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Freight Shipping from UK to UAE | Procedure Cost & Time

Shipping from the UK to UAE

The United Kingdom of Great Britain, home to the English language, is famous for its educational institutes like Oxford and Cambridge universities. The United Kingdom is comprised of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. England has the most land area and almost 55 million inhabitants.

In this article, we will dig into the shipping modes between the United Kingdom and UAE, Transit time, cost, major seaports and airports of both countries, customs clearance in UAE, and which option is better air freight or ocean freight.

Let’s dive into some facts about the United kingdom.

The United Kingdom has the 2nd and 6th largest economy in Europe and Globally, respectively at 2.83 trillion US dollars. It is listed third among 45 European nations, and its total score is higher than the regional and global norms.

After Germany and France, the UK is a leading power, financial center, and third-largest economy in Europe.

In a similar vein, the United Arab Emirates is the largest trading partner of the United Kingdom in the Gulf region and home to the world’s largest and most experienced investment companies. UAE remains an important market and gateway for a wide range of UK businesses.

Let’s find out more about their trade lane.

What are the different Shipping options from the United Kingdom to the United Arab Emirates? 

The UAE is a key entrance point into other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations, as well as a significant market for re-export to other countries. 

Also, the UAE is the UK’s fourth largest export market outside the EU. Its non-oil sectors contribute about 70% of the UAE’s Gross Domestic Products(GDP). 

You have two alternatives for shipping your goods from the UK to the UAE:  

Ocean freight or Airfreight.  

Both approaches have their own set of benefits and drawbacks. Airfreight is the quickest and safest way to move your cargo from Uk to the UAE or vice versa.  So, how to decide whether to fly or steam your goods to the UAE.  

There are two options in ocean freight if you choose to ship your goods from Ocean freight. LCL or FCL depends on your shipment’s size, weight, contents, and how fast you need your goods. 

Airfreight is usually the right choice when your goods have a short shelf life, fragile, or electronic items. 

What would be the Shipping Cost from the United Kingdom to the UAE? 

When it comes to shipping costs from UAE to the UK, Airfreight is much more expensive than the ocean freight. As compared to air freight, ocean freight prices are far less volatile and good freight forwarders like QAFILA may even offer faster transit time. So, if you have time to wait for your goods, Choose ocean freight from the UK to UAE or vice versa. 

Oftentimes, custom issues and port hold-ups take more time to ship. You should discuss all details and the nature of your shipments with your freight forwarder. A good freight forwarder could guide very well about all these procedures.

What will be the Transit Time to ship cargo from the UK to the UAE? 

Speed always matters when shipping items from UAE to the UK. 

In this case, air freight takes two days from Manchester to Dubai, And 4 days from Manchester to Abu Dhabi. But in some cases, this process can be delayed when your freight will be consolidated with other shippers’ goods before departure and de consolidated after arrival in the UAE. 

It takes 3-6 days from the United Kingdom to the United Arab Emirates. 

In the case of ocean freight, 

It takes 23 days(FCL) to ship containers from Uk(Southampton) to Dubai (Jebel Ali port). You may anticipate your items to be ready for pickup from Jebel Ali, Khor Fakkan, or Khalifa ports four to five weeks after they are sent from the UK. 

The following examples show approximate freight travel times between British and Emirati seaports: 

Port of London to Mina Rashid29 days FCL
Port of Grangemouth to Jebel Ali31 days FCL
Port of Southampton  to Mina Rashid28 days FCL
Port of Teesport to Port of Khor Fakkan29 days FCL
Port of Felixstowe to Jebel Ali28 days FCL

What are the major Seaports in the United Kingdom?

The port sector in the United Kingdom is the second biggest in Europe, processing more than 500 million tonnes of freight and more than 60 million internationally and domestically passenger voyages each year. 

The United Kingdom is the world’s tenth-largest exporter and the ninth most complicated economy, according to the ECI (Economic Complexity Index). 

Several smaller ports mostly serve local traffic or specialize in certain industries like fishing or recreational boating. 

In the United Kingdom, there are around 120 commercial ports. These include big all-purpose ports like London and Liverpool, ferry ports like Dover, dedicated container ports like Felixstowe, and ports that cater to specific bulk cargo like coal or oil. 

The United Kingdom relies on its busiest cargo ports, which are strategically placed along the country’s coastline, to enable trading. Here is the list of some busiest ports in the UK. 

Rank Port Total Cargo Volume (Tons, 000s) Location 
Port of Immingham/Grimsby 59,103  Immingham 
Port of London 45,430 Greater London, Essex Kent 
Ports of Tees and Hartlepool  33,947 River Tees, North Yorkshire 
Port of Liverpool/Mersey-side 32,935 Liverpool 
Port of Felixstowe 26,269 Felixstowe 
Forth Ports 25,332 Central Scotland 
Belfast Harbour 15,186 Northern Ireland 

What are the major airports in the United Kingdom? 

There are approximately 40 airports in the United Kingdom, most of which are among the busiest in Europe. London is the country’s major attraction and has six airports: Heathrow Airport, Gatwick Airport, Stansted Airport, Luton Airport, Southend Airport, and City Airport, a “business airport.” British Airways, EasyJet, TUI Airways, Virgin Atlantic, and Jet2 are some of the largest airlines in the United Kingdom. 

