‘Shein and Temu are clogging the air freight market’

‘Shein and Temu are clogging the air freight market’

Shein and Temu send tons of goods daily from China to Europe. In Germany alone, it is estimated to be around 400,000 packages per day, or nearly 150 million per year. This has serious consequences for the air freight market, experts say.

Shein and Temu ship most of their products directly from factories in China to shoppers by air in individually addressed packages. They increasingly vie for limited air-cargo space to woo consumers with rapid transit times, according to more than ten industry sources who spoke with Reuters. It results in capacity shortages and drives up freight prices from China.

Biggest trend

Experts point out the enormous logistical implications. “The biggest trend impacting air freight right now is not the Red Sea, it is Chinese ecommerce companies like Shein or Temu”, said Basile Ricard, director of Greater China operations at freight forwarder Bollore Logistics.

‘Shein and Temu’s impact surpasses that of the Red Sea.’

The Chinese companies are said to dismantle goods where possible to pack and ship them below the customs threshold for different countries.

Shein and Temu in Germany

Shein and Temu are estimated to send out 4,000 to 5,000 tons of goods daily worldwide. It requires a capacity surpassing that of a hundred Boeing 777 freighters. In Germany alone, approximately 400,000 packages arrive daily, equating to nearly 150 million annually. However, the growth is not slowing down.


Shein and Temu have become significant players in various European countries, including Germany, in a very short time. Recently, Handelsverband Deutschland (HDE) called on politicians to be stricter towards cheap marketplaces from China. Earlier, French activists urged for legislative and regulatory measures against Shein.

The Chinese newcomers not only put pressure on local players but also on major American marketplaces in Europe. In the meantime Temu is working on expanding its delivery network on the continent. It will also add European sellers to its platform soon.



Arjan van Oosterhout has been contributing to Ecommerce News Europe since the spring of 2023. He writes news articles for the website on a freelance basis.

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