Are you importing goods from China to Canada? It might feel overwhelming if you don’t know the procedure. But since you’ve come to the right place, we’ll guide you accordingly.
This guide explores the basics of shipping from China to Canada, including the shipping options you can choose, import custom clearance requirement, shipping time to Canada. You’ll also learn how to find the best freight forwarder in China.
Let’s get started!
1. What are the shipping options from China to Canada?
If you are trying to find the best shipping method for your goods to get the highest profits and customer satisfaction, then you can choose from the below 3-options.
1) Sea freight from China to Canada
“Sea Freight is the cheapest but the slowest mode of transportation.”
As the name suggests, in Sea Freight, your goods are packed in a container and loaded on a Ship for shipment. As ocean ships can carry thousands of containers in one go, their rates are pretty low, but as you know, they move very slowly in water, so that you can expect a delivery time of more than a month or even two in peak seasons.
Sea freight is only cost-effective when your goods weigh more than 500 kg and have a volume of over 2 CBM. Additionally, it’s a suitable option only if you are not in a hurry. When opting for sea freight, it’s advisable to plan your order production and have the items delivered 2 to 3 months before you need them, allowing you to have them available during the sales season.
Another important thing you will encounter in Sea freight is choosing between what kind of Container service you want, like an LCL or FCL, which are;
LCL, also known as “Less than Container Load,” is a shipment in which your goods are loaded with other people’s goods in the same container. This method is chosen when your products cannot fill a 1-full container. LCL shipping freight method is costlier than FCL.
FCL, also known as “Full Container Load,” is a mode of shipment in which your goods are loaded in a single personal container, and no sharing with other people happens. FCL mode is cheaper than LCL, but only if your goods are big enough to fill a 1-whole container.
2) Air freight from China to Canada
“Airfreight is 3 ~ 5 times quicker than sea freight, but it is also way costlier.”
When we say Air freight is the fastest, it means that it is quicker than trains, ships, vehicles, and other modes of transportation. When choosing airfreight, you can choose either shipping;
Airport to Airport service
Door to Door service
In Airport delivery, you need to take care of customs paperwork & fees yourself when Cargo arrives at your Canadian airport, and only then will goods be released to you. While in the Door delivery option, your freight forwarder will handle the Paperwork and import fees.
It should be noted that Airfreight is the second quickest method when it comes to speed because at first stands the Express delivery. This is because, in Airfreight, you must deliver the products at the airport, book your Cargo, and then hand it over to the airplane, which takes time.
In the case of Express delivery, the courier has well-established staff, from loading laborers to airlines to moving vehicles, and they don’t waste time on Paperwork or deciding on options. Plus, they pick up your Cargo from the factory, or you can deliver goods to their nearest shop way faster.
Airfreight is very fast but can cost a lot, especially if your Cargo is heavy. So, only choose Air Cargo Shipping if you need your goods quickly and the overall weight is between 150 kg and 500 kg.
However, when choosing Air freight shipping services, there are many ways you can cut your costs down, like;
- Open Vs. Closed Pallet
- Pack As light As You Can
- Always Book in Advance
- Choose the Best Airports
- Indirect Routes are Cheaper
- Choose the Best Air Company
By best Airline, we mean not the cheapest ones because if they are the most affordable, they also have disadvantages like late deliveries, improper handling, etc. So, always choose someone within an average price range.
Below are the suggestions of some Reliable Airlines in China;
- CA Airlines
- CK Airlines
- EK Airlines
- AA Airlines
- HU Airlines
3) Express Freight from China to Canada
“Express Freight is the fastest but also the costliest delivery method.”
Express Freight means the door-to-door delivery service that Courier Companies offers, like DHL, FedEx, UPS, EMS, etc.
These companies have offices or linked representatives in every City across the Globe, Close Agreements with Airlines, their Custom Clearance Teams, in-land vehicles, and a labor force, which enable them to deliver products even faster than standard Airfrieght.
Undoubtedly, Express delivery couriers take care of packing, hefty loading, and unloading, but they do that at a very high price. If you look at their prices, they are 2-5 times more costly than Sea and air freight.
One of the essential benefits of Express Couriers is that you don’t have to mess with hefty Custom Clearance because they have special customs Teams, which handle all the Paperwork and take care of customs duties, which they will add to their bill.
