Shipping from China to Greece

Shipping from China to Greece

Shipping goods from China to Greece represents a significant avenue of trade, connecting one of the world’s largest exporters with a strategic European market. The process involves a complex logistics network, including sea and air freight, along with the intricacies of customs regulations and international trade laws. Businesses engaged in this trade must consider several factors to ensure cost-effectiveness and timely delivery of goods.

Transportation methods vary significantly in terms of cost, speed, and cargo capacity. Sea freight is the most common option for its cost efficiency for large volumes, albeit with longer transit times, while air freight offers faster delivery for time-sensitive or high-value products. The choice of shipping method impacts not only cost but also the environmental footprint of the transportation.

Overall, shipping from China to Greece offers a cost-effective and efficient way to transport goods between the two countries.  Businesses can tap into the growing trade opportunities in Greece with proper planning and preparation, expanding their operations in this promising market.

Transport Modes from China to Greece

Several modes of transportation are available for shipment from China to Greece, including air, sea, and land. While shipping from China to Greece by air offers the quickest transit but at a higher cost, sea freight is the most widely utilized method for shipping, with consistent services from major Chinese ports to Greek ports like Piraeus. Land transportation can also be used for shipping smaller quantities of goods.

Sea Freight

Sea Freight

Sea shipping is the most popular due to its cost-effectiveness, especially for heavy cargo. 

  • Shipping Methods: There are two common methods of container shipping:
    • FCL shipping (Full Container Load): A single shipper books an entire container.
    • LCL shipping (Less than Container Load): Multiple shippers share space in a single container, which may take longer due to the consolidation and deconsolidation process 
  • Shipping Routes: The primary shipping routes from China to Greece involve ocean shipping, with the main routes passing through the Pacific, the Atlantic, and the Indian Ocean. The Suez Canal is a critical passage for ships traveling from China to Greece, allowing access to the Mediterranean area.
    • Major Chinese Ports: The main cargo ports in China for shipping to Greece include:
      • Port of Shanghai
      • Port of Ningbo
      • Port of Guangzhou
      • Port of Shenzhen
      • Port of Qingdao
      • Port of Tianjin
    • Major Greek Ports: The major cargo ports in Greece that receive shipments from China are:
      • Port of Piraeus
      • Port of Thessaloniki
      • Port of Patras
      • Port of Ermoupoli
  • Transit Time: The average shipping time by sea from China to Greece ranges from 21 to 40 days, depending on the specific ports involved and other factors such as the shipping company and route taken.
  • Cost: The shipping cost from China to Greece can range from $1,150 to $4,850 USD, depending on the size of the container and the port of origin in China. However, exact shipping costs can vary due to factors such as seasonal and strategic adjustments by carriers, oil prices, and the dimensions and weight of the cargo.

When planning sea freight from China to Greece, businesses should consider these factors and work with reliable freight forwarding companies to ensure efficient and cost-effective shipping. It’s also important to plan in advance due to the longer transit times associated with sea freight.

Air Freight

Air Freight

Air shipping provides a quicker transportation method compared to sea freight, albeit at a higher cost. It is particularly well-suited for companies that require rapid transport of goods or for those shipping high-value items that necessitate special care.

  • Shipping Routes:
    • Major Chinese Airports: The main cargo airports in China for shipping to Greece include:
      • Beijing Capital International Airport
      • Shanghai Pudong International Airport
      • Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport
      • Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport
      • Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport
    • Major Greek Airports: The major cargo airports in Greece that receive shipments from China are not specified in the search results. However, Athens International Airport is likely to be a major hub due to its size and location.
  • Transit Time: Air freight from China to Greece takes around 3-5 days, depending on the airline and the airports involved. Shipping companies offer different types of air freight services, including standard air freight, express air freight, and charter flights.
  • Cost: The air freight rate from China to Greece is typically calculated per kilogram. The shipping price can range from $2 to $20 per kg or $4 to $5 per kg, depending on factors such as the distance between the departure and arrival airports, the dimensions and weight of the parcel, and the nature of the goods. For small parcels up to 2kg, the cost could be approximately $36.40.

When choosing between air and ocean shipping, businesses should consider factors such as the nature of the goods, the urgency of the shipment, and the cost. For high-value products, time-sensitive goods, or small packages, air freight may be the better option.

Rail Freight

Rail Freight

Rail transport is another mode of transport for shipping goods from China to Greece. It is suitable for businesses that require a faster shipping time than sea freight but cannot afford the cost of air freight. Rail shipping from China to Greece is part of the New Silk Road, also known as the Belt and Road Initiative. This initiative aims to improve and create new trading routes between China and Europe.

  • Shipping Routes: There is no direct rail link from China to Greece. However, cargo can be transported to central European hubs such as Duisburg in Germany and then forwarded to Greece. Key train stations and routes include Xiangtan Train Station in China, which serves as a gateway to China’s key manufacturing hubs. Rail freight routes from China to European hubs traverse countries like Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, and Germany.
  • Transit Time: The transit time for rail freight from China to Greece is approximately 5-15 days
  • Cost: The shipping price between China and Greece via rail depends on several variables, including cargo weight and size and the exact departure and arrival points.

Rail transport offers an excellent alternative to both sea and air transportation, striking a balance between efficiency and economy. Compared to other transportation methods, rail freight is generally seen as more environmentally friendly.

