International Shipping Times

How Long Does International Shipping Take?

Sending your parcel overseas isn’t just about how far it needs to go. Popular destinations will have highly efficient transport links into and within the country, and will be able to process imports quickly. Other destinations might not have such streamlined infrastructure.

For example, the USA and Pakistan are both about 4,000 miles from us here in the UK. However, the USA receives a huge volume of deliveries from the UK and has a highly developed system in place to handle it. Pakistan does not; that’s why USA parcel delivery takes only 2-3 days, while parcel delivery to Pakistan takes 5-7 days.

In addition to this, you’ll find that different couriers offer different speeds to the same country; Parcelforce takes 6-7 days to take a package to Romania, while UPS can get it there in 1-2 days. To help you work out how long your international parcel delivery will take, have a look at the chart below.


Shipping To International Destinations

International Delivery Options DPD Parcelforce UPS DHL FedEx TNT
USA - 3-4 days 2-3 days 2-3 days 1 day 2-3 days
Spain 4-5 days 3-5 days 1-2 days 1-2 days 1-2 days 1-2 days
Australia - 4-8 days 3-4 days 3-4 days - 2-4 days
France 2-3 days 2-3 days 1-2 days 1-2 days 1-2 days 1-2 days
Germany 2-3 days 2-3 days 1-2 days 1-2 days 1-2 days 1-2 days
Canada - 2-3 days 2-3 days 2-3 days 1 day 2-3 days
Ireland 2-3 days 2-3 days 1-2 days 1-2 days 1-2 days 1-2 days
India - 4-7 days 2-3 days 3-4 days - 3-4 days
Hong Kong - 3-4 days 2-3 days 2-3 days - 2-3 days
South Africa - 5-8 days 1-2 days 3-4 days - 2-3 days
Brazil - 3-8 days - - - -
China - 3-8 days 3-4 days 3-4 days - 3-5 days
Kenya - 4-7 days - - - -
Pakistan - 5-7 days - - - -
Jamaica - - - - - -
Turkey - - - - - -
Romania 6-7 days 4-6 days 1-2 days 2-3 days 3-6 days 1-2 days
Croatia 4-5 days 4-5 days 1-2 days 2-3 days 1-2 days 1-2 days
Netherlands 2-3 days 2-3 days 1-2 days 1-2 days 1-2 days 1-2 days
Portugal 5-6 days 2-3 days 1-2 days 1-2 days 1-2 days 1-2 days
N. Ireland - 1-2 days 2-3 days 1-2 days - -

USA Parcel Delivery from £23.73 (Ex. VAT)

America is big - seriously big. It covers almost 10 million square kilometers, a comparable size to the whole of Europe. That means getting your parcel to the right address is no small task, which is where the ZIP code comes in. Their equivalent of a postcode is 9 digits long; the first 5 signify the state and area, while the remaining 4 designate the particular address.

Before shipping to the USA, you’ll need to fill out a customs declaration. If you’re sending a gift under $200 to a residential address you won’t have to pay any fees (though you must still fill out a form). More valuable goods will incur import duty, usually charged to the recipient. Be sure to have all your paperwork completed and submitted in time to avoid delays - our team is happy to help you through this process.

China Parcel Delivery from £36.09 (Ex. VAT)

Another mammoth country, China consists of 33 provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities and special administrative areas (Taiwan is claimed as a region, but it is not recognised internationally as such). When mailing to China, you will need to make customs declarations as you would with any other country; this will include detailed information on a parcel’s contents such as where its contents were made, and the reason for sending it. Packages worth under 500 yuan (about £60) won’t usually incur any import duties.

When writing address labels be sure to use neat capital letters - Chinese postal workers will understand English, but it’s best to make sure your writing is clear and easy to read. You should also leave space beside and below the address, so that there’s room for postal workers to write additional delivery notes using Chinese han characters.