Express Freight is only best if you want to deliver small packages like documents, sample products, and other urgently required items. If you have heavy Cargo over 300 kg and want to provide it quickly, consider the Airfreight method before choosing Express delivery.
DHL Shipping from China to Canada
DHL Express is one of the best International Express Providers for shipping from China to Canada. The shipping time by DHL Express is speedy. It takes only about three days from China to Canada with door-to-door service. However, the cost is most expensive compared with UPS or FedEx Express. It is suitable for documents, small parcels, or urgent goods delivery.
FedEx shipping from China to Canada
FedEx Express is a well-established international courier. It has two types of service from China to Canada.
1) FedEx International Priority
This service provides fast and on-time delivery with customs clearance support, and delivery time is about 3-5 work days door to door. It is suitable for time-sensitive Cargo and urgent shipments.
2) FedEx International Economy
This option is cost-effective for less time-sensitive shipments. Cost is much cheaper than Priority service, and delivery time is about 6-8 working days door to door.
UPS shipping from China to Canada
UPS Express is a famous global courier and logistic shipping carrier. It has two types of services from China to Canada, too.
1) UPS Worldwide Saver
This is the fastest international shipping service offered by UPS and is suitable for time-sensitive and urgent shipments. It provides guaranteed delivery by a specific time; delivery is about 4 working days for door-to-door service.
2) UPS Worldwide Expedited
A cost-effective option for less time-sensitive shipments with reliable delivery. Delivery total is around 5-8 working days.
2. How to Choose the Best Shipping method for your Shipment?
Choosing the best shipment method for your specific Shipment can be a complex task, but you can do it by asking yourself these questions;
- Goods Type?
- How soon do you want your Shipment?
- Size and weight of Shipment?
You can see the chart below to decide on the shipping method according to your shipment situation;
|No Time Issues
|In 1 ~ 2 Weeks
|In 1 Week
If your Goods are small, like a document, Product Sample, and so on, then it is best to choose Express Courier methods because they will be the fastest and safest method.
And if your Product is extensive but weight significantly less, then never choose Air or Express methods because they will cost you by size, not weight, and you will pay a lot more. In this case, try disassembling your Product and fitting it in a sea freight container.
3. What is the Shipping Cost from China to Canada?
Well, shipping your cargo from China to Canada involves factors affecting the overall cost. So, how much does shipping cost?
Here are the factors to consider when determining the shipping cost from China to Canada.
- Shipping Distance: The shipping distance will significantly affect the shipping cost. And honestly, it’s a long way from China to Canada, making it costly.
- Size and Weight of Cargo: Shipping large-sized goods tend to be costlier than light ones. Each carrier has size and weight limitations for the goods they ship.
- Delivery Times: While distance can influence delivery times, air and express deliveries are usually more costly than sea freight due to fast delivery.
- Surcharges: These are the additional costs incurred on top of the base rate. If the shipment requires more effort, time, and paperwork, you’ll have to pay more
- Dimensional Weight: This refers to an actual pricing technique that considers the size and dimensions of an item to determine the shipping cost.
- Taxes and Duties: Your shipment will be subject to taxes and duties for shipping to Canada. Consult your carrier for more details on the taxes.
However, to give you a rough estimate, we will provide you with some examples of various methods, such as;
- Sea Freight Shipping Costs
- Airfreight Shipping Costs
- Express Delivery Costs
Sea freight Shipping Costs – 2023
Sea Freight is always the cheapest option in terms of money if you are shipping goods from China to Canada. In Sea freight, you will find 2-kinds of container load options;
In LCL, you don’t have to pay for the whole container; you can load your goods beside other people in one container and have to pay for your place. But, In a Sharing LCL container, companies charge more per person.
|| China to Canada
|| Transit Time
|| $40-$120 per CBM
|| 15-20 days
|| $50-$120 per CBM
|| 25-35 days
|| $65-$140 per CBM
|| 25-35 days
In FCL, you are booking and paying for a full container ( 20ft or 40 ft ). All the container is yours, and you can load anything in it until it’s full or leave it empty. A full container is always cheaper ( FCL ) than sharing it with others ( LCL ) if you have enough goods to fill it completely.
| Departure Port
|| Arrival Port
|| 20 ft Container
(average price )
| 40 ft Container
(average price )
Air freight cost from China to Canada – 2023
Airfreight is the cost-effective option if you want your goods delivered very quickly. It is far cheaper than Express Delivery. The price per Kg in air shipments depends on how heavy your cargo is; if they are more serious, you will get a lower wholesale price.
