When you import/export a product from one country to another, you have to be well-prepared. In fact, selecting the right shipping method according to your needs, regrouping documents, and being aware of regulations are crucial. Our destination guide is here to help you prepare an expedition between Malaysia and the UK.

Table of Contents

The bests methods to ship your goods between Malaysia and the UK

flagsThe United Kingdom is among the world’s largest economies (5th highest GDP in October 2022). The country has a commercial and political agreement with a lot of countries all around the world, especially since Brexit. 

Malaysia is part of ASEAN, and the UK decided to strengthen its relationship with these Asian countries and promote collaboration with them. 

Furthermore, the UK and Malaysia are linked by the Commonwealth and the Malaysia-United Kingdom Strategic Dialogue, established in November 2021.

These two countries are linked by their history and agreements, but are quite far from each other, the distance as the crow flies is 11,323.77 km. There are two solutions to cover this distance, sea freight, and air freight. We’ll both detail these methods, let’s begin with sea freight.

Sea Freight between Malaysia and the UK

Sea freight shipping from Malaysia to the UK

 Overview – Ocean cargo from Malaysia to the United Kingdom

cargo port

Ocean freight flows in the United Kingdom are well distributed among the numerous seaports that border various coasts and countries.

 Thestrength of the UK ports, despite their individual small sizes, is the magnitude of their total traffic when all of them are considered. For example, 445.5 million tonnes of cargo were handled in the United Kingdom in 2021 according to the government. In terms of sea transportation, the UK is a driving force. The UK's main economic partners are the EU and the USA. Malaysia is ranked 37th.

Another distinctive feature of the United Kingdom is that its ports are highly interconnected.

Busiest ports in the United Kingdom 

  • Grimsby & Immingham

Grimsby and Immingham are two of the Kingdom's busiest ports. It is an important port for UK imports. It is the country's second port in terms of Roro cargo, third in terms of oil products and fifth in terms of liquid bulk. It oversaw 16 million tonnes of Roro cargo, 12 million tonnes of oil products, and 19 million tonnes of liquid bulk in 2016.

This port handles 75% of all shipments handled. Only 10% of cargo is traded with other domestic ports. Half of the goods handled are exchanged with the EU, with the remaining 25% going to international destinations.

  • London

London is one of the most significant UK export ports, accounting for 85% of all port flows. The EU receives half of the flows, other UK ports receive 20%, and international destinations receive the remainder. It is the third port in the UK for RoRo cargo, with 8 million tonnes handled in 2016. It is also the Kingdom's sixth-busiest liquid bulk port, with 15 million tonnes handled in the same year. 13 million tonnes of the same liquid bulk products were oil products, making London the UK's second-largest port for oil management. In 2016, 50 million tonnes of goods were administered there.

  • Southampton

The Port of Southampton is also one of the busiest in the United Kingdom. In 2016, Southampton handled 36 million tonnes of goods. Its trade flows are very balanced both internationally and internally. 45% of the goods arrive, while 55% depart from Southampton. With 20 million tonnes handled in 2016, it is the third most important UK port for liquid bulk. 9 million tonnes of this liquid bulk are oil products, putting Southampton in fourth place in the UK for this category of goods. In Southampton, liquid bulk accounts for 55% of all goods administered. Lolo cargo accounts for a significant portion of the other goods handled there, accounting for up to 30%.

Transit time between Malaysia and the UK

The estimated sea transit time from Malaysia to the UK is 20 to 40 days without picking up and delivering items at the origin and destination. Naturally, your location in Malaysia, as well as other factors, will influence this.

Delais de livraison

Malaysia/UK London Immingham   Southampton
Pasir Gudang    19 Days 40 Days 30 Days
Penang    30 Days 25 Days 30 Days
Tanjung Pelepas    19 Days 40 Days 25 Days
Port Kelang    30 Days 30 Days 35 Days

Please keep in mind that the transit time only includes the freight. Unaccounted-for pickup, delivery, loading, and unloading may extend the duration of your shipment.

