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Ocean & Air Shipping From India to Italy

Information and quote from India to Italy for LCL, FCL and Air shipping

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Updated on 03 Mar 202215 min read

India’s trade with Italy increased to over $10.4 billion in 2017-18, making Italy India’s fifth-biggest trading partner in the EU and 25th biggest in the world. The items most frequently exported from India to Italy are iron ore, transport-related equipment, clothing, and textiles.

If your business is looking to ship more of those goods or others between the two nations, a freight forwarder can take the hassle out of the process. A competent forwarder will coordinate every element of transportation when you import from India to Italy and help you navigate the complexities of customs clearance.

As well as highlighting the services that freight forwarders provide, this page gives you the information you need to export from India to Italy more easily and successfully. It includes details of ports and airports, shipping durations, and the documentation required to secure customs clearance.

What Are Your Options for Shipping Freight From India to Italy?

Warehouse operative in orange pushing a trolley, stacked with boxes, from the Flag of India towards the flag of Italy

Shippers most commonly import from India to Italy using ocean or air shipping. Each mode of transport has upsides and downsides. It’s the purpose of this page to outline what they are and help you decide which is best for your business.

Ocean Freight From India to Italy

Less than Container Load (LCL): If your sea freight won’t fill a container, it can share container space with other goods in an LCL shipment. Cargo handlers in your chosen port in India will wait until a sufficient amount of goods fill the container before sealing it and transferring it aboard a cargo vessel. This helps explain why LCL sometimes takes longer than FCL.

Full Container Load (FCL): You can send your goods as an FCL shipment in a container filled exclusively with your goods. No consolidation or deconsolidation is required, and you can seal your container at the point of origin in India. It will only be opened before arrival at your destination in Italy if customs officials decide to inspect your goods. FCL is typically the quickest form of ocean shipping and sometimes the cheapest.

Air Freight from India to Italy

The quickest way to transport goods from India to Italy is via an air-freight carrier. It is also easily the most expensive option.

How Much Does it Cost to Ship Cargo From India to Italy?

Many factors must be considered by a freight forwarder when determining the cost of ocean and air shipping from India to Italy:

  • The weight, size, and volume of the consignment
  • How far the goods must be transported from the port of origin to the port of arrival
  • Whether goods are being shipped by air or sea
  • The nature of the goods being transported
  • Whether a port-to-port, port-to-door, door-to-door or door-to-port delivery is required

The weight of your goods can help you decide whether to choose air or ocean shipping. For example:

  • Under 100kg? Air freight is likely to be almost as economical as ocean shipping—and will certainly be faster.
  • Over 100kg? Ocean freight is usually the most affordable option, since sending heavy goods as air freight is expensive.
  • Under 35kg? Most freight forwarders (including Shipa Freight) do not provide quotes for shipping goods in this low weight bracket.

How Long Does it Take to Ship Cargo From India to Italy?

As well as a difference in price, there’s often a significant time difference between air and ocean shipping. Air freight is by far the fastest way of exporting or importing from India to Italy. Shipments can be completed in four to eight days. An ocean freight carrier, on the other hand, will need between 21 and 43 days to move goods in a shipping container from India to Italy.

How Long Does It Take to Ship Cargo by Sea From India to Italy?

Goods shipped by ocean from India to Italy will head west aboard cargo vessels from the subcontinent and navigate the Suez Canal to reach Italy. A vessel carrying your container from India to Italy can take from three to just over six weeks to make the voyage, as shown by the list of transit time examples below:

  • Kolkata to Genoa—36 days FCL
  • Cochin to La Spezia—43 days FCL
  • Krishnapatnam to Venice—21 days FCL
  • Chennai to Genoa—32 days FCL
  • Chennai to Venice—33 days FCL
  • Mundra to Genoa—24 days FCL
  • Mundra to La Spezia—21 days FCL
  • Mundra to Venice—32 days FCL
  • Nhava Sheva to Genoa—25 days FCL
  • Tuticorin to La Spezia—31 days FCL

How Long Does It Take to Ship Cargo by Air From India to Italy?

Delhi Airport is the only airport in India to operate direct flights to Italy. But a freight forwarder can still quickly fly goods between the two countries using indirect services, as illustrated by the examples below:

  • Ahmedabad to Milan—8 days
  • Mumbai to Milan—4 days
  • Kolkata to Rome-Da Vinci—6 days
  • Delhi to Milan—6 days
  • Hyderabad to Milan—4 days
  • Chennai to Milan—4 days

Customs Clearance Procedures in India and Italy

Every import from India to Italy needs to be accompanied by specific documents that must be ready for inspection at the port of origin in India and port of arrival in Italy.

Customs compliance is a complicated affair. For that reason, many businesses choose to get assistance from a freight forwarder. The best forwarders have the skills and expertise required to advise shippers on the paperwork their consignment requires. They can also minimize the risk of unnecessary delays to shipping, and assure compliance with relevant rules and regulations in both India and Italy.

