Shipping from Germany to the US

Germany is at the center of European trade, so its political relationship with the US is strong. Germany is the US’s third closest bilateral trading partner for the number of shipped goods. In 2022, Germany exported about $150 billion to the US and imported $70 billion. The top export goods are vehicles, pharmaceuticals, industrial machinery, and medical goods. This article discusses shipping from Germany to the US, the best method of transport, and its pros and cons.

Shipping from Germany to the US – means of transport

Sea freight from Germany to the US

Ocean transport is the cheapest option, which is the main reason it is so popular for international shipping. FCL and LCL are the two major shipping options when shipping goods across the sea by container. FCL (Full Container Load) involves shipping your goods in one full container. LCL (Less than Container Load) means sharing container space with cargo belonging to other shippers. It is highly recommended for those who want to try out a new market.

As the transit time for sea transport is much longer than for any other transport, consider what type of goods have to ship. Opt for air transport in case of goods with short expiry dates like pharmaceuticals or food. The transport time for sea freight from Germany to the US is 43 to 47 days.

Main cargo ports in Germany:

  • Hamburg Port
  • Port of Bremen and Bremerhaven
  • Port of Wilhelmshaven
Container ports in Germany

Main cargo ports in the US:

  • Port of Long Beach
  • Port of Los Angeles
  • Port of Tacoma
  • Port of Oakland
  • Port of Newark
  • Port of Houston
  • Port of New Orleans
US seaports

Airfreight from Germany to the US

Choose airfreight for time-sensitive goods. Since shipping from Germany to the US via airfreight takes one to two weeks, the rate is much higher. As sea and air freight are the only options for transport between those two countries, there is currently no faster way than shipping your goods by cargo plane. Air transport is highly recommended when transporting small, light cargo like jewelry or flowers. It is the fastest and safest option.

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Main cargo airports in Germany:

  • Koln Bonn/Cologne – CGN
  • Frankfurt Main – FRA
  • Leipzig/Halle – LEJ
Airports in Germany

Main cargo airports in the US:

  • Memphis International (MEM)
  • Louisville International (SDF)
  • Miami International (MIA)
  • Los Angeles International (LAX)
US airports

How much does it cost to ship from Germany to the US?

The transport cost depends mainly on the shipping method but also on the size and type of cargo or the chosen forwarder. While sea freight is much cheaper than air freight, air transport is faster and more secure. Before making the final decision, compare shipping methods by requesting shipment quotes. You can easily do this on ShipHub. As shown below, just fill in the blanks and wait for the freight forwarders to reach out to you!

Shipping from Germany to the US – summary:

  • Germany is one of the biggest US trade partners.
  • The top imported goods from Germany to the US are vehicles, pharmaceuticals, industrial machinery, and medical goods.
  • You can ship from Germany to the US via sea and air freight.
  • Sea freight is the cheapest one but the transit time, compared to air transport, is much longer. Sea freight is the most profitable if you want to transport heavy goods with a long-expiry date.
  • Airfreight is the most expensive option but also the fastest and most secure. It is advised to ship time-sensitive goods via airfreight.
  • Before choosing the final shipping method, check reliable freight forwarders on ShipHub.
  • Read more about international shipping.

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