Shipping to and from South Korea
Do you want to ship products to or from South Korea? Are you searching for specific information on documentation, customs or pricing? Then, look no further, we are here to help you.Get started
Relevant shipping information
- What are main ports in South Korea?
The most famous ports are Busan, Gwangyang, and Inchon:
Busan: Busan is the main port in South Korea which is located in the South East. Since it is the main port, you can book various direct connections and trade lanes from or to Busan. Further, there are a lot of facilities around this area such as warehouses and depots to store your cargo. It is also the busiest port, so it takes more time to gate your container in and out of the port. Busan’s port infrastructure has elevated it to one of the most important commercial ports in the world, and as such there are logistics services to meet your requirements.
Inchon: This is the closest port to Seoul. It is especially well located if your cargo comes from a factory in Seoul or the Northern part of South Korea. There are a lot of direct connections from and to this port.
Gwangyang: This port is located in the Southern part of South Korea. It is the second-largest port in South Korea.
- Is South Korea more of an import or export country?
South Korea has a good balance of imports and exports, with a slightly higher tendency for exports.
For exports, the main trade lanes include the USA, Russia, Mexico and India. The main commodities include Automotive, Chemical products and Electronics/telephone equipment.
For imports the USA, China and Chile are the main trade lanes when shipping to South Korea. Often traded commodities are Chemical products, Timber/Sawn, Scrap metal, Aluminum, and Wastepaper.
At Twill, we are importing and exporting goods to and from South Korea. Just log into our platform and find schedules and prices within a few clicks.Get started
- What are popular and common trade lanes when shipping to or from South Korea?
When exporting goods from South Korea, the most popular trade lanes are to India, Nigeria, Tanzania, and the UK. For imports, the most common trade lanes are from Greece, Italy and Latvia to South Korea.
South Korea counts a great shipping infrastructure driven by international trade. One of the principal motors of the country’s economy, along with the textile industry, are steel, automobiles, chemicals, and, particularly, electronics. Sustained growth makes South Korea one the largest economy in the world and a leading option for ocean freight.
- How is my cargo getting from port to door or to the port in South Korea?
In South Korea, Twill offers one mode of transportation: Trucks. We offer this transportation mode with CY or SD booking. But what does that mean?
CY booking: This means that the responsibility of the carrier either begins (in the case of Port of Load) or ends (in the case of Port of Discharge) at the Container Yard. The Container Yard is a place within a port or terminal where containers are stored before they are loaded on the ship in the case of exports or offloaded from the ship in the case of imports. you as a customer can arrange the transportation and /to from the port depending. If you have arranged just an ocean booking with us (also known as CY booking) you need to the following:
For exports, customers need to pick up empty containers from the CY terminal/depot and move them to the factories for cargo stuffing. And once the cargo stuffing is finished, you as a customer need to deliver the full container to the loading terminal.
For imports, customers need to move full containers from the discharging port to the factories and return the empty containers back to the discharging port. If you want to return the container to a different port (e.g discharge at Busan port, return at Inchon port), you need to raise a request to the local Twill Customer Support team in advance. There might be additional costs getting charged by the terminal.
SD booking: If you are arranging the transport of the container to and from the port. SD booking stands for Store-Door booking and means the movement of goods to the consignee’s place of business. For exports, Twill will deliver the empty container to the customer’s requested sites. Once the stuffing is finished, our team will then deliver the container to the loading port. The same goes for imports: Twill will deliver the full container to the requested sites and take care of the empty containers.
In South Korea, empty pick-ups with CY booking are available in Busan, Pyeongtaek, Pohang and Inchon.
Empty pick-up is available at the following depots: Bugok, Cheongwon, Asan and Gumi.
- What is the estimated transit time for shipping a container to or from South Korea?
Transit times can vary depending on the vessel schedule, whether containers need to be connected to other vessels on their journey and how many ports are on the route. It also depends on where you ship to or from in South Korea.
Here are some of the trade lanes and average transit times when shipping to or from South Korea:
South Korea – US (East): 23-25 days
South Korea – US (West): 12-15 days
South Korea – Russia: 30-35 days
South Korea – India: 30-34 days
South Korea – Mexico: 19-22 days
For further information on schedules and prices, we recommend you to log into our platform and search for your desired routes and dates for estimated transit times.
- Do I need an insurance when shipping to or from South Korea?
Cargo insurance is not required if you want to ship to or from South Korea. But we do highly recommend it. We advise you to always check your cargo’s risk depending on the Incoterms you negotiated with your partners.
If you're shipping your cargo overseas, it’s best for you to know that you could get quickly being compensated if your cargo is damaged or lost. That's why Twill offers Value Protect, giving you peace of mind as your cargo is protected while being transported with us. When you add Value Protect, it is easier and simpler to make claims compared to traditional insurance.
- How is Customs Clearance handled in South Korea?
We understand the importance of getting your goods through customs without complications. To provide a smooth journey for your goods, we provide Customs Clearance Service for you in South Korea. Therefore, we need specific documentation from you:
From there, our Customer Care team will take over for you. Want to know more about Customs Clearance Services? Find more information here.
To add it to your booking now, simply log in and search for prices and schedules.
- Which peak seasons are important for logistics when shipping to or from South Korea?
In South Korea, the busiest seasons in logistics are at the end of the year, from September to December when Thanksgiving and the holiday season are approaching. Another busy season is from February to March around the Chinese New Year.
Therefore, we recommend checking prices and schedules via our platform early in the process when importing or exporting goods. So, you can avoid peak seasons and higher costs when shipping internationally.
Ports and offices in South Korea
Seoul (Main Office)
18th Floor, Twin City Namsan Building,
366, Hangang-daero, Youngsan-gu,
Seoul 04323 Korea
17F Pan Ocean Building, 102
Busan, 600-816, Korea
PNC (Pusan newport Co. terminal)
Pusan Newport Co
372 Sinhangnam-ro Gangseo-gu Busan 46767 South Korea
330, Sinhangnam-ro, Gangseo-gu, Busan, South Korea
434, Shinhang-ro, Jinhae-gu, Chnagwon-si, Kyungsangnam-do, Korea
5th Floor CJ Korea Express
5th Floor CJ Korea Express
Building, 540-030 Gwangyang, Korea
Hanjin Incheon Container Terminal Co Ltd
777 Incheonsinhang-daero Yeonsu-gu, 22031, South Korea
Buk-gu, Pohang-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do,
PyeongTaek Container Terminal - PCTC
647, Manho-Ri, Poseung-Eup, Pyeongtaek-Si, Gyeonggi-Do,
Services to make shipping easier
Whether you're shipping from door-to-door or want to protect your cargo, we've got just the right service for you.
Inland transportation is a key partner to ocean freight and with Twill, you get access to a range of quality intermodal services – whether truck, rail or barge. Find the right continental and intercontinental transport mode for your cargo, and let us handle the rest.
With sea shipping services from over 300 ports, Twill enables small and medium-sized businesses to grow, by simplifying their ocean shipping and sea freight logistics. We are here to connect your business globally, whether shipping your cargo on the same continent or handling international freight shipping around the world.