Chapter 2: Ways of Shipping from China to Australia
Whenever you’re looking for the best ways to ship from China to Australia, you need to consider a number of factors.
Basically, there are only two main ways to ensure that your goods reaches the destination in time.
Shipping from China to Australia
The two main modes of transportation include:
- Ocean freight
- Air freight
Whether to choose an air freight from China to Australia or ocean freight from China to Australia will depend on:
i. Nature of goods you’re shipping
ii. How urgently do you need to the goods?
On this, once the product reaches the destination port, Panda will always ensure the door to door delivery even if it means road transport.
Panda has priority to satisfy the customer within the shortest time possible.
Now, let’s explore on ways of shipping from China to Australia:
2.1. Sea Freight from China to Australia
China is approximately 7470 kilometers from Australia.
Sea/ocean freight is very effective in ensuring commodities reach Australia from China.
Ocean freight is basically the transportation of the commodities via the sea from one port location to the other.
During this mode of transportation, the cargo can be put on the shipping vessel directly or put on the shipping containers first.
To ensure your cargo arrives safely in Australia, the freight forwarder handles all logistics work.
From cargo clearance, verifying documents to supervising the loading process.
But, even before you think of ocean freight from China to Australia, you need to know both the port of origin and destination.
That’s where I want to take you next.
2.1.1. Main Sea Ports in China
China has so many sea ports in China and they include:
- Port of Shanghai
- Port of Tianjin
- Port of Guangzhou
- Port of Qingdao
- Port of Shenzhen
- Port of Ningbo
- Port of Dalian
- Port of Xiamen
- Port of Lianyungang
- Port of Yingkou
- Port of Qingdao
- Fang Chenggang, and many others.
Port of Qingdao
The bottom, you need to know the sea port where you want to ship from in China.
This way, you will know how long goods will take to reach the sea port in China.
2.1.2. Main Sea Ports in Australia
Australia also has a number of the receiving sea ports which can handle millions of tonnes of cargo in a year.
Port of Melbourne
Australian busiest ports include:
It is the third busiest port in Australia located on the East Coast of the state of the Queensland.
It can handle more than 2600 ships in a year and can transport 28 million tons of cargo within a year.
Is one of the biggest ports located in West Australia and can handle a vessel size of over 500 feet in length.
Situated in the city of Melbourne and handles around 2.6 million TEU and with ship capacity of 3000 ships annually.
It is situated in the northern part of Australia.
Darwin, Northern Territory has operated in locations such as Stokes Hill Wharf, Cullen Bay and East Arm Wharf.
Situated in Botany Bay next to the Sydney airport in Sydney, New South Wales.
Has a capacity of 300 thousand TEUs per year.
Has ship capacity of over 1700 ships annually.
You can learn more about these ports here: List of Ports in Australia.
2.1.3. How Long it Takes to Ship from China to Australia
Let me tell you the truth:
The shipping time can range from 3 days to even a month when one ship from China to Australia.
Normally the time it takes to ship from China to Australia will depend on the:
i. Location of the port
ii. Time it takes for custom clearance in China
There are so many tools you can use to calculate this.
Here is a useful resource from ports.com: Sea Route & Distance:
Sea route from China to Australia
The table below shows the time it takes to ship from a port in China to Australia.
|Sea port in China||Sea port in Australia||Shipping time (days)
As the number of days varies depending on the port of origin and destination.
2.1.4. Shipping Companies from China to Australia
There are many shipping companies which can promptly facilitate movement of your consignment from China to Australia.
Depending on the reputation and services of the company, one can easily choose the best amongst the well-known ones.
The companies which have operated on that route include;
vi. Hapag Lloyd
xi. NYK Line
xvi. Ecru-Line MSC
xvii. Hamburg Sud
2.2. Air Freight from China to Australia
When time is a constraint to ship any cargo, it is important to know the fastest way of having your commodity reach Australia.
Air freight is considered the fastest means of transportation.
In air freight, the services include:
- Domestic air freight forwarding
- Oversize air freight forwarding
- Real-time shipment tracking and tracing
- Specialized export services which may include export compliance
- Export documentation
- Coordination with banks for banking compliance
- Crating and packaging, just to mention a few
All these ensure the arrival of the shipment in time to give the customer satisfaction.
2.2.1. Advantages of Air freight
Some of the main advantages of air freight over sea freight include:
a. Faster delivery time since the flight have higher speeds compared to the ships. Normally, air freight companies know the shortest routes to be used depending on the agency of the cargo
b. Cost effective since there will be minimal point of contact since one freight broker can easily handle all the logistics
c. Consignment will as well be safe as it will always be insured for risk reduction and tracking
When it comes to air freight services, the customers will always be concerned about time to ensure he receives his consignment in time.
The customer’s expectation can be met by giving additional specialized export services such as:
- Export documentation
- Coordination with banks for banking compliance
- Export compliance and more are offered.
All these aim to ensure faster delivery of goods as per the wish of the customer.
