20 Countries Where It Takes The Least Time To Receive Imports

The airports and shipping ports of Singapore are some of the busiest, yet most efficient, on earth.
The airports and shipping ports of Singapore are some of the busiest, yet most efficient, on earth.

The global express industry plays a critical role in facilitating global economy. Improving competitiveness in company operations and sales, speedy imports allow companies to maximize efficiency. A deciding factor for companies that want the best possible access to the global market, facilitating trade, delivery of time-sensitive goods, the global express industry is growing rapidly. Speed-to-market is vital for perishable goods, and company reputations can be undermined if their deliveries fail to arrive on time. The speed with which a company can move an item through customs is critical to economic success. A country may chose to import products that do not exist in the country, cannot be produced fast enough to meet market needs, or can be produced cheaper abroad.

Countries Where It Takes The Least Time To Receive Imports


Fifty years ago, Singapore was an undeveloped city-state. Today, it is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Though Singapore lacks resources, thanks to globalization and free trade, it has rapidly risen to become a global commerce powerhouse. Today, port Singapore handles more cargo tonnage than Hong Kong, surpassed only by the Port of Shanghai.

It is a common misconception that importing goods is less beneficial to the economy than export. Certainly export is a key component of Singapore’s economic success, however, their massive import industry also serves to increase national prosperity. Expanded economic and trade activity creates jobs, supporting trade liberalization and potential business productivity.

With such an impact in the shipping world, it is no wonder that Singapore’s speed of import is the fastest in the world, with an average total of four days to receive and import goods. This surpasses every other country in the world, including the United States of America and Hong Kong, clear consumerist competitors, with an average time of five days to complete imports. Comparing this to other powerhouse countries, such as South Korea and the United Arab Emirates (seven days), Singapore’s ability to process imports is almost surreal. With an unstoppable access to raw material, it is no wonder Singapore is a growing global commerce hub. Singapore is the 3rd-largest financial center in the world, and the only Asian country to be rated AAA from all major credit card ranking agencies. 90% of citizens own their own homes, and the country has one of the world’s highest per capita incomes.


With a high focus on Asian markets, it may come as a surprise that the runner-up in import speed time is humble Denmark, with an average import speed of five days. While Denmark may not be at the top of international news for their trade domination, they boast the second lowest poverty rate in the OECD, which includes significant countries such as the United States of America and Germany.

The Danish economy benefits from its regulatory efficiency. With open-market policies encouraging trade flexibility, Denmark is a very competitive European market. Danish efficiency ranks as one of the highest in the world, and they have one of the world’s most open economies.


After a severe economic recession in 2013, Cyprus lifted all capital controls. While Cyprus struggles in other areas, this small country has seen notable successes in the areas of trade and business freedom.

Government Corruption and Trade Efficiency

The highest ranking countries for import speed have lower issues with government corruption. With less red tape to interfere with imports flowing in and out of a country, it is no wonder that the world’s fastest import speed has led to such economic success for countries such as Singapore. Efficiency is a symptom of the country’s lack of hurdles to stand in the way of free market success.

20 Countries Where It Takes The Least Time To Receive Imports

RankCountry Time to Import in calendar days
1Singapore 4 days
2Denmark 5 days
3Cyprus 5 days
4Estonia 5 days
5Hong Kong 5 days
6United States 5 days
7Netherlands 6 days
8Sweden 6 days
9United Kingdom 6 days
10Germany 7 days
11South Korea 7 days
12Finland 7 days
13Norway 7 days
14United Arab Emirates 7 days
15Luxembourg 7 days
16Belgium 8 days
17Australia 8 days
18Malaysia 8 days
19Switzerland 8 days
20Barbados 8 days

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