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Shipping from China to Europe: The Complete Guide
If you’re shipping from China to Europe, then this is the best guide for you.
Today’s guide has all the information you need when shipping from China to all European nations.
It will help you know the transit time, costs, Incoterms, modes of shipping, shipping to Amazon FBA, regulations, different destinations, etc.
Let’s get started…
Chapter 1: Transit Time from China to Europe
Well, first of all, it is essential to know that you use quite a number of means to ship goods from China to Europe.
In fact, trade between these two different regions has existed for several years now.
Nonetheless, as an importer of Chinese products in Europe, whether existing or budding, it is necessary first to understand the transit time between these regions.
Why is it important?
Well, to enable you to make all the ideal decisions as well as plans for your shipments.
Europe is quite broad and has numerous high-end ports, airports and railway destinations for goods arriving from China.
That explains why the duration for your shipment to get to Europe from China tends to vary considerably.
So to make this particular aspect reasonably understandable, let’s look at the table below to get the gist.
|Air Freight from China to Europe|
|Airport in China||Airport in Europe||Transit Time|
|Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport||Netherlands Amsterdam Airport Schiphol||13 hours|
|Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport||Heathrow International Airport|
|China Shanghai Pudong International Airport||13 hours|
|Beijing Capital International Airport||Frankfurt am Main International Airport|
|Luxembourg Findel Airport||13 hours|
|Sea Freight from China to Europe|
|Port of loading in China||Destination Port in Europe||Transit Time|
|Shanghai||London, UK||25-30 days|
|Shenzhen||Barcelona, Spain||38 days|
|Guangzhou||Amsterdam, Netherlands||45 days|
|Qingdao||Antwerp, Belgium||51 days|
|Tianjin||Hamburg, Germany||54 days|
|Ningbo||Le Havre, France||49 days|
|Dalian||Marseille, France||44 days|
|Rail Freight from China to Europe|
|Loading town/city in China||Destination in Europe||Transit Time|
|Yiwu||Madrid, Spain||18 days|
|Yiwu||London, UK||17 days|
|Guangzhou||Rome, Italy||18 days|
|Ningbo||London, UK||17 days|
|Dunhuang||Paris, Spain||17 days|
|Quanzhou||Hamburg, Germany||16 days|
|Yiwu||Warsaw, Poland||16 days|
|Shanghai||Rotterdam, Netherlands||16 days|
This table above however presents an approximate transit time between the different mentioned cities.
You should thus take note that several factors can affect the transit time in one way or the other.
Like I did mention earlier on, the transit time for shipping goods from China to Europe varies depending on numerous factors.
Even so, the information on this table is vital since it helps you to come up with an idea of the approximate time your preference would take.
In the next chapter, we want to look at key aspects of shipping goods from China to various European countries.
Chapter 2: Shipping to European Countries from China
The table in the previous chapter gives you a rough overview of how long it takes to ship goods to various European countries from China.
Ideally, shipping containers to such European destinations from China revolve around a wide range of elements.
And in this section, we want briefly to look at some of these countries and what shipping from China to them undertakes;
Shipping from China to Europe
· Shipping from China to the UK
The UK is one of the biggest shipping destinations of imports from China to Europe.
It has several internal cargo airports, ports of loading and you can as well use railway means to ship items.
The trade relations between China and the UK for a very long time has been tight, and it continues to grow every time.
What you also need to know is that the UK has quite strict import policies which are vital given that it creates sanity when it comes to this business.
In most instances, ocean freight is mostly preferable especially when shipping items that are somewhat bulky.
But for the relatively urgent goods, shipping via air becomes ideal.
You can learn more from our shipping from China to UK guide.
· Shipping from China to Germany
Germany also provides a substantive market for a wide range of Chinese products.
Many importers always try to figure out numerous aspects of importing goods to Germany from China.
Of course, Germany is equally well-developed in terms of infrastructure.
So this makes it possible for you to ship products using various means from China efficiently.
Furthermore, just like importing goods to other destinations within Europe, Germany also provides you with many alternatives.
You can choose, ocean freight, railway or air, depending on particular aspects that affect your shipping needs.
The cost of shipping products from China to Germany in particular also varies significantly, and so are the import regulations.
You can learn more from shipping from China to Germany.
· Shipping from China to Italy
China and Italy are also strengthening their trade ties by embracing the importation of different products.
In fact, Italy has some of the best shipping ports in the world which makes it easy for you to ship items from China.
The Italian customs authorities are always making sure that the importation process for goods from China or any other country for that matter is smooth.
And this is necessary as it enables the business to grow in a significant manner between these two nations.
Some of the major imports from China to Italy include plastics, machineries such as computers, mineral fuels and electrical machinery among others.
Nevertheless, you still learn more from shipping from China to Italy.
· Shipping from China to France
Well, France has for a long time provided a huge market for various Chinese products.
But at the same time, you also need to know the specific products which you need to import to France from China.
What I know is that the French government just like any other in the regions has put in place stringent measures to enforce compliance.
The most important thing when importing from China to France is to know some of the prohibited goods and also adhere to the customs regulations.
