A vast amount of UK imports from Germany comprises vehicles manufactured on the continent. A bulk of the rest of imports consist of German manufactured goods, including engineering machinery and components, foodstuffs, medical equipment and technology.

Sea freight vessel loaded with shipping containers

Sea Freight Services to Germany

Sea freight is generally a better route for UK imports from Germany vs road freight.  As the route via water is not only shorter, but it could also be faster if your ultimate destination in the UK is not a great deal of distance from the arrival port.

We have a partner agent based in Hamburg, Germany, thanks to our founding membership of the freight forwarder network MarcoPoloLine (MPL).  Our agent in Germany will be able to arrange pick up of your goods from the manufacturer in Germany and deliver your shipment to either Hamburg or Bremerhaven port.  From there we will be able to arrange the ocean freight to the UK, any paperwork that may be required (depending upon the nature of the shipment) and onward delivery from the UK port to your door.  We can make your imports from Germany simple and stress-free.

Exporting to Germany from the UK

The UK export market to Germany is about half the size of the UK import market from Germany.  However, in 2013 the UK export market to Germany was worth approximately £30bn.  The UK exports various commodities to Germany including parts for aircrafts and vehicles, engineering equipment, machinery components and medical equipment.

The quickest port to export to Germany from is Felixstowe.  One of the larger carriers offers a service which takes just two days from Felixstowe, UK to Hamburg, Germany.  This is great news for UK exporters as this routing can be quicker than road freight.  The positioning of Felixstowe within the UK also makes it an easily accessible port from most parts of the country.

Sea freight shipping Vessel loading at port

Trading with Germany

Germany is one of the UK’s top European trading partners.  As the UK and Germany are in the EU, there is currently a free trade agreement between the two countries.  This means that when your import arrives into the UK from Germany, there will be no import VAT & Duty to pay in order to clear customs.  Likewise, when your export shipment arrives in Germany there will be no local taxes to pay.  This is an attractive proposition for importers and exporters considering trading with Germany: not only is Germany is short distance away (reducing freight costs) but the nil rate of import taxes is an important factor.

As the majority of Germany’s border is with neighbouring countries, there are just two sea freight ports: Hamburg and Bremerhaven.  Some routes between Hamburg and Felixstowe (for example) can take just two days on the water, whereas some others could take up to a week (depending upon the routing and the destination port).

Get in touch for your free quote today

Mercator handles palletised cargo for LCL (less than container load) and full container loads between Germany and the UK.  Whether you have urgent air freight that needs collecting from Berlin and delivering to Liverpool, or a multi shipping container load from Hamburg to London, we have the contacts, experience and knowledge to make it happen for you: +44 2392 756 575, or email