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Shipping from China to Germany | Air, Sea &Rail freight [2022]

Chinese exports to Germany totalled almost $80 billion in 2021, representing the sixth-largest market for Chinese exports and Europe’s premier importer.

This page will give you and your company vital information and a clear guide to importing from China either by ship or air. If you’re looking to improve your logistics, this page will assist you in gaining valuable insight into the import-export process. 

Door to Door Freight from China to Germany

 

Professional freight forwarders provide DDP shipping from China to Germany, using LCL shipment by air freight, rail freight, sea shipping or truck freight, competitive price, timely & safety. Door to door delivery to Amazon FBA warehouse, Business address and Private address, 10-15 days for air freight, 20-25 days for truck freight

 

About DDP shipping from China to Germany

Our DDP shipping service has four options for routes: DDP Air Freight, DDP Rail Freight, DDP Sea shipping and DDP Truck Freight. We send from our warehouse in Shenzhen China, or alternatively you can authorise us to collect goods from your factory. 

 

DDP air freight from China to Germany

  • First Leg: Air freight
  • Shipping Type: LCL shipping by default
  • Shipping Time: 10-15 days
  • Export Declaration: The declaring exporter could be your factory. 
  • VAT & EORI: We use the VAT and EORI of our business partners as importers for import declarations.
  • Destination: Business and Private addresses, or Amazon FBA warehouse.
  •  

DDP rail freight from China to Germany

  • First Leg: Rail freight
  • Shipping Type: LCL shipping by default
  • Shipping Time: 30-35 days
  • Export Declaration: If the total weight is more than 100kg, your factory could declare themselves as the exporter.
  • VAT & EORI: We use the VAT and EORI of our business partners as importers for import declarations.
  • Destination: Business and Private addresses, or Amazon FBA warehouse.
  • rail freight china germany

DDP sea shipping from China to Germany

  • First Leg: Sea shipping
  • Shipping Type: LCL shipping by default
  • Shipping Time: 30-35 days
  • Export Declaration: Your factory could be the declaring  exporter.
  • VAT & EORI: We use the VAT and EORI of our business partners as importers for import declarations.
  • Destination: Business and Private addresses, or Amazon FBA warehouse.

DDP truck freight from China to Germany

  • First Leg: Truck freight
  • Shipping Type: LCL shipping by default
  • Shipping Time: 20-25 days
  • Export Declaration: Your factory could be the exporter to declare.
  • VAT & EORI: We use the VAT and EORI of our business partners as importers for import declarations.
  • Destination: Business and Private addresses, or Amazon FBA warehouse.

Item Rules

  • We don’t accept items that break IP rights. 
  • We don’t accept illegal and controlled substances and items such as drugs, cigaretes, alcohol and arms.
  • Packaging and SCU labels must have “Made in China” marks and on the outer carton. 
  • Outer packaging/cartons must be sturdy and new and not have misleading labels or info.
  • Outer cartons should be sealed with clear tape, not coloured tapes.
  • The maximum length should be 120cm at the longest side and 75cm at the second longest side. Maximum size in CM: (Width + Height)*2 + Length<300.

Weight Prices

  • The minimum weight charge is 10KG for Air, 14kg for Rail, 12KG for Sea and 12KG for Truck. 
  • Waybill minimum charges are 11KG for Air, 13 Kg for Rail, 21KG for Sea and 21 KG for Truck.
  • The maximum weight for one carton is 30kg.

Amazon FBA Items Requirements

  • Each item needs to have a unique FNSKU label.
  • Two Amazon shipment labels must be attached to each outer carton, one on the front and one on the back.using clear tape or stickers.

Final Delivery

  • Door to door delivery.
  • By UPS or DHL.

 

What are the Different Methods for Freight shipping from China to Germany?

 Port to PortDoor to Door
Sea Freight (FCL)25-38 days41-45 days
Sea Freight (LCL)28-41 days42-47 days
Air Freight5-8 days6-13 days
Express*––1-4 days

* Express freight is always door to door

The two most popular ways to transfer goods from China to Germany are by sea or by air.

