One of the most interesting things about working in the import/export business is that you’ve always got new markets to explore and new products to find. If you’re planning on expanding your business with imports from a new territory next year, it can be helpful to know what other people are doing.  Despite its relatively small size, Portugal is one of the UK’s biggest trade partners. The UK is Portugal’s sixth biggest supplier. And the amount of goods imported to the UK from Portugal has almost doubled in the last decade.

So, what is the world buying from Portugal? And how can you use it to enhance your business?

Portugal’s 7 Biggest Exports

1. Vehicles.

Portugal isn’t necessarily known for its cars. But there are four major manufacturers currently producing vehicles there. These are: Toyota/Salvador Caetano, PSA Peugeot/Citroën, Mitsubishi FUSO Trucks and Volkswagen AutoEuropa. But perhaps more surprisingly, a report released in early 2019 revealed that 98% of all cars made in Europe contain parts manufactured in Portugal.

2. Electrical machinery

Portugal produces a wide range of electrical equipment. Ranging from amplifiers and air conditioning systems to thermo-mechanical engineering machinery. If you can find a niche market to export to, you could be on to something big.

3. Mineral fuels

7.1% of Portugal’s exports, totalling $4.9 billion, are made up of mineral fuels. Including crude oil. Trade in copper ore generates an average of $288 million annually. However, this isn’t a market that you can simply walk into.

4. Plastics

Plastic, plastic articles and rubber make up 5.2% of Portugal’s exports. This area is coming under scrutiny at the moment with the global waste plastic problem. But plastic is still widely needed, so it’s not time to pull away from investment just yet.

5. Knit or crochet clothing.

A few years ago, you’d look at the label inside your clothing, and it would invariably say ‘made in Bangladesh/India/China’. Today, an increasingly large amount of knitwear is coming from Portugal. The standards are high and workers rights are on a par with the UK, making a far better option for ethical importation.

6. Paper and paper items

Portugal has been one of the world’s largest paper exporters for some time now. Partly as a result of this, the country’s forests have grown by 60% in the last 100 years. Which actually makes exporting paper goods from Portugal a pretty good thing. Both economically and environmentally.

7. Shoes

You probably don’t associate shoes with Portugal, but if you look at the labels inside yours, you’ll probably find that you own at least one pair made there. The Portuguese were among the first to refine the techniques involved in the production of leather-look vegan footwear. It’s partly due to this that in the course of the last decade the country’s shoe exports have skyrocketed.

Regardless of what you’re transporting, a reliable freight forwarder is essentially for getting your goods from A to B. At Plexus Freight we’ve had years to refine our services. We pay attention to want our customers want and do everything we can to deliver it. That, combined with the fact that we already have an established depot in Portugal and can often make collections within an hour of booking, has made us one of the most popular Portugal-UK logistics operators.

If you have plans to extend your import or export business to include Portugal in the coming year, contact Plexus Freight today to see how we can help.