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Ocean and Air Shipping From Spain to Brazil

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Updated on 25 Feb 202214 min read

The value of Spain’s exports to Brazil averaged $257 million per year between 2014 and 2019. The main items traded were seeds and seafood, minerals, and iron. Whatever products your business is seeking to export from Spain to Brazil, you’ll find guidance on this page.

We aim to support you with crucial information regarding ocean and air shipping from Spain to Brazil. That’s why we’ve collated this page, containing guidance related to the various shipping methods, costs, transit times, customs clearance procedures, and ports.

What Are Your Options for Shipping From Spain to Brazil?

Warehouse operative pushing a trolley stacked with cartons from the flag of Spain towards the flag of the Brazil

You can import from Spain to Brazil via air and sea. Both alternatives have their specific pros and cons, which you’ll learn more about subsequently.

Ocean Freight From Spain to Brazil

Less than Container Load (LCL): With LCL shipping, there’s no need to hire a whole container. You only pay for the space that your cargo occupies in a shared unit. That’s why LCL is often the most affordable option to import small amounts of freight.

Full Container Load (FCL): To send an entire shipping container from Spain to Brazil, you just have to pay a flat fee. FCL might be cheaper than LCL if you’re transporting large quantities of cargo.

Air Freight from Spain to Brazil

Need to ship in a hurry? Then air freight will get your products to Brazil the fastest. But, prepare yourself to pay a hefty price for this speedy international service.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship Cargo From Spain to Brazil?

A quote from a professional freight forwarder will reflect your unique requirements. They’ll take into account the type of freight you’re sending, your choice of ocean or air freight service, and whether you opt for door-to-door, port-to-port, port-to-door, or door-to-port delivery. Your consignment’s weight, volume, and dimensions will also affect the cost.

A freight forwarder will usually be happy to quote for shipments that weigh 35kg or over. Usually, goods that fall into the 35kg to 100kg bracket will cost nearly the same to ship as air freight or as ocean cargo.

Shipments weighing over 100kg start getting expensive when sent as air freight, so unless there’s urgency, ocean freight will probably be a more cost-effective option for your business.

How Long Does It Take To Ship Freight From Spain to Brazil?

Mechanical chronometer to represent the transit time of shipments with Shipa Freight

There’s a significant difference in the transit times for ocean and air freight from Spain to Brazil. Container vessels can take anything from 14 to 31 days, depending on your chosen port. By contrast, a shipment sent by air can be completed in as little as eight days.

How Long Does It Take To Ship Cargo by Sea From Spain to Brazil?

The duration of ocean freight transit between Spain and Brazil is subject to the ports you choose and whether you pick LCL or FCL. Assuming minimal delays, we’ve estimated port-to-port transit times for the following routes:

  • Barcelona to Santos—26 days FCL, 23 days LCL
  • Valencia to Santos—21 days FCL, 26 days LCL
  • Bilbao to Santos—22 days FCL, 24 days LCL
  • Valencia to Itajal—31 days LCL, 23 days FCL
  • Barcelona to Rio de Janeiro—26 days FCL, 12 days LCL
  • Valencia to Rio de Janeiro—14 days FCL, 36 days LCL
  • Algeciras to Itapoa—28 days FCL
  • Algeciras to Rio Grande—24 days FCL

How Long Does It Take to Ship Cargo by Air From Spain to Brazil?

For urgent exports from Spain to Brazil, air cargo services can have your goods shipped and cleared through Brazilian customs in just seven or eight days, as these examples show:

  • Madrid to Sao Paulo—7 days
  • Barcelona to Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro—8 days
  • Valencia to Rio de Janeiro—8 days

Customs Clearance in Spain and Brazil

Clearing customs is mandatory when importing from Spain to Brazil. You have to be certain that all formalities are completed according to current laws and regulations, as errors can be not only costly but can also cause severe delays. That’s why most businesses engage an experienced freight forwarder for this crucial task.

You are still responsible for submitting the necessary documents. As a minimum, the following paperwork is required to receive export clearance in Spain and import clearance in Brazil:

  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)

If you want more information about each of these documents, you can find it here on our page we’ve created to simplify the process still further and save you even more time.

Should You Choose Ocean Freight or Air Freight?

Ocean Freight

Most businesses ship their commercial products as sea freight from Spain to Brazil. The cargo travels in shipping containers, all the way across the Atlantic Ocean on specialized cargo vessels. Sometimes, you may want to transport materials that, by their nature, aren’t suited for a container. In this case, your carrier or freight forwarder can offer alternative solutions, like break-bulk shipping.

