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Container Shipping to Taiwan

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Updated on 29 Aug 20228 min read

Among the countries in the world, Taiwan is another with a good track record in imported goods. In 2018, its total value of imports amounted to $286 billion, making it a viable market to expand your business to.

If you are looking to reach the Taiwanese market, you need to know all about the shipping process, its customs clearance requirements, and your options for transporting your goods to Taiwan. We discuss all those and more in this article.

What are your options for container shipping to Taiwan?

Container shipping to Taiwan requires transport by sea. Ocean freight shipping gives you two options, either LCL (Less than Container Load) or FCL (Full Container Load).

Less than Container Load (LCL) to Taiwan

Less than container load or LCL shipping is best if you’re shipping in small quantities or your cargo is relatively small. In this mode of ocean freight, your goods will be consolidated with other cargo and shipped collectively in one container.

Hence, it’s a more economical option. However, because of the consolidation process, it can take longer for your cargo to arrive in Taiwan.

Full Container Load (FCL) to Taiwan

In full container load shipping, on the other hand, your cargo can be shipped exclusively. You settle payments for the entire space in a single unit for your shipments alone. This is best for large, heavy, bulky, and delicate or fragile cargo.

While it may cost more because you don’t share the cost of the container space with other shippers, you can enjoy a faster shipping time.

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

You will need to consider a lot of factors to determine your shipping cost. These include:

  • 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 need an accurate amount, you can request a quote from your freight forwarder.

What type of cargo can be sent in a container?

Because you are shipping via ocean freight, you have fewer restrictions when it comes to the type of goods you can ship. Ocean freight can accommodate all types of cargo, along with its sizes and weights. You can ship anything from small goods like foodstuff or large cargo such as vehicles, machines, etc.

It’s worth noting, however, that you should do your research on the customs rules in Taiwan. Some goods may be prohibited or restricted. Check the official list so that you don’t run into problems with the Taiwanese customs authorities.

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

A lot of things can affect the duration of your container shipment to Taiwan. These include your choice of ocean freight service, whether the ship is direct or has multiple stops, and of course, the distance between your port of origin and the port in Taiwan.

It can take nine to 50 days for your cargo to arrive at its destination. Below are some estimated transit times by country of origin.

Country of Origin|LCL Transit Time|FCL Transit Time| ------- | ---------------- | ---------------- |----------:

Belgium|47 days|35 days Germany|46 to 50 days|43 to 44 days India ||21 to 27 days Indonesia|14 days|21 to 31 days Malaysia||21 days Singapore||9 to 12 days Spain||32 days Thailand||13 to 18 days USA||45 days Vietnam||13 to 21 days

What container capacity do I need for my cargo?

Ocean freight containers come in various sizes, with 20 feet being the smallest and going as large as 45 feet. The container capacity that you need would depend on the size and volume of your cargo.

If you select LCL as your mode of shipping, we highly recommend that your cargo does not occupy more than half of a standard unit. Otherwise, it may be more cost-effective for you to select FCL services instead.

If you choose FCL, on the other hand, you don’t have to worry about the size, weight, and volume of your cargo. As you have the whole container to yourself, you have more liberty to ship cargo of any type or measurement.

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

Your priorities, as well as the nature of the goods you are shipping, are highly important to determine which mode of shipping is best for you. Take the pointers below to help you make an informed and correct decision.

Less Than Container Load (LCL) Shipping to Taiwan

LCL shipping is best if your cargo is:

  • Small in size or quantity
  • Not delicate or fragile
  • Suitable for shipping with other cargo
  • Suitable for frequent handling and movement
  • Not expected in Taiwan urgently

Full Container Load (FCL) Shipping to Taiwan

On the other hand, you should choose FCL if your cargo is:

  • Large, bulky, heavy, or oversized
  • Large in quantity
  • Fragile, delicate, or perishable
  • Not suitable for shipping with other cargo and requires isolation
  • Not suitable for frequent handling and movement
  • Expected in New Zealand rapidly

Break Bulk

Your freight forwarder may recommend break bulk shipping if your goods cannot fit into a standard container. In this mode of shipment, your goods will be packed and shipped separately and often in different containers.

Customs Clearance in Taiwan

Customs clearance requirements are the most important things to consider in international shipping. Before your goods can be admitted in Taiwan, you will need to supply the customs authorities with the following documents:

  • 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 look at to see examples of the documents above.

Which Incoterms would be the right choice for my shipment?

Knowing the right Incoterms is crucial to determine the point of your responsibilities and liabilities during the course of the shipment. Here are some Incoterms that you can use to ship a container to Taiwan.

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 Taiwan

When shipping a container to Taiwan, we highly recommend that you engage the service of a reliable freight forwarder. They are industry professionals who can ensure that your shipment runs smoothly and easily.

After you have arranged your shipment with your freight forwarder, your goods will be collected. LCL shipments will undergo consolidation. Afterward, all cargo will be loaded into containers for fumigation, which eliminates pests, insects, and other harmful organisms before shipment.

After transit has ended, the goods will all go through customs clearance. If you have provided complete and correct documents, customs clearance will be a breeze. After all goods have been cleared for import, LCL shipments will be deconsolidated.

After this process, your goods will be ready for pickup in the port of destination in Taiwan. If you select port-to-door or door-to-door services, your cargo will be delivered to the nominated location.

Main container ports of arrival in Taiwan


Located in the district of Bali, the port of Taipei has the most modernized facilities and houses 40 automated cranes. These advanced facilities make it easy for the port to conduct high-volume transports, especially to areas in the north of Taiwan.

Owned By: Taiwan International Ports Corporation Annual Container Volume: 1.6 million TEUs UN/LOCODE: TWTPE


In the Western area of Taiwan is the Taichung port, located southwest of the port of Taipei. Its strategic location and road links make it a prime port for cities such as Taichung, Changhua, Chiayi, and Yunlin.

Owned By: Taiwan International Ports Corporation Annual Container Volume: >1.7 million TEUs UN/LOCODE: TWTXG


The port of Kaohsiung is the largest port in the country of Taiwan, located in the southeastern region. It provides links to other countries in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. The port is being developed to create a new container terminal, which should finish by the year 2022.

Owned By: Taiwan International Ports Corporation Annual Container Volume: >10.2 million TEUs UN/LOCODE: TWKHH.

Why Ship a Container to Taiwan With Shipa Freight?

Shipa Freight is your reliable digital-first freight forwarder providing you with excellent service with the convenience of modern technology. Our digital platform allows you to manage the entire shipping process, from requesting quotes and beginning your shipment to tracking your cargo and settling payments.

Shipping a container to Taiwan is much easier with Shipa Freight. Get started today by requesting a free quote.

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