Shipping Costs When Importing from China: A Complete Guide

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Trying to estimate shipping costs when importing products from China? In this guide, you’ll find a complete overview of the various freight costs, common pitfalls and how to ensure that you get quoted the right freight cost from your forwarder or supplier.

Shipping Cost Overview
  • Factory to Port Transportation
  • China Export Clearance
  • Freight Cost
  • Insurance
  • Document Delivery (DHL or FedEx)
  • Port Charges (Port of Destination)
  • Customs Bond (United States)
  • Domestic Transportation (Port of Destination to Final Address)
Other
  • Shipping quotation sample
  • How to understand a freight quotation
  • How to reduce your shipping costs from China
  • The cheapest ways to ship from China

Continue reading Shipping Costs When Importing from China: A Complete Guide

Sea Freight & Shipping from China: The Ultimate Guide

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Shipping by sea is the most cost-effective transportation method when importing from China, and elsewhere in Asia. That said, understanding how the shipping process works is as error-prone as it is tedious and mind-numbing – especially for small businesses without prior experience.

In this comprehensive guide, you will learn everything Amazon sellers and small businesses must about sea freight when importing from China.

This is covered

  • Incoterms
  • FCL and LCL Shipping
  • Shipping Insurance
  • Shipping Lead Times
  • Container Types
  • Export Packaging
  • Shipping Documents
  • Freight Cost Overview
  • Shipping Scams

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Top 9 Fulfillment Centers in China and Hong Kong 2019

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HK Fulfillment Centres

A Hong Kong or Mainland China-based fulfillment center can help you distribute products directly from the factory to customers all over the world.

In this article, we list the leading China-based fulfillment centers, including ZhenHub, Floship, Easyship, Exchain, Shipwire, and others.

In addition, we cover the following:

1. Potential tax issues with cross border e-commerce fulfillment

2. When does it make sense to use a fulfillment center in Hong Kong or Mainland China?

3. Should you select a fulfillment center in Hong Kong or Mainland China?

Interviews

  • How to reduce your fulfillment center costs: By Zhenhub
  • Interview with Steven Suh: Founder of Floship.com

What is a fulfillment center?

Fulfillment center offers e-commerce merchants warehousing (storage) and shipping services, that allows online businesses to operate without owning their own warehouse or physical storage space.

Sellers or e-commerce merchants can directly send their inventory to the fulfillment center from where it is shipped to their customers.

Most fulfillment centers are integrated with e-commerce marketplaces and platforms like Amazon (which also operate their own fulfillment centers, Shopify, and eBay, making it easier for merchants to manage inventory and delivery products. Continue reading Top 9 Fulfillment Centers in China and Hong Kong 2019

List of Shipping Companies in Vietnam: Top 7 Forwarders

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Vietnam forwarders

Exploring your options to shift production from China to Vietnam? You might find that your existing freight forwarder network doesn’t even operate in the latter. To make things a bit easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of shipping companies based in Vietnam. In addition, we also cover the following:

  • What should I look for when selecting a freight forwarder?
  • How do I get the cheapest freight rate from Vietnam?
  • I need to ship materials and components from China to Vietnam. How do I arrange that?

What should I look for when selecting a freight forwarder?

You don’t necessarily need to work with a forwarder that is headquartered in Vietnam, to import goods from the country. That said, far from all freight forwarders operate in Vietnam, which is, therefore, the primary selection criteria.

Keep in mind that most forwarders covering Vietnam don’t have their own offices or warehouses there, but work closely with local agencies. There’s nothing odd with this setup. It’s simply the way the logistics industry works. Once you’ve worked out whether your forwarder can manage shipments from Vietnam, I suggest you ask them the following questions:

  • Which ports in Vietnam are covered in your network?
  • Do they have their own offices in Vietnam, or do they work with third parties?
  • Do they offer land transport between Vietnam and China?
  • Do they offer domestic land transportation?
  • Do you handle both sea and air freight?
  • Do you offer LCL shipping?

Continue reading List of Shipping Companies in Vietnam: Top 7 Forwarders

How long does it take to ship from China?

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shipping time from China

It can take anything from a few days to well over a month to ship goods from China to destinations around the world. It ultimately comes down to cost and the transportation methods available to the destination.

In this article, we compare lead times for the following transportation alternatives:

  • Air express
  • Air economy
  • Air ePackets
  • Railway freight
  • Sea freight

Sea freight lead times

Continue reading How long does it take to ship from China?

Air Freight When Importing from China: A Complete Guide

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Air freight can bring your cargo from a factory floor in China, to your warehouse, in a matter of days. However, Air freight is not a viable option for all sorts of cargo.

