Hosted by

Andrew Minalto

Best Shipping Method to Import from China?

Hi Andrew!

I’m working on my first import deal from China but not sure on what shipping method should I use? I have found a supplier (on, they look totally legit, take PayPal etc. so that’s all sorted!

Products in question – children clothing, first order coming close to $500 (just as a test purchase). If all goes well, next order will be much bigger (close to $10k mark).

Thanks in advance,

Hi Tracy,

Thanks for your question.

As you have probably already researched, there are various shipping methods available when dealing with imports from China, with some of the most popular being:

* Courier (goods are delivered to your door)

* Air Freight (you have to clear & collect goods @ Airport)

* Sea Freight (you have to clear & collect goods @ Port)

There are advantages and disadvantages for all 3 methods BUT in general, you should make your decision based on these 3 factors:

* Size & Weight of the shipment

* Time you can wait for the shipment to arrive

* Value of goods in question

In other words – best shipping method will depend on your order.

You say your first order will be worth $500 and its children clothing you’re importing? In that case, I believe courier is the best way to go! I don’t know exact measurements of the boxes & weight but I believe it’s something below 30 kg mark and reasonable small packages, kind of shipment you’ll want to use courier for.

Ask your supplier for best quotes as suppliers in China usually get better rates than us, back in UK, US or Canada. Either way, most likely it will be DHL, TNT or UPS serving this shipment.

Tracy, you say your next order will be much bigger, close to $10k mark. With orders like these, you’ll want to use Air Freight or Sea Freight as couriers will be VERY expensive. If we compare these two:

* Air Freight – more expensive than sea freight BUT you’ll get your goods within 7-10 days. Clearance fees will also be lower;

* Sea Freight – offers best value for your money BUT be prepared to wait for up to 45 or even 60 days before you get your goods.

In general, SEA freight is good for more bulky items or in cases when time is not important. Personally I try to stick with couriers and air freight option as often as possible as I just can’t stand the long waiting time when using sea freight.

Hope this helps! 🙂