Land freight, such as via railway, is possible however and becoming more popular. 

Your choice depends on your needs. 

For imports working to a tight deadline and in small quantities, then air freight makes sense.

If, however, you are importing large quantities and don’t mind waiting a while, then LCL or FCL ocean freight makes sense, and is an economical choice too.

Ocean Freight From China to Germany

sea freight container china germany

Ocean transport involves transport via containers, and importers can choose whether to import by renting a container solely for their use (FCL) or sharing container space with others (LCL).

These containers can also be transported from the port onto railways, making them multimodal methods of freight transportation. 

Less than Container Load (LCL): This is suitable for small quantities of goods and when air freight is too expensive.

Because the quantity is less than a container, it will cost less than full container shipping. 

However, there might be a small additional time to wait LCL delivery involves the consolidation (packing) and deconsolidation (unpack) of your goods from the rest of the container items prior to departure and after arrival.

 

LCL

Port in GermanyShipping from ShanghaiShipping from ShenzhenShipping from Ningbo
Hamburg616 USD609 USD575 USD
Bremerhaven631 USD624 USD589 USD
Bremen630 USD624 USD589 USD

 

The origin port for this particular example is Shenzen, China, and the destination port is Hamburg, Germany:

Port OriginPort
Port DestinationHamburg, Germany

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIlTa50rhvI

PortItemCO LoaderDirect CNEE
HamburgLCLEUR 17.00/CBM OR EUR 32/TON: MIN: EUR 51.00EUR 20.00/CBM OR EUR 35/TON: MIN: EUR 55.00
Pier CHXEUR 66 TON (LESS 20 KGS PER PACKAGE)EUR 66 TON (LESS 20 KGS PER PACKAGE)
EUR 53 TON (20 KGS PER PACKAGE AND MORE)EUR 53 TON (20 KGS PER PACKAGE AND MORE)
Bonded Transport Docs EUR 55/setEUR 11 CBM (5 CBM PER PACKAGE AND MORE)EUR 11 CBM (5 CBM PER PACKAGE AND MORE)
EUR 62.00 – MinimumEUR 62.00 – Minimum
GSC (or ISPS)EUR 9 WM (MIN 9 W/M)EUR 9 WM (MIN 9 W/M)
Anti-Terror Compliance FeeEUR 3.96 PER SHIPMENTEUR 3.96 PER SHIPMENT
Customs Entry FeeEUR 8.75/SETEUR 8.75/SET
D/O FeeEUR 55.00 BLEUR 55.00 BL
Currency Emergence FactorEUR 28/CBM (SUBJECT TO FLUCTUATION OF CURRENCY)EUR 33/CBM (SUBJECT TO FLUCTUATION OF CURRENCY)
CISFUSD 75.00 PER CBMUSD 80.00 PER CBM
VAT  
HandleUSD 15/CBMUSD 15/CBM
T1 (For HAM)EUR 65.00 BLEUR 65.00 BL 

Full Container Load (FCL): As the name suggests, this method of shipping uses the full shipping container and is thus suitable for loads that are at least that quantity. 

If your individual quantities are less than the container, you could LCL or employ a strategy of bundling multiple orders into one container. 

Flat-rate pricing makes FCL shipping a good deal.

 

FCL TRANSIT TIME 

Port of LoadingPort of ArriveTransmit Time
ShanghaiHamburg28
ShenzhenHamburg24
NingboHamburg29
QingdaoHamburg30
TianjinHamburg31
XiamenHamburg30

 

FCL PRICE

Container TypeContainer VolumeMaximum WeightCost in USD
20’33.2 cubic meters24 tons$3,000
40’67.7 cubic meters30.48 tons$5,000
40’ HQ76.3 cubic meters26 tons$5,000

When you’re choosing between LCL and FCL, some points to consider are:

  • Are you ok with your goods sharing a container with other goods from a different company?
  • How many pallets is your order? If it’s over 6 pallets, you should compare the prices of FCL and LCL, as getting a full container may be a better deal, even if you can’t fill it completely.
  • How important is time? FCL will be a bit quicker.
  • Can your business create 12 pallets of orders, enough to fill a container in a timeframe that makes sense to ship them together?
  • Do you wish to seal the container throughout the transportation process? FCL is your choice. 

