Transportation from China-shipping cost and details

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If you have goods need transport from China to other places, you need to know the following information, which will save you more money and save more time:


1. What transportation method should I choose?

The most common problem many customers encounter is how to choose the right logistics method? Is it international air transport? International shipping or express delivery?


Generally judged from several aspects:


 1, timeliness

  If your goods have the highest time requirements, then it is recommended that you consider air or express delivery.

  2, transportation costs

  If your shipping cost is low and the timeliness is not high, we recommend that you choose shipping, otherwise choose air and express.

  3, the total weight of the goods

  If the total weight of your goods does not exceed 50 kg, it is recommended that you choose express delivery, otherwise you can choose to air or sea.

 Advice from a china freight agent (Shenzhen J-suntech Logistics Co., Ltd.)

 Transportation from China.jpg

2. An example of the cost of air transportation:


The following data is from an Amazon Amazon seller customer, for reference only:

 From pieter ***:

 My last shipment cost about $1,750, 384 kilograms, and 1.693 cubic meters.

 You may quote different numbers, but hopefully this is a good guideline.

 This is all the cost details from China to my Amazon warehouse:



 Air freight: 2.39 USD 384.00 KG = 918.53 USD

 Original cost

 Pickup shipping fee (total): $126.50

 Airline Terminal (weight): $ 0.09x 384.00 KG = $ 35.33

 Automatic manifest system: $18.40

 Documents: $11.50

 Export customs clearance: $34.50

 Handling: $55.00


Destination charge

 Airline Terminal: $74.75

 Handling: $55.00

 Pickup and delivery (total): $150.00

 Warehouse and value added: $137.00


Customs fees

 Import customs clearance: USD 98.00

 Amazon electricity bill

 Amazon partner courier pickup and delivery to Amazon FBA warehouse: $ 165


3. Knowledge of shipping



For shipping, the first thing to consider is whether you really prefer to express by air or by air. We discuss some of the major differences between air and air express delivery in our article here. However, the general rule of thumb is that for goods below 200 kg, it is almost always cheaper and more convenient to transport by air than the sea. Air freight costs generally range from $5/kg to $10/kg, but the same fixed cost as shipping.


What is the international shipping cost?

For any cargo over 200 kg, shipping is usually your cheapest option. The basic cost of shipping costs is high, but the scale is large. For example, the final cost of transporting a 20 kg box by sea may be $300, but for 200 kg you will pay $310, $2,000, $390, etc. For air transport, there is almost no expansion. A 20 kg box will cost you $100, and a 40 lb box will cost you $200.

 There are two types of shipping: full container loading (full container, 20' and 40' containers) and less than container loading (LCL). In addition, the container has three basic sizes: 20', 40', 40'hq (40' high cube).

 LCL shipping simply means that you put one or more pallets together with other company's goods into the container. A full container means you get a complete container. Simple? Any freight forwarder can arrange a complete container or LCL shipment for you. For 20-foot containers to North America (which is always cheap from the West Coast), the cost of a full container ranges from $2,000 to $4,000, and the LCL is very close to how many containers you have used (if you are taking it) at 25% of a 40-foot container. You will pay about 25% of the cost of a 40-foot container. Please refer to the above picture for a sample shipping quote for October 2018.

 Shipping can be transported to most major ports. Vancouver (Canada), Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles are important figures on the West Coast. Living in a land in the world like Denver? No problem - you can still ship a container there, but your container will only be placed on the train and then break into your city, although the price of inland delivery is slightly more expensive (although still very reasonable).


When should you use the full container transport (FCL) and the consolidation transport (LCL)?

When should I use LCL shipping? When should I use FCL shipping? The obvious answer seems to be that when you have enough stuff to fill the entire cabinet, you can choose to transport the entire cabinet. From a financial point of view, a full box of 75% or higher is usually cheaper than shipping LCL (in other words, the LCL surcharge is about 25%). However, there are two other important considerations. First, the LCL transport time is 1-2 weeks longer than the FCL. That's because the freight forwarder has to pack your belongings and open your belongings with others. Second, due to this extra treatment, LCL goods are more likely to be lost and damaged (although very rare). If time and care are important to you, even a half-empty cabinet can be transported.