Before using air freight from China to Australia, it is important to be well versed with the airports in China and their locations.
China as a country has so many airports which aid movement of different commodities from different locations.
Air China Cargo
Depending on different places where goods are sourced, the airports will always be busy on a cargo basis to export the goods out of the country.
Some of the main airports in china include:
- Beijing Capital International Airport
- Shanghai Pudong International Airport
- Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport
- Hong Kong International Airport
- Xian Xianyang International Airport
- Kunming Changshui International Airport
- Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport
- Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport
- Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport
- Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport
- Changsha Huanghua International Airport
- Qingdao Liuting International Airport
- Wuhan Tianhe International Airport
- Haikou Meilan International Airport
- ÜrümqiDiwopu International Airport
- Tianjin Binhai International Airport
- Phoenix International Airport
- Harbin Taiping International Airport
- Guiyang Longdongbao International Airport
- Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport
- Taiyuan Wusu International Airport
- Lanzhou Zhongchuan International Airport
- Shijiazhuang Zhengding International Airport
- XishuangbannaGasa Airport
Since the cargo leaves from China to Australia, it is important to know the locations of each and every airport in Australia.
This will help you to plan accordingly when importing from China to Australia.
The busiest airports in Australia include:
- Sydney Airport in New South Wales
- Melbourne Airport in Victoria
- Brisbane Airport in Queensland
- Perth Airport in Western Australia
- Adelaide Airport in Adelaide, South Australia
- Gold Coast Airport in Gold Coast, Queensland
- Cairns Airport in Cairns, Queensland
- Canberra Airport in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
- Hobart International Airport in Hobart
- Darwin International Airport in Darwin, Northern Territory
- Moorabbin Airport in Melbourne, Victoria
- Parafield Airport in Adelaide, South Australia
- Jandakot Airport in Perth, Western Australia
- Bankstown Airport in Sydney, New South Wales
- Archerfield Airport in Brisbane, Queensland
And some of the main cargo airlines you can consider when shipping from China to Australia include:
- Sichuan Airline
- Air China
- China Airlines
- Cathay Airline
- China Southern Airline
- AirAsia X
- Etihad Airline
- Garuda Airline
- Hong Kong Airline
- Capital Airlines
- Xiamen Airline
- China Eastern Airline
- Singapore Airline
- Thai Airline
2.3. Door to Door Shipping from China to Australia
Depending on the need of the customer, Panda can offer door to door shipping from China to Australia.
The commodity can easily be sourced from the markets in China and taken to the port of departure.
All the necessary documentation is done by the competent forwarding agent and goods packed inside the container safely for shipping.
When your goods arrive in Australia, we do the customs clearance and transport goods to your door step.
Door to door delivery – Photo Credits: Barbara Hartwell News
This system ensures the customer gets the goods on his/her own doorstep without going through so many hustles.
This door to door delivery normally comes with some charges.
2.4. Courier from China to Australia
When one has to move parcels from China to Australia, different courier companies are used.
Some of the courier companies instrumental for the route include;
- Australian express
- China courier express
Courier from China to Australia
With Panda experience in the industry, we will choose a reliable courier from China to Australia.
It is a fast and convenient way of whipping from China to Australia.
2.5. Modes of Shipping from China to Australia
Many questions have been asked on the most cost effective modes of shipping from China to Australia.
Depending on the type and quantities of goods one has, different modes to choose from.
The commodities can be packaged differently to maximize on the space available to ensure one pays for what is worth.
This therefore calls for better packing and handling exercise.
When one decides to use sea/ocean as transportation mode, one can choose among the so many flexible methods such as:
i. Reefer Container Shipping
ii. Roll-on/ Roll-off shipping
iii. Less than Container Load (LCL) Shipping
iv. Full Container Load (FCL) Shipping
2.5.1. Reefer Container Shipping from China to Australia
A Reefer Container refers to as a refrigerated container used to ship most of the perishable goods or those goods which require controlled temperatures.
These are just big refrigerators which as effectively used in transporting the temperature sensitive commodities such as meat, fish, fruits, dairy products, flowers, pharmaceutical products among others across many kilometers.
Reefer container shipping
The beauty of these types of the cargo is that they have the ability to maintain the temperatures within a given range that is required.
In Reefer containers, there are bottom air delivery units which are designed to distribute chilled air from the floor through the designed T-shaped decks.
These decks have the advantage of producing a uniform flow of air across the whole shipment with a lot of consistency.
This air flow is powerful enough and ensures good air exchange with all the goods in the consignment.
Even in the most difficult situations during the shipment, the refrigerated unit can still maintain or regulate the temperature as per the need.
For the shipment requiring high temperatures, Reefer containers have warm ups.
It can warm the reefer compartment to the desired temperature.
I know you’re wondering whether Reefer container is designed to reduce the cargo temperature.
The answer is, NO.
Refer only maintains the pre-cooled cargo temperature to the destination, allowing the state of goods to remain the same when shipping from China to Australia.