In other words, you need to be familiar with different aspects revolving around importing goods to France from China.
And that is why information from shipping from China to France would be a great deal for you.
· Shipping from China to Latvia
Economically, one might tend to think that Latvia is not as strong you would expect.
Let me tell you, it might be a relatively little-known nation, but it commands some of the best markets within the European region.
Trade partnership between China and Latvia is also stable, and many imports are getting into the latter from China frequently.
The major port in Latvia where many importers drop their imports from China is the Port of Riga.
It is quite a busy facility hence the need to ensure that you understand the dynamics of the business.
What’s more, is that it takes an average of 45 days to ship products from this China to Latvia via ocean freight.
But you can still visit this page shipping from China to Latvia.
· Shipping from China to Ireland
Just like any other European nation, Ireland also provides one of the best markets for several products from China.
And you see, you don’t have to stress yourself out when in need of shipping from China to Ireland.
Several interventions by different players in this industry are making it possible for you to find better and affordable approaches for China to Ireland shipping.
Shipping from China to Ireland Guide gives you detailed information of what it takes to ship items between these two nations
The bottom line, however, is that you need to learn more elements surrounding importation of products from China to Ireland.
And for many reasons, you’ll realize that it is indeed one of the easiest processes to undertake as long as you understand what it takes.
· Shipping from China to Netherlands
In terms of infrastructure and trading terms, Netherlands arguably offers the best in regards to the importation of goods from China.
The docking ports and airports within this nation offer high efficiency hence making it possible for faster movement of goods.
And given that shipping from China to Netherlands offers numerous options, you can be certain that many aspects revolving cost and time will also vary.
The same also applies to the fact that you have to check and know the specific products which you need to import to this country from China.
So to make your work somewhat easy, check this Shipping from China to Netherlands Guide for more detailed information.
You’ll realize that it takes more than just knowing about the products in the importation process from China to the Netherlands.
· Shipping from China to Spain
When you’re shipping goods from China to Spain, one thing that you need to understand is that the distance is of great essence.
That notwithstanding, you also need to know that rules and regulations governing importation processes in Spain are somewhat stringent.
Even so, you also need to master the ideal shipping seasons when importing goods from China to Spain.
Of course, off-seasons offers best deals and guarantees better returns.
But you, however, need to factor in other aspects revolving around this business irrespective of better shipping seasons.
By the ways, Shipping from China to Spain Guide gives more insights regarding importing goods to Spain from China.
So you need to read it to have a better understanding of what it takes to move shipments from China to Spain.
· Shipping from China to Estonia
Estonia is also a relatively little known European country in terms of trading muscles.
But I can tell you for free that this is one of the countries within Europe that offer a potential market for many Chinese products.
Therefore, if you’re importing goods from China to this country, you first need to understand the types of products that you can only ship to this country.
You see China manufacturers a wide range of items.
But these do not imply that all or most of these products are needed in all European countries.
You can learn more from Shipping from China to Estonia Guide.
Nonetheless, you also need to know the significance of complying with all the stipulated regulations guiding the importation process in Estonia.
Well, these are some of the major countries in Europe where the frequency of shipping goods from China tends to be more.
This, however, does not imply that other nations within the European region never or rarely import goods from China.
As a matter of fact, you’ll come to realize later on that almost all countries within the European block import products from China.
It’s the movement of such products that tend to vary from one method to another.
You also need to have it mind that the shipping cost will obviously vary as well as the efficiency of the entire process given the different dynamics.
And talking of the shipping cost, let us move on swiftly onto the next chapter and discuss more it as well as its impact on the process.
Chapter 3: Shipping from China to Europe Costs
Well, as a bulk importer of items from China to Europe, this is unquestionably a fundamental aspect that you have to comprehend.
In fact, it is your responsibility to figure out the net cost of shipping from China to any destination in Europe.
Freight cost calculator
You see, import business is somewhat tricky especially when doing it to Europe where many considerations have to be put in place.
Ideally, the costs of shipping goods to Europe from China tend to vary depending on numerous elements.
In this section, we want to look at all the necessary aspects revolving around shipping costs between these two destinations.
The significance of this is that it will enable you to grasp an idea of what it takes and the amount you approximately need to have when shipping goods.
So first of all, let’s look at the costs relating to logistics.
a) Hiring Freight Forwarder or Customs Broker
Listen, the truth of the matter is that import/export business is something you can never do alone, regardless of your experience or knowledge.
If you have to attain best results, trust me, you’ll need the assistance of a freight forwarder or customs broker.
It never matters how better you are or the kind of networks that you have established.
All you need to know is that you have to work with other professionals in this sector.
Hiring the services of a freight forwarder or customs broker also needs input in terms of money.
It happens that these experts will or must be able to handle almost every aspect of your consignment.
By this, I mean that they need to have the ability to make sure that your goods are safely transported from the factory to your commercial residence.
So this is what makes the whole process to vary in terms of rates.
Definitely, you expect different freight forwarders to charge different rates for their services.
And like I did mention earlier, the shipping rates also tend to vary depending on a wide range of factors.
So for that reason, you have to be extremely sensitive when dealing with customs agents or freight forwarders.
