If you have already found the right goods for import from China and everything indicates a successful purchase, one of the next steps will be to decide how you intend to ship the cargo. Therefore, it is good to know the characteristics of the various modes of transport of goods from China. Below we present their summary.

Transportation of goods from China: Delivery time

Transport typeDoor-to-door transit timePort-to-port transit time
Express (DHL, Fedex, UPS,etc)3-8 days/
Air8-12 days4-7 days
Sea25-40 days20-35 days
Railway15-30 days12-25 days

When calculating transport costs, the actual weight and volumetric weight of the so-called payable weight. To calculate the pay weight, determine the greater of the actual weight and the volumetric weight. Volumetric weight calculations are based on agreed formulas. In air transport, 167 kg of volumetric weight per 1 cbm (cubic meter) is assumed, in rail freight LCL (Less than Container Load) for each 1 cbm there is 500 kg, while in sea freight 1 cbm is calculated as 1000 kg.

Transportation of goods from China: Characteristics

Express Shipping from China

Using an international courier, also known as express freight is generally more reliable and quicker than by mail, whether it’s DHL, UPS or TNT. As a rule of thumb, at about $5 per kilo, express freight is the cheapest shipping mode for packages or small shipments up to about 150 kg.

When shipping from China by international courier, allow three days. That includes either picking the parcel up at the Chinese supplier’s door unless the supplier has dropped it off at their depot. If it’s really urgent, there are more expensive premium services which may even be delivered overnight.

Sea freight in import from China

Sea freight is the most common mode of transport used to ship goods around the world. For imports from China, sea freight is also a good option for its affordability and efficiency. In other words, there are two main reasons for considering shipping by sea:

  • cost benefits;
  • and flexibility in the volume and weight of goods that can be shipped via Ocean Freight.

In the case of sea transport from China, space restrictions for heavy loads with irregular shapes are not a major problem. The ship can accommodate any type of shipment, regardless of shape, size or weight.

Goods can be shipped by ship under both LCL and FCL conditions, depending on the needs. FCL (Full Container Load) means full loading of a container and takes place when the load falls on one importer. On the other hand, LCL (Less Container Load), i.e. groupage transport, where loading for a given importer uses only parts of the container. The remaining space is already used by another.

Air transport in import from China

Like sea freight, air transport in imports from China is also quite popular. This is especially true for urgent, high-value, express or small shipments. In such cases, air transport becomes preferred as it saves time and costs for smaller items.

China has many airports strategically located in the most industrialized regions of the country. This makes it easy to ship goods from anywhere in China, using the airport closest to where the goods are being shipped. Thanks to numerous Chinese airports and airlines, for example: Lufthansa Cargo, Cargolux, UPS airlines, Asiana cargo, Air China cargo, which serve most routes around the world, you can send goods by air to any place. On the other hand, where air transport can no longer reach due to the lack of landings in a given country, or the lack of a direct connection, the Road Freeder Service (RFS) is included in the circulation. These trucks transport cargo under an airmail note, but by land.

Air freight is undoubtedly faster than other means of transporting goods from China as it shortens the delivery time. This ensures faster shipment of goods from the place of origin to the place of destination. It should be remembered, however, that although air freight delivers goods relatively faster than the rest of the means, it is expensive. Accordingly, it may be considered whether it would be better to use alternative means that are cheaper.

Railway transport in import from China

If you do not want to use sea transport due to longer delivery times or air freight which is expensive, you can choose rail transport. Rail transport from China is cheaper and quite efficient. If you intend to ship a large amount of goods from China, which are also bulky, you can use rail transport.

There is a rail network that connects cities in China with others in Asia, Russia and Europe. This network is commonly known as the Eurasian network hailing from Europe, Russia and Asia. Also known as the New Silk Road. Since its inception in 2013, this enormous rail network has improved commercial activity in the areas it covers, notably between China and European countries.

Eurasia’s rail network consists of three main operational corridors. There are northern, southern and central corridors.

Northern, Central and Southern Corridor in the Eurasian rail network

The Northern Corridor includes routes to Europe via Russia. It follows a similar route as the Trans-Siberian Railway that connects Moscow with Russia’s Fareast regions. The Trans-Siberian rail network also connects cities in China, Mongolia and South Korea. The central corridor of the Eurasian rail network runs through Kazakhstan from China.

It connects to the northern corridor in the western part of Russia. Finally, the Southern Corridor is the longest of the three. It runs through Kazakhstan, Iran, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, connecting to the European rail network. Continental freight to Poland belongs to the Eurasian railway network.

Transport of goods from China: Organization

The organization of the transport of goods from China should start about two weeks before preparing the order for shipment. The first step is to find a freight forwarder. The freight forwarder can deliver the goods to the designated address, regardless of whether the shipment will be by air, land or sea. If you don’t have your freight forwarder yet, ask us for a quote.

To ensure a successful shipment from China, you should also make sure that the products are properly packaged and marked for customs clearance. The cargo should also be properly secured inside the shipping container so that it does not get damaged. However, it is always worth buying additional insurance here.

An extremely important point in the transport of goods from China, which may protect your order against incorrect or incomplete loading of the goods, is the supervision of the container loading . If you order a container loading inspection service, you should be assured that your order from the Chinese factory has been correctly loaded and marked, and the goods in it are the same that you ordered.