Should I ship by LCL or FLC?

The three basic types of standard container sizes are as follows. They can all be used for both personal and business travel. As can be seen, merchants frequently use them for any type of solid sample:

  • At 40 feet, the headquarters (High Cube, which has a capacity of 76 cubic meters)
  • The 40-foot container (which has a capacity of 67 cubic meters)
  • 20-foot shipping container (which has a capacity of 33 cubic meters)

Ship by LCL 

LCL is the first of two methods for managing goods in a container. 

LCL is an abbreviation for “Less than a Container Load,” which means that your shipment will not completely fill the container. Other small shipments will be consolidated with yours in the container to maximize container space, so the container will travel full.

In addition to saving space, it is more cost-effective because the total volume in the container will be charged fairly to all shippers/consignees. You will only be charged for the space that you use.

Ship by FCL

FCL is the second method for managing the contents of containers. In contrast to LCL, there is only one shipment that fills the container. This method is advantageous and appealing for large shipments. We're talking about shipments that are more than 15 CBM in size.

There are two situations in which FCL is preferable to LCL: 

  • The first is when your shipment is large or heavy enough to completely fill it.
  • The second is when your volume is large enough that it is more cost-effective than LCL, depending on the carrier.

How do I know which solution is more appropriate?

If you're still undecided about which method to use, here's a table summarizing the advantages and disadvantages of each:

LCL advantages

  • Perfect for small shipments
  • You will not have to decant or unload the container.
  • You will only be charged for what you use.

FCL Advantages

  • The transfer will take less time than LCL.
  • On a CBM basis, you will pay less than on an LCL basis.
  • Only the shipper and the consignee will have access to your goods.

LCL disadvantages

  • On a CBM basis, prices are higher than FCL.
  • Because of the consolidation and splitting process, LCL is always longer than FCL.
  • Several handling phases are required.

FCL disadvantages: 

  • You are responsible for decanting and unloading the container.
  • It is not designed for shipments of less than 10 CBMs.
  • Container decanting necessitates both skill and labor.

Specialized maritime transportation between Malaysia and the United Kingdom

Your need for assistance will be determined by the number of goods you have and the weight of your load. If you are carrying specific items, keep the following information in mind.

Reefer container

A cold container, also known as a reefer, is one that can keep a constant temperature regardless of the weather. It works by sending commands to the boat's deck.


Ro-Ro ships, also known as roll-on/roll-off ships, are designed specifically to transport wheeled items such as cars, trucks, vans, semi-trailers, and rail line carriages that are propelled both inside and outside the ship by their own tires.

The best and safest way to handle and transport bulkier or unusual commercial items. Deliveries are frequently transported as a single unit from the dock to the destination using specialized containers.


Supplies are delivered in large quantities directly into the ship's hold. As a result, certification is now available for standard and bulk shipments on a local level. Massive, unrestricted cargo Bulk carriers are vessels designed specifically for transporting various types of cargo such as sand, aggregates, grain, and heavy items such as minerals.


Out of Gauge (OOG) freight is defined as “not in measure or standard.” There are two types of OOG chambers: accessible containers and plain stack containers.

The Open Top Container is used to ship finished goods that need to be handled and loaded by a forklift.

Info Docshipper :  If you have a specific shipment coming and you don’t know which method to select, rely on our experts, and we will provide you with the best solution for the transportation of your goods. Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information and a free quote!

How much does shipping between Malaysia and the UK cost?

The cost of shipping products by water varies greatly, depending on a variety of factors. For example, whether you're sending a small or large amount, you won't use the same container type.

If your shipment is less than 15 cubic meters, choose an LCL (Less Than Container Load) rather than an FCL (Full Container Load). Naturally, our experts will assist you in determining the best option for your requirements.

