DocShipper info : DocShipper, your trusted international logistics partner! We offer customized transport and logistics solutions for your import-export needs. With our expertise, global network of partners, and commitment to service quality, we're here to help you succeed in international markets. Contact us now to learn more!

How to choose the transport means between China and Germany?


In this part of our guide, there're details of the different possible ways of transportation between China and the Germany: Sea, air, and rail freight. For your practical demand, we'll help you to choose the suitable and customized method for your shipment.



Sea freight from China to Germany

Overview - Ocean shipping from China to Germany

When choosing the destination port in Germany, you must consider the optimal route from China's ports. When considering sea freight, you may wonder first which port is the closest to you.

There are 5 main ports we list here to have cargo shipping from China to Germany. For your reference, you may have an idea for choosing ports nearby you.

The Port of Rostock

The Port of Rostock offers outstanding nautical conditions. The protected location of the port at the mouth of the Warnow River on the Baltic Sea and the sea channel with a length of 3.6 nautical miles long and depth of 14.5 m allow a very easy approach. There are no obstacles, locks, bridges, etc. and there are normally no restrictions for entering and exiting the port at night. The port can accommodate ships with a length of up to 300 meters, a width of up to 45 meters and a draught of up to 13 meters.

Today the cruise port of Rostock in Warnem√ľnde is the most popular German port for the giants of the seas. Hundreds of thousands of tourists, mostly from overseas, set out from here to visit the German capital Berlin and the beauties of the coastal region of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Website: Port of Rostock


The Port of Kiel

The PORT OF KIEL is one of the most versatile ports in the Baltic region. Its geographic location, permanent depth for seagoing vessels and the direct link to the national rail and road network make the port very attractive for cargo and passenger traffic alike. State-of-the-art terminal facilities and a high service quality enable an individual approach. Furthermore, Kiel profits from its location at the entrance to the world's most frequented artificial waterway, the Kiel Canal.

Kiel is origin and destination for cruise ships, ferry lines and cargo vessels. Hundreds of dream journeys trough the Baltic Sea and the Kiel Canal into the whole world start here every year. Terminals located right in the city centre and near the main station make arrivals and stopover extremely comfortable for passengers.

Website: Port of Kiel


The Port of Rendsburg

RENDSBURG PORT GmbH is represented by Brunsb√ľttel Ports GmbH as sole shareholder, i.a. owner and operator of the ports at Brunsb√ľttel. The maritime services on offer are for example chartering, general port services, customs services, stevedoring and warehousing, organization of pre- and post-carriage and various extra services such as boatmen and waste disposal.

The quay with a length of almost 1 Kilometre provides efficient cranes and transshipment systems which facilitate rapid loading and unloading of bulk products of all kinds. Here, vessels with a capacity of up to 20,000 tonnes can be handled. Transshipment of RoRo cargo is also possible. The design of the port basin as well as the easy access and departure options for trucks allow for rapid loading and unloading.



*Kind reminder:  for ocean freight, China has the following main ports for departures, such as the port of Shenzhen (Sekhou/Yantian), the port of Guangzhou (Huangpu/Nansha), the port of Ningbo, the port of Shanghai, the port of Tianjin, the port of Qingdao, the port of Xiamen (Fuzhou) and the port of Hong Kong.

How much time does it take to ship freight from China to Germany?

The average sea freight shipping time from China to Germany is between 37 and 47 days. And this will vary depending on several factors such as customs formalities, and the distance between the different ports. As well as other factors.

Hamburg Bremerhaven Bremen Rostock Kiel Rendsburg
Shanga√Į ¬†37 46 43 45 43 44
Shenzhen 40 41 43 44 42 42
Guangzhou 40 42 41 43 44 44
Qingdao 45 43 45 42 42 43
Tianjin 48 46 47 45 46 43
Ningbo 41 44 42 45 44 42
Xiamen 42 43 42 42 44 41

How to choose which kind of containers to ship between China and Germany?

3 types of standard size containers, which are usually for dry goods that are used for both commercial and personal freight:

  • ¬†20ft shipping container¬† ( L:20ft (6.06m)*W:8ft (2.44m)*H:8ft 6in (2.6m))
  • ¬†40ft shipping container (L:40ft (12.2m)*W:8ft (2.44m)*H:8ft 6in (2.6m))
  • 40ft shipping container HQ (High Cube, 76.3 cbm / 2,694 cbft for capacity)

Let's now take a look at how the different 2  transport options with these containers would be:

DocShipper Advice : Sea freight is the longest transportation solution in international trade. It is therefore necessary to prepare in advance to have predictable margins, even with possible delays. If you need a free quote from Docshipper experts or contact us for a live chat if you have a question.

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¬įC and +30¬įC) 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, packed or 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.

How to calculate the ocean freight cost between China and Germany?

Freight shipping rates usually will depend on a quotation from a freight forwarder or carrier to make it more accurate based on the current situation. The weight/volume ratio is the most regular method.

The weight/volume ratio would be roughly"1 ton = 1 CBM".

