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Ocean and Air Freight Shipping from India to Sweden

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

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Updated on 03 Mar 202216 min read

Are you a small-business owner trading internationally between India and Sweden? Do you manage logistics for a large enterprise with an India to Sweden supply chain? Perhaps you are a Swedish importer buying products from India for the first time, or a supplier in India breaking into the Swedish market?

Whatever scenario generates your need to export from India to Sweden, the facts and guidance on this page will be of value.

You’ll find plenty of tips for shipping ocean and air freight from India to Sweden. You can also see details of notable ports and airports in the two countries, and information about routes and transit times for port-to-port freight transportation.

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

Flags of India and Sweden to show Shipa Freight capacity to ship from India to Sweden As with most long-distance international supply chains, the only practical modes of transportation for your business when importing from India to Sweden, are air freight or ocean shipping.

Ocean Freight From India to Sweden

Less than Container Load (LCL): Ideal for smaller consignments, LCL is a mode of container shipping involving the consolidation of your goods. Consolidation means combining your consignment with those of other shippers to create a full container load.

Full Container Load (FCL): In FCL shipping, you pay a flat rate for the use and transportation of a shipping container from India to Sweden. The container will be for your use alone.

Air Freight from India to Sweden

If ocean shipping is not quick enough to support your supply chain, air freight offers a faster, though costlier, way to import from India to Sweden.

How Much Does it Cost to Ship Freight From India to Sweden?

The most economical approach to exporting your goods, will be to send them as LCL freight if your shipments are small. If you have plenty of cargo to send, you can ship it as an FCL in a full container from India to Sweden, which will cost less per unit than LCL. That’s because LCL shipping rates are based on dimensional weight calculations, whereas FCL is based on flat rates per container.

Air freight costs many times more than ocean shipping for large quantities of goods. That’s unless the weight of your shipment is not much more than 100 kilograms. For cargo in this weight bracket, you might find it nearly as cost-effective to fly it from India to Sweden, as to send it by sea.

The smallest shipments, weighing 35 kilograms or less, are not cost-effective to ship as freight, and should instead be sent with an international courier. Indeed, at Shipa Freight, we do not quote for carriage of <35 kg shipments.

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

Hourglass and a calendar to represent the transit time of shipments with Shipa Freight Whichever way you ship exports from India to Sweden, total transportation time will be a minimum of three or four days—and can be anything up to five weeks.

At the fastest end of that timescale is Air freight, which is of course pretty quick, but transit time includes:

  • Consolidation at the airport of loading
  • Export customs procedures
  • Unloading at the airport of discharge
  • Import customs clearance

Your goods may also spend time awaiting transshipment between aircraft if they are not transported on a direct flight.

For ocean freight, you will need to allow weeks rather than days for shipping from port to port. FCL shipping maybe a little quicker than LCL, but that’s not true in every case. It all depends on the route and whether the shipping line operates a direct sailing or one that stops at several ports en route to your cargo’s destination.

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

As mentioned above, total transit time for ocean shipments from India to Sweden depends on the ports of loading and discharge. For example, our FCL route from Chennai to Gothenburg takes about 32 days, as does the lane from Nhava Sheva to Helsingborg.

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

One of our fastest routes for air freight from India to Sweden is between Delhi and Malmo, taking four days. Meanwhile, air freight from Delhi to Gothenburg can arrive in five days, and it takes eight days for us to get your cargo by air from Mumbai to Gothenburg.

Customs Clearance in India and Sweden

Customs clearance procedures rank among the most complicated aspects of shipping for commercial exporters and importers. Nevertheless, it is unavoidable, and something for which every supplier, consignee, and intermediary engaged in international sales transactions must prepare.

Your carrier will not take any responsibility for helping you to ensure smooth customs clearance. However, a freight forwarder will do so—either directly or via the services of a customs broker. Even so, there are some steps in which you will need to involve your business directly, including the accurate completion of documents to accompany your freight.

