10 Interesting Facts You Should Know When Moving Freight Between the UK and India

India Freight Facts

Getting started exporting and importing outside of Europe is an intimidating task. Today we wanted to let you know the key India freight facts facts and what to look out for.

1. Growth in Bilateral Trade

The trade relationship between UK and India is ever flourishing. Both nations are keen to increase bilateral trade post-Brexit as India’s global economic stature grows.

2. Major Ports

India has 13 major ports with Mumbai’s JNPT or Nhava Sheva as it is more commonly known being the largest and most significant for containerised cargo.

3. Customs Documentation

The Bill of Entry is the primary document required by Customs in India. Having accurate and complete documentation significantly reduces clearance times.

4. Goods and Services Tax (GST)

Introduced in 2017, GST replaced multiple indirect taxes in India. It’s essential for UK exporters to understand its implications on goods being exported to India. GST is a value-added tax levied on most goods and services sold for domestic consumption – like a tax on the value added at each stage of production or distribution.

5. Freight Corridors

India is developing dedicated freight corridors to facilitate faster movement of goods. This will impact transit times and could offer quicker inland transport options.

Espace India Service

6. Labeling Requirements

India has specific labelling requirements – especially for food and cosmetic products. It’s crucial to be aware of these to ensure compliance and avoid shipment delays.

7. Peak Seasons

Festivals like Diwali can lead to congested ports and delayed shipments. Planning shipments outside peak seasons can of course lead to smoother transitions.

8. Restricted Items

India has a list of restricted items that need specific licenses or permits to import. Familiarising yourself with this list is vital to avoid customs issues. You can do so via the DGFT website.

9. Rail Connectivity

India has one of the largest rail networks globally. Rail can be a cost-effective mode of inland transport for any bulk cargo.

10. Bilateral Agreements

India and the UK have several bilateral agreements and trade discussions ongoing to facilitate trade, reduce tariffs, and smoothen the trade process. Keeping up to date with these will help bring you and your business competitive advantage.

UK joins CPTPP

CPTPP- UK Asia Trade deal signed! 


The UK recently  signed a significant trade deal with 11 Asian and Pacific nations: The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The 11 CPTPP nations the UK will now have greater trade access to are:

  • Australia
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • New Zealand
  • Peru
  • Singapore
  • Vietnam

Making up around 13% of the worlds income at first glance this looks to be a great trade partnership for UK exporters.

The UK already had various trade deals with most of these countries but being part of the CPTPP puts the UK “in a prime position in the global economy to seize opportunities for new jobs, growth and innovation” Prime Minster Rishi Sunak says.

Many of these economies in this partnership, especially in the Indo-Pacific region, expect to see major growth in the next 20 years. Hopefully this will result in more export freight from UK businesses to these emerging markets.


What does CPTPP membership mean for freight?

As business opportunities open up across the Globe, so does the demand for export and import freight. Some businesses’ may look to take their first steps in exporting outside of Europe and those that haven’t ever traded out of this country may start to test the water.

The trade deal will cut tariffs on various items including food and drink and will work to lower any barriers to trade that traders may have been faced with in the past.

The CPTPP does not have a single market or customs union, so customs clearance will still be a hurdle for businesses to overcome. In the short-term it is not predicted this will bring a massive shake up for exporting, however the potential is certainly there for the coming decades.

Our Commercial Director Geoff Yates shares his thoughts
“The announcement of the UK joining the CPTPP was welcomed by many and a sure sign of a new, Global Britain, shaking off the post-BREXIT hangover.

Barriers to entry against British products in the global marketplace are coming down. Whilst some on the pro-EU side of the argument will point towards the low projected growth that membership will bring (0.08% of GDP – Brexit cost Britain 4%) the very real prospect of the USA joining the party within the next five years will drastically alter those predictions.

CPTPP membership will give British businesses tariff-free access for 99 per cent of British-made goods to over 500 million consumers, and to economies that are generally growing faster than European ones and already roughly match the combined GDP of the EU. With no free-movement obligations either, this is very much a deal centred on trade rather than politics.”

Take a look at Espace Sea and Air Freight



Espace Acquires Westhaven Worldwide Logistics


On 3rd May 2018, Espace acquired the assets and staff of Westhaven Worldwide Logistics (WWL) in Solihull, Birmingham.

WWL are a specialist sea and air freight forwarding company who are members of the world’s largest forwarding partner network, the World Cargo Alliance (WCA). The WCA has 6897 independent freight forwarding members in 190 countries and 817 cities and ports around the world.

The 3 members of WWL’s staff joined the Espace team in Lichfield on Monday 4th  June 2018. Their General Manager, Rob Taylor said, “We’d heard of Espace by reputation. Having now met the whole team, I am very confident that we have made the right choice and that our staff and customers will flourish at Espace.”

WWL researched several potential purchasers in the Midlands but chose Espace predominantly due to its Employee Ownership status and good cultural fit.


Tony Shally, Espace’s MD commented, “This is a great opportunity to get our brand known around the globe via the WCA network. With the current uncertainty surrounding Brexit, diversification into sea and air freight and inheriting a team of specialist global freight forwarding professionals can only further assure the company’s successful future. It was particularly gratifying that we were the purchaser of choice selected by WWL due to our Employee Owned status. “

If you have any sea or air freight shipments, why not give us a call?

10 Tips to make European exporting easy

1. Give some thought into how you package your product to maximise the number of items on a pallet. Build it high if possible to reduce freight charges.

2. Logistics should be an important part of your business. This maybe the only physical interaction with your customer

3. Make sure your website and other channels of marketing are multi-lingual.

4. Setting delivery terms when the product is being sold is a real must. This gives you control over transportation.

5. Sell in GBP to eradicate any currency fluctuations.

6. Insurance should be considered if the goods are important. See our Cargo insurance guide here.

7. Make sure you have researched any local holidays which could delay your delivery and plan according so.

8. Packaging is important, make sure it is well-designed. It will protect your goods; it also helps when trying to sell your product.

9. Double check the delivery address and contact details. Make sure to ask them for specific opening times and for any local delivery restrictions.

10. Consider a Sales agent in your target market.