Shipping from Germany to USA-Step by Step Guide

This step by step guide will show you how to ship packages from Germany to the US. Learn the documents you need & other FAQs.

Shipping from Germany to USA-Step by Step Guide

Worldwide shipping of goods is an expensive business, especially during the peak season. The route between Germany to the USA is termed the busiest when it comes to a profitable trade. The industry mainly depends on the accessible ocean and air cargo port services located within both these countries. When shipping from Germany to the United States, an important tip is to book early transit of goods, ensuring business owners negotiate at low-cost rates. Let us analyze further and find the easiest way to dispatch products from German freight port to USA freight port: 

Before we get into the details, here are some valuable tips to remember before shipping any goods from Germany to the USA:

Advanced booking: Always look for discounts and cut the delays by booking your freight in advance. Sending packages or large goods via the sea route is the safest and also cheap. 

Keep it Off-Peak: Shipping during the off-peak season is more profitable since seasonal perks are added to the shipping and transit during the busy period. 

Know what you pay for: Most of the time, customers and business owners are filled with surprise with the change in the custom prices from port to port. Keep track of all the documents you need at the customs, compare prices with various suppliers and package dealers to book at the best rate. While booking, keep an eye on the details like the service door-to-door and includes other benefits. Research well to avoid last-minute budget jumps. 

Cost for Shipping From Germany to the USA

It has been estimated that, on average, it costs $2,191 for a 40' container to be shipped from Germany to the USA during the peak season. There are other factors like the weight of the package, location, and measurement of the goods to be delivered. When it comes to shipping, there are two options – air and sea. 

Geographic locations also determine the cost; if the loading is based in the ports, the shipping price automatically drops. If the loading and offloading are centrally based in the USA, then the transportation cost incurred is more; hence, shipping expenses will also increase drastically. 

Mailing packages to Germany from the USA is positively affected by how fast the goods are delivered. If the box is small, then shipping express can be done at an exorbitant price that takes the least time, i.e., 1-4 business days. Airfreight takes up to 7-15 days of the supply of the goods, and finally, the sea route being the cheapest is more time-consuming, with packages and large containers taking up to 43-47 days. 

- The average price of an FCL container from Germany to the USA during peak season is $2,191

- Average Price for sea freight LCL ( load 200kg/ 1cbm) is $757

- Average Price for air freight ( load 200kg/ 1cbm) is $1,480

- Average Price for express delivery ( load 50kg/ 0.2cbm) is $416

When Is The Perfect Time For Cheapest Shipping From Germany To The USA?

The off-season is the ideal time to ship goods in bulk; seasonal factors are also responsible. Also, an essential tip while booking is when the shipping companies lower their rates during the last two weeks. Generally, the General Rate Increases (GRI's) for the shipping carriers during the start of each month. This usually goes down when the shipping companies want to fill up the delivery supply in the middle of the month. 

How To Ship To Germany From The USA With The Proper Documents

It is imperative to get the goods insured for damages and lost in transit issues before shipping them off to the destination. This paperwork can be done via the shipping agencies or with any third-party agency. Insurance costs are estimated to be 0.3% to 0.5% of the value of the commercial invoice, commensurate with the amount paid for the goods. 

A shipping quote breaks down the exact components of the shipment with the surcharges. The most important is the commercial invoice that carries all the purchase details and the seller parties. It also mentions the HS code, custom duties, value of the goods, description of the products, and the notifications to the customs agents. 

Certificate of origin authenticates the goods to be produced in a specific geographic region. Material safety data sheet refers to the radioactive and chemical properties of the goods transported and whether they are of hazardous origin. A booking confirmation mentions the mode of freight as air or sea. The shipper's instructions come with the weight and specifications of the goods. Bill of landing is the proof of ownership; it is produced for the insurance claim, insurance liability, and critical document for the letter of credit/payment. Finally, the letter of credit is a chief document that allows the seller's bank to guarantee an amount from an overseas bank after the delivery of goods. 

Make sure you have all of these above documents in place before making any transit payments. This is an advantage when the goods land on the port for custom duties. The customs officers will check the due paperwork, decide on the cost incurred and the duties owed. Then release the goods from the port for the actual delivery. Business owners can hire a personal broker or get on officially via their freight providers to handle the custom hassles. 

Which Ports Are The Best For Germany To The USA Shipping

In Germany, Hamburg ( port code: DEHAM), Bremerhaven (port code: DEBRV), and Bremen (port code: DEBRE) are the best when it comes to international shipping. 

In the USA, Los Angeles ( port code: USLAX), New York (port code: USNYC), and Houston (port code: USHOU) are the best when it comes to international shipping. 

Regarding shipping companies ideal for transporting the goods, there are variations in the market with competitive prices. Book from the ones that offer attractive add ons and in-budget prices. 


Simpl is a 3PL provider that can help you with international shipments for eCommerce. If you're looking to get your goods delivered without hassle, start by having the right paperwork in place and choosing an appropriate shipping location, cost, and transit time. Once these three factors are well understood it will be much easier to find the best port on the map (or sea) for your desired product delivery. We hope this post has been helpful! Do you have any questions about our services or how we could assist in helping make your next shipment successful? Please don't hesitate to reach out!

Looking for eCommerce fulfillment partner?

Let's Chat

Looking for a FBA Prep Partner?

Let's Chat