When it comes to shipping your items to Germany, you may not know where to start. Can you import personal items or cars for personal use without taxes? Is it better to send items by air or using ocean freight transport? How can you make sure your shipment gets to the right place? What major ports are available for ocean container shipping in Germany?
A-1 Auto Transport has all of the answers you need. We have years of experience shipping freight to Germany and other countries in Europe, and we can give you a free no-commitment quote. Contact us now to get started, or read on to learn more about the basics of ocean or air freight container shipping to Germany.
FCL Container Shipping (Full Container Load) To Germany
FCL (Full Container Load) shipping is the best option for shipping your items to Germany if you have enough stuff to fill up a 20-foot cargo container. You’ll pay for the use of an entire cargo container, which you’ll load and then send it to the nearest port for transportation.
Your goods will be loaded onto a container ship, then sent to the proper destination port in Germany, where they’ll be taken and cleared by customs. Then, once they pass customs, they’ll be released to you or your customs agent for your use.
LCL Container Shipping (Less than Container Load) To Germany
LCL (Less than Container Load) shipping is a budget-friendly option if you have to send a large freight shipment to Germany, but you don’t have enough stuff to fill an entire shipping container on your own. Instead of the cargo container being reserved for your own use, you’ll share it with multiple individuals or businesses.
For example, you can pay for the use of 40% of the volume of the container, and other persons who need to ship goods to your destination in Germany will pay for the remaining 60% of the volume of the container.
Because you share the cost of renting the shipping container and shipping your goods, this means LCL container shipping is much cheaper than FCL container shipping if you don’t have enough freight to fill a full cargo container.
Ocean Freight Transport To Germany
Ocean freight consists of about 80% of world trade by volume, and it’s by far the most economical option when it comes to shipping items overseas. Your items will be loaded into a cargo container, shipped on a large container ship, and unloaded at the destination port.
Depending on where your freight originated and where it’s headed, the process of shipping your items by ocean freight transport could take between 20-45 days. Typically, the further your shipment is going and the more stops the cargo ship has, the longer it will take.
Air Freight Transport To Germany
If you are shipping lightweight, time-sensitive items, air freight transport to Germany may be a good option. It is usually at least 4x more expensive than ocean-going freight, however, so keep this in mind when planning your freight shipment.
In addition, costs for air freight transport to Germany are determined by the weight of your items, not volume – making it extremely expensive for very heavy items.
However, the speed of air freight transport to Germany cannot be beaten. Your items will be sent within 3-5 days – and some carriers can offer express service within 1-3 days for an additional fee.
How Much Does It Cost To Ship To Germany?
There are a number of different factors that can affect the cost of your shipment to Germany. Here are a few things that are likely to have an impact on the overall price of your freight shipment.
- The distance of your shipment – The farther your shipment has to go, the more it will cost due to a number of factors such as fuel, wear & tear, transit times, and other such things.
- Cargo volume or weight – The overall volume of cargo is what determines the cost of LCL or FCL shipping. For LCL shipping, you’ll pay based on the percentage of the container you use. For FCL shipping, you’ll pay based on how many 20-foot or 40-foot containers you use.
Air freight is a bit different. Prices are calculated by weight, since this is a much bigger factor in fuel usage and shipping price in air shipping. A pallet that weighs 5,000 lbs will be cheaper to ship than a pallet of equal dimensions that weighs only 4,000 lbs.
- Air vs. ocean freight – Air freight is always significantly more expensive than ocean freight. If you are on a budget, it’s best to plan ahead of time and choose ocean freight for your shipment to Germany, and avoid air freight. However, it’s often possible to ship some lighter, time-sensitive items via air freight, while sending heavier items on an ocean-going cargo ship.
- Customs broker fees – Working with a customs broker is the best way to ensure an easy trip through customs once your cargo arrives in the country. Customs brokers act as your representative, and can assist in the process of getting your shipment through customs – for a fee.
- Last-mile delivery – Your cargo may need to be shipped by truck or rail to its final destination if you’re not having it delivered directly to a port city, which can add to the overall cost of your shipment.
All of these factors – and quite a few more – can affect the total cost of ocean or air freight container shipping to Germany. Want to know how much it will cost to send your items? Contact A-1 Auto Transport for an estimate now.
Shipping Ports In Germany
Germany has coastline near the North Sea as well as the Baltic Sea, and it’s an important transportation hub for Europe. Here are a few of its top ports.
- Port of Hamburg – One of the most frequently-used ports in all of Europe, the Port of Hamburg handles more than 9.73 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) and 145.7 million metric tons of cargo per year.
- Ports of Bremen – The Ports of Bremen consist of the ports of Bremen and Bremerhaven. Together, these ports move more than 6 million TEU and 60 million tons of cargo per year.
- JadeWeserPort – Located on the North Sea Coast, JadeWeserPort has a yearly capacity of 2.7 million TEU, and currently handles nearly 500,000 TEU per year, with growth of 7% per year forecasted in the years to come.
- Port of Lubeck – Port of Luebeck is the largest German port on the Baltic Sea, and it handles more than 117,000 TEU yearly, and has connection to major German highways and rail systems.
- Port of Emden – Located in Ems at the mouth of the North Sea, the Port of Emden is the westernmost seaport in Germany. It handles about 5 million tons of freight per year, and is the third-largest motor vehicle port in Europe.
Depending on where you’re shipping your items, any of these German ports may be an option for you.
Customs Clearance In Germany
In most cases, household goods and cars for personal use can be imported into Germany free of charge if you’re taking up long-term residence in the country and you have lived outside of Germany for at least 12 months.
Generally, goods imported from the EU will not be subject to taxes. However, items imported from non-EU countries will face a value-added tax (VAT), which is usually 19% of the value of the item. However, this varies depending on category – some items, like books, newspapers and food products are taxed at 7%, for example.
To streamline the process of getting your items through customs, it’s best to work with a customs broker in Germany who can represent you, and is familiar with the process of importing goods from both EU and non-EU countries.
Get A Free Price Rate Quote For Shipping To Germany
Need help shipping a car, household goods, or items for commercial use into Germany? A-1 Auto Transport is here to help. With our years of experience and connections with logistics agents, customs brokers and transportation professionals throughout Germany and Europe, we’re always here to help you get the freight shipping services you need.
Whether you’re interested in LCL or FCL ocean freight transport to Germany, or you have time-sensitive items that need to be shipped to Germany by air freight transport, we’re here to help you work out all the details. Contact us online now to get a quote, or feel free to give us a call at 1-888-509-3213 to speak with one of our representatives directly.