Shipping from China to Germany- Sea, Air and Rail freight

Germany freight guide

Honourocean freight forwarder provides professional shipping solutions with an extensive experience in international transport logistics. We are a highly knowledgeable organization that can offer a wide variety of knowledge with decades of experience. We’ll help you determine what shipping strategy is best for your company requirements. Freight forwarder can provide you with the best cheapest & highest quality services from China to Germany.

China and Germany are two of the world’s leading economic powers. Chinese exports to Germany grew nearly 80billion by 2022 and represented the sixth-largest market of Chinese exports.

As such, there is a great deal of trade between the two countries. If you are shipping freight from China to Germany, you have a few options for transportation. Sea, air, and rail freight are all viable choices depending on your needs.We will discuss every method so that you can make the best decision for your business.

Shipping from China to Germany

Air Shipping

Air freight to Germany

Door to door delivery from china to Germany

Shipping cost from China to Germany

  • When shipping by sea, there are two main transit types: FCL and LCL. FCL is when an entire container is used to ship your products, while LCL is when your products share space with other people’s products in the same container – also known as groupage. If you’re shipping large volumes and can fill a container, it makes sense to choose FCL 
  • Generally speaking, FCL is a better option if you’re shipping a large volume of goods or items that are sensitive to damage (e.g., electronics). LCL is ideal for small shipments or if you’re just getting started with importing from China. It’s also worth noting that LCL rates are calculated per cubic meter, so be sure to factor that into your decision.then LCL shipping (also known as groupage) offers a more economical way to ship smaller quantities that make up less than half of the volume of a full container

FCL container from China to Germany

FCL container, or full container load, means your goods fill an entire container, either 20’ or 40’ long. If you are shipping at a high volume, you’ll save time and money by FCL shipping. Pricing for FCL is done as a flat rate, regardless of whether or not your container is completely full.


LCL Shipping from China to Germany

LCL shipping, or less than a container load, means your goods do not fill an entire container, and will be shipped along with other boxes or pallets. Note that when you ship LCL, your goods will need to be consolidated at the origin port and deconsolidated at the destination port.

That’s why LCL shipping takes a few days longer than FCL.

Additional services for shipping from China to Germany

pick up

Pick up and delivery

We will pick up your goods in any city in China.


Honourocean provides free warehousing services for any of your goods

Shipping insurance

The Shipping insurance protects your goods all the way to any city worldwide.

custom clearance

Customs clearance

We will handle all paperwork and other details for you.

Your Best shipping from China to Germany

as best international freight forwarders  from china to Germany, Our service including:

1. Air freight from china to germany

2.cheapest LCL or FCL shipment to Germany

3.Door to door delivery from china to Germany

4.Provide customs clearance services

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Sea Freight & Container Shipping From China To Germany

Transport by sea is a very popular shipping method and is a crucial method for goods originating from China and for Germany. Ocean freight can be a better option in China.

Ocean freight will be the best deal for you if :

  • Your suppliers are located near a major Chinese port

  • Your goods are bigger than 2 CBM

  • You’re not in a hurry to receive them

Various services are available from the complete door-to-door, door-to-port or port-to-port. Your goods from factory or distributor in China can get into your hands from your e-mail address to your home. Goods sent by boat from China arrive at top German shipping port like Hamburg & Bremerhaven Wilhelmshaven.

Sea Freight FCL

FCL, or full container load, means your goods fill an entire container, either 20’ or 40’ long. If you are shipping at a high volume, you’ll save time and money by FCL shipping. Pricing for FCL is done as a flat rate, regardless of whether or not your container is completely full.

Sea Freight LCL

LCL shipping, or less than a container load, means your goods do not fill an entire container, and will be shipped along with other boxes or pallets. Note that when you ship LCL, your goods will need to be consolidated at the origin port and deconsolidated at the destination port.

That’s why LCL shipping takes a few days longer than FCL.

Special sea freight between China and Germany

To ship particular goods, you would consider other crucial factors: which determine the type of containers, the size of your shipment, etc..

