Chapter 2: How to Transport Cargo from China to Ireland
Transporting Cargo from China to Ireland is possible through air freight and sea freight.
a) Air Freight from China to Ireland
Air freight is the safest, fastest and most convenient mode of transporting goods from China to Ireland.
The cargo you will be carrying by air always has high value and a strict timeline you will need to consider.
As you will be shipping by air from China to Ireland, you will come across specific terminologies which I will explain.
Air China Cargo
- AWB: It is a necessary transport document you will receive from the agent or the carrier. It indicates that the agent or the carrier agrees with the terms and conditions of transporting the goods.
- IATA: It is an initial for International Air Transport Association which helps in the formulation of the policies of the industry. Apart from that, It supports the activities of the airline industries in accordance with the set standards.
- ETD: Estimated Time of Departure
- ATD: Actual Time of Departure
- ATA: Actual Time of Arrival
- ETA: Estimated time of Arrival
- ETT: Estimated Transit Time which is meant for estimation only and is never guaranteed. This does not mean that the shipment will not leave and arrive as per the time frame.
- Dangerous goods: these are the type of goods IATA classifies as according to the danger it poses to the safety of the carriers. It classifies cargo to be dangerous by looking at the characteristics and nature of the goods.
- Dimensional Weight: Also known as Billable weight or Chargeable weight. It is the charge by the carrier depending on the gross weight or the dimensional weight of the cargo. In most cases, the airline will look at the weight which is higher and use it to bill you.
- MOQ: The most common MOQ is 45 kilograms. The rates are classified as being: +45 kgs, +100 kgs, +300 kgs, +500 kgs or + 1000 kgs. The couriers will cost less if it is less than 100 kgs in most of the countries.
- ULD: You will understand it better as the air container just like the sea container. It might exceed the allowable maximum so the courier will calculate the charges.
Advantages of Air Freight from China to Ireland
The best things that associate with air freights are the speed of transport and efficiency.
Generally, the time it takes to transport goods from China to Ireland is less than ten working days.
In many cases, it takes three to five days before you receive your cargo which is good for business.
You should know that air freight will only cover transport from one airport to the destination airport.
Air couriers, on the other hand, offer other services such as door to door delivery of goods.
Air Cargo Types
The properties of the air cargo divide it into two main types:
Loading cargo in a plane
· Special Cargo
This type of cargo includes living animals, dangerous goods or goods that require special temperature control.
Chemicals are perfect examples of dangerous goods; seafood requires refrigeration all through making them special.
Their characteristics subject them to different regulations making them costly to transport.
They have to go through various forms of inspection and have to meet multiple requirements.
Many airlines do not accept these goods due to their nature so advise the courier in advance.
Any detail or information that has been left out may attract extra charges and penalties to you.
Apart from that, other types of special cargo will fall as general after testing.
The goods will have an Identification and Classification Report for Air Transport of Goods for the carrier before transporting.
These goods include Chemicals, powder, with liquid or oil, with a magnet, with battery, with a motor inside and audio equipment.
· General Cargo
This type of cargo includes jewelry, electronics, wristwatches, pharmaceuticals, and many more.
The industry of electronics accounts for about 40% of all the cargo transported by air.
The goods require excellent conditions for transport making them very expensive, but it is good for business.
Main Airports in China
International Air transport uses codes and standard short naming systems for the airports under IATA.
Airports in China
The short naming system involves the use of three capitalized letters to assist in easy identification.
The main International Airports in China include:
- PEK which is an initial for Beijing Capital International Airport
- HKG is the initial for Hong Kong International Airport
- CAN as the initial for Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport
- PVG is the initial for Shanghai Pudong International Airport
- SHA as the initial for Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport
- CTU as the Chengdu is the initial for Shuangliu International Airport
- SZX is the initial for Shenzhen Baoan International Airport
- KMG is the initial for Kunming Changshui International Airport
- XIY is the initial for Xi’an Xianyang International Airport
- HGH is the initial for identifying Hangzhou Xiao Shan International Airport
These are the busiest airports in China from which you can transport goods to Ireland.
You will choose the Airport that is nearest to the point where you will be buying the products.
In other cases, some airports might not serve Ireland.
Therefore, you will consider others that serve Ireland.
Major Airports in Ireland
Just like the airports in China, Ireland has airports listed under the IATA for easy identification and regulation.
The airports in Ireland will act as the ports of destination for air freights but couriers do door to door deliveries.