*Our ability to provide packing and/or loading services is dependent on your requirements and will affect the final price.

However, because the cost of sea freight is determined by the weight and quantity of goods transported, we can explain how this is calculated.

You should be aware that the weight/volume ratio is calculated using the following equivalency rule: equals 1 m3 per ton.

In UP, groupage and traditional modes of transportation are well-established.

Regardless of the unit of measurement, the carrier will always benefit from performing the calculation or correlating to the highest value (in volume or in mass).

Remark Docshipper:  DocShipper is a freight forwarder, one of our main activities is to handle your shipment during your import/export operation to make you save time, and money! Don’t hesitate to contact us for your sea freight!

Additional costs

Sea transport providers may charge additional fees that vary depending on the situation, in addition to the agreed-upon price. The complexities of freight shipping by water set it apart.

BAF, short for Bunker Adjustment Factor

This tariff increase accounts for fluctuations in the price of oil. During the first oil embargo in 1973, maritime businesses began to use it due to the need for new ships. It has remained on schedule since then.

CAF stands for Currency Adjustment Factor.

This fee reflects fluctuations in the value of the dollar. Firms use this extra as cash flow insurance because the vast majority of maritime transportation costs are calculated in US dollars.

Terminal Handling Charge (THC)

THC is a symbol for the port's handling fees for loading and unloading. Conventional cargo, also known as “non-containerized,” may have a variable or fixed price depending on the type of container used. The tariff in the latter case is determined per kilogram and may be subject to additional charges (for “excessive” size or weight).

Port blockage

Port congestion is caused by an imbalance between the number of ships and the operational capability of a port. A ship must wait at one of these ports for several days before it can discharge its cargo. To compensate for this “loss of income,” corporations charge a fee. The most congested ports are those near the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean (Algeria, Libya, etc.).

Air Freight between Malaysia and the UK


Air Freight between Malaysia and the UK

This freight method is the second and the last that we can propose for you to transport your goods from Malaysia to the UK. In fact, air freight is one of the most common shipping methods. 

Air freight could be used in two different ways: classic and express. 

Difference between express and classic freight 

  • Traditional air freight: This strategy is used by airlines such as British Airways, Air China, Thai Airways, and Qatar Airways to deliver cargo on regularly scheduled flights. It takes advantage of available space on commercial aircraft.
  • Express air freight: Items are transported by aircraft designed for air freight in this second, more expensive option. Then, “courier firms” are in charge of providing door-to-door services, such as picking up items from aircraft and delivering them to clients. They are UPS, FedEx, TNT, and DHL, in that order. This method of distributing goods to customers also allows for hand delivery of those items anywhere in the world.

classic vs express air freight


Delais de livraison

Transit time between Malaysia and the UK

The typical flight from Malaysia to the United Kingdom should take 13-15 hours, depending on where you depart. Allow 6 to 9 days to complete the delivery from the pickup location to the final destination. Again, this is only an estimate.

*Keep in mind that logistics do not stop with the flight, customs may choose to hold a package for a variety of reasons.


Note FNM: DocShipper is here to give you our expert tips to help you organize your shipment successfully, if you need any advice about air freight, ask our experts, and they will help you!

What is the cost of air freight between the UK and Malaysia?

Given how much weight and volume affect air freight pricing, the price will most likely vary depending on what you're shipping. Because your box must clear customs when it arrives, the contents of your cargo will impact your prices.

What is the difference between volumetric weight and gross weight?

Two methods are used to categorize the load weight of your items in order to account for the density of your shipment.

Consider how air freight tariffs are determined. The most important distinction to grasp is that between real weight and volumetric weight. You will be able to comprehend your air freight quotes once you have received them.

gross-vs-dimensional-weight           airfreight-volumetric-weight-formula

If the volumetric weight of your shipment is greater than the actual weight, the carrier will provide you with a quote based on this weight. Now that you understand how it works, you can use online load weight calculators to make things easier.