 

Air Freight from China to Germany

 

This table shows air freight costs in USD of 200KG general cargo for you reference dated on 15th, Feburary, 2021.

Destination in GermanyShipping from ShanghaiShipping from ShenzhenShipping from GuangzhouShipping from Ningbo
Berlin$982$956$968$994
Hamburg$1,043$1,076$1128$1,022
Bremen$1,007$1,058$1092$985
Bremerhaven$1,011$1,063$1142$993
Frankfurt$1175$1,246$1283$1272

If time is important, then air freight is the speediest option.

Be warned, however, that it comes with a higher price tag.

Air freight can also benefit from tighter security and is useful for when you’re shipping to and from places that are far from coastlines. 

 

EXPRESS

To give you a clear view of how much it costs, have a look at this sample price list:

Package WeightPackage DimensionsPrice in USD per kg
Up to 2 kilogramsUp to 35 x 24 x 3 cm$8.00/kg
Up to 2 kilogramsUp to L+B+H = 90 cm with no side longer than 60 cm$6.00/kg
Up to 5 kilogramsUp to 120 x 60 x 60 cm$5.00/kg
10 kilogramsUp to 120 x 60 x 60 cm$4.58/kg
20 kilogramsUp to 120 x 60 x 60 cm$4.10/kg
31.5 kilogramsUp to 120 x 60 x 60 cm$4.00/kg

 

DHL

CountryCharge WeightDHL Cost from ChinaQuote Valid Date
Germany25-35KGUS$6.9/KG07th-24th, July 2020
Germany36-65KG US$6.5/KG07th-24th, July 2020
Germany66-75KGUS$6.5/KG07th-24th, July 2020
Germany76-285KGUS$6.4/KG07th-24th, July 2020

 

Rail Freight from China to Germany

Railway shipping is an option and it is getting faster.

The service from Xi’an in China to Hamburg and Neuss in Germany is run by DHL global forwarding and Xi’an International Inland Port Investment and Development Group Co. Ltd. as well as China Railway, Belintertrans, RTSB and UTLC ERA. Xi’an is an important hub of Chinese industry and is known for its electronics, automobiles and bio-pharmaceuticals and cutting edge computing such as A.I., among other products.

Special economic zones means that foreign investment is attracted to working in the Greater Xi’an region.

The train travels across the continent, through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Lithuania, Kaliningrad Oblast, and Poland before finally reaching Germany in 10-12 days.

Previously it had taken 17 days, but managed to speed the journey by travelling through the Mamonovo-Braniewo border in Russia and Poland. 

Customers who are importing through the Xi’an-Germany railway, will be able to track their goods via GPS based on iSee software. This allows you to follow your goods and provide excellent customer service based on real time insights.

 

What’s the Cost of Shipping Freight From China to Germany?

The cost of shipping varies quite regularly according to a lot of factors. You’ll need to get a quote from a forwarder to be accurate in your assessment of cost. Some of the factors that affect the price are:

  • Freight Demand
  • Fuel price
  • Container availability
  • Capacity of transport 
  • Your freight’s size and type.

There are a few things to keep in mind when assessing cost and which method you want to use to ship:

  • Small shipments of 100kg or less don’t cost that much more to send by Air than by Sea.
  • However, as the weight rises, the cost differential between air and sea widens, and shipping by sea is a lot more cost effective, even though it takes longer. 
  • With flat rates per container, that apply regardless of weight, FCL is an economical deal for large shipping as t
  • LCL prices are based on weight and volume and so can be a cheap option for smaller quantities.
  • With tiny shipments of less than 35kg, international courier services are the best option, as freight forwarders often do not take consignments this small. 

