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Shipping Container Costs From UK to Germany


Written by

7th Sep 2022 (Last updated on 9th Apr 2024) 5 minute read

On average, it costs £953 for a shipping container from the UK to Germany, based on a 40ft shipping container. A container of this size holds approximately the contents of a 3-bedroom house. Air freight to Germany costs on average £150 per 100kg. This is based on our international removal cost research.

When shipping from the UK to Germany, you can choose from sea, air or road. Your option will depend on your budget and how quickly you need the items shipped.

  1. Sea Freight
  2. Air Freight
  3. FCL VS LCL Shipping
  4. Other Costs to Consider
  5. How Long Does Shipping Take?
  6. Prohibited Items When Shipping to Germany
  7. Finding an International Removal Company to Germany

Sea Freight

Sea freight is a cheaper option which is also considered better for the environment. But, be aware that this takes longer than air freight so you may have to wait to receive your items when shipping furniture overseas.

It costs £767 to ship a 20ft container from the United Kingdom to Germany. A 40ft container will cost £953 on average.


  • Cost is for the size of the container rather than how much the items weigh
  • Costs less than air freight
  • Motor vehicles can be transported
  • Part-load services are available as a lower-cost option
  • Better for the environment


  • May take longer to arrive
  • Delays are more likely
  • Less frequent than air freight

Main Ports and Routes in Germany

The main ports in Germany are Hamburg, Bremerhaven and Wilhelmshaven. These all serve as hubs for all kinds of cargo.

Other ports in Germany include:

  • Port of Duisburg
  • Port of Rostock
  • Port of Emden
  • Lubeck Port
  • Port of Frankfurt am Main
  • Port of Brunsbuttel#

From the UK, one of the more popular ports for shipping to the rest of Europe is Southampton.

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Air Freight

Usually, air freight is the quickest option for shipping goods to Germany. The advantage of air freight is regulars, security and effective service. Keep in mind it is a more expensive option so be sure to factor this into your cost of moving.


  • Quickest shipping option
  • Regular and convenient flight times


  • More expensive than sea freight
  • Items are charged based on weight rather than size
  • Less environmentally friendly
  • Limitations with what you can transport

Main Airports and Routes in Germany

The largest airport in Germany is Frankfurt, which is also the fourth largest in Europe. Among the other airports across Germany, some of the largest and most popular include:

  • Airport Berlin Brandenburg
  • Munich Airport
  • Dusseldorf Airport.

    Shipping via air freight to Germany can be arranged from major UK airports including London Heathrow.

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    FCL VS LCL Shipping

    When shipping your items, you have the option between paying from a container or opting for a part load. The cost will largely depend on how much you’re shipping, but there are other factors to keep in mind. These include:

    • Size of your items
    • Tracking
    • Insurance costs
    • Distance to destination
    • Customs and duties charges

    Below we look at the main differences between FCL and LCL:

    Full Container Load (FCL)

    Full container load is the most popular shipping choice when moving items abroad. This is especially the case for those who are moving permanently and shipping a large amount. A full container load is where you pay for the use of an entire shipping container. This method is quicker than LCL.

    Less Container Load (LCL)

    If the items you are shipping do not require a whole container, you can opt for Less Container Load (LCL). With this method, you pay to use a portion of a shipping container with the rest made up of other people’s belongings. This cuts the cost of shipping, but it will mean your goods will take longer to arrive.

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    Other Costs to Consider

    When moving to Germany, you may also need to consider:

    Packing Services

    On average, a packing service will cost around £250, based on a 3-bedroom house. Be aware that these costs will vary depending on the company you opt for and the number of items.

    Professional packers will ensure your goods are safe and secure during transit. They have access to high-quality packing materials and experience in preparing items for shipping.

    Pick-up and Delivery

    Pick-up and delivery is another service that could save you both time and effort when it comes to your move. You can arrange to have your items collected and delivered from the port or airport to your new home. The cost of this service will vary depending on the country, the number of goods, and the distance.


    It’s vital that you arrange insurance for your goods before your move. On average, insurance will cost around 4% of the cost of your goods. As a result, the cost of your insurance will depend on the number of items and their value. It will also depend on the type of policy you choose and how your items are shipped.

    All our international removal partners have Goods in Transit and Public Liability insurance. This means that your belongings will be completely protected during transit.

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    How Long Does Shipping Take?

    On average, shipping via sea can take up to 7 days for FCL and up to 3 weeks for LCL on the company you ship with. Air freight also depends on the provider you use but can arrive within 2-4 days. The shipping or airport destination will also impact shipping times. Be aware that in the wake of Brexit, shipping to EU countries like Germany is likely to take longer.

    Prohibited Items When Shipping to Germany

    Be aware that there are some items which you cannot bring into Germany. These will be confiscated and you could face penalties for attempting to bring them into the country. These include but are not limited to

    • Drugs
    • Endangered animals and plants
    • Explosives
    • Firearms
    • Meat and Dairy products

    There are also a number of restricted items which include:

    • Animals
    • Chemicals
    • Currency
    • Leather products
    • Powdered milk and canned foods
    • Radioactive and toxic materials

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    Finding an International Removal Company to Germany

    Here at Compare My Move, we have a network of trusted partners ready to assist you with your move to Germany. We will connect you with up to 6 local companies who will offer competitive quotes. You can save up to 70% on your international removal costs.


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