A Comprehensive guide shipping from China to UK
This guide equips you with all the information you need while shipping goods from China to the UK.
- China has comfortably the second-largest economy in the world and has become a key trading market with UK businesses
- To confirm your order, the trade incoterms should be confirmed as well. Some very important incoterms relevant to international trade are discussed below:EXW,FOB,CFR,CIF,DDP
- Production in China is essentially back to normal, but COVID-19¡¯s impact in the UK is creating a variety of other challenges including declined demand and potential delays at UK ports and warehouses.
- By taking advantage of the great rates of DFH Global Logistics Ltd, you can send goods from China to the UK cheaper and easier.
- Hire a reliable forwarding agent like DFH Global Logistics Ltd to handle the procedure on your behalf to deal with the shipping process while you worry about nothing
- If you can not do the customs clearance by yourself, DDP way is the best choice for you, you just need to pay for DFH shipping charge, and we will arrange everything included.
- Your shipment¡¯s transit time will be impacted by location, shipment size, and season. DFH offers many different shipping methods for choosing free: by express, air, sea, train.
- DFH services: Professional logistics service, quick pickup and delivery of your items, affordable rates, efficient customer care service, professional representation and protection of your economic interest in China, a wide network of Courier and Partners
Shipping goods from China to the United Kingdom involves quite an extensive process and requires a lot of planning. The documents involved are also numerous and very important in successful cargo shipments. This shipping review seeks to throw more light about the steps required by shippers to procure and transport products of all kinds from any seaport or airport from China to the UK.
1. How to import from China to the UK?
2. Hot Products to import into the UK from China
3. Trade Incoterms you should know
4. What is the Shipping Process from China to The UK?
5. How to calculate Import duty from China to the UK?
6. Modes of Shipping from China to the UK
7. What is the shipping cost by sea from China to the UK?
8. Documents required for Shipping from China to the UK
9. Some important Shipping terms
10. Best Shipping Method from China to the UK
11. Why choose DFH Global Logistics Services?
Importing from China to the UK
Before any shipper involves himself in shipping goods into the UK, he must first take in the relevant Information such as customs regulations of both countries, their import and export policies, shipping documents, key shipping routes, and the available modes of transport. In addition, he must also search for carriers that offer the best shipping rates from China to the UK so as to maximize profit.
Lastly, the services of an experienced customs broker and freight forwarder cannot be overemphasized. Professionals in the shipping business are in the best position to provide accurate information and guidance regarding the shipping process and needs of shippers are highlighted in the paragraph above.
Prohibited and Restricted Items
Not all items are allowed from China or any other country in the United Kingdom. Shippers who transport such items into the country without having the proper government-issued licenses will have their cargo confiscated by UK custom agents. To be on a safe side, if you are a first-time importer, it will do you a world of good to scan through the prohibited and restricted list as released by UK Custom. Constantly reviewing this list is vital since the list is always updated from time to time, with some items removed and new ones added as the government deems fit.
How to import from China to the UK?
Importing goods from China to the United Kingdom is not a straight forward process as many tend to believe. The process involves a lot of documentation and inspection in both countries and is also time-consuming. This is why the expert services of freight forwarders are very important since they understand the dynamic process and can be of help to you. Even though you plan to use freight forwarders to lessen the burden on you, the onus still falls on you to know a little about the essential steps to take. We preview some of them below.
Step 1 – Study the legalities involved
The first thing you should do is to study the legal framework involved so that you do not run foul of the law. Invest time in knowing which documents are required to complete the process and what each document represents. Studying the prohibited and restricted list is another way to go so that you avoid importing banned items.
Step 2 – Do a comprehensive market research
It doesn’t make sense to invest your resources into importing items into the UK that people do not need or items which local prices you have no idea about. Decide which products you intend to sell in the local market and do your market analysis to find out the level of demand and the selling price. Comparing prices in the local market to the selling price in China will help you decide if dealing with such items will be a profitable venture.
Step 3 – Source for Suppliers
You stand a chance of making a healthy profit if you buy directly Chinese suppliers or producers instead of buying from middlemen who aim to sell at a higher price so that they can make a profit as well. Bypassing the middlemen is possible if you search for suppliers online. Today, Chinese suppliers can be sourced from the internet. Identify suppliers who market the items you are interested in and initiate contact with them.
Step 4 – Find out how much you are liable to pay as tax
The tax levied on imported goods is known as import duty and excise (if the item is shipped in through land borders). The tax levied on items differs, so make sure you consult the HS code of the UK to ascertain accurate information about tax cost.
