Connecting the United Kingdom
with the world

Our dedicated in-house team of over 850 experts are ready to help connect you and your cargo to the rest of the world.

Headquartered in Ipswich, Suffolk with regional offices in London 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.

Operating from 11 UK ports across the UK, complemented by an extensive European feeder network, our shipping solutions integrate seamlessly with our market-leading landside network of dedicated road and rail services. Helping to move your cargo closer to its final destination.

  • Experts internes

  • Offre intermodale vaste (route, rail)

  • Couverture mondiale

  • Assistance au dédouanement

  • Solutions de bout en bout


Supply Chain Confidence at Every Stage

To scale up your global trade, you need to leverage local solutions. Whether you're shipping hazardous, temperature-controlled, project or general goods, our team of local experts are on hand to guide you through a choice of tailored solutions, designed to optimise and streamline your supply chain operations in the United Kingdom. 
Shipping Solutions
Inland Transport Solutions
Customs Clearance
Warehousing & Storage
Smart Containers
Liquid Cargo
Cargo Insurance
Extended Protection

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Navigating Local Shipping Requirements

Find out about the specific regulations, rules and up-to-date procedures that need to be followed when shipping out of the United Kingdom. These requirements are crucial for ensuring compliance with local laws, customs, and industry standards associated with maritime transportation.

Export Contact Details

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

General enquiries | +44 (0)1473 954477
Make, cancel or amend a booking  | +44 (0)1473 954667
Book a container to quay
Reefer customer service | +44 (0)1473 954482
Customs clearance  | +44 (0) 1473 954518 
Solas / VGM | +44 (0) 1473 954484

Hazardous Cargo

When you have completed loading of your Export Hazardous cargo please send us a copy of the completed DGN. Please note, 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 misdeclared 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 

What to include in your VGM instructions
The following items are mandatory and must be included on all VGM instructions:

  • Booking or Bill of Lading number
  • VGM weight (cargo weight + container weight)
  • Authorised person’s signatory (submitter of the VGM who may be authorised to act on behalf of shippers) 
  • Responsible party name

How to submit your VGM instructions 

  • Directly into the port systems (Destin8 / CNS)
  • myMSC
  • EDI (via INTTRA; GT NEXUS; Cargo Smart)

Deadlines for sending your VGM instructions 
To avoid additional weighing charges from the port, please submit your VGM declaration to the port authorities before their cut off, 24 hours prior to vessel arrival. If you require MSC to arrange for the terminal to weight the container(s) on your behalf, we require this 48 hours prior to the ETA of the vessel. 

Contact information 
For more details, please contact or call our office: +44 (0)1473 954484     

Prohibited Cargo

It is illegal to ship the following items out of the UK: 
  • Military cargo, weapons, munitions, illegal drugs/ narcotics
  • Used refrigerators without valid de-gassing certificate Southampton - Containers with Flexi bags installed are not permitted via this port

Please note:

  • Any used cars for export must provide chassis number / VIN and registration
  • Used tyres are subject to management approval

Shipping Instruction Cut-offs

Following Brexit, 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 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 are as follows

  • Weekend arrivals: Instructions due by 12:00PM on the Friday (week prior)
  • Monday arrivals: Instructions due by 16:00PM on the Friday (week prior) 
  • USA, Canada, China, Japan and South Africa: Instructions due at least 36 hours (excluding weekend hours) before vessel arrival at the port of loading
  • Please note, late instructions (received after cut-offs) 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 must be received 24 hours prior to the vessel departure to avoid correction fees. For vessels departing at the weekend/Monday morning, amendments are required by 1200hrs on the Friday before.

    Please note, failure to comply with the above may result in a correction fee of $60 USD

    Additional Information
    We aim to process instructions / amendment(s) and return a draft bill within 24 hours (excluding weekends). Destination charges will be registered 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.

    Ipswich: | 01473 277777
    Ipswich: | 01473 277777

    How to Find Cut-Offs on myMSC

    Cut-offs can also be found on our e-business platform or at

    1. Navigate in the menu on the left to Schedules & Cut-offs
    2. Click on 'By Booking' if you want to retrieve the information for a specific booking or click on 'By Port' if you want to retrieve the information for a particular port pair

    Navigating Local Shipping Requirements

    Find out about the specific regulations, rules and up-to-date procedures that need to be followed when shipping to the United Kingdom. These requirements are crucial for ensuring compliance with local laws, customs, and industry standards associated with maritime transportation.

