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Sea freight shipping from China is perceived as a major hassle when importing products. As a professional in procurement, I can state with confidence that sea freight and shipping is not what should keep you up at night.
There are far more complex issues when importing from China. However, Importers still have reason to be concerned about freight related issues.
While the process is straightforward, and part of an established and functional international system, the learning curve can be pretty steep.
Incoterms, FCL, LCL, Bill of Lading. For starters, the terminology can be discouraging just by itself. On top of that, most people in the industry can barely explain, in plain English, how the sea freight process works from A to Z.
Keep reading, and learn how sea freight works when shipping from China. In this article, we cover everything from shipping costs and insurances, to incoterms, FCL and LCL shipping.
Shipping Incoterms are international standard codes that decides when and where cargo shall be transferred between the supplier and the importer.
For example, FOB (Free on Board) only includes transportation from the factory, to the port of destination (i.e., Hong Kong). In addition, FOB also includes all export procedures, which are required to ensure that the cargo can be legally exported.
However, from the port of destination, you must arrange forwarding to the final destination.
You can, on the other hand, book DAP (Delivered at Place), which includes shipping from the factory in China, to a specified address overseas. Such as your office or warehouse.
When you get a quote from a supplier, you must always specify the incoterm you want. The unit price for FOB Hong Kong is, for example, lower than a unit price based on DAP Los Angeles.
Read this article to learn more about Incoterms
Shipping to an Amazon FBA Center from China
Today, many Importers ship their products directly from the factory in China, to an Amazon FBA warehouse. From there, Amazon manage the storage and distribution of the products.
Amazon is operates according to strict principles, and as a seller, you have now choice but to comply with their rules. This is what you must know about shipping to an Amazon FBA center:
1. The cargo must be labeled according to Amazon’s cargo labeling rules.
2. The cargo shall be palletized, for quick unloading upon arrival. Each side of the pallet must be labeled.
3. The cargo shall be forwarded to the Amazon address, according to DAP or DDP terms.
Notice that Amazon does not manage any shipping or customs clearance procedures. This is entirely up to you as a seller to take care of.
However, you can book DAP or DDP shipping from your freight forwarder Continue Reading →