What I mean here is that you have to select and work with an agent who offers value for your money.
Remember this alone can be costly, and something you never want to imagine is getting substandard services after investing much of your money and time.
So you have to be particular and making sure that the agent you select to work with offers quality and efficient services worth the money you’re spending.
b) Insurance charges
This is also another form of logistic expenditure that you need to have in mind when importing goods to Europe from China.
In this business, ensuring your consignment is apparently one of the best practices which you must never forfeit.
Container ship accident
This aspect gives you significant peace of mind no matter how long your shipment will take to get to your destination.
Remember that once you insure your shipment, in most cases, the provider will always be liable in case of an unfortunate event happening.
For instance, should you lose your cargo, the company has to compensate you accordingly.
Indeed such incidents might cause immeasurable inconvenience, but you stand a better chance of getting the compensation that losing it all.
Marine insurance policy document
Of course, the actual amount for insurance depends on many factors such as mode of transport, types of goods as well as the insurance broker among others.
While at it, you also need to understand the specific terms and conditions that the premium you’re purchasing entails.
There is absolutely no way you’re just going to engage in a business with an insurance company who never wants to reveal all the nitty-gritty of the premium.
And apparently, some of these insurance premiums can be somewhat costly hence the need for ensuring that you get the best deal.
For that matter, it is always ideal to work with a reliable customs agent or freight forwarder who understand most of the terms of such premiums.
You know, freight forwarders, and of course deal with such issues from time to time.
Therefore, they can easily advise you on what to do and not to do.
c) Customs duty charges
It is also another logistics-related expenses that you need to factor in when shipping products from China to Europe.
What happens is that customs usually are the pad in two fronts; first at the country of origin and destination.
In this case, China and European country respectively.
Still, you have to know that the customs duty also depends on many factors.
In other words, what you’ll pay for a certain product is dependent on numerous elements that surround it.
Nonetheless, it is vital that you understand all the aspects of customs duty charges as a way of preventing you from incurring losses.
You have to understand what the customs policies of the county you’re importing to stipulate regarding the particular consignment.
Incidentally, this is something that you’ll have to pay for.
Because for a very long time, many authorities have established ways of making sure that importer/exporters pay for the relevant taxes accordingly.
And they are also ensuring sealing off all possible loopholes for sneaking goods into a particular country without paying customs duty.
In a nutshell, just be ready with the entire amount to pay for such taxes.
It will save you from encountering unnecessary inconveniences with the customs officials.
And for that reason, you should include it as part of your budget when importing goods t Europe from China.
d) Local transportation charges
One thing that many importers ought to know is that not all manufacturing companies are situated within the ports locality.
Even though, in China, the location of most of these factories are often strategic, as a way of enhancing the convenience of transportation.
And so you’ll find that the designated industrial areas in China have a suitable transports network including train and roads.
That notwithstanding, it is important to understand that you have to cater for the expenses for transporting goods from the factory to the port of loading.
Also, you will cater for expenses related to transporting the shipment from the port of destination to your actual residence.
But then, all these are dependent on the particular shipping incoterm that you prefer.
These are basically the policies which outline the tasks of importers/exporters to deliver goods by the sales contracts.
Don’t worry much about the incoterms at this stage.
We will exhaustively discuss it in the next chapter.
Back to the main point here;
So you have to know which specific mode of transport you’ll use and also calculate the distance to get a better deal.
I know that probably you could be having your own means of transport especially from the port of destination to your premises.
Well, this could be advantageous in one way or the other.
Still, additional expense including fuel, workforce, and others will be apparent.
The bottom line nonetheless, is that you need to ensure that you factor in all these possible local transport expenses.
So that you don’t necessarily find yourself in a situation where you cannot cater to the needs for the task at hand.
These are the essential logistics costs that you’re likely to spend on whenever you’re shipping a consignment from China to Europe.
Of course, we also have other miscellaneous charges which you might essentially be aware of.
But these are the major ones as far as logistics cost is concerned.
Container Shipping Rates from China to Europe
This is yet another ideal element which you have to know as an importer of goods from China to Europe.
You see, shipping involves a lot of factors.
And this is something that you also need to realize can have a ripple effect on your turnover.
What I mean here is that you have to accurately calculate the shipping rates of a particular consignment if you have to get better deals.
It is also imperative because it makes it possible for you to at least prepare appropriately if at all you want to partake this business.
The truth is that shipping rates from China to Europe depends on many factors.
One is the mode of transport you are using to ferry your consignment to the particular destination within Europe.
Transporting container by road
This, necessarily means that you’ll have to diligently find out the best means of transport to choose if at all you have to get better returns.
The good thing, however, is that you have so many shipping options for goods from China all the way to Europe.
You can choose to ocean freight, air freight or railway transport.
Ocean freight is arguably the least expensive.
It is a preferable mode of transport for importers who ship bulk goods.
Air freight is relatively costly, but then it is quite faster hence ideal for shipping urgent orders which have to get to the market.
The railway is also a suitable mode of transport which is becoming quite popular nowadays among many European importers.
We will discuss all these modes of transport in the subsequent sections; hence you’ll understand the impact of each in the entire shipping process.
