your freight will travel in a shared container alongside the consignments of other shippers. It’s a practical option for small shipments and can be more cost-effective than hiring an entire container.

Full Container Load (FCL): Booking an FCL to Sweden means hiring and shipping a full container for your exclusive use. As you will pay a flat fee for the whole unit, FCL is usually the less expensive option for large and heavy consignments.

Air Freight to Sweden

If you are looking for speed and flexibility in your supply chain, air freight is your best bet. However, keep in mind that flying your goods is typically much more costly than sending them by sea.

How Much Does it Cost to Ship Cargo to Sweden?

The final rate for shipping your cargo to Sweden depends on many different factors. Freight forwarders issue quotes for your ocean and air shipping needs based on the following criteria:

  • Nature of goods
  • Chosen mode of transport (FCL, LCL, Air)
  • Weight of the cargo
  • Dimension of the cargo
  • Distance between origin and destination
  • Type of service (such as port-to-port, door-to-door)

There is, however, one crucial rule of thumb to remember: The weight of your cargo has a large impact on the final cost. If your freight weighs more than 100 kg, ocean shipping is typically the most economical choice. If you are shipping less than 100 kg, the cost of ocean and air shipping can be very similar, so you can choose the more convenient option. If you plan to move less than 35 kg, you should engage an international courier service, rather than a freight forwarder.

How Long Does it Take to Ship Cargo to Sweden?

Hourglass and a calendar to represent the transit time of shipments with Shipa Freight

The main factor influencing the transit time of your cargo to Sweden is the ocean port or airport of origin. While air-freight shipments from major international airports can typically reach Sweden within two to eight days, ocean shipments can take between 31 and 73 days to arrive.

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

Below you will see a few examples of transit times for shipping containerized cargo from numerous international ports to Sweden:

Country of Origin Port of Origin Destination Port Transit Time LCL Transit Time FCL
Australia Brisbane Gothenburg 55 Days
Australia Fremantle Gothenburg 73 Days
China Fuzhou Gothenburg 41 Days
China Ningbo Gothenburg 46 Days
China Shanghai Gothenburg 46 Days
China Shekou Gothenburg 39 Days
China Tianjin Gothenburg 48 Days
India Chennai Gothenburg 32 Days
India Nhava Sheva Helsingborg 32 Days
Jordan Al 'Aqabah Gothenburg 31 Days
USA Detroit Gothenburg 32 Days

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

Below you will see some sample transit times for air shipments to Sweden from various international airports:

Country of Origin Airport of Origin Destination Airport Transit Time
China Guangzhou Stockholm 2 Days
China Shanghai Gothenburg 7 Days
China Shanghai Malmo 8 Days
China Shanghai Stockholm 8 Days
China Shenzhen Malmo 8 Days
China Fuzhou Gothenburg 8 Days
Hong Kong Hong Kong Gothenburg 6 Days
India Mumbai Gothenburg 8 Days
India Delhi Malmo 4 Days
India Delhi Gothenburg 5 Days
Thailand Bangkok Stockholm 4 Days

Import Customs Clearance in Sweden

Before your freight can officially enter Sweden, you will have to obtain the import clearance from the Swedish customs authorities. Many novices, as well as experienced shippers, prefer to hire an expert for this crucial task. When you engage a qualified freight forwarder, you are less likely to face any delays or issues in the process. You can also be sure that Swedish customs rules and international shipping regulations are followed properly.

Gathering the necessary paperwork is the first step in the customs clearance process. As a minimum, Swedish customs officials will request the following documents:

  1. Commercial Invoice

  2. Packing List

  3. Certificate of Origin

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

  5. 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, customs authorities might order you to present other documentation, for example, certificates, permits, or licenses. Your freight forwarder will support and guide you in this case.

To prepare yourself and learn more about the various types of documents, check out our comprehensive documents list.

Ship Ocean Freight to Sweden: FCL or LCL?

Most shippers send their goods to Swedish ports packed inside standard 20ft or 40ft containers. But, specialized cargo ships are also able to load sea freight that doesn’t fit inside standard units. Your carrier or freight forwarder can offer other container types and even break-bulk shipping options for various logistics needs.

We will concentrate on the two alternatives for containerized ocean shipping: LCL and FCL. To help you choose the right option, we will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each.

Less Than Container Load (LCL) Shipping to Sweden


  • Often the most affordable mode of transport for consignments occupying fewer than six standard pallets (14 CBM).
  • Suppliers and buyers can drop off and pick up their cargo from the freight forwarder’s warehouse, which adds additional flexibility.
  • LCL can speed up your supply chain because you can ship your freight immediately. No need to wait until you have enough to fill an entire container.

