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How long does it take to ship from China?

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 →

Shipping Costs When Importing from China: 7 Key Facts

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What makes the topic of shipping and logistics complicated is not really the process itself, which is the case with most other procedures importers need to deal with when importing from China. It’s the shipping costs.

Moving cargo from Country A, to Country B, involves a myriad of companies and government authorities, on both sides. For small to medium sized enterprises, especially those without previous experience, there are plenty of pitfalls.

In this article, we explain what you must know about the main shipping costs that arise from the factory floor in China, to final delivery in your warehouse.

This article refers repeatedly to Incoterms. If you wish to fresh up your memory, first read our guide on Incoterms when shipping from China


Get 10% off on your first shipment with Freightos

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The offer is valid for both sea and air freight (maximum amount: US$100)


Local Transportation (Factory to Port of Loading)

When production is completed, and the batch is approved by the buyer, the supplier shall arrange for transportation from its warehouse to the nearest Port of Loading.

The shipping cost for transporting an FCL 20’’ container range between a few hundred, up to around RMB 3,000 (Around $480), depending on the distance.

As most export oriented manufacturers are still based around the coast, and thanks to China’s infrastructure, a port is rarely more than a three to four hour drive away. Continue Reading →

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.


Get 10% off on your first shipment with Freightos

Yes, I want my 10% shipping coupon now
The offer is valid for both sea and air freight (maximum amount: US$100)


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 →

Top 7 Fulfillment Centers in China and Hong Kong 2018

HK Fulfillment Centres

A Hong Kong or Mainland China based fulfilment 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 Floship, Easyship, Exchain, Shipwire and others.

In addition, we also cover the following:

1. Potential tax issues with cross border ecommerce 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?

What is a fulfillment center?

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

Sellers, or ecommerce merchants can directly send their inventory to the fulfillment center from where it is shipped to their customers.

Most fulfillment centers are integrated with ecommerce marketplaces and platforms like Amazon (which also operate their own fulfilment centers, Shopify, and eBay, making it easier for merchants to manage inventory and delivery products. Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →

How to Ship Multiple Different Products in the Same Container

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 →

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 →

List of Forwarders & Shipping Companies in China: An Overview

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Finding the right shipping company or freight forwarder in China can be a serious challenge. Logistics account for a tenth of the world GDP, and includes everything from small scale bookings agencies to online platforms with live tracking.

In this guide, we help you select the right shipping company for your import business.

Some of these companies are traditional freight forwarders, while others are shipping marketplaces, where you can get quotations, book, pay and track your shipments.

Keep reading, and learn what you must know about Fleet,Freightos, ChinaDivision, FloShip, Flexport and many other companies – as we compare them based on their services offered, locations and ratings.


Disclaimer: Most of these companies are not headquartered in Mainland China or Hong Kong S.A.R. However, all listed shipping companies and forwarders have partners or local offices in China. Some are also headquartered in China (including Hong Kong S.A.R), such as FloShip, ChinaDivision and Freightos.


china shipping companies

Freightos

Freightos is the like Expedia or Travelocity for international freight. Basically, with the Freightos Marketplace, importers can easily compare, book, and manage international freight from over 50 freight providers. They’re very much geared towards supporting small importers as well, with some great support resources, as well as live chat and phone support.

Plus, it’s free to sign up and compare shipments, so there’s no real reason not to use, even if only for competitive intelligence.

Freightos has received highly-positive online feedback from customers. Their marketplace is global, with providers based in the US, Canada, the UK, China, and elsewhere. Forwarders that sell on the Freightos marketplace include many well-known reliable logistics companies like HTCG, Sinotech, Amass, AB Logistics, and Eurasia.

The ordering process on Freightos is straightforward, including streamlined handoff of your documentation to the forwarder, and centralized shipment management.

Founded in 2012 by serial entrepreneur Dr. Zvi Schreiber, Freightos has raised over $50 million dollars and has six offices worldwide, including Miami Beach, Barcelona and Jerusalem.


Get 10% off on your first shipment with Freightos

Yes, I want my 10% shipping coupon now
The offer is valid for both sea and air freight (maximum amount: US$100)


Tryfleet.com

Tryfleet.com is the official website of Fleet Logistics, a logistics and supply chain company that also offers shipping services by connecting freight services with the clients and importers.

Founded in 2014, fleet acts as an online logistics marketplace where you as importer can connect with shippers and other service providers.

The service helps you find the best possible solution for your goods shipment for the best price and make you take an informed decision.

The head office of the company is based in Portland, Oregon, United States, but it offers its services to clients from all over the world including China.

The website with simple user interface allows you to choose air or ocean freight, provide details of country of origin and destination, and get instant quotes from a wide range of freight services.

All the freight forwarders listed on the website are verified by Fleet. Each forwarder is also rated and reviewed by the clients on the website so you can have a good idea about the forwarder’s reputation.

In addition, the service also provides an online dashboard to streamline all communication with the forwarder, track shipments in real time, get quick support, and easy and fast payments.

All in all, it is a good solution for small importers who want a quick and cost effective shipping solution for their import from China. Continue Reading →

Sea Freight & Shipping from China: A Complete Guide

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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.

sea-freight-shipping

Incoterms

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 →