Your business will need to submit various documents, almost certainly including the following:

  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)

We have collated examples of these on this documents list page so you can take a closer look. Please note that the above list is not exhaustive. You may be required to submit additional paperwork with your consignment. This could include a permit, certificate, or license. Your freight forwarder will inform you of your responsibilities in this regard.

Should You Choose Ocean Freight or Air Freight?

Ocean Freight

If you decide that ocean shipping is your preferred mode of transport, a cargo vessel will move your goods in a container from India to Italy. It’s likely that your goods will ship from port to port (or door to door) on pallets in a 20ft or 40ft container. If your goods are perishable, fragile, awkwardly-shaped, extremely large, or very heavy, they may require a special type of container. Your freight forwarder will advise you of your options.

Another choice that ocean shipping requires you to make is between FCL and LCL. Ultimately, your decision will be influenced by the nature of the goods you’re transporting, the flexibility of your delivery deadline, and the volume and weight of your sea freight. The information that follows should be helpful to you when making that decision:

Considerations for LCL Freight Shipping

Less-than-container-load shipping requires your goods to share a container with other products. It’s likely to be the right choice for you if any of the following conditions apply:

  • You need to ship a maximum of 14 cubic meters of freight (that’s the equivalent of six pallets)
  • Your consignment is not urgent
  • Your cargo is safe to ship inside the same container as other products
  • Air freight is not something you can consider

LCL might not be right for your consignment if it’s:

  • Fragile or perishable
  • Liable to be adversely affected by frequent moving or handling
  • Required in Italy by a certain date
  • Awkwardly-shaped, extremely large, and/or very heavy

Considerations for FCL Freight Shipping

If LCL shipping fails to meet your requirements, [full-container-load shipping is your alternative option. This type of service affords you exclusive use and transportation of a shipping container from India to Italy. It’s likely to be your best for goods:

  • Required in Italy by a certain date
  • Amounting to a volume greater than half the load capacity of a standard 20ft container
  • That are unsuitable for transport in a shared container
  • That you wish to transport in a container sealed in India, and remaining sealed throughout shipping

Air Freight

If your shipping budget is generous and you wish to use the fastest way to export from India to Italy, then air shipping is for you. It’s usually the best option if:

  • Your goods have a limited shelf-life and need the shortest possible journey time
  • Your consignment is relatively small—no more than three pallets
  • Your supplier and consignee are nearer to an international airport than they are to a seaport
  • Your freight is high-value and will benefit from the robust security practices of airlines and airports

Ocean Cargo Port Guide

Cargo Ports of Origin in India


Port Facts:

  • Constructed to relieve pressure on the busy container facility at Chennai to the south
  • Offers direct port entry for any self-sealed or factory-stuffed containers, speeding-up processing
  • Benefits from traffic-free approach roads

Owned By: Kattupalli Port Private Ltd.

Annual Container Volume: >345,000 TEUs.


Nhava Sheva

Port Facts:

  • Handles over half of India’s containerized freight traffic
  • Infrastructure includes five container terminals
  • Set a new record for annual cargo throughput in India in 2019 by exceeding five million TEUs

Owned By: Government of India.

Annual Container Volume: >5 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Forms the ‘Gateway to South India’
  • Features two container terminals served by ocean routes connecting India with Europe
  • Ideal cargo port if your supply chain requires goods movements from Southeastern India or around the Bay of Bengal

Owned By: Chennai Port Trust.

Annual Container Volume: >1.5 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Formerly the largest port in India
  • Located between the ports of Chennai and Kolkata
  • Infrastructure includes three separate harbors with a total of 24 berths
  • Types of freight handled here include general goods and steel products

Owned By: Visakhapatnam Port Trust.

Annual Container Volume: >350,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • A privately-owned seaport
  • One of the world’s 50-busiest seaports for containerized goods
  • Facilities include four container terminals
  • A suitable port of origin If your supply chain moves goods through Bhuj, Rajkot, Mundra, even Pakistan

Owned By: Adani Group.

Annual Container Volume: >4 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • One of the most environmentally friendly ports in the world
  • Designated a green port in 2015
  • Serves India’s Northeastern region
  • All heavy-lifting vehicles and machines run on eco-friendly bio-diesel

Owned By: Kolkata Port Trust.

Annual Container Volume: >150,000 TEUs.


Other Ports of Origin in India

In addition to the gateways featured above, there are several other ports you can use to ship to Italy, including:

  • Hazira
  • Tuticorin
  • Pipavav
  • Kolkata
  • Krishnapatnam
  • Mormugao

Cargo Ports of Arrival in Italy

La Spezia

Port Facts:

  • One of the largest commercially-focused ports in the Ligurian Sea
  • A specialist container gateway, ideal for receiving your shipment from India
  • Facilities include over 400,000 square meters of freight-handling space
  • Infrastructure includes 5.1 kilometers of quays to offload containerized goods of all kinds

Owned By: Port of La Spezia Port Authority.

