The EU is by far Turkey’s largest import and export partner. Within the EU, Germany has been one of Turkey’s most important trade partners and investors. In 2020 Turkey exported goods valued at USD 16.8 bn to Germany, and the top product was cars (USD 1.03 bn). What are the options when it comes to shipping from Turkey to Germany?
Shipping from Turkey to Germany
Available types of transport
Both economies, Germany’s and Turkey’s, are described as developed, so is the transportation infrastructure in both countries. Since they are close to each other on the map, there are four ways of shipping cargo from Turkey to Germany: by sea, air, road, and rail.
Sea shipping from Turkey to the US
Sea shipping is by far the most popular way of shipping cargo. It comes at a low cost, but it is also the slowest. Whether you choose Less Than Container (LCL) or Full Container Load (FCL) is up to you and your requirements. Shipping time from Turkey to Germany by sea usually takes up to 20 days.
Seaports in Turkey
The major seaports in Turkey are:
- Port of Gemlik (a hub for the automotive sector)
- Port of Ambarli (the largest port in Turkey)
- Port of Mersin (Turkey’s second-largest port).
- Port of Haydarpaşa in Istanbul (the third biggest port in the country).
Seaports in Germany
The major seaports in Germany are:
- Port of Hamburg (is Germany’s gateway to the world, the biggest seaport by volume in Germany)
- Port of Bremen/Bremerhaven (one of the major ports in Europe that can work with almost every type of cargo)
- Port of Wilhelmshaven (the only deep-water port in Germany).
Road freight from Turkey to Germany
Since Turkey and Germany are located close to each other, you can also ship by land. Typical road shipping from Turkey to Germany takes 10-15 days.
There are some routes you can choose to ship your goods:
- Turkey > Bulgaria > Romania > Hungary > Austria > Germany
- Turkey > Bulgaria > Serbia > Hungary > Austria > Germany
- Turkey > Bulgaria > Serbia > Hungary > Slovenia > Austria > Germany
- Turkey > Italy > Austria > Germany
Rail freight from Turkey to Germany
Rail freight transportation is also an option when it comes to moving goods from Turkey to Germany. It is usually cheaper than air freight and faster than sea freight. For example, Rail Cargo Group operates a couple of routes from Turkey to Germany:
- Köseköy > Istanbul > Budapest > Vienna > Regensburg > Neuss > Duisburg (FCL, 2 times per week)
- Köseköy > Istanbul > Budapest > Vienna > Regensburg > Hamburg (FCL, 2 times per week)
Major railway stations in Turkey
- Istanbul: a railway station in the largest city of Turkey
- Köseköy: a railway station in Kartepe; near it is a Köseköy Logistics Center, an important freight yard on the railway.
Major railway stations in Germany
- Duisburg: one of Germany’s most important railway terminals
- Hamburg: it is connected to the Port of Hamburg so you can ship your goods further by sea.
Airfreight from Turkey to Germany
If you need to get your products fast, airfreight is the best option. Bear in mind that it tends to be more expensive than sea freight and land freight. From Turkey to Germany, the typical transit time is 2-3 working days.
Cargo airports in Turkey
The major airports in Turkey are:
- Istanbul Airport (IST, the main international airport in Istanbul)
- Ankara Esenboğa Airport (ESB, one of the largest airports in Turkey).
Main cargo airports in Germany
- Frankfurt Airport (FRA, Flughafen Frankfurt am Main or Rhein-Main-Flughafen, a major international airport, the main hub for Lufthansa Cargo)
- Leipzig/Halle Airport (LEJ, an international airport located in Schkeuditz, Saxony, the second busiest in Germany after Frankfurt Airport)
- Cologne/Bonn Airport (CGN, the third largest airport in terms of cargo operations)
- Frankfurt-Hahn Airport (HHN, since it has a 24-hour operating license, is a prominent cargo airport).
Importing from Turkey to Germany – customs clearance
Turkey is in a customs union with the European Union, so in most cases, there are no customs duties when importing from Turkey to Germany. Rules of getting preferential treatment are different based on the products:
- most agricultural products, all products made from coal or steel require the EUR.1 certificate, the EUR-MED certificate, or invoice declaration
- all other types of products require the A.TR Movement Certificate.
For customs clearance purposes, you need:
- commercial invoice
- packing list (inventory) or equivalent document
- bill of lading/air waybill.
Find out more about customs in the Turkey-EU trade.
How much does shipping from Turkey to Germany cost?
The shipping cost varies depending on the size of the consignment, type of transportation, and other variables. To get the best offer for your shipment, go to ShipHub.co and get quotes from multiple forwarders. You can pick whoever suits you the best.
Read our other guides on shipping to Germany: