Importing goods from a Chinese supplier into the United Kingdom might seem tricky, but it’s not when you understand the logistics.
You must also know how much the shipping will cost you. If you don’t know what it takes to purchase goods from a Chinese supplier, we’ll give the basic facts on where to start.
That said, let’s get started!
1. What Ways Can You Import Goods from China into UK?
With many shipping methods from China to the UK, you don’ need to worry about how your shipment will reach its destination in the UK.
You can transport your goods to the UK by air, ocean, rail, and express. Thankfully, the shipping process can be successful when involving a freight forwarder.
Air Shipping from China to UK
If you want your goods delivered fast in the UK, you should opt for air shipping. However, you’ll have to pay for the speed, making it a costly option.
The good thing is that air shipping is the most effective method for importing goods weighing less than 500 kilograms.
If your cargo is more than 500 kilograms, it will be more economical to use sea freight or rail freight shipping.
Transporting goods weighing more than 500kg can be very costly when opting for air freight.
Although there are several reasons to pick air freight, the most plausible one is faster delivery.
Air freight is also ideal for valuable, fragile, and perishable cargo because it mitigates the risks of damage. You can deliver the goods to any airport in the UK.
Another benefit of air freight is that you can quickly track your consignment’s movement, allowing you to plan appropriately.
On the flip side, air freight can be expensive due to the additional costs at the airports and customs fees. Besides, express shipping is faster than air freight due to its few logistics.
Ocean Freight Shipping from China to UK
Another popular shipping method to the United Kingdom is ocean freight. That’s because it’s the cheapest method to deliver goods from China to the UK.
Another plausible reason many importers prefer sea freight is the high number of seaports in both countries. Your cargo can get delivered to your preferred seaport in the UK.
Sea freight is the most convenient and affordable method to ship bulky and heavy goods from China to the UK. Besides, you can transport large volumes of cargo by sea freight.
Unfortunately, goods usually take the longest to reach the United Kingdom when shipped from China by sea freight.
So, if you consider shipping your goods by sea freight, you need to understand the various types of vessels you can use.
Here are the different types of vessels for various kinds of goods leaving China for the UK.
Roll-On Roll-Off Shipping Vessels
These vessels are designed to transport wheeled cargo like cars, trailers, trucks, and other vehicles to be driven in and out of the ship.
The RoRo shipping vessels have ramps for loading and offloading the transported vehicles. These ramps are designed like bridges.
Refrigerated Container Vessels
Also known as reefer containers, refrigerated containers ship pharmaceutical products and highly perishable food items.
The containers operate like fridges to control temperatures during a voyage. Some of the things you can transport on these vessels are fruits, flowers, meat, fish, and drugs.
Out of Gauge Vessels
These vessels transport large cargoes that can’t fit into a 40-feet container.
If your cargo is wider than 2.33 meters, longer than 12.05 meters, and higher than 2.59 meters, consider it an Out of Gauge cargo.
Train Shipping from China to UK
When air freight is quite costly and sea freight is slower than you expect, you can opt for train shipping to the UK from China.
Rail freight also offers Less Container Load (LCL) and Full Container Load (FCL) shipping options.
The good thing about rail shipping is that it is more affordable than air freight shipping. In other words, it’s a cost-effective way to deliver your goods to the UK.
Unlike ocean shipping, your cargo can get transported from China to the UK in two to three weeks, depending on the railway route.
Another benefit of shipping by rail is that you’ll enjoy quicker customs procedures. You’ll also explore flexible and multiple services, including customs declaration and inspection.
All the goods under transit are secure until arrival at your preferred destination. Once sealed and loaded on the train, parcels can’t be open while still in transit.
Delays are rare but can only happen when a train experiences an issue on the way. Cargo damages can also cause shipping delays.
Express Shipping from China to UK
If you are shipping smaller parcels from China to the UK, consider selecting express shipping, especially if you want the goods delivered urgently.
The primary objective and benefit of express shipping is fast delivery or speed. Besides, goods can get delivered directly to your preferred destination in the UK.
The express shipping quote includes all the logistics and customs clearance costs, making it easier to plan.
Unlike other shipping methods, express shipping offers fast clearance services with an average delivery time of three-five days.
Some of the most popular courier companies that provide express shipping services are DHL, FedEx, TNT, EMS, and UPS.
DHL Shipping from China to UK
With DHL express shipping services, you can transport your products from China to the UK cost-effectively and reliably.
Millions of people in the United Kingdom make purchases from international suppliers, with China accounting for the majority.
FedEx Shipping from China to UK
FedEx offers international express shipping worldwide, including China to the United Kingdom. The good news is that they can deliver your goods in 1-3 business days.
