Germany is China’s biggest trading partner and exporter in Europe.
Each year, millions of euros worth of goods are exchanged between the two countries.
However, shipping goods from China to Germany is no easy task.
There are much procedures, confusing terminologies, and complex processes involved.
If you are looking for a complete handy guide that covers all the details of shipping from China to Germany, this article is for you.
What are the Shipping options from China to Germany?
There are 4 shipping options available from China to Germany:
Express Air freight
also known as expedited shipping, this method is ideal if you want your goods delivered at the fastest time. Express Air freight service providers include DHL, FedEx, TNT, and UPS. As the Express cost is high, so normally it is suitable for small-volume cargo like documents, samples, and high-value goods, the door-to-door Express air shipping time is around 1-5 work days, and shipping cost varies on the cargo type, seasons, and Express Courier selected.
Standard Air freight
This is the second fast shipping way compared with sea and train freight, this shipment is perfect for medium shipments that require fast but not urgent delivery like Express air, transit time is around 2-10 work days, the cost depended on the shipping volume, selected airlines and shipping routes.
China to Europe Railway freight is a new and popular shipping solution from 2010, it optimizes the existing railway network and goes to Europe countries via Kazakhstan and Russia, the rail transport hubs in China include Xi’an, Hei Fei, Chong Qing, and the destination station in Germany included Hamburg, Munich, Duisburg. When importing from China, you can always opt for door-to-door train shipping directly to your address in Germany.
It is the cheapest and slowest shipping solution, and suitable for bulk quantities shipment without urgency, It has both FCL (full container load) and LCL (less than container load) for sea freight shipping to Germany, transit takes around 28-50 days depending on port conditions and seasons.
FCL sea freight to Germany
Full Container Load (FCL) means that your cargo will occupy one single container without having to share it with others.
Though designed for large shipments, your cargo does not necessarily need to fill the entire container space.
The idea is to secure the entire container exclusively for your cargo.
If your goal is to accommodate your cargo in one full container, FCL is the way to go.
Also, if safety is a concern, it’s best to hire an entire container for yourself if you can afford it.
FCL freight shipping reduces the risk of loss or damage to your cargo.
LCL sea freight to Germany
Less than Container Load (LCL) means that your cargo will share a container with other consignees or shippers.
This mode is ideal for smaller freights that do not require the full space capacity of an entire container.
LCL is convenient for both small parcels and large cargo.
If your cargo is small and requires less urgency, LCL is the suitable option.
As you see each shipping option has its advantages and disadvantages, you can choose any of the shipping options according to your shipping requirement, if you are still not sure which shipping option is the best for you, pls contact Winsky Freight for more help.
How much is the Shipping cost from China to Germany?
The cost of shipping from China to Germany is not stable, normally it depends on many factors such as the type of goods, weight, volume, destination, and shipping season, so it is better to ask the China freight forwarder to get the exact cost for you checking.
Express freight rates from China to Germany:
Generally speaking, Express freight is the most expensive and fast one shipping option to Germany, Express Air is usually carried out by air couriers which allows you to quickly ship packages up to 300kg per shipment, check below express delivery per kilogram dated 25-March, 2023 from China to Germany for your information.
Express Air freight per kilogram:
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Air freight rates from China to Germany:
Generally speaking, standard air freight is with port-to-port service, and the cost is more economic if you have a larger shipment over 300KG, the minimum charge weight is 45KG for standard air freight service, also the exact shipping cost differs via shipping route.
The direct shipping route to Germany cost higher, and indirect shipping route cost much less with longer delivery time, check below Standard air freight per kilogram dated 28-March, 2023 from China to Germany for your information.
Standard Air freight per kilogram
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Railway shipping cost from China to Germany:
Compared with Express Air shipping and Standard Air freight, Railway transport is much cheaper and more economical, This is the ideal method if you are shipping bulk goods but don’t want to wait too long like sea freight.
Check below railway freight per kilogram dated 30-March, 2023 from China to Germany for your information, pls note train freight per KG cost including import customs clearance and duties, so only need you to receive goods at your doorstep.
Railway freight per KG
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Sea freight rates from China to Germany:
Sea freight is the cheapest and slowest shipping method, it has LCL and FCL sea freight services, and the cost varies according to the factors like shipping weight and volume, cargo type, and shipping route, LCL shipping naturally costs less than FCL as you do not have to rent an entire container for yourself.
It is useful to mention that destination port charges are a big part of LCL shipping costs, not many people are aware of how much these can take up their shipping charges, so require your shipping supplier to offer the destination port fee when they offer you the sea freight cost, check below sea freight per CBM dated 28-March, 2023 from China to Germany for your information.
Sea freight per CBM
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Hope you have got a general idea about the shipping cost from China to Germany, if you are looking for the best shipping rates from China to Germany, pls feel free to contact us for the best shipping quotes.
How long is the Shipping time from china to Germany?
The shipping time from China to Germany varies by shipping options, port of origin, and port of destination, below is the reference shipping time for your information.
Express Shipping, it takes about 1-5 work days for door-to-door delivery, the speed of Express Air is fast but the cost is also the highest.
Standard air freight, takes about 3-10 working days, depending on the volume of the cargo, and the shipping route you choose, Shipping via direct air freight is faster and can take only two days. Shipping via in-direct air freight could take as long as a week, If you opt for door-to-door shipping, the duration will take 6-14 days.
Train freight, transit takes about 16 days for the train freight from the start station to the destination station, rail transit times take around 28-40 days for door-to-door shipping including container loading & unloading, import customs clearance and duties, and last-mile delivery.
Sea freight, LCL is considerably cheaper than FCL but takes more time to ship your cargo. LCL freights take anywhere from 28 days to over 40 days from port to port.
