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Ocean & Air Freight Shipping to Taiwan

Get information and quote for FCL, LCL and Air shipping

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Updated on 16 Sep 202110 min read

Taiwan imported nearly $286 billion worth of goods from all over the world in 2018. Yours could have been among them, or you might have your sights set on contributing to the nation’s next set of import figures. Either way, this page is packed with information to help you understand your options for ocean and air shipping to Taiwan.

What Are Your Options for Shipping Freight to Taiwan?

Flag of Taiwan to show Shipa Freight capacity to ship to Taiwan

Shippers can get their goods transported to the island of Taiwan using air or ocean shipping. Each method has advantages and pitfalls that we will present on this page, to help you decide which would work best for your business.

Ocean Freight to Taiwan

Less than Container Load (LCL): If you have a smaller consignment to ship, it’s worth considering LCL. It requires your goods to share a container with products from other shippers.

Full Container Load (FCL): This mode of shipping gives you exclusive use of a container for your goods. You can either fill or part-fill your container. FCL is often the fastest way to ship ocean freight to Taiwan. It allows you to have your container sealed at the point of origin, and for it to remain sealed throughout shipping.

Air Freight to Taiwan

Air freight is the most expensive way to ship commodities to Taiwan, but it’s also the fastest. Freight forwarders will most likely use one of two Taiwanese airports as the destination for your shipment— Taipei in the north or Kaohsiung in the south. Passenger flights or cargo-only services could be used to ship your goods, possibly both if only indirect flights are available.

How Much Does it Cost to Ship Cargo to Taiwan?

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The distance your goods must be shipped will, of course, have a bearing on the cost of your consignment. However, freight forwarders have to take other factors into account when calculating your quote, including:

  • The nature of the freight you’re shipping
  • Whether you want to use air or maritime transportation
  • How much your consignment weighs, as well as its volume and size
  • What kind of delivery service you require—for instance, port to port or door to door

As mentioned above, the weight of your consignment will affect the shipping rates you pay, but it can also have an impact on the mode of shipping you choose.

Using ocean carriers to transport goods weighing over 100 kilograms is usually the most cost-efficient option, as air freight is expensive for heavier loads. If your goods weigh under 100 kilograms, you’re unlikely to find much of a price difference between air and ocean shipping. Freight forwarders do not quote for shipments lighter than 35 kilograms, so you should approach international couriers for a quote.

How Long Does it Take to Ship Cargo to Taiwan?

Your choice of air or ocean shipping won’t just affect the price you pay. It will also have a bearing on the time it takes for your consignment to reach Taiwan.

If speed is the ultimate need and cost isn’t a problem, choose air freight. By and large, freight from any major international airport on the planet can be shipped to Taiwan in two to eight days.

With ocean shipping, it’s more a matter of weeks, but again, much depends on how far from Taiwan your port of origin is located. Bear in mind also that all ocean shipping times will be affected by whether you choose FCL or LCL. The reasons for this are explained elsewhere on this page.

How Long Does It Take to Ship Cargo by Sea to Taiwan?

Below is a list of transit-time examples for ocean shipments to Taiwan, from various countries and ports of origin:

Country of Origin Port of Origin Destination Port Transit Time LCL Transit Time FCL
Belgium Antwerp Keelung 47 Days 35 Days
Germany Hamburg Keelung 46 Days 43 Days
Germany Hamburg Taichung 50 Days 44 Days
India Nhava Sheva Kaohsiung 27 Days
India Mundra Keelung 23 Days
India Mundra Taichung 21 Days
India Mundra Kaohsiung 23 Days
Indonesia Jakarta Taichung 31 Days
Indonesia Surabaya Kaohsiung   31 Days
Indonesia Semarang Keelung 14 Days
Indonesia Semarang Taichung 21 Days
Indonesia Semarang Kaohsiung 21 Days
Malaysia Port Klang Taipei 21 Days
Singapore Singapore Kaohsiung 9 Days
Singapore Singapore Taichung 12 Days
Spain Valencia Keelung 32 Days
Thailand Bangkok Taichung 18 Days
Thailand Laem Chabang Keelung 13 Days
USA Chicago Kaohsiung 45 Days
Vietnam Haiphong Kaohsiung 13 Days
Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City Taichung 21 Days

How Long Does It Take to Ship Cargo by Air to Taiwan?

