FNM Advice: FNM Vietnam is an international freight forwarder that handles all of your needs by operating as your single point of contact with all the logistics service providers. Relax because we take care of everything, packaging, organizing transport, customs clearance, administrative procedures, and regardless of the shipping method (air, sea, road, rail). Contact us to receive a free quote in less than 24 hours.

Commercial trade between the two countries

In 2022, bilateral trade between Vietnam and Australia reached a new record high of USD 15.7 billion, up 26.91% from the previous year.

Nguyen Phu Hoa, the director of the Vietnam Trade Office in Australia, claims that Vietnam moved up to Australia's 10th trading partner last year. The latter ranks as Vietnam's seventh-largest trading partner at the moment.

Given the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the Comprehensive Regional Economic Partnership, and the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANFTA), many economists think that there is tremendous potential for trade between Vietnam and Australia to grow (RCEP).

Several trade promotion initiatives will be put into place by the Vietnam Trade Office in Australia in 2023 to encourage import-export between the two nations.

What is the best method to ship your goods from Vietnam to Australia ?

In this first part of our guide, we will have a look on 2 different method of shipment : air freight and sea freight. We will compare both options, give you important details and some advices about the method you should consider.

Sea freight from Vietnam to Australia

Overview - Ocean cargo from Vietnam to Australia

The island-continent is one of the most important regions in the world. Not because of its demographic importance (23 M) or its industrial power, but because of its abundant natural resources. Thanks to its mining, agricultural and offshore resources, Australia has become the world's 12th largest economy. The insular nature of the country makes maritime transport the almost unique vector of trade with the cumulative need of the industrialized countries of North-East and South-East Asia (Vietnam) and now the emerging countries in the neighbourhood. This anchoring in the dynamics of the Pacific zone makes this distant West quite specific. The port fabric must therefore respond to the challenge of the country's role as a mega supplier, while the maritime sector is historically underdeveloped.

sea freight

Australia has only five major cities and containerisation reflects these polarities in the island's economy and demographics. In the south-west, the Perth region (2 M inhabitants) is very isolated, but rich in agricultural, mining and industrial activities. Fremantle's fore harbour at the mouth of the Swan River owns the region's container terminal with a traffic in 2012 of 0.7 M TEU.

Container handling relies on only five ports, but in most cases there is competition from stevedores. In 2006, by acquiring P&O Ports (UK), Dubai Ports World (UAE) acquired terminals in the country's five container ports. In 2012, DPW sold its shares in one of them, in Adelaide, to its local partner Flinders Ports (UK).


Shipping company offering services from Vietnam to Australia ports 

Here are few examples :

Port of Sydney 

Port Jackson, also known as Sydney Harbour, is the natural harbour of Sydney, Australia. Crossed by the Harbour Bridge, it is known for its beauty and is also, in particular, the emblem of the city and of Australia as a whole, with the Sydney Opera House located on its shores. In 2020, the port could handle around 2,500 containers. Thanks to a new railway installation (Cooks River) it will soon be able to handle 15 thousand containers. After optimal storage and cleaning, they will be shipped.

Port of Brisbane

Located on Fisherman Island, it is the third busiest port in Australia. Indeed, it could handle up to 1,000 containers in 2014 and is only getting bigger (almost 1,500 in 2020). It is the port that is experiencing the strongest increase in capacity in the whole of Australia.

Port of Melbourne

From July 2003 to September 2020, the Port of Melbourne is managed by the Port of Melbourne Corporation, a public enterprise created by the State of Victoria. In September 2016, the Port of Melbourne Coroporation is privatised with the creation of a 50-year concession for about AUD 9.7 billion, or 6.7 billion euros. 6.7 billion. The concession is held by a consortium consisting of the Chinese sovereign wealth fund, the China Investment Corporation, the Australian sovereign wealth fund, the Australian Government Future Fund and a Canadian fund, OMERS, as well as four other smaller funds: the Queensland State Fund and the private funds Global Infrastructure Partners, Calpers and NTS. You should know that the port was able to handle 2600 containers in 2020.


Should I ship by consolidation or full container from Vietnam to Australia ?


LCL - Less Than Container Load (or consolidation) is the fact to group several shippers into the same container. If you don't have enough volume to fill an FCL (Full Container Load), you should consider this option.


