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Ocean & Air Shipping From Germany to Brazil

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Updated on 16 Feb 202215 min read

Germany is the number-one European exporter of goods to Brazil, and is tied with Argentina as the fourth-largest global exporter. The only countries that ship more goods into Brazil are China and the United States. If you are keen to participate in this active trade, then you are in the right place.

We understand that international logistics is a complex undertaking, even for seasoned shippers. With the aim to make ocean and air shipping from Germany to Brazil easy and straightforward for your business, we’ve compiled crucial information here on this page.

What Are Your Options for Shipping From Germany to Brazil?

Freight forwarder launching freight by rocket from Germany to Brazil, adjacent to flags of Germany and Brazil

You have two options when you export from Germany to Brazil: air freight and sea freight. Either alternative has specific advantages and drawbacks, which we will cover subsequently.

Ocean Freight From Germany to Brazil

Less than Container Load (LCL): When your cargo is given space in a shared container that also carries consignments for other businesses, it’s called LCL shipping. The main benefit is that you don’t have to pay for the entire container, but only for the space that your freight occupies. That’s why LCL shipping is often the most cost-efficient option for importing small shipments from Germany to Brazil.

Full Container Load (FCL): If you want your cargo to have a container to itself, you can procure the use and transportation of an entire unit at a flat rate. This might be even cheaper than LCL in terms of shipping cost-per-unit, depending on the volume and weight of your freight.

Air Freight from Germany to Brazil

Air freight is the best way to move your freight to Brazil if speed is a top priority for you. However, you must be prepared to pay a premium price for this fast service.

How Much Does it Cost to Ship Cargo From Germany to Brazil?

Global freight shipping is costly, but there are ways and means to minimize the impact of shipping costs on the profits of your business. If you don't require high-velocity deliveries from Germany to Brazil, ocean shipping will always be the most cost-effective freight solution. In most cases, it makes sense to choose LCL shipping for small consignments or LCL for shipments of more than six standard pallets of goods.

Air freight costs considerably more than shipping by sea. However, the difference might be negligible for consignments of 100 kilograms or less in weight. Of course, the extra expenditure will get your products moved a lot more quickly, with transit times counted in days rather than weeks.

Shipa Freight’s services are not available for consignments that weigh under 35kg. For shipments of this weight or below, we recommend you engage an international courier service.

How Long Does it Take to Ship Cargo From Germany to Brazil?

Paper calendar to represent the transit time of shipments with Shipa Freight

Thousands of kilometers separate Germany and Brazil, so even if you ship goods between the two countries by air, it will take some days for them to complete the journey. Note though, that most air-freight transit time is taken up in customs clearance.

Of course, ocean shipping takes considerably longer. While air freight shipments typically take a week or so, FCL or LCL shipments will be in transit between Germany and Brazil for three to four weeks.

How Long Does It Take to Ship Cargo by Sea From Germany to Brazil?

Ocean freight transit times vary depending on the locations of your ports of loading and discharge, but here are a couple of examples extracted from Shipa Freight's schedules:

  • Hamburg to Santos – 20 days FCL, 24 days LCL
  • Hamburg to Rio de Janeiro - 20 days FCL, 26 days LCL

How Long Does It Take to Ship Cargo by Air From Germany to Brazil?

Here are a few air-freight transit times for routes from Germany to Brazil. Please note that the following air-freight shipping durations are approximate, and include the time required for consolidation, interim storage, and customs clearance:

  • Frankfurt or Hamburg to Sao Paulo – 7 days
  • Frankfurt or Hamburg to Rio de Janeiro – 8 days
  • Dusseldorf to Sao Paulo – 8 days
  • Frankfurt to Viracopos - 4 days
  • Leipzig to Rio de Janeiro - 4 days

Customs Clearance in Germany and Brazil

Understanding the export and import customs requirements and procedures in the countries where you trade is essential for your international shipments to route smoothly from A to B.

However, not every business can afford the time or effort necessary to gain the appropriate expertise. A freight forwarder can take the bulk of the customs-clearance workload off your hands. An expert can provide you with all the help you need to clear your goods through customs without problems or delays.

Nevertheless, it makes sense to be familiar with the essential documents required for export customs clearance in Germany and import clearance in Brazil.

Customs authorities in both countries will require the following documents, as a minimum, to assess your shipments for clearance and to calculate any duties and taxes due:

  1. Commercial Invoice

  2. Packing List

  3. Certificate of Origin

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

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

If you’d like to know more about these documents and see some examples, you can do so by visiting our Document List page.

Should You Choose Ocean Freight or Air Freight?

Ocean Freight

Importing from Germany to Brazil using ocean shipping may not be fast, but it is typically the least expensive approach. You can choose to have your goods sent in a shared shipping container from Germany to Brazil, along with consignments belonging to other shippers (called LCL). Alternatively, you can opt for FCL, or full-container-load shipping, the most cost-effective method for larger quantities of sea freight.