Air Freight is suitable for goods that weight over 100 kg. Below is the air freight quote dated 24th , October 2023 for your information.
If you want to get the accurate and best shipping cost for your shipment, don’t hesitate to contact the Winsky Freight expert for further help.
|Airport of Origin
Express Shipping Rates from China to Canada – 2023
Express Shipping rates depend from Company to Company, Cargo Nature, Size, Weight, and season to season. In short, there are no fixed rates for Express shipping, but one thing that is set for sure is that it is the costliest of all shipping methods.
The most famous companies offering reliable & quick shipping services are DHL, FedEx, UPS, etc. Below is the Express freight quote dated 24th October 2023 for your information
4. What is the Cheapest Shipping from China to Canada?
Generally speaking, Sea freight is the cheapest shipping option from China to Canada. It is significantly cheaper for heavy and bulk shipments.
The cost of shipping from China to Canada depends on many factors like Cargo type, shipment measurement and weight, port of origin, destination, and shipping ways; however, you can hire a China freight forwarder like Winsky Freight to get the lowest shipping cost, as we have discounted price than direct Air & Sea shipping carrier.
5. How long is shipping from China to Canada?
Shipping time from China to Canada depends on many factors,
If all conditions are ideal, then you can expect the following days for your shipment to arrive;
||Port to Port
||Door to Door
| Air Freight
|| 4 – 7 days
|| 6 – 13 days
| Sea Freight (LCL)
|| 20 – 35 days
|| 35 – 65 days
| Sea Freight (FCL)
|| 18 – 32 days
|| 40 – 55 days
| Express Freight
|| 2-5 days
6. When will you meet shipping delay from China to Canada?
Well, everyone is looking for shipping companies that can deliver their shipments in good time.
However, several factors can influence shipping times, including weather conditions, port congestion, and seasonal variations in shipping, such as peak and low seasons.
During peak seasons, there is a high demand for shipping goods from China to Canada. This increased demand can lead to limited shipping capacity and longer waiting times for your goods to be shipped.
Furthermore, if weather conditions are unfavorable, such as storms, heavy rains, or severe snowfall, especially in sea shipping, or if there is port congestion during peak seasons, you may experience additional delays of 7 to 30 days for your goods to be delivered.
It’s worth noting that port congestion has become a common issue in Canada in recent years. You may encounter delays regardless of the shipping company or method you choose. Therefore, it is advisable to plan to mitigate potential business losses.
7. What are the Shipping Routes from China to Canada?
The shipping routes from China to Canada differ by port of departure and port of arrival. It has a lot of influence on the cost. The longer the route, the more fuel & time will be spent, and the higher it will cost to deliver.
For example, from the Port of Shenzhen in China to the Port of Vancouver in Canada is one of the shortest routes. It only takes 15-20 days and has a starting price of only $1150 for a 20 ft container.
Major Ports in China to Canada
There are several frequent shipping routes between China and Canada.
1. Pacific Route via Vancouver
Main Departure Ports in China: Shanghai, Ningbo, Shenzhen, Hong Kong
Arrival Port in Canada: Vancouver
This is the most frequent and direct route from China to Western Canada.
2. Pacific Route via Prince Rupert
Main Departure Ports in China: Shanghai, Ningbo, Shenzhen, Hong Kong
Arrival Port in Canada: Prince Rupert, Canada
Prince Rupert is also one of the standard ports in West Canada and has direct rail connections to the Canadian interior.
3. Transshipment via US Ports
Departure Ports in China: Shanghai, Ningbo, Shenzhen, Hong Kong
Arrival Port: Los Angeles, Long Beach, then be transported by truck from the US border to Vancouver or Toronto ports.
The Transshipment routes cost more than the direct China to Canada route. Still, shipping time is faster and more stable, as natural China to Canada routes have had many cases that meet boat delays and port congestion in recent years.
