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What You Need to Know about Shipping from China?

2023-12-18
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What You Need to Know about Shipping from China?

In the recent times, businesses have encountered difficulties moving products from one port to another due to several supply chain restrictions. Hence, understanding international shipping cost is more important than ever so that you can anticipate and solve these issues. 

For many importers, the cost of Chinese imports became a significant concern. China is among the largest product producers in the world on several parameters. Many businesses, both large and small, turn to manufacture products in China because of its reputation as a producer. But for the process of global sourcing from China and then transferring it to the target country for sale, transportation costs must also be taken into account regardless of whether you choose a purchasing agent such as sourcing agent in Shenzhen or not. Therefore, we focus on introducing the cost of trading from China separately in this article.

Types of Shipping

Express freight 

Express freight is the fastest option and is also the most expensive one. The key service providers include UPS, FedEx, TNT, and DHL. They offer a variety of shipping options. However, the cost of shipping varies depending on how fast you need the shipment. After all, getting this product through the airports requires a lot of planning, and the customs documentation and monitoring processes must be expedited.

You can now receive your products in just 3~5 days with the express shipping service. Importers use this option when they want their shipment urgently. For instance, you might be about to run out of your best-selling product during the holiday season. To capitalize on the high demand, you, therefore, fly in more of that product via express freight as soon as you can.

Air freight 

The only thing that sets air freight apart from express freight is that it does not expedite shipping. If you’re looking for air freight this means, you won't be in a rush, and therefore you won't have to spend more to get these services. The most cost-effective option for packages weighing between 400 lbs and 1200 lbs is air freight, which is 30% to 40% less expensive than express shipping. You benefit from fast shipping at a relatively low price.

The cost of air freight is determined by the weight and volume of the shipment. Depending on which figure is going to be more expensive, carriers charge by either dimensional weight or the actual weight.

Ocean freight

The most popular means of international shipping is by ocean freight. Ocean transport accounts for approximately 90% of all shipping. This should be your first choice if you're hauling a large number of items.

Shipping goods from China by the ocean is a fantastic option because it has many top seaports on its coast. Especially if you're shipping to locations along the western coast of America. Importers choose this feature when they need to ship heavy-load items.

One thing that each business should be aware of is the difference between full-container loads (FCL) and less-than-full container loads (LCL). LCL might require you to wait on a different shipping partner before the company ships your goods, which could result in a protracted delay.


As for the providers of China direct sourcing services to choose express delivery methods, they will comprehensively consider factors such as the characteristics of the goods, customer needs, cost budget, and destination to ensure that the goods can be delivered safely, efficiently, and economically. Common express delivery methods include:


Standard express service

Economic Express Service

Expedited express service

Special line express service

Freight forwarding services

Customized express service

E-commerce logistics services


Tips to save time for shipping from China

1. Know about Chinese holidays

As the Chinese holidays approach, it will likely be tough to find companies that can suit your needs. Many factories will be closed, and industrial workers such as those who make items and those who carry them will be at home.

As a result, you must plan ahead with your provider and place your order well in advance of the holidays.

2. Choose experienced partners

Every container is given a deadline by that time it must be put onto a ship and ready to sail, and this means that the products must be completely finished, packed, and loaded by a specified date and arrive at the origin port by that date.

Working with a reputable supplier and an experienced freight forwarder ensures that your items arrive on time. Also, choosing a purchasing agent can solve express transportation problems in one stop. Maple sourcing is a sourcing agent in Shenzhen, you can try quality services by clicking on our homepage.

3. Complete paperwork correctly

The most common reason for time delays is a shipment being halted during the clearance process. It's critical to fill out the documentation correctly to ensure your package gets through customs without any hitch.

Tips to save money for shipping from China

There's no denying that transportation expenses can eat into your profit margins. Running a small business is figuring out how to keep things at a price that customers will pay while still allowing the company to make a profit.

Before you send items from China to your premises, keep the following points in mind:

1. Time your shipment well

When it comes to moving items out of China, timing is essential. Due to a shortage of labour in factories and also on the road, shipping costs will rise as certain holidays approach.

2. Consider your packaging

While many businesses rely on their suppliers to handle all of their packaging, becoming engaged in the process can save money. Inquire about how the items are going to be packed and if there are any methods to make the packages more suitable to fit the size of a 20ft or 40ft container. When shipping by sea, the weight of the cargo doesn't matter, only the space takes up.

3. Ship in full container loads

Ship a full container load whenever possible. A full container load (FCL) is a less expensive technique to convey ocean cargo. Less than full load (LCL) shipments will wind up costing extra per item.

Other advantages of shipping a full container load include no necessity of sharing your container with any other vendor, whose wares may cause any delay on your shipment.

Procedure for shipping from China 

Here's a step-by-step guide from the perspective of a local freight forwarder who has been serving Chinese exporters and international importers for years.

1. Identify your import rights

You become the importer when you buy things from other countries. Before importing commercial items into your country, whether as a corporation or an individual, you must first determine whether you have import rights.

2. Classify your items and determine the landed cost

For each item you're importing, look for the 10-digit tariff categorization number. These figures, coupled with also the Certificate of Origin, will be used to calculate the duty rate you'll have to pay when importing something. Then you can calculate the landed cost.

3. Request documents from your supplier

You must request proforma invoice for your purchased goods, which should include the description, harmonized system number, and value per item. The weight and packaged dimensions, as well as the purchase term, must be shown on your packing list.

4. Arrange cargo transport

It takes time to ship items internationally. For example, it takes 20 days on average for items delivered from China to arrive at the West Coast of the United States, and 30 days to arrive at the East Coast.

5. Obtain your shipment

Make arrangements for the customs broker to clear the goods through customs when they arrive. You have the right to collect your shipment if all go properly.

Bill of lading: The transport document used by the ocean is the bill of lading. It is customary to demonstrate the products' state upon the carrier's receipt and delivery of them. 

Commercial invoice: The business invoice includes crucial export information and enables you to compute customs duties and other taxes that will be owed once the products arrive at their destination.

Packing list: The packing list is used to identify shipping packages by type and provide combination data like weight, volume, and package count.

Conformity certificates, country of origin certificates, test reports, etc.

The best way to import from China 

As a result of importing goods from China, FCL ocean freight is by far the most affordable. The more you ship, the less you must pay per item, so importers who purchase large quantities of goods from their suppliers enjoy better freight rates than their smaller competitors, who are frequently caught between LCL shipping and air freight.

Remember that shipping costs are determined according to market price. There is little scope for negotiation with freight forwarders because they operate on little profit margins. Therefore, you shouldn't anticipate one forwarder to quote a price that is significantly lower than the other companies. Rather, you should be wary of the forwarders that promise to offer freight rates below the present value because they could be con artists. 

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