As a landlocked state in Central Europe, there are two main options for British exporters when sending a pallet to Hungary. The first is to opt for costly air freight. This is the quickest option but you still need to be on top of your customs declarations. Commercial goods that depart for any European Union state, like Hungary, must be declared with the right commodity codes under the relevant EORI number. On arrival, onward transit of your pallet within the country will still need to be arranged. Given the expense, sending a pallet to Hungary overland often makes more sense and, in many cases, isn’t much slower. What should exporters be doing?
Firstly, you can use most types of pallets when shipping goods to Hungary. Although Euro pallets are the norm on the continent, other pallet sizes can usually also be handled by Hungarian goods-in departments. Therefore, if your company has an order from a Hungarian company, you can use your usual pallets. So long as they are able to be picked up by a standard forklift truck, you should be okay. Seek professional advice for oversized items that might need to be loaded onto skids rather than single pallets, however.
Shipping a pallet to Hungary by road can take place in one of two ways. The first is to arrange for a courier collection of your pallet with a van. According to Barrington Freight, one of the country’s top freight forwarding firms, two-driver teams offer the fastest deliveries to Hungary because the van won’t have to stop for more than a few minutes at a time. To drive from Calais to Szombathely, near the Austrian border in Hungary could take under 16 hours non-stop this way.
On the other hand, less urgent deliveries can be handled with a much greater value for money on offer. Under such circumstances, you will book an international logistics operator to group your pallet on board a lorry with other ones bound for Hungary. With one driver and multiple drops to make, the service will be slower. However, due to the shared overheads this service offers, the cost to British exporters will be much, much lower.
Note that with both groupage and express courier pallet services, enjoying radio contact with the delivery driver(s) will be crucial. This way, the logistical manager will be able to keep the driver informed of any hold-ups on the road ahead such as snow blocking certain mountain passes in neighbouring Austria. Equally, you will be updated and be able to pass on accurate ETA information to your Hungarian customer.
Sometimes, UK businesses already have insurance for goods in transit. However, this doesn’t always cover them when their pallets are on European roads. It is often worth checking with your freight forwarder whether their service provides in-transit insurance or whether you can add it. Pallets to Hungary are not particularly at risk but the long distances involved mean that obtaining peace of mind with proper insurance coverage can be worth it.