But as we continue with this point, it is also important to note that container shipping rates are calculated on a different basis.
Some of this basis include the following;
a) Type of container
In a realistic export/import business, shipping containers are what people use to ferry their consignment to the respective places.
These containers are vital because they make it possible for you to safeguard your shipments irrespective of the weather or distance.
Types of shipping container
So in general, there are two types of containers that are normally used for shipping purposes.
These types of containers include LCL and FCL.
LCL simply means or preferably is an abbreviation for Less than Container Load whereas FCL means Full Load Container.
Well, I know the question lingering in your mind right now is what necessarily these types of containers entail.
This is the thing, in terms of construction, there is absolutely no difference between LCL and FCL.
The only major difference between these two come in the form of the size and the quantity that each can hold.
Just as the names suggest, FCL is loaded fully before leaving the port whereas LCL can leave the port when it’s partially full.
FCL vs LCL Shipping
It thus means that the FCL is somewhat larger compared to the LCL.
Still, the size could be the same, and only the quantity of cargo is what might vary.
In most instances, if you choose to go for FCL container, you’ll notice that cost might be significantly high, but it’s worth it.
The cost of the LCL might be a little bit cheaper.
The most crucial aspect in this regard is finding the best or rather most suitable type of container for your needs.
All you need to know nevertheless is that the particular type you choose determines the amount of shipping cost you’ll have to incur.
b) Overall distance
The distance between China and Europe varies depending on the specific area in Europe that you are shipping to.
Therefore, the overall distance is what will make many freight companies to charge the particular amount they peg on the shipment.
Sea route from China to UK
Again, you also need to know that shipping routes also determine the distance.
For instance, when shipping your consignment via the ocean, there’s the likelihood of using different sea routes.
Now, some of these routes are quite longer whereas others are shorter.
Of course, it is the freight company that chooses the specific route they prefer based on different factors.
Sea route from China to Spain
For that reason, you’ll realize that you will have to pay a different amount of money depending on the overall distance to your actual destination in Europe.
Still, in this guide, we will look at the key shipping routes from China to Europe bearing in mind that many shipping companies use different routes.
For now, though, let’s look at the third aspect of this chapter.
Well, it is common knowledge that you never engage in any import/export business without paying taxes.
So in other words, import/export taxes are statutory payments that you have to pay either way.
To get a clear picture, you need to calculate the import taxes that the European Union charge upon importing a particular item from China.
EU Tariffs – Photo courtesy: Tutor 2u
At the same time, you also need to know the factors surrounding export taxation when buying goods from China to Europe.
In most instances, the customs brokers and freight forwarders will always find a way to help you out in calculating the applicable taxes.
Incidentally, remitting such taxes is ideal for your convenience since it prevents you from having encounters with the relevant authorities.
In Europe, calculating import tax is quite involving bearing in mind that different countries also have different taxation tariffs.
But knowing how to calculate the taxes is suitable since it also enables you to also communicate the cost even to other potential investors.
There is a tool that you’ll often use to calculate import tax.
The tool helps you to identify and tabulate all the cost that you need to pay as tax.
The good thing, however, is that when working with customs agents, they will be able to assist you in calculating the pertinent taxes.
They understand the market and other dynamics of a particular European country as far as import/export taxes are concerned.
Furthermore, this is the best way for figuring out the ideal import strategy which suits your particular needs.
So in general, these are the elements that you need to factor in when thinking of costs related to shipping to Europe from China.
Chapter 4: Best Incoterms for Shipping from China to Europe
Well, at this point, one of the most important aspects to acknowledge is that fact there are policies guiding shipping of containers.
Indeed shipping to Europe from China is an international affair.
It thus means that this business has to derive its guiding principles from the International Chamber of Commerce
In this section, we want to look at what we refer to as the most common incoterms guiding shipping of containers from China to Europe.
I’m sure if you’re hearing this terms for the first time you might be wondering what it necessarily implies.
But first things first, what is the meaning of shipping incoterms?
Okay, this is the thing!
Incoterms refers to a set of rules and regulations clearly outlining the specific responsibilities of people in exports/imports for goods delivery.
The truth nonetheless is that we have quite some Incoterms, which apparently tend to vary depending on different aspects.
The common elements determining shipping incoterms include contracts, modes of transports as well as the numerous commercial transactions.
So ideally, when shipping from China to Europe, it means that you need to know the best incoterms that would guarantee you efficiency and convenience.
But in general, though, you need to understand some of the factors surrounding incoterms which you need to adhere to.
- It is common knowledge that you have to pay for all the applicable taxes and upon importing a consignment from China.
- Another important consideration is knowing clearly who, when and where to pay the tariffs once it’s due. Incidentally, clients’ interest is to know the actual price of the commodity inclusive of tax charges.
- In most instances, the shipping company that you chooses always acts as your freight forwarder. And therefore, it becomes easy for the company to assist you in numerous facilitation processes of the shipment.
Now that you understand the basics, let’s discuss the best shipping incoterms suitable for shipping to Europe from China;
· CIF Shipping from China to Europe
It essentially refers to cost, insurance, and freight.
