Poland Shipping Costs Expenses

Poland Shipping Companies And Costs

The costs of shipping and the factors that you must consider when shipping from Poland.

Ship By Sea For Lowest Costs
Ship By Sea For Lowest Costs

For a detailed discussion of shipping small orders from Poland, go to Shipping Small Orders From Poland

The information below is an in depth discussion of what is involved shipping.

How To Use Incoterms and Get A Shipping Cost.


International shippers use the Incoterms to define the rights and responsibilities of the shippers and sellers. Before you do any shipping it is important that you be familiar with some basic Incoterms. You may find information about them on the Internet. A convenient brief of the Incoterms is at Inco Terms.

Delivery Point

Price lists from Polish factories generally state that delivery shall be EXWORKS, FACTORY. So, according to the Incoterms, delivery of your order is completed by the factory when the factory has your goods at the factory ready for you to pick them up.

So it is then up to you to arrange for pickup at the factory and delivery to your destination point. If you are shipping by sea, you have to have a truck take them to the port, get them through export controls, on the ship, to the port of entry, through customs controls and on a truck to the destination point.

Air and ground shipment require you to go through similar processes.

Cost of Shipping

Cost of shipping can only be determined after the factory has many details. Such costs depend on, among other things, the final destination, the method of shipment, weight, volume, type product, and amount of business that you do with the shipper.

So you cannot determine the costs of shipping until you have a definite list of products to ship from a certain factory to a determined destination.


It is best to insure your shipment. Always be sure to ask your shipping agent for a quotation on insurance. And we recommend that you buy insurance.

Methods of Shipment

Shipping from Poland can be done by sea, air and land.

Shipment by Land

Shipment by truck is by negotiated rate. To a great degree, your costs depend on the destination country. And it can be deceiving. A shipment from Poland to the United Kingdom is very expensive because there is very little shipped from the United Kingdom to Poland. So you pay for an empty truck coming back to Europe.

To get shipping rates for shipment by truck it is best to use a trucker that has an active business with your destination country.

Shipment by Air

Shipment by Air is just plain expensive. If you do not have to, don’t. It is so expensive that we will not spend much time on it here. If you have to use air, be ready to pay a high price.

Shipment by Sea

Shipment by sea is most economical. If you can use this option, do so.

Polish Post delivers packages up to 20 kg. by sea. You get delivery at your door. The rates are calculated for various countries and continents and are calculated on weight of the parcel. They are standard, fixed and published.

You can also ship goods on a pallet. For larger orders, this is the preferred option. But for smaller orders, it is extremely expensive.

Let’s look at an example. Assume John orders $300 worth of salt lamps to be delivered in the Midwest of the United States.

Typically an order that size would fill about � of a pallet. To ship that load by Polish Post, the shipping bill would be about $275. To ship that load on the pallet by sea freight the cost would probably be over $400. Why? Because the shipping companies charge a minimum fee, regardless of weight.

Now if John were to order $1,200 worth of salt lamps, he would be sure to ship that on a pallet. And guess what! Once again, the shipping cost would be about $400.

And sometimes, depending on ports of entry, if the order was increased to $1,500 the shipping cost would DROP under $400. It would cost less to ship more.

Why? Because the rates drop sharply after you go beyond the minimums. For some destination ports you actually pay less for more.

The Important Cost

The important cost to you is the landed cost. By that I mean the cost to get the product on your shelf.

And that allows you to determine your sales price. Shipping cost is just a factor in the equation.

Again let’s look at another example. Salt lamps sell in Poland, wholesale, for just under $4. Shipping small quantities of them to the USA by Polish post costs about $5 per lamp. So if you ship by Polish post, the shipping cost is more than the cost of the lamp.

But that is really not a problem. The lamps retail in the United States for about $39. So a lamp that costs about $9 sells for $39. That is not a bad profit margin.

Yes, it is important to get low shipping costs. Every savings that you make on shipping costs goes directly into your pocket as profit. But the determining factor as to whether you sell the product line is not the shipping cost. It is the landed cost and your profit margin based on that landed cost.

Shipping Cost Per Unit.

The important shipping number is the shipping cost per unit.

If you pay $400 for shipping for $1,500 worth of salt lamps, your shipping cost is $0.27 per each dollar of salt lamps.

If you pay $400 for shipping for $275 worth of salt lamps, your shipping cost is $1,45 for each dollar of salt lamps.

In other words, the buyer of $1,500 of salt lamps makes $1.18 more for each dollar of salt lamps that the buyer sells.

So cut your costs and order more.

Another Way To Save Shipping Costs

When shipping by sea, your costs depend, to a great degree, on whom you know.

That is right. Some people get better rates than others. And if you know them, you get better rates.

Shipping agents, middlemen and factory shipping departments can be your best friends and save you a lot of money. Don’t be afraid of them. Use them. They stay in business because experienced international buyers know that they provide value. Do what the international buyers do – use shipping agents, middlemen and factory shipping departments.

They are very important sources of business to shipping companies. So they get special rates. And those who only come to shipping companies occasionally pay higher rates. Sometimes much higher! It is not uncommon to find as much as a 30% difference in the rate that an individual is quoted versus the rate quoted to a manufacturers representative.

So if you are buying, it is best to get a quote from the manufacturers representative, middleman or shipping agent.

How Can You Be Sure?

There is only one way to know what the shipping cost will be. Submit a Request For Quotation (RFQ) for the products that you want.

When you submit an RFQ the manufacturer is able to determine the weight and volume of your order. Then your agent and the marketing department can calculate the exact costs and give you delivery dates. And when you have the volume and weight, you can adjust your order to get the lowest cost per unit.

Don’t Guess.

The process is simple. This is all that you have to do.

Submit an RFQ.

Look at the landed cost.

Look at what your sales price must be. Can you make a profit?

Adjust your order to minimize the shipping cost per unit.

How does that affect your profit?

Is it worth ordering more?

If so, RFQ for more and check again.

Closing Note

Shipping is part of the cost. It is not going to go away.

With time you will be able to predict the costs as a percentage of your order. For example, when we consider shipping crystal back to the United States, we assume the shipping cost will be 30% of the order cost. We know the numbers based on experience. You will get that experience.

But to start, you must get enough quotations to develop your own thumb rules and factor the shipping costs into your selling prices.

Remember, if the product that you want to buy is being sold in your country, someone else is living with the shipping cost and continues to sell the product because they are making a profit. And if they can make a profit, so can you.


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