Reefer container

Reefer containers are, simply put, large fridges carried by containerships to move temperature-sensitive goods such as ice-cream, meat or vegetables. Reefer containers maintain the cargo at the required temperature (usually between -30°C and +30°C) for the duration of the transit either in chilled, frozen or controlled temperature.


Roll-on/roll-off (RORO or ro-ro) ships are cargo ships designed to carry wheeled cargo, such as cars, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, trailers, and railroad cars, that are driven on and off the ship on their own wheels or using a platform vehicle, such as a self-propelled modular transporter.


An order to buy a large quantity of a good at once. This may occur at either the retail or the wholesale levels. For example, a coffee shop may make a bulk order for coffee because it needs to sell to its customers. Bulk cargoes can be interpreted as buckets, normally not packed. For goods of this type will be directly stored through the cargo holds of trucks, trains or ships.


OOG (Out of Gauge) cargo are loads which dimensions exceeding those of the container. The shipping companies charge an OOG surcharge for lost slots. After all, wherever goods protrude, no other containers can be loaded.

Major ocean cargo ports in China include: 

  • Shanghai

  • Ningbo

  • Shenzhen

Major ocean cargo ports in Germany include: 

  • Hamburg

  • Bremerhaven

  • Bremen

Air freight to Germany from China

Airfreight is the fastest form of shipping freight available. It is the best option when shipping perishable shipments or smaller orders (smaller than three pallets). For example, shipments from China can arrive in Germany in around 5-8 days by air. Additionally, air freight is safer than the ocean freight. Therefore, it comes at a high price.

Shipping Route from China to Germany Ships transporting cargo from China to Germany, in most cases, take the Atlantic route.

Air freight will be the most efficient solution if :

  • Your goods are smaller than 2 CBM and 200 kg

  • You’re in a hurry to receive/send the goods

Major air cargo ports in China include: 

  • Beijing

  • Chengdu

  • Guangzhou

  • Hong Kong

  • Shenzhen

  • Shanghai

  • Hangzhou

  • Xian

  • Xiamen

  • Qingdao

  • Wuhan

  • Tianjin

Major air cargo ports in Germany include: 

  • Frankfurt

  • Dusseldorf

  • Berlin Tegel

  • Hamburg

  • Munich

  • Coln/Bonn

  • Berlin Schonefeld

  • Stuttgart

Express shipping is an all-included service that combines logistics and transport, making it even faster than standard air freight. Door-to-door shipping via express shipping will take as little as 1-4 days. However, because of the higher costs, it is mainly recommended for small shipments, like samples.

DHL China to Germany

DHL is an express delivery service for businesses and individuals who need to send packages quickly, reliably, and cost-effectively.

It offers a range of shipping solutions including airfreight, sea freight, and road transportation. All shipments are tracked in real-time with detailed tracking information so customers can be sure their shipment is going where it needs to go.

DHL China to Germany offers a range of services such as door-to-door delivery, service pick up and drop off, customs clearance, and insurance coverage. DHL’s dedicated customer service team is available 24 hours a day for any questions or concerns customers may have about their shipment.

With its fast and reliable delivery, DHL China to Germany is the perfect choice for businesses and individuals looking to send shipments from China to Germany.

Rail freight from China to Germany

Railway transport has a possibility, but it’s growing fast. Rail is cheaper and slower than air freight but cheaper and faster than by sea to European countries including Germany.

Xin’an – China – Hamburg & Neus – Germany – DHL global freight and Xiamen International – Inland Port Investment and Development Company operate these services. Cooperative and also Beijing Railway, Belintertrans, RTSB, UTLC. Xiamen is a key hub in chinas industrial activity known as a leader in electronics, automobiles, bio-pharmaceuticals and innovative computing. Special economic zones mean foreign investors are drawn to work within the Greater Xianjiang regions.

Rail freight will be the most efficient solution if :

  • You are sending large items such as furniture or machinery.

  • The destination is located in a rural area with limited airfreight options.

