FAQs - Clear Your Doubts While Shipping from China


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If you want to receive sellable goods at a reduced price, then sourcing and shipping from China is a great option. China-sourced products can be your key to large profits if you are a drop shipper or an Amazon vendor.

However, the procedure for shipping products from China is not so easy to comprehend, mainly because a variety of odd terminologies are utilised. It is comparable to attempting to learn a new language.

We will offer you a brief overview of shipping from China in this article. We will clarify the jargon in plain English so you can feel comfortable navigating the shipping industry. But once you are familiar with the terminology, the procedure is not that difficult.

1. Incoterms

That word is probably seldom or rarely used in your daily life. But since it is frequently used in the transportation industry, you should be familiar with it.

Internationally recognised standard codes known as Incoterms specify the location at which goods must be delivered from the supplier to the importer.

DAP ("Delivered at Place") is one frequent incoterm. Simply put, this means that your cargo will be transported from the Chinese provider to the designated foreign site.

The code FOB, which stands for "Free on Board," is another popular one. Transportation from the supplier to the export port is referred here.

2. FCL and LCL shipping

Now let us talk about FCL and LCL shipment, which both are related to international shipping cost and the size of container is being used.

  • FCL: Full Container Load

  • LCL: Less (than) Container Load

You might fill a complete shipping container or just a portion of one, depending on how much you are directly sourcing from China.

You are shipping FCL, if you fill the entire container yourself (full container load). A container is full when it has more stuff.

FCL freight is typically less expensive per volumetric unit and per weight unit.

However, a lot of importers don't buy enough items to ship FCL. Try air freight, but the price is frequently too high. LCL (less than container load) is the best option in this situation.

Your products share containers with other items while shipping LCL. In other words, merchandise from many buyers ends up in the same container.

This results in a lower overall cost, although it ultimately costs more per volumetric unit. Ultimately, the amount you are transporting will determine whether you choose FCL or LCL.


3. Shipping container volumes

Typically, there are 4 different options for shipping containers.

  • FCL 20 feet

  • FCL 40 feet

  • FCL 40 feet HQ

  • FCL 45 feet HQ

You might be able to save a significant amount of money if you can structure your order according to how many units would fit in a particular container size.

4. Freight insurance

Insurance on the goods being shipped is exactly what freight insurance means. Freight insurance will cover your losses if something goes wrong, or your shipment is taken hostage by ruthless pirates.

Who oversees ensuring the shipments is stated in the incoterms. The incoterm CIF automatically includes insurance (Cost Freight and Insurance). You must inform the shipping business that your cargo needs insurance if you are using the incoterms DAT or DAF.

5. Shipping/lead time

This one also pretty much speaks for itself. The transit time between the shipping port and the destination port is known as the shipping or lead time.

This is significant since the earlier you place your purchase, the shorter the lead time. You must place your order well in advance if you need to receive it on time.

6. Export packaging

You definitely don't want your cargo to sustain any damage while being transported. Sales are lost as a result of damaged cargo, and revenue falls. It is imperative that you understand how to package your cargo.

Additionally, you must be very explicit with your supplier because they might not uphold your expectations. Suppliers frequently employ inexpensive packaging materials, which might result in breakage.


7. Amazon FBA warehouse

Importers frequently send products directly from China to an Amazon FBA warehouse these days. Amazon manages the entire product distribution from these warehouses.

As an illustration, if you were selling Chinese essential oils on Amazon, you could have them delivered right to an FBA warehouse, and Amazon would then manage the shipping of all your orders. You can do this to save time and money on shipment.

8. Bill of lading

The bill of lading will function as your checklist of sorts. It will show:

  • The shipping companies

  • The exporting company (seller)

  • The buyer

  • The products being shipped

  • The volume of the products

  • The incoterm used on the products

While shipping from China, your bill of lading is compulsory and always should accompany the shipped goods.

9. Container tracking

As was already mentioned, international shipping is not always reliable. Even the best-laid plans can fall apart if shipments are delayed.

The best way to keep track of your shipments when it arrives is to keep a track of your containers. You will need the following to track your containers:

  • The shipping line transporting the cargo

  • The container numbers

  • Your booking number/document number.

You should be able to follow the development of your shipment once you have this information.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

1. As an international buyer, how to look for China wholesale distributors?

There are normally 3 methods for locating Chinese distributors and wholesalers.

  • The first method is to conduct an online search for Chinese wholesaler websites, get in touch with each one, and select the best.

  • Utilizing an online directory of Chinese wholesalers is the second strategy. The leading businesses in the country would be listed here, along with their contact information.

  • The third way is to personally attend Chinese Trade Fairs or send representatives speak with wholesalers face-to-face and get started.

2. Is it correct that Chinese wholesale products may not be compliant with international product regulations?

You must be aware that goods created for domestic use, or for Chinese consumers in China, must adhere only to Chinese product regulations, which may not necessarily be in line with those of other markets.

These compliances are frequently in the realm of technical, chemical, and safety regulations.

3. Do products made by any Chinese wholesale distributors meet international standards of labelling?

Because Chinese labelling rules differ from those of any other country, Chinese items produced for sale and distribution in China are unquestionably not in compliance with international labelling standards.

4. Is it possible to brand any products made by China as wholesale distributors?

This situation is challenging. If you are working with a manufacturer directly, you can have your private label manufactured in China.

However, you will need to place more orders, pay more, and allow the manufacturer longer lead times in this case. Because Chinese wholesalers deal in generic products, it can be nearly impossible to get bespoke products created there.

5. Which cities in China have got wholesale suppliers and distributor markets?

There exists Yiwu wholesale market and Guangzhou whole market and other small wholesale market in other cities.

6. Is quality audit necessary while buying from China wholesale distributors?

Yes. Quality control in China is crucial at every level of the purchasing process from Chinese wholesalers.

Because the majority of wholesalers cater to the home market, it is possible that their product quality and safety standards don't meet those of other countries.

Additionally, it is wise to have audits performed because these products are created generally rather than to specific buyer specifications.


Various terms used while shipping from China may be initially a little confusing, but once you are familiar with them, everything will become easy.

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