Spain Parcel Delivery from £16.53 (Ex. VAT)

Many Brits will be familiar with Spain as the site of their summer holidays, or where their parents spend their retirement. Sending packages to Spain is currently a straightforward process without customs duties, as both countries are members of the EU, but this is set to change in the near future. ParcelBroker is paying close attention to all Brexit developments so that our customers can enjoy swift, reliable deliveries to Europe no matter what.

There are some common abbreviations in use in the Spanish postal system, such as “3o” for third floor and “3a” for third door. Before writing up your address labels be sure to double-check they’ve been formatted correctly.

Australia Parcel Delivery from £51.83 (Ex. VAT)

Sending parcels down under has become more and more popular over recent years. One of the most important things to bear in mind is how strictly controlled Australian imports are for any flora or fauna that could disrupt the natural ecosystem. Plants, vegetables, animals and fruit are all obvious restrictions, but things that could conceivably contain seeds or insects are also often restricted - hay, soil, and other organic material.

Australian customs will require a declaration to be filled out before your parcel arrives. Different forms are required for different parcel values, so be sure to get in touch with us so we can help you find and fill out the correct one.

France Parcel Delivery from £14.97 (Ex. VAT)

Sending packages to France is currently straightforward, since we’re both members of the EU. This is set to change soon, though, at which point ParcelBroker will be on hand to provide expert guidance to keep your packages moving smoothly overseas.

Although France is just a short journey across the Channel, it’s a much larger country than the UK - more than twice the size. That means packages need to flow through a complex delivery system, and addresses need to be carefully written to ensure they’re understood. Remember to include the department (region) of your recipient as well as their street address and postcode.

Germany Parcel Delivery from (£14.97 (Ex. VAT)

Sending within the EU to countries such as Germany is currently a hassle-free process - no customs declarations are necessary. However, ParcelBroker is monitoring developments in the UK’s Brexit process to ensure that when we leave the EU the flow of deliveries abroad remains uninterrupted.

Addressing a parcel to a German recipient is much the same as the system we use in the UK; recipient name, street name, city, postcode and area are all required. Be sure to check the correct format with Deutsche Post before you book delivery of your parcel.

Canada Parcel Delivery from £23.73 (Ex. VAT)

As part of the Commonwealth the UK enjoys close political and social ties with Canada. However, it’s still essential to complete and submit a customs declaration form before sending anything into the country. Parcels worth under CAD$20, or gifts worth under CAD$60, will not incur any duties but must still be accompanied by a completed form.

It’s important to bear in mind that Quebec province, which includes Montreal, Ottawa and Quebec itself, is a French-speaking part of the country. Although English is widely spoken and understood there may well be address details that need to be written in French. Double-check your spelling and write in clear block capitals to avoid misunderstandings.

Ireland Parcel Delivery from £15.30 (Ex. VAT)

A huge quantity of goods cross the Irish sea to our close cousins on the Atlantic. Imports from the UK equate about 34% of total Irish imports, so there are close mercantile and regulatory ties between the two countries. English is spoken in both places, and both transport and legal systems are closely linked to provide a straightforward and seamless export destination.

After Brexit, it’s unclear to what extent trade between the UK and Ireland will be affected. It’s likely that some form of border checks will take place, making sending parcels to Ireland a more involved process. The team at ParcelBroker is monitoring all developments, and will work hard to ensure our customers can still ship overseas without any issues.

India Parcel Delivery from £36.09 (Ex. VAT)

Sending packages to India requires that you fill out a customs declaration form with an itemised description of the parcel contents. Special attention must be paid to packages which contain mobile phones, where the IMEI code must be clearly displayed on the side of the package, and medicine, which must receive special clearance from the country’s Drug Controller.

Although languages like Urdu and Punjabi are spoken throughout India, English is used as the postal system’s main written language. Be sure to write clearly and legibly in block capitals, and leave space around the address for any in-country notes to be made.

Italy Parcel Delivery from £16.53 (Ex. VAT)

As part of the EU, Italy is a straightforward destination for your parcels, requiring no customs declarations. However, this is set to change as the UK leaves the EU, and it’s unclear precisely what the shape of export regulations will be between the UK and different countries. This makes it all the more important to use an experienced international shipping consolidator like ParcelBroker.

