Connecting the UK with the world

Our dedicated UK team and loyal customers have been pillars of our proud UK heritage, dating back over 40 years since 1977.  Today we are the UK’s largest container shipping, intermodal, and logistics provider, connecting UK businesses to the world.

Dedicated UK Team

What makes MSC stand out in our industry is our team of over 650 people. Operating from four regional offices in Ipswich, London, Liverpool and Glasgow, supported by our national team across the UK, we’re committed to delivering customer excellence and finding the best solution for your cargo.

Why MSC?

By choosing MSC, you gain access to 12 ports across the UK, the widest range offered by any shipping line, providing 25 weekly deep-sea calls. This is complemented by an extensive European feeder network that integrates seamlessly with our market-leading landside network of dedicated road and rail services. This not only helps us move your cargo closer to its final destination, it also saves on average, over 19 million road miles a year, delivering you increased flexibility, reduced carbon emissions and improved reliability and security for your cargo’s supply chain.

Awards for MSC UK:

12 time winner of “Container Line of the Year” at the Global Freight Awards 

Sea Freight Operator of the year 2019 and 2023 FTA Multimodal Awards


Merchant Haulage Release

MSC can manage your cargo movements from end-to-end, offering UK-wide coverage via road, rail and sea through dedicated support and unrivalled fleet capacity.

 To help our team action your MHR request as efficiently as possible for you, please read the below guidance regarding timeframes and important information to include. 

Merchant Own Haulage Release requests

Please use the dedicated Merchant Haulage Release telephone number 0203 780 7679. 

Please use this number if both: 

To request a new Merchant Haulage Release, please continue to do so by email to the following email address ensuring that your email is submitted within 5 days of the vessel arrival date. 

Please be reminded that if you are unsure of your vessel arrival date, please visit and click on “Track a shipment”. 

 Full Merchant Haulage Release Instructions:

Click here

 Import Merchant Owned Haulage Restitution Note 

 Please take the following action to arrange restitution of empty containers 

  • For Felixstowe arrivals please email  (Monday to Friday 0700-1800). For assistance with Felixstowe returns, please call 01394 673902 or 01394 673903
  • For all other ports of arrival email  (Monday to Friday 0800-1800). For assistance with all other ports and deports, please call 01473 277772

Customs Clearance

We offer Customs clearance services across our UK Port network, including a comprehensive clearance solution for trailers coming into the UK through a network of Ports including: Felixstowe, Liverpool, Bristol, Thamesport, Harwich, Immingham, Killingholme, Hull, Teesport, Tilbury, Purfleet, Southampton, Dover (Non-inventory), Newhaven (Non-inventory), Folkestone (Non-inventory). 

Each item of cargo you are importing or exporting must satisfy official Customs formalities and regulations in order to proceed across international borders. 

Export Customs Clearance 

When completing your Export Customs Clearance please send us an email with your UCR number or copy of Entry to 

Alternatively, we can also offer to complete Export Customs Clearance for your Export Cargo on your behalf loading with MSC UK. Just complete our NES Instructions form (available on request), send this to and let us take care of the rest! 

Please note all information must be sent before our advertised deadlines, which can be found on myMSC

Import Customs Clearance 

To get started, simply email us with a copy of your invoice, packing list, Bill of Lading, and a completed Direct Representation Letter on your company headed paper. Leave the rest to us!

If you are unsure regarding the classification of your goods, further guidance is available from HMRC on 0300 200 3700, or via email.

Alternatively, you can visit the official website or contact us for more details and to speak to one of our experts. 

Export Hazardous Cargo

Export Hazardous Cargo

When you have completed loading of your Export Hazardous cargo please send us a copy of the completed DGN, it MUST be signed in boxes 15 & 17 with the container number clearly in Box 16. You can send it on email to with your booking reference and planned export vessel as the subject. 

Please make sure your container has had the correct placards applied to it as per IMDG and ADR to ensure acceptance into the terminal of export.  

VGM Receiving Policy in the UK

What is VGM? 

Verified Gross Mass or VGM refers to the exact, verified weight of a packed container. For safety reasons, vessel operators can only load a container if its weight has been verified. 

Government approval status 

In the UK the regulating body, Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA), will allow for +/- 5% or 500kg whichever is greater. The MCA have the right to impose a fine or penalty for any mis-declared VGM information. 

 If you intend on obtaining your VGM by using Method 2, you will need approval from the MCA. Further information about application can be found here

 Some UK ports will not allow containers in to the terminal without a VGM. If there is no VGM at the in gate then the port shall automatically weigh the container on your behalf and charge accordingly 

What to include in your VGM instructions

The following items are mandatory and must be on all VGM instructions:
- Booking or Bill of Lading number 
- Container number 
- VGM + unit 
- Authorised person’s signatory (submitter of the VGM who may be authorized to act on behalf of shippers 
- Responsible party Name 

How to submit your VGM instructions 

- EDI (via INTTRA; GT NEXUS; Cargo Smart) 
- Email to 

Deadlines for sending your VGM instructions 

To avoid additional weighing charges from the port, please can you submit your VGM to MSC UK prior to the containers arrival at the port. 