  • You need to combine multiple shipments.

  • You want to avoid expensive customs fees and paperwork.

Major rail hubs in China include: 

  • Chongqing

  • HeFei

  • Xi’an

Major rail hubs in Germany include: 

  • Duisburg

  • Hamburg

  • Munich

Door to Door shipping – Importation from China to Germany

When it comes to DDP shipping, there are 2 main options for you: DDP air shipping and DDP sea shipping.

With your authorization, we can pick up the goods from your factory to transport them to the sea port or airport.

Otherwise, the goods you wish to ship need to be sent to our warehouses in Shenzhen, Guangzhou…

Door-to-door quotes include the above, as well as:

  • Customs clearance fees. If customs require a further inspection of your cargo, additional fees may be charged.

  • Trucking fees

  • Cargo insurance (this is a must have. Don’t ship your products without getting them covered!)

Regardless of which method you chose, the absolute best way to ship goods between China and Germany is to use a reliable and reputable China Freight Forwarder like Honourocean.

Shipping from China to Germany Time and Cost

China to germany shipping time:

Sea Shipping: Sea shipping is the most cost-effective form of transportation for large shipments, usually taking about 30-35 days. The total cost is typically determined by shipping volume and weight, as well as port fees.

Air Shipping: Air shipping from China to Germany generally takes 2-5 days and is more expensive than sea freight. Air freight shipping costs are determined by the shipment’s weight, size, and value as well as any applicable customs fees.

Rail Freight: The rail transit times from China to Germany vary between 15 to 18 days. The shipping cost can vary based on the size of the shipment and its value, as well as port fees and customs duties.

Sea Freight Container Costs:

  • 20′ GP Container:
    • Freight charge: $2000 – $3500
    • Origin & destination charges: Around $300-$500
  • 40′ GP Container:
    • Freight charge: $4500 – $5100
    • Charges: Around $400-$600
  • 40′ HC Container:
    • Freight charge: $2,300 – $2,800
    • Charges: Around $450-$650

The sea freight transit time from Shenzhen to Hamburg via ship is approximately 30-35 days.

Air Freight Cost Estimate (100kg cargo):

  • Air freight charge: about 3-5usd/kg
  • Transit time by air: 2-7 days

For DDP freght :

Air DDP (100KG) is about 5 usd/kg;

Sea/railway DDP (100kg) is about 1.5-2usd/kg ,min order 21kg;

Express: about 5-8usd/kg.

Above freight Updated 18th-Jan,2024

Remark:Due to political reasons, sea freight rates have recently increased by 5-10times and the time limit has been extended to more than 40 days.

Shipping route China to Germany

Traditional shipping route:

Starting from the major Coastal ports of China, such as Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Xiamen, Ningbo, Shanghai, Qingdao, Tianjin, Dalian, etc., first go southwest, pass through the Strait of Malacca, and then westward across the Indian Ocean, reach the Gulf of Aden, enter the Red Sea, pass through the Suez Canal, and reach Mediterranean coastal countries such as Greece, Italy, France, Spain, etc. Through the Strait of Gibraltar, to Britain, Germany, Nordic countries and so on.

The railway transport line of the New Eurasian Continental Bridge:

Starting from the major node cities such as Lianyungang, Xuzhou, Zhengzhou, Xi’an, Lanzhou and Urumqi in China, all the way to the west, to the Alashan pass on the border of China, into Kazakhstan, and then through Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, and finally to the destination-the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

Air cargo transport routes:

Including direct flights from China to Germany(such as Beijing to Hamburg, Shenzhen to Leipzig, Guangzhou to Frankfurt), and transit flights through the Middle East (such as Shenzhen to Madrid, transit in Dubai in the Middle East, carried by Emirates; Xiamen to Hamburg, transit in Qatar in the Middle East, carried by Qatar Airlines).

Note: the above modes of transportation from China to Germany or European countries, are applicable to different goods. Sea transportation is generally suitable for transporting goods with large quantities and low value; railways are generally suitable for transporting goods in large quantities, especially those that can be transported in containers; and air transport is generally suitable for goods with small batches and high value. Urgent or perishable goods.

