How to Ship When Import from China -Jingsourcing

How to Ship Products When Import from China: Complete Guide


Being a sourcing agent who helps source products from China, we usually ship our large customers’ cargoes by full containers. For many other small customers who are satisfied with the price we quote, as they do not have much experience in importing from China, they always get confused about different shipping methods.

Some of them consider to ship by express in the beginning, but the cost is much higher than they expect even with small quantity. Some just want to ship 2CBM cargo by sea freight because it is the cheapest way, but only find the whole import & export process is complicated and expensive in the end.

If you are doing small business and usually import much less than 20GP container load products one time, or you just start your business in importing from China, this article can give you some useful suggestions about shipping, by analyzing different kinds of situation you may run into.


1. International Express -Fast and Most Convenient Way

For shipping less than 200Kg common products, there’s almost no better choice than sending by international express. If you can’t afford the express fee, maybe you can buy more products and ship together by sea freight, or you have to give up and buy from local suppliers.

International express (FedEx, DHL, UPS, etc.) is suitable for high-value products or products which need to be delivered to certain place very soon, such as fashion products including jewelry, clothing, or electronics.

There is one important thing you should keep in mind when using international express: they calculate the bulky cargo by dimension weight (length*width*height/5000). If you ship 200 mugs to Canada by DHL, the weight is 200g/mug, but the dimension weight is 300g/mug, then DHL will charge by 300g/mug. So that means products with big space will cost a lot express express-FedEx

However, large purchasers sometimes prefer international express than air freight because it usually have cargo promotion price which is much cheaper if you have large cargo that is over 1,000 Kg. The price is not much difference from air freight, but is more convenient than the latter.

For instance, Chinese Amazon suppliers often use FedEx when they have FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) goods, 1,000 Kg goods only takes around $2.8/Kg to US. And can arrive in 5-6 days.


2.China Post Mail Package -Most Economical Way for 20-200Kg Cargo

When your cargo is 20-200Kg, China Post Mail by sea will be another choice, which is around 1/3 price of international express, especially for remote regions like Africa countries where other express companies charge high freight.

Another good thing is that it calculates all goods only by weight, never by dimension weight, which means good for light weight products.

But it has 20Kg limitation for each package, so you have to separate your cargo into several cartons. And it normally take around 2 month on shipping, so only when you really care about shipping rate, you will choose it.

Example, an Australian customers buy kids toys from us every 2 month. Every shipment will be 5-6 cartons, around 100 Kg, 0.5 CBM. This volume is too less for sea freight shipping (the LCL), and if shipped by express, the freight cost will be calculated by dimension weight which is 2-3 times higher than by China Post.


3.Air Freight -Fast and Suitable for More than 500Kg Cargo

Air freight is cheaper but faster than express. But your cargo should better be more than 500Kg, or international express will be better. And their dimensional weight is calculated as length*width*height/6000, less than international express.

This shipping way is airport to airport, which means supplier have to send the cargo to the airport and manage the custom export process. When cargo arrives the airport of your place, you have to pick up them at airport and do the custom import process. If the closet international airport is quite far away from your place, then the domestic forwarding cost will be also a lot of money.


Note: Hazardous Articles of Air Transportation

All airlines have strict rules about shipping hazardous articles cargo, including products which are easy to burn or explode, or chemical products which are toxic. Balancing scooter is one among them because of lithium battery. (Importing Balancing Scooter from China: Problems You Should Know) So it’s not possible to ship this cargo via international express, air freight, or China Post Air Package. The only choice is sea shipping.


4.Less than Container Load Sea ShippingLCL

LCL sea shipping is the most economical way among all shipping methods, when your cargo is more than 2-3CBM. If even less than that, we would recommend you to choose China Post or others. Because every sea shipping has fixed fees for export process in China, around $100-$150, and also fixed import fees when cargo arrive port. So shipping only 2CBM will cost a lot money.

Sea freight is port to port, so don’t forget to count in the forwarding cost from the port to your warehouse. If your place is far away from sea port or there’s even no sea port in your country, you’d better to find a local shipping company to inquire them how to ship from China. Because they know the shipping to your place better than Chinese suppliers or forwarders.