Annual Container Volume: >1.4 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Located in the Marche region about 270 kilometers northeast of Rome
  • A major seafaring facility on the Adriatic Coast
  • Possesses advanced container-handling capabilities
  • Ideal if the final destination of your cargo from India is in this region of Italy

Owned By: Central Adriatic Ports Authority.

Annual Container Volume: >150,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Venice is a major Italian port for commercial shipping
  • Facilities include 23 cargo terminals
  • Strong rail and road links to the rest of Italy

Owned By: Port Authority of Venice.

Annual Container Volume: >1.4 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Located in Southwestern Italy
  • One of the largest ports in the Mediterranean
  • Container terminal boasts a huge storage capacity
  • Features 12 kilometers of docks and 38 berths for cargo vessels

Owned By: Port Authority of Naples.

Annual Container Volume: >500,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Processes the largest volume of cargo throughput in Italy
  • Facilities include cutting-edge logistics technology
  • The port stretches along more than 22 km of coastline
  • Along with Marseille and Barcelona, Genoa is among the Mediterranean’s busiest ocean cargo hubs

Owned By: Genoa Port Authority.

Annual Container Volume: >2 million TEUs.


Flying Your Freight: Airport Guide

Airports of Origin in India


Airport Facts:

  • Overtook Mumbai in 2015 to become India’s busiest cargo airport
  • Processes over one million tons of freight annually, much of it destined for Europe
  • The only airport in India with direct flights to Italy
  • Convenient airport if your manufacturer or supplier is in Northern India

Italy airports served: Milan-Malpensa, Rome-Fiumicino.

Delhi to Italy Cargo-Only Operators: Cathay Pacific Cargo.



Airport Facts:

  • Handles about 900,000 tonnes of freight per year
  • India’s second-busiest international airport
  • Located close to the subcontinent’s west coast
  • Infrastructure includes a specialized center for perishable freight
  • No direct flights from Mumbai to Italy

Italy Airports Served: None.

Mumbai to Italy Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • The official name is Kempegowda International Airport
  • Handily located for supply chains requiring the movement of goods from South and Central India
  • Facilities include two runways and three cargo terminals
  • Specialized facilities for perishable cargo and pharmaceuticals
  • No direct flights from Bangalore to Italy

Italy Airports Served: None.

Bangalore to Italy Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Situated 24 kilometers to the south of Hyderabad
  • The airport has two runways and a temperature-controlled pharmaceuticals warehouse
  • The cargo terminal occupies a site of more than 14,000 square meters
  • No direct flights from Hyderabad to Italy

Italy Airports Served: None.

Hyderabad to Italy Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Serves India’s southern states
  • India’s third-busiest air cargo facility
  • Cargo terminal can accommodate three wide-body freighters at once
  • A new cargo center is currently under construction
  • No direct flights from Chennai to Italy

Italy Airports Served: None.

Chennai to Italy Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Other Airports in India

Although Delhi is the only major international airport in India to operate direct flights to Italy, Shipa Freight can still fly your goods using connecting services from the following gateways:

  • Ahmedabad
  • Kolkata
  • Jaipur
  • Pune
  • Cochin
  • Coimbatore

Airports of Arrival in Italy


Airport Facts:

  • Located just under 50 kilometers north of the center of Milan
  • Has a dedicated cargo terminal where your consignment from India will be discharged
  • Infrastructure includes two terminals and two runways

Connected Airports in India: Delhi.

India to Milan-Malpensa Cargo-Only Operators: Cathay Pacific Cargo.



Airport Facts:

  • Also known as Leonardo da Vinci International Airport
  • The cargo terminal was completely renovated in 2017
  • Offers secure storage with alarms, anti-intruder defenses, and 24/7 CCTV monitoring
  • Facilities include a warehouse with state-of-the-art logistics facilities that focus on handling delicate and time or temperature-sensitive freight

Connected Airports in India: Delhi.

India to Rome-Fiumicino Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Why Ship From India to Italy With Shipa Freight?

As a digital-first international shipping platform, Shipa Freight brings simplicity to ocean and air shipping from India to Italy. Our services are provided in conjunction with our parent company Agility Logistics, making us world leaders in freight forwarding.

If you are looking for a forwarder offering easy shipping of freight from India to Italy, you can trust us to safely transport your goods with no fuss. We’ll also bring your business the following benefits:

  • Quick shipping quotes
  • Fast online quotes
  • Simple online registration, booking, and payment
  • Straightforward information about the paperwork your consignment requires
  • Efficient management of customs clearance on your behalf
  • One platform to manage all your import and export logistics
  • Assistance with shipping matters available 24/7 via a friendly customer service team
  • Reassurance that your shipments comply with relevant Indian and Italian rules and regulations

Know Your Shipping Terminology

Some of the jargon and complicated terminology used by shipping experts can be confusing. To help build your understanding of the language of shipping, we’re explaining some of the confusing terms in common usage on our country-to-country pages. Two examples are below.

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