So this incoterm basically implies that the seller arranges for delivery of the shipment to the agreed port of destination in Europe.
At the same time, the supplier has to ensure that they deliver the consignment when it is suitably packed, cleared and safely stored.
But at the same time, you need to know that the terms of CIF do not include LCL charges, unloading fees or any charges that the agent is likely to add at the port of destination.
CIF however, includes sea freight charges, export clearance, and also cost related to transporting of the items the port of loading in China.
· DDP Shipping from China to Europe
This is also another ideal shipping incoterm which refers to delivery duty paid to ship.
Well, what this incoterms simply implies is that the supplier in China has to deliver the consignment to your premises in Europe.
Again, this incoterms stipulates that the seller has to clear the consignment at the customs and must be responsible for unloading it.
Primarily, this incoterm describes the responsibility of the supplier as far as the shipping the consignment to the buyers’ destination is concerned.
· DAT Shipping from China to Europe
This incoterm refers to delivery at the terminal.
What this policy stipulates is that it is the responsibility of the seller to deliver the shipment from the manufacturer’s floor in China to buyer’s port of destination in Europe.
DAT normally includes all the possible additional charges applicable when transporting the consignment to the port of destination.
Furthermore, it might as well provide for any cost related to inland transportation within Europe to your specific or closest terminal.
Nonetheless, you should understand that DAT never includes inland transportation of the goods to a particular address like your specific warehouse.
· FOB shipping from China to Europe
The meaning of this shipping incoterm is free on board.
It is a policy which tends to involve several costs, responsibilities, and risks equally and fairly distributed.
FOB’s terms stipulate that it’s the responsibility of the supplier to take care of all the applicable costs likely to arise when shipping the consignment.
But you should also take note of the fact this is also restricted to the point of loading the vessel on a ship at the port.
In other words, this incoterms stipulates that the seller is fully in charge of your products from the manufacturer’s floor to the port of loading in China.
And once the vessel leaves the dock, all the responsibility then shifts to you like the European importer.
FOB also indicates that the seller has to take care of all the applicable custom clearances at the export zone.
Incidentally, this is essential because the Chinese customs authority has the mandate to hold any consignment in case you fail to provide clear export information.
· EXW Shipping from China to Europe
Ideally, this refers to the factory price for items which do not include shipping.
EXW shipping to Europe from China; thus, in other words, implies that you’ll have to organize how to ship the goods as a buyer.
Apparently, this has to be from the factory floor in China all the way to your premises in Europe.
What it means is that you’re solely responsible as a buyer for catering for all the applicable charges involved in shipping consignment from China to Europe.
So you need to have an in-depth understanding of what it takes to ship goods to your warehouse in Europe all the way from China.
Of course getting assistance from reliable freight forwarders is always a good call but still, you need to have the basic knowledge of what it partakes.
One good thing with EXW shipping is that it does not necessarily incorporate several documentations.
You only need to follow the procedures, and the process shall remain efficient and convenient.
Now, these are the best and at the same time the common incoterms for shipping goods from China to Europe.
Nonetheless, you also need to understand that while at it, you must determine a particular incoterm that would guarantee efficiency and reduce cost.
Therefore, go for an incoterm which is straightforward, and guarantees transparency and cost control.
So when shipping from China to Europe, the best incoterm would actually vary depending on several factors.
But if possible, you may choose to consider FOB from your seller and then DAP shipment from your freight forwarder.
In this case, it means that your supplier will be responsible for handling the transportation from the factory floor in China.
Simultaneously, they also handle all the relevant export clearance procedures.
Nevertheless, your forwarder handles the shipping of the consignment from the port of loading in China, customs clearance and shipping to Europe.
In the next section, we want to look at a quite sensitive matter when it comes to shipping goods from China to Europe, which is the means of transport.
Chapter 5: Modes of Shipping from China to Europe
Listen, when you are importing goods from China to Europe, cost, efficiency as well as convenience are some of the crucial aspects you need to factor in.
You see, there is absolutely no sense to invest much in acquiring the products from China only to stall on your way to Europe for different reasons.
In other words, you need to ensure that you assess all the possible outcomes that would affect these three elements when in this business.
Well, the truth of the matter nonetheless is that the means of shipping is the greatest factor that determines all these three elements.
In fact, the mode of transport plays a huge role in making sure that the goods arrive on time, safe as conveniently.
The shipping modes of consignments from China to Europe include air, ocean, and railway.
So in this section, we want to look at all these three options in details.
The interest here is to enlighten you on the best means possible for your shipping needs at any particular moment.
I. Shipping by Rail from China
If there is any high-end freight facility all over the world in the recent past, then it has to be the China-Europe railway network.
YiWu London Train
And you see, rail transport itself is increasingly becoming a critical and fundamental mode of transportation from the East to West and vice versa.
Incidentally, the rail networks between China and Europe is deemed to alter the trade patterns as well as challenging the shipping companies and airlines.
The interest of many importers between these two regions to become proactive in rail transport has seen the development and launch of New Silk Road.
This is a freight rail route which goes from China through central Asia and finally Europe.