**Drawbacks: **

  • Your cargo will share a container with the consignments of other shippers.
  • Extra handling and movements may damage delicate, fragile, or perishable products.
  • Adds more steps to the shipment process (consolidation and deconsolidation of the container), which can lengthen the overall transit time.

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

Full Container Load (FCL) Shipping to Sweden


  • Usually offers shorter transit times than LCL.
  • Can be the least expensive option for shipments large enough to fill at least half the load capacity of a 20ft container.
  • Seals your goods off in their container until they reach the final recipient (unless customs officials decide to inspect the unit).


  • Even if you can’t fill the container to the brim, you have to pay for the full unit.
  • Might limit your pickup/delivery options as not all businesses can handle containers on their premises.

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

Cargo Ports of Arrival in Sweden


Port Facts:

  • Largest port in the Nordics, used by Sweden and Norway.
  • Can accommodate even the largest cargo vessels.
  • Handles almost 30% of Swedish foreign trade.
  • Offers direct services to 130 destinations worldwide.

Owned By: City of Gothenburg.

Annual Container Volume: >860,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Handles 10 million metric tons of goods per year.
  • Averages a container-handling time of only eight minutes.
  • Capacity to accommodate vessels with a length of over 500ft.
  • The new Stockholm Norvik deep seaport is due to open in May 2020.

Owned By: City of Stockholm.

Annual Container Volume: >57,400 TEUs.



Port Facts:

Second-biggest container port in Sweden. Important shipping and logistics hub located in the Oresund Strait. Offers outstanding road and rail connections.

Owned By: Helsingborg Hamn AB.

Annual Container Volume: >280,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Located on Sweden’s Baltic Sea coast, around 130 km south of the capital Stockholm.
  • Can handle all different kinds of cargo.
  • The Pampus terminal is the main container gateway of the port.
  • Offers connections to two motorways, a main railway and an international airport.

Owned By: Norrkopings Hamn Och Stuveri AB.

Annual Container Volume: >132,000 TEUs.


Air Shipping for Your Freight to Sweden

If a speedy delivery of your freight is most important to you, air freight is the way to get the job done. However, this mode of transport is not likely to be suitable for every occasion as it can be very costly.


  • Suitable for small amounts of goods (two to three pallets at the most).
  • Perishable products benefit from the ultra-short transit times.
  • Less affected by weather conditions and hence very reliable.
  • Ideal for high-value goods due to tight security standards.
  • Favorable for suppliers and buyers based near an international airport.


  • Can be very costly for high-volume cargo and very heavy freight.
  • Not suitable for bulky or awkwardly shaped goods that won’t fit into the body of an aircraft.

Airports of Arrival in Sweden

Stockholm-Arlanda (IATA Code: ARN)

Airport Facts:

  • Sweden's largest airport, situated 37 km north of the capital.
  • Third-largest airport in Scandinavia.
  • 81 airlines offer direct connections to 181 destinations worldwide.
  • Houses a dedicated freight terminal called Cargo City.

Gothenburg-Landvetter (IATA Code: GOT)

Airport Facts:

  • A crucial freight hub and second-largest airport in the country.
  • Located only 20 kilometers from downtown Gothenburg.
  • Offers 90 direct flights to 20 countries.

Jonkoping (IATA Code: JKG)

Airport Facts:

  • Small airport in Sweden’s south.
  • Processes cargo flights, even at night time, all year round.
  • Has a freight terminal.

Malmo-Sturup (IATA Code: MMX)

Airport Facts:

  • Fourth-busiest airport in the country.
  • Has two cargo terminals.
  • Located in the heart of the growing Oresund region.
  • Offers flights to over 40 destinations worldwide.

Norrkoping (IATA Code: NRK)

Airport Facts:

  • Located only a 10-minute drive away from Norrkoping city center.
  • Oldest airport for commercial air traffic in the country.
  • Offers cargo flights as well as seasonal scheduled and charter flights.

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

Shipa Freight makes transporting your cargo to Sweden easier than ever – no matter the size of your company. Imagine managing all your ocean and air shipping to Sweden in one place. This is now possible with our cutting-edge online platform. We bet this could speed up your supply chain.

Ship your freight to Sweden with us and take advantage of:

  • Online quotes, ready in an instant.
  • Quick and easy online booking and payment.
  • A single tool to handle your imports and exports.
  • Easy-to-understand, transparent shipping documentation.
  • Complex customs clearance procedures handled for you.
  • Helpful customer service, available 24/7 via phone, email, and online chat.
  • Full compliance with national and international shipping laws and regulations.

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