8. How do you calculate the chargeable weight for shipping from China to Canada?
It is essential to determine the shipping cost of your cargo from China to Canada. In international shipping, the chargeable weight does not depend only on gross weight. We have to consider the volumetric weight, too.
Chargeable weight is based on the greater of the actual weight or the volumetric weight.
See below how to calculate it:
- Check the gross weight:
Weight the shipment by an accurate scale. The actual weight is the physical weight of your cargo in kilograms (kg)
- Check the Volumetric Weight
The volumetric weight is calculated based on your shipment’s size (volume), representing the space that your cargo occupies in the airspace or container.
To calculate the volumetric weight, use the following formula:
Volumetric Weight (kg) = (Length x Width x Height) / Volumetric Weight Factor
The volumetric weight factor is a number that reflects the density of the cargo. For Express Air door-to-door freight like DHL, UPS, and FedEx, the volumetric weight factor is 5000, while for Air freight Port to Port, the volumetric weight factor is 6000.
For example, if you have a package with the following dimensions and weight and need to ship by Express Air door-to-door:
Length: 60 cm
Height: 48 cm
Actual Weight: 22 kg
We need to use a volumetric weight factor of 5,000, and you can calculate the volumetric weight:
Volumetric Weight (kg) = (60 cm x 55 cm x 48 cm) / 5,000 = 31.68 kg
In this example, the volumetric weight (31.68 kg) is greater than the actual weight (22 kg), so the chargeable weight for your shipment would be 31.68 kg.
Let’s see another example: if you have a package with the following dimensions and weight and need to ship by Air Freight Port to Port:
Length: 65 cm
Height: 40 cm
Actual Weight: 24 kg
We need to use a volumetric weight factor of 6,000; you can calculate the volumetric weight:
Volumetric Weight (kg) = (65 cm x 50 cm x 40 cm) / 6,000 = 21.67 kg
In this example, the volumetric weight (21.67 kg) is less than the actual weight (24 kg), so the chargeable weight for your shipment would be 24kg.
9. Tips for Keeping down the Shipping Costs from China to Canada
If you find the shipping cost too expensive, look for ways to save money. Thankfully, we’ve prepared a few tips to help you reduce the shipping cost.
Here are the tips for finding the cheapest shipping from China to Canada.
- Ship your goods during off-peak when the shipping prices are low
- Review your shipping options and select one that’s within your budget
- Book your shipping space early to receive the discounts offered by carriers
- Don’t leave large shipments with the supplier for long, as that may be costly
- Work with a freight forwarder that offers cheap shipping, like Winsky Freight
- Take full advantage of the suppliers’ perks, such as discounts and free deliveries
10. How to ship from China to Amazon FBA in Canada?
You can ship goods from China directly to Amazon FBA in Canada, door-to-door, using DDP Air freight and DDP sea freight. With these shipping methods, you don’t have to clear import customs or pay duties yourself; a cooperative freight forwarder can handle all these tasks.
DDP Sea Freight from China to Amazon FBA in Canada
Goods are shipped by sea carriers in advance. After the boat arrives, a local agent in Canada completes the import customs clearance and pays the duties. They then pick up the container from the port and transport it to Canada’s overseas warehouse. After de-consolidation, the goods are delivered to the destination in Canada, which is Amazon. Before sending the goods to Amazon, it’s generally necessary to book storage, and the process can be more complex than express delivery. Sea shipping takes a little longer, approximately 40 days, from China to Canada, but it is much more cost-effective than air freight and suitable for non-urgent cargo.
DDP Air Freight from China to Amazon FBA in Canada
Goods are shipped to Canada by China Airlines and are then delivered to an Amazon warehouse by a local express courier like UPS. The total delivery time takes about ten working days, door to door, slightly slower than direct express delivery. However, the last-mile delivery provided by express couriers is very convenient for shipping to Canada Amazon. The cost is economical, and you don’t need to worry about tariffs or customs clearance.
Winsky Freight has extensive knowledge and experience in shipping from China to Amazon in Canada with door-to-door service. We can pick up your Amazon goods from the factory in China, send them via fast air or economical sea freight, complete the export and import customs clearance process, pay import duties and taxes, and then make an appointment with the Canada Amazon fulfillment center for delivery.