In fact, China currently connects to more than 15major European cities through the New Silk Road network.
You see this is an excellent opportunity for any importer shipping goods from China to Europe.
It makes it easy to access landlocked countries in Europe which results in better returns.
This facility has seen numerous trains ferrying containers from China all the way to London and Madrid, cutting across different towns within the European region.
This rail network passes through nine countries all the way from Yiwu, China, to London, UK although there is also another branch which stretches to Madrid, Spain.
Shipping by rail from China is thus becoming popular each day because it offers relatively faster delivery than ocean fruit.
For instance, it would take you close to 24,000 Km to ferry containers from China to Europe via ocean freight.
On the other hand, this inland railway system is making it possible for you to take about 12,000 Km from China to the furthest end of western European cities.
Railway network – Photo courtesy: Business Insider
In a nutshell, it means that using a train to ship your products let’s say from China to London takes approximately 18 days.
This is marvelous given that shipping a consignment to the same destination would take about 45 days.
You see, the disparity is clear hence the reason most European importers are now considering rail transport for their goods.
Another vital aspect of rail transport from China to Europe is a reduction in prices.
Ideally, air freight from China to Europe is somewhat costly.
This is significant because as a businessperson your interest is always to find ways of maximizing profits and offering quality services and products.
So the use of rail transport offers better speed and saves on cost, which means that your goods will arrive on time and reduce expenses.
Of importance is also to understand that the railway network from China to Europe is operated by different companies.
Still, though, the efficiency of the same is guaranteed despite other factors surrounding customs clearance in different border points.
II. Air freight from China to Europe
It is also another common mode of transport that many European importers have been utilizing for quite a long time.
Air freight involves merely the use of designate cargo aircraft to transport a wide range of containers carrying different goods from China to different parts of Europe.
Clearly, the efficiency in air freight is out of this world.
In fact, both China and most of the European nations have a wide range of high-end airports where the cargo planes land for clearance and dispatch.
China has quite a several international airports for cargo carriers.
Some of these airports are quite busy and record a significant amount of cargo transit daily.
Some of the major airports in China include the following;
- Hong Kong International Airport
- Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport
- China Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport
- Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport
- China Shanghai Pudong International Airport
- Beijing Capital International Airport
Nevertheless, we also have some of the best airport infrastructures in the world in the European region.
So this makes it possible for you to easily use the air freight knowing too well that the systems in place in such facilities are efficient.
Some of the key European airports that record high cargo imports from China include the following;
- Frankfurt am Main International Airport
- Netherlands Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
- United Kingdom London Heathrow International Airport
- Luxembourg Findel Airport
- Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport
All these airports handle different capacities of cargo.
Even so, they are the most commonly used when it comes to international air freight shipping.
All of them are located in different parts of Europe.
You may as well choose to transport your consignment from other relatively small local airports to the major ones when shipping to Europe.
The only challenging bit of air freight is that it is usually expensive.
So you need to ensure that the consignment you’re ferrying guarantees better returns if at all you have to use this method.
At the same time though, it’s essential to understand that many companies nowadays offer couriers services from China to different parts of Europe.
These entities provide express shipping of consignments from the country of origin to the specific country in Europe.
So it happens that when using express shipping companies, it becomes advantageous since the items shall be delivered at your premises.
Companies offering express shipping from China to Europe are quite a number.
Now the importance of this is that it makes it possible for you to select the most suitable one for your needs.
Some of the key players in this industry include DHL, FedEx, EMS, UPS, Speed post, Seabourne express limited and Skynet worldwide express among others.
The truth nevertheless is that such companies offer highly effective services but in most instances are comparatively expensive.
III. Ocean Freight From China to Europe
Well, this is arguably the most popular means of transporting shipments from China to Europe
You see, what often happens is that both China and Europe have well-established seaports that help to facilitate the movement of goods.
And that’s the reason you’ll realize that many importers often prefer using this mode of transport to ferry their import to Europe.
If your preference would be to use ocean freight, you need to understand a few aspects surrounding the same.
So let’s find out some of these elements;
· Shipping Routes from China to Europe
Well, it is always important to know that there are specific shipping routes that many different carriers often prefer.
Therefore, it is always fundamental to find out the particular sea route which you would ideally want your goods to go through.
The essence of this, of course, is to help in tracking the consignment easily as well as ensuring that it reaches your destination conveniently.
Ocean shipping routes
At the same time, you also ought to know that the port of loading and off-loading for consignment are what determine the specific sea route from China to Europe.
In other words, I’m trying to say that China has many ports, and so is Europe.
And given that many countries within Europe are landlocked, you thus need to figure out the specific port suitable for docking.
There are three different routes from China to Europe.
Even so, two are the most commonly used by many shipping companies.
The first route is the northeastern Arctic shipping route.
It is regarded as one of the most significant shipping routes which pass through some of the world’s volatile regions.
This route goes through the eastern side of China to the northern part of Russia before it gets to Europe via the Arctic Ocean.
Then we also have the southern route.
Now this one passes through the southern parts of China towards the Suez Canal in the Indian Ocean before it connects with Western Europe.
And then the third one is the Atlantic route.