In this article, you will learn more about Air shipping costs, customs procedures, cargo restrictions and insurance options when importing from China.


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air cargo loading

1. Air freight is the fastest mode of transportation

Air freight is superior to Sea freight in many ways. However, the primary reason to get your cargo delivered by air, is shorter delivery time.

While Sea freight can take a month from port to port (that depends of course on the destination), with a few more days spent on administration and wire transfers – Air freight can get your product from the factory floor, to your office, in only 5 days.

The specific delivery time depends, as there are various classes of Air freight, such as express and economy. Regardless, you will save plenty of time.

An interesting fact is that only 5% of the world’s international transportation, in terms of cargo volume, is delivered by air. However, if we instead look at the total value, that figures jump up to 30% of the world’s total. Continue reading Air Freight When Importing from China: A Complete Guide

Shipping Lithium Batteries From China: UN 38.3, Packaging & Labels

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Importing standalone lithium batteries, or Li-ion powered electronic devices, from China?

Then you might be aware of the strict and complicated safety regulations, covering labeling, export packaging and documentation.

However, you might still struggle to understand how you should go about to actually follow these regulations when importing li-ion batteries and electronics from China.

In this article, we cover the following:

  • What types of lithium batteries and devices are regulated?
  • UN 38.3 and other safety standards
  • Export packaging requirements
  • Documentation requirements
  • Lab testing requirements
  • Shipping lithium batteries by sea
  • Shipping lithium batteries to Amazon

Notice that IATA and air couriers update these regulations on a yearly basis.

However, you can safely assume that it’s not going to get any easier to transport lithium batteries and devices in the future. Continue reading Shipping Lithium Batteries From China: UN 38.3, Packaging & Labels

Train Railway Freight from China: A Complete Guide

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Railway freight is quickly becoming a transportation option for European importers. Starting from virtually nothing in 2013, rail freight is now available to many destinations in Europe – including the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy.

It’s branded as the perfect middle way between sea and air freight, and it has massive potential.

Imagine getting your products delivered in less than half the time it takes, compared to sea freight. And, at a cost that is way below what you’d pay for economy air freight.

The good news is that this is already available.

Keep reading, and learn the following:

  1. When does railway freight make sense?
  2. Which cities in China are connected to the railway network?
  3. To which destinations is railway freight available?
  4. How long does it take to deliver goods from China to Europe, by rail?
  5. What is the rail freight cost?
  6. Can I get both LCL and FCL cargo delivered by rail?

Continue reading Train Railway Freight from China: A Complete Guide

How to Ship Multiple Different Products in the Same Container

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combined container

Do you order small volumes from many different suppliers? You might be wasting thousands of dollars on exorbitant LCL shipping fees.

In this article, I explain how much you can save by combining your shipments in one single container – and the 4 step process for doing so:

  • Step 1: Buy according to FOB or FCA terms from all suppliers
  • Step 2: Coordinate delivery to the same forwarder warehouse
  • Step 3: Make sure to sync production between suppliers
  • Step 4: Combine the cargo as one DAP or DDU shipment

This article is heavy on ocean freight terminology, so I strongly suggest that you read these two articles first:

Continue reading How to Ship Multiple Different Products in the Same Container

Top 9 Air Courier Companies in China: DHL, FedEx, EMS & More

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Looking for a reliable and cheap air courier for your imported products? In this article, you’ll get a complete overview of the largest American, European and local air courier companies operating in China – including the following:

  • DHL
  • FedEx
  • UPS
  • TNT
  • China Post
  • Hong Kong Post
  • SF Express

We also cover Amazon’s plans to step into the international logistics market, and how you can find the air courier with the best prices and service.

DHL

DHL or DHL Express is a German based courier service founded in 1969. The head office of the company is based in Bonn, Germany.

DHL is also ranked as the world’s largest courier service with its presence all over the world including China.

DHL has presence in China for last three decades with its regional head office located in Beijing. It’s now known as one of the leading courier and logistic companies in China out of 35,000 companies working in the same market.

Some of their core delivery and air freight services include:

  • Worldwide delivery service and international shipping
  • DHL eCommerce that includes international and domestic parcel pickup, delivery, and return solutions specifically designed for businesses.

The other  DHL air freight options include DHL Air Priority, DHL Air Connect, DHL Air Economy, DHL Air Charter, DHL Air Thermonet, DHL Air Freight Plus, Lifeconex, and DHL Air Combined. Continue reading Top 9 Air Courier Companies in China: DHL, FedEx, EMS & More