Figure 12 Airports in Ireland
The major airports in Ireland where you can receive the goods from China are as follows:
- Dublin Airport situated in the east coast, North of Dublin coded as DUB/EIDW.
- Cork Airport situated in the south coast, south of the cork city coded as ORK/EICK.
- Shannon Airport situated on the west coast North of the city of Limerick coded as SNN/EINN
- Knock Airport also is known as Ireland west Airport Knock situated in the county of Mayo in the North West. It is coded as NOC/ EIKN
- Belfast International Airport situated in the North East, west of the city of Belfast coded as BFS/EGAA
- Kerry Airport in the county of Kerry code as KIR/EIKY
- Donegal Airport in the province of Donegal coded as CFN/EIDL
- George Best Belfast City Airport situated in Down county coded as BHD/EGAC
- Sligo Airport in the county of Sligo coded as SXL/EISG
- Waterford Airport in the province of Waterford coded as WAT/EIWF
- City of Derry Airport situated in Londonderry coded as LDY/EGAE
- Galway Airport in the county of Galway coded as GWY/EICM
You will have to choose the Airport that you want your goods to arrive before picking them.
The number of airports in Ireland is as many as those in China making it easy to transport goods.
Cargo Planes from China to Ireland
Importing goods from China to Ireland will require you to use cargo planes if you need them fast.
Different airline companies offer the services of transporting cargo from China to Ireland.
The seller will get to the airport and book a cargo flight for the goods he is carrying.
The most common group known for handling cargo planes in Ireland is the Worldwide Flight Services (WFS).
It has more than 50 airline customers who operate in Ireland including Air China, American Airlines, IAG cargo among others.
British Airways Cargo
The big airline companies have different cargo planes that work within the route of China and Beijing.
This means that the cargo planes that operate within this route can easily transport imports from China to Ireland.
Apart from that, big courier companies have specialized cargo planes that work on this route making it simpler to carry.
Emerald Freight Express is another company that has cargo planes that transport cargo from China to Ireland.
How long it Takes to Ship from China to Ireland by Air
In case you are expecting your goods to arrive at a particular time and they are late to arrive.
You will have to worry because it leads to losses in business and maybe the loss of important customers.
You are in no position to fix the situation especially when you have the good with the carrier.
You have the upper hand to make a choice on the best carrier for your goods before committing to it.
Look at the estimated time it will take for your goods and to arrive and commit to the selected period.
After that, choose the carrier and wait for the goods to arrive expecting slight delays in case of anything.
In general, you will look at the following steps before choosing the transit time:
- Find the carrier you prefer
- Find the route schedule of the carrier
The modern world provides you with straightforward ways of identifying a carrier and the route schedule of the carrier.
China to Ireland by air – Photo courtesy: Explore China Tibet
All this information is available online, and it is good for its accuracy due to the experience of the listed companies.
Most of the companies delivering goods by air will take a maximum of 10 days to deliver your goods.
Courier services are much faster and you are able to receive goods at your door step within 3 days.
In most cases, the period for transporting cargo through couriers take one to three days.
It is the fastest mode of air transport even though you will have to dig deeper into your pockets.
b) Sea Freight from China to Ireland
You might imagine that transporting cargo from China to Ireland by sea is quite a complicated process.
Well, it is not as you will learn more about it and how you will maneuver through it all.
The process is straightforward, but the kind of terminology they use might be confusing to you.
These are the standard international commercial codes or terms that dictate time, place and method of transporting cargo.
As an example, free on board (FOB) includes carrying goods from the factory all the way to the port.
It also involves all the legal procedures of transport and arrangements for transporting goods to their final destination.
Incoterms 2010 – Photo courtesy: IncoDocs
You can alternatively choose to use DAP (Delivered at Place) which involves different procedures from FOB.
DAP consists in shipping the goods from the factory in China taking it all the way to the destination in Ireland.
When you are getting a quote from your supplier, you have to specify the incoterms that you prefer.
Do not forget to look at the costs you will incur with the incoterms you choose.
The prices will vary according to the area you are importing it from and the Incoterms that you decide to use.
LCL and FCL Shipping
FCL is the cheapest freight method if the counting is on cost per weight unit and volumetric unit.
FCL vs LCL
It is an initial for full container loads even though most buyers are not able to buy full container loads.
Air freight is the method you should use for small goods even though others find the matter confusing.
