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Ocean and Air Shipping from Italy to India

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

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Updated on 11 Mar 202213 min read

Italy is India’s fifth-biggest trade partner in the European Union. Products that India most regularly imports from Italy include dishwashers and other machinery.

For any business planning to import from Italy to India, this page is essential reading. The information and guidance it contains will make it easier for your company to move commodities from Southern Europe to the subcontinent more successfully.

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

You can choose between ocean and air shipping from Italy to India. Both modes of transportation have their advantages and disadvantages, as outlined below.

Ocean Freight From Italy to India

Less than Container Load (LCL): You might choose to send your freight in a shared container with an LCL shipping service. It’s often the most cost-effective option for smaller loads.

Full Container Load (FCL): Shipping a container from Italy to India by FCL means your goods don’t have to share container-space with other shippers’ freight. It can be the fastest and cheapest way to transport larger ocean shipments.

Air Freight from Italy to India

Air freight offers the fastest shipping of them all. But it’s usually the most expensive too.

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

Determining the cost of a shipment from Italy to India will require a freight forwarder to consider all of the following:

  • The freight being shipped
  • The weight of the cargo
  • The size and volume of the shipment
  • The preferred method of transportation, which might be air, LCL or FCL ocean shipping
  • The distance between the point of origin and the destination
  • The delivery service required (for example Door-to-Door or Port-to-Port)

You can always ask a freight forwarder to give you a quote for both air and ocean shipping. As a rough guide, if your consignment weighs under 100 kg, you’re unlikely to find much difference between the prices of either mode of shipping.

It’s a different story with goods weighing over 100 kg, as sea freight almost always offers a more affordable option for heavier loads. For goods weighing 35 kg and under, it will be better to ship with an international courier service, as freight forwarders generally don’t handle these much smaller consignments.

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

Transporting a shipping container from Italy to India can take between three and six weeks. The precise time depends on your choice of seaports and carrier, and whether you use LCL or FCL shipping.

Air shipping freight from Italy to India is a considerably faster process, with shipments typically taking between four to eight days.

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

Between 25 and 39 days is the time typically required to ship a container from Italy to India aboard a cargo vessel, as these examples show:

  • Genoa to Chennai– 28 days FCL
  • Genoa to Cochin – 29 days FCL
  • Genoa to Mundra – 27 days FCL
  • Genoa to Nhava Sheva – 25 days FCL
  • Venice to Mundra – 29 days FCL

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

Aircraft travel at an average speed of around 900 kilometers per hour, whereas cargo vessels move at just 35 kilometers per hour. So it’s no surprise that the time required for air shipping from Italy to India is considerably shorter as these examples show:

  • Rome to Ahmedabad – 8 days
  • Rome to Mumbai – 7 days
  • Milan to Kolkata – 4 days
  • Milan to Hyderabad – 4 days
  • Milan to Mumbai – 6 days

Customs Clearance in Italy and India

Inspector checking containers as Shipa Freight helps with customs clearance

Customs clearance is one of the necessities of international shipping. For many businesses, it’s so fraught with complexity that they choose to hire a freight forwarder to handle the process. Your company may wish to do likewise, especially if you want to avoid delays to your shipment and ensure compliance with rules and regulations.

To prepare your goods for import or export from Italy to India, your freight forwarder will require you to submit specific documents. These will include those listed below (you can see examples of each of these on our documents list page).

  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)

Other paperwork may be required to accompany your shipment, perhaps including licenses, certificates and/or permits.

Should You Choose Ocean Freight or Air Freight?

Ocean Freight

If you choose to ship your freight from Italy to India via the ocean, it is likely to be transported in a multimodal container. You can choose to rent and ship a container exclusively for your freight (this is known as FCL shipping) or just send it along with goods belonging to other shippers in a shared container (known as LCL shipping).

Either way, your sea freight will travel from port to port by cargo ship on pallets in a 20ft or 40ft container from Italy to India. Goods that aren’t suited to a container will be classed as break-bulk. Your forwarder will outline your options for such freight.

