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Ocean and Air Shipping From Germany to Thailand

FCL, LCL and Air freight forwarding: information and online quote

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2018 saw record levels of trade between Germany and Thailand, totaling $12.5 billion. Over $5 billion was exported from the European country to its partner in Southeast Asia.

Was your business among those contributing to that record year, or is it a start-up looking to export from Germany to Thailand for the first time. Either way, a freight forwarder can save you time and money by arranging your shipment. To get a quote, you will need to tell your forwarder:

  • The type of freight you want to ship
  • The ports you want to ship from and to
  • How you want your goods shipped—by air or ocean?
  • Your preferred method of delivery: door-to-door, port-to-door, port-to-port or door-to-port

Whatever goods you are looking to import from Germany to Thailand, a freight forwarder will help you secure the services of an international carrier. They can fly your freight from Germany to Thailand in as little as three days or ship your goods via ocean trade routes in 33 to 45 days.

Shipping Ocean Freight From Germany to Thailand

Warehouse operative in orange pushing a trolley, stacked with boxes, from the Flag of Germany towards the flag of Thailand

Over 8,600km separates the two countries as the crow flies. Ocean shipping has to take an even longer route to transport sea freight from Germany to Thailand. Shipping typically takes 38 days from Bremen or Hamburg to port in Bangkok or Laem Chabang. You can choose from two types of shipping:

  • FCL, which gives you exclusive use of a container for your consignment
  • LCL, in which your goods share a container with other products

These terms are explained below. To help you learn more about booking transport for your goods in a shipping container from Germany to Thailand, here are some details about containers:

  • Most containers come in two sizes—20ft and 40ft
  • 20ft containers carry 10 or 11 standard pallets
  • 40ft containers carry 21 standard pallets
  • Your goods may need a container with specialist features such as refrigeration or ventilation

Sending a Less-than-Container-Load (LCL) From Germany to Thailand

If your business operation involves importing from Germany to Thailand on a small scale, LCL shipping is usually the best option. Your goods will share a container with others aboard a cargo vessel. Consolidation of goods will occur in port in Germany and de-consolidation will happen in Thailand. This is an extra logistics process, so LCL shipping can sometimes take longer than FCL.

Full Container Load (FCL) From Germany to Thailand

If you don’t want your goods to be shipped in a shared container from Germany to Thailand, choose FCL shipping. It’s also the method you’ll have to opt for if your consignment is too big for LCL.

With FCL, you can load as much or as little freight into your container as you desire—commercial sense dictates you should load as much as you can. You can seal your container in Germany and it will remain in that state until arrival at its destination in Thailand, unless customs officials want to inspect your goods.

Cargo Ports of Origin in Germany


Rated Europe’s fourth-busiest containerized goods port in 2019, Bremerhaven has four terminals from which to export from Germany to Thailand. Shipping to Bangkok can be completed in 38 days by LCL or 45 days by FCL.

Owned By: Free Hanseatic City of Bremen.

Annual Container Volume: >5.5 million TEUs.



Europe’s third-biggest container port is Germany’s largest. Four container terminals use state-of-the-art technology to ensure the swift throughput of goods. Consignments bound for Thailand can ship from here to Bangkok in 39 days by LCL and to Laem Chebang in 33 days as FCL freight.

Owned By: Hamburg Port Authority.

Annual Container Volume: >8.5 million TEUs.


Cargo Ports of Arrival in Thailand


Located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, this port is well-connected by roads and railroads to the huge city that shares its name. You might hear the port called Khlong Toei by some. Either way, it’s one of the world’s top-100 busiest container ports. Shipments from Germany to Bangkok can be completed in 38 to 45 days.

Owned By: Port Authority of Thailand.

Annual Container Volume: >1.5 million TEUs.


Laem Chebang

Developed in the 1990s as an alternative to the Port of Bangkok, this port is 25km north of Pattaya. Recently, it’s overtaken Bangkok to become Thailand’s largest port and one of the top-25 busiest container ports in the world. Laem Chabang has seven container terminals. Shipments from Hamburg can be completed in 33 days.

Owned By: Hutchison Laem Chebang International Terminal Ltd.

Annual Container Volume: >500,000 TEUs.


Air Freight From Germany to Thailand

Air shipping from Germany to Thailand generally takes three to five days. It’s the preferred shipping method for businesses when they:

  • Need quick transportation
  • Have urgent orders in Thailand
  • Want the high levels of security that are provided by airline and airport operations
  • Are exporting fragile or perishable cargo, such as food, plants, and flowers
  • Only need to ship a relatively small consignment, comprising perhaps two to four pallets

Airports of Origin in Germany


If your supplier or manufacturer is based in the industrial, commercial and consumer hinterland around Dusseldorf, this airport is the ideal choice. It’s just 7km from the city center and is Germany’s third-largest air cargo hub. The facility has three cargo terminals with room for wide-body freighters to load and unload. Goods destined for Thailand will be shipped using indirect flights to Bangkok.

Thailand Airports Served: None.