Step 5 – Hire a Freight Forwarder
Freight forwarders like DFH Global Logistics exist to aid the quick transportation of items from one country to the other, even in the absence of the exporter or importer. It makes no sense to travel to China to ship your cargo when you can hire a forwarding agent to handle the procedure on your behalf. Hire a reliable freight forwarder and let them deal with the shipping process while you worry about nothing.
Hot Products to import into the UK from China
There are quite a number of products shippers are making a healthy profit from. Shipping these items into the UK guarantees a healthy profit because they are highly demanded in the UK market. Some of these items include shoes, bags, clothes, tires, bicycles, LED lights, Solar panels, batteries, food and beverage, China tea, mobile phones and accessories, electronic devices, jewelry, furniture, toys, cosmetics, etc. All these items and more can be sourced online from Chinese suppliers. Popular online platforms to source for made in China products include Alibaba, Made in China website as well as trade fairs like the Canton and the Hong Kong fair.
Trade Incoterms you should know
To confirm your order, the trade incoterms should be confirmed as well. Some very important incoterms relevant to international trade are discussed below.
FOB (Free on Board) is an arrangement made by the buyer and seller regarding the shipment of the goods. Under FOB, the seller only delivers the items to the vessel. Once it gets to the vessel, the buyer then takes on the responsibility of cargo from that point until it gets to the port of destination.
Also referred to as EXWorks, this agreement between both parties places a greater responsibility on the buyer and much less on the seller. The seller is only expected to deliver the items to a pre-agreed location, after which an agent of the buyer takes delivery and processes it for onward shipment to the buyer’s home country.
CFR (Cost of Freight) stipulates that the seller will clear the items for export and deliver the said items to the vessel. The seller also bears responsibility for paying the freight costs while the buyer will cover the customs clearance and logistics at the port of destination.
Deliver Duty Paid places the financial responsibility of the shipment on the seller as well as the logistics arrangement. Under DDP, the buyer takes on no responsibility besides taking delivery if the items.
CIF is also another very important incoterm involved in shipping cargo from China to the UK. Cost, Insurance, and Freight arrangement place the cost of freight and insurance on the shoulders of the seller solely. Under CIF, the buyer does not pay for insurance.
What is the Shipping Process from China to The UK?
To ship items from China to the UK, the shipping process is as follows:
You or your agent will pick up the items from the warehouse of the supplier in China. If the items are few, you package them in boxes, but if they are in large quantities, a 20ft or 40ft container will be required for the purpose of shipping.
The items will then be delivered to the seaport or airport in China, depending on the mode of transportation. Ay this point, your cargo will go through the standard the Chinese Customs export procedures and will be primed for shipping.
Shipping of cargo
After going through Customs procedure, your cargo will be loaded into the Vessel or cargo plane for onward transportation to the United Kingdom.
Arrival at Port of Destination
When your cargo arrives at the port of destination, another process will take place. UK Customs will inspect the items to see if they meet the approved standard as well as establishing a value for the items. To complete the UK Customs clearance procedure, you will need the services of a licensed UK Customs broker to complete the procedure on your behalf. After the cargo has been cleared, you can then take the delivery of your items immediately.
How to calculate Import duty from China to the UK?
Do bear in mind that the UK government places an import duty or Vat tax on items shipped into the country from China.
The amount you get to pay as import duty will depend on the nature of the items because different items attract different customs rates. To calculate clearance rates, consult the HS code to ascertain the specific rates for classified items. To calculate the accurate import duty, you may rely on the experience of your customs broker to do it for you, or you may visit the UK Customs website to evaluate the clearing rates.
Note: Make sure your calculation is right, so you spare yourself the risk of incurring costly fines. To be on a safe side, consult a Customs Broker to provide you with an accurate figure.
Modes of Shipping from China to the UK
When it comes to shipping cargo from China to the UK, there are basically three different types of shipping modes, namely Shipping by Sea, by Air or by rail. In this section, we will dwell extensively on the different types of shipping modes for a clear understanding.
Sea Freight Shipping from China to the UK
Shipping via the sea is the most popular mode of shipping from China to the United Kingdom. Importers prefer sea freight because it is the cheapest form of shipping. Moreover, sea vessels have the capacity to carry large volumes of cargo, so if you are shipping in large quantities, sea freight is your best bet. However, the only downside is to Sea freight is the longer period of time it takes to ship cargo. Under sea shipping, there are different types of sea vessels, but there are three very common types of vessels used to transport goods over long and short distances.