Shipping from China to Germany Procedures:

1. Contact China Supplier

-Shipping document guidance
-Export declaration filing
-Restricted party screening

2. Prepare Transport and Documentation

-Freight booking
-Cargo insurance
-Shipment tracking

3. International Shipping

-Ocean Freight (LCL)
-Air Freight
-Express/Courier Freight

4. Import and Export Customs

-Customs brokerage

5. Transportation Services

-Transloading-Ground freight -Trucking

6. Delivered

-Delivered to you
-Delivered to FBA Amazon warehouse
-Delivered to Destination

FAQs for shipping from China to Germany

What is the cheapest way of to Germany shipping from China?

Sea freight shipping is also the cheapest shipping method.

The most affordable option to ship from China to Germany, regardless of the shipping method you choose, is through a reputed China Freight Forwarder like Honourocean Shipping who can guarantee you the lowest freight costs and container freight rates from China.

We at Honourocean Shipping are able to pass along our high-volume shipping rates in addition to providing a best rate guarantee on all modes of transportation.

When is the best time to ship from China to Germany?

Air, rail and sea freight rates – especially for FCL shipping – are affected by seasonal factors. 

The main peak season to consider when shipping from China to Germany is from mid-August to mid-October, ahead of the holiday shopping season, Chinese New Year, Golden Week, and Dragon Boat Festival. During peak times, prices increase because demand is high and container space is low. It is, therefore, cheaper to ship freight away from the peak season. 

When in the month you choose to transport goods can also make a difference to the price.

It can be cheaper to book a shipment in the last two weeks of the month because carriers are trying to fill spots on vessels. The beginning of the month can be a more expensive time, as carriers can levy General Rate Increases on cargo spots.

Generally, the cheapest shipping costs come from booking early.

How much tax will I pay for importing goods from China to Germany?

The import duty is a percentage that is calculated based on the customs value. How much you pay, depends on the HS code. The European Commission has prolonged the 2011 anti-dumping measures on Chinese imports of seamless pipes and tubes of stainless steel until 2023. The duties go from 48.3% up to 71.9%.

What are the essential documents that need to be completed when shipping from China to Germany? 

Correctly packaged and labelled cargo is essential for it to have a smooth journey from China through the customs clearance process in Germany. Having the necessary documents such as an importation permit for certain goods, a commercial invoice, and a packing list is also key. 

The documents you need when shipping to Germany include:

  • Bill of Lading

  • Certificate of Origin

  • Commercial Invoice

  • Customs Value Declaration

  • Customs Import Declaration

  • Letter of Credit

  • Packing List

  • Proof of Insurance

You may also need a special permit if you’re shipping certain goods like hazardous materials.

How Much Does Express Shipping Cost from China to Germany?

How much does it cost to ship to Germany?

Much like Air Freight, how much you will have to pay for express shipping depends on many factors. The type of goods, weight, and package size all play a role in determining cost. In express shipping, the cost per kilogram goes down as the overall size and weight of your cargo.

Germany Import Regulations

German imports are governed by Germany’s customs department for government control. Cargo entering the nation from rail routes, airports or seaports is examined by customs personnel for security and safety reasons. Customs also monitor standardisation of goods to ensure their conformity with already established quality standards. Germany has its own indigenous HS Codes as well as other national codes that are utilised for segmentation of goods imported.

What are incoterms and how do they affect freight prices from China to Germany?

When you’re comparing freight quotes, note the level of service the freight forwarder is offering.

For example, if you’re shipping from Shanghai, China, you’re going to want to ask your supplier about the cost difference between shipping from the supplier’s warehouse in Shanghai– which means using the EXW incoterm– and shipping from the port of Shanghai(CNSHA) – which means using the FOB incoterm.

Prices for FOB are typically lower, but shipping FOB doesn’t mean your total costs will necessarily be lower. You might make up the cost by paying your supplier to bring your goods to port. When comparing prices, take all your costs into account.