FCL is an ISO international standard referring to a (full) container load (20″ or 40″) containing a shipment for a consignee (an importer). FCL sea transport is the cheapest mode of transport when importing from China.

However, in order to be a viable freight option, the importer must purchase a relatively large quantity of goods.

How long does it take to ship from Vietnam to Australia by sea freight ?

Sydney Adelaide Jakarta Surabaya Fremantle Melbourne
Da Nang 15 days 14 days 15 days 15 days 16 days 16 days
Saigon 15 days 14 days 15 days 15 days 16 days 16 days
Ba Ngoi 14 days 13 days 14 days 14 days 15 days 15 days
Cam Pha Port 14 days 14 days 14 days 14 days  15 days  15 days

Please be aware that the transit time takes into consideration only the freight (it will be longer with the pick up and the delivery of course).


How much does it cost to ship a container from Vietnam to Australia ?

Note that anyway, sea freight is the most used transfer method by Australian importers. Indeed, for large and regular shipment, this is the most cost-effective option.

Therefore, the most part of cargo are transferred through ocean freight from Vietnam to Australia. Your shipment exceeds 1CBM / 100kgs? The air freight will be too expensive. As you can guess, because of the sea, there is no rail freight possible.

So, the sea freight is by far the most cost-effective solution between the two countries (and in general).


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Special sea freight services 

Reefer container from Vietnam to Australia 

The reefer container is a "thermally insulated" container with a temperature maintaining device. It allows the transport of goods under controlled temperature. So as one can guess, it is often used for food or chemical products.

Docshipper will advise you, if necessary, and then reserve it for you.


Roro/Bulk/OOG/Refrigerated container from Vietnam to Australia 


A Ro-Ro is a ship used to transport, among other things, vehicles, loaded through one or more ramps. They are also known as Ro-Ro, from the English roll-on/roll-off meaning literally "roll-in, roll-out", to distinguish them from the usual cargo ships where products are loaded vertically by cranes.


Bulk goods are products transported directly into the ship's hold or into the facilities provided for that purpose. A distinction is made in this case between bulk and general cargo. A distinction is made between bulk goods and general cargo: solid bulk goods: ( such as coal, ferrous and non-ferrous ores) bulk liquids: (oil and oil products). Bulk goods are transported by bulk carriers, ships specialised for each type of cargo: ore carriers, coal carriers, etc.)


OOG (Out of Gauge) cargoes are a special category of goods. Because of, for example, dimensions or weight, some goods cannot be loaded in traditional containers. These types of cargoes are usually loaded onto a platform or trailer for transportation.

Refrigerated container

We promise to transport goods at a specific temperature; when items are transported in a refrigerator, the temperature is monitored to keep perishable and/or chemically derived goods fresh during the trip.

This kind of container, which comes in different sizes, allows us to control the temperature and atmosphere.



Air freight from Vietnam to Australia

Overview – Classic vs Express air freight 

You should know that the necessary time to transfer goods is the main point of these two types of air freight. Indeed, for an express transfer it will be at about 4 days against 1 week for regular air freight. Customs clearance being an automated process in express companies, it reduces the time. Anyway, the classic air freight will take less time than sea freight.


What is the difference between volumetric and gross weight?

*To consider the density of your shipment, two methods are used to sort out the chargeable weight of your goods.

Consider the two calculations above. A distinction is made between gross weight and volumetric weight. The most important of the two results will be used to evaluate your freight. The two images below give you a better understanding of the two methods:

Should I choose a Classic Air freight from Vietnam to Australia ?

Which airlines company should you ship with ?

  • Australian Airlines is an Australian airline serving Cairns and East Asia. It is wholly owned by the Qantas Group.
  • Vietnam Airlines (in Vietnamese Hãng hàng không Quốc gia Việt Nam) is the national airline of Vietnam. It operates domestic and international flights from its two main hubs at Tan International Airport Sơn Nhất in Ho Chi Minh City and Nội Bài International Airport in Hanoi.


Transit time Door to Door from Vietnam to Australia by air freight ?

For a door to door operation, you should count at about 6 to 8 days.


How much does it cost to ship a parcel from Vietnam to Australia?

