Are you about to import (or export) products between UK and Germany? You still have a doubt regarding the regulation or transport method? This is due to very difficult to find decent information among the ton of online advice that DocShipper has done in its “country guide”.

Table of Contents

What is the best way to ship goods from UK to Germany ?

Among all the transportation options, the best ways to transport your goods from UK to Germany are either by air, sea or rail. We analyzed these three choices for you to offer you the best recommendations on which transportation method to use for your cargo from UK!


Sea freight from the UK to Germany

Sea freight shipping from UK to Germany

What is goods transportation by sea? This is a mode of transportation in which cargo is shipped via sea routes. Maritime transport is international by definition, with the shipping industry handling 90% of global trade.

Importing and exporting goods via international maritime shipping ensures global maintenance and allows the movement of dangerous goods such as gas, liquids, and explosives. This shipping option may be the best choice if your company needs to transport large quantities without meeting any immediate deadlines.

You must consider the volume of your cargo, the delivery time, transportation costs, and the durability of the goods to be transported before making your decision. Here are the benefits and drawbacks of shipping goods by sea…

How long does it take to ship from UK to Germany by sea freight ?

To make it clear to you, here is the average time (in days) between the main British ports and the German ports:


Tilbury London Gateway Grangemouth


Hamburg 4 3 3 2



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How much does it cost to ship a container from UK to Germany?

The weight and volume of your freight are the most important factors to consider when calculating cargo. Indeed, transportation evaluation is always based on the weight-to-volume ratio.

The weight and volume proportions are as follows: "1 ton Equals 1 CBM" according to the ocean freight equality criterion.

If you're using the combination/LCL technique, the basic rate will be set by the weight and volume proportion rule and the 1,000 kg = 1 CBM guideline. The responsibility is defined in terms of the payload unit (PU), which is equivalent to the mass in tons or the volume in cubic meters, and is always "to the transporter's upside." As a result, the higher will be used.

For example, if the total volume of your shipment is 9 CBM and the heaviness weight is 6,000 kg, the total cost will be 9 UP. If the weight is 7,000 kg and the capacity is 6 m3, the cost is 7 UP.

If you use the FCL transporting strategy, the charge is a flat rate for each holder, and it is determined by the type of compartment used and the delivery companies that provide it.

Airfreight from the UK to Germany

Overview – Classic vs Express air freight 

When your items must be transported swiftly, air freight is chosen over sea freight. This method also has the lowest risk of causing damage to your equipment.

There are two options for air freight: standard air freight and expedited air freight.

Here is a description of these two options:

  • Standard air freight is the standard transportation service offered by cargo airlines. It allows goods to be transported between England and Germany within a reasonable time frame, usually 2-5 working days, depending on the airline and the destination. Several airlines offer regular cargo flights between England and Germany. Some of the major cargo airlines include DHL, Aviation, FedEx, UPS and Lufthansa Cargo.
  • Expedited air freight is an air freight service that guarantees fast delivery of goods. Airlines offer different levels of service for expedited air freight, ranging from next-day delivery service to delivery in just a few hours. Expedited air freight is often more expensive than regular air freight, due to the urgency of the delivery and the additional costs incurred by the airlines to expedite the processing of goods.
  • The choice between standard and expedited air freight depends on the shipper's needs in terms of delivery time and cost. If the goods are urgent and time is critical, expedited air freight may be the best option, even if the cost is higher. If the goods can be delivered in a reasonable amount of time and cost is a more important factor, normal air freight may be a more appropriate option.

Your product or cargo can be hand-delivered anywhere in the world within a week using expedited courier services. It's an "all-inclusive" service, which means that low-value items are usually exempt from customs clearance. Furthermore, for small volumes of less than 1 CBM, you may save money on transportation charges, which is even more cost-effective than LCL ocean shipment.

What are the advantages of airfreight?


  • The fastest method of deliveryIn comparison to ocean freight and rail cargo, airship cargo is without a doubt the finest option when your items need to be carried quickly. Accepting your items on time might be a huge benefit in some types of industries these days.


  • Flight and arrival times that may be relied onFlight arrival and departure timings are consistent, and airlines will arrive on time the majority of the time. In any case, missing a flight would not be a major inconvenience because flights depart every hour or so.


  • Send your cargo anywhere.Several carriers maintain a large database of objections that covers almost the whole globe. This means you may transport your package to almost any destination.
  • Spend less on insurance premiums.Due to the relatively short journey period of airship cargo, the protection inclusion rate is reduced. Despite the fact that airship freight is expensive, it saves money in terms of reduced protection expenditures.