With regard to containerized ocean shipping, you have two options: LCL and FCL. The volume and weight of your cargo, as well as the nature of your goods, will be primary factors in determining which is best for your business. Either option is available as a door-to-door or port-to-port service.

Considerations for LCL Freight Shipping

Given the vast amount of exporting and importing between Spain and Brazil, there’s always plenty of businesses shipping goods by sea between the two nations. Choosing an LCL shipping will mean your cargo shares container space with some of these other shippers’ goods.

LCL is ideal for shipping small volumes of freight that won’t fill a container and aren’t urgently required in South America. LCL requires additional logistics processes called consolidation and deconsolidation. These mean more handling of your goods and possibly, longer transit times—worth bearing in mind if you are sending fragile goods or you have a tight delivery deadline.

Considerations for FCL Freight Shipping

FCL means your carrier will transport your goods in a shipping container from Spain to Brazil, but unlike LCL, your cargo will not share container space with other shippers’s goods. You can load as many pallets as you like into your chosen unit (there are different types of containers to choose from). You don’t have to load your container to its limit.

If you want to send just one pallet, you can—although it would rarely make financial sense to do so. FCL is usually quicker than LCL as there is no consolidation or deconsolidation—and less handling of your goods will be required.

With FCL, it’s possible for you to seal your container in Spain and for it to remain sealed until it arrives at its specified destination in Brazil. The only exception would be if customs officials insist on opening your container to inspect the contents.

Air Freight

Trans-Atlantic flights from Spain to Brazil are the quickest way to ship goods between the two countries. Often, the speed of delivery comes at a considerable cost in comparison to maritime transportation.

Importing from Spain to Brazil using air shipping is worth considering if:

  • You’re sending cargo that risks being damaged if it spends too much time in transit.
  • Your shipment is relatively small—perhaps two or three pallets at most.
  • You like the idea of the greater security offered by airlines and airport operators.
  • You’d like to pay a lower insurance premium for shipping your goods.
  • You want more predictable transit times, as airlines tend to run tighter schedules than ocean shipping companies.

Ocean Cargo Port Guide

Cargo Ports of Origin in Spain


Port Facts:

  • Located on Spain’s small west coast, close to the Portuguese border.
  • Best known as a fishing port.
  • Offers high quality containerized goods handling services.

Owned By: Autoridad Portuaria de Vigo.

Annual Container Volume: >200,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • A top-five port in Europe for container throughput.
  • Biggest port in the Mediterranean.
  • Its storage areas extend for over a kilometer.
  • The quayside stretches over an impressive 12 kilometers.

Owned By: Port Authority of Valencia.

Annual Container Volume: >5 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Ideal for any supplier or manufacturer located in Northeastern Spain and Catalonia.
  • Spain’s third-largest port.
  • Currently ranks as the ninth-busiest cargo port in Europe.
  • The port is undergoing an expansion that may soon raise its European ranking.

Owned By: Puertos del Estado.

Annual Container Volume: >3 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Located in Northern Spain.
  • Lies in the Bilbao Abra Bay, about 15 kilometers from the city.
  • Best for suppliers in Bilbao, Zaragoza, Burgos, Leon, or even Madrid.

Owned By: Port of Bilbao Authority.

Annual Container Volume: >500,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Located on Spain’s south coast close to Gibraltar.
  • Third-busiest port in the Mediterranean.
  • Second only to Valencia for cargo volumes handled in Spain.
  • Has sufficient space on its quayside to load and unload mega-ships.

Owned By: Autoridad Portuaria de la Bahía de Algeciras.

Annual Container Volume: >4.5 million TEUs.


Cargo Ports of Arrival in Brazil


Port Facts:

  • Situated in All Saints Bay.
  • Was created to distribute cargo across the state of Bahia in Brazil.
  • Rail and road connections link the port to inland Brazil.
  • Imports handled here tend to be wheat, grain, and other foods, along with chemical products and vehicles.

Owned By: Companhia das Docas do Estado de Bahia.

Annual Container Volume: >300,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Crucial container gateway in Northeastern Brazil.
  • Operates a laser-enabled docking system.
  • Connected to federal and state roads that lead inland to transport your shipment to its final destination.

Owned By: Governor Eraldo Gueiros Industrial Port Complex.

Annual Container Volume: >400,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Has a quay that stretches for 900 meters.
  • Eight cranes are available to lift your consignment from ship to shore.
  • State-of-the-art facilities include a 50,000 square-meter warehouse for frozen products.
  • Links to the BR-101 and BR-470 highways, making it easy for your goods to reach destinations all over Brazil.

Owned By: Portonave S/A.

