When you think of overseas freight, you probably picture huge containers piled high on mammoth cargo ships.

But that’s not the be all and end all of international goods distribution. What if, for example, the volume of items you want to ship is not enough to fit in a container?

Groupage is a freight service designed for smaller shipments. It wouldn’t make sense if the only way you could send goods overseas was if you had enough to fill a container. Similarly, imagine the waste if we had lots of half and quarter full containers being sent all over the place?

Groupage works by bunching together smaller shipments from multiple suppliers so they can all be moved in one go. In the freight industry, this is called consolidation.

Because goods sent via groupage are all intended for different destinations, the big challenge for freight operators is how to get them from the port of arrival to the receiver. That’s why firms like MF Logistics that specialise in groupage usually offer an end-to-end service.

We collect goods for shipment in the UK, consolidate them for transport over the Irish Sea, and then have the land haulage expertise to move the individual consignments anywhere they need to go in Ireland.

Efficient and cost-effective

Groupage is therefore an ideal solution for smaller export and import businesses wanting to move smaller volumes of goods. In fact, it is regarded as the most efficient and cost-effective of all overseas distribution methods.

There are two reasons for this. One is the fact that, by consolidating consignments, you are saving space. By maximising the payload and getting as much on one shipment as possible, everyone benefits. There is no wasted capacity.

Second, groupage allows customers to be charged more precisely for what they are shipping, not by the container or half container. Pricing is based on a calculation of the size and weight of the packages being sent. This gives exporters more control over their shipping costs.

Groupage is also the default solution for air freight. So if you want to move goods quickly by air rather than by sea, you will likely be using groupage anyway.

But what about the risks of shipping your products with those belonging to other businesses? Doesn’t that create risks, e.g. of fragile goods being broken if heavier items move around, or food stuffs being contaminated?

Again, this is part of the skill of the groupage operator. Not only is it our job to work out  the most efficient consolidation of goods geographically (i.e. grouping by where they come from and where they are going), we also take great care in what type of goods are put together and how they are organised in transit.

Ultimately, it is our responsibility to ensure your goods arrive at their intended destination in perfect condition, and that is guaranteed in our terms of service.

Get in touch to find out more about our freight services for goods being shipped from the UK to Ireland.