 

How Long Does the Shipping Process From China to Germany Take?


Air freights will normally take at least five days while Sea shipping will be around six weeks or more.

 

How Long Does It Take to Ship Cargo by Sea From China to Germany?

The exact time for shipping will depend on ports of embarkment and destination. See below for a rough estimate of port-to-port shipping times:

  • Shanghai to Hamburg – 37 days LCL, 40 days FCL
  • Shanghai to Bremerhaven – 46 days FCL
  • Shantou to Hamburg – 40 days LCL
  • Qingdao to Hamburg – 45 days LCL, 46 days FCL
  • Tianjin to Hamburg – 48 days LCL, 42 days FCL
  • Ningbo to Hamburg – 41 days FCL
  • Zhuhai to Hamburg – 20 days FCL

 

How Long Does It Take to Ship Cargo by Air From China to Germany?

Air Freight normally takes anywhere from 5 to 11 days, which includes not only the flight, but also the time spent in consolidation and customs.

As with sea shipping, the specific places can make a difference. Consignments from Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen, or Beijing to Frankfurt take around 5 days while transport from Qingdao to Frankfurt take around 7 days, and air freight from Chengdu takes 11 days. 

 

Customs Clearance in China and Germany

Customs is a complicated business and many importers choose to let their freight forwarding company handle the customs process for a fee. However, you’ll still need to supply your forwarding agent with the necessary documents most importantly:

  1. Commercial Invoice
  2. Packing List
  3. Certificate of Origin
  4. Letter of Credit or other payment terms (depending on the contract)
  5. Bill of Lading for ocean freight or Airway Bill for air freight (provided by your freight forwarder)

Remember to also check with your freight forwarder if your goods require a special permit or licence to import. 

 

Ocean Cargo Port Guide

 

Cargo Ports of Origin in China

 

FUZHOU

Port Facts:

  • SouthEast Chinese Port on the Minjiang River 
  • Deep-water port.
  • More than 100 berths
  • In 2020, two new berths, for vessels above the 10,000 tonnes class, were completed in 2020
  • One of the ten most busiest ports in mainland China
  • Close proximity to Taiwan

Owned By: Fuzhou Port Group Corporation Ltd.

Annual Container Volume: >3 million TEUs.

UN/LOCODE: CNFOC.

 

GUANGZHOU

Port Facts:

  • West of the Pearl River Delta, the only deep-water container port
  • Offers container services among others
  • Located where the Dongjiang, Xijiang, and Beijiang Rivers meet.
  • Serving 119 International container connections 

Owned By: Guangzhou Port Group Company Ltd.

Annual Container Volume: >21.9 million TEUs.

UN/LOCODE: CNXSA.

 

WUHAN

Port Facts:

  • 244 berths
  • Located by the Hanjiang and Yangtze Rivers
  • 15 distinct areas for specialisation in different cargo
  • Handles 80% of Hubei provinces containers

Owned By: Wuhan Port Group Company Ltd.

Annual Container Volume: > 500,000 TEUs.

UN/LOCODE: CNWUH.

 

DALIAN

Port Facts:

  • Northern Port but ice-free
  • Multipurpose and busiest port in Northeast China
  • Located at entrance of Bohai Bay
  • Close to Liaoning Free Trade Zone

Owned By: Dalian Port Corporation Ltd.

Annual Container Volume: >9.7 million TEUs.

UN/LOCODE: CNDLC.

 

SHANTOU

Port Facts:

  • Accessible by the South China Sea
  • Close to the important region of Guangdong
  • Plans for expansion 

Owned By: Shantou Port Affairs Bureau.

Annual Container Volume: >1.25 million TEUs.

UN/LOCODE: CNSWA.

