How to move goods by sea



Ocean shipping is one of the most important and cost-effective ways to transport your goods internationally.

In 2021 Northern Ireland businesses sold goods and services worth more than £12 billlion to countries outside of Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and the Republic of Ireland. When exporting goods to the continent and the rest of the world, shipping can be both a cost effective, and in many cases necessary, method of transport.

This guide shows how the international shipping system works and gives you the information you need to choose the shipping option that's right for you. It also outlines the different vessels used for international shipping and highlights the main factors affecting ocean freight costs and provides an overview of the key documents you'll need to transport goods by sea.

Find out more about moving your goods in our sections on preparing goods for transport and transporting your goods.