As two of the most prominent economies in their regions, both India and Germany have an interconnected trade system, with goods and products flowing between the two. So much so, that Germany is India’s most prominent trade partner within the EU, and the sixth most important worldwide.
With a trade history between India and Germany dating back 500 years, economic cooperation and trade underpins the modern relationship between the two countries, with a range of industries shipping freight from India to Germany.
Indian companies are increasingly investing in Germany, with more than €6.5 billion flowing from India to Germany, particularly in the automotive, IT, pharma and biotech sectors.
There are plenty of ways that shipping goods from India to Germany can be conducted but ensuring that other issues, such as customs clearances and cargo insurance, are considered is vitally important.
This guide provides you with everything you need to know, including how to find the cheapest shipping from India to Germany, the value of freight forwarding and the importance of cargo insurance.
The SeaRates platform can help you find the best shopping routes, request costs from freight forwarders, and ensure that you find the cheapest shipping from India to Germany.
How long does it take to ship from India to Germany by sea?
The main thing to consider when shipping by sea are the ports where the shipment will be sent from and received into. India is vast with a coastline dotted with ports, so finding a balance between time elapsed getting the shipment to the port and the extra time it may spend at sea is important.
Typically, a shipment will take between 22 and 36 days to travel from India to Germany by sea.
There are two main options when shipping from India to Germany by sea.
Less-than-container load (LCL)
LCL shipping is a cost-efficient option for low-volume consignments that are not sizeable enough to fill an entire container. LCL shipments are pooled with other transporters and only depart the port when the container is full, potentially adding time to the shipment’s totally journey.
Full-container load (FCL)
FCL shipping is best for large, high-volume shipments that fill at least one container. It is relatively low-risk and cost-effective for shippers, with the container being unloaded only when it arrives at its destination.
- Mundra to Hamburg – 22 days FCL
- Chennai to Hamburg – 36 days LCL, 35 days FCL
- Nhava Sheva to Hamburg – 28 days LCL, 27 days FCL
Both India and Germany are well served with airports that can handle goods and freight, and is by far the quickest way to send shipments between the two countries. Despite most flights from India to Germany requiring a stopover, there are still plenty of time-efficient options available.
- Kolkata to Frankfurt – 2 days
- Chennai to Frankfurt – 3 days
- Bangalore to Frankfurt – 5 days
- Hyderabad to Frankfurt – 4 days
- Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, or Cochin to Frankfurt – 6 days
When is the best time to ship from India to Germany?
The global shipping industry’s cyclical demand structure peaks in late summer heading into the autumn in the northern hemisphere, making October a busy time for most markets.
It is easy to predict when the peak shipping season will be, but trickier to know the effects it will have on the global shipping industry. For the most up to date information, be sure to check our website.
Demand for shipping from India is increasing, driven by record volumes of rice being exported, whilst a decline in the number of inbound containers from China has been exacerbating the problem.
In the long term, these issues will likely resolve, however it is important to understand the current issues around container capacity. Our Online Freight Marketplace allows you to check rates and availability, and get quotes from freight forwarding companies, helping you find the cheapest shipping between India and Germany.
What does shipping from India to Germany cost?
Shipping costs between India and Germany are dependent on several factors: the port of origin and its destination, the specific time of year when shipping and carrier availability, for example. Other factors include the nature of the goods, chosen method of transport (LCL shipping, FCL shipping or air freight), weight and dimensions, and the length of the shipping journey. Small shipments that don’t weigh very much might be affordable to ship by air, while large, heavy shipments are almost always cheaper by sea.
*Actual rates up to 31 May 2021.
|CURRENCY ||20ST* ||DESTINATION/DIRECTION ||TRANSIT TIME |
|USD ||3087 ||Chennai-Hamburg ||28 days |
|USD ||2966 ||Cochin-Hamburg ||27 days |
|USD ||3571 ||Hazira-Bremerhaven ||26 days|
|USD ||3571 ||Hazira-Hamburg ||28 days |
|USD ||3461 ||Mundra-Hamburg ||29 days |
|USD ||2987 ||Nhava-Sheva-Bremerhaven ||27 days |
*Actual rates up to 31 May 2021.
|CURRENCY ||40ST* ||DESTINATION/DIRECTION ||TRANSIT TIME |
|USD ||3785 ||Chennai-Hamburg ||28 days |
|USD ||3669 ||Cochin-Hamburg ||27 days |
|USD ||4299 ||Hazira-Bremerhaven ||26 days|
|USD ||4299 ||Hazira-Hamburg ||28 days |
|USD ||4089 ||Mundra-Hamburg ||29 days |
|USD ||3796 ||Nhava-Sheva-Bremerhaven ||27 days |
SeaRates.com’s Online Freight Marketplace makes it easy for you to find available routes on any given date by land, air or sea. SeaRates provides you with access to competitive freight rates from around the world, direct from global freight forwarding companies. This helps you find the cheapest shipping from India to Germany so you can keep costs down and increase efficiency.
Reduce cargo costs by optimising load packing
When it comes to shipping cargo, efficiency is paramount. As such, it is vitally important to make the most of container space to save on transportation costs. Through our Load Calculator tool you can enter your shipment details and view a 3D simulation of how the goods will be placed inside the container, therefore optimising your packing, reducing costs and getting the most out of your shipment.
Handling customs authorization when shipping from India to Germany
Shipping goods from India to Germany involves stringent customs clearance procedures. The process can be daunting, which is why many companies utilise a freight forwarder that will provide expertise to ensure a smooth and efficient process.
A freight forwarder will inform you which documents will be needed when shipping goods from India to Germany. This often means producing the following:
- A commercial invoice
- A packing list
- Certificate of origin
- A letter of credit or other payment terms
- A bill of lading for ocean freight or an airway bill for air freight
You also need to provide licenses, permits or certificates for goods to clear customs.
How to insure your container
Any time cargo is shipped from one place to another, it is important to get cargo insurance. Going without it is not advised, as you could risk a significant loss if something goes wrong. In fact, it is the only protection you have when your shipment is damaged or suffers a loss, so we always recommend taking out insurance.
We can help you find the right insurance policy for your needs through our Online Freight Marketplace. It is best practice to get quotes for cargo insurance cover from across the market.
What are the major cargo shipping ports in India?
Situated on the Coromandel Coast in South-eastern India, Chennai’s cargo port benefits from excellent transport links that connect to its two terminals. The success of these transport links has made Chennai the second largest container port in India.
Often referred to as KPCL, this port sits 180km north of Chennai, and serves a range of industries including fertilizers and freight. Up to 1.2 million containers move through the terminal every year.
India’s largest privately owned port, it ranks in the global top 50 in terms of size. Boasting four cargo terminals it primarily serves the northern state of Gujarat as well as the wider industries in north western India.
A modern port, Kattupalli offers direct port entry status to self-sealed or factory-stuffed shipments, improving the efficiency of supply chains. Congestion free approach roads to the port also help to ensure that all shipments are handled efficiently.
Situated in the southern state of Goa, this historic port sits in a natural harbour on the banks of the river Zuari. It serves a wide range of industries in southern India, including pharmaceuticals and fish exports.
What are the major cargo shipping ports in Germany?
The fourth busiest port in Europe, Bremerhaven is one of the world’s leading container ports. With four terminals capable of handling a variety of freight types, the port is capable of serving much of Europe thanks to its extensive transport links.
The second of Germany’s mega-ports, Hamburg is the largest in the country, and the third busiest on the continent. Sitting on the southern banks of the Elbe, Hamburg port has capacity for 22 container vessels to load and unload cargo.