Typically, you will need to ensure that the following formal documents are in order for all shipments from India to Sweden, as the customs authorities will require them for export and import clearance procedures:

  1. Commercial Invoice
  2. Packing List
  3. Certificate of Origin
  4. Letter of Credit or other payment terms (depending on the contract between the parties involved)
  5. Bill of Lading for ocean freight or Airway Bill for air freight (Your freight forwarder should provide this)

We have compiled a comprehensive Shipping documents list to provide some advice about each of the above-listed forms, and to give you access to visual examples of them.

Should You Choose Ocean Freight or Air Freight?

Ocean Freight

Ocean shipping is the method of choice for most enterprises with goods to import from India to Sweden. Typically the most affordable mode of transportation, it will suit you as long as you're prepared for the lengthy transit times involved.

Probably, your commodities will best be shipped in a container, so you should choose a port in India with container facilities, and one similarly equipped in Sweden.

Most commercial ports in both countries can handle containers, so it makes sense to choose those situated closest to the supplier and consignee. After all, in addition to the price of sea freight carriage, you must consider the domestic transportation costs involved in getting your goods to and from the ports.

You can choose to ship your cargo as LCL or FCL ocean freight. To help you decide which is best for your business, here are a few considerations for each method.

Considerations for LCL Freight Shipping

The following questions will be of importance in deciding whether to ship your goods with an LCL service:

  • Are you prepared for your products to travel in a container with other shippers’ goods?
  • Does your shipment comprise lightweight goods with small dimensions?
  • Will your shipment take up less than half the capacity of a 20-foot shipping container?
  • Do you need to ship too frequently to wait until you have enough goods to fill a container?
  • Can you accept longer transit times arising from the need for consolidation and deconsolidation?

If you can answer yes to at least one or two of the questions above, LCL might be the best way to ship your Indian exports to Sweden.
Learn more about Less than Container Load on our dedicated page on LCL Shipping.

Considerations for FCL Freight Shipping

In case you think that you need a full container-load of commodities to use FCL shipping, you can be assured that's not necessarily the case. Of course, filling a container is the most cost-effective way to use an FCL service. However, even half a container-load might cost less than LCL. That's because FCL freight rates are based on a flat fee per container. In contrast, LCL prices depend on volumetric weight calculations.

Other good reasons to consider FCL shipping include:

  • The possibility of slightly shorter transit times than with LCL (no consolidation steps involved)
  • Your freight will be isolated, sealed, and secured in its container throughout shipping
  • Your shipment’s progress can’t be affected by delays arising from other shippers’ issues
  • FCL tends to be subject to fewer factors that can cause delays
  • The container and its contents will undergo minimal handling, reducing the risk of loss or damage to your freight

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

Air Freight

While much faster than ocean freight, air shipping between India and Sweden comes at a higher cost—considerably higher for large shipments. That makes it best for:

  • Expedited shipments that need to meet a tight deadline
  • High-value products
  • Products with a large profit margin
  • Perishable, fragile, or delicate cargo
  • Situations where the high levels of airport and airline security are of maximum benefit
  • The supplier and consignee are located close to airports and far from ocean freight gateways
  • Shipments of no more than one to three pallets (air-freight shipments this small may not cost too much more than ocean freight)

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

Ocean Cargo Port Guide

Cargo Ports of Origin in India

Nhava Sheva

Port Facts

  • Once served as an overflow for Mumbai Port
  • Has grown to become the largest port in India
  • Facilities include five separate terminals
  • Over half of India’s container movements pass through this port
  • Conveniently located for exports from Western and Central India

Owned By: Government of India.

Annual Container Volume: >5 million TEUs.



Port Facts

  • Located in Gujarat, India’s most Westerly state
  • Ranked #34 in the list of world’s top-50 container ports
  • The largest port in India that’s under private ownership
  • Ideal gateway for goods leaving the North or Northwest of India
  • The port has four container terminals
  • Served by more than 30 international ocean freight trade lanes

Owned By: Adani Group.

Annual Container Volume: >4 million TEUs.