 

OTHER PORTS IN CHINA

There are many other ports that will be able to handle your freight goods from China to Germany.

  • Shenzhen
  • Shanghai
  • Lianyungang
  • Qinzhou
  • Xiamen
  • Zhongshan
  • Zhuhai
  • Qingdao
  • Tianjin

 

Cargo Ports of Arrival in Germany

 

BREMERHAVEN

Port Facts:

  • Four container Terminals
  • Capacity for over seven million TEUS at terminal four
  • Largest closed container-handling area in the world
  • The fourth busiest container port in Europe. 

Owned By: Free Hanseatic City of Bremen.

Annual Container Volume: >5 million TEUs.

UN/LOCODE: DEBRV.

 

HAMBURG

Port Facts:

  • Germany’s largest ocean port. 
  • Third busiest container port in Europe. 
  • 19th busiest container port in the world.
  • 4 container terminals and 22 berths and 40 cranes
  • Over 8 million TEUs in annual container throughput

Owned By: Hamburg Port Authority.

Annual Container Volume: >8.5 million TEUs.

UN/LOCODE: DEHAM.

 

Flying Your Freight: Airport Guide

 

Airports of Origin in China

 

SHENZHEN

Airport Facts:

  • 1.2 million tonnes of cargo throughput in 2018
  • 24th busiest cargo airport in the world.

Germany Airports Served: Cologne, Frankfurt.

Shenzhen to Germany Cargo-Only Operators: UPS Airlines.

IATA CODE: SZX.

 

GUANGZHOU

Airport Facts:

  • China’s 3rd biggest cargo airport and 17th largest in the world
  • Three runways
  • Connects to Guangdong province

Germany Airports Served: Frankfurt, Cologne.

Guangzhou to Germany Cargo-Only Operators: Lufthansa Cargo, FedEx Express.

IATA CODE: CAN.

 

CHENGDU

Airport Facts:

  • China’s 5th busiest cargo airport
  • Connects by road and rail to Sichuan province

Germany Airports Served: Frankfurt.

Chengdu to Germany Cargo-Only Operators: Lufthansa Cargo.

IATA CODE: CTU.

 

QINGDAO

Airport Facts:

  • Situated in Shandong Province
  • Region will be building a new airport: Qingdao Jiaodong

Germany Airports Served: Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Stuttgart.

Qingdao to Germany Cargo-Only Operators: N/A.

IATA CODE: TAO.

 

SHANGHAI-PUDONG

Airport Facts:

  • Connects well to most commercial hubs and cities in China by road and rail
  • Global top three cargo throughput airport. 

Germany Airports Served: Leipzig/Halle, Frankfurt, Munich.

Shanghai to Germany cargo-only operators: Air China Cargo, China Cargo Airlines, China Southern Cargo, DHL, Lufthansa Cargo, Suparna Airlines,

IATA CODE: PVG.

 

OTHER AIRPORTS IN CHINA

Other Chinese airports that offer freight services to Germany  are Zhengzhou, Beijing Capital, Wuhan, and Xiamen.

 

Airports of Arrival in Germany

 

FRANKFURT

Airport Facts:

  • Germany’s busiest airport and the fourth busiest airport in Europe
  • Handles 2 million tonnes of freight annually
  • The busiest airport in Germany and the fourth-busiest airport in Europe
  • Four runways and its ‘Cargo City’ has dedicated zones for animal and perishable goods. 
  • Home of Lufthansa airlines

Connected Airports in China: Beijing-Capital, Shanghai-Pudong, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Shenzhen, Qingdao, Nanjing, Ningbo, Tianjin.

China to Frankfurt Cargo-Only Operators: Air China Cargo, China Cargo Airlines, China Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Lufthansa Cargo.

IATA CODE: FRA.

 

NUREMBERG

Airport Facts:

  • Bavaria’s second busiest airport
  • One runway with places for 37 planes
  • Capacity of 13,000sqm
  • Has a single runway and parking positions for 37 aircraft

Directly connected Airports in China: None.