Dusseldorf to Thailand Cargo-Only Operators: None.



This is Europe’s biggest multimodal cargo handling facility. Over two million tonnes of freight pass through the airport every year. Shipments from here to Bangkok can be completed in five days. The 98-hectare Cargo City South handles dispatch service providers, with the North terminal being the headquarters of Lufthansa Cargo, the airline that operates direct cargo-only flights into Bangkok.

Thailand Airports Served: Bangkok.

Frankfurt to Thailand Cargo-Only Operators: Lufthansa Cargo.



If your supply chain involves the movement of goods through Berlin or other regions in Northern or Eastern Germany, this is a good choice as your airport of origin. It’s the country’s fourth-busiest cargo airport. No direct flights operate between here and Thailand, so your freight forwarder will route your goods into Bangkok on indirect flights.

Thailand Airports Served: None.

Berlin to Thailand Cargo-Only Operators: None.



This airport features an 84,000 square meter cargo terminal from which freight from Germany to Thailand can embark. There are no seaports nearby. Therefore, if your goods originate in Southern Germany, air shipping could prove more economical than transporting freight by road or railroad to Germany’s seaports on the North Coast—nearly 790km away.

Thailand Airports Served: Bangkok.

Munich to Thailand Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Bavaria’s second-busiest airport is located at a point where many of the roads and railroads that criss-cross Germany intersect. So it’s a popular airport for businesses from all over Germany. Indeed, many well-known companies have their headquarters in the area, including Siemens, Adidas, and Puma. There are two cargo centers and a single runway at the airport.

Thailand Airports Served: None.

Nuremberg to Thailand Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Shipa Freight can arrange to fly your freight to Thailand from three other airports in Germany: Hamburg, Stuttgart, and Leipzig.

Arrival Airport in Bangkok

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi

Its name means land of gold, and it’s one of Southeast Asia’s biggest airports. Located in Racha Thewa in Samut Prakan Province, the facility opened in 2006 and handles three million tonnes of air freight annually.

Connected Airports in Germany: Frankfurt, Munich.

Germany to Bangkok Cargo-Only Operators: Lufthansa Cargo.


Customs Clearance Procedures in Germany and Thailand

Customs stamp of wood and rubber, resting on a customs invoice document stamped with export customs clearance in red ink

Shipping commercial goods from Europe to Southeast Asia requires businesses to complete specific documentation. We’ve listed the paperwork you’ll need here:

  • Bill of Lading / Airway Bill (Shipa Freight will provide this for you)
  • Letter of credit or other payment terms
  • Commercial invoice
  • Certificate of origin
  • Packing list

You may be required to complete other paperwork in addition to the documents listed here.

We’ve gathered some detailed information about the forms and papers necessary for freight transportation on this page of shipping and customs documents.

How Long Does It Take To Ship Freight From Germany to Thailand?

With over 8,500 kilometers between Germany and Thailand, ocean shipping is a long haul. It can take carriers between 33 and 45 days, depending on your choice of ports and FCL or LCL shipping. Flying goods is much faster, with shipments typically completed in three to five days.

How Long Does It Take To Ship Cargo by Ocean From Germany to Thailand?

Here are a few examples of shipping durations for ocean freight from Germany to Thailand:

  • Bremen to Bangkok—38 days LCL, 45 days FCL
  • Hamburg to Bangkok—39 days FCL
  • Hamburg to Laem Chabang—33 days FCL

How Long Does It Take to Ship Air Freight From Germany to Thailand?

Below are some samples of air freight transit times between airports in Germany and Thailand:

  • Dusseldorf to Bangkok—3 to 4 days
  • Frankfurt to Bangkok—5 days
  • Hamburg to Bangkok—4 days
  • Munich to Bangkok—4 days

How Much Does It Cost to Ship Cargo From Germany to Thailand?

Your freight forwarder will work out the price for shipping after receiving information about your goods. Your forwarder will need to know if you’re looking for air or ocean shipping, and the ports of origin and arrival you want to use.

Details of the type of cargo you want to send will also be required, including its weight, volume, and dimensions. Your forwarder will wish to know if you want your goods shipped port to port, door to door, port to door or door to port.

If your cargo weighs over 100kg, sea freight is invariably the most economical method of shipping. For a total weight of under 100kg, air freight is worth considering. It can be just as economical as sea freight for shipping in this weight bracket. Shipa Freight does not quote for shipments weighing under 35kg.

Why Ship Cargo From Germany to Thailand with Shipa Freight?

The Shipa Freight digital platform is simple to understand and easy to use, and your business benefits from easy access to international shipping.

Our website generates quick quotes for imports from Germany to Thailand. You can book and pay online too, and track shipping using GPS technology.

Shipa Freight also gives you the benefit of access to the expertise of worldwide shipping specialists and the extensive logistics assets of our parent company, Agility Logistics. And the sometimes confusing world of customs clearance is made clear thanks to our smart compliance software and knowledgeable team of import/export specialists.

“With Shipa Freight, I could do everything from quotation to booking with just a click”.

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