When using a freight forwarder, your goods will be loaded into a container and onto a ship departing from the port of Hamburg in Germany, or perhaps Bremerhaven. From there, an ocean carrier steams your container from Germany to Brazil where it will be cleared through customs. If required, a freight forwarder can also bring your cargo from the Brazilian port to its final destination.

Considerations for LCL Freight Shipping

If you’re shipping fewer than six pallets of freight from Germany to Brazil, you will probably wish to useLCL, or less-than-container-load, shipping. The only exception might be when you don’t want your cargo to share space with that belonging to other shippers. If space-sharing is not an issue, then LCL will be the best option for you.

Because of the steps involved in consolidating your freight with other shippers’ consignments in Germany, and reversing the process in Brazil, LCL can be somewhat slower than full container loads. However, the difference is often negligible, and most freight forwarders will help you keep shipping time to a minimum.

Considerations for FCL Freight Shipping

If you can fill a shipping container, or more than one, FCL shipping will prove more cost-effective than an LCL service. The supplier of the goods in Germany can receive a container and stuff it with the products to be shipped. The container is then transported to the designated port of departure, cleared through customs for export, and loaded onto a vessel bound for Brazil.

The container will be sealed, and will contain your goods alone. After import clearance in Brazil, the container will be transported to its final destination. Alternatively, you can have it collected from the Brazilian port if you choose a port-to-port service.

FCL is not just less costly for larger shipments—it may also be a little faster. You can be more confident about security too. A sealed container is unlikely to be opened between departure and arrival unless customs decide to examine your shipment physically. In practice, this typically happens only when customs authorities find a compelling reason to inspect the goods.

Air Freight

Are you planning to import high-value products from Germany to Brazil? Do you need to meet a tight delivery deadline in the next couple of weeks? Are you concerned about the safety or security of your cargo in the weeks it might spend at sea?

If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, air shipping via international airports might be preferable to sending pallets of goods on a container vessel across the ocean.

For shippers with the necessary budget—which must be a bit bigger than those using sea freight—sending cargo by air adds the advantage of speed, flexibility, and security. In some supply chains, these attributes make the higher cost of air freight justifiable.

Ocean Cargo Port Guide

Cargo Ports of Origin in Germany


Port Facts:

  • Germany's number one port and the third-busiest container processing operation in Europe.
  • Among the top-20 highest-volume container ports in the world.
  • Offers four container terminals, 22 container-shipping berths, and more than 80 cranes.
  • Known in Germany as the Gateway to the World.
  • Exports more than eight million TEUs annually.

Owned By: Hamburg Port Authority.

Annual Container Volume: >8.5 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Has four container terminals.
  • The newest terminal (Terminal 4) is capable of handling over seven million TEUs.
  • World’s largest closed container-management area.
  • Fourth-busiest port in Europe for container cargo
  • This port is number 27 in the global rankings for container throughput.
  • The port’s quay spans more than five kilometers, and can accommodate 14 mega-container ships.

Owned By: Free Hanseatic City of Bremen.

Annual Container Volume: >5 million TEUs.


Cargo Ports of Arrival in Brazil

Rio de Janeiro

Port Facts:

  • Brazil’s third-busiest port, but only number nine in the country for container volume.
  • Cruise shipping makes up the majority of its market.
  • Almost seven kilometers in length with a pier that’s nearly 900 meters long.
  • External warehouse facilities cover an area of more than 65,000 square meters.

Owned By: Companhia Docas do Rio de Janeiro.

Annual Container Volume: >380,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Brazil’s second-busiest container port, and 20th-busiest in the Latin America/Caribbean region.
  • Offers state-of-the-art facilities.
  • The port complex has a 50,000 square-meter automated warehouse for storing frozen products.

Owned By: Portonave S/A.

Annual Container Volume: >800,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • One of the newest and highest-performing container facilities in Brazil.
  • Fifth-busiest port in Brazil for container throughput.
  • Due for an expansion, which will take its capacity from around 500,000 TEUs to over a million.

Owned By: Itapoá Terminais Portuários S.A.

Annual Container Volume: >600,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • One of Brazil's smaller ports, serving Rio de Janeiro, along with its larger counterpart.
  • Best known as a bulk shipping port but does have container facilities.
  • Suitable for bringing in imports from Germany to Brazil for your business.

Owned By: Multiple owners.

Annual Container Volume: >250,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • One of Brazil’s largest container ports, although its throughput is relatively low.
  • Critical port for export and import for the southern states of Brazil.
  • Container terminal has four berths.
  • Capable of receiving vessels with capacities of up to 9,000 TEUs.
  • Has an excellent infrastructure for handling temperature-controlled products.

Owned By: Federal Government of Brazil.

Annual Container Volume: >4 million TEUs.