Shipping has a high fixed cost and many surcharges

For shipping, there are many unforeseen costs when the goods arrive in your country. When you receive an invoice from a freight forwarder, you may be shocked by how much you actually have outside of shipping. Here are some sample fees you can pay:


Terminal cost: 50-100 USD

Freight Forwarding Management Fee: $75-200

Security fee: $50-100 (usually full load container loading)

Customs clearance fee: $100-200 (plus applicable duties/taxes)

The final truck is transported from the bonded warehouse to your door: $200 + (unless you get the goods yourself)


The last two fees, customs clearance fees and final trucking, you can do it yourself and technically. In fact, no one has done this by himself.

 These are just the costs of your goods arriving in your country. They do not include fees from within China (which vary widely depending on your international trade terms) or the actual cost of shipping itself.


Shipping is different from other modes of transportation

Most of us are accustomed to transporting items and other small parcels through USPS, FedEx, etc. Shipping first looks very different from these types of services, but when you think about it more deeply, you will find that they are actually very similar. If you ship the goods through USPS, you know that you must the items at the post office. The same is true for shipping: someone must put it down at the post office! In addition to this, in this case, the port is the post office. If you imagine the United States for a second, you know that Kansas is far from the ocean. Therefore, to ship some pallets to New York Harbor, you need to ship the goods to New York. The same is true if you order Shanghai Port from a supplier in Chengdu (Central China). Fortunately, you don't actually need to arrange some random Chinese truck drivers to pick up your goods. Most freight forwarders are happy to arrange pick up from your supplier's factory. But it will cost more. This is why it is very important to call Incoterms. For example, if you and your supplier agree to the Shanghai FOB shipping terms, this means that your supplier will pay for the cost of shipping your goods to Shanghai. If you agree to EXW Chengdu, you will pay the fee (see my warning on EXW). It’s not cheap to ship hundreds or thousands of miles by truck, no matter which country you are in, so always pay attention to this!

 Once your shipments arrive at the port, they are placed in a container and the next time you hear them they should arrive at your country.


Shipping (and air) requires the use of freight forwarders

So how do you actually book shipping? You need something called a freight forwarder (in fact, it also applies to air transport). A freight forwarder is essentially a broker who buys container space on a shipping container. You cannot book this space directly on board - you need a freight forwarder, and Genxin Logistics Co., Ltd. is one of the best agents in China.

 Freight forwarding is highly competitive, with thousands of freight forwarders. There are now two very popular freight forwarders (essentially, they are brokers' agents), called FlexPort and Freightos. You can get almost any quotation for the goods. However, the easiest way to ship your goods is to have your overseas manufacturer arrange the shipping costs for you.


How long does it take to ship? is my favorite website for evaluating shipping times and getting shipping estimates. In general, the transit time from China to ports is very short:


Shanghai to New York for 18 days: Shanghai to London for 35 days

These times vary greatly depending on the route and other factors, but are good approximations. They also don't consider container loading and unloading times, which can easily increase many days (sometimes a few weeks) during these transit times.


When you ship from China to your country

When your shipment is about to arrive in your city, your freight forwarder will call or email you to let you know how much you owe them (more on this later), ETA and where to pick up the goods.


Keeping the USPS example, you know that if you are not at home when the postman tries to deliver your package, you will have to find it at the post office. The same is true for shipping, unless they don't try to send your parcel to your home. You always have to pick it up from the port or a nearby warehouse.


If you order a complete container, you will almost certainly pick your container at the port. For me, this is the Port of Vancouver.

 If you order LCL shipments, keep in mind that you have only a small amount of space with others. Your goods may be behind the container, so they need to provide them for you in some way. The port is very expensive, so they will move your container to a nearby warehouse (which may mean 30 miles away) and unload the container. In other words, they will take your goods out and make them in the warehouse. For easier and cheaper pickups. In the image below, you can see that the goods were removed from the Port of Vancouver (where the container was unloaded), moved to a nearby city (Richmond), and moved to the warehouse.