When addressing parcels to Italy, take care to format province names using their two-letter abbreviations. Rome is shortened to “RM”, so check the list of standard Italian abbreviations before booking in a parcel delivery service.

Hong Kong Parcel Delivery from £36.09 (Ex. VAT)

Hong Kong has a variety of free trade policies which make it a very cheap place to send your goods - no import duties are charged on the vast majority of goods. There are still controlled items, though; this includes goods such as vehicle parts, optical disc mastering equipment and radio transmitting equipment. It’s wise to check the Hong Kong controlled items list before making a declaration, since these goods may require a license (or be banned altogether).

South Africa Parcel Delivery from £38.97 (Ex. VAT)

One of the African continent’s most dynamic and fast-growing countries, South Africa is one of the UK’s biggest trading partners. Billions of pounds of goods flow back and forth each year, so the two countries have strong transport and import/export links.

As with all countries outside of the EU, parcels from the UK must go through customs clearance when arriving in South Africa. You’ll need to fill out the appropriate paperwork before sending your package and plan for the customs fees to be handled by the recipient. Our team helps make this process as smooth as possible by providing all the necessary paperwork upfront.

Brazil Parcel Delivery from £42.12 (Ex. VAT)

Brazil is a fast-growing recipient of packages from the UK, as more and more Brits make this country their home away from home. It’s essential to be precise when completing customs declarations for Brazilian parcel deliveries, because fees and surcharges can be high. Although parcels with a value of less than $50 USD should not be charged tax, in many cases this fee is levied anyway by Correois (the postal service) or Receitos Federal (the revenue service). Once the fee is charged it’s very hard to raise a complaint.

Some simplified taxation schemes are available for goods of less than $500 USD, but most post office charges must be paid in cash - not easy when sending from the UK. With a customs rate of 60%, Brazilian import duties can add a significant amount to the cost of sending packages. If you need help completing the required paperwork, ParcelBroker’s team is always ready to help.

The Netherlands Parcel Delivery from £14.97 (Ex. VAT)

No customs declaration is currently required when sending goods to the Netherlands, because they’re also a member of the EU. However, as the UK leaves the EU the situation is likely to change. ParcelBroker is closely monitoring all Brexit developments to maintain our cheap and fast parcel delivery services to Europe and the rest of the world.

There are no special address requirements when sending parcels to the Netherlands. If you’d like some guidance, there are plenty of Netherlands address format examples available to look at - as always, write clearly in block capitals and leave plenty of space on the label.

Portugal Parcel Delivery from £16.53 (Ex. VAT)

As with all EU destinations, there are currently no customs requirements when sending a package to Portugal. However, once the UK is out of the European Union this will likely change; ParcelBroker is deeply focused on how these changes will affect our customers, and will work hard to ensure you still have access to cheap, streamlined delivery services wherever your parcels are headed.

Portuguese addresses feature a seven-digit postcode, formatted as 1234-567. The first 4 digits identify a specific city and postal sorting office, while the next 3 are used to pinpoint a particular address. As always when writing addresses for overseas postal systems, write clearly in block capitals and ensure there’s plenty of space on the label.

Why ParcelBroker?

Whether you’re sending parcels overseas as a business or personally, it’s important to know when it can be expected to arrive. With this knowledge you can schedule shipping effectively and provide realistic timeframes for your recipients. Knowing how long a parcel takes to deliver isn’t as obvious as you might expect, though; there are plenty of factors that come into play when sending internationally.

We’re going to break down exactly what you can expect when sending parcels to the USA, Spain, China or anywhere else on the planet. When you ship with ParcelBroker it’s quick and easy to send a parcel, whether it’s going to Mumbai, Miami or Manchester.

As well as making things simple we’re proud to offer you up to 60% off international deliveries from these top couriers. With full tracking and cover available on packages and pallets of all sizes, ParcelBroker is your go-to international parcel delivery service.