Annual Container Volume: >264,000 TEUs.


Rio de Janeiro

Port Facts:

  • Third-busiest port in Brazil.
  • Underwent massive redevelopment ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
  • Situated in a cove on the western shores of Guanabara Bay.
  • Covers close to 7,000 meters of wharf.
  • Ten warehouses offer a combined storage space of over 65,000 square meters.

Owned By: Companhia Docas do Rio de Janeiro.

Annual Container Volume: >135,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Located close to Brazil’s economic powerhouse, São Paulo.
  • Largest port in Latin America, and Brazil's most technologically advanced sea freight facility.
  • Expansion projects are underway to accelerate the flow of goods by road/rail to/from the port.

Owned By: Federal Government of Brazil.

Annual Container Volume: >4 million TEUs.


Other Ports in Brazil

In addition to the ports mentioned above, you should be able to arrange discharge of your shipment from Spain at these other ports in Brazil:

  • Rio Grande do Sul
  • Paranagua
  • Haguali
  • Itapoa
  • Vitoria
  • Manaus
  • Itajal
  • Belem
  • Pecem

Flying Your Freight: Airport Guide

Airports of Origin in Spain


Airport Facts:

  • A new terminal opened here in 2000.
  • Largest airport in Northern Spain and the Basque Country.
  • Processed nearly three million kilograms of goods in 2016.

Brazil Airports Served: None.

Bilbao to Brazil Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Europe’s second-largest airport and Spain’s premier cargo hub.
  • Officially called Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport.
  • Located only nine kilometers from the city center.
  • Serves as an important trade link between Europe and Latin America.
  • More than 200 freight companies operate services here.

Brazil Airports Served: São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro.

Madrid to Brazil Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Officially called Barcelona El Prat Josep Tarradellas Airport.
  • Ideal choice for suppliers in Catalonia, Sant Boi, Llobregat or Viladecans.
  • Excellent road and rail connections make transporting goods to the airport easy.
  • Has three runways and as many terminals.

Brazil Airports Served: São Paulo.

Barcelona to Brazil Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Airports of Arrival in Brazil


Airport Facts:

  • Located on Brazil’s eastern coast.
  • Home to the longest runway in this part of the country.
  • Allows for quick access to destinations in the Pernambuco region of Brazil.

Connected Airports in Spain: Madrid.

Spain to Recife Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Rio de Janeiro

Airport Facts:

  • Brazil’s largest airport, and the second-busiest.
  • Shares some facilities with the Brazilian Air Force base on site.
  • Great destination airport for goods headed to customers in Rio or its surrounding areas.

Connected Airports in Spain: Madrid.

Spain to Rio de Janeiro Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Belo Horizonte

Airport Facts:

  • Serves Confins in Minas Gerais, which lies in Southeastern Brazil.
  • Has cargo facilities that can handle 18,000 tonnes of air freight per year.
  • Offers 6,400 square meters of warehouse storage space.

Connected Airports in Spain: None.

Spain to Belo Horizonte Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Officially called Afonso Pena International Airport.
  • Serves Curitiba in the Southeastern corner of Brazil.
  • Has a dedicated cargo facility, which was upgraded in 2008.

Connected Airports in Spain: None.

Spain to Curitiba Cargo-Only Operators: None.


São Paulo Guarulhos

Airport Facts:

  • Popularly known as Cumbica Airport after the district in which it’s located.
  • Brazil’s busiest air cargo hub.
  • Has two parallel runways.
  • Offers a 97,000 square-meter cargo terminal.
  • Known for efficient handling of refrigerated and hazardous goods.

Connected Airports in Spain: Madrid, Barcelona.

Spain to Sao Paulo Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Other Airports in Brazil

Shipa Freight can arrange for goods originating in Spain to be flown into these other airports in Brazil:

  • Manaus
  • Porto Alegre
  • Salvador
  • Sao Paulo Viracopos

Why Ship From Spain to Brazil With Shipa Freight?

Sending air freight, or a container from Spain to Brazil by sea should be easy and straightforward. We make it so with our online-only, digital-first approach to freight forwarding. We can not only satisfy your sea and air shipping needs but also simplify your supply chain. Our cutting-edge online platform allows you to manage all of your imports and exports conveniently in one place.

You can enjoy the following advantages when you ship with us:

  • Quickly receive and compare quotes online.
  • Instantly book your shipment online.
  • Receive guidance on which shipping paperwork to prepare.
  • Manage your shipping process on one platform.
  • Get support from our friendly customer service team, 24/7.
  • No customs complexities—we will handle them for you.
  • You can rest assured your shipments will comply with shipping rules and regulations.

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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