If you go for door-to-door shipping, the duration can take 42-47 days.
What are the Shipping port from China to Germany?
There are many shipping ports from China to Germany, and many shipping routes you can choose from, below are the basic shipping port between China and Germany.
China Shipping ports:
Germany Shipping ports:
Port of Bremen
Port of Cologne
There are some other ports between China and Germany, you can choose the departure and arrival port depending on your factory location and your delivery address.
What are the Import custom and duties from china to Germany?
When you import goods from China to Germany, you will need to pay customs duty and VAT before your goods are released into Germany.
Factors that Affect Customs Duties
The tax amount that you are obligated to pay depends upon the code specified for your goods under the Integrated Tariff of the European Communities (TARIC).
As a general rule of thumb, the three factors that affect customs duties when shipping from China to Germany are:
- Product Classification
- The commercial value of your shipped goods
- The exact origin of your shipped goods
For accurate import duty calculations of, refer to the TARIC Consultation Database
For some products, the tax rate imposed could be as low as 0% such as those on furniture.
It could also be as high as 17% such as those on fabric and clothing items.
If you are shipping industrial items, be prepared to be subjected to a 19% import sales tax.
What Documents are Required for import from China to Germany?
All shippers are required to fill out certain documents before departure from China.
These documents must be presented upon arrival to Germany as they are required for customs clearance.
Commercial Invoice: A commercial invoice usually includes details such as product descriptions, quantity, transaction value, and an invoice number for reference.
Packing List: It details specific information about your freight such as packaging method, dimensions, weight, and content.
Bill of Lading: Issued by the shipping carrier or its agent, it proves that the goods have been received by the shipping carrier, and the goods are to be delivered to the specified destination.
What Items are Prohibited or Restricted to Enter Germany?
As an importer, it is your responsibility to be aware of any import restrictions enforced by your country.
Germany, much like any other country prohibits certain items or goods from entering its borders.
Here is a list of the prohibited items that you should avoid shipping from China to Germany:
- Medicinal products and certain nutritional supplements are considered to be medication by German regulations.
- Explosives – 1.3 and 1.4S excluding UN0349, UN0384, and UN0481
- Dangerous or Fighting Dog Breeds
- Illegally acquired historical or cultural references, works of art, or other cultural assets
- Counterfeit or pirated goods
- Goods bearing false origin statements
- Goods infringing a copyright or trademark
- Live plants and animals
- Products that contain certain animal or plant substances
How to track your shipment from China to Germany?
You can track shipments from China to Germany in the following ways:
- Shipping forwarder website: If you are shipping goods by shipping forwarder, you can input the tracking numbers provided by the shipping forwarder, and log on to the tracking website that the freight forwarder provided to you, or you can simply ask the shipping forwarder to update the shipping status to you.
- Shipping by Express Company, if you ship by the Express solution, you can check the good’s status from the Express company’s official website like DHL, UPS, or FedEx, and enter the tracking number you have got, the whole tracking information can be available then.
- Third-party freight tracking sites, like 17-track, provide LL-IN-ONE PACKAGE TRACKING, Support 1500+ carriers and 120+ airlines worldwide, you can input the shipping bill number to find detail shipping information.
When is the Best Time to Ship From China to Germany?
Freight charges are heavily influenced by season when importing from China.
During seasonal peaks, shipping costs are much higher as demand overtakes supply in the market.
When there is intense demand regardless of lean services, shipping companies are likely to increase their costs.
When scheduling your shipment, remember to take into account these events that can drastically affect freight rates, so try to avoid shipping from China during the below times.
- Chinese New Year: Normally Chinese New Year takes place from late January to early February.
- Chinese national holiday, this holiday starts every October 1st and continues for an entire week.
- Dragon Boat Festival, The traditional Chinese holiday may also not be the best time to schedule your shipments. This holiday takes place every June and the exact dates follow the 5th day of the 5th month in the lunar calendar.
An early booking is crucial if you don’t want to get caught up with the surges during peak seasons.
Why Should You Use a Freight Forwarder?
Importing goods from China brings great opportunities for your business.
But importing goods from a different country can be overwhelming, especially for new businesses.
If you want to save time, and money, and avoid costly mistakes, it is more efficient to hire a freight forwarder.
Experienced freight forwarders have the necessary knowledge and expertise to ensure that your shipments are moved efficiently to their destination.
Hiring a professional forwarder allows peace of mind and saves you time so you can focus on more essential aspects of your business.
How to Choose the Best freight forwarder from China to Germany?
Before are 5 main factors to finding the best freight forwarder from China to Germany.
1. Shipping Experience, how many years they have been in this field? Are they familiar with the shipping document, and import customs clearance?
2. Scope of service, can they provide full door-to-door service from the origin of China to your Germany destination with different shipping options?
3. Shipping price, whether they can provide competitive shipping costs? It is one of the important factors to choose the best shipping forwarder, it can cut off your import cost to the minimum.
4. Customize shipping service, can they provide customize services like consolidation, repacking, insurance, and customs clearance support?
5. Reputation and customer review, you can check the company histories, and customer feedback to get an Impression of the company.
Ultimately, it’s important to choose a freight forwarder who can provide tailored solutions to meet your specific needs, while ensuring high-quality service and timely communication throughout the entire shipping process.
Shipping from China to Germany may not be easy especially if you decide to go solo.
There are many technical terms and procedural processes that you need to learn so you can ship efficiently and avoid mistakes.
You can streamline and simplify your shipping by hiring a professional freight forwarder.
Here at Winsky Freight, we offer the best solutions to your shipping needs.
We’ll get your cargo shipping from China to Germany faster, safer, and cheaper.
Contact us today to get a free quote for your new shipment from China to Germany.