Shipping costs will make up a substantial percentage of your total product cost, so it’s important to keep them as low as possible at all times. As a general rule of thumb, the bigger your order, the lower ‘per item’ shipping costs you’ll face. There’s no point in importing one pair of unbranded shoes from China as the shipping costs will be far more than the cost of the product itself. Volume is the key to success when building your business around an “Importing from China” product sourcing concept. But that doesn’t mean you have to start off with full container loads either!
We have you covered!
With our consolidating system, your order is prepared for delivery in our China location, getting ready to travel over the seas securely along with all of our other customer orders, lowering your shipping expenses drastically. This system allows our customers to pay partial container prices instead of the usual fees, substantially lowering the shipping costs for your merchandise! Afraid of damaged products? Don’t worry, we offer Sea freight insurance from only US$100 per shipment!
Here are the 4 most popular shipping methods used to import goods from China:
1) Regular Post. This means normal, regular China Post which can take up to 6 weeks to arrive. No online tracking is provided. It can be used for parcels under 2kg. Usually, you will only use regular post for samples and again ONLY if time is not that important and you can afford to wait a few weeks for a package to arrive. China Post is not the most reliable system so be prepared for lost/stolen packages.
If at all possible, we try to avoid using China Mail for any shipments as the delivery time is simply too long.
If your supplier is located in Hong Kong, we can use HK Airmail which is way more reliable, comes with a tracking number and usually arrives within 5-10 days.
2) Courier. Shipping with a courier company will be the most suitable method for most people starting out IF it involves small, lightweight items. With courier companies such as DHL, UPS or FedEx you pay a premium price for each pound BUT you get fast delivery times and an online tracking facility. These days most courier shipments take just 3-5 business days to arrive in any Western country from anywhere around the globe.
3) Air Freight. This is somewhere between courier shipping and sea freight. Shipping times vary from company to company, but in general range between 5 to 10 days which is not bad at all! With Air Freight costs will be significantly lower than with courier companies, but extra work is involved when the goods arrive in your destination country. With Air Freight we usually have to handle documentation and customs clearance (unlike with courier companies), which for smaller shipments or if shipping on your own may seem impractical. Of course, you can always outsource these tasks to a professional company likeChinaAssured for an effortless delivery.
With Air Freight, expect to pay $4.50 per lb for shipments 100-150lb, and around $4.00 from 150lb and up (<1000lb)
Air Freight is usually cost effective once shipments are in the range of 150lb or more.
4) Sea Freight. This is the most popular shipping method used by big companies to import goods from China. The cost per pound ($200-$250 per pallet, even less if you can order full or half-container loads) is very low but the downside is the lengthy delivery time. Depending on where you’re located it will be in the vicinity of 30 to 40 days in most cases.
Also, with Sea Freight it’s very important to calculate all the EXTRA COSTS involved once the goods arrive in your country. The supplier will usually give us the FOB price, which means that the goods are loaded onto the ship. But that’s not the end of the story! Once your shipment arrives at the port there are all kinds of extra charges, such as:
- Unloading charge;
- Port fees;
- Docking fees;
- Storage fees;
- Clearance fees;
These fees can run into hundreds of dollars! That’s why it’s crucial to take these numbers into account BEFORE you order any goods so that you know precisely what your final product cost will be. The easiest option is a company likeChinaAssured who will give you a quote for door-to-door delivery which includes all the fees associated with Sea Freight shipping.
Even with all the additional fees Sea Freight is still the cheapest shipping method for imports from China. Remember that it’s cost effective ONLY if your order is big enough. Usually, a half pallet or one full pallet will be enough if your margins are right. Again, this will depend on the kind of goods you’re importing, their value and weight. Sometimes Air Freight offers the same savings as Sea Freight with the added bonus of much speedier delivery.
In general, Sea Freight is better for bulky items or in cases where the shipping time is not that important. We try to stick to couriers and Air Freight as often as possible, as many of our customers can’t afford the long wait involved when using Sea Freight, but as a reseller the added shipping costs might just be worth the wait..Its a delicate balance, but with as valuable a resource as ChinaAssured to calculate and spell out all your options, the decision will ultimately be up to you – our customer!