Port Facts

  • Perfect port of loading for shipments from Central, Northern, or Northwestern India
  • Located around 30 kilometers from Surat
  • Close to the Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor
  • Benefits from approach roads mostly free from traffic congestion
  • Container facilities include consolidation and deconsolidation warehouses

Owned By: Hazira Port Private Ltd.

Annual Container Volume: >500,000 TEUs.



Port Facts

  • Houses the fourth-largest container terminal in India
  • The second-largest port in the Tamil Nadu region
  • Handles around seven percent of India’s container traffic
  • Facilities include three quay cranes
  • The port is the beneficiary of more than $1 billion in government investment for expansion

Owned By: V.O. Chidambaranar Port Trust.

Annual Container Volume: >560,000 TEUs.



Port Facts

  • Situated to the north of Chennai
  • Serves as an overflow to ease increasing congestion at Chennai Port
  • Approach roads are congestion free
  • Known for fast vessel turnaround

Owned By: Kattupalli Port Private Ltd.

Annual Container Volume: >345,000 TEUs.


Other Ports in India

As well as the ports described above, other export gateways to consider for your shipments from India to Sweden include:

  • Kandla
  • Cochin
  • Pipaviv
  • Haldia
  • Visakhapatnam
  • Kolkata
  • Mormugao
  • Krishnapatnam
  • Chennai

Cargo Ports of Arrival in Sweden


Port Facts

  • The second-largest port in Sweden
  • Located on the shore of the Oresund Strait
  • Benefits from excellent rail and road links to cities across Sweden
  • Receives more than 1,500 visits from container vessels per year

Owned By: Helsingborg Hamn AB.

Annual Container Volume: >280,000 TEUs.



Port Facts

  • The largest of all Nordic ports
  • Handles 30% of Sweden’s international inbound and outbound freight
  • Offers direct connections to around 130 worldwide destinations
  • Can accommodate the largest container vessels
  • Receives more than 11,000 ship visits per annum
  • A combined coastal and river port

Owned By: City of Gothenburg.

Annual Container Volume: >860,000 TEUs.



Port Facts

  • Handles ten million tonnes of cargo annually
  • Can accommodate vessels of 500 feet and more in length
  • Average container handling time at this port is just eight minutes
  • Offers a flexible range of services including container stuffing and stripping
  • A new container terminal is due to open in May 2020

Owned By: City of Stockholm.

Annual Container Volume: >57,400 TEUs.



Port Facts

  • Situated around 130 kilometers from Stockholm on the coast of the Baltic Sea
  • Capable of handling all types of freight
  • Enjoys smooth connections to the rest of Sweden by road and rail
  • One of Sweden’s leading container-handling ports
  • Facilities include two ship-to-shore gantry cranes

Owned By: Norrkopings Hamn Och Stuveri AB.

Annual Container Volume: >132,000 TEUs.


Flying Your Freight: Airport Guide

Airports of Origin in India


Airport Facts

  • The busiest cargo airport in India
  • Handles more than 900,000 tonnes of air freight per annum
  • Useful export gateway for air freight from Northern India
  • Covers an area of more than 2,000 hectares
  • Offers direct flights to Sweden

Sweden Airports Served: Stockholm.

Delhi to Sweden Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts

  • Like Delhi, Mumbai Airport handles around 900,000 tonnes of freight per year
  • Second-busiest of India’s international airports
  • Located close to India’s west coast
  • Boasts a large cargo terminal
  • The cargo apron can load or unload five wide-body aircraft simultaneously
  • Facilities include a specialized center for perishable freight
  • No direct flights from Mumbai to Sweden

Sweden Airports Served: None.

Mumbai to Sweden Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts

  • Also called Kempegowda International Airport
  • Ideal airport for exports from Southern and Central India
  • The airport has two runways
  • Facilities include three cargo terminals
  • Boasts specialized facilities for perishable freight and pharmaceutical products
  • No direct flights from Bangalore to Sweden

Sweden Airports Served: None.

