Caribbean Shipping Guide: Freight Options & Information

Caribbean Shipping Guide: Freight Options & Information

If you are considering shipping to or from the Caribbean, there are several freight transportation options available to you. But no matter which method of transport you choose, you can guarantee a stress-free and safe delivery when using an expert freight forwarder such as KG Logistics.


Freight Transportation to the Caribbean

Air Freight

Air freight is the fastest way to transport your goods and is recommended for smaller shipments and valuable or fragile goods. Due to the short transit time of 2-7 days, it is commonly used to transport goods with a short expiry date, such as food, flowers, and pharmaceutical products.

While it is the quickest and most convenient method to transport goods, this also makes it the most expensive one. Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados serves as a major hub for cargo operations in the eastern Caribbean. Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport and Norman Manley International Airport are other major airports for air freight.

Sea Freight

As the most common form of transporting cargo in international trade, sea freight is the most cost-effective solution. It allows for goods to be transported in containers, which means you must decide between a full container load (FCL) and less than container load (LCL). FCL means you will be renting the entire container and all the space inside is dedicated to your shipment. LCL involves renting part of the container space and is appropriate when you do not have enough goods to fill an entire container. The rest of the space will be rented by other senders in the same situation.

The transit time for sea freight between the UK and the Caribbean is 2-6 weeks.


Main Shipping Ports in the Caribbean

The Caribbean is situated at a strategic crossroads between North America, South America, Europe and Africa. This makes it an important transit point for cargo moving between these regions. It has also been established as a significant transhipment hub, serving cargo moving between the surrounding regions. The main shipping ports include:

  • Freeport: Located in the Bahamas, it is one of the largest container ports in the Caribbean and a major transhipment hub.
  • Kingston: The largest port in Jamaica and a major transhipment hub for the Caribbean and Latin America.
  • Port of Spain: Situated in Trinidad and Tobago, it is the largest and busiest port in the country and serves as a hub for the southern Caribbean.
  • Port-au-Prince: The biggest port in Haiti, serving as a gateway for trade between the Caribbean and Latin America.
  • San Juan: Located in Puerto Rico, it is one of the largest ports in the Caribbean and a major transhipment hub for the region.
  • Willemstad: A major transhipment hub in Curaçao for oil and petroleum products.
  • Bridgetown: The biggest port in Barbados and serves as a hub for trade between the Caribbean and the Americas.

Caribbean Shipping Ports

How much does Shipping to the Caribbean cost?

Before deciding on your method of transport, it is best to compare the proposals from different forwarders. The cost will be dependent on a range of factors:

  • The type of cargo
  • Method of transit: air or sea freight
  • The chosen freight forwarder
  • The shipping port you are transporting from
  • Whether the shipment is door-to-door or port-to-port
  • Fuel costs

For a free, no-obligation quote – contact the KG Logistics team today.


Customs Regulations in the UK

The UK customs process may appear complicated, but an experienced freight forwarder will be able to guide you through the process of shipping from the Caribbean to the UK. Here is our basic outline of what it includes:

  • You are required to create an inventory (packing list) of the items that you are bringing into the UK. It is important that you declare everything and nothing is missed.
  • If importing from outside the EU (such as the Caribbean), you will need to pay a duty tax on the goods.
  • Customs officials may physically inspect your containers, so knowing exactly what is not allowed into the country is important. More information can be found on the UK customs website.


What type of goods can you transport into the UK?

A vast range of goods can be transported by international freight forwarders such as KG Logistics, such as household goods like furniture, clothing, and appliances. Other goods such as vehicles can also be transported. The UK government website outlines the banned and restricted goods that you cannot bring into the UK. If you do, they will be seized by customs. These include:

  • controlled drugs or other prohibited substances
  • offensive weapons, firearms, or self-defence sprays
  • undeclared goods
  • endangered animals and plants
  • rough diamonds
  • indecent and obscene materials
  • personal imports of meat and dairy products from most non-EU countries


Caribbean Freight with KG Logistics

As a freight forwarding company with years of experience, we have developed our Caribbean import and export solution to include air and sea freight forwarding. We have the expertise and knowledge to advise and quote on the most suitable method for you and your business. We can offer competitive rates and fast delivery times and are able to manage the entire customs clearance process to ensure the smooth transportation of your goods.