cheapest way to ship to China

What’s the Cheapest Way to Ship to China?

You need to be aware of several tips and tricks to get International shipping right. With online shopping booming, it is quite essential to find out ways to get any item shipped from any location. China is the largest manufacturer of cheap goods. Most of the businesses all over the world purchase from different industries in China. However, what if you want to return an item because of any specific reason like damage or replacement required? How are you planning to ship them back to China? With the shipping costs going too high for unpredictable reasons, it is hard to decide upon shipping options that will help you find the cheapest way to ship to China. The major challenges for eCommerce companies while shipping from the US to China are the tariffs against China from the US, and the retaliatory tariffs from China. Here let’s look at how you can find the cheapest way to ship to China.

Tips for the Cheapest Way to Ship to China

You don’t have to turn away from shipping to international locations like China because you worry about the added costs. Here are some ways to cut costs while shipping to China.

1. Choose Your International Suppliers Wisely

Choosing the right supplier for your eCommerce store meticulously will help you reduce the cost of shipping to a greater extent. The rate at which a manufacturer, retailer, or supplier sells you the products affects the profit you make after reselling the same product to your customers. Hence it is important to look for suppliers who offer you products at an affordable rate with no compromise on quality. Mostly you are likely to incur more charges because of the duties and taxes imposed on the shipment.

See how you can work around to reduce the shipping and handling charges in this article.

2. Don’t Always Go For Flat Rate Shipping

Flat rate shipping is not always an answer for shipping at an affordable rate. It is indeed a great option, but not always the best. It doesn’t suffice if you are shipping packages of different sizes, dimensions, and weights. You can’t just fix a size for the package just because you want to go for the flat-rate option.

3. Utilize Fulfillment Warehouses

eCommerce fulfillment services are miracle doors that open up several other avenues to ship to localized regions and other centralized locations effectively. You can go for reputable eCommerce fulfillment services that will let you reach out to various locations easily and handle deliveries to far-off areas. It cuts the costs for shipping your products to China.

Read more about International Shipping with ePacket: Countries, Services, and Rates to ship to China.

4. Get A Clear Understanding of What Your Customers Need

Never assume that your customers will be happy to pay the extra costs to get their items delivered to them. Some customers may also prefer to wait for days to get their delivery, and hence will be ready for cheaper options that might take a longer time to deliver. Therefore, get a clear understanding of what your customer needs. You can always go for posting the estimated delivery dates on the checkout page, which helps customers choose a desired one. When you provide multiple shipping options on the Checkout page, along with the price and estimated delivery date, it becomes easy for your customers to choose the right one. In that way, there is no ambiguity regarding the estimated delivery date and the cost of shipping.

cheapest way to ship to China

You can incorporate this feature using appropriate shipping plugins on your store.

5. Don’t Stick To One Particular Courier

One of the best ways to reduce the shipping cost is by including multiple carriers for shipping. It is because every courier offers a different shipping rate. This is mainly because they charge uniquely based on size, dimensional weight, and destination. For example, for sending a courier to a residential location, FedEx and UPS might charge you extra, but USPS doesn’t.

You can include multiple carriers in your store using various shipping plugins.

6. Make Your Delivery Schedules Align With That of Your Shipping Carriers

This is an ideal way to reduce the cost of shipping to China. All you need to do is align the delivery timeline with that of the ocean freights offered by popular shipping carriers. Ocean freights are comparatively lower compared to the air freight rate when you are shipping to China from the US.

7. Reevaluate Your Shipping Packaging

Choose your packaging accurately. Make sure you don’t overload the package with heavy materials and also with not enough materials. It should be just right to save money in shipping and packaging. You can always choose a strategic option by making use of proper packing algorithms that will help you decide which kind of packing option is effective and help you reduce the overall cost of packaging. Also, you can go for cheap packaging supplies for shipping. Also, it is advisable to go for lightweight options that will not increase the package weight and also reduce the cost of shipping.

8. Use A Reputable Forwarder

Always go for a reputable forwarder, than the ones who offer you a cheap quote for shipping. Often amateur retailers choose random shippers who quote lower rates for shipping and end up paying higher amounts in the name of hidden charges. It is important to know how the shipping and handling charges affect your shipping cost.

9. Have A Packing Station

If you do not have an order fulfillment service company that can help you manage the packing and shipping, it is always ideal to have a space of your own, to pack the items securely. With such spaces, you can simply manage the packing; and also considerably reduce the cost of shipping.

10. Reuse Packaging

You can always reuse the packaging materials, like boxes or bubble wraps, etc. So by doing so, you will save some amount in packing.

How to Ship varied types of items to China?

Let’s look at some popular types of shipments that are sent to China, and how they are charged.

Documents: These are nontaxable and do not require any export documentation. The eligible items include tickets, blueprints, account statements, invoices, etc. The items which are not eligible for shipping include books, DVDs, and CDs, etc.

Gifts: The gifts valued less than 1,000 CNY are exempted from duties, provided they meet certain conditions like:

  • the package includes words like “Gift Shipment” and “Personal Shipment” on the commercial invoice
  • a detailed description and name of the items
  • a copy of the receiver’s passport, along with the item.

What are the documents to be provided while shipping to China?

Packages must contain certain documents while shipping to China. They verify the documents at customs and it is important for your shipment to cross the borders with no hassle. Hence, ensure these documents are accurate and not faulty. Some of the essential documents include:

  • Shipping label
  • Commercial invoice
  • B13a for shipments whose value exceeds $2,000 per shipment or is a controlled good.
  • Certificate of Origin
  • Certificate of Insurance.
  • ATA Carnet, if you are shipping for a temporary purpose to avoid duties and taxes.
  • Packaging list

Prohibited Goods

When you are shipping to China, here are some prohibited goods to keep in mind.

  • Weapons
  • Ammunition
  • Explosives
  • Money
  • “Fake goods”, or “knock-offs”
  • Used electrical equipment
  • Marijuana (including medicinal and synthetic)
  • Narcotics
  • E-Cigarettes
  • Printed or electronic media harmful to China’s politics, economy, culture, and/or ethics
  • Banned chemicals
  • Poisons
  • Animals and animal products
  • Antiques
  • Real Furs
  • Gambling Devices

Restricted items include:

  • pet dog and cat
  • Alcohol
  • Cigarettes & Cigars
  • Seeds
  • Transceiver communication devices (if you plan to leave them in China)
  • Plants and plant products
  • Prescription and non-prescription drugs
  • Medical or dental supplies & equipment
  • Foodstuff
  • Bible (up to 3 copies)

How are the Duties and Taxes levied in China while Shipping?

In China, they calculate the import duty based on the sum of the Customs Value, Insurance Amount, and Freight costs (shipping costs). We know this as CIF.


CIF Value = Customs Value + Insurance Amount + Freight Costs

What is the cost of shipping to China?

If you are looking for the cost of shipping to China, then you see it is always calculated based on the package dimension, weight, and the distance from the origin and the destination primarily. Then comes the cost from the shipping carrier while sending the package to China, which depends on the country from which they ship.

To get a prior understanding of charges, you can always rely on a Shipping Calculator, which will help you calculate the shipping rate considering the weight and dimensions of the package, the destination, and the origin; and then display the shipping cost based on various shipping carriers available.

To Conclude

Here we looked at various methods to keep in mind to reduce the shipping cost while shipping to China. It is always ideal to work around various options before you decide to choose the right shipping service to ship to China. You might find many options for shipping to China at the cheapest rate but choose the one that is suitable for your needs.

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