Shipping from Korea

In 2022, South Korea was the fourth-biggest exporter in the world. Its top exports are integrated circuits, refined petroleum, cars, broadcasting equipment, and motor vehicles (parts and accessories). Below, you can read about shipping from Korea.

Best methods of shipping from Korea

Shipping from Korea – sea freight

The distance from South Korea to the European Union or the US is long, so the best mode of transport is by sea. This type of freight is divided into FCL and LCL shipping.

The MAERSK company offers four lines to Europe:

  • AE6 Westbound: Busan – Felixstowe (41 days)
  • AE12 Westbound: Busan – Rijeka (37 days)
  • AE11 Westbound: Busan – Valencia (37 days)
  • AE10 Westbound: Gwangyang – Gdansk (39 days).

Hapag-Lloyd offers three lines:

  • FE2 Busan – Hamburg (51 days)
  • FE4 Busan – Hamburg (36 days)
  • FE7 Busan – Bremerhaven (36 days) or Göteborg (43 days)
  • FE8 Gwangyang – Gdansk (39 days).

Both MAERSK and Hapag-Lloyd also offer shipping from Korea to the US, and the main ports are located in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Long Beach.

The number of days only means transit without transporting the shipment to and from the ports.

Ports in Korea

South Korea is located on a peninsula, so it makes sense it has numerous ports. The main container ports are located in Busan, Gwangyang, and Incheon.

Shipping from Korea - ports in South Korea

The largest ports in South Korea are:

  • Busan (KRPUS), the biggest port in Korea
  • Busan New Port (KRBNP), which was built to release the pressure of the main Busan port
  • Donghae (KRTGH)
  • Gunsan (KRKUV)
  • Gwangyang (KRKAN)
  • Incheon (KRICE), the second-biggest port in Korea
  • Masan (KRMAS)
  • Mokpo (KRMOK)
  • Pohang (KRKPO)
  • Ulsan (KRUSN)
  • Yeosu (KRYOS).

South Korea’s smaller ports include:

  • Okgye (KROKK)
  • Pyeongtaek (KRPTK)
  • Sokcho (KRSHO).
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Airfreight from South Korea

Airfreight is most definitely the most expensive solution, but it pays off with a shorter transport time and higher safety.

The main airport in South Korea is the Incheon International Airport. It is listed among the five biggest cargo airports in the world (2,8 million tons of transshipment in 2018). Lufthansa Cargo has flights between Incheon and Frankfurt.

Multimodal transport

Multimodal transport means shipping the cargo using different methods of transportation.

In 2019, a new line from Korea to Europe was brought to life. The line starts in Busan, passes through a port in Vladivostok, and ends in Brzeg Dolny in Poland. The containers sent from Busan are reloaded in Vladivostok and later transported using the Transsiberian railway line, arriving in Europe in Brest/Malaszewicze. The entire journey takes only 21 days. The project was developed by RZD Logistics and FESCO.

How much does it cost to ship from South Korea?

The transport costs depend on the type and amount of the product, the chosen route, and many other factors. Because the prices often change, it is worth comparing different forwarders’ offers. You can also easily find a suitable forwarder using ShipHub. Fill out the form and send your application, and you will receive a valuation from various forwarders. Here are some examples of filled forms:

Shipping from Korea – summary

Goods from Korea can be shipped using sea freight, air freight, and multimodal transport. The final decision depends on what product is being shipped and the financial resources intended for the transport. Shipping products from South Korea can take from one to seven weeks.

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