Reefer Container Vessels
Reefer containers are refrigerated containers used in shipping perishable food items and pharmaceutical products. These vessels have large fridges for controlling temperature during the voyage. Reefer container vessels are used to transport fruits, meat, drugs, flowers, and fish.
Roll On-Roll Off Vessels
Also called RoRO ships, cargo ships for this kind are designed for wheeled cargoes such as trucks, cars, trailers, and any other type of vehicle that has to be driven into and out of the ship on their own. RoRo vessels have platforms that serve as a bridge for loading and offloading cargo.
Out Of Gauge (OOG)
Out of Gauge cargo is any cargo that is too large to be loaded into a 20ft or 40ft container. Any cargo that is longer than 12.05 meters with a width beyond 2.33 meters and a height beyond 2.59 meters can be classified as an Out of Gauge cargo.
Note: Some cargo ships are designed to carry reefer containers and OOG cargo, including RORO cargo as well.
Main Seaports in China
Main Seaports in the UK
- Grimby and Immingham
- Milford Haven
Note: DongFangHong facilitates shipment to and from any of the short-listed seaports in China and the United Kingdom.
Sea Routes from China to the UK
Find below the key shipping routes plied by sea vessels transporting cargo from China to the UK and the time required.
- Southern China route (Guangzhou and Shenzhen) takes between 23 to 25 days.
- Central China route (Shanghai and Ningbo) takes between 28-30 days
- Northern China route (Qingdao, Tianjin, and Xiangang) takes between 32 to 35 days.
What is the shipping cost by sea from China to the UK?
The shipping cost is influenced by multiple shipping factors such as the type and size of the cargo, the shipping season, and the distance. Below is an estimate of the cost to ship 20ft and 40ft containers from China to the UK.
- Shipping to Felixstowe – $1,760 – $1,886
- Shipping to London – $1,903 – $2,219
- Shipping to Southampton – $1,596 – $1,834
- Air Freight Shipping from China to the UK
For importers who wish to speed up their shipments from China to the United Kingdom, air freight is the better option. However, air shipping rates are a lot higher than sea shipping, but getting your items delivered to you in less time is guaranteed.
Main Airports in China
- Beijing Capital International Airport
- Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport
- Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport
- Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport
- Hong Kong International Airport
- Qingdao Liuting International Airport
- Shanghai Pudong International Airport
- Shenzhen Bao’an international Airport
- Tianjin Binhai International Airport
- Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport
- Xian Xianyang International Airport
- Wuhan Tianhe International Airport
Main Airports in The United Kingdom
- Belfast Airport
- Birmingham Airport
- Bournemouth Airport
- Bristol Airport
- Derry Airport
- Doncaster Sheffield Airport
- Durham Airport
- Exeter Airport
- Glasgow Airport
- Guernsey Airport
- Inverness Airport
- Liverpool Airport
- Newquay Airport
- Norwich Airport
- Southampton Airport
Shipping from China to the UK Cost
- Shipping to Felixstowe – $1,193 – $1,125
- Shipping to Southampton – $1,141 – $1,155
- Shipping to London – $1,068 – $1,055
- Price/Kg – 10kg ($65), 100kg ($14), 300kg ($5)
Shipping from China to the UK timeframe
- Airfreight – Port to Port (3-8 days), Door to door (6-16 days)
- Express Shipping from China to the UK
Express shipping is essentially for importers who are shipping in smaller parcels in record time. Express shipping is an extension of air shipping but with a fast-tracked clearance procedure. The average delivery time is between 3-5 days. Common express shipping courier services include
- China Post
Rail Shipping from China to the UK
You can also ship your cargo via rails from China to the United Kingdom. Rail shipping is also very cost-effective, and your item can be delivered to you within 2 weeks of leaving China. Cargo trains transit from Central Asia through Eastern Europe to the United Kingdom.
Documents required for Shipping from China to the UK?
The shipping documents involved in international shipping from China to the UK are numerous, but here are some very common ones that you will most likely use to process your shipment.
- Bill of Lading
This is a contractual document between the owner of the cargo and the Carrier. It is issued by the carrier acknowledging the receipt of the cargo. A bill of lading is a must-have for international shipping.
- Packing List
This is a mandatory document for ocean shipping. It lists in detail all the relevant information concerning the cargo, such as the size, weight, volume, and value. The packing list is stamped on the boxes carrying the items.
