When importing from China to Canada, usually you can choose sea freight, air freight, or express to ship your goods. No matter which shipping method you use, your main concern is shipping cost and time. This article will explain these things in detail so that you can make a better choice for your shipping solution.
What is the sea freight shipping time?
Sea freight shipping time from China to Canada depends on specific ports. It varies from different China ports to different Canada ports. It takes 15-25 days from China to Port of Vancouver, 3-7 days to clear through customs, and then 2-7 days to deliver goods to you by truck or express. In general, you can receive your goods 30-40 days after departure.
Vancouver is the nearest Canadian city to China. From China to other cities in Canada, the time from port to port will be longer. For example, when shipping cargo to Toronto, it usually needs to transit at Vancouver port.
What is the sea freight cost?
As for sea freight cost, FCL and LCL charge in different ways. Under LCL, you will be charged by cargo volume, i.e. CBM. For example, if you have a shipment of 3CBM, which needs to be shipped from Ningbo, China to Vancouver, Canada, the freight forwarder quotes you $240/CBM:
LCL Sea Freight Cost from Ningbo Port to Port of Vancouver= 3CBM * $240/CBM = $720
Under FCL, shipping costs are collected by containers. Different sizes of containers have different prices. Container types also affect the price. For example, from Ningbo to Vancouver, the price of a 20GP ordinary container is $1650. If you have two containers of goods:
FCL Sea Freight Cost from Ningbo Port to Port of Vancouver = $1650*2 = $3300
In addition, different freight forwarders will give different container prices. Because they get agency prices from different shipping companies. Some are the price of express ships, and some are the price of transshipment ships. There are also some seemingly cheap prices, which do not include port charges like THC fees, so you need to pay for them additionally. Thus, when asking about the shipping cost, you’d better contact more forwarders to compare their prices.
What is all-included shipping cost by sea?
The above costs are only from Ningbo Port to Vancouver Port. When your cargo arrives at Port of Vancouver, you need to pay local charges to your forwarder. Different freight forwarders quote you different sea freight rates, so the corresponding local charges are also different. Some forwarders collect less on sea freight fees, but the local charges will be more. In addition, you also need to pay customs clearance fees and local delivery fees.
Now many Chinese forwarders can help you deal with import and export customs clearance and deliver to your door. They quote you an all-included price for the whole shipping process. This cost includes the delivery to your door but excludes the local logistics cost in China.
For example, from Port of Ningbo Port to Port of Vancouver, the all-included price of LCL is $280/CBM, and you have 3CBM of goods,
All included Shipping Cost = $280/CBM * 3CBM = $840.
With this all-included price, it is easier for you to compare the prices of different forwarders and roughly calculate the shipping cost. Moreover, it may be cheaper than the total costs of going through customs clearance and arranging delivery by yourself.
It can also shorten the time for you to receive the cargo. Because forwarders specialize in providing these services. They handle things faster, and the whole process will be smoother.
Please note that sea freight rates are often changing. The prices above are just for your reference. When you estimate the shipping cost, you’d better ask your freight forwarder or agent for the latest price.
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What is the air shipping time?
From China to Canada, if it is a direct flight, it will arrive within one day after take-off. If it is a transfer flight, such as first to Vancouver, and then to Ottawa, it will take about 3 days in total.
In addition, some airlines have flights every day, so your cargo can be dispatched quickly. But some airlines only have one or two flights a week, then you need to wait for more days. But no matter which airline is used, the total air freight time is no more than 7 days. It is much faster than sea freight.
If including the customs clearance time and delivery time, the total shipping time is 8-12 days from China to your destination. This is when everything is normal.
What is the air shipping cost?
The average air freight price from China to Canada (airport to airport) before the epidemic was $2-$3/kg. During the epidemic, the price skyrocketed, like $20/kg. Now it is $4-$7/kg.
Freight forwarders calculate the volumetric weight of the cargo, compare it with the actual weight, and choose the heavier one to charge fees.
Volumetric Weight = Total Shipment Volume （cm³) / 6000 = Total Shipment Volume (CBM) * 167
Suppose your cargo is 180kg and 3CBM. The airport-to-airport price given by your forwarder is $5.5/kg. Then you can calculate air freight shipping cost as below :
Please note that this is only the price of shipping from a China airport to a Canadian airport. If you want to deliver to your location, you also need to pay import customs clearance fees and local delivery costs.
What is all-included shipping cost by air?
Like sea freight, many Chinese forwarders also provide services of customs clearance and delivery to door. Here is an all-included price for your reference. The same, this cost is from a China airport to your door.
Still, you want to send the cargo mentioned above (actual weight 180kg, volumetric weight 500kg). The all-included price your forwarder quotes you is $10/kg:
All-included air freight cost = $10/kg * 500kg = $5000
International air freight rates are updated weekly. It is recommended to confirm the price and space with your forwarder one week ahead and book the space 3 to 7 days in advance.
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What is shipping cost and time by express?
Shipping cost and time of EMS
You can send small parcels from China to Canada by EMS. China Post first sends your cargo to Canada, then Canada Post delivers it to your place. Suppose you have a 10kg parcel to be delivered by EMS from China to Canada. Usually, there are common 2 options for you:
- Sending by sea is cheaper, about $40. But the shipping time is longer. It takes 2-3 months.
- Sending by air is more expensive, about $110. But it will be faster, generally 7-15 days.
Shipping cost and time of commercial express
Compared with EMS, international commercial express companies, such as DHL, FedEx, and UPS are faster. From the start of shipping to the destination, it usually takes 3-5 days. But the express shipping costs are much higher.
In practice, if your cargo is less than 300kg, compared with other shipping methods, express courier is a better choice. The charging standards are:
- The charging unit is 0.5kg for parcels below 21kg. And there is First Weight (0.5kg) and Additional Weight (over 0.5kg). Weight less than 0.5kg should be charged by 0.5kg (e.g. 1.5kg for 1.3kg).
- The charging unit is 1kg for parcels no less than 21kg. Weight less than 1kg should be charged by 1kg (e.g. 22kg for 21.2kg).
- Choose the larger one of volumetric weight and actual weight to charge.
- Volumetric Weight =Total Shipment Volume (cm³) / 5000 = Total Shipment Volume (CBM) * 200
Express shipping cost calculation example
Now suppose you have a parcel of 70*30*40 (cm) and 13kg. You will send it from China to Canada by DHL. Your forwarder will collect you $10/0.5kg for First Weight and $7/0.5kg for the Additional Weight. Then you can calculate the express shipping cost as below:
This is the express price you get from the forwarder. If you directly place your order on DHL’s official website, the shipping fee of sending the same parcel will increase a lot, as shown below.
Now many Chinese logistics agents cooperate with international express companies such as DHL, FedEx, and UPS. They can get cheap agent prices from these companies and offer you 20%-50% off the official prices. But the shipping time is the same. Besides, many shipping agents can provide other free services such as collection, packaging, etc. These will save your shipping costs. Therefore, you can find reliable express agents to send your parcel.
Please note that express shipping rates are also real-time. If you want to know the specific charges, you need to contact your shipping agents to get the latest quotation.
JingSourcing can offer you real-time and competitive express shipping prices.
Hope this article can give you a clear reference to the cost and time of the main shipping method from China to Canada. If you have any questions, just leave a quick comment below.
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