We have listed a few examples of air freight transit times below, to give you an idea of how long you can expect your shipment to Taiwan to take:

Country of Origin Airport of Origin Destination Airport Transit Time
Belgium Brussels Taipei 8 Days
Canada Toronto Taipei 6 Days
France Paris Taipei 8 Days
China Beijing Taipei 3 Days
Germany Frankfurt Taipei 8 Days
Germany Berlin Taipei 8 Days
Germany Dusseldorf Taipei 8 Days
India Mumbai Kaohsiung 6 Days
India Mumbai Taipei 6 Days
India Delhi Taipei 4 Days
India Hyderabad Taipei 5 Days
India Chennai Taipei 3 Days
Indonesia Jakarta Taipei 4 Days
Indonesia Surabaya Taipei 8 Days
Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Taipei 3 Days
Singapore Singapore Taipei   3 Days
UAE Dubai Taipei 4 Days
USA Atlanta Taipei 7 Days
USA Dallas Taipei 5 Days
USA Detroit Kaohsiung 5 Days

Import Customs Clearance in Taiwan

One of the most complicated aspects of international shipping is customs clearance. Such is the confusion it can cause that many businesses prefer to hire a freight forwarder to handle the process. It’s a wise move if you want to avoid unnecessary delays to your shipment. A forwarder will also ensure your consignment complies with customs rules and regulations both in your port of origin and in Taiwan.

You will still need to carry out some customs-related tasks yourselves, such as submitting essential documents with your consignment. Customs officials are likely to insist on seeing the following items of paperwork:

  1. A Commercial Invoice

  2. A Packing List

  3. A Certificate of Origin

  4. A Letter of Credit or other payment terms (depends on the contract between the parties involved)

  5. A Bill of Lading for ocean freight or Airway Bill for air freight (Shipa Freight will provide this for you)

You might also need to send a certificate, permit, and/or license with your consignment—your freight forwarder will let you know. You can take a closer look at the documents listed above on the documents list page we’ve compiled, which also provides some examples for reference.

Ship Ocean Freight to Taiwan: FCL or LCL?

FCL shipping gives you exclusive use of a container for your goods, whereas LCL requires your goods to share a container. Whichever option works best for you, it’s likely your goods will be transported aboard a cargo vessel in a 20ft or 40ft shipping container.

It might be the case that your goods require a specialist container to ensure they arrive in Taiwan in mint condition. Your freight forwarder will advise whether a refrigerated, ventilated or other type of shipping container is best for your freight.

If you’re unsure whether FCL or LCL shipping is right for your consignment, here’s some guidance:

Less Than Container Load (LCL) Shipping to Taiwan

Businesses often find LCL works best for them if:

  • They want to ship a relatively small consignment (less than 14 cubic meters in volume)
  • Their consignment isn’t urgently required in Taiwan
  • They’re content for their goods to occupy a container alongside other freight
  • They cannot book their goods onto an aircraft for size, safety, or financial reasons

Even though many companies find LCL is their most cost-effective mode of transportation, there are some downsides. Not least of these is the consolidation and deconsolidation required. These processes will require your goods to be moved and handled more often than would be the case if you use FCL shipping. They can also result in longer transit times.

You should also consider avoiding LCL shipping to Taiwan if:

  • Your consignment contains high-value, perishable, or fragile goods
  • Too much handling of your freight could damage it
  • Delays to your shipping aren’t an option
  • Your freight is very large and/or heavy
  • You don’t like the idea of not knowing what type of goods your cargo will share a container with

Learn more about Less than Container Load on our dedicated page on LCL shipping.