Note that some incoterms, including FOB, are used for sea shipping only.

What is the best price incoterms for shipping from China to Germany?

If it is just samples or small cargo below 100KGS, the most recommended incoterms with your supplier is EXW, let your freight forwarder handle all for you, if cargo above 100Kgs, we recommend the incoterms with your supplier with FOB for saving your China local cost, that they can be responsible for the transport from their factory to the China port.

What customs duties and taxes will I owe when shipping from China to Germany?

When importing from China to Germany, you will need to pay Customs Duty and VAT before your goods are released into the country. Customs and VAT can be significant. Researching your costs early can keep you from getting caught by surprise.

How the customs process works

When goods arrive at port, customs officials will first check to make sure all your paperwork is in order, and then calculate the amount of duties owed and collect payment. After payment, goods will be released.

To handle customs clearance, you can hire your own broker, or use the brokerage provided by your freight forwarder. If you book on Honourocean, you can use our brokerage services as well.

One-stop shipping options from China to Germany

Air freight in China – Germany, reliable & quick Air cargo from Shenzhen Guangzhou Shanghai Beijing airport to Berlin. Shipping services for China to German LCL Shipping from Port to Port Door-to-door service and delivery from China to Berlin, Bremen, Frankfurt, Hamburg or any international destination.

Do I need insurance to ship from China to Germany?

When calculating your shipping costs, don’t forget to protect yourself in case your goods are damaged or lost. You can do this through your freight forwarder or a third party insurance agent. Insurance costs are typically around 0.3% – 0.5% of your Commercial Invoice Value, which is the amount you paid for the goods.

How long does it take to ship from China to Germany?

About 3-45days. Standard shipping times for air freight from China to Germany are about 5-7 days, sea freight 30- 35 days. Express shipping is about to 3-5 days. air or sea DDP add 3-5 business days.

Find a reliable freight forwarder?

Now, look for a reliable freight forwarder that will handle the logistics for you. Experienced forwarders have exceptional relationships with shipping companies.

Honourocean Shipping is one of the best logistics companies in China, facilitating the movement of cargo from Suppliers and manufacturers right to the doorstep of importers. At Honourocean, we provide the following service

  • Packing and Labeling of cargo

  • Pickup

  • Delivery

  • Loading and Shipping

Germany Import List from China

China is one of Germany’s biggest trading partners and there are many different items that China exports to Germany. These include everything from electrical appliances, clothing, toys, cars and much more. The most popular imports from China to Germany include:

-Electronics: TVs, smartphones, computers and other electronic goods make up a large part of German imports from China.

-Textiles and Clothing: China is one of the biggest exporters of textiles and clothing in the world and a lot of these products are imported to Germany.

-Household Goods: This includes furniture, kitchenware, bathroom items and more. These are popular import items due to their affordability and quality.

-Food Products: From dried and canned food to fresh fruits and vegetables, many Chinese food products are imported into Germany.

-Gifts and Souvenirs: China is known for its unique souvenirs and these are often exported to Germany in large quantities.

-Machinery: This includes various kinds of industrial machinery, components and parts.

-Building Materials: Building materials such as tiles, bricks, cement and other construction items are imported from China to Germany.

-Automobiles: Chinese automotive brands have been making a name for themselves in Europe and many cars are being exported from China to Germany.

These are just some of the most popular imports from China to Germany. There are also many other items such as toys, musical instruments, jewelry and much more that are imported from China to Germany on a regular basis. All in all, it’s clear that Germany and China have a strong trading relationship and this is only going to continue in the future.

What are the Main Incoterms Used when Shipping from China to Germany?

Incoterms are an important aspect of international trade.

When shipping from China, it is vital to understand the terms available and what their benefits are.

Here are the three most widely used and preferred incoterms when importing from China to Germany.

Free On Board (FOB)

This incoterm is a popular choice for Chinese importers.

FOB means that the seller will bear the cost, responsibility, and risk for the shipment at least up to a certain point.