  • For the LCL method, the basic rate would be based on the weight/volume ratio rule and 1,000 kg = 1 CBM.


  • For FCL shipping method, a flat rate would be calculated per container, which would be based on what kind of used container and the relevant shipping agency.

How to determine the most cost-effective shipping option for freight from China to Germany?

  • If your goods are weighing 100 kilograms or less, it will cost more in air freight then in ocean freight.
  • As for the distance, above 100 kilograms, the price gap between ocean and air freight would be huge, air transportation would be not that competitive if you don't require the fast speed.
  • For large shipments, flat-rate, per-container fees of FCL shipping will be the most suitable way to import from China to Germany.
  • ¬†smaller consignments are for LCL shipping depending on volume and weight calculations.


Under the pressure to handle all the factors of considering shipment, fill online form out to have professional help from our specialist. For further info of ocean freight: Sea freight


Airfreight from China to Germany

Classic airfreight vs Express airfreight

Even though usually ocean freight takes the main role of international trade shipping, of course there would be some goods you would pay more attention to, air freight would be a more suitable choice. It would only take several days to transport your goods from China to Germany.

2 different options would be offered: classic airfreight & express airfreight

From customized price and service's perspectives, the 2 different options could be:

Having their delivery services, door-to-door solution will serve people in the world for several days. As an "all-inclusive" service that eliminates the need for personal handling of low-cost freight. Besides, it's even much cheaper if your goods are less than 1 CBM compared to LCL ocean freight.

The edges of airfreight

1. High speed
The fastest way to get your goods delivered.

2. Reduced Damage Risk

Shipping through air means that there is quicker delivery less handling of items during transit. Air freight shipping is by far very safe and has a low degree of risk of damage.

3. Wide capacity for all kinds of destinations
There are scheduled airlines to nearly all over the world, and this will bring you the convenience to send/receive goods.

4. Lower rates of insurance.
Short transit time brings a lower insurance coverage rate.

5. Lower risk
Strict controls at the entrances to airport areas will reduce the risk of loss.

6. Less rely on stocking
Faster delivery of packages means that small businesses will rely less on storing local supplies. Outflows and business flows force companies to deliver in anticipation.When cargo can fly quickly, inventory control becomes more natural. This is a huge advantage in adapting to trends, seasons etc. customers.

Kind reminder: Other than the way of transportation, a lot of necessary phases have to be considered regarding the import/export process. DocShipper awaits to offer our professional and dedicated help to you!

DocShipper Alert: Looking for a fast and efficient way to move your goods across borders? Look no further than DocShipper's Air Freight service! Our expert team will work with you to develop a tailored shipping solution that meets your timeline and budget requirements. With access to a vast network of airlines and our commitment to exceptional service. Contact us today to learn more about our Air Freight solutions!

rail freight services guide




Rail freight from China to Germany

Rail freight between China and Germany

Besides the long-duration ocean shipping and expensive Airfreight, rail freight is a really economical choice for importers and exporters.

The popular route connecting Chongqing with Europe is over 11,000 km long and started operating on August 31, 2012. The route begins in Chongqing, then passes through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland and goes to the German city of Duisburg.

Transit time by train from China to Germany

Expect an average transit time from 14 to 18 days, The main terminals in Germany are mainly the cities of Duisburg and Hamburg. Duisburg is often referred to as the central point in Europe for the Chinese Silk Road. At present, about 25 trains a week arrive from China to Duisburg. It seems a lot, but compared to the entire transport between Asia and Europe, it is not much. At the terminal in Duisburg, where the railway tracks run straight to the bank of the Rhine, the goods are loaded directly onto ships, stored for further shipment in one of several warehouses or sent by train or truck to Greece, Spain or the United Kingdom.

The "New Silk Road" to Germany

the silk road to Germany



In China, the rail network there is the largest all over the world.

There are two main routes for freight trains between China to Europe, with a number of sub-routes:
  • The southern route through Kazakhstan and southern Russia is most suited for freight to and from central China, e.g. the regions surrounding Chengdu, Chongqing and Zhengzhou.
  • The northern route through Siberia is ideal for container transport for the northern regions around Beijing, Dalian, Suzhou and Shenyang. In Europe, the most important terminals are Duisburg and Hamburg in Germany, and Warsaw in Poland.

The railway transit times would be much faster, even twice of ocean freight.

Door to door service between China and Germany

As an all-inclusive service, door to door service through transport or shipping arrangement to ensure the direct flow of goods from the exporter to the importer (or from the point-of-origin to the point-of-sale) with a minimum of interruption and delay. Also called house to house service.

Our door-to-door service coordinates the whole crucial phases from the supply chain. It will conclude 8 factors as the followings:

  1. Pick up from Chinese supplier
  2. Stock in warehouse in China
  3. Port / Airport / Train station transporartion service in China
  4. Export declaration paperwork service in China
  5. Sea, air, or rail freight between China to Germany
  6. Customs clearance at destination port in Germany
  7. Handling to warehouse or delivery center in Germany
  8. Express delivery to required destination

Through the smooth coordination between China and Germany from our professional agents, a quality service from A to Z will offer to you without any doubt! Troublesome paperwork, complicated import restrictions and uncertain transportation would not bother you too much, and most importantly,  door to door service will definitely be less time and cost-consuming!