As you could read beyond in this article, we provide quote in case by case. Please, feel free to contact us to get an answer in 24hours once you gave us the numerous information (weight/CBM, distance from airport…) about the shipping.


Should I choose an Express Air freight from Vietnam to Australia ?

Express service – Perfect solution for small package

If your shipment is about 100kgs or less this is an interesting solution. For important volume, this service would be too expensive. Therefore, we will advise and book for you what is necessary.


How long does it take for a package to be shipped from Australia to Vietnam? 

Again, thanks to the fast customs clearance process (automated), you should count no more than 4 days for the all process. Thanks to our good relationship with these companies, we ensure you a good service and price.


How much does an Express service cost from Vietnam to Asutralia

express-courier logo

*To quote your express shipment, a different method than gross and volumetric weight is applied. For express freight, you must consider that 1 CBM = 200 kgs.  

Please, advise more information about the operation and then we will revert to you with a quotation. We are working with these companies for so long. Therefore, the price we can get from them are very low. If you ask them directly, you will have some bad surprises.


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Major airports to ship in Australia 

Sydney airport 

This airport is in Mascot, on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia's most populous city. It is the capital of the state of New South Wales and is located on the southeast coast of the country.

This is the main airport in Oceania where the airline Qantas operates for the most part. According to the Skytrax World airport Awards in 2018, this airport would be among the top 5 in the world for handling more than 40 million passengers per year.

Melbourne airport 

Also known as Tullamarine Airport, it is the one that serves most of Melbourne. It is the second largest airport in the country with 30 million passengers in 2017. It is also an important and strategic point for Qantas and Jetstar Airways.

Perth airport 

This is the airport that serves the capital of this part of (Western) Australia. It is Australia's fourth largest airport with almost 380,000 aircraft movements in 2018.

Darwin Airport 

It is a smaller airport with, at its peak, a flow of 500,000 passengers a year. Nevertheless, it is a strategic airport for Western Australia (if you live there). But also, for those working in the mine.


Door-to-door transfer from Vietnam to the Australia

Door-to-door method overview

You wish the best peace of mind ? Take the door to door service. Therefore, we take care of all the process. We will pick up your shipping in Vietnam (with Packing / Loading if necessary) and make the delivery in Australia (with Unloading / Unpacking if necessary).

This comfort provided is really appreciated by our customers. Besides, note that we are responsible of every phase of the transfer.

FNM Note: Because we want to provide the most valuable and comfortable service to our customers, we propose door-to-door shipping, so you don't have to worry about your shipment from the beginning to its arrival in the recipient's office. Contact us for more information and a free quote!


Customs clearance in Australia for goods imported from Vietnam 

How much will I pay ? 

Knowing the precise cost of freight and customs clearance is a serious deal. Hence, as each member of the World Trade Organisation the HS code is used (composed of 6 numbers). the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System. This numbers defines the nature of your good (by ID).

Here is the composition of an HS Code


Calculate applicable tariff with the HS code

You found your HS Code ? It's now time to check how many taxes you will have to pay on your shipment. You just need to do the following steps :

Go on the Free Trade Agreement Portal

Go on this link (Free Trade Agreement Portal Australia), you should reach a page who looks like this :

check duties and taxes hs code autralia

As our example on the screenshot, fill 3 requested informations :

  • Your HS Code
  • If you import or export products
  • Origin of goods

Select the correct product

selection hs code customs australia

Check the duties and taxes applied on your product

In our example, Australian customs do not charges duties and taxes on pineapple coming from Vietnam :

tarif duties and taxes autralia customs

FNM advice: Do you need more information about the tariff classification? You should click here. FNM is providing a customs clearance service in addition to our freight services to ensure your goods pass customs with complete peace of mind.


Different taxes existing for your goods 

Although there is no general import licence required, Australian Customs will have to clear your goods for import. You will need to know:

  • what import permits, quarantine permits, and treatments apply to your class and type of goods being imported
  • and whether they are subject to mandatory security or information standards.

Any goods valued in excess of AUD 1,000 must enter the country via an "Import Declaration". These declarations can be made via the internet, via the Integrated Cargo System (ICS), or via a customs document, form B650. Import declarations may incur a fee depending on whether they are completed online or on paper (Schedule of Recovery). The importer must pay GST (10%, it equals to VAT) when the goods are released.