Other Ports in Brazil

Brazil is a vast nation with many container terminals, so in addition to those outlined above, you can also bring your ocean freight from Germany to Brazil via the following ports:

  • Belem
  • Santos
  • Salvador
  • Suape
  • Pecem
  • Manaus
  • Vitoria
  • Rio Grande
  • Paranagua
  • Belo Horizonte
  • Porto Alegre

Flying Your Freight: Airport Guide

Airports of Origin in Germany


Airport Facts:

  • Busiest airport in Europe for cargo traffic.
  • Processed two million tonnes of freight in 2019.
  • Has the highest number of direct routes in the world.

Brazil Airports Served: Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Viracopos, Manaus.

Frankfurt to Brazil Cargo-Only Operators: Lufthansa Cargo.


Berlin Tegel

Airport Facts:

  • Fourth-busiest airport in Germany.
  • Offers efficient road connections to the eastern and northern regions of the country.
  • Due to be replaced by the newly built Berlin-Brandenburg Airport in 2020.

Brazil Airports Served: None.

Berlin to Brazil Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Important air-freight gateway in Northern Germany.
  • Houses the ultra-modern HACC cargo center, which opened in 2016.
  • Has an annual capacity of 150,000 tonnes of freight.
  • The cargo center is linked to the airfield's apron via an underpass.

Brazil Airports Served: None

Hamburg to Brazil Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Ideal for any supplier based in Southern Germany.
  • Located near the city of Freising, 28.5 km northeast of Munich.
  • It might prove more economical to send your shipments by air from Munich than to have them moved overland to the seaports in the north.

Brazil Airports Served: São Paulo.

Munich to Brazil Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Located close to the city from which it takes its name.
  • Third-largest airport in Germany.
  • Handled approximately 75,000 tonnes of freight in 2018.
  • Best choice if your supply chain begins in the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan districts.

Brazil Airports Served: None.

Dusseldorf to Brazil Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Other Airports in Germany

In addition to direct flights from Frankfurt and Munich, and indirect routes from Dusseldorf, Hamburg, and Berlin Tegel, Shipa Freight can also send your air freight to Brazil via Leipzig/Halle, Nuremberg, or Stuttgart airports.

Airports of Arrival in Brazil


Airport Facts:

  • Has undergone an upgrade to the cargo terminal and lengthening of the runway in 2008.
  • Still plagued by constraints that limit cargo throughput.
  • Logical entry point for air freight bound for Southern Brazil.
  • Lufthansa operates freight services connecting Curitiba indirectly with Germany’s Frankfurt Airport, using a flight routed via Dakar.

Connected Airports in Germany: None.

Germany to Curitiba Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Located 14 kilometers from downtown Recife.
  • Officially named Guararapes–Gilberto Freyre International Airport.
  • Convenient place to land your freight if it's bound for this significant coastal city.
  • A practical airport of arrival for German imports to any location in the eastern states of Brazil.

Connected Airports in Germany: None.

Germany to Recife Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Useful alternative to nearby Sao Paulo for air-freight imports from Germany to Brazil.
  • Crucial Brazilian cargo airport in its own right, and second only to Sao Paulo for freight volume.
  • Facilities include nearly 1,500 cubic meters of refrigerated warehousing.
  • The cargo handling area totals 77,000 square meters.

Connected Airports in Germany: None.

Germany to Viracopos Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Known as Salvador-Deputado Luís Eduardo Magalhães International Airport.
  • No direct flights connect this airport directly with German cities.
  • Your cargo from Germany can be sent here using connecting services from any of Germany's main airports.

Connected Airports in Germany: None.

Germany to Salvador Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Belo Horizonte

Airport Facts:

  • Not connected to Germany by any direct flights.
  • A useful import gateway for German products.
  • Has 6,400 square meters of warehouse space and freight capacity of 18,000 tonnes.

Connected Airports in Germany: None.

Germany to Belo Horizonte Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Other Airports in Brazil

Brazil has no shortage of international airports, as is necessary for such a vast country. We can fly your German imports into Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Manaus, or Porto Alegre as alternatives to the five airports described in detail on this page.

Why Ship From Germany to Brazil With Shipa Freight?

Arranging air freight or transportation of a shipping container from Germany to Brazil should be easy and fast—and with our digital-first approach to freight forwarding, it is. We serve businesses of any size and can satisfy all your international shipping needs.

Our cutting-edge online portal simplifies your supply chain by enabling you to manage all your imports and exports conveniently in one place.

Get the following benefits when you import from Germany to Brazil with us:

  • Fast online quotes and bookings.
  • Assistance with completing and filing the required shipping paperwork.
  • Minimized customs complexity. Let us handle most of the requirements on your behalf.
  • Your entire shipping workflow, managed in one place.
  • 24/7 support from our customer service team via email, phone, or chat.
  • Full compliance with applicable local and international shipping rules.

Know Your Shipping Terminology

Whatever your native language, the commercial language of shipping can be confusing. To help build your understanding, Shipa Freight is cutting through the complexity and explaining industry jargon in plain English. Two potentially baffling shipping terms are explained below, and there are more definitions on each of our country-to-country pages.

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