Your decision between either LCL or FCL ocean shipping will probably depend on the size and volume of your consignment. But there are other factors to consider as we’ve outlined below:

Considerations for LCL Freight Shipping

LCL could be the best choice for your shipment if it’s:

  • 14 cubic meters or less
  • Not urgent
  • Not large enough to fill a container
  • Safe to be shipped alongside other goods in a shared container

LCL might not be best for your sea freight consignment if it’s:

  • Fragile and could be damaged if frequently handled
  • Perishable, and hence unlikely to arrive in India in good condition after a long voyage
  • Required urgently by your consignee
  • Large, heavy, and/or awkwardly shaped

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

Considerations for FCL Freight Shipping

FCL is often chosen by shippers with consignments that:

  • Need to be shipped by ocean as quickly as possible
  • Are over 14 cubic meters
  • Are delicate or heavy
  • Need to be sealed in their container in Italy, and to remain sealed throughout shipping
  • Are too big or not suitable to be shipped in a shared container from Italy to India

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

Air Freight

Air shipping is the preferred mode of transportation for many businesses with cargo-consignments that:

  • Are urgent
  • Are of a high value and need the high levels of security offered by airports and airlines
  • Are small—two to three pallets at most
  • Are coming from a supplier and/or going to a consignee located nearer an international airport than a seaport

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

Ocean Cargo Port Guide

Cargo Ports of Origin in Italy


Port Facts:

  • Italy’s key container hub on the Adriatic coast
  • Handles more than 370,000 containers annually
  • Infrastructure includes 30,000 meters of quayside and 23 cargo terminals
  • The only port in the country with direct access to Italy’s network of inland waterways

Owned By: Port Authority of Venice.

Annual Container Volume: >1.4 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • A huge sea freight facility located on the Tyrrhenian Sea
  • Infrastructure includes 11 kilometers of quayside and 38 berths for cargo vessels
  • Boasts three container terminals covering a 200,000 square-meter site
  • Ideal port of origin if your supply chain moves goods from Pozzuoli, Ercolano, Afragola, and other locations in Southwestern Italy

Owned By: Port Authority of Naples.

Annual Container Volume: >500,000 TEUs.


La Spezia

Port Facts:

  • Currently Italy’s busiest container port
  • The first port in the country to be privately managed
  • Situated in Northwestern Italy about 80 km along the coast from Genoa
  • Features a 1.4 km-long quayside

Owned By: Port of La Spezia Port Authority.

***Annual Container Volume: *** >1.4 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Located in Eastern Italy on the Adriatic coast
  • Its container terminal covers a 5,000 square meter site
  • The port authority is planning to almost double the length of the 333-meter quay
  • Easy access to the port from San Marino, San Benedetto del Tronto, and Cesena

Owned By: Central Adriatic Ports Authority.

Annual Container Volume: >150,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • A top-three Mediterranean container port
  • Italy’s busiest sea freight hub by cargo tonnage
  • The facility extends for 22 km along the coastline in Northern Italy
  • Ideal port of origin for any manufacturer or supplier based in Turin, Milan, or near the Ligurian Sea coast

Owned By: Genoa Port Authority.

Annual Container Volume: >2.6 million TEUs.


Cargo Ports of Arrival in India


Port Facts:

  • Constructed to relieve pressure on the nearby port of Chennai
  • Located just 31 km north of Chennai
  • Offers congestion-free roads for easy onward distribution to the hinterland
  • Ideal port of arrival if your consignees are in Tirupati, Srikalahasti, Vellore or other destinations in Eastern India

Owned By: Kattupalli Port Private Ltd.

Annual Container Volume: >345,000 TEUs.


Nhava Sheva

Port Facts:

  • Infrastructure includes five container terminals
  • Over 30% of sea freight imported from Italy arrives here
  • The port set a record for annual cargo throughput in India in 2019

Owned By: Government of India.

Annual Container Volume: >5 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Known as ‘The Gateway to South India’
  • Formerly called Madras Port
  • Second-largest container port in India
  • Facilities include two container terminals

Owned By: Chennai Port Trust.