It is recommended that novice importers use the services of a customs commission agent who, in addition to completing the Import Declaration, can handle several tasks related to the import process on behalf of the importer. He will have better rates for customs procedures but will charge you for his services. Note that DocShipper will be able to clear your goods at customs.


The excise tax in Australia

Some supplies are not taxable. These include "input tax" supplies (financial supplies, residential rental accommodation and sales of residential accommodation that are not "new") and supplies that are exempt from goods and services tax (e.g., sales of active businesses and certain exports of property and services). Imports are subject to customs duties (maximum rate of 5%).  Excise duties apply to products such as beer, spirits, liqueurs, tobacco, cigarettes and petroleum products. Excise duties are generally high and are indexed twice a year according to the consumer price index. In addition, a "wine equalization tax" applies wholesale to wine made from grapes, fruit and certain vegetables, mead and sake, at a rate of 29% (in addition to the GST, which is calculated on the price including WET).

The Australian Government also levies a luxury car tax at the rate of 33% of the value of the car that exceeds the luxury car tax threshold (for the 2018/19 financial year: AUD 75,526 for fuel-efficient vehicles and AUD 66,331 for other vehicles). vehicles) and is payable on the GST-exclusive value above the threshold. 


How to get a taxes exemption? 

It’s possible for you to benefit from partial or total exemption in GSP countries (including Vietnam). For the rest, it will depend on the nature of what you import and the country of importation.



The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) is a program of trade preferences for goods from developing countries, established by several developed countries, in derogation of the Most Favoured Nation system, within the framework of the World Trade Organization. Without negotiation or reciprocity, it does not apply to the customs duties of poor countries, but only to their exports; It is a system of aid for developing countries to support them in their trade. Then, you can guess that a lot of Vietnamese products are included.

Products judged too competitive (textile for example) can’t beneficiate from GSP.

Providing a Certificate of Origin of your goods to the USCBP will make you able to benefit of GSP.

Customs clearance process in Australia 

Customs process 

Australia is one of the countries with a complicated customs clearance system.  Thus, it can be easy to get into complicated situations with airlines or even authorities. By contacting Docshipper, you will have at your disposal a forwarder with experience. Do not hesitate to contact us, especially when the value of your transaction exceeds 1000 AUD.

Furthermore, before the goods are cleared through customs, you will need to provide (after payment) the various necessary permits.

The value of the goods as well as the type of agreement (B2B / B2C) may create a variation.

For most transactions (B2C - under AUD 1000), Australia Post will deliver the parcel directly to the consumer. Excluding tobacco and alcohol, you can import duty free. As mentioned previously, a permit may be required restriction there is.

The process varies for goods shipped by air/sea freight. They must be declared for customs clearance: Self-Assessment Clearance (SAC) electronically via the Integrated Cargo System ICS (often the freight forwarder takes care of this but sometimes it is the supplier). If the amount of goods exceeds AUD 1,000, that's another story. An import declaration to be filed on the ICS is also required. Expect duties and taxes vary in amount, depending on numerous things.

Any importer must be able to understand Australian Customs legislation, permits, prohibited goods, product labelling and duty information and therefore available duties and taxes, as well as access to the ICS system.


Customs contact


What are the Licenses required (import & export)?

Import license 

In order to import in Australia, you do not need import licence. But you may need some permits (depending on the nature of goods and his value) to avoid trouble with customs. Besides, an importer needs to ensure that the goods are well labelled and that it can not be a problem.

Licensing authorities also publish updates on current concerns. However, this does not always reflect current customs legislation.


Necessary documents 

The Bill of Lading is equivalent to a passport and a boarding card for your shipment. Depending on the method used to transfer your goods, it can be an Airway Bill (for Air Freight) or a Bill of Lading (for Ocean Freight). It is also a document testifying of the legality of the transfer, because it is emitted once the carrier received payment for its services. This document is important for all international transfer of commercial goods.