There is one special situation: if your cargo is around 15-20CBM, it’s cheaper and faster to use a 20GP container rather than LCL.

Tips: If there are still some empty space left in your container, you can buy some low-value goods or bulky cargo and ship them together. Because these products can be considered as free shipping. Toys importers usually will buy Pit Balls to fill the free space of containers.

There existing few forwarders who specialized in LCL in certain countries, and you can get very cheap price from them. And they will help you handle custom process first, then you pick up cargo in their warehouse. However, finding them is a little difficult.

One forwarder we worked with are specialized in African line. They can even accept as less as 0.1 CBM cargo. For example, they charge $280/CBM to Nairobi, so 0.1 CBM only cost $28. You just need to pick up your cargo in their warehouse located in Nairobi, so it’s supper economic and convenient.

If you know some of this kind company, please tell us by email: [email protected], thank you.

Less container load sea shipping way
A forwarder who offers LCL service

5.Full Container Load Sea Shipping

It’s well-known that full container load sea shipping is the cheapest shipping way, which is frequently used by our large customers as well. The following are the basis capacities of three common containers:

  • 20GP 5 ton           26CBM
  • 40GP 22 ton        54CBM
  • 40HQ 22 ton       68CBM

This shipping way will be introduced in detail in future articles.


6.Full Container Railway Shipping -Yixin’ou Railway Shipping Line

Yixin’ou Railway Line was opened on Nov. 2014, which connect China and many countries in Europe. This line start at Yiwu City, China, via Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, France, and finally arrived in Madrid, Spain. But it only accept full container load shipping currently.

yixin'ou railway line
Yixin’ou line’s route

Before it was opened, the goods traded between China and Europe need at least 1 month in shipping, but right now it only needs 15-20 days by railway. However, its freight fee is around 3-4 times higher than which of sea shipping, but still are much cheaper than air freight (around 8-10 times higher than what of sea shipping).

Yixin’ou line is really a better choice for European businessmen exporting wine and olive oil to China. Because it’s more stable during the journey, so that the products can be sold after placing very short time when arriving China.


LCL All in Price Sea Shipping Forwarder Information


Country/RegionCompany InformationContact InformationPrice

China Office: Four Seasons Express LTD

Indonesia Office: ACC  EXPRESS


Chinese Office: +86 15957988758

Indonesia Office: Cicilia:+006221-29032490


Door to door to Jakarta

Sea shipping: RP4,200,000/CBM

Air shipping: RP115,000/KG
Including custom clearance




Yiwu Hong Yi International Freight Co., Ltd

Company Website: 

Chinese Office: +86 579-89973778Door to door, including custom clearance

Price can be check in website

Kumasi, Accra(Ghana)



Afriwest Cargo LLC (Yiwu)

Company Website:

Warehouse in Guangzhou and Yiwu, China

Yiwu Office:

+86 15024390567

+86 15005893009

+86 579 85164630

Sea Shipping: $400/CBM to Ghana, including all cost


0 Replies to “How to Ship Products When Import from China: Complete Guide”

  1. Laijana Baloche

    Mostly my cargo from China is shipped by sea, but recently I got a small order that need to be sent by express and I’m considering to use ups, what should I do then? Do I need a account in ups?

    1. Zhu Jing

      Hi Laijana, if this is your first time to use UPS, then you do need to open a UPS’s account. You need to contact with UPS’s customer service person by searching their telephone number on internet, then tell them you want to open an account, then their salesperson will contact you and tell you how to do, usually need some documents of your company such as business license. And you can get your account after one week, after that, you can use this account to send products. Your supplier in other country can also use this account to send goods to you.

  2. Nyaniso Raufe

    I’m planning to ship around 500 pieces of women cloths from China to us, and each one weight around 0.6kg. what is the best and economic way? And what are the costs in total? It’s very difficult to find useful info online, thanks.

  3. Bardot Bello

    You have mentioned the forwarder specialized in African line, and I’m from Kenya, can you tell me how long will it takes from China to Nairobi by sea freight? thanks.

      1. Shyam

        Hi sir I am from Kathmandu Nepal. I have 3.8 CBM package. Is there any forwarder who can take package from Yiwu to Kerung border of Nepal-China(Tibet) via land.