This express shipping company offers tracking services on their website to help shoppers track the movement of their goods. That is if you provide the tracking ID number.
2. What is the Shipping time from China to UK?
The number of days goods take to reach the UK from China depends on the route followed and the shipping mode.
Shipping Time from China to UK by Air Freight
Generally, shipping goods to the UK from a Chinese supplier can take 5-10 days when you pick air freight.
That’s because air freight involves many more complex procedures than express shipping.
Shipping Time from China to UK by Sea Freight
Sea freight shipping can take around 30-45 days, depending on the origin port and port of destination. Sea freight is slower than air freight because ships are slower than airplanes.
The types of goods being shipped and whether the delivery is door-to-door or port-to-port can also influence the shipping time for sea freight.
Shipping Time from China to UK by Rail Freight
Rail shipping from China to the United Kingdom can take between 18-21days.
However, the railway route from China to the UK can determine the number of days your goods will arrive at their preferred destination in the United Kingdom.
Shipping Time from China to UK by Courier Services
Express shipping by courier services is the fastest way to transport parcels from a Chinese supplier to your preferred destination in the United Kingdom.
A parcel takes about 1-3 days from China to the UK for express shipping. However, some courier companies offer overnight delivery services for urgent shipments.
3. What is the Shipping cost from China to UK?
How much money do you intend to spend to transport goods into the UK from China?
Well, before you order any item from a Chinese supplier into the UK, you need to consider the cost of shipping by air, sea, rail, or courier services.
That will help you pick a shipping method that fits your budget.
Air Freight Cost to the UK from China
Factors like demand, time of shipping, and cargo weight can influence air freight costs. For that reason, the shipping cost can vary at any time.
Consignments that weigh less than 100 kilograms tend to be more economical when shipped by air freight than with ocean freight.
Shipping Cost from China to UK by Ocean Freight
Shipping by sea is more economical when your cargo weighs more than 500Kg. However, the charges tend to vary, depending on the shipping season.
It’s essential to ask your freight forwarder about their current sea freight shipping rates.
Shipping Cost from China to UK by Rail Freight
Rail freight shipping is generally 50 percent cheaper than air freight.
Before committing yourself to it, ensure that you ask your freight forwarder about the current rail freight rates.
That’s because a good freight forwarder can give you a breakdown o all the costs involved in sourcing products from a Chinese supplier.
Shipping Cost from China to UK by Courier Services
Express shipping is the fastest and most convenient method to transport goods to the UK. For that reason, it’s the most expensive option.
Notably, the express shipping charges from China to the United Kingdom tend to vary based on the load or weight of your shipment.
4. Which Factors Can Influence the Shipping Costs for Goods Entering the UK?
When outsourcing goods from a Chinese supplier to the United Kingdom, you must know the factors that can affect the shipping costs.
The following can influence your overall shipping cost.
A Port’s Handling Capacity
Shipping through a port with a higher handling capacity tends to be cheaper than a port with a lower handling capacity. That’s because of the difference in economies of scale.
For example, the Shanghai Seaport is among the world’s busiest ports because it handles millions of containers annually. So, shipping from China through Shanghai Port is cheaper.
The weight and measurement of your cargo can influence the cost of shipping your goods.
So, most shipping companies and freight forwarders usually provide a standard weight and measure. That means any variation from the standard weight can result in additional costs.
Distance between Chinese Supplier and Departure Port
When the Chinese supplier’s factory is far from the origin port in China, you may incur charges for transporting the goods to the port.
So, before sourcing products from China, you must consider the distance between the supplier’s factory and the nearest port.
Duties and Tax Payments
The Chinese taxes and duties must affect the cost of shipping imports from China.
As an importer in the UK, you must pay the UK duties and VAT tax unless your items are eligible for a relief scheme.
When the goods arrive in the UK, they must be cleared through customs.
5. What’s the Best Shipping Route from China to UK?
When shipping goods by rail or sea freight, you need to choose the best route that suits your budget and schedule.
Rail Routes from China to UK
Trains transporting goods from China to the United Kingdom can use the famous Silk Road rail track connecting 12,000 kilometers through the Trans-Siberian Railway.
Trains can now transport goods from Chengdu in China to several rail hubs. Most of these trains transport cargo up to Birmingham, United Kingdom.
Sea Routes from China to UK
Ships can use the Atlantic, Pacific, or Indian Ocean route when shipping goods from China to the United Kingdom.
Now, let’s look at the three sea freight routes.