Bangalore to Sweden Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts

  • Located 24 kilometers south of the city of Hyderabad
  • The freight terminal serves as a hub for several cargo airlines
  • The airport has two runways
  • Facilities include a temperature-controlled pharmaceuticals warehouse
  • The cargo terminal covers an area of more than 14,000 square meters
  • No direct flights from Hyderabad to Sweden

Sweden Airports Served: None.

Hyderabad to Sweden Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts

  • This airport serves India’s southern states
  • The third-busiest airport in India
  • Cargo terminal can handle three wide-body freighters at a time
  • A new cargo center is currently being built
  • No direct flights from Chennai to Sweden

Sweden Airports Served: None.

Chennai to Sweden Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Other Airports in India

Few airports in India offer direct flights to Sweden. Still, you can fly your freight using connecting services from the following gateways, in addition to those introduced above:

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

Airports of Arrival in Sweden


Airport Facts

  • The third-largest airport in the Nordic region
  • The busiest airport in Sweden
  • Situated to the North of Stockholm, the capital of Sweden
  • Served by 81 airlines, connecting Stockholm with more than 180 worldwide destinations
  • Facilities include an extensive freight center named Cargo City
  • Served by a direct service from India’s Delhi Airport

Connected Airports in India: Delhi.

India to Stockholm Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts

  • Sweden’s oldest commercial airport
  • Located 10 minutes away from Norrkoping City
  • The airport mainly handles cargo flights, along with some seasonal passenger traffic
  • No direct flights from India to Norrkoping

Connected Airports in India: None.

India to Norrkoping Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts

  • Sweden’s second-largest international airport
  • Situated 20 kilometers from Gothenburg
  • Served by around 90 direct flights to 20 countries
  • No direct flights from India to Gothenburg

Connected Airports in India: None.

India to Gothenburg Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts

  • Located in Central Sweden
  • Freight terminal can handle aircraft up to the size of a Boeing 757
  • Facilities include 600 square meters of temperature-controlled warehousing
  • The airport is equipped to handle special cargos, including dangerous goods
  • Several cargo airlines operate flights connecting Jonkoping with Northern European cities
  • No direct flights from India to Jonkoping

Connected Airports in India: None.

India to Jonkoping Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts

  • The fourth-busiest airport in Sweden
  • Situated 28 kilometers east of the city of Malmo
  • Served by flights to at least 40 destinations
  • Facilities include two cargo terminals
  • No direct flights from India to Malmo

Connected Airports in India: None.

India to Malmo Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Why Ship From India to Sweden With Shipa Freight?

If you have worked with traditional freight forwarders, you might have found that it can be a time-consuming activity. Shipa Freight is different.

As an online, technology-driven freight forwarder, we’ve developed our platform and service to save you time and help you streamline your international logistics processes. We provide fast online quotes for both air freight and ocean cargo, and you can make your bookings, pay, and track your shipments all via one online portal.

Would you like to manage your shipping needs without the extensive phone, email, and fax exchanges? Perhaps you’d like to dispense with the need to coordinate multiple agencies to get your cargo from India to Sweden. If so, Shipa Freight is the forwarder you’ve been seeking.

We offer a range of valuable benefits to any business with a supply chain to simplify. Here are just a few of the advantages gained by shipping your freight with us:

  • Request, receive, and compare air or ocean freight quotes online
  • Turn your quote into a booking in moments
  • We make it easy to complete and submit shipping and customs documentation
  • Our customs clearance experts and compliance technology help you to ship without delays
  • You’ll have access to a dedicated customer support team any time you need a little human help
  • You can take advantage of Agility Logistics’ global network of resources and assets
  • Access and manage your shipments any time, day or night, on our easy-to-use digital platform

Know Your Shipping Terminology

Whatever your native language, the commercial language of shipping can be confusing. To help build your understanding, Shipa Freight is cutting through the complexity and explaining industry jargon in plain English. Two potentially baffling shipping terms are explained below, and there are more definitions on each of our country-to-country pages.

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