  4. Eben

    Please kindly send me information of LCL Companies That Offer All-in Price Shipping Service to Ghana in the city of Kumasi.
    Looking forward to receiving a positive feedback from you soon.
    Thank you.

    1. Zhu Jing

      Hi Eben, the LCL company we worked with does not provide all-in price shipping service to Ghana any more right now, now they can offer service to Kenya and Nigeria. I’m sorry that we cannot help you.

      You can search in the largest wholesale market which sell imported Chinese products located in Kumasi, and ask for this kind of LCL shipping company. Hope that you can find one.

  5. Derrick Fiafor

    Hi I need to ship a small order of bluetooth speakers from China to Ghana, I need more information on how to use the China Post mail package to ship these by sea. Thanks

    1. Zhu Jing

      Hi. I just check the official rate for the sea freight shipping package to Ghana by China Post. It’s around $47 for 10kg. You can ask your supplier send the package at any China Post Office in any city of China. But It takes maybe 2 month to arrive, and not suitable for shipping Bluetooth Speaker this kind high value product.
      china post mail sea freight cargo to Ghana

  6. Derrick Fiafor

    Thanks a lot for the information. I am trying to send it the bluetooth speakers by sea because of new international regulations on the shipping of products with battery which are now considered as dangerous goods. If there is another way to ship the bluetooth speakers would be happy if you could recommend.


    1. Zhu Jing

      Hi. Shipping products with batteries needs MSDS, UN38.3 and Certificate for Safe Transport of Chemical Goods document for the battery.

      But if your supplier dont have them, but you need the goods indeed, then the only solution will be find a local Chinese shipping company for shipping this type products, because they are more familiar with handling this issue in China. If only the forwarder can load the product in container, then there will be no problem at all, because it’s not custom’s duty to check if you load battery products, and it’s only banned by shipping company.

      My suggestion is trying to send your shipping issue to Chinese forwarding company on, and some of them can help you handle the shipping. We helped an Finnish client for similar issue, because all forwarders he contacted refuse to ship his electric scooters.

  7. Jesamin

    I’m planning to ship around 50 pieces of ladies handbags from China to Bangladesh. what is the best and economic way? And what are the costs in total? It’s very difficult to find useful info online, thanks.

  8. Isabella

    Good morning…please I need information of the LCL companies that offer all in price shipping to Nigeria and also I want to know the cost for China post to Nigeria as well as LCL. Thank you

    1. Isabelle Hai

      Hi Samuel, you can check with this company:
      Afriwest Cargo LLC (Yiwu)
      Company Website:
      Warehouse in Guangzhou and Yiwu, China
      Yiwu Office: +86 15024390567 +86 15005893009 +86 579 85164630
      Sea Shipping: $400/CBM to Ghana, including all cost

  9. Vafa

    I am new to this all and will really appreciate any help/ advice.
    I have a package (20 kg) which contains a chemical product (neither explosive nor toxic). The product should be picked up from a factory in Zhongshan and be shipped to Dubai.
    I am looking for a shipping company which can arrange this all for me for a reasonable fee.

    Any advice is much appreciated.

    1. Isabelle Hai

      Hi Vafa, thanks for your comment, your package is too small so that you need to choose international express to ship it to Dubai. You can let your supplier to help with this.

      1. Vafa

        Hi Isabelle,
        Thank you for your response. I did contact the supplier about this. They also told me that the quantity is to small and couldn’t help me much with it. I’ll see what I can do.
        Thanks anyway.

  10. Vafa

    Hi Isabelle,
    Thank you for your response. I did contact the supplier about this. They also told me that the quantity is to small and couldn’t help me much with it. I’ll see what I can do.
    Thanks anyway.

  11. Sudhakar

    Hi, isabelle

    1. We export granite from the east coast ports of India to Xiamen, China. Currently we are using Cosco. Most of their ships go back empty and we want to connect with their chinese headquarters to get better rates. Pl advise.

    2. I want to export American forest produce (logs) to china – how do I connect with potential customers (importers of quality american wood).

    Thanks. Regards

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