If you are wishing to use the ports weighing facility, please be aware that we shall require the VGM 48 hours prior to the vessels scheduled arrival. 

Admin Fees and costs 

There will be no additional administration fees from MSC UK for receiving your VGM via myMSC or EDI (INTTRA or GT NEXUS). For other methods please contact your local MSC UK office. 


If you are unable to obtain your own VGM, all of the UK ports where MSC has a service can support you with weighing facilities. If this is of interest, you will be required to register and arrange direct. 

Contact information 

For more details, please contact or call our office: 01473 277 972 

Prohibited Cargo

Prohibited Cargo

It is illegal to bring the following items into or out of the UK. 


  •  All items of animal origin must have accurate Health Certificates.


  • No military cargo, weapons, munitions, illegal drugs/ narcotics. 
  • Any used cars for export must provide chassis number / VIN and registration. 
  • Used tyres subject to management approval. 
  • No used refrigerators without valid de-gassing certificate Southampton - Containers with Flexi bags installed are not permitted via this port. 

Gender Pay Gap & Tax Strategy

From 2017, any organisation that has 250 or more employees must publish and report specific figures about their gender pay gap in UK.

The gender pay gap is the difference between the average earnings of men and women, expressed relative to men’s earnings. For example, ‘women earn 15% less than men per hour’.

For more information, we invite you to read MSC UK Gender Pay Gap document.

Gender Pay Gap Report 2022-2023

Gender Pay Gap Report 2021-2022

Gender Pay Gap Report 2020-2021

Export Contact Details

We've separated out the most frequently requested contact groups from within the Export department.

Commercial contacts by trade

Export Canada & Mexico
Export USA & Caribbean
Baltic Short Sea
Export Australia, New Zealand, South Africa & Canary Islands 

Export Latin America & West Africa
Export Far East
IPAK Quotation Requests
Export North & West Mediterranean
Export Reefer / +44 (0)1473 954520
Red Sea/East Africa/Indian Ocean Quotation Requests

General Enquiries 

Haulage availability                                                                    | +44 (0)1473 954667
Vessel cut-offs                                                                   | +44 (0)1473 954667


Booking Contacts

Haulage availability  | +44 (0)1473 954667
Make, Cancel or Amend a booking | +44 (0)1473 954667
Find out where to collect my empty container  | +44 (0)1473 954667
Book a container to quay
Send a dangerous goods note (DGN)  | +44 (0)1473 954484
Send my booking evolution (sanction) form  | +44 (0)1473 954667
Send my UCR | +44 (0)1473 954667


Booking Contacts

Reefer Customer Service                                                            | +44 (0)1473 954482
Commodities                                                            |  +44 (0)1473 954483
Export Cargo Management                                                           | +44 (0)1473 954484
SOLAS / VGM                                                           | +44 (0)1473 954484
 Export Customs  | +44 (0) 1473 954518 

Import Contact Details

We've separated out the most frequently requested contact groups from within the Import department.

Commercial contacts by trade

Import Canary Islands, East & West Mediterranean

Import Baltic, Biscay & Portugal 

Import Africa and Americas 

Import IPAK 

Import North Med  

Import Far East

Import Reefer / +44 (0)1473 954520

Agent to Agent Releases      

Import Customer Care / +44 (0)1473 277854


Billing Enquiries

Haulage availability / +44 (0)1473 277777

Make a haulage delivery booking (next day)         +44 (0)1473 277777

Cancel a delivery booking (next day)                        +44 (0)1473 277777

Amend a delivery booking (next day)                      +44 (0)1473 277777

Make a haulage delivery booking (non next day) / 

Cancel a delivery booking (non next day) /

Amend a delivery booking (non next day) /

Merchant Haulage Contacts

Arrange a reefer merchant haulage release 

Arrange a merchant haulage release 


Restitution of your empty container - Felixstowe    / +44 (0)1394 673903

Restitution of your empty container - All other ports      / +44 (0)1473 277772


Customs Clearance & AEO

To arrange or discuss Import Customs clearance for your cargo, please contact the Import Customs Clearance Team on +44 (0)1473 954549 or email 

  • If you have an enquiry relating to Customs compliance or MSC UK's Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status and its benefits to you, please email

You can find a list of Short sea ports here.

Quick Reference Guides

Here you will find a selection of handy quick reference guides to some of our services.

Import Merchant Owned Haulage Restitution Note

Please take the following action to arrange restitution of empty containers

- For Felixstowe arrivals please email  (Monday to Friday 0700-1800). For assistance with Felixstowe returns, please call 01394 673903

- For all other ports of arrival email  (Monday to Friday 0800-1800). For assistance with all other ports and deports, please call 01473 277772
Please remember:
All drivers must wear high visibility clothing and safety footwear when reporting to depots/terminals
Any driver without correct attire could be turned away
When a unit is due for return to a quay, at any port, please note pre-booking will be deleted 1 full business working day after confirmation from MSC of required restitution location. MSC’s confirmation of a required restitution location is only valid for 1 full business working day, after which agent/haulier must make a new request.