Alternatively, we can use Canada UPS courier services to send the cargo directly to the Amazon FBA warehouse. All you need to do is wait for the goods to be checked in by Amazon. Below is the list of Canada Amazon Warehouses we can deliver to:
|Amazon warehouse code
||450 Derwent PL Delta, British Columbia V3M 5Y9
||450 Derwent Place Delta V3M 5Y9
||109 Braid St New Westminster V3L 5H4
||4189 Salish Sea Way Tsawwassen BC V4M 0B9
||6363 Millcreek Drive Mississauga, Ontario L5N 1L8
||2750 Peddie Rd. Milton, Ontario L9T 6Y9
||7995 Winston Churchill Blvd. Brampton, Ontario L6Y 0B2
|| 8050 Heritage Road, Brampton, Ontario
||12724 Coleraine Dr
||16131 Blundell Rd
||110 Aeropark Blvd,HAMILTON,ON,L0R 1W0
||789 Salem Rd N, Ajax, ON L1Z 1G1
||5225 Boundary Rd
||293069 Colonel Robertson Way and Crossiron Blvd Calgary, Alberta T4A 1C6 Canada
||1440 39 AVE Nisku, AB T9E 0B4 CA
||3000 Rue Louis A Amos
11. How to Ship From China to Canada with Winsky Freight?
Shipping from China into Canada might seem challenging, but working with Winsky Freight is different. We’ll take you through the entire process if you do the following:
Step 1: Give us your supplier’s contact information before the goods arrive. Such details include their phone number and email address.
Step 2. Alternatively, give the supplier our contact information. When we get in contact, we’ll arrange the pickup from the supplier to our shipping warehouse.
Step 3. Please ask the suppliers to label your name or company on your cartons or cargo. They should also provide the commercial invoice that has your delivery information for shipping and the declaration information.
Step 4. Once the goods arrive in our warehouse, we will check their weights and dimensions and confirm them with you.
Step 5. We’ll arrange the shipping invoice for payment confirmation.
Step 6. We’ll arrange for export customs clearance to ship the goods by air/sea freight and then send you the freight tracking number and tracking website.
Step 7. Once the goods arrive at the intended airport or seaport in Canada, you or your agent can finish the import customs and duty. If the shipping is DDP (Delivery Duty Paid), our overseas agent in Canada will complete the import customs tax for you.
Step 8. Once the customs clearance is finished, you can pick up the goods from the airport/seaport. For DDP shipping, our overseas agent in Canada will deliver the goods to the local UPS and finally give them to your Canada address.
12. How to Track Your Shipment from China to Canada?
You can track the status of your shipment from China to Canada in several ways. If you ship goods via express freight services like DHL, UPS, and FedEx, visit their official websites and enter the tracking number to access detailed status updates online.
For shipments sent through DDP Air and Sea freight services, please request the tracking number from your forwarder and their tracking website. This will allow you to stay updated on the shipping status.
When shipping goods via Air Carrier from airport to airport, you can insert the tracking number on the dedicated air carrier’s official website or use a third-party website like https://www.track-trace.com/aircargo to check the status.
For shipments sent by sea carriers with port-to-port service, visit the sea carrier’s official website and input the courier’s tracking number or container number to locate the container’s current location.
Additionally, you can track express shipments and many other sea and air freight shipments using 17-Track, which offers an all-in-one package tracking solution. It supports over 1500 carriers and 120+ airlines worldwide.
If you have any questions regarding how to track your shipment’s status or when it is expected to arrive, please consult your freight forwarder. They will provide you with an estimated arrival date.
13. Do I need to buy cargo insurance?
When calculating your freight costs, remember to protect yourself against potential damage or loss of your goods by cargo insurance. You can achieve this by working with your freight forwarder or a third-party insurance agent. The insurance fee typically amounts to approximately 0.3% of your commercial invoice value, which is the amount you paid for the goods.
If there is any damage or loss, your goods can be compensated. Upon the goods’ arrival, avoid rushing to disassemble them. Instead, first, check whether the outer packaging is damaged. If there is any damage, take a picture of it, as this evidence can be used to facilitate the claims process.
14. Import Rules and Regulations in Canada
Before you ship goods from China to Canada, you need to acquaint yourself with all the import rules and regulations in Canada.
