In 2020, the revenue of South Korea’s exports amounted to as much as 512 billion dollars. The United States is the second-biggest export country with 73 billion, and the European Union with a total of 47 billion in 2019. The most frequently imported goods were machinery and appliances, transport equipment, and chemical products. Below, you can read about shipping from Korea.
Shipping from Korea – sea freight
There is a long-distance from South Korea to the European Union or the US, so the best way 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.
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).
The smaller ports are:
- Okgye (KROKK)
- Pyeongtaek (KRPTK)
- Sokcho (KRSHO).
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 means shipping the cargo using different methods of transportation.
In 2019, a new line from Korea to Europe was brought into 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.
Sea freight costs
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 suiting forwarder using ShipHub. Fill 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.