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Ocean and Air Freight Shipping From Italy to Australia

FCL, LCL and Air freight forwarding: information and online quote

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Updated on 28 Nov 202111 min read

These two highly-developed G20 economies share a warm relationship and have seen trade and investments grow for several years. In 2017, Italy was Australia's 16th-largest trading partner.

If you want to participate in this active trade and start importing from Italy to Australia, this page will be a useful resource for you. You will find valuable information regarding shipping options, costs, transit times, customs clearance, and ports right here.

What Are Your Options for Shipping From Italy to Australia?

Flags of the Italy and Australia for the tradelane with Shipa Freight

Air and ocean shipping are the two only options to import from Italy to Australia. We will explain the pros and cons of each mode of transport in the following sections.

Ocean Freight From Italy to Australia

Less than Container Load (LCL): When your goods share a container with the consignments of other shippers, the process is called LCL shipping. It is often the least expensive option for moving smaller amounts of freight, because you don’t have to pay for an entire container.

Full Container Load (FCL): When you pay for the use and transportation of an entire shipping container from Italy to Australia, for your goods alone, the process is called FCL shipping. It’s worthwhile for larger, heavier cargo because of the flat-fee pricing structure.

Air Freight From Italy to Australia

Air freight is the best choice for moving your commercial goods if you need them to reach Australia as soon as possible. However, air freight is also far more expensive than ocean shipping in most cases.

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

Calculator to represent the cost of Shipa Freight's quotes

When shipping goods for export from Italy to Australia the cost will depend on various criteria. Freight forwarders issue quotes based on the following factors:

  • Type of cargo
  • Chosen mode of transport (FCL, LCL, Air)
  • Weight of the cargo
  • Dimensions of the cargo
  • Distance between origin and destination
  • Type of service (such as Port-to-Port, Door-to-Door)

The weight of your goods is one factor that has a large impact on the final cost. If you are moving 100 kg or more, ocean freight is often the most cost-effective mode of transport. However, there is usually not much of a difference in price between air and ocean shipping for cargo weighing less than 100 kg.

Freight under 35 kg won’t be handled by most freight forwarders, including Shipa Freight. However, you can engage an international courier service to do the job instead.

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

Flying your goods to Australia is significantly faster than sending them on a cargo ship. An air-freight carrier can get your goods there in three to eight days, including the time spent in consolidation and customs clearance. Maritime carriers will ship your ocean freight in 26 to 55 days.

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

Below are some examples of transit times involved in transporting a shipping container from Italy to Australia:

  • Genoa to Fremantle – 26 days FCL
  • Milan to Adelaide – 55 days LCL
  • Milan to Melbourne – 40 days LCL
  • Ancona to Sydney – 45 days FCL
  • Milan to Sydney – 50 days LCL
  • Naples to Sydney – 45 days FCL

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

Below are some examples of transit times for air freight services between Italy and Australia:

  • Rome to Brisbane – 8 days
  • Milan to Perth – 4 days
  • Milan to Brisbane, Sydney, or Melbourne - 6 days

Customs Clearance in Italy and Australia

Customs formalities are a vital part of ocean and air shipping from Italy to Australia. You may wish to engage a seasoned freight forwarder to help your business with this rather complex task. A forwarder will ensure that your consignment complies with the respective customs regulations and international shipping laws. When your documents are correct, you are also less likely to face delays and problems in the process.

To receive export permission in Italy and import clearance in Australia, you still have to provide the necessary paperwork. Customs officials will expect to see at least 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)

Under certain circumstances, you might also have to submit further documents, such as licenses, permits, or certificates. If this is the case, you will be notified by your freight forwarder.

Curious to learn more about the various documents? We have compiled a handy documents list for you.

Should You Choose Ocean Freight or Air Freight?

Ocean Freight

Most commercial goods are transported from port to port in standard 20ft or 40ft shipping containers aboard cargo ships. Freight forwarders and carriers also offer options for sea freight with special requirements. For example, refrigerated or ventilated containers are available for cargo that needs to remain at a certain temperature. And materials that won’t fit into a container at all can be moved as break-bulk in a special area of the ship.

Coming back to containerized ocean shipping, there are two approaches to choose from: LCL and FCL. Read on to find out which option is best for your logistics needs.

Considerations for LCL Freight Shipping

LCL shipping is right for you if:

  • Your freight isn’t urgently needed in Australia.
  • You have to move only small amounts of goods (14 CBM, approx. six standard pallets, or less).
  • Sharing a container with other shippers is not a problem for you.
  • Air shipping is not a viable option for you at this moment.

Refrain from LCL shipping if:

  • You need absolute certainty with regard to your delivery date.
  • You are dealing with delicate, perishable, or high-value cargo.
  • Excessive movements and handling could cause damage to your freight.
  • Your consignment is very large and/or heavy.

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

Considerations for FCL Freight Shipping

FCL is best for you if:

  • You need your cargo to remain sealed in a container until it reaches the recipient.
  • You want a more certain delivery date.
  • You are shipping delicate or heavy goods.
  • Your consignment will occupy more than half of the load capacity of a 20ft container.

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

Air Freight

Air shipping is best if:

  • You have small shipments to transport (two to three pallets at most).
  • Your cargo is needed in Australia very urgently.
  • Fast delivery is more important than the associated cost.
  • You want to minimize any risk for your high-value cargo.
  • Your goods are perishable with a very limited shelf-life.
  • Your supplier and buyer are located closer to an international airport than a seaport.