As DocShipper's specialized service, door to door wouldn't let you down! No matter it's logistic needs or paperwork service: packing, storage/warehousing, loading/unloading, customs clearance, international freight, trucking... All the mentioned services will be considered for one offer!


Customs clearance in Germany for goods imported from China


The customs procedure would be an indispensable part to import from China to Germany. There're some duties and tax calculation method you have to keep in mind when you do the imports.

We'll help you to go through this procedure to get a better understanding of how the duties and taxes you will have to pay are calculated.

Docshipper Tip : Don't let customs clearance in Germany slow down your import-export operations. DocShipper's Customs Clearance service can help streamline the process, ensuring your shipments are cleared quickly and efficiently. Our team of experienced customs brokers has a deep understanding of German customs regulations and requirements, and we use this knowledge to provide you with a hassle-free experience. We'll handle all aspects of your clearance needs. Contact us.

What are the customs duties and taxes?

To know all the customs duties and taxes relating to your own product, first of all you need to check the HS code of your exported goods for better calculation

Among industry classification systems, Harmonized System (HS) Codes are commonly used throughout the export process for goods. The Harmonized System is a standardized numerical method of classifying traded products. It is used by customs authorities around the world to identify products when assessing duties and taxes and for gathering statistics.

 Let's take a look at what's the meaning of the digits in HS code

hs code pineapple

How to calculate the customs duties rate on the website?

It would be much easier to find out the custom duties from the same website, and click on " customs duties"

how to check customs duties

From this page as showing above, you can find the formula to calculate how to pay the tax to do the customs duties:

to calculate the tax


Customs Contact



Required documents

Let's have a review of what we need to prepare for importing goods to Germany, no matter for the shipping or the customs clearance. Make sure you're able to provide them all to avoid unnecessary delays. 

Bill of Lading

A bill of lading (BL or BoL) is a record of the traded goods which have been received on board. It serves as a shipment receipt when the carrier delivers the goods at a predetermined destination. For today, the bill of lading will be dealt with in electronic versions(Tele) for better paperwork management.

For the same purpose, AWB (airwaybill) is for air cargo.


Packing List

A packing list is a shipping document that is widely used in international trade. As its name suggests, it contains information about the contents of the exported goods. It is glued on the exterior of the shipment.


Commercial Invoice

The commercial invoice is a legal document between the supplier and the customer that clearly describes' the sold goods, and the amount due to the customer. The commercial invoice is one of the main documents used by customs in determining customs duties.


Certificate of Origin

A Certificate of Origin Declaration of Origin (often abbreviated to C/O or CO or DOO) is a document widely used in international trade transactions which attests that the product listed therein has met certain criteria to be considered as originating in a particular country. A certificate of origin / declaration of origin is generally prepared and completed by the exporter or the manufacturer, and may be subject to official certification by an authorized third party.


Certificate of conformity (EC)

The Declaration of Conformity is an official declaration by the manufacturer or their authorized representative that the product concerned is in compliance with all relevant requirements of the European product safety directives. It is proof that a product is designed and constructed in compliance with the appropriate conformity assessment requirements.


Your EORI number (Economic Operator Registration Identification)

Businesses and people wishing to trade must use the EORI number as an identification number in all customs procedures when exchanging information with Customs administrations. Having one common type of identification number across the EU is more efficient, both for economic operators and customs authorities. It is also more efficient for statistical purposes and security purposes.

Visit the dedicated page on the official government website: EORI in Germany

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:

Top 7 freight forwarders in Germany

  • Kuehne+Nagel
  • DocShipper
  • Panalpina
  • DB Schenker
  • UPS Supply Chain Solutions
  • DSV
  • Expeditors


DocShipper’s other logistics services

warehousing icon

packing services

transport insurance

sourcing services

3PL services

moving services

DocShipper Advise : We help you with the entire sourcing process so don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

  • Having trouble finding the appropriate product?¬†Enjoy our¬†sourcing services, we directly find the right suppliers for you!
  • You don't trust your supplier?¬†Ask our experts to do¬†quality control¬†to guarantee the condition of your goods!
  • Do you need help with the logistics?¬†Our¬†international freight department¬†supports you with door to door services!
  • You don't want to handle distribution?¬†Our¬†3PL department¬†will handle the storage, order fulfillment, and last-mile delivery!


DocShipper China | Procurement - Quality control - Logistics


Alibaba, Dhgate, made-in-china... Many know of websites to get supplies in Asia, but how many have come across a scam ?! It is very risky to pay an Asian supplier halfway around the world based only on promises! DocShipper offers you complete procurement services integrating logistics needs: purchasing, quality control, customization, licensing, transport...

Communication is important, which is why we strive to discuss in the most suitable way for you!