 Continue with our post office example, you know that the post office will not keep your parcel forever. In the end, they will only return it to the sender. The same is true for shipping. You usually have five days of free storage. After they, they will start charging you for storage (for a container, it's about $100 a day, and for LCL shipping, about $50 a day, depending on the size of the LCL shipment).

 You don't actually want to pick up the goods yourself from the port. This is a good opportunity. In this case, let your freight forwarder know where you want the final delivery of the goods (ideally before the actual delivery of the order) and they will be happy to arrange the land freight to their final destination. Please note that even short-distance land freight is usually almost as much as thousands of miles of shipping (I recently spent $2,000 to buy a 20' container from Shanghai to Los Angeles, then $1,100 to 30 miles from Los Angeles to San Moreno) .

 Your goods are put on ransom at this point.

So your goods are in your home country (great - you know that the ship is not sinking!) But, in a sense, they are now being ransom. There is a need to pay for the tripartite, and the warehouse or port will not allow you to pick up the goods before paying the three parties. These three parties are:

 Your supplier

Your freight forwarder or freight forwarder


Pay your supplier

At this point, you should have already paid the supplier. However, your goods are like cars: you need to own them to have ownership. The original bill of lading is essentially the ownership of the goods. Your supplier will mail you 2 or 3 such items (copying is not allowed - must be original), you must send one of these original items to the shipping company of your local country (usually in a port city) But not always). Your supplier can also send Telex to you, which basically means they call the company and say "Please send the goods to Dan's XYZ company" and give up the demand for OBL. You may wish to have the supplier's telex release your shipment instead of sending you the original bill of lading.


Paying freight forwarding fee

The freight forwarder will also ask you to pay a small fee at this time, including sea freight and various other surcharges. When you pay the freight forwarder, if you ship the LCL and pick it up yourself, check with them to confirm the location of the goods in the warehouse. In addition, they are asked to provide something called a cargo control number. This is basically the unique ID of your package. Without it, the warehouse will not be able to find your item. When the freight forwarder first contacts you to tell you that the goods are about to arrive, they should forward a document to you, telling you the final location of the goods and the cargo control number. I will not give an example here, you can contact the company's business. The staff will answer you.



Pay customs fees

The last thing you need to pay is customs. This is actually not entirely true: you may not actually need to pay customs fees (if your goods have a 0% tariff), but you must clear the customs.


Customs clearance is a complicated topic. Basically, countries require that all goods entering the country be recorded. Most commodities, especially those from China, have a certain percentage of tariffs/tariffs, usually in the range of 1-15%, although many commodities actually have 0% tariffs/tariffs. Regardless of the amount of tax owed, you must complete a customs declaration form. Customs brokers can handle all of this for you, about $150-$200 + applicable tariffs. There are thousands of customs brokers, and your freight forwarder may also be a registered customs broker.


Once you clear the customs, the local customs authorities will inform the warehouse to take your goods, just like "Dave Bryant has cleared the customs - you can send them to him."


You have paid the ransom - you can pick up your goods!

Once you have paid three ransoms, you can finally get the goods. You only need to go to the warehouse (in the case of LCL shipments) or the port where the goods are located (for containers) and take them out.


If you are picking up LCL shipments, the warehouse may charge you a $25-50 terminal fee, which is usually only paid in cash, so please bring cash in case. Remember that your goods may be placed on a pallet. If you have a vehicle, such as a pickup truck, you only need to load the pallet onto it, which is the best arrangement. On the other hand, if you have a small car, you can remove the tray for a while and then stuff your car with the box.



In conclusion:

I hope this will give you a good understanding of how international shipping works. Importing from China may be your first (or second) intimidation. But once you understand the nuances of shipping, it will be a thing of the past. If you are still struggling, contact a professional at Core Logistics to provide more detailed advice on how to save shipping time and costs. If you have any other questions about shipping or If you also want to quote for your own goods,feel free contact us:



Contact: +86 18688956985(Grace Wen)


Shenzhen J-suntech Logistics Co., Ltd.

address:1207, Building A, No. 9 Cuigang West Road, Huaide Community, Fuyong Street, Bao’an District, Shenzhen



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