The Atlantic Sea Freight Route
In this route, vessels use the southern direction from China. They then sail on the Indian Ocean until they reach the Cape of Good Hope.
Once the vessels arrive at the Cape of Good Hope, they can move to the United Kingdom, the Suez Canal, Western Europe, and the East Coast of the United States.
The Pacific Sea Freight Route
Ships that use this route move to the southern direction of the East China sea to enter the North Pacific Ocean through Okhotsk in Japan.
All the ships that use this route can reach New Zealand, Australia, Western Canada, and the west of Latin America.
Indian Ocean Sea Freight Route
Most ships that use this route transport oil.
Ships leaving China following this route can deliver goods to the United Kingdom, East Africa, Persian Gulf, Western Europe, Persian Gulf, and North America.
6. Do You Need a Shipping Agent from China to UK?
You probably wonder, “Do I need a shipping agent to help me ship goods from China to the UK?” The straightforward answer is “Yes.”
If it’s your first time outsourcing products from China, you need help from somebody or a company conversant with the shipping procedures.
The best shipping agent or freight forwarder understands all the steps involved in shipping goods from Chinese suppliers, and they can help you ship goods with much ease.
Here are the reasons to work with the best shipping agent in China.
- Customs Handling Services: The best shipping agent understands Chinese and the UK’s customs requirements. They can guide you on how to pay the duties and taxes.
- Better Shipping Costs: A good freight forwarder provide competitive quotes to help their customers save money on shipping costs.
- Established Relationships with Shipping Companies: Most shipping agents have good relations with companies transporting goods from China to the UK.
Pro Tip: If you are searching for the best shipping agent in China, don’t look further than Winsky Freight. As the most reliable freight forwarder, we guarantee quality services.
7. Why Must You Choose Winsky Freight to Handle Your Shipment?
Now that you’ve understood why you need a shipping agent to help you ship goods from China to the UK, you might wonder why Winsky Freight is the best freight forwarder.
Here are the reasons to outsource Winsky Freight’s freight forwarding services.
Competitive Shipping Prices
As the best freight forwarder in China, Winsky guarantees competitive prices for goods leaving China for the United kingdom.
We provide affordable shipping rates for several types of goods to ensure that you get value for your money. Besides, the quotes have no hidden charges.
Free Warehousing Services
Are you worried about where you’ll temporarily store your goods when arranging for shipping from China into the United Kingdom?
You don’t need to worry anymore because Winsky Freight provides free warehousing for 30 days to all its clients. This will help you save money on warehousing.
Multiple Shipping Options
Winsky Freight can assist you whether you want to ship your goods by air freight, sea freight, rail freight, or express shipping.
As the best in China, we are ready to help you transport your goods to the United Kingdom using your preferred shipping mode.
8. How Does Shipping from China into the United Kingdom Works?
Shipping goods from China might seem complicated, but it’s not when you understand the entire shipping process.
Here is how to ship goods from a Chinese supplier with Winsky Freight’s help.
Step 1: Order Goods from the Supplier in China
Outsource goods directly from a Chinese supplier or producer rather than a middleman to increase your profit margin.
You can identify the Chinese suppliers on the internet, and that’s because most of them own websites to help potential customers order goods.
Step 2: Give Winsky Freight the Supplier’s Details
Once you’ve ordered goods from your preferred Chinese supplier, give us the supplier’s details, including their physical address and contact information.
We’ll contact the supplier and arrange on how to transport your goods to our warehouse for further processing and shipping arrangement.
Step 3: Winsky Freight Picks Up Your Goods from the Supplier
Once your Chinese supplier has prepared the goods for shipping, Winsky Freight will contact them and request them to bring them to our warehouse.
If the supplier cannot deliver the goods to our warehouse, our dedicated team will pick up the goods and transport them to our warehouse.
Step 4: We Process the Required Shipping Documents
At Winsky Freight, we understand the shipping logistics for goods that leave China for the United Kingdom, including the required documents.
Once we verify that the goods match your specifications, we’ll prepare all the documents needed for shipping to the United Kingdom, including customs clearance documents.
Step 5: We Send the Goods to Your Preferred Destination
After arranging all the required documents, we’ll send the goods to your preferred seaport, airport, or train station in the United Kingdom.
Winsky Freight will send you a tracking number for your products leaving China for the UK. We’ll also send you the website link for tracking.
9. What Documents Must You Have to Transport Goods to UK from China?
Shipping goods from China involves a lot of paperwork, and that’s why you should know all the documents required to transport goods to the UK.
Here are some of the documents to ship to the United Kingdom.
- Packing List: Provides the relevant information about the cargo being transported, mainly when shipping by ocean freight. Such details include the size, weight, and volume of the cargo.
