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Ship Freight From Germany to UAE Locations With Ease

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Updated on 16 Feb 202214 min read

Shipping from Germany to UAE seems like a long way to go, but it’s possible with the right shipping provider. If you need to ship your cargo from Germany to UAE, it pays to be informed about what your options are, how you can ship successfully, and how much it will cost.

As your reliable shipping partner, we can help you get your package from Germany to the UAE with ease. We’ve created this comprehensive guide to help you learn all about shipping from your country of origin to your destination in the UAE. Here, we discuss both ocean and air freight, as well as everything you need to know to get started on your shipment.

What are your options for shipping from Germany to UAE

To ship from Germany to UAE, you have two options: ocean freight or air freight. Which one you choose would depend on your specific needs and priorities. Below, we discuss the difference between the two modes of shipment to help you make an informed choice about how you can get your cargo to your ultimate destination.

Ocean freight from Germany to UAE

Ocean freight shipping can be done via less than container load (LCL) or full container load (FCL).

Less than container load (LCL): In an LCL shipment, your goods will be consolidated with cargo from other people to fill one container. This is ideal for smaller cargo that isn’t big or bulky enough to fill an entire container unit.

Full container load (FCL): If you are shipping a large cargo or a huge quantity of goods that is enough to fill an entire shipping container, you can opt for FCL shipping via ocean freight. Because your goods can fit an entire unit, you rent the full container without having to wait for cargo from other shippers. Hence, your goods can arrive at their destination faster compared to LCL shipping.

Air Freight from Germany to UAE

Ocean freight is a good way to ship your cargo at a lower cost. But if your priority is to get your goods from Germany to UAE much faster, then you can opt for air freight. Through air transport, your shipment can be completed in a matter of hours, but it would cost you more considering the pricier plane fuel and quicker turnaround time, among other factors. Nevertheless, it’s a faster and more accessible way to get your cargo to its destination.

How much does it cost to ship cargo from Germany to UAE?

There is no value set in stone for how much it would cost to ship your cargo from Germany to UAE. There are a lot of factors that must be considered, the primary one being whether you choose ocean freight or air freight. The former is cheaper compared to the latter. Other things that you need to take into consideration to determine your overall shipment costs include:

  • Size of your cargo
  • Quantity of shipments
  • Weather conditions at the time of your shipment
  • Shipping container capacity in your port of origin
  • Fuel costs
  • Other commercial and environmental factors

How long does it take to ship cargo from Germany to UAE?

The duration of your shipment from the time it leaves Germany to the time it arrives in UAE would depend on whether you choose ocean freight or air freight. Ocean freight will take much longer, with the duration cut down a bit if you choose FCL shipping. With all commercial and environmental factors in consideration, you can expect your ocean freight to arrive in 27 to 33 days.

On the other hand, shipping your cargo via air freight can enable you to get your package to UAE much quicker. Depending on the airport of origin in Germany and the destination airport in UAE, air freight shipments can be completed in more or less 6 hours.

How long does it take to ship cargo by sea from Germany to UAE?

Your cargo can arrive in UAE in around 27 to 34 days if you ship via ocean freight. Choosing FCL shipping can help your cargo arrive faster because the container unit doesn’t have to wait for other shipments to ship with yours. Overall, the length of shipment would depend on your port of origin and destination port. Below is a quick overview to give you an idea of how long it will take to ship your cargo by sea from Germany to the UAE.

  • Port of Bremerhaven to Sharjah - 27 days
  • Port of Bremerhaven to Abu Dhabi - 33 days
  • Port of Bremerhaven to Port of Jebel Ali (FCL) - 31 days
  • Port of Hamburg to Port of Jebel Ali (LCL) - 34 days
  • Port of Hamburg to Port of Jebel Ali (FCL) - 25 days
  • Port of Hamburg to Abu Dhabi (LCL) - 33 days
  • Port of Hamburg to Abu Dhabi (FCL) - 29 days
  • Port of Hamburg to Sharjah (FCL) - 27 days
  • Port of Hamburg to Sharjah (LCL) - 43 days

How long does it take to ship cargo by air from Germany to UAE?

While shipping by sea can take you days, shipping by air can get your cargo from Germany to UAE in a matter of hours! While quick, it will require you to pay more for the convenience, fast turnaround time, plane fuel, and other commercial and environmental costs. The estimated transit time from Germany to UAE is 6 hours, but do keep in mind that customs clearance may cause a delay in receiving your cargo.

  • Dusseldorf to Dubai - 6 hours
  • Dusseldorf to Abu Dhabi - 6 hours
  • Frankfurt to Dubai - 6 hours
  • Frankfurt to Abu Dhabi - 6 hours
  • Hamburg to Dubai - 6 hours
  • Munich to Dubai - 6 hours
  • Munich to Abu Dhabi - 6 hours

Customs Clearance in Germany and UAE

Customs clearance is one thing you need to consider when shipping cargo internationally. To ship from Germany to UAE, you need to take note of the clearance requirements of the destination country’s customs agencies.

