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Container Shipping to Denmark

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Updated on 29 Aug 20229 min read

Denmark’s economy is highly reliant on trade and international importation. The country is ranked as the 35th largest importer globally, with a total of $98.9 billion USD worth of imported goods in the year 2019. It has very good trade relations with its neighboring countries, as well as Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and China.

If you are thinking about expanding your reach to the consumer market in Denmark, read on to learn your options for shipping containers, the cost to ship to Denmark, container capacity you should choose, average transit time, customs clearance, Incoterms and more.

What are your options for container shipping to Denmark?

To ship a container to Denmark, your cargo will need to be transported by sea. You have two options when it comes to ocean freight shipping, full container load (FCL) or less than container load (LCL).

Less than Container Load (LCL) to Denmark

Less than container load is best for small shipments, in terms of size or quantity. This is because LCL consolidates goods belonging to different shippers, shipping them together in one standard container. This makes it an economical and cost-efficient choice, but the transit time may take longer to give way to the consolidation process.

Full Container Load (FCL) to Denmark

On the other hand, full container load (FCL) is a more exclusive shipping option. Your goods will be shipped in isolation and you have the full container to yourself. Because of this, you can ship anything regardless of size or volume. However, FCL can be more expensive.

How much does it cost to ship a container to Denmark?

The cost to ship a container to Denmark is computed considering a variety of factors, including:

  • Type of goods you are shipping
  • Your choice of shipping service (LCL or FCL)
  • Weight of your cargo
  • Volume of your cargo
  • Distance between your port of origin and destination
  • Movement type (door-to-door, port-to-port, etc.)

If you want a more accurate estimate of your shipping cost, request a quote from your freight forwarder.

What type of cargo can be sent in a container?

Because you are shipping by sea, you are not bound by too many limitations when it comes to the type of cargo that you can ship. You can send anything from small appliances or food to large vehicles and machinery. There are less restrictions in ocean freight compared to air freight.

However, Denmark may have certain prohibitions or require additional documents, permits, or certifications for particular goods. Make sure to do your due diligence and determine if the goods you are planning to send are prohibited or restricted by your destination country.

How long does it take to ship a container to Denmark?

The total transit time for cargo bound for Denmark will differ, depending on factors such as the distance between your port of origin and destination, the mode of ocean freight that you select for your shipment, and the route of your ship (whether direct or has multiple stops).

On average, your shipment can take anywhere from 19 to 51 days to arrive in Denmark. Below are some estimated transit times per country of origin.

Country of Origin|LCL Transit Time|FCL Transit Time| ------- | ---------------- | ---------------- |----------: Australia|49 days Canada||21 days China|41 to 51 days|37 to 46 days Hong Kong||38 days India||31 days United States|19 to 39 days

What container capacity do I need for my cargo?

Ocean freight containers come in various sizes. The smallest ones are 20 feet while the largest ones are 45 feet. Below are the available container sizes:

  • 20-foot - 33.2 CBM
  • 40-foot regular - 63.5 CBM
  • 40-foot high cube - 76.4 CBM
  • 45-feet high cube - 86 CBM

The size of the container that you should choose would depend on the measurements and volume of your cargo. However, if you are choosing LCL as your mode of ocean freight, we recommend that you make sure that your cargo does not occupy more than half of a standard container. This is for economical purposes. It might be cheaper or more cost advantageous for you to choose FCL instead if your goods occupy more than half of a standard container.

If you are shipping via FCL, the size and volume of your cargo can be the least of your worries. This is because you own the space of the entire container, so you can ship anything you want regardless of measurements and quantity, as long as it fits the standard unit.

Which mode of ocean shipping should I choose, FCL, LCL, or Break Bulk?

Which mode of ocean freight you should choose would depend on your priorities and preferences. Here are some tips to help you decide.

Less Than Container Load (LCL) Shipping to Denmark

LCL is best for cargo that is:

  • Small in size or quantity
  • Not delicate or fragile
  • Suitable for frequently movement or handling
  • Suitable for consolidation with other cargo
  • Your goods do not need to arrive in Denmark urgently

Full Container Load (FCL) Shipping to Denmark

You should choose FCL as your mode of ocean freight if your cargo is:

  • Large, bulky, heavy, or overweight
  • Fragile, delicate, or perishable
  • Safer in isolation
  • Not suitable for frequent handling and movement
  • Expected in Denmark at the soonest date available excluding air freight shipping.