- Bill of Lading: This document is a contractual agreement between a carrier and the cargo’s owner. The carrier provides the bill of lading to acknowledge receiving the cargo, and it’s essential for international shipping.
- Certificate of Origin: This document will certify that the goods being shipped are from a specific country, China, in this case. Certificate of Origin is the exporter’s declaration that the buyer sourced the goods from their premises.
- Commercial Invoice: This invoice is proof of sale between the Chinese supplier and buyer. It provides detailed information about the goods sold, including the units and value per unit.
10. How Does LCL Shipping from China to UK Works?
When shipping goods from China to the United Kingdom, you might opt for LCL (Less than Container Load) shipping when your goods can’t fill up a single container.
In LCL shipping, goods get handled and cleared separately then packed in a container till the container becomes full to be transported.
In other words, a freight forwarder consolidates different goods that head to the same destination in a single container.
The shipping cost gets determined by the specific space, in cubic meters, occupied by each item in the container. The good news is that it’s the cheapest way to ship by sea freight.
Unfortunately, LCL shipping involves long consolidation and deconsolidation procedures at the departure and destination ports, respectively.
Since an LCL container has different goods, you must package your goods properly to avoid potential damages during goods handling.
11. What Items Can’t You Transport from China to UK?
Not every product from China can enter the United Kingdom. The UK government prohibits and restricts some imports from entering the country unless the importer has a license.
If it’s your first time shipping goods from China to the UK, familiarize yourself with the UK’s list of prohibited and restricted goods. Otherwise, your goods might get confiscated.
There are several items prohibited by the UK government, including:
- Controlled drugs
- Rough diamonds
- Endangered animals and plants
- Offensive weapons like flick knives
- Self-defense sprays like pepper spray
- Meat and dairy products imported for personal use
- Obscene and indecent films, DVDs, books, and magazines
Some of the restricted products are explosives, firearms, and ammunition. You must obtain a special license from the UK government to import these items into the UK.
12. What Can Delay the Delivery of Your Goods from China to UK?
There’s no doubt that delays are inevitable when shipping goods over a longer distance.
However, some factors can hasten the delays and affect the delivery time. They include:
Bad Weather Effects
Shipping vessels can delay when the weather is unfriendly. For instance, when the ocean is stormy or wavy, a vessel may have to skip a port or fail to leave a particular port
Prolonged Customs Inspection
Every country has unique requirements for customs clearance, depending on the risk factor of a particular product. Some cargo requires prolonged inspections, causing delays.
Multiple Cargo Drop-Off Points
If a vessel has many destination ports along the way or in the United Kingdom, you might wait longer for the goods to reach your preferred destination.
The Chinese holidays can also cause shipping delays. An excellent example is the Chinese New Year, in which many facilities and factories shut down for a few weeks to celebrate.
Pro Tip: Familiarize yourself with the Chinese calendar to know the holidays affecting your shipping. Other events that can cause delays are Golden Week and Dragon Boat Festival.
13. Can DDP Shipping Hasten Transportation of Goods from China to UK?
In DDP (Delivered Duty Paid) shipping, the supplier is responsible for all the costs involved in delivering goods to the preferred destination.
In that case, the supplier takes responsibility if the goods get damaged or broken before arriving at the destination port.
Thankfully, working with a reliable freight forwarding company like Winsky Freight can hasten the delivery process by DDP. That way, your goods will arrive safely.
Whether you want to transport your cargo by air, sea, or rail, you can enjoy DDP shipping for all the shipping modes at Winsky Freight.
So, what advantages will you enjoy by opting for DDP shipping at Winsky Freight?
- Goods will arrive at your preferred destination (UK airport or seaport) fast
- DDP shipping at Winsky Freight is cheaper for all shipping methods
- Winsky Freight does the trickiest part of shipping (customs clearance) on your behalf
- You can source goods from any Chinese supplier at affordable costs
- You’ll enjoy additional services like insurance and consolidation delivery
- You will enjoy 30-day free warehousing at Winsky Freight
14. How Can You Get Cheap Shipping from China to UK?
Shipping your goods into the United Kingdom from China doesn’t have to be costly.
You can qualify for cost-effective shipping when you implement the following tips:
- Ask your freight forwarder to look for the cheapest shipping alternatives in China to cut the costs. That’s because they have established rapport with many carriers.
- Request quotes from several carriers and compares their rates to help you make an informed decision. Don’t forget to compare other factors like reliability and security.
- Take full advantage of the shipping discounts offered during off-peak seasons. The rates are usually meager in offseason, allowing you to enjoy cheap shipping.