The following pictures are detailing what information are provided on a Bill of Lading:

example of a Bill of Lading

  • 1 = Shipper
  • 2 = Consignee
  • 3 = Notify party
  • 4 = Vessel No.
  • 5 = Port of loading / discharge
  • 6 = Place of receipt / delivery
  • 7 = Container No.
  • 8 = Goods description
  • 9 = Net weight
  • 10 = Dimensions / volume


The original invoice

The Australian customs will see this like a confirmation that the goods received are the same in the declaration.


The packing list

The packing list is summing up all the items included in your shipment. You should attach the MSDS data sheet and the international code, if you’re importing hazardous or chemical products in Australia.


Certificate of Origin

This document is very important if you’re wishing that your import can be treated under the GSP regime. Indeed, it is the only legal proof that your goods were made in Vietnam. Like the Bill of Lading, the Certificate of Origin is a very important document for all international import. The document must be signed by the manufacturer and delivered by a government agency of Vietnam.

Here is what it looks like (for China here):

Chinese Certificate of Origin

There might be some difficulties for you to handle it entirely. If this is a case, just send us an email or call us !


Prohibited & restricted items 

One can see two different kind of prohibition: The one for which you need permission (you need to meet some requirements).

The absolute prohibition: Circumstance do not matter; this is not possible.

Here is a list of the main prohibited items:

  • Anabolic substances (steroids) / Drug and narcotics
  • Biological agents
  • Australian native animals and plant species / Cat and Dog fur products (endangered)
  • Weapons
  • Tobacco*: You will pay a lot of import duties and tax when importing Tobacco, you must comply with Australian Law. In the most cases you need an ABF permit.

*As of 1 July 2019, the importation of most tobacco products into Australia is prohibited. Continued importation of tobacco products requires a permit from the Australian Department of Home Affairs.
The following products require an import permit as of 1 July: Cigarettes, Water pipe tobacco (chicha, hookah), Pipe tobacco, Rolling tobacco

The new requirement does not apply to the following products: Cigars, Chewing tobacco and snuff, Tobacco imported by passengers or crew members as part of the authorized personal allowance.


Trade agreement 

The entry into force of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP) and the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA), which provides for the reduction of 90% of Australia's tariff lines imposed on imported goods and the elimination of 100% of its tariff lines, will contribute to the promotion of Vietnam-Australia trade, said Vo Tân Thành, Vice President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and Director of its Ho Chi Minh City branch.


Trade relationship 

Vo Tân Thành welcomed the vigorous development of Vietnam-Australia cooperation over the last 45 years, particularly in trade, investment and tourism. According to him, in 2017, bilateral trade reached 6.5 billion dollars, including 3.3 billion dollars of Vietnamese exports, an increase of nearly 7% year-on-year. Currently, Australia is Vietnam's 8th largest trading partner and the last one is Australia's 15th largest trading partner. By the end of last year, Australia had invested $1.8 billion in nearly 400 projects in Vietnam, ranking 19th out of 126 countries and territories with investments in Vietnam. "In the future, Australia could be among the top ten foreign investors in Vietnam," the VCCI deputy director said.

According to Lê Thanh Tùng, director of Tiên Thinh International, although Vietnam is the 15th largest exporter to Australia, the value of its export’s accounts for only 1.7% of Australian import turnover. "In order to increase their market share, Vietnamese companies need to learn about Australia's investment attraction policies," he advised.


Additional services 

Our warehousing services 

Please kindly note the advantageous location of our warehouses. They are located near the ports of HCMC (Saigon), Haiphong and Quy Nhon. We are therefore able to receive your shipping for as long as you need it, before sending it to Australia (or anywhere else for that matter), or delivering it to Vietnam. Surveillance cameras and security personnel will ensure a perfect security of these places (so your goods). As a result, every fact and gesture will be filmed and recorded for a clear conscience.

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Storage service in Australia 

Thanks to our local network we can store your goods during the necessary time. Our relationship with these networks will ensure a safety and specially a competitive and good price for you.


Our packing/unpacking services 


The packing is the best way to ensure a good transportation process and specially the safety of your goods. However, a packing is not enough: you need the right packing. Our experience in all this process allows us to very good in this field. As a result, we will propose you the best alternative matching with your need and your budget.


Packing material 

Carton box

First, the best cartons boxes will be used for your belongings. Second, it will be thick and unfolded (for better protection against potential damage). Our packaging techniques will be adapted according to your goods (their dimensions, their fragility ...).


