Set Up a Shipping Business in the United Kingdom

How to Set Up a Shipping Business in the UK Insights on haulage as 3E Accounting offers a quick read on how to set up a shipping business in the UK.

With a long maritime history, the United Kingdom is certainly no stranger when it comes to the shipping business. British ports handled approximately 25% of global trade at the start of the century. Pre-pandemic statistics indicate that the shipping and freight industry contributed GBP29 billion in revenue. Shipping is certainly an essential industry in the UK and a viable business idea. A framework on how to set up a shipping business in the UK can help those looking to venture into this trade.


Freights and Such

Starting a shipping business in the UK requires some due diligence, and it is a complex and competitive industry. The haulage or freight business is wide as it includes air, road, and sea transportation of goods. When considering shipping as a business, you will need to research the following crucial points:

  • Freight forwarding or freight brokerage.
  • Ocean freight, truck haulage and warehousing service.
  • Import or export haulage, destination or origin handling.
  • Customs clearance and handling.

The nature of the shipping business in the UK is both versatile and flexible. It caters to high demand at every step of the supply chain logistic. Hence, your business can be a shipping line or a barge haulage service. It can also be a truck or van delivery business, as well as a company that specialises in customs clearance. If you have access to warehouses, you can also store goods waiting to be cleared by customs.

Company formation experts such as 3E Accounting can guide you on each business consideration’s pros and cons. This will make it easier to choose your business vehicle, be it a sole proprietorship or limited company, amongst others. The most crucial consideration will hinge upon licences and permits for your chosen business type.

Approvals will depend on the type of goods being transported and the UK frontier and border controls’ requirements. Agencies such as the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, as well as HMRC, need to be consulted. It’s best to check and get the appropriate approvals before starting your trade activity. Otherwise, you may face stiff penalties or bans that will impact your business.

You will also need to be conversant with the UK’s Integrated Tariff scheme. This lays out all duties that can be incurred for the import, export and transit of goods. As Brexit takes full hold, this is an area that will be facing constant change and evolution. Getting professional help is the best way to stay current on changes and issues.

These considerations can only provide a framework on how to set up a shipping business in the UK. For more in-depth guidance or assistance in setting up your haulage business, get in touch with 3E Accounting. As premier company formation experts, we offer best in class bespoke solutions for all your business needs. Leveraging industry expertise from our global affiliates and partners, we provide innovative and cutting-edge tools and solutions for every occasion. Contact 3E Accounting today for a quick chat with our team of professionals.

How to Set Up a Shipping Business in the UK