Shipping to Germany From the USA

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International expansion is key to growing your ecommerce business. As you start marketing your products overseas, you might notice orders coming from Germany. 

With one of the world’s leading economies, German customers are a great customer base to sell to. Their involvement in the European Union benefits your ecommerce business as you can build a great customer base in Germany, and then expand into other EU countries

In this guide, we’ll go over the rules, rates, shipping options, and services that will help you begin selling internationally and shipping your products to Germany — whether you want to do it yourself or partner with a third-party logistics (3PL) company to have them pack and ship your orders.

Below we break down the differences in service levels for shipping to Germany, including price and transit times for the carriers. 

Note: Only USPS offers flat rates to ship from the US to Germany. All other prices were calculated using the respective carrier’s pricing calculators for a 2 kg package in November 2019. Exact prices are subject to change.

Service Price Delivery Time
USPS Priority Mail Express International  $64.25 3-5 business days
USPS Priority Mail International $35.65 6-10 business days
USPS First-Class International Service Depends on postage pricing 11-20 business days
UPS Worldwide Expedited $137.40 2-5 business days
UPS Worldwide Saver $100.84 6-10 business days
FedEx International Priority $65.20 (lowest rate) 3-5 business days
FedEx International Economy  $105.70 (lowest rate) 6-10 business days
DHL International Express $57.97 3-6 business days 

 

The top four carriers in the US all offer shipping services to Germany. But how do you know which one is actually the best for shipping to Germany for your order(s)? The answer is it depends. Each carrier has pros and cons, and you should consider which carrier to use depending on the type of package.

1. USPS

USPS isn’t just for shipping in the US. Like the other carriers, your rates depend on how heavy the package is and the expected delivery time. USPS can be cheaper than the other carriers but take longer to deliver to Germany.

USPS pros:

  • Generally cheaper than the other carriers
  • Ability to transport larger parcels cost-effectively
  • No pickup fees

USPS cons:

  • Packages are transferred to Deutsche Post once they arrive, which can add a few extra days for delivery (unlike the other carriers that own the package journey from pickup to delivery)
  • Order tracking options are limited compared to other carriers

Read more: USPS German Country Conditions.

2. UPS

With a worldwide presence, UPS is a great option for shipping to Germany. They can pick up packages in the US and deliver them to addresses in Germany in as little as three days. UPS can also be a more expensive carrier if you’re sending heavier items that weigh more than 10 pounds. 

UPS pros:

  • Significant presence in the US to make picking up or dropping off packages easy
  • Work with many shipping partners to reduce shipping costs
  • Easy-to-use online interface for generating shipping labels
  • Ability to transport packages of all sizes

UPS cons:

  • Limited German presence
  • Generally expensive or fee-heavy pricing

3. FedEx

Like UPS, FedEx has a worldwide presence and is a great option for shipping to Germany. They can pick up packages in the US and deliver them to addresses in Germany in as little as three days. FedEx is generally more expensive than USPS but offers competitive pricing with UPS and DHL. 

FedEx pros:

  • Significant presence in the US to make picking up or dropping off packages easy
  • Many shipping partners to reduce shipping costs
  • Easy-to-use online interface for generating shipping labels
  • Ability to transport packages of all sizes
  • Prices can be good if shipping in bulk

FedEx cons:

  • Limited German presence
  • Generally expensive or fee-heavy pricing

4. DHL

DHL is one of the top international shipping companies for US-based businesses wanting to ship overseas. Plus, they’re headquartered in Germany. If you’re consistently shipping to Germany, DHL is a safe bet. 

DHL pros:

  • Significant international presence in about 220 nations and territories 
  • HQ is in Germany
  • Express delivery at service points
  • Efficient air and sea delivery services
  • Ability to transport larger parcels cost-effectively
  • No pickup fees

DHL cons:

  • Limited US presence
  • Generally higher shipping costs
  • Typically more surcharges compared to other carriers

Duty and tax thresholds when shipping to Germany

The tax and import duty threshold is the amount at which a business begins paying taxes based on the declared value of an item. Germany calculates using the CIF method, which means the import duty and taxes are calculated based on the value of the imported goods as well as shipping costs.

Import taxes over €22

If your package has a value of €21.99 or less, you’re in luck! You’re under the threshold for paying import taxes.

Duty fees over €150

Duty fees are for much pricier items, if your item is under €150, you don’t need to worry about paying a duty fee. 

Slowdowns and common delays

Due to advancements in technology, shipping to Germany is a much easier process compared to even 10 years ago. However, there are still a few slowdowns and delays out of your control that can affect how long it takes for packages to arrive. 

Harsh weather

For most of the year, Germany has really nice weather with little to no natural disasters. However, it snows heavily in winter in Germany. This can slow down the rate of packages being delivered.

Deutsche Post transfers

Due to local laws, the USPS will transfer your package to Deutsche Post once it has arrived in Germany. Because of this transfer process, it may take a few days for Deutsche Post to account for it. 

National holidays

Germany has different federal holidays than in the US. Some can even last a few days, so be sure to check beforehand to give accurate estimates of arrival. 

Expand your business into Germany with ShipBob

Have you shipped products to Germany before? If you haven’t, consider working with a global 3PL to help make international shipping easier. An experienced 3PL like ShipBob can offer substantial shipping discounts as well as an easier infrastructure for customs forms and taxes. 

With ShipBob handling fulfillment logistics for packages going to Germany, you can rest easy knowing your products are being delivered to your customers. We have fulfillment centers in Europe, Canada, and the USA.

Save time and money

By investing in a partnership with a 3PL, you eliminate the need to buy or rent the warehouse space, logistics operations, labor, and technology required for in-house fulfillment. As your business grows, self-fulfillment of orders becomes more and more expensive. 

These costs include warehouse space, forklifts and other equipment, warehouse management software, recruiting and labor costs, workers comp, and liability insurance.

ShipBob has thousands of customers and ships millions of packages across the world, allowing merchants access to discounted bulk shipping rates. You also save time by outsourcing fulfillment tasks to a 3PL.

Instead of spending time packing boxes, standing in line at the post office, or building out fulfillment infrastructure, working with a 3PL gives you time back to focus on more strategic initiatives, such as product development and marketing.

Leverage industry expertise and resources

Working with a 3PL like ShipBob can help you get started in Germany with ease. With an expansive network of fulfillment centers and shipping options that in-house fulfillment lacks, ShipBob helps businesses of all sizes get international fulfillment capabilities.

As an ecommerce professional, chances are you don’t have the time to become well-versed in every detail of shipping and logistics. ShipBob is staffed with ecommerce logistics professionals, knowledgeable on supply chain complexities, and has the technical resources and partner network to help you optimize and drive ecommerce success.

Conclusion

Shipping to Germany from the US doesn’t have to be complicated especially if you partner with a 3PL like ShipBob. German customers will help you create a great base as you expand even further throughout Europe. If you need help shipping to Germany, learn how ShipBob can make shipping even easier by completing the form below. 

Ready to start shipping to Germany from the US? Get started with ShipBob. 

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