These mechanical handling techniques will improve ease of use. It will be a much safer way to get your goods into the container. However, if your supplier is not able (if he does not have what it takes) to carry out this operation, we have every pallet size available for you.

Wooden boxes 

Once again, this method aims to facilitate transport by protecting your belongings. The wooden crate is intended for rather bulky objects. There are wooden crates and wooden boxes. The crate will be preferable if you need to have it placed in a certain direction. If this is not the case, you might as well use the box. Don't worry about the size of your belongings. Docshipper and his teams are able to manufacture those that will fit your goods and your needs.


Others: bubble wrap, tape, wrapping paper… 

What we are talking about here will protect your goods by softening their contact with the packing method (wooden crate for example). We use a lot of these materials to guarantee optimal protection for your goods.


Why packing is important for the insurance ? 

Unfortunately, it can happen that your goods may be damaged during transport (whether by sea, land or air). With Docshipper, this happens very rarely because our skills ensure optimal security for your goods. We will act in a professional way, which guarantees you a refund if anything happens.


Freight insurance 

How much does a freight insurance cost ?

The amount of your insurance policy will be based on the value of your goods. As you can see, the higher the value, the more you will pay for the insurance.

In general, the following calculation is made: (freight value + product value) * 2-3%.

So, you can count on this calculation to make yourself an estimation. This rate is variable depending on the nature/category of your goods.


Supplier management in Vietnam 

Control quality in Vietnam 

Our aim is, as mentioned above, to avoid any kind of disturbance during the operation. Thus, we will contact your supplier in order to check your products (their condition and especially their packaging). Letting go of your badly packed goods is to cause you problems and to cause us problems.

We will therefore make sure of a perfect packaging and the state of your products.

Know that by trusting Docshipper, the cargo will be fluid from start to finish. The incoterm can be FOB, CFR or other, whatever happens, the type, dimensions and HS code will be checked by our staff. They have a perfect command of Vietnamese as well as French and English. Documentation, packaging and the rest will be our problem and not yours.


3PL Services in Vietnam 

Order fulfillment/Packing & labelling in Vietnam 

As you should know, the supply chain is complex (especially when it comes to electronics). We will be your right-hand man in Vietnam, taking care of all services (packaging, customer relations, inventory, labelling, fulfilment). These will be our concerns, not yours.


Last mile delivery 

Thanks to our networks and the relationship we entertain with them, we can guarantee you a delivery at your residence in Vietnam in Australia and a professional service.


Shipping personal effects from Vietnam 

Excess baggage 

Are you coming back from your trip busier than expected? Your excess baggage may not be well seen by the airlines. As a result, they have the right to refuse it.

The solution? DocShipper and its express delivery will allow you to receive your excess baggage quickly at home in Australia.

FNM Alert: Do you need to ship some goods as quickly as possible ? Take a look at our express freight page. Or you can also contact one of our experts directly.

Moving service from Vietnam to Australia 

Do you have problems with packing, storage, wrapping or customs clearance? Let us turn them into OUR problems from Vietnam to Australia. Are you interested in our relocation services ? Have a look on our dedicated page : Moving services


Free regulation advisor

Our experience in this field (especially between Vietnam and Australia) has enabled us to be unstoppable on all administrative matters. Our answers will be efficient and will save you time and money.

What are you waiting for? Please contact us.

FNM advice

Adivce FNM :We help you with the entire sourcing process so don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions !

  • Having trouble finding the appropriate product? Enjoy our sourcing services, we directly find the right suppliers for you!
  • You don't trust your supplier? Ask our experts to do quality control to guarantee the condition of your goods!
  • Do you need help with the logistics? Our international freight department supports you with door to door services!
  • You don't want to handle distribution? Our 3PL department will handle the storage, order fulfillment, and last-mile delivery!


DocShipper | Your dedicated freight forwarder in Vietnam !


Due to our attractive pricing, many customers trust our services and we thanks them. Stop overpaying the services and save money with our tailored package matching will all type of shipment, from small volume to full container, let us find the best and cost-effective solution.

Communication is important, which is why we strive to discuss in the most suitable way for you!