Exporting to France – a quick guide to sending road freight from the UK

shipping to France

France represents a huge market for UK exporters and a key destination for International Forwarding (IFL) as a freight forwarder and specialist in European groupage. Here we take a closer look at this key market, answer your questions about the exporting process post-Brexit, and offer three tips on what to look for in a freight transport partner.

How big is the French market?

France is currently the seventh largest economy in the world and the UK’s fourth largest trading partner. In 2023:

  • Around 30,600 UK VAT-registered businesses exported goods to France
  • Total UK exports to France amounted to £45 billion – up 3.7% on 2022
  • Our local region – the West Midlands – accounted for £2.1 billion goods exported to France – 8.8% of total goods exports to France
  • France’s top 10 imports include machinery and mechanical appliances, electrical machinery and equipment, pharmaceuticals, vehicles, plastics, and iron and steel

Data: Office of National Statistics, HMRC, ITC Trade Map

Exporting to France post-Brexit

For companies exporting to or importing from France, the rules for international shipping changed when the UK left the EU. Customs declarations are now required for all goods entering or leaving the UK. For exports, you need to consider:

  • the commercial invoice and packing list
  • proof of origin
  • value and classification of your goods
  • customs duties and VAT rates
  • relevant licences or certification (for receiving goods from the UK)
  • insurance cover

Read more on these in our 2023 FAQs on shipping freight to France from the UK.

Get in touch with our experienced advisers for further advice.

What to look for in a transport partner

Your goods can be delivered to France via road, sea or air. But the most common pallet delivery service to France from the UK is overland road freight via Eurotunnel. Here are three things to look for when choosing a freight forwarder for your France-bound consignments:

1 Competitive rates AND reliable service delivery

As well as getting the best rate for the job, you should check that your forwarder can provide total control and oversight of your goods from supplier to consignee to reduce the risk of anything going wrong. Good and responsive communication is also key, and can be the difference between a positive experience and a negative one. Check online reviews, in search engines and on review sites, to find out more about who will be transporting your goods.

2 Ability to handle your consignments

Your freight forwarder needs to be able to transport your goods. For example, at IFL we don’t handle hazardous or certain regulated/controlled goods, but we do transport a wide range of import/export goods and commodities, such as aerospace materials, automotive parts, electrical goods, engineering components, housewares, consumer goods.

3 Deep network coverage

At 544,000 sq km, France is the largest country in Western Europe. Look for a UK forwarder with good French transport affiliates in France and distributed transport hubs. For example, our large, global French transport partner provides onward delivery of your consignments door to door throughout France, via its hubs, which include Paris and Lyon.

Why choose IFL?

IFL is an experienced UK freight forwarder and logistics provider. We’ve been shipping to and from France for 35 years, offer a seamless and reliable experience, and always ensure that your goods are handled with utmost care and delivered on time.

Our extensive network and expertise in international shipping allows us to navigate any customs regulations and provide you with a hassle-free shipping process.

Our French road freight services include:

  • 48/72 hours to most areas of France at competitive rates
  • Groupage and part loads
  • Real time proof of deliveries
  • Full track and trace
  • Total control – supplier to consignee
  • Export and import – regular and frequent departures
  • In-house customs clearance service for exports
  • All-risks transit insurance effected at competitive rates

Our regular clients choose us for:

  • dependability and reliability of service
  • safety of their goods in transit
  • adaptability for when things change
  • quick responses to quote requests
  • professionalism and expertise
  • real people not automated phone queues

See our UK-FR service flyer below. Or find out more: How we ship to France from the UK

Request a quote

For a tailored quote or to receive our export pricing, contact our experience and friendly team:

Flyer for sending freight to France with IFL and Schneider


For a fast quote and reliable, cost-effective freight and logistics services:

t: call us
e: email us

Download latest trailer schedule >

Request a quote

To allow us to provide a more accurate quotation, please fill in the form detailing your requirements.

Upon receipt of your enquiry one of our logistics managers will send over your tailored quotation within 1 hour.

Please note: we do not ship personal effects.