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The UK Country Guide by DHL Express 7 facts you should know before shipping to UK

The UK Country Guide by DHL Express 7 facts you should know before shipping to UK
อัพเดทล่าสุด : 28/09/2022 - 16:57:12

The Premier League season has begun and football is the topic of conversation in the United Kingdom. However, it’s not just sports that matter; E-commerce, particularly cross-border E-commerce is at the top of the list. This small island is one of the world’s strongest E-commerce markets, apart from key markets like China, Europe, and the USA. The United Kingdom is also one of the most popular destinations for Thai shippers.


Let DHL Express show you around the UK. This market is the fifth-largest in the world and attracts traders from all over the world. Shipping to UK will be simple and express with logistics facilitation by DHL Express. We will help you ship to the UK with peace of mind, speed, and excellence! 


7 facts you should know before shipping to UK!


*Remark: In this article, the UK comprises four distinct entities, England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland


1.       Small island, big market


 A proven major international trading power, the UK has long enjoyed as unrivaled business environment. It’s also where the opportunities for entrepreneurs and trade in the world’s fifth-largest economy. See why so!


·       The UK is the world’s fifth-largest economy.

·       The UK is the second-largest economy in the Europe.

·       In 2016, the UK was the fifth-largest goods importer, valuing US$ 636.2 billion

·       The World Bank rates the UK as 7th out of 190 countries for the ease of doing business there.

·       The UK sits at 16th out of 56 on the quality of life index.


2.       Golden time for E-commerce


The entire retail market in the UK is increasing at a modest rate, but E-commerce is a notable performer. In fact, the UK spends more money online per household than any other country, approximately $5,900 each. Consumers in the UK, particularly the younger generation, feel comfortable making purchases via their smartphones and tablets. As a result, make sure your e-commerce platform is mobile-friendly. Here’s why the UK is full of opportunities for E-commerce businesses.


·       59 million of the UK’s population of 65 million use the internet.

·       UK consumers are happy to buy from overseas, with 65% of UK shoppers doing so in 2015.

·      The UK is the world’s third-largest e-commerce market, with online sales accounting for 18% of total retail sales and counting.

·     In 2017, the UK’s retail e-commerce market exceeded $110 billion, while mobile commerce is growing by the year.

·       In 2021, retail mobile commerce is set to represent 51.7% of the UK’s total retail e-commerce sales, up from 43% in 2017.

·       B2B E-commerce sales were £96.5 billion in 2015.


3.       How to impress British customers


Apart from product quality, what can you do to impress British customers and have them coming back for more purchases?


·       The UK comprises four distinct entities, England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Each is proud of its unique heritage. Be wary of referring to British business associates as ‘English’, unless you are certain that they are. To do so is to risk giving offense.

·       The UK has a highly developed logistics infrastructure, with same-day deliveries now being offered by many providers. Imagine your customers are expecting a shipment delivered from Thailand to the UK, they would expect it to arrive urgently. Make sure you offer a range of delivery options at different price points.

Service is key. Give them a good service and they’ll come back for more: 9 out of 10 said they would buy overseas again.


The Union Flag with a beautiful background of blue sky


1.       Top sales

The top industry export opportunities are;

·       Automobiles and aftermarket parts: Although signs suggest automobile sales are cooling off, long-term trends paint a picture of a rapidly growing market for vehicles and related components.

·        Pharmaceuticals: The UK pharmaceuticals import market grew by nearly 60% between 2009 and 2016. Pharmaceuticals worth $33 billion entered the UK in 2016.

·       Electronics: Electronics is a major growth area. Between 2009 and 2016, imports like smartphones, circuits, and micro assemblies grew by as much as 8,000%.


If you sell something among these industries, your opportunity is now. With DHL Express as a logistics partner, you will ship to the UK with a piece of mind and that means more time for your business expansion.


5. What are most shipped from Thailand to the UK


Do not give up yet if your products are not the abovementioned. Here are the most popular shipments in the past 3 months sending from Thailand to the UK (excluding shipments by Thailand Post or EMS).  


·       Clothes, fashion items, bags

·       Food supplement and medicines (with prescription)

·       Personal items such as bags, watches, accessories

·       Dried foods, snacks, sensing powder or sauce such as chili paste


To ensure shipping to UK is made easy and in a fast way, don’t forget to be detailed with your descriptions. Include the information such as type of products, brand’s name, size, materials, quantity, and how to use. For example, if you are shipping a man’s shirt, you must describe your shipment as ‘Man’s shirt, ISSUE brand, L Size, 100% made from silk, 2 pieces for personal use.”


On the other hand, shipping from the UK to Thailand is made simply like never before, just contact DHL Express UK to schedule shipment and get a door-to-door service at your place. If you’re based in Thailand and would like to manage all the importation at your end including payment, you can still do so, click HERE to make import shipments!


6. Trade regulations and customs information


The United Kingdom is like other countries that have their own trade and customs regulations. Here’s a bit of something you should know before shipping to UK.


·       Omega 3 products are not permitted in the UK for Companies. Omega 3 products for private individuals are accepted in small quantities (less than 20kg).

·       3.5-5% average import duty and 30% on some products

·       RRP under £15 has import duty to pay.

 ·       RRP between £15-£135, pay VAT, but no duty.


A female customer signs for her DHL Express international delivery from a DHL Express courier



7. Tips for shipping to UK the fast and smooth way!


Here are DHL Express tips for smoother and faster trading and shipping with the UK.


·       Be thorough with paperwork.

·       Be detailed with your descriptions.

·       Find the right commodity code using the Tariff Finder

·       For faster possible delivery, provide DHL Express with the full contact details of the recipient.

·       Check first if you need an export license from your originating country and check prior to shipping to UK if the shipment is prohibited or restricted goods or not.

·       In case of questions, call DHL Express customer service at 02-345-5000 (24 hours) and let our agents assist you. 


DHL Express Thailand is committed to providing logistics assistance to individual and business customers of all sizes and drives global trade. If you have regular shipments every month, click for more details about membership privileges or follow us on Facebook.


Alternatively, you can book your shipment online at MyDHL+ platform where you can export and import in one place. No membership is required! Track your shipments, schedule your new shipments to any parts of the world, covering 220 countries and territories, or simply check the shipment rate, just follow these steps;

How to check estimated international shipment rate


1.     Visit

2.     Fill in the country of origin and destination country. If you’re shipping to UK, select the country destination as the United Kingdom. 

3.     Select type of shipment; document or parcel

4.     Fill in dimensions of shipment. You will find your estimated shipment rate for service at different channels; through MyDHL+, through Customer Service’s hotline, or drop-off at DHL Express Service Point near you!


 to check the price of shipping to UK.


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