Full container load to Europe- what affects the price?

Many factors can influence the price of a full load export from the UK to Europe. Of course the delivery country will have the biggest effect on price. Here is a list of the other factors affecting full load export rates.


  • Trailer specification – For example, if you require a 3m mega, refrigerated or abnormal trailer this will affect the price.
  • Lead time – If you make a last-minute request for a trailer, the likelihood is that the trailer could cost you more. Many European trailer operators book their reloads before their trailer enters the U.K.
  • Specific collection and delivery times – the more flexible you can be the better. Export loads that offer 24 hour loading / offloading and no fixed collection or delivery times are attractive to all trailer operators. The more specific you become with your collection and delivery requests, in general the higher the price will be.
  • Delivery deadline – If your goods need to be delivered urgently a double-manned trailer might be required. Double-manned trailers can cost double the price of a single manned trailer depending on the final delivery point.
  • Nature of the goods – Theft attractive or high value shipments will invariably incur a higher export trailer rate.
  • Time of the year – The cost of export trailers can vary at, for example, Easter, Christmas and New Year. Also during the summer months, certain EU countries are on “shutdown” which has a considerable effect on rates.
  • General availability – Demand and supply factors can affect the spot price of export trailers. Prices for export loads tend to rise when supply of trailers is low compared to the demand for them.
  • Time to load and unload – Most trailer operators allow at least 2, possibly 3 hours free to load or offload. If you need more than 2-3 hours, operators may factor in between £35-£50 per hour for additional loading and unloading time.
  • Trailer service – Prices will vary depending if you chose a driver-accompanied, un-accompanied or intermodal service. For long distance export loads to Spain, Italy, Poland or Romania, intermodal trailer operators tend to offer better prices as the majority of the journey is done by train.

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