Full Container Load (FCL) Shipping to Taiwan

FCL could be your best option for shipping goods by ocean to Taiwan if:

  • They must reach their destination by a specified date
  • You want to seal your container at its origin, and for it to remain sealed throughout shipping
  • Your consignment is large enough to occupy at least half of a standard 20ft shipping container
  • The goods are delicate or otherwise unsuitable for shipping in a shared container

Learn more about Full Container Load on our dedicated page on FCL shipping.

Cargo Ports of Arrival in Taiwan


Port Facts:

  • Situated in the Bali District on Taiwan’s northern coast
  • Houses the most modern container terminal in Taiwan
  • Its facilities include 40 automated rail-mounted gantry cranes
  • It’s easy to transport goods from here to Taoyuan City, New Taipei City, Hsinchu City, and other locations in the north of the country

Owned By: Taiwan International Ports Corporation.

Annual Container Volume: 1.6 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Located in Western Taiwan in the Wuqi District
  • It’s about 130 kilometers southwest of Taipei
  • The port is well served by rail and road links, including Provincial Highways 12, 17, and 61
  • Ideally located for easy onward shipping of goods to Taichung City, Chiayi City and other locations in Changhua and Yunlin County

Owned By: Taiwan International Ports Corporation.

Annual Container Volume: >1.7 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • The largest port in Taiwan
  • Situated in the southeast of the country
  • Was one of the world’s biggest seaports in the 1980s and 1990s
  • A new container terminal is scheduled to open here in 2022
  • Serves as an important maritime transportation link between Asia, the Americas, and Europe
  • Ideal port of arrival for goods headed to Lingya, Yancheng, Gushan, or Siaogang

Owned By: Taiwan International Ports Corporation.

Annual Container Volume: >10.2 million TEUs.


Keelung (Chilung)

Port Facts:

  • This port is sometimes called Keelung Harbor
  • Located just 37 kilometers east of Taipei
  • Serves Keelung City and other destinations in Northeastern Taiwan
  • Accounts for around 10% of Taiwan’s annual container throughput

Owned By: Taiwan International Ports Corporation.

Annual Container Volume: >1.5 million TEUs.


Air Shipping for Your Freight to Taiwan

Unquestionably the fastest way to ship goods to Taiwan, air freight could also be the best choice for your business if:

  • Your cargo is fragile or perishable
  • Your freight is urgently required in Taiwan
  • You are sending a small consignment—perhaps two or three pallets
  • Your goods are high-value and require the stringent security measures provided by airports

Learn more about Air Freight on our dedicated page by clicking here.

Airports of Arrival in Taiwan

Taipei (IATA Code: TPE)

Airport Facts:

  • Officially known as Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport
  • Situated about 40 kilometers west of the city of Taipei
  • Rated as the world’s eighth-busiest airport for cargo throughput
  • 2.3 billion tonnes of air freight were handled here in 2018

Kaohsiung (IATA Code: KHH)

Airport Facts:

  • Known locally as Siaogang Airport
  • Located in Southwestern Taiwan
  • Taiwan’s second-busiest air cargo hub
  • Infrastructure includes two terminals and one runway
  • Ideal port of arrival for goods required in Tainan City and Taitung County

Ocean and Air Shipping to Taiwan: Why Choose Shipa Freight?

Shipa Freight makes it easy for businesses of all sizes to ship to Taiwan more easily and successfully. We’ve created a website that brings fresh simplicity to international shipping, so everyone can enjoy access to the top air and ocean carriers.

Easy registration, quick quotes, and fast price comparisons are all possible on an online platform that gives companies one place to keep track of all their shipping.

Other benefits of using Shipa Freight to coordinate shipments to Taiwan include:

  • Access to an expert team of friendly customer service advisors, available 24/7
  • We handle customs clearance complexities for you
  • You can rest assured that your consignment will comply with shipping regulations
  • We’ll let you know which documents will need to accompany your shipment

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