DocShipper Plus : We can offer you very competitive rates for major air cargo services between Malaysia and the UK because of our strong connections with global cargo carriers. We can schedule regular and courier air freight, as well as truckload services, to get your items to you wherever you are. Contact us today for a quote in less than 24 hours.

Customs Clearance

As you are probably aware when moving from one country to another with personal belongings, you must go through customs and have your items cleared. DocShipper may be able to assist with customs clearance of your goods due to their experience working with customs.

Customs Procedure

When the truck arrives at the Johor customs checkpoint, officers from the Royal Malaysian Customs Department will inspect your order and any associated paperwork.

To export your goods, you must have the following documentation

  • Commercial Invoice 
  • Packing List 
  • Air Waybill
  • Permission to Export (if required)

englandIn order to export products that require a license, the exporter must frequently register with Malaysian Companies Commission. A license to export specific plants, forest products, minerals, and other products is one of the criteria. The list of items requiring this export authorization is available on the Royal Malaysian Customs Department's official website.

You must classify and declare your goods to Malaysian authorities prior to shipment. Malaysia, like the vast majority of customs administrations, classifies your products using the System Source tax code. The HSS Explorer allows you to view the classification of your products. Depending on what you are sending, taxes and tariffs may be imposed on your purchase.

Customs value

When goods from other countries are imported into the UK, customs duties and taxes must be paid. These are calculated by multiplying the value of imported items by a percentage.

Custom value 

It equals the price of the goods when all associated transportation costs to the UK border are included. Also known as CIF (Incoterm) value. This is the price you will have paid for the products when they arrive at a port of entry into the UK, regardless of which country they are being delivered to.

The customs value will serve as the foundation for calculating customs duties.

The statistical or monetary value

The statistical value, like the customs value before it, reflects the product's worth plus all transportation costs, but only when it enters French territory. When commodities arrive, for example, at the ports of London of Liverpool, both of which are points of entry into the UK, they frequently coincide with the customs value at the union border.

It is used to collect data on a country's foreign trade as well as some national taxes.

The tax amount

The tax value, also known as the “value of the first destination,” serves as the foundation for collecting VAT on French territory (also known as “Consumption or MAC”).

The following items are included in the VAT tax base:

  • Other than the VAT, taxes, charges, and levies (customs duties and all other ancillary national taxes, if any, are included in the VAT calculation base).
  • Incidental costs, such as the cost of packaging, storing, transporting, and insuring the items until they arrive in the UK.

Information Docshipper: Because we know how customs procedures are challenging, DocShipper is providing a customs clearance service to help you during the shipment of your goods. Contact us for more information and a quote.

Different products have different duty percentages, which are determined by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs and range from 0-12%. This percentage will be deducted from the total value of the goods. In addition to other items, goods such as alcohol and cigarettes will be taxed. The complete list of duty-paying items is available on the official UK Customs website. For goods entering the UK via the CIF system, the cost of the goods, the cost of insurance, and the freight price of the cargo are all taken into account when calculating tax assessments.

How can I find my HS code?

  • Asking your dealer is the smartest and safest line of action.
  • Visit this website to find the HS code if he is unable to supply it.
  • It is quite easy to use.find-HS-code-online

Calculate customs duties with the HS Code

Knowing the customs charges and taxes levied on your product when it is imported will be useful now that you have the HS code.

To do so, go to the TARIC customs system on the official UK customs website.

A page similar to this one can be found here:


As shown on the screen above, you must enter the following information:

  • The HS code of the product (here “080430”)

Next, click “Search measurements,” which takes you to the following page:


How to Estimate Taxes and Duties


  • Add the total value of the imported goods to the consumption tax (if applicable), plus the environmental protection rate (if applicable), and the tax rate to calculate the amount of customs duty.
  • VAT is calculated by multiplying the total cost of the imported good (including import tax) by the applicable VAT rate.
  • Simply multiply the product's value by the applicable SCT rate to calculate the special consumption tax.
  • Simply multiplying the quantity of taxable commodities by the EPR rate yields the environmental protection tax.
  • Finally, to determine all applicable taxes for importing into Malaysia, simply perform the following calculation: VAT, any applicable TCS, and import taxes are added to the EPT (if applicable).