China to Nuremberg Cargo-Only Operators: None.

IATA Code: NUE.

 

MUNICH

Airport Facts:

  • Handles 400,000 tonnes of freight annually.
  • The annual freight throughput is close to 400,000 tonnes.
  • 84,000sqm of cargo space
  • Major international hub

Connected Airports in China: Qingdao, Shanghai.

China to Munich Cargo-Only Operators: None.

IATA Code: MUC.

 

LEIPZIG HALLE

Airport Facts:

  • Located in Schkeuditz, Saxony
  • Second largest cargo handler in Germany, processing 1.2 million tonnes annually

Connected Airports in China: Shanghai.

China to Leipzig Halle Cargo-Only Operators: None.

IATA Code: LEJ.

 

HAMBURG

Airport Facts:

  • Close to Hamburg City.
  • Connects to China via Qingdao

Connected Airports in China: Qingdao.

China to Hamburg Cargo-Only Operators: None.

IATA Code: HAM.

Stuttgart, Berlin-Tegel and Dusseldorf airports may also be able to connect your freight to and from China. 

 

Why Ship Freight From China to Germany With SINO SHIPPING?

SINO SHIPPING has the resources and ability to help you get your products safely and cost effectively from China to Germany.

Our knowledgeable staff and team know exactly how to get your goods from A to B, and we can support you at each step of the journey.

When you ship with SINO SHIPPING you get

  • Fast online quotes for air and ocean freight
  • Online booking, payment, and tracking for your shipments
  • A customer support team on hand 24/7 to give you help when you need it
  • Air and ocean shipping capabilities across hundreds of tradelanes
  • Integrated compliance software to help you meet regulatory requirements
  • Dedicated customs clearance teams to help you avoid issues and border delays
  • A single platform to manage all elements of your international shipping

 

What do I need to know about customs, duties and taxes when shipping from China to Germany?

 

You need to research these issues before importing as there may be significant costs. Goods arriving at port will be subject to paperwork checks and calculation of any duties owed. Failure to pay means goods might not be released. 

We at SINO SHIPPING also have a brokerage service to handle customs clearance, to make things smoother for you.

 

Do I need insurance to ship from China to Germany?

Insurance is a good idea to protect yourself in cases of damage of lost goods. Your freight forwarder should be able to do this for you or you can do it with a third party. Insurance rates are around 0.3-0.5% of the total Commercial Invoice Value.

 

What paperwork do I need to ship from China to Germany?

When shipping freight from China to Germany, make sure to get all your paperwork, such as the Commercial Invoice and Bill of Lading, in order. You’ll need

  1. Commercial invoice
  2. Packing List
  3. Certificate of Origin
  4. Letter of Credit
  5. Bill of Lading. 

 

How do I ship from China to an Amazon FBA Warehouse in Germany?

Make sure you choose the right forwarder and take into account issues of time. 

 

Top tips for reducing time and cost of Shipping from China to Germany. 

  • The longest you book in advance, the less stressful things will be if there are delays. Also, if you’re shipping by sea, it will take a significantly longer time to arrive, so booking in advance is always recommended
  • Off-peak season shipping can save you money 
  • If time is money, then make sure your customs documents are ready to go when needed. 
  • Be aware of your HS Codes. Custom fees can eat into your spending so be aware of what you need to budget for.
  • Play the market when it comes to providers. Seek out the best deals and quotes. 
  • When you’re getting quotes be clear of the services you are asking for. A service that takes your consignment to the port is different to one that takes it to your door. Be clear on the terms of an agreement.

 

FAQ for Shipping from China to Germany

 

How much to ship a container from China to Germany?

Costs always vary but a rough estimate for a container at peak season would be $1,450 for a 40 foot container. 

What’s the cheapest time of month to book from China to Germany?

Mid to late in the month can be a good time to save money as Carriers often try to fill up their supply on vessels, before they introduce General Rate Increases at the start of the month.