In this case, the ships go through the southern side of China and sail via the Indian Ocean all the way to Cape of Good Hope.
From here, the ships now sail towards the western side of Europe in the Atlantic Ocean via West Africa.
So these are the key routes that are mainly common when shipping consignments from China to Europe.
· LCL Shipping from China to Europe
This mode of shipping refers to merging of different consignments which in turn allows containers to be fully utilized.
The essence of LCL shipping is merely to cut cost and also to reduce the transit time.
LCL means less than Container Loading, which shows why it makes sense to consolidate all the small cargos in one container.
It is a common occurrence when shipping goods from China to Europe because it enables the importers to cut on transport cost significantly.
Furthermore, it helps in making sure that tracking of the consignment becomes easy.
· FCL Shipping from China to Europe
FCL shipping refers to Full Container Load.
In other words, that when shipping using this method, you have the entire space in the container for your shipment.
In other words, this method, unlike LCL, prevents you from sharing the container with other importers.
And it’s now upon you to decide on whether to load the container fully or partially depending on your needs as well as other factors such as urgency.
· Drop Shipping from China to Europe
The door to door shipping is also the other common mode of shipping imports to Europe from China that is getting quite an impetus.
In most cases, you’ll find that there are specific companies that offer these services upon liaising with the freight forwarders.
It is perhaps one of the best ways of shipping imports since you’ll have the minimal role possible in getting your shipment.
Chapter 6: Shipping from China to Europe Step-by-Step Process
Listen, if you are planning to start shipping products from China and taking them to Europe, I want you to understand this point clearly.
You see, the entire thing is a process which you need to understand even if you’re not going to take part in it directly.
In many instances, you’ll find that a few elements might vary in the procedures, but in the long, you’ll have to follow the common ones.
In this section, I want to take you through a step by step process of how to ship products from China all the way to Europe.
· Step 1: Collecting Goods from Supplier in China
Now, this is the first thing that you obviously need to do.
At this point, I assume that you have already paid for the products or reached an agreement with the supplier on a payment basis.
So in any case, you will have to find the means of collecting the goods from the manufacturer and take them to the port of loading.
In some instances, you’ll find that the supplier is always responsible for this process as we did see earlier on in the different shipping incoterms.
But at the end of the day, you need to take your goods to the port of loading for transportation to Europe via different means.
Of course, most of the factories are normally situated at a strategic point that has access to transport infrastructure.
So this will not necessarily be much of hustle as long as you have the right networks for the task.
· Step 2: Clear with Customs in China
This is the second major step in the import process of goods from China to Europe.
At this point, presumably, the goods have got to the port of loading ready for export.
So what happens here is that you have to ensure that all the export documents are ready.
Some of the key documents include a bill of lading, insurance certificates, import declaration, commercial invoice, and packing list are ready.
By doing this, it means that you’ll have an easy way when it comes to clearing with the customs department in China.
Also, you need to understand that the Chinese customs authorities are strict; hence any discrepancy in the documents can lead seizure of the consignment.
And as you can tell it, the inconvenience that comes with such events can be devastating.
· Step 3: Loading in Ship, Cargo Plane or Train
Once goods are cleared at the customs, the next thing to do now is loading the same on a particular vessel of your preference.
What I mean here is that depending on which mode of transport you select, the goods will have to be loaded for dispatch.
If you’re using a ship, this will happen at a particular dock.
If it is a cargo plane, all these will take place in a specific airport, same to train.
And once this is done, your cargo will then leave China to the specific destination in Europe.
As we did discuss earlier, there could be a difference in the particular shipping route especially if you’re using ocean freight.
· Step 4: Customs Clearance in Europe
Upon arrival of the cargo in Europe, depending on the means of transport that you used, it shall be subjected to clearance before getting into the country.
The customs clearance processes and demands in Europe vary considerably depending on a specific country.
Customs clearance in Europe
What I’m saying here is that in as much as some import guiding principles cut across the board, other countries have their specifics.
So you need to understand all these and ensure that you adhere to the customs policies of the specific country you’re shipping goods to.
This process can also be fast depending on how you meet the various aspects revolving around the clearance procedures.
· Step 5: Goods Arrive at Port of Destination in Europe
Once you are done with customs in Europe, it now turns to ferry your goods to your particular port of destination.
At this point, you’ll also need to find a way of transporting the items to your warehouse.
So in other words, you need to make for your own arrangements to transport the cargo to your premises using conventional means.
Sea ports in Europe
And it is from this end that you’ll now have to finalize the process once you receive the goods.
As you can see, the process itself is quite simple.
You only need to ensure that you carry out due diligence and prepare all the documents.
You also need to engage a reliable agent because these are the people who do groundwork in enhancing efficiency and convenience.
Chapter 7: How to Ship from China to Amazon FBA in Europe
Listen, technology is revolutionizing the world in a big way.
Presently, we have several online platforms that enable you to purchase goods from China and get them to Europe.
Now, this is wonderful because all you have to do is taking your PC and making all the selections and transactions from the comfort of your office or home.
Amazon is arguably one of the biggest online platforms that give you the opportunity to buy goods and import them to Europe without moving a meter away.