Within the United Kingdom, there are several commercial international airports as well as numerous domestic and private airfields. Here, we mentioned below some of the busiest airports listed in the United Kingdom for 2020. 

Rank  (2020) IATA Code Airport Name Total Passengers (2020) Aircraft movement (2020) Location 
LHR Heathrow Airport 22,111,326 204,730 London 
LGW Gatwick Airport 10,173,431 80,161 West Sussex 
LAN London Stansted Airport  7,539,689 86,107 Essex 
MAN Manchester Airport  7,034,856 66,760 Manchester  
LTN London Luton Airport  5,550,821 59,769 Luton 
EDI Edinburgh Airport 3,474,879 45,966 Edinburgh, Scotland 
BHX Birmingham Airport 2,869,582 35,647 Solihull 
BRS Bristol Airport 2,194,524 29,191 Lulsgate Bottom 
GLA Glasgow Airport 1,946,474 34,715 Paisley, Scotland 
10 BFS Belfast International Airport  1,747,086 32,983 County Antrim  

What are the major Seaports in the United Arab Emirates? 

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) features several seaports. It has two of the world’s top 50 container ports, with Dubai ranking among the top 10, according to the World Shipping Council. 

In all, the UAE’s seaports handle 61% of cargo bound for GCC countries. Aside from oil ports, the UAE has 12 commercial trading ports. It has 310 berths and a cargo capacity of 80 million tonnes. 

The UAE’s ports are linked to various modes of transportation by road and air. Emirates and Etihad Airlines, the two national carriers, provide dedicated cargo and freight operations from these ports to destinations worldwide. The primary sources of revenue for the UAE are tourism, oil, and the industrial sector. 

Here is the list of busiest ports in the UAE:  

Rank Port Name Location  Area 
Port Khalifa (AEKHL) Abu Dhabi 418 sq km 
Port Jebel Ali(AEJEA) Dubai 315 sq km 
Port Zayed (AEMZD) Abu Dhabi 535 hectares 
Port Rashid (AEDXB) Dubai 3.10 km2 
Port Khor Fakkan Sharjah 70 hectares 
Port Saqr(AERKT) Ras al Khaimah 2,486 km2  
Musaffah Port (AEAMF)  Abu Dhabi 37,500 square meters 
Mina Al Hamriyah (AEHAM) Dubai 0.89 km2 
Port of Fujairah (AEFJR) Fujairah  
Port Khalid Sharjah 4600 square meters 

What are the major airports in the United Arab Emirates? 

In the United Arab Emirates, there are 4 major airports, seven medium airports, and around eleven minor airports. Dubai International Airport is a significant air traffic hub in the Middle East, servicing the biggest city in the United Arab Emirates. Here’s the list below:

Rank IATA Airport Name City Airlines Destinations 
DXB Dubai International Airport Dubai 84 188 
AUH Abu Dhabi International Airport Abu Dhabi 58 87 
SHJ Sharjah International Airport Sharjah 16 78 
DWC Al Maktoum International Airport Jebel Ali 11 40 
AAN Al-Ain International Airport Al-Ain 
FJR Fujairah International Airport Fujairah 
ZDY Delma Airport Delma Island 
AZI Bateen Airport Abu Dhabi 
RKT Ras Al Khaimah Ras Al Khaimah 
10 NHD Minhad AB Airport Minhad AB 

What documents do you need for customs clearance in the UAE?  

From the United Kingdom to The UAE, Exporters’ invoices, packing lists, and certificates of origin are commonly requested documents. Some importers may simply require a European Certificate of Origin. Others may demand a complete Arab Certificate of Origin and Invoice Certification. It is best to verify with your clients and confirm their needs, since depending on the commodity, they may additionally want Certificates of Analysis or Health Certificates. For more read this article Custom Clearance in UAE

There are two sorts of Certificates of Origin used for exports from the United Kingdom; which one you issue depends on the nation to which you are selling. Qafila utilizes the Arab-British Certificate of Origin for any Arab-League Nation, including the UAE, and the European Community Certificate of Origin for any other nation.

Which one is better: Sea Freight VS Airfreight?  

To determine which method is best for your company and consumers, examine what you’re exporting, the size and weight of the items you want to send, and the country they’re being shipped to since this will have a significant influence on global shipping prices. 

Shipping from the United Kingdom to the UAE, ocean shipping is the best and economical option. This is the primary shipping method from Britain to the Emirates.No doubt, air shipping is reliable, safe and secure, and the fastest way as well. But it is way too expensive than the ocean freight. 

To conclude, air freight is a good alternative if you are carrying high-value products in small quantities and your order is time-critical. If you’re exporting electronics, clothes, medicines, high-value items, or delivering a sample order to a customer, air freight could be the best choice. 

Usually, air freight cargo takes a few days to 1-2 weeks, compared to 20-40 days for sea freight from the UK to the UAE, but it can cost five times as much as airfreight. 

Why Choose Us? 

Qafila’s skilled Logistics solutions team works around the clock to give our clients the finest services possible. Our services are tailored to your specific needs. So, contact us immediately and let us worry about obtaining you the best shipping quotation possible. Our staff is well-equipped with the tools necessary to assist you in determining the optimal option. Get in touch today!

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