Customs and Documentation

Required Documents

When shipping from China to Greece, you should provide certain documents to ensure a smooth and efficient customs clearance process. These documents include:

  • Commercial Invoice:  This document provides comprehensive information about the goods being transported, including their value, quantity, and description. 
  • Bill of Lading: This document stands for proof of ownership of the goods and outlines the terms of the shipment. It is a crucial document in the shipping process, serving as a contract between the shipper and the carrier.
  • Packing List: This document offers a detailed list of the shipment’s content, including weight and dimensions.
  • Certificate of Origin: This document verifies the country of origin of the goods and is required for customs clearance.

Ensuring that all documentation is complete and accurate is important to avoid delays or additional fees.

Customs Clearance Process

The customs procedures for shipping from China to Greece involve several steps:

First, all documentation must be submitted and reviewed by customs officials. If any discrepancies or issues are found, additional information may be required.

Once the documentation is approved, the goods will be inspected to ensure they comply with all regulations and standards. If any issues are found during the inspection, the goods may be subject to additional fees, delays, or even seizure.

After the inspection is complete and the goods are deemed compliant, they will be released for delivery to their final destination in Greece.

Working with a professional freight forwarder company with experience navigating the customs clearance process is important to ensure a smooth and successful shipment.

Packaging and Handling

Packaging Standards

When shipping goods from China to Greece, it is important to ensure proper packaging standards are followed to prevent damage or loss during transit. The packaging should be sturdy enough to withstand handling, stacking, and transportation. The packaging should also protect the goods from moisture, dust, and other environmental factors.

The packaging materials used should be of high quality and appropriate for the type of goods being shipped. For example, fragile items should be packed with cushioning materials such as bubble wrap, foam, or packing peanuts to prevent damage. Heavy items should be packed in solid boxes that can support their weight.

It is also important to label the packages clearly with the recipient’s address and contact information, as well as any special handling instructions. This will help ensure the packages are delivered to the correct destination and appropriately handled.

Handling Fragile Goods

When transporting delicate items from China to Greece, it’s crucial to ensure they are handled with extra care to avoid any damage. Such items should be packed using additional protective materials like bubble wrap, foam, or packing peanuts. It’s also important to clearly mark the packages as fragile to notify handlers of the need for careful handling.

In addition, it is important to choose a shipping method that will minimize the risk of damage during transit. For example, air shipping may be better than sea freight for fragile items, as it typically involves less handling and faster transit times.

Overall, proper packaging and handling are essential for ensuring that goods arrive at their destination in good condition. By following established packaging standards and taking extra care with fragile items, businesses can minimize the risk of damage or loss during shipping from China to Greece.

Insurance and Liability

Types of Coverage

When transporting cargo from China to Greece, it’s crucial to consider insurance coverage as a safeguard against potential losses or damages that may occur during transit. There are several types of coverage available, including:

  • All-risk insurance: This type of coverage provides the most comprehensive protection, covering loss or damage to goods during transit, regardless of the cause.
  • Total loss insurance: This type of coverage only applies in the event of a complete loss of the shipment.
  • General average insurance: This type of coverage applies when a loss occurs that is shared among all parties involved in the shipment.

It is recommended to carefully review the terms and coverage of each insurance option to determine which best suits the shipment’s needs.

Claim Process

In the event of loss or damage to the shipment, it is crucial to follow the proper claim process to ensure a timely and efficient resolution. The claim process typically involves the following steps:

  • Notify the carrier and insurance provider immediately upon discovering the loss or damage.
  • To support the claim, provide documentation, such as the bill of lading and proof of value.
  • Allow for inspection of the goods by the carrier or insurance provider.
  • Await a decision on the claim and any potential compensation.

It is important to note that the carrier and insurance provider may have specific time limits for filing a claim, so it is recommended to act quickly to ensure the best chance of a successful claim.

Regulations and Restrictions

Prohibited Items

When shipping from China to Greece, there are certain items that are prohibited from being shipped due to safety and security reasons. These items include but are not limited to:

  • Explosives, including fireworks and ammunition
  • Narcotics and illegal drugs
  • Pornography and other obscene materials
  • Counterfeit goods and fake currency
  • Weapons and firearms
  • Radioactive materials

It is important to note that these items are not allowed to be shipped under any circumstances, and attempting to do so can result in legal consequences.

Special Regulations

In addition to the prohibited items, special regulations must be followed when shipping from China to Greece. These regulations include:

  • Customs clearance: All shipments must go through customs clearance, and the shipper must provide all necessary documentation, including invoices and packing lists.
  • Value-added tax (VAT): All goods imported into Greece are subject to VAT, which is calculated based on the value of the goods.
  • Import duties: Certain goods may also be subject to import duties, which are calculated based on the type of goods being imported.

It is important for shippers to be aware of these regulations and to ensure that they are following all necessary procedures when shipping from China to Greece. Failure to do so can result in delays or other issues with the shipment.

Why Choose Us? Luckystar Logistic

Luckystar, founded in 2022, is a distinguished member of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) and operates as a Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC). The company primarily serves China, the USA, Canada, and Europe, striving to offer top-notch service quality at lower costs. With a core team possessing over 20 years of logistics experience, Luckystar brings substantial expertise to the table. Since its establishment, the company has remained steadfast in its commitment to offering global door-to-door transport and logistics solutions, focusing on reliability, flexibility, and promptness.

We leverage our route knowledge and relationships to optimize logistics, balancing cost, speed, and reliability. We offer the best solution and shipping service from China to Greece.


This article aims to provide helpful information to help determine the best method for shipping containers from China to Greece. We have outlined key considerations around shipping timeframes, costs, documentation needs, and more when moving cargo between the two countries. Please get in touch with us for further assistance if you have any other questions or need more details on the end-to-end process. We strive to help businesses make informed freight mode selections and facilitate smooth trade flows between China and Greece.