    Import Contact Details 

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

    General enquiries | +44 (0)1473 277777
    Delivery bookings / | +44 (0)1473 277777
    Merchant haulage release  |  +44 (0)1473 954498
    Empty restitution (Felixstowe) |  +44 (0)1473 673903
    Empty restitution (all other ports) |  +44 (0)1473 277772
    Reefer customer service | +44 (0)1473 954482
    Customs clearance | +44 (0) 1473 954549

    Merchant Owned Haulage Releases

    To help our team action your request as efficiently as possible for you, please see our full MOH release instructions regarding time frames and important information to include.

    Merchant Owned Haulage (MOH) release requests
    Please use the dedicated Merchant Haulage Release email address: or call +44 (0)1473 954498, and a member of staff will be more than happy to assist you. 

    Merchant Owned Haulage (MOH) 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 or +44 (0)1394 673903
  • For other ports of arrival, please email (Monday to Friday 0800-1800). For assistance with all other ports and deports, please call +44 (0)1473 27772

  •  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
    • For Felixstowe arrivals please email (Monday to Friday 0700-1800). For assistance with Felixstowe returns, please call or +44 (0)1394 673903

    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).

    Prohibited Cargo

    Not all goods can be shipped – some are prohibited, whilst others need licences. Please visit GOV.UK for a full list of cargo that can be imported into the UK, or contact 

    Your Delivery, Your Way

    Explore our import delivery options now!

    Whether you have specific preferences or unique business requirements, our dedicated UK team go above and beyond to accommodate your import haulage needs, ensuring a seamless experience for you. To make your delivery booking via email please contact either / 
    or call +44 (0)1473 277777 and a member of our team will be happy to assist you. 

    Please refresh your browser regularly to ensure you are viewing our up-to-date availability.

    Bridging Careers, Oceans & Communities

    Working with MSC UK

    At MSC, people are the heart of our business. We are not only dedicated to recruiting the right people into the right roles, but also to providing the training and support our teams need to progress their careers, in line with their own goals and aspirations. 

    Diversity is the key to our success: our workforce is made up of a range of nationalities and several generations. We nurture an open-minded and culturally diverse environment for our employees and we strongly believe in equal opportunities.

    When you work for MSC, you are part of a team that is focused on making a positive impact in the world – from keeping global trade flowing, to delivering sustainable solutions and protecting
    our seas.

    Explore our vacancies

    Decarbonising Logistics

    Connecting MSC UK with the rest of the world comes with a responsibility that goes beyond simply transporting cargo. 

    At MSC, we are equally as passionate about our heritage as we are our future. This commitment drives our promotion of a sustainable business model to ensure we continue to deliver our market leading services for our customers, whilst building resilient supply chains, drawing on our solid foundations and creating value for our people, customers, communities and the planet. 

    As part of our journey to Net Zero, we are making substantial investments in the energy efficiency of our assets, exploration of low and zero-carbon fuels, and spearheading supply chain decarbonisation through MSC's Biofuel solution.

    Watch our latest sustainability video

    Donations & Sponsorship

    At MSC, we believe in the power of community and strive to make a positive impact locally. Through donations and sponsorship, we actively contribute to enhancing the local area we call home.


    Our commitment extends to establishing long-term relationships with communities and charities nationwide, through collaborative activities, equipment provision, and donating essential funds. Our employees voted for St Elizabeth's Hospice, Alzheimer's Society, and the Stroke Association as our 2024 Gold, Silver and Bronze Charity's of the Year.


    MSC UK recognises the importance of supporting individuals and clubs integral to our local community. We are particularly proud to partner with Ipswich Town Football Club, supporting all age groups in in the girls’ academy as well as training and bench wear for the men’s first team.

    Learn more

    Additional Resources

    Quick Reference Guides

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

    Shipping Solutions

    Digital & Enhanced Solutions

    View our latest brochure for more information on what it's like to work with MSC UK!

    Gender Pay Gap

    What is the Gender Pay Gap?
    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.' From 2017 any organisation that has 250 or more employees must publish and report specific figures about their gender pay gap in the UK.

    For more information, we invite you to read MSC UK's Gender Pay Gap documents:
    Gender Pay Gap Report 2023-2024
    Gender Pay Gap Report 2022-2023
    Gender Pay Gap Report 2021-2022
    Gender Pay Gap Report 2020-2021

    UK Tax Strategy

    Our UK tax strategy supports the way we do business, our culture, and how we conduct our own affairs. It underpins our purpose and influences the decisions we make. Read more here: MSC UK Tax Strategy

    Keeping Your Supply Chain Moving