Usually, that point is when the goods have been delivered or loaded onboard a carrier chosen by the buyer.

If the buyer hires a forwarder, the seller is responsible for the shipment until it is dispatched to the forwarder.

Ex-Works (EXW)

EXW is an incoterm wherein the buyer takes full responsibility for shipment from origin to destination.

The seller’s only responsibility is to prepare the items to be picked up by the buyer at the seller’s location.

If you choose Ex-Works, you are responsible for the costs and must bear the risk of shipping the goods.

This means that you are also responsible for taking care of export and import clearance.

This is the reason why this incoterm may not be best for beginner importers.

Delivery Duty Paid (DDP)

If you choose to opt for DDP, your seller shoulders the entire shipping process.

The seller covers all expenses, responsibility, and risk of shipping the goods to the exact destination.

The DDP incoterm benefits the importer or buyer in a way because they assume no shipping risk and responsibility.

This shipping term is perfect if you find procedural stuff like customs clearance overwhelming or bothersome.

How much does it cost to ship a container from China to Germany?

A container shipped by train from China to Germany reaches a total value in march 2023 that is approximately 2000USD

Restricted and banned goods

Prohibited goods mean any goods the import or export of which is subject to any prohibition under this Act or any other law for the time being in force but does not include any such goods in respect of which the conditions subject to which the goods are permitted to be imported or exported have been complied with, and banned goods cannot be introduced into Germany and European territory at all. It’s not possible to enter into the European and German borders, here’re some examples we listed as the following for you as a reference:

Restricted products

  • Certain Products subject to Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

  • Coffee samples

  • Computer software

  • Cordless telephones (operating on frequencies greater than 853 MHz)

  • Diskettes

  • Any drugs including samples and medical supplies and equipment

  • Animal carcasses or products and animal feed

  • Animal including birds and eggs, insects and livestock. Also pathogens and rabies virus

  • Asbestos

  • Bees and honey

  • Hops and Hop products

Banned items

  • Any product that contains biocide dimethylfumarate (DMF)

  • Certain carcinogenic substances

  • Certain Chemicals subject to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)

  • Certain Pesticides subject to the Rotterdam Convention

  • Certain Products subject to Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)

  • Counterfeit coins and banknotes

  • Counterfeit or pirated goods

  • Fighting dogs

  • Flick and Gravity Knives

  • Goods bearing false origin statements

  • Goods infringing a copyright

  • Goods infringing a trademark

  • Green and Black Tea of P.R. China origin

  • Live animals

How to find a supplier to source the products you want?

In the international trade industry, sourcing is the process of localizing resources in procurement. You must find that the final procurement directly influences the profits, the impact could be enormous for SMEs and basically for all kinds of corporations. Usually, if you want to build your own sourcing network, you could try Alibaba platform for the preliminary research.

   Ask best shipping rate

Tips for Keeping Down Costs and Shipping Time from China-Germany

  • Book in advance. Shipping by sea is the cheapest, but also takes the longest. Booking in advance when you can saves you money– and cuts out the stress if delays arise.

  • Ship off-peak. When carriers get busy, both shipping prices and transit times go up. Ship during off-peak seasons whenever you can.

  • Get your documentation in order. Having your documentation in order can make all the difference when it comes to clearing customs quickly.

  • Know your HS Codes. A lot of shippers are surprised by how much customs fees can affect business costs. Do your research so you can budget effectively.

  • Compare quotes from different providers. Quotes can vary, so check out offers from different providers before making a decision.

  • Understand what’s included in your quote. Is your quote port to port or door to door? What service does it include? Know what you’re paying for to avoid getting hit with surprise fees.


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 Honourocean, we offer the best solutions to your shipping needs.

We’ll get your cargo from point A to point B faster, safer, and cheaper.

Contact us today for a free quote and consultation.

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alibaba shipping to ghana: honourocean shipping are alibaba golden supplier for over 5years. 

Alibaba shipping cost from china to ghana,pls chat with honouroceanshipping.

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