  • A high level of security and a reduced risk of burglary and injuryAir transportation provides a high level of security, with strict controls at the doors of air terminal areas reducing the risk of robbery and injury to freight.
  • There is less capacity and fewer items in stock.Because airship freight transit seasons are shorter, you may transport smaller amounts more frequently, therefore having a lot of excess space may not be necessary. Customs freedom, freight investigation, and handling are also more efficient because most items are delivered within a few hours.


  • There is less packing to do.Air shipments, on average, require less wrapping than ocean goods. This means that you save time and money by foregoing urgent aid.


  • FollowingThe great majority of businesses, notably delivery companies, provide you with the ability to track your shipments using an application that allows you to track their progress from takeoff to arrival.

What is the difference between volumetric and gross weight?

How can you figure out your shipment's volumetric weight?

The air equality rule allows for a weight/volume ratio of 1:6 (1 ton for every 6 CBM) and a duty to net weight ratio of 1:6 or less in airfreight. To obtain the volumetric weight used as the basis for billing, the true volume is divided by six. The standard for express freight is 1:5.

gross weight calculationgross weight calculation








Here is the model if the total volume of your merchandise is 1 CBM:

With the classic airfreight : it equals 1 CBM = 167 Kg (1:6)

With the express airfreight : it equals 1 CBM = 200 Kg (1:5)


Trucking from the UK to Germany

Used to transport goods simply between different terminals, such as an office or a warehouse to or from an airport, port or railway station, road freight is a method that remains indispensable in the transportation field

Rail freight from the UK to Germany

Overview – Rail freight from the UK to Germany

Same as trucking, the rail freight shipping between the UK and Germany became possible thanks to the euro channel. 

Rail freight services are provided by rail transport operators, who can offer door-to-door transport solutions for shippers. Freight trains travel through the Channel Tunnel between the United Kingdom and Germany and then continue their journey on the European rail network to their final destination in Germany.

Rail shipping is significant, especially in nations and continents with extensive journey durations, such as China, Russia, the United States, and portions of Europe. Freight trains can transport a variety of cargo, including freight containers, automobiles, grains, coal, minerals, and metals, among other things.

Réseau européens ferroviaire



 How much does it cost to ship goods by train?


The cost of shipping goods by train is dependable on many factors, such as the size, the type of shipping, the weight, the type of the goods being transported, the nature of the goods etc… 

All of these variables make the determination of the exact price for truck shipping quite complicated. However, you can find the needed answer on the Euro Tunnel website

What are the advantages of rail freight between the UK and Germany?

There are several advantages of using rail freight to transport goods between the UK and Germany:

  • Faster than sea freight: While sea freight is often the most cost-effective option for transporting goods over long distances, it can be quite slow. Rail freight is generally faster than sea freight, with transit times between the UK and Germany typically ranging from 2–4 days.
  • Environmentally friendly: Rail freight is one of the most environmentally friendly modes of transportation, producing lower levels of greenhouse gas emissions per tonne-kilometer than road or air transport. This can be an important consideration for companies looking to reduce their carbon footprint and meet sustainability targets.
  • Cost-effective for large volumes: While rail freight may not always be the cheapest option for transporting small volumes of goods, it can be very cost-effective for larger volumes. This is especially true for goods that are not time-sensitive and can be transported over longer distances.
  • Reliable: Rail freight is generally quite reliable, with regular departure and arrival times and fewer delays compared to road or air transport. This can be important for companies that need to meet tight delivery deadlines or have just-in-time inventory requirements.
  • Good connectivity: Rail freight between the UK and Germany is well-developed, with several established routes and regular services. This can make it easy for companies to transport goods between the two countries.

Overall, rail freight can be an attractive option for companies looking to transport large volumes of goods between the UK and Germany in a cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and reliable manner.


Customs contact:

Are there any agreements between Germany and the UK?

There are agreements between Germany and the UK regarding trade in goods. Before Brexit, trade between Germany and the UK was governed by EU rules, as both countries were part of the EU.

After Brexit, the UK became a third country for the EU, which means that trade relations between Germany and the UK are now governed by a bilateral trade agreement, called the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. This agreement came into force on January 1, 2021, and covers issues such as tariffs, quotas and technical regulations for goods traded between the two countries.

The agreement has kept trade flowing between Germany and the U.K., although some complications and uncertainties remain, including customs formalities and rules of origin for goods transiting through other EU countries.

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