Condition and location of returned containers:

We would like to remind customers that containers should be returned to MSC in a clean condition, free of all packing, dunnage or traces of cargo (as per terms and conditions of the Bill of Lading / Contract of Carriage).

Customers are liable for any costs incurred for the cleaning of containers along with any associated penalties or fines (such as Customs fines or, in some cases, shipping costs back to the UK).

Please note that any container not returned to the nominated depot/quay location may be subject to additional charges.

The Booking Party requesting  the Import Merchant Haulage Release  agrees that in exchange for MSC allowing them to undertake 'Merchant Haulage' they will conform to the Bill of Lading conditions and in particular the clause which states that 'all containers shall be the joint and several responsibility of the shipper and the consignee and shall be redelivered clean and undamaged to a place nominated by the carrier, failing which the shipper and the consignee shall be jointly and severally liable for all the costs of replacement, transportation and repair including legal costs. Where the booking party requesting the Import Merchant Haulage Release Order is acting as agent or haulier on behalf of the shipper or consignee they are obliged to make them aware of these conditions.

Our agreement to issue release or undertake haulage / export is on the understanding that the goods are either: fully duty / excise paid or have legitimately left a duty suspension regime and that the instructions you provide to MSC or actions you take fully comply with Customs regulations that ensure they legitimately travel to the correct destination (eg: Customs / excise warehouse) with appropriate guarantees in place and will not be party to an unauthorised diversion in respect to Customs regulations.

Final Shipping Instructions

As of 1st January 2021, we are required to submit advance European Security Manifests. To comply with this requirement, we will need to be in possession of the final shipping instructions (for the bill of lading/ manifest) in advance of the vessel’s arrival.

This requirement will affect all services departing the UK, therefore we feel it is important we provide you with a guide to avoid the deadline being missed, which could result in a delay to the exportation of your shipment.  

Documentation (Final Shipping Instruction) Cut Off Guide  

Shipping instructions will be required 6 hours prior to the vessel’s arrival at the port of loading. Exceptions as follows: 

For vessels arriving at the weekend – instructions are required by 1200hrs on the Friday.  
Vessels arriving Monday – instructions are required latest Friday (week prior) 1600hrs. 
For USA, Canada, China, Japan and South Africa – we will require your instructions at least 36 hours (excluding weekend hours) prior to the vessel’s arrival at the port of loading. For vessels arriving on a Monday or Tuesday, please send in by 1200hrs on the previous Friday. 
Please note, late Instructions (after cut-off) are at risk of short shipment and additional costs.

Shipping Instruction Amendments 

For USA, Canada, China, Japan and South Africa – amendments need to be received 36 hours (excluding weekend hours) prior to the vessel arrival at the port of loading, to avoid Correction Fees.
For all other destinations – amendments need to be received 24 hours prior to the vessel departure, to avoid Correction Fees.  For vessels departing at the weekend/Monday AM, amendments are required by 1200hrs on the Friday before. 
Please note, failure to comply with the above may risk a correction fee of 60 USD.

Additional Information

Our aim is to input your shipping instructions / process your amendment(s) and return a new draft bill to you – within 24 hours (excluding weekends).
Destination charges – we will register these as collect unless your instructions clearly state prepaid. The only exception will be for countries that do not accept collect charges.
Contact Information

If you have any further questions, please contact our local team using the information below.

For documentation amendments:

Ipswich: | 01473 277777
Liverpool: | 0151 237 2650
Glasgow: Please return directly to the person who issued your draft
For general documentation enquires (not related to inputting/amending a BOL):

Ipswich: | 01473 277777
Liverpool: | 0151 237 2650

Cargo Loading

MSC's cargo handling facilities are strategically located to ensure the efficient and timely loading of goods for export and import. We also provide cargo consolidation, loading and re-loading, packing, unpacking and cross-loading services from containers to trucks.
Contact Us

Container Weighing (VGM)

All MSC local offices provide certified scales to record and verify container weight (verified gross mass or VGM) in line with Safety of Lives at Sea (SOLAS) regulations. VGM instructions are mandatory for all shipments for safety reasons and vessel operators can only load a container if its weight has been appropriately verified. Contact your local MSC team for more information and support. 
Contact Us

Liquid Cargo

Streamline your liquid supply chain with MSC's complete fit & supply flexi-bag solution for door-to-door deliveries. Flexi-bags allow you to fill dry containers with up to 24,000 litres of liquid or non-hazardous chemicals, offering a safe, cost-effective and eco-friendly alternative to traditional liquid transportation methods, such as ISO tank containers.
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