JSL Services

Commercial Freight Shipments

Now well into the company's 18th year, International Freight Forwarder John Shirley Ltd has arranged over 23,000 consignments, serving large commerical organisations, charities, small businesses, and individuals.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to know more.

Full LoadsOne of the trucks used by John Shirley Ltd for full loads between Montenegro and the United Kingdom

John Shirley Ltd provides driver-accompanied full load freight services on most routes to and from Western and Eastern Europe. Hazardous cargo trucks are readily available. Refrigerated lorries are also available for most routes.

If you require road-trains, ordinary straight-frames, megas, containers or in some cases, road-tankers, we have long-standing relationships with trusted hauliers and other partners. For our specialist areas, we work with partners who have years of experience.

Out of Gauge Shipments: John Shirley are able to organise the transport of oversized and overweight cargo including the provision of escorts and all necessary permits.

Part Loads and Groupage

On the bulk of routes we can provide an on-wheels collection service for smaller consignments of a few hundred kilos or a few tonnes. Generally we can arrange 24hour or 48 hour collection once we have recieved your instuctions.

Whilst we generally collect 'on-wheels', John Shirley can also offer a groupage service to certain destinations - if you are shipping euro or UK pallets, there is greater flexibility. Some countries do not have have sufficient trade to warrant dedicated groupage services to and from the UK, but can be served by part load services.

For onward destinations in the Balkans, we can transport part loads via our hubs in Slovenia or Serbia 

Express and Courrier


We have many 7.5 tonne, luton and sprinter vans at out disposal to offer you an efficient and prompt delivery. These operate on most of the routes we offer, contact us to find out more.

Humanitarian Aid Shipments

John Shirley Ltd is well-known for its freight forwarding work carried out in Bosnia and Kosovo throughout the wars with Serbia. Our experience working in those theatres of war and the rebuilding that took place afterwards is second to none.

We have arranged all kinds of aid shipments, including hundreds of tonnes of flour, cooking oil, pasta, baby boxes, water purification equipment, clothing, bailey bridges, transformers, cables, forest tractors, stone crushers, pipes and so on.

The company is ready, willing and able to provide assistance to aid and reconstruction bodies anywhere in the Balkans. It has to hand tried and trusted hauliers who are not only experienced at working in difficult conditions but also ones used to carrying quantities of aid construction materials.

Where we ship Humanitarian Aid

Although consignments of Humanitarian occur throughout the year, they culminate during the winter months around Christmas. This is when John Shirley Ltd arranges the shipment of thousands of shoe boxes of gifts from Britain and Ireland to around the world. Working for the charity organisations who consolidate and load the shoe boxes at different points throughout the UK and Ireland, articulated lorries with trailers and containers are sent in on a 'just on time' basis to be loaded by volunteers.

Many of the trucks will then deliver the humanitarian aid gifts directly to destinations in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Bosnia, Kosovo and many other countries in the Balkans and Eastern Europe. As for the containers, they are taken by lorry to the relevant port and transferred to container ship for worldwide destinations in particular parts of Africa.

Humanitarian Aid consignments


 John Shirley who has specialist Balkans knowledge, as freight forwarders John Shirley Ltd has nurtured relationships with hauliers and shipping lines offering reliability allied to competitive rates.

For consignments destined for Eastern Europe and the Balkans, where John Shirley Ltd frequently exports and imports commercial goods, empty trucks can easily be sourced with short notice which offer lower rates than those sent empty from the country of origin.



Personal and Household Effects

We are happy to arrange shipment of your personal effects especially if you are able to have them packed before loading. For destinations in our specialist areas, this can often turn out to be much cheaper than an international removals company. 

For personal effects movements between the United Kingdom (or other countries) and Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia or elsewhere, the larger the shipment, the more cost effective it can be for you. 

Do contact us if you are unsure whether this is the right option for you. If you are an international removals company, we are also happy to be part of the removals process. 

Email europe@johnshirleyltd.co.uk

Things to remember when shipping your personal effects...


  • We strongly advise that goods be substantially boxed / crated where possible in order to provide adequate protection. 
  • The trucks will not be carrying a supply of protective materials such as corrugated cardboard, blankets, bubble-wrap etc. with which to give added protection to your goods. 
  • We strongly advise that you arrange all-risks insurance for your goods. This is something we can arrange.  
  • The trucks we use are designed for transportation of commercial cargo, not household goods so are not equipped with tail-lift. This means that your goods will have to be man-handled onto the floor of the trailer. 
  • The drivers usually have only 8 or 10 securing straps so you might need to provide additional straps.
  • Our truck will be at least 16.5 metres (54 feet) long so must have adequate access and  parking facility at both loading / offloading points, and good turning facilities, if necessary. 
  • You will need to put in place a team (family, friends etc) to load / unload as the truck will only be supplied with 1 driver, whose job is just to drive and to ensure that cargo is stowed safely and securely, although in most cases drivers will offer some level of assistance.  
If you need any further information or need any advice about our recommendations, please do not hesitate to contact us...

What we can offer you:

  • Our quotation allows for all-day loading and unloading. 
  • Generally, 3 or 4 days notice would be sufficient for us to put a truck in place for you. 
  • We can help you in organising the necessary documentation for customs authorities.
  • Our service to and from our specialist areas can often be more competitive than removals companies.

Documentation and Customs Requirements for non-EU Destinations

You will need to complete an inventory showing the number of cartons / packages / loose items and the contents.

An example inventory is set out here.

You must sign and date the inventory and give the original plus 1 or 2 copies to the driver, and e-mail a copy to us so that we can complete the customs export declaration (a requirement for all shipments leaving the EU for a non-EU destination).


All goods being exported from the EU to a non-EU state are subject to customs control.  Any quotation we have provided to you includes the preparation of the export customs declaration and presentation to UK authorities.

It is your responsibility to nominate an agent to clear your goods through customs in the country of destination, for which you will be charged directly by the agent, together with any charges for duties / taxes which may be deemed payable. We can make suggestions for agents in the destination country.

You will need to provide details and contact phone numbers of the agent before we can arrange transport.  This is for your own protection as you are generally only allowed 24 hours to clear goods and delays in customs clearance can result in demurrage accruing at up to £250 per day.

One last thing...

It must be borne in mind that if you were to utilise the services of a bona fide removals company, e.g. Pickfords, they would typically send a representative to your premises to ascertain your exact needs vis a vis space required on a truck. This is not a service we are able to offer so must rely on your estimate of the volume of goods to be shipped so that we are able to offer an accurate quotation.  If you are to an extent uncertain, veer on the safe side since excess volume will be chargeable.