Ocean Cargo Port Guide

Cargo Ports of Origin in Italy


Port Facts:

  • Eighth-busiest commercial seaport in the country.
  • Serves the region of Veneto in Northeastern Italy.
  • Mainly known as a hub for cruise ships.
  • Boasts excellent railway connections to other regions of Italy as well as the surrounding countries.

Owned By: Port Authority of Venice.

Annual Container Volume: >1.4 million TEUs.


La Spezia

Port Facts:

Located between the cities of Genoa and Pisa in northwest Italy. Italy’s leading container port and one of the most important seaports in the Mediterranean. Large container vessels can dock on more than five kilometers of quayside.

Owned By: Port of La Spezia Port Authority.

Annual Container Volume: >1.4 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Second-largest port in Italy and among the top three in the Mediterranean.
  • Home to some of Europe’s most modern logistics services.
  • Covers over 22 kilometers of coastline.

Owned By: Genoa Port Authority.

Annual Container Volume: >2 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Situated on the southwestern coast of Italy.
  • Among the most significant and busiest container seaports in Italy.
  • Offers 11 kilometers of docks and 38 berths.

Owned By: Port Authority of Naples.

Annual Container Volume: >500,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Located on Italy’s Adriatic Coast.
  • Plans underway to extend the current 333-meter quay to 600 meters.
  • Facilities include a 5,000 square-meter container terminal as well as container repair/cleaning services.

Owned By: Central Adriatic Ports Authority.

Annual Container Volume: >150,000 TEUs.


Cargo Ports of Arrival in Australia


Port Facts:

  • Fastest-growing seaport in Australia and third-busiest overall.
  • Located on Fisherman Island in the lower reaches of the Brisbane River.
  • Incoming vessels can use one of 29 berths, including nine deep-water container berths.
  • Best for recipients based in Queensland.

Owned By: Port of Brisbane Corporation.

Annual Container Volume: >1.4 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • One of the top-four container seaports in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Largest container port in Australia.
  • Can handle even the biggest container vessels in the world.
  • Situated right at the mouth of the Yarra River.

Owned By: The Lonsdale Consortium.

Annual Container Volume: >3 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Processes over a third of Australia’s yearly container traffic.
  • Largest container gateway in the state of New South Wales.
  • Official name is Port Botany.
  • Stretches over more than 40 hectares.

Owned By: Sydney Ports Corporation.

Annual Container Volume: >2.6 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Medium-sized natural river port located 14 km northwest of Adelaide’s city center.
  • The 510-meter quay receives container vessels for loading and unloading.
  • A 23-hectare cargo terminal offers 3,000 square meters of warehouse space.

Owned By: Flinders Ports Pty Ltd.

Annual Container Volume: >322,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Located in the Perth Metropolitan Region at the mouth of the Swan River.
  • Largest and busiest seaport in Western Australia.
  • Receives around 1,000 container vessels annually.

Owned By: Fremantle Port Authority.

Annual Container Volume: >780,000 TEUs.


Flying Your Freight: Airport Guide

###Airports of Origin in Italy


Airport Facts:

  • Largest freight gateway in Italy with extensive cargo facilities.
  • Located 50 km north of Milan’s city center next to the Ticino River.
  • Ideal for shippers based in the Lombardy, Piedmont, and Liguria regions.

Australian Airports Served: None.

Milan to Australia Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Eighth-busiest airport in Europe.
  • Italy’s primary airport.
  • Located 35 km from Rome's historic city center.
  • Home of Italy’s national carrier, Alitalia.
  • Features a large freight terminal known as Cargo City.

Australian Airports Served: None.

Rome to Australia Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Airports of Arrival in Australia


Airport Facts:

  • Located eight kilometers south of Sydney’s CBD.
  • 45% of Australia’s air freight is processed here.
  • Infrastructure includes seven terminals and three runways.

Connected Airports in Italy: None.

Italy to Sydney Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Handles almost a third of all air freight in the country.
  • Second-busiest airport in Australia.
  • Situated 23 km northwest of Melbourne’s city center.
  • Official name is Tullamarine Airport.

Connected Airports in Italy: None.

Italy to Melbourne Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Third-biggest air-freight gateway in Australia.
  • 13% of Australia’s air-freighted imports and exports are handled here.
  • Moves around 190,000 tonnes of cargo annually.
  • Serves 50 domestic and 29 international destinations.

Connected Airports in Italy: None.

Italy to Brisbane Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Fifth-busiest airport in Australia.
  • Located six kilometers to the west of central Adelaide.
  • Has capacity to handle wide-body aircraft.
  • Hosts services to nine international destinations.

Connected Airports in Italy: None.

Italy to Adelaide Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Fourth-busiest airport in the country.
  • Located ten kilometers to the east of central Perth.
  • Two runways can accommodate wide-body aircraft such as the Airbus A380.
  • Offers the first direct route between Oceania and Europe (to London).

Connected Airports in Italy: None.

Italy to Perth Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Why Ship From Italy to Australia With Shipa Freight?

An experienced freight forwarder like Shipa Freight will help you ship your freight from Italy to Australia successfully. With our state-of-the-art online platform, you will not only simplify your import and export processes but also speed up your entire supply chain. We will get your air and ocean freight to Australia on time and in the most cost-efficient way.

When shipping with us, you will benefit from:

  • Instant, easy-to-understand online quotes.
  • Straightforward online bookings and payments.
  • One single platform for your entire shipping process.
  • Transparent shipping paperwork.
  • Customs clearance complexity taken care of.
  • Friendly customer service, available 24/7.
  • Compliance with international shipping rules and regulations.

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