The economy of Europe is dominated by that of Germany. This powerhouse is the continent’s largest national economy, and the world’s fourth-largest in terms of nominal GDP. Germany helped found both the European Union and the Eurozone. Its diverse markets and production make it a smart move to import from Germany to the US.

Germany is geared to your needs, as it is the world’s third-largest exporter. The country’s trade surplus was the highest in the world in 2014, at $285 billion USD. Pharmaceuticals, vehicles, electronics, machinery, and rubber and plastics are among Germany’s top exports. In 2014, the country also bought $1,218 trillion USD worth of imported products, chiefly natural gas and crude oil.

Germany is a land of small-to-medium-sized businesses, most of which are family-owned. But large corporations are also attracted to the country-fifty of the Fortune Global 500 companies are headquartered there. The country is made for business. If you are an entrepreneur interested in providing clients with quality goods from the European market, you should learn more about how to import from Germany to the US.

Full Container (FCL) or Groupage (LCL)

When planning to import from Germany, you’ll first need to make some choices related to shipping volume. Your shipping volume may allow you to use a shared container (less-than-container load, or LCL), or it may call for a full container load (FCL). Groupage-the term for sharing a container with other exporters-is a money-saving option that allows you to pay only for the shipping space you use.

FCL (a full container load) is your best choice if your shipping volume comes to at least six standard pallets, as that will fill a bit more than half of a 20-foot container. You can ship up to 10 standard pallets in a 20-foot container, while a 40-foot container accommodates 22 standard pallets. If you would like to keep your goods separate from those of other importers, FCL is also a good choice. Please review iContainers’ rates for the import of containers from Germany, then contact us for more information.

Ocean Freight Routes from Germany

Hamburg and Bremen are ports of particular importance to those importing goods from Germany.

  • Port of Hamburg
    Hamburg is Europe’s second-largest container port. Located about 68 miles from the mouth of the Elbe, this is one of the world’s most flexible, high-performance universal ports. Among its features are nearly 300 berths ranging along more than 26 miles of quay walls. It also boasts four state-of-the-art container terminals, and about 50 facilities that specialize in handling project shipments and bulk cargoes. In 2014, Hamburg handled nearly 9.7 million standard containers (TEU).

  • Ports of Bremen
    These ports, managed by Bremenports GmbH & Co. KG, serve both Bremen and Bremerhaven. These are among Europe’s most important commercial ports.
    Almost 80 percent of all Germany’s freight comes through Bremerhaven. While it focuses on refrigerated fruit carriers, car carriers, and container vessels, it handles almost all kinds of freight, as does Bremen. Bremen specializes in bulk cargo, as well as in handling conventional general cargo and heavy lift. Both Bremerhaven and Bremen are well-connected and well-managed.

Rates for Air Transportation from Germany

Depending on your needs, air freight may be a better choice for you than ocean freight, especially so if you’re on a tight schedule and your shipment is urgent. Air freight does impose some limitations on volume and weight; iContainers provides a calculator to help you determine whether this is the right option for you.