Here are the requirements you should know.
Importation Requirements in Canada
Importing into Canada can be easy and profitable if you fulfill all the requirements. To import commercial goods, you must first get a Canadian business license.
You can’t start importing goods into Canada without getting accredited by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Failing to acquire a license may land you problems.
Here are the other requirements to import commercial goods into Canada.
- Import business number from the CRA
- Value of duty for the goods being imported
- Specifications of the goods you plan to import
- Labeling and marking of goods as required by the CRA
- Method of shipping you intend to use to import the goods
- Invoices, certificates of origin, and other essential documents
Prohibited Importations in Canada
Prohibited goods are those the Government of Canada has banned from being imported into the country.
When you import prohibited items into Canada, customs may turn away the goods at the ports or hold them. You wouldn’t want that.
Here are some of the prohibited importations in Canada.
- Firearms and weapons
- Pornographic and obscene materials
- Counterfeit products
- Second-hand mattresses
- Tobacco and tobacco products
- White phosphorus matches
- Coins and cash
- Disposable tableware
Product Safety Requirements in Canada
When shipping goods from China into Canada, you must ensure they comply with Canada’s safety requirements. Canada prohibits the importation of unsafe products.
The Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) controls all consumer goods shipped into Canada for commercial purposes. You have to comply with its regulations.
The CCPSA prohibits importers from importing consumer products that pose risks to human health and safety. You must obtain the safety information for your imports.
The Consumer Packaging and Labeling Act is another act that ensures the safety of imported goods. It prohibits importers from misrepresenting goods that mislead consumers.
15. How much is the Import Taxes and Duties in Canada?
Duties and taxes should be the first factors to consider when shipping from China to Canada. You must pay GST and customs duty before importing goods into the country.
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) collects import taxes and duties. Since imports have different taxes and duties, you must know what to pay for your goods.
Any product imported to Canada is subject to a duty charge called Goods and Services Tax (GST). You’ll pay a 5% GST tax on the total value of goods imported into Canada.
Note that the CBSA will calculate the duties you owe based on the current value of the goods in Canadian currency.
Tax and duty rates vary depending on the country of origin and the types of goods you intend to import.
Other rates, such as excise taxes and duties, may also apply, depending on the goods’ nature or value. For instance, luxury items may be subject to excise tax.
You don’t have to pay the GST for imports worth CAN$20 or less. Gifts worth CAN$60 from friends and family living abroad are exempt from the tariff charges.
16. How to Choose a Reputable Freight Forwarder in China?
We all know how challenging choosing a freight forwarder can be when you don’t know what to look for during the search. Here are the factors to consider.
- Forwarder’s Credentials: Does the Chinese government license the freight forwarder? A business license assures you that the company is legal.
- Cargo Tracking Systems: A good forwarder has an effective cargo tracking system to update your real-time shipment progress.
- Forwarder’s Official Website: Visit the freight forwarder’s website for information about their services and costs.
- Insurance Plan: Does the freight forwarding company have a good insurance plan? An insurance plan ensures that you get compensated in case of damages.
Knowing the factors, you don’t need to search further than Winsky Freight. We are the most reliable and reputable freight forwarding company in China.
We understand the shipping industry both in China and in Canada. With our help, you can enjoy better shipping prices and faster delivery services.
17. Why Ship from Winsky Freight?
Whether you want Sea Freight, Air Freight, or Express Delivery, we, Winsky Freight, can be your best solution. If you live in another country and need to learn about booking your shipment, moving the goods to port, preparing paperwork, or handling customs agents, don’t worry; we will take everything.
Moreover, we have booked places in all sea & air freight companies so that you can get a place even in peak seasons. And that’s not all. With our representatives in customs of every country, we will help to clear your shipment very quickly.
Plus, compared to our Competitors, we get the most competitive contract price from direct Carriers, which will help you manage your budget and earn more profits.
Transporting goods from China to Canada involves several steps, ranging from selecting a shipping company to preparing and shipping the goods, then managing their arrival, completing the delivery, and handling payments. It is advisable to enlist the services of a freight forwarder to navigate the intricate import shipping process from China to Canada. Winsky Freight guarantees the safe, timely, and efficient transportation of goods from China. Contact us today to receive support for your upcoming shipment from China.