DocShipper does it impose any obligations?

Payment cannot be included in your regular obligations to us. To demonstrate this, we will return the data provided by Malaysian Customs. Only expenses related to the creation of a regulatory information document are eligible for an indulgence. DocShipper will be in charge of obtaining these customs leniency fees because we will be creating the necessary paperwork for you. The customs fees will be collected by the government.



Customs contact

What paperwork is necessary for shipping goods between Malaysia and the UK?

Documents proving compliance (CE standard)

The certificate of origin attests to the country of origin of the transported commodities. The nation of production, which should not be confused with the place of origin of the items, is identified in this document. This is necessary for international trade.

Authentication of Origin

No matter if you are going to the UK or Malaysia, you must have the original invoice in order to clear your items through customs. Check to see if the amount on the packing list matches the amount on the original invoice.

Certificate of origin Malaysia

Bill of Lading

The bill of lading, which is a proof of transportation document, attests to the delivery of the specified goods by the exporter. The bill of lading is another legal document that must be considered. It also provides all the information required to handle the freight and properly invoice it.

Bill of lading-DocShipper

Packing List

Shippers create a “packing list” for each supply chain participant. Every air and sea freight shipment must be accompanied by this formal document, which contains all the information about the product(s) and packaging that are included in each shipment.

Additional DocShipper Services


Warehousing and storage

If you have an emergency, a setback, or anything else that may prevent your relocation, a warehousing service may be beneficial to you. For example, if you need to leave Malaysia for a few days before your products arrive in France, you can store them in our warehouse.

Visit our dedicated page: Warehousing.


service -emballage

Packaging and repackaging

Boxes are the most common type of packing. If the cardboard is of high quality, it may come in a variety of sizes and be quite sturdy. If you're on a tight budget, pack wisely. Choose strong packaging for valuable and long-lasting items.

DocShipper can handle all of your packing requirements. Our technical experts can pack anything you need. Certain things have odd proportions, don't they? Packing will be completed for you! You can't pack because you don't have any packing supplies. They will pack your belongings for you!

Visit our dedicated page: packing services.


Cargo Insurance

The cost of insurance is affected by the type of vehicle being insured, the product's concept, and the insurance provider. To represent any damage, the pronounced value can be increased by up to 20% regardless of the equipment. The advocate mentions the item's value in addition to the primary transportation expenses.

Visit our dedicated page: insurance services.


service de Demenagement

Relocating and moving personal effects

Are you serious about visiting Malaysia? When you go on vacation, you may need to bring a lot of bags or souvenirs. Whether you are in Malaysia, the UK, or anywhere else in the world, professionals handle all the urgent, packaging, and customs inspection to ensure that everything arrives in perfect condition at your door.

Visit our dedicated page: moving assistance.

DocShipper Advise : We help you with the entire sourcing process so don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

  • Having trouble finding the appropriate product? Enjoy our sourcing services, we directly find the right suppliers for you!
  • You don't trust your supplier? Ask our experts to do quality control to guarantee the condition of your goods!
  • Do you need help with the logistics? Our international freight department supports you with door to door services!
  • You don't want to handle distribution? Our 3PL department will handle the storage, order fulfillment, and last-mile delivery!


DocShipper | Your dedicated freight forwarder in Malaysia !


Due to our attractive pricing, many customers trust our services and we thanks them. Stop overpaying the services and save money with our tailored package matching will all type of shipment, from small volume to full container, let us find the best and cost-effective solution.

Communication is important, which is why we strive to discuss in the most suitable way for you!