15. How to track the shipping from China to the United Kingdom?
Whenever your cargo leaves China for the United Kingdom, you can always track it to ensure that it reaches your preferred destination safely.
Your freight forwarder will provide you with the tracking number and a website link to track your goods online in real-time. You can predict the date your shipment will arrive in the UK.
The good thing is that you can track your goods anytime you feel like doing so. It minimizes anxiety and creates a sense of satisfaction that your goods will arrive on time.
16. Which Shipping Incoterms Suit Shipments Entering the UK from China?
Shipping Incoterms are rules that define the buyers’ and sellers’ responsibilities in international trading. Here are the incoterms you must know.
- Ex Works (EXW): In this agreement, the seller is obligated to deliver goods to the pre-defined destination, mostly at their factory gate. Once the goods have been availed at the factory gate, the buyer transports the goods to the United Kingdom.
- Free on Board (FOB): Here, the seller or supplier delivers the goods to the seller’s preferred port or vessel and leaves the rest of the obligations to the buyer. In other words, the buyer takes responsibility from that point to the destination port.
- Free Carrier (FCA): In this agreement, the seller transports goods from their factory in China to the buyer’s preferred seaport or airport in the United Kingdom. However, the buyer is responsible for customs clearance and offloading cots.
17. How Can You Reduce the Shipping Costs and Time from China to UK?
The time your goods take to arrive in the UK and the shipping costs involved can directly impact your profit margins. Reducing the shipping time and costs can raise your profit.
So, how do you minimize costs and reduce shipping time from China to the UK?
Well, here are the tips and ideas to implement.
Plan the Shipping in Advance
If you plan to ship your goods to the UK by sea due to its cost-effectiveness, they might take longer to reach the destination port in the United Kingdom.
Thankfully, booking a shipment in advance can reduce shipping expenses and time by eliminating delays.
Ship Your Goods in Offseason
Importing goods into the UK from China can be costly during peak seasons due to higher shipping prices.
So, consider shipping your goods in off-peak seasons to minimize costs.
Compare Shipping Quotes from Several Carriers
Request quotes from several carriers or shipping companies to help you find the cheapest and most reliable carrier.
The good news is that most shipping companies offer free quotes.
Put Your Documents in Order
One of the reasons goods can delay is lengthy customs clearance procedures.
For that reason, getting your documents in order can help you save some time.
18. Why is a License Essential for Imports Entering the UK from China?
Whether a license is essential or not depends on the nature of goods you want to ship from China into the UK territory.
For that reason, you must confirm with the UK authorities about the goods that require a license. That is before importing anything into the United Kingdom.
So, what are some of the goods that require a license to ship goods into the UK?
- Firearms and ammunition
- Plants and animals
- Medicinal drugs
- Textile products
Failure to get a license for the restricted goods can land you in the UK law courts. At the end, you’ll pay hefty penalties to the UK authorities.
19. How Do You Determine the Import Duties and Taxes for Shipping to UK?
The United Kingdom’s duties and taxes can directly impact your import costs. For that reason, you need to know the amount of money to pay to the UK as duties and taxes.
So, how do you determine the import duties and taxes to pay to the UK customs?
Once your goods reach the UK, you must pay the UK duty and VAT depending on the HS Code and cost of goods, respectively. You’ll make these payments at the destination port.
The HS Code classifies different goods for trade. That’s because different types of goods have varying duty percentages, ranging from 0-12 percent.
For example, if you import products worth $50,000, and the cargo gets taxed for duties at 10 percent, the duty amount will be $5,000.
For VAT, the tax gets determined by the cost of imports and shipping the products. The standard VAT rate is usually 20 percent.
For instance, if the $50,000 shipment costs around $5,000 to reach the UK, you’ll pay 20 percent of $55,000 as the VAT, and that’s $11,000.
20. How Does the Customs Clearance Work in the UK?
When importing goods from China into the UK, you must declare the imports to the customs officers to help pay the duties and VAT.
You can declare the imports yourself unless you don’t know how to do it. If you don’t have an idea, you can let a freight forwarder like Winsky Freight do it on your behalf.
If transporting the goods by DDP Sea or Rail freight from China to UK, you don’t have to provide an Entry Summary Declaration to the UK customs.
The UK customs will release your goods when the UK custom broker pay all the duties and VAT in the United Kingdom.
As you have seen, shipping goods from China to the UK is a straightforward process when you understand the procedures involved and the documents required.
The shipping process becomes more manageable when a professional freight forwarder who understands the logistics helps you. That’s where Winsky Freight comes in to help, contact us for a free shipping quote now!