How Many Shipping Firms Exist In Germany?

When it comes to eCommerce and trading within the international community, shipping companies and providers make up the backbone of this massive industry, as well as wider transport and logistics as a whole

How Many Shipping Firms Exist In Germany?

After all, how else would we send and receive exclusive goods from around the world?

And, when it comes to trade and distribution, Germany is one of the biggest markets in the world.

This makes it a great place for many businesses, both big and small, to send and receive products and parcels.

However, with Germany being the largest economy in Europe, there are a lot of shipping firms that are based and operating in the country currently.

How many, exactly?

Well, that’s what we’re here to explain.

We are going to show you the best figures for the number of shipping firms that are currently operating in the country, as well as show you the general state of eCommerce in the biggest economy in Europe right now.

We’re also going to show you some of the best shipping companies that are operating in Germany right now, in case you are interested in shipping to or from Germany.

How Many Shipping Companies Are In Germany?

So, before we start looking at specific firms and companies and the state of eCommerce in Germany right now, we should probably cover exactly how many shipping firms exist and operate in Germany right now.

Although the exact number will fluctuate slightly, as of the beginning of 2021, there were 316 different chipping companies.

These 316 shipping companies are serviced by approximately 2000 merchant vessels, making it the fifth-largest fleet in the world.

Most of these shipping vessels are owned by smaller or medium-sized companies, with firms owning less than 10 of these vessels making up around 80% of the market in Germany.

What Shipping Firms Do In Germany

So, with that information out of the way, we can finally start discussing how these firms operate in Germany.

As with many other places in the world, shipping companies that are based in Germany will either operate their merchant ships to transport goods and supplies or will hire (otherwise known as charter) a vessel that they will manage for a shipment voyage.

While a shipping company isn’t entirely responsible for what happens to the cargo on a merchant ship, that can take charge of that aspect too if they feel that it is necessary.

Many of the shipping companies that are based and have branches in Germany operate across the world, and vice versa.

Germany’s Port Cities

Many major port cities based around North Germany, such as Hamburg, Bremen, and Lübeck, gave these shipping companies direct access to the Baltic Sea into Northern Europe in the East, and the North Sea giving shipping vessels a direct route to the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and many other countries, Germany’s port cities are well-positioned to maintain a steady flow of vessels coming to and from other countries looking to trade.

Shipping Firms In Germany

Shipping Firms In Germany

The following list of companies is a list of shipping firms that are either based in Germany or have branches operating in Germany.

  1. Dettmer Reederai GmbH & Co. KG

Dettmer Reederai is a shipping company that is currently based in Bremen, one of the largest port cities in North West Germany.

This company is just one of many that operate under the same name, making up various parts of a wider logistics chain that stretches around Europe and the rest of the world.

The shipping aspect of this organization has been operating for over 70 years at this point, and has provided a massive variety of services in terms of transporting, from goods, to dry and tank transportation!

Harren Shipping Service GmbH & Co. KG

For another large company based in Bremen, we have Harren shipping, a company with a portfolio as wide as it is varied.

Although they are principally known for shipping (hence the name), Harren also operates in many more fields than just operating and crewing ships in the shipping industry.

They are also known for running technical inspection services for vessels, as well as working in the manufacture, buying, and selling of several services.

Ship selling shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, but they also sell and assist in the selling of many IT services too!

However, the core of the business still is in operating merchant ships, and they are among one of the biggest currently operating in Germany right now, with it charting or owning around 75 ships currently.

Harren also employs a considerable number of people. Whilst they only have around 250 employees onshore, they have around 2500 staff as part of their maritime team.

With its large maritime staff, and a massive fleet of ships, Harren can cover a massive amount of range and territories around the world.


This may be a shipping company that more non-German readers may be familiar with.

While DHL is somewhat notorious for its lack of reliability with its domestic shipping, when it comes to international shipping, it’s very difficult for anyone to beat them!

Being a massive trading hub across Europe and the world, it isn’t too surprising that DHL has a branch in Germany, operating under the name Deutsche Post DHL Group, or Deutsche Post AG.

DHL is known for its impressive range of transportation options when it comes to transporting goods, from road and rail freight shipping to air and sea shipping vessels also being charted out by this company.


Another international package and shipping company that can be found in Germany, we have FedEx, a popular delivery company used across the world, especially in North America and Europe.

Although the conglomerate is based in Memphis Tennessee, FedEx also employs a massive number of vehicles and people from its branches across Germany.

Over 1600 people are currently employed in Germany, from 17 stations, and with 300 operating vehicles too!

FedEx’s services are so efficient, and fast operating, that they can even ship temperature-sensitive and perishable goods to their destinations!

The company prides itself on its overnight and two-day delivery services, and the same is true across Germany as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Cheapest Way To Send A Package To Germany?

If you’re looking to send a medium to large-sized package in Germany, APC ePMI is probably the best firm to utilize for your needs, with their rate at $49.63.

Do I Have To Pay Customs If I’m Sending A Package To Germany From The USA?

That will depend on the item that you are planning to send.

While some items will not levy a customs fee for sending, especially items that are explicitly for personal or private use, many items will be subject to the duty and tax at customs when sending parcels internationally.

If your item is subject to these taxes at customs, you can also expect your parcel to take longer to deliver, so keep this in mind when posting to Germany.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, Germany has A LOT of shipping firms based within it!

Andy Domar
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