International shipments require the supplier, consignee, or intermediary to provide their local customs with the following documents:

  1. Commercial Invoice
  2. Packing List
  3. Certificate of Origin
  4. Letter of Credit/ other payment terms (depends on the contract)
  5. For ocean freight: Bill of Lading. For air freight: Airway Bill (to be provided by Shipa Freight)

Shipa Freight can help you fulfill some customs clearance requirements. Check out the list of documents and see samples here.

Should You Choose Ocean Freight or Air Freight?

Whether you choose ocean or air freight would depend on your unique shipping requirements and priorities. The most important things to consider are how fast you want your cargo to arrive in your destination country and how much you’re willing to pay for the shipment. Below are insights to help you make an informed decision.

Ocean Freight from Germany to UAE

Ocean freight is a viable option to ship your cargo from Germany to UAE, considering the low shipment cost. But it also means you will need to wait a little longer for your package to arrive. There’s also the disadvantage of most ocean ports being less accessible than airports.

If you opt for ocean freight, your cargo can be shipped either via less than container load (LCL) or full container load (FCL).

Less than Container Load (LCL) from Germany to UAE

In a less than container load (LCL) shipping, your cargo will be consolidated with goods from other shippers to fill a shipping container. Because of this, the transit time can be much longer, considering that you’ll be waiting for the unit to fill up. But it can cost you less because your cargo will only take up a little bit of space in a shipping container.

Considerations for LCL freight shipping

If you are shipping small or a few quantities of cargo, LCL shipping is a good choice. You have to make sure that your cargo doesn’t take up half the space of a 20-foot shipping container to be qualified for LCL shipping. There are also 40-foot units for larger LCL cargo.

Other factors to consider before settling for LCL shipping include:

  • The safety of your cargo - because it will be shipped with cargo belonging to other shippers, you may not be able to guarantee the safety of your goods. So, LCL shipping should not be your choice if your cargo is fragile.
  • Transit time - shipping by sea via LCL can take up to 33 days to complete. If time is not of the essence, you can opt for LCL shipping.

Full Container Load (FCL) from Germany to UAE

Another option is full container load (FLC) shipping. FCL is for large cargo that can fill an entire shipping container. You rent the 20-foot or 40-foot unit to carry only your shipments, which means that the transit time can decrease. However, this also means that you may need to pay a higher shipping cost because you are renting the whole container for yourself.

Considerations for FCL freight shipping

FCL freight shipping is not for everyone. But it can be a good choice for you if:

  • You are shipping big or large quantities of goods that can fill an entire shipping container
  • Your cargo is fragile and requires special handling or cannot be mixed with other cargo
  • You prefer isolation for your cargo
  • You want your cargo to arrive at its destination faster than LCL shipping
  • You can afford the rent for the entire shipping container

Air Freight from Germany to UAE

If time is of the essence and you want your cargo to arrive in UAE faster, you should choose air freight, which has a transit time of 6 hours from Germany to UAE, notwithstanding customs clearance times. Though air freight is faster compared to ocean freight, it is also more expensive because of the higher cost of plane fuel and other commercial and environmental factors.

If your cargo occupies only 2-3 pallets, air freight may be for you. With this option, you can also enjoy faster delivery, protection for your parcel with airport and airline security, and better airport accessibility.

Ocean Cargo Port Guide

Cargo Ports of Origin in Germany

Port of Hamburg

Port Facts:

  • Germany’s biggest seaport
  • 8,000 ship calls per year with 300 berths
  • 43 km. of quay in total
  • Equipped with four container terminals
  • 50 facilities for handling all kinds of bulk cargoes

Owned By: Hamburg Port Authority Annual Container Volume: 8.5 million TEUs UN/LCODE: DEHAM

Port of Bremerhaven

***Port Facts: ***

  • One of the most important ports for German trade
  • Has 2 boroughs with 9 districts
  • Total area is 36.22 square miles
  • 16th largest container port in the world and fourth-largest in Europe
  • Imports and exports more cars than any other city in Europe

Owned By: Bremen Port Authority Annual Container Volume: 4.9 million TEUs UN/LCODE: DEBRV


***Port Facts: ***

  • Germany’s only deepwater port
  • Consists of two sections: the outer deep water port and the inner port.
  • Equipped with modern quay facilities for the shipment of cargo
  • Central transshipment location for oil, petroleum, coal, and chemical products
  • Provides Germany with a secure energy supply

Owned By: Niedersachsen Ports GmbH & Co KG Annual Container Volume: 2.7 million TEUs UN/LCODE: DEWVN

Cargo Ports of Destination in UAE

Port of Jebel Ali (Dubai)

Port Facts:

  • World’s largest man-made harbor
  • The largest container port located between Rotterdam and Singapore
  • Offers international shipping industry access to a market of 1.5 billion people
  • Equipped with state-of-the-art facilities
  • Has 67 berths and is projected to handle 50 million TEUs by 2030