Break Bulk

If your consignments cannot fit into a single container, your freight forwarder may recommend break bulk shipping. In this option, your cargo will be separated and shipped in individual containers.

Customs Clearance in Denmark

As with any other country, Denmark has customs clearance processes that checks your cargo before they can enter the country. Customs authorities will require the following documents and paperwork before they permit the import of your goods:

  • Commercial invoice
  • Letter of credit/ other payment terms
  • Packing list
  • Certificates of origin
  • Import licenses
  • Bill of lading or airway bill, provided by Shipa Freight

We have a full documents list you can refer to for the paperwork you need for customs clearance, as well as examples of each to help you prepare them.

Which Incoterms would be the right choice for my shipment?

Knowing the right Incoterms will help dictate your responsibilities and liabilities throughout the shipping process. Here are some Incoterms that may be suitable for your container shipment.

Best Incoterms for Exporters

CPT (Carriage Paid To): The seller must bring the goods to the agreed destination and carry out a contract of carriage. The seller is liable until the goods have been handed to the carrier.

CIP (Carriage and Insurance Paid To): Similar responsibilities as CPT, but with the added requirement on the seller’s part to obtain insurance.

DAP (Delivered At Place): The seller should deliver the goods to the buyer’s selected location and is responsible for the majority of the shipping process.

DDP (Delivery Duty Paid): The seller is responsible from the beginning to the end of the shipping process. This leaves the buyer with minimal responsibilities.

FCA (Free Carrier): The seller must deliver the goods to the carrier and shoulder the costs of customs.

Best Incoterms for Importers

FCA (Free Carrier): The seller must deliver the goods to the carrier and shoulder the costs of customs.

EXW (Ex Works): More responsibility is put on the buyer’s part, from picking up the goods at the seller’s premises or warehouse to arranging transport.

Processes to follow to ship a container to Denmark

When shipping a container to Denmark, we recommend that you engage the services of a freight forwarder who can make the process easier and guarantee a successful shipment. When you book your order, you should choose whether you want to ship via LCL or FCL.

If you select LCL, your goods will be consolidated with other consignments in a container freight station. Together with FCL goods, they will be loaded into containers and undergo fumigation, which is the process of eliminating insects, pests, and other harmful organisms.

When your goods arrive in Denmark, they will go through customs clearance. As long as you provide the necessary documents, this process should be easy and your goods will be cleared for import. After that, you can pick your goods up at the port of destination. But if you elected a movement service, such as door-to-door or port-to-door shipping, your goods will be delivered to your specified location.

Main container ports of arrival in Denmark


The Aarhus port, located in the Aarhus River, is Denmark’s largest port that handles half of the container traffic in the country. It has a container facility that is equipped with eight cranes and a 1,300-meter pier.

Owned By: Aarhus Municipality Annual Container Volume: >540,000 TEUs UN/LOCODE: DKAAR


The port of Copenhagen is one of the largest ports in the Nordic region. Its location in Oresund makes it an important gateway for Baltic region shipments. The port has a 175,000-meter storage area in its container terminal and also has facilities for general cargo, liquid bulk, dry bulk, and automobiles.

Owned By: Copenhagen Malmo Port and By & Havn Annual Container Volume: >194,000 TEUs UN/LOCODE: DKCPH


Located in Jutland, the port of Esbjerg is an important port not only for Denmark but for many countries in Europe. This is because it is the leading facility of the shipment of wind turbines to Britain.

Owned By: Esbjerg Havn Annual Container Volume: >570,000 TEUs UN/LOCODE: DKEBJ

Why Ship a Container to Denmark With Shipa Freight?

Shipa Freight is a digital first freight forwarder that allows you to enjoy traditional freight forwarding services with the convenience of technology. We have a unique digital platform you can use to manage the entirety of your shipment from the comfort of your mobile device. From requesting quotes to tracking your shipment, you can do it all conveniently with Shipa Freight. You also get access to industry experts as well as friendly 24/7 customer service that can help you throughout the course of your shipment.

Get started by requesting your free quote.

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