- Commercial invoice
This is an invoice that shows proof of sale between the buyer and the seller. A Commercial Invoice shows in detail the unit of items and the value per unit for each item.
- Certificate of Origin
A COO document certifies that a product is wholly manufactured, obtained, and processed in a particular country. This document is a declaration by the exporter that the items are sourced from his business location.
- Letter of Credit
This is a binding formal agreement between the seller and the buyer to protect both parties.
- Insurance Certificate
Insurance is an all-important prerequisite for shipping cargo into or out of a country. What insurance simply does is to indemnify the cargo owner against risk emanating from loss of cargo or damage during the voyage. Insurance cover may either be procured by the carrier, the seller, or the buyer. To find out more about who is responsible for the insurance cover of your cargo, relate with your seller or freight forwarder to know more.
- Test Report
A test report is a document that shows that the cargo gas been packed according to compliance procedures. In essence, Customs authorities demand this document for some items to see if they are safe for handling.
- Import License
Import licenses are issued by the government to importers who specialize in importing items whose inflows into the country are either controlled or restricted. To import items under the restricted list, you will need to acquire an import license to do so.
Some important Shipping terms
- LCL Shipping from China to the UK
LCL shipping is a term used to describe the use of only a small space in a container for the purpose of shipping. If you are only importing a limited quantity of items from China that will jot fill up a 20ft or 40ft container, your freight forwarder will lump your shipment with items belonging to other importers into the same container. At the port of destination, the items belonging to the various importers will be sorted.
- FCL Shipping from China to the UK
FCL Shipping is the opposite of LCL. FCL is used for cargo large enough to fill up a container. An importer shipping item under FCL terms does not share container space with other importers.
- Door to door shipping from China to the UK
Door to door shipping refers to the shipping and delivery of items straight to your doorstep. Under door to door shipping, you need not pay a visit to the port of delivery to receive your items. The entire clearing and logistics process is handled on your behalf.
- Shipping from China to the UK Alibaba
Alibaba is an online shopping platform rich in items produced and supplied by Chinese suppliers. Just like in any other international shopping platform, you can order items and have them shipped directly to you.
- Amazon FBA Shipping from China to the UK
Fulfillment by Amazon sellers can take advantage of Amazon’s FBA program to ship items to any Amazon FBA warehouse in the UK. This program offers registered sellers access to Amazon’s logistics and storage network for a fee in a bud to stimulate commerce.
- eBay Shipping from China to the UK
eBay shipping is similar to Alibaba and Amazon. Through Ebay’s network, you can also ship items to the UK and anywhere else in Europe and the West.
Best Shipping Method from China to the UK
As a matter of efficiency, the best shipping method is one that guarantees quick shipping of items within the shortest possible time at the lowest price per unit. Before you opt for any method, make sure it is one that ticks all the boxes regarding speed, cost, and safety.
Cost of Shipping from China to the UK
The cost of shipping cargo from China to the United Kingdom incorporates the following charges
- Freight rate (the cost fluctuates from time to time and is also dependent on the volume and weight of the cargo)
- Inland delivery fee
- Customs duty
- Vat (in some cases)
- Free warehouse 30days
Tracking your shipment
When shipping items into the UK, you have the option to track your cargo at any time during the voyage. To see how you can do this, consult with your freight forwarder for more details.
Why choose DFH Global Logistics Services?
There are numerous reasons why importers who import goods from China have come to trust the services offered by DongFangHong Global Logistics. If you decide to make them your regular freight forwarder, you also stand a chance to enjoy
- Professional logistics service
- Quick pickup and delivery of your items
- Affordable rates
- Efficient customer care service
- Professional representation and protection of your economic interest in China
- A wide network of Courier and Partners
How to get cheap shipping from China to the UK?
To get cheap shipping from China to the UK is quite easy. You can
- Consult your freight forwarder to offer you the cheapest shipping options
- Compare shipping rates offered by different carriers
- Choose to ship your items during the offseason when rates are low if you can afford to
What are the causes of shipping delays when shipping items to the UK?
Delays are caused by one or more of the following:
- Bad weather
- Cargo drop off at multiple ports along the way
- Customs bureaucracy
How long does door to door shipping take?
Door to door shipping may take close to 6 weeks or more depending on several factors. For more information about your shipment, contact your seller to know more. If you reside in Wales or Scotland, your door to door shipping may take longer.
A Comprehensive guide shipping from China to UK
This guide equips you with all the information you need while shipping goods from China to UK.