Owned By: DP World Annual Container Volume: 13.6 million TEUs UN/LCODE: AEJEA

Port of Mina Zayed (Abu Dhabi)

Port Facts:

  • Located in North East Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE, and the financial, communications, and transportation center in UAE
  • Artificial port with 21 berths
  • Can handle 900,000 tons of cargo yearly
  • Cover 510 hectares of land
  • Has two basins: one dedicated to cruise ships and another for general cargo

Owned By: Abu Dhabi Ports Annual Container Volume: 15,000 TEUs UN/LCODE: AEMZD

Mina Rashid Port (Dubai)

Port Facts:

  • Man-Made port in the Emirate of Dubai
  • Located in the heart of Dubai, making it the choice for passenger operations and cargo shipments
  • Received an ISO-9002 accreditation and certificate of excellence by the International Maritime Security
  • Total land area of 2 million square meters
  • Can accommodate seven of the largest cruise ships at one time, housing 25,000 passengers in each
  • Voted for World’s Leading Cruise Port in the Middle East

Owned By: DP World Annual Container Volume: 1.5 million TEUs UN/LCODE: AEMRP

Flying Your Freight: Airport Guide

Airports of origin in Germany

Hamburg Airport

Airport Facts:

  • Primary airport in Flughafen Hamburg, Germany
  • Annual capacity of 150,0000 tonnes of air freight
  • Equipped with state of the art technology
  • HACC is directly linked to the airport via an underpass
  • Integrates all inbound and outbound freight activities

UAE Airports Served: Dubai International Airport Berlin to UAE Cargo-Only Operators: None. IATA Code: HAM

Düsseldorf International Airport

Airport Facts:

  • Third largest airport in Germany
  • Handles 75,000 tonnes of air freight annually
  • Located close to the city of Dusseldorf
  • Gateway for products originating from Rhine-Ruhr in Germany
  • Has three passenger terminals and two runways

UAE Airports Served: Dubai International Airport, Abu Dhabi International Airport Düsseldorf to UAE Cargo-Only Operators: None. IATA Code: DUS

Frankfurt Airport

Airport Facts:

  • Ranked 13th in the world for freight volume in 2018
  • Busiest cargo airport in Europe
  • Has an annual freight output of over two million tonnes
  • Vital European multimodal hub
  • Houses Germany’s flagship freight carrier, Lufthansa Cargo

UAE Airports Served: Abu Dhabi International Airport, Dubai International Airport Frankfurt to UAE Cargo-Only Operators: ASL Airlines Belgium, Cathay Pacific Cargo, China Airlines, Emirates SkyCargo, Etihad Cargo, Lufthansa Cargo, Maximus Air Cargo. IATA Code: FRA

Airports of arrival in UAE

Dubai International Airport

***Airport Facts: ***

  • One of the most impressive airports in the world
  • Sixth busiest cargo airport in the world
  • Most important gateway for freight arriving in UAW
  • Home of Emirates SkyCargo, the world’s second-largest cargo-only carrier
  • Handles 2.5 million tonnes of freight annually

Germany Airports Served: Düsseldorf International Airport, Frankfurt Airport, Hamburg Airport, Munich Airport, Leipzig Airport, Nuremberg Airport Germany to Dubai Cargo-Only Operators: Emirates SkyCargo IATA Code: DXB

Abu Dhabi International Airport

Airport Facts:

  • Second largest freight airport in the UAE
  • Annual throughput of 1 million tonnes of cargo
  • Located in the second-largest city in the UAE
  • Spread over an area of 8,500 acres of land
  • Houses a vast array of cargo-only operators

UAE Airports Served: Düsseldorf International Airport, Frankfurt Airport, Munich Airport Germany to Abu Dhabi Cargo-Only Operators: Etihad Cargo IATA Code: AUH

Sharjah International Airport

Airport Facts:

  • Third air-freight import gateway in Germany
  • Equipped with modern freight-handling facilities
  • Five cargo terminals linked to the airport
  • 13 aircrafts dedicated to transporting cargo
  • Covers 3,800 acres of land

UAE Airports Served: Frankfurt Airport, Leipzig Airport Germany to Sharjah Cargo-Only Operators: DHL Aviation, Lufthansa Cargo IATA Code: SHJ

Why Ship From Germany to UAE With Shipa Freight?

Shipa Freight can assist you in making your shipment from Germany to UAE easy and hassle-free. We have access to the best freight forwarding platforms that can greatly benefit your shipping experience. For shipments made from Germany to UAE, we partner up with Agility Logistics, a global leader in warehouse and logistics operations.

Shipa Freight has expert staff and the latest logistics technology to help you with your shipment needs. With our expertise, we can guarantee seamless and hassle-free shipping for you. We also provide you with assistance for customs clearance so that you can get your cargo faster and without complications.

If you need to ship cargo from Germany to UAE, choose Shipa Freight for easy and stress-free shipping.

Know Your Shipping Terminology

To help you build your understanding of the language of shipping, we’ve explained the meaning of two potentially confusing terms used in the industry. You’ll find those explanations below:

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