Ideally, what happens here is that as an importer you have to create and own an Amazon account before even thinking of purchasing any good in China.
Once you have the account, you will choose to log in and make a search for the particular products you need to import.
Of course, different vendors also use this platform for reaching out to various clients all over the world.
After your search and finding the ideal vendor, you then engage them in making sure that you get what you want.
Now listen to this;
Amazon FBA, which means fulfillment by Amazon, is indeed a reliable online platform, but not all dealers in this platform are legit.
So you need to ensure that you’re dealing with an authentic vendor.
My advice always when planning to import goods using Amazon, always ask for samples first.
It might take a little while but believe me it would be worth it.
Once you get the samples is when you can decide on whether or not to purchase the goods since you’ve now known if they meet your expectations.
Once you have made your order and cleared the payment, then the next step is creating shipping plans for your consignment.
In such a case, it is also ideal to engage discounted partner carriers then ship and also track the cargo to the various Amazon fulfillment centers in China.
The rest will not be with the Amazon team which has a reliable high-speed picking and sorting system for customers’ orders.
And within a few days, you’ll be able to receive your orders at your warehouse shipped by Amazon.
Chapter 8: Shipping from China to Europe Rules and Regulations
Now, this is one of the most important aspects which you should always have on your fingertips as an importer.
You see, Europe is somewhat dynamic and several countries within this region have stipulated rules that govern imports of goods from outside the continent.
Ordinarily, the European Union oversees quite a huge chunk of the rules and regulations revolving around European imports.
Nonetheless, it is important to know that such regulations are necessary for creating efficiency and reliability in the entire process.
In this section, I want us to briefly look at some aspects of the rules and regulations which guide shipping from China to Europe.
· Import duties and taxes policies
Well, when importing goods to Europe from China, it means you’re doing so from outside the European Union.
For that reason, you’ll always have to pay import duties, VAT, excise duty and in some instances consumption tax.
But at the same time, you also need to know that the import duties and all other taxes depend on the type of product you’re importing.
Some product tends to attract a huge amount of taxes whereas others are relatively low.
Also, there a few products which you can import to Europe and are exempted from tax and other import-related levies.
So it is vital that you categorize all the products that you are importing to Europe to determine the amount you’ll be able to pay for the same.
Nonetheless, it would also be fundamental to understand how to calculate the import duties and taxes.
It will make you work and all other related planning quite a straightforward approach which helps you in preventing unnecessary inconveniences.
· Prohibited and restricted items policies
You see, most of the European countries are industrialized.
So it means that they can produce most of the goods that they need to use.
It’s only a few items that perhaps they can import from China, preferably those that they can never manufacture or some that they can’t produce enough.
It could also be that there is a need for promoting the local industries which indeed helps in creating employment opportunities and revenue collection.
For that reason, there is a cluster of products that are either prohibited or restricted for importation to Europe from China.
You need to understand that the law is quite clear on such imports and they are never accepted in the region.
In fact, trying to sneak such products within the region is even more difficult given that the systems and effective.
Of course, some products might be prohibited in one country and not in another country within the same region.
But still, you need to ensure that you look into it as a way of finding more about how to go about the same.
· Have a registration certificate
Also, you need to have a registration certificate from the relevant authority that oversees importation of product within the EU.
So by registering with this body, it becomes possible for you to import your goods not only from China but also from other countries as well.
By registering with the department, you need to submit all the relevant details and documents to facilitate faster registration.
The bottom line though is that you can never conduct any sort of import-export business in Europe if you don’t have authorization from this department.
Panda Freight Forwarder Shipping from China to Europe
Now as you can see from this guide, it’s quite clear that importing goods from China to Europe can be an intensive and exhaustive process.
And that is the reason why you will always need to work with a freight forwarder as a way of facilitating these processes.
rdinarily, finding the best and reliable freight forwarder for this task can be overwhelming.
You need to realize that you need to work with an entity that is experienced and knowledgeable.
Like I told you earlier, shipping business requires a reliable, skillful and experienced partner, at least to guarantee you peace of mind.
And I can tell you for free that Panda is one of the leading entities in this industry that you can be sure offers such services.
To save you from all the possible hustles, Panda Freight forwarder should be your ultimate choice for all these tasks.
This is a suitable company that has the capacity and all that it takes to ship your consignment from China to any part of Europe.
The experience and reputation that this company has in this industry are impeccable.
You, therefore, do not need to look any further since Panda is there to cater to all your shipping from China to Europe needs.
It is a company that provides better rates all the time of year, swiftness, convenience, customs, product classification, and paperwork.
Panda also provides pick up service, handles various types of shipments and has a capable workforce that drives its operations.
Seemingly, the importing process is hectic and needs a high level of professionalism, experience, and understanding of what it revolves around.
But at the same time, you also have to get your shipment to Europe since this is a business like any other where you expect better returns.
The bottom line, therefore, is that you must find a reliable partner or partners to work with.
It is of great essence to know that the entire shipping process is something that you can play a minimal role directly.
So next time you think of shipping your products from China to Europe, simply think of Panda Freight Forwarders.