Annual Container Volume: >1.5 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Formerly India’s largest seaport
  • Located between the ports of Kolkata and Chennai on India’s east coast
  • Situated close to the Malacca Straits
  • Ideal port of arrival if your consignee is located in Telangana, Odisha, or elsewhere in Eastern India

Owned By: Visakhapatnam Port Trust.

Annual Container Volume: >350,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Houses four container terminals
  • One of the world’s top-50 container ports
  • A privately owned ocean cargo facility in Northwestern India
  • Ideal port for goods required in Rajkot, Mundra, Bhuj, or Pakistan
  • Became the first port in India to handle over 100 million tonnes of freight in 2013-14

Owned By: Adani Group.

Annual Container Volume: >4 million TEUs.


Other Ports of Origin in India

In addition to those ports mentioned above, Shipa Freight can also serve businesses importing from Italy to India via these other Indian freight gateways:

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

Flying Your Freight: Airport Guide

Airports of Origin in Italy


Airport Facts:

  • The leading air cargo facility in Southern Europe
  • Located on the Ticino River, about 50 km north of the city of Milan
  • Over half of Italy’s air cargo is handled here
  • Boasts a state-of-the-art cargo terminal with temperature-controlled storage areas

India Airports Served: Delhi.

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



Airport Facts:

  • Italy’s busiest airport, with cargo and passenger services provided by more than 45 airlines
  • Covers a 16,000 square meter site
  • Also called Leonardo da Vinci airport
  • Has a large cargo terminal known as Cargo City

India Airports Served: Delhi.

Rome to India Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Airports of Arrival in India


Airport Facts:

  • Located in the state of Kerala near the city of Kochi
  • It is the world’s first fully solar-powered airport
  • The airport’s cargo terminal covers a 20-hectare site
  • Over 100 cargo companies are based here

Connected Airports in Italy: None.

Italy to Cochin Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Previously called Sahar Airport
  • Nearly one million tonnes of air freight is handled here annually
  • Won ‘Best Airport in India and Central Asia’ award in 2016

Connected Airports in Italy: None.

Italy to Mumbai Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • India’s busiest freight hub
  • Infrastructure includes two integrated cargo terminals
  • Served by 17 cargo airlines
  • Easy onward connections to areas in Central and Northern India, including Agra and Jaipur

Connected Airports in Italy: Rome, Milan.

Italy to Delhi Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Also known as Bengaluru Airport
  • Occupies a 1,600-hectare site
  • Handled 386,000 tonnes of freight between April 2018 and March 2019
  • Facilities include a cargo village and three cargo terminals

Connected Airports in Italy: None.

Italy to Bangalore Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Officially called Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport
  • Located 17 kilometers outside the city of Kolkata
  • The airport covers a 664-hectare site

Connected Airports in Italy: None.

Italy to Kolkata Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Other Arrival Airports in India

Shipa Freight can coordinate air freight shipments from Italy to another four airports in India—Ahmedabad, Chennai, Coimbatore, and Hyderabad.

Why Ship From Italy to India With Shipa Freight?

Because Shipa Freight is a digital-only freight forwarder, we’re making international shipping easier than ever. No matter the size of your business or your level of shipping experience, you’ll find our platform simplifies your supply chain.

We’re equally at home coordinating the movement of a couple of pallets of air cargo as we are importing huge consignments of ocean freight from Italy to India.

Key benefits of choosing Shipa Freight when you’re importing from Italy to India include:

  • Quick quotes based on real-time shipping rates
  • Easily compare quotes to get the best price
  • Book shipments and pay for them online by card or wire transfer
  • We’ll help you prepare the documentation needed to comply with customs regulations
  • Leave it to us to handle the complexities of international shipping rules
  • Track the progress of your shipment via our website, in real-time
  • Our parent company Agility is a world-leading logistics business
  • Call on a friendly team of customer advisors to help with any issues—24/7

##Know Your Shipping Terminology

To help build your understanding of the language of shipping, we’re ending our country-to-country pages with definitions of potentially confusing terms and jargon. It’s a great chance to familiarize yourself with the ‘lingo’ so you can communicate your needs more effectively.

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