Since the air flow requirement of each commodity varies, there is always no one size fit all in reefer cargo movement.
Good examples are chilled and frozen cargoes.
In case of chilled cargo, air will flow through the cargo to ensure heat and gases are removed.
This is only possible if cartons with ventilations are provided.
In the case of frozen cargo, the cargo has to be block stowed by ensuring that air flows around the cargo.
This ensures there are no gaps between the cargo and the walls and the cargo itself.
We can guarantee better stowage of reefer cargo by ensuring:
i. No stuffing of the cargo beyond the T-floor end
ii. No stuffing the cargo beyond the red load line
iii. The cargo must be made stable on the floor to avoid possible shifting during the passage
iv. There should be proper setting of the carrying temperature
v. Check the dehumidification controls
vi. In case where pre- cooling is required, the cargo must be pre- cooled first, but not the container unless the containers are placed in air locked cold storage tunnel.
vii. Ventilation must not have any resistance and it must be set correctly as this system depends so much on it.
2.5.2. Less than Container Load Shipping from China to Australia
Less than Container Load (LCL) is consignment shared by many other customers with small amounts of goods to export.
In one container, different types of goods are packed inside till the container is full.
All the goods packed in the same container will be consolidated until the shipping thresh hold is met.
These goods must have the same destination port.
The shipping cost of the whole consignment will be shared by the individuals whose goods are inside the container as per the individual space (volume in cubic meters) occupied.
This type of sea/ocean shipping is considered cheaper when one is shipping very small quantities from China to Australia.
Though very cheap, it takes longer as the handling and consolidation takes time.
Consolidating goods at the port of departure is long and can be tedious.
Moreover, at the port of destination, you need to separate goods to their respective owners.
Again, each package will be cleared independently.
So basically, you require a lot of manpower and time.
It is important to handle these goods carefully in China and Australia to prevent possible damaging of goods.
2.5.3. Full Container Load Shipping from China to Australia
Full Container Load (FCL) is suitable where one is importing goods which can fill one container.
This will give easy handling since every this is treated as one entity and can be cleared as one.
Tracking of such a consignment is therefore straightforward.
This makes it safer than LCL where many other packages are mixed in one container.
Once the consignment departs, the shipping container/booking number can be used to estimate the container duration in the sea/ocean.
When FCL is used, the charges are on flat rate as compared to LCL where the charges are levied on every individual package.
Normally, the maximum load permitted for every container during shipping is 28 tones with the 3 commonly used types of the containers being 20 feet, 40 feet and 40 feet high cube container.
At the port of departure and at the port of destination, LCL and FCL have different ways of handling due to the nature of goods available in each and every container.
Their difference in handling is such that:
a) FCL has very minimal handling. This is because the supplier takes the responsibility of sealing, loading and transporting cargo to the port in China.
Once it is loaded to the ship, there will be no need of opening it again at the destination port till the customer gets its procession.
LCL has taken a lot of time since every package has to be handled independently during consolidation at the departure port. You will go through a similar process at the port of destination when segregating individual packages.
b) The Freight forwarder will always issue a bill of Lading directly when one used FCL. For LCL, the bill of lading will be issued by the official shipping line.
c) Due to less handling activities in FCL, its charges are less compared to the LCL. The difference in the charges is due to high charges levied on the handling of the LCL both at the destination port and the departure port.
d) In FCL, the container number will just be one while when using LCL, every package inside the container has to be marked with the shipping mark to differentiate it with other packages. Normally, this mark must be visible with bold, black and water proof color which cannot be erased easily.
It should be written in English and if possible in the language of the destination port. Cargos carrying dangerous substances/chemicals must be marked using orange or red colors.
2.5.4. Roll-on Roll-off Shipping from China to Australia
When one wants to ship auto mobiles or any wheeled machine, Roll-on/ Roll-off method of shipping (Ro Ro) is advisable.
These are simply vessels which can comfortably and safely carry wheeled cargo such as forklifts, tractors, trailers, vehicles among others.
The machine to be transported must be in a working condition.
This makes it easy to drive into and out of the vessel.
Even though the container can still be used to ship wheeled goods, Roll-on/Roll-off still stands to be cheaper than a container.
In the container shipment, the wheeled good may not be in good working condition.
While for Ro/Ro shipping, the wheeled good must be in working condition.
Normally, it is placed in a closed consignment as opposed to the container where the goods may be placed in open condition.
Remember this always:
In Ro/Ro shipping, personal belongings are not allowed alongside the shipment except for the wheeled goods’ accessories.
These may include spares and in some cases furniture which stands as a very big contrast.
Roll-on Roll-off shipping from China to Australia guarantees the departure and arrival dates of the consignment.
This makes it a better shipping method than the container type of shipping.
This shipping method is therefore applicable in cases where an assembled wheeled machine is required urgently.
As you can see, shipping from China to Australia is simple and straightforward.
Besides, you have many options available to choose from.
Now, back to another serious aspect – Australia custom clearance.