The best solution to this confusion is the LCL which is the less than container load.
It is the kind of container freight where your goods will be in one container with other products.
It means that the cargo from different buyers will be in one container as it will be on transit.
Insurance will never appear on the shipping quote unless the terms of shipping declare so.
This can either be through CIF incoterms which stand for Cost Freight and Insurance.
Container ship accident
If you are ordering shipment according to DAP or DAT, inform the shipping company to insure the goods.
The insurance for shipping is relatively not expensive and will only cover the value of the cargo in case of damage.
It does not cover product development costs, los sales or consequential loss.
Shipping and Lead Times
Lead time from one port to another depends on the distance between the port of origin to the port of destination.
As an example, shipping from Hong Kong to Cork/Dublin/Belfast will take an average of 35 days.
Keep in mind that there might be delays at the loading port and also at the port of destination.
Shenzhen to Ireland – Photo courtesy: Ports.com
Shipping cargo by sea will be regarding lead times, both unpredictable and slow than air freight.
As such, you are to plan well and expect any forms of delays when it comes to sea freights.
You should place all your orders early enough before the hard deadlines.
The time your goods will take to reach the destination in Ireland from China varies.
It varies depending on the distance between the ports, the route the ship will take and the speed.
Apart from that, there are other incidences and delays that may occur thus increasing the transit time.
In general, you are expected to have a particular time estimate and also give an allowance to time.
Shipping goods from the port of Shanghai in China to port of Dublin in Ireland takes around 49 days.
The distance the ship will cover is 11662 nm traveling at a speed of 10 knots which is low.
The time estimate can either be faster or slower depending on the cargo ship you choose.
Your good will take longer at see if you use longer routes and slow cargo ships.
The higher the rates you pay, the faster the journey.
Shipping Container Volumes
In any case, you are in a position to transport a full container load.
There are containers to choose.
The containers you can choose from are:
- FCL 20″ (Volume: 33.2 cubic meters)
- FCL 40″ (Volume: 67.7 cubic meters)
- FCL 40″ (Volume: 76.3 cubic meters)
- FCL 45″ (Volume: 85.9 cubic meters)
Bulk shipping container
The volume of the container differs slightly depending on the type of company that will be transporting your goods.
The difference is however minimal and does not make any significant difference.
To avoid wastage of space, make orders that will fit in the container that you need.
Protect your cargo sufficiently from damage in case of dust from the factory or any other form of damage.
A lot of things can usually happen during the shipping process, so you have to make sure the package is good enough.
Do not trust the supplier to make sure that the packaging is okay because they might not do it well.
Corrugated boxes for packaging
Keep in touch with your supplier and offer him the right dimensions of the kind of package you require.
Explain everything in detail and do not leave anything out to avoid future problems.
You will have to look at the export packaging regulations as you give instructions for your packages.
Main Sea Ports in Ireland
Ireland has quite a number of ports found by the sea that you can choose to use.
Make sure you choose a port that is closer to the country which you are importing from.
You have the choice of choosing a port from the East, West, North, and South.
Sea ports in Ireland
The main ports on the east include Rosslare, Arklow, Wicklow, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, Howth, Drogheda, Dundalk, and Greenore.
In Northern Ireland, the ports found include Warren point, Belfast and Larne.
The main ports on the south coast include Bantry Bay, Fenit, Dingle, Foynes, Killybegs, Galway, Sligo, Limerick, and Kilronan.
The ports on the north coast are very few, and they include Coleraine and Derry in Northern Ireland.
There are quite a number of ports on the south coast of Ireland.
These include Castletown Berehaven, Kinsale, Cobh, Ringaskiddy, Tivoli, Cork, Youghal, Dungarvan, Waterford, New Ross and Dunmore East.
Sea Ports in China
So many goods come from China, and you should not wonder why it has so many ports handling cargo.
You should know the name of the ports in China so that you can tell where to export your goods.
Incredibly, China has around 8 of the 17 busiest ports in the world.
These ports include:
- Port of Shanghai
- Port of Shenzhen
- Port of Ningbo
- Port of Qingdao
- Port of Guangzhou
- Port of Tianjin
- Port of Dalian
- Port of Xiamen
The following ports are among the busiest in the world handling quite a lot of containers at a particular time.
Besides that, China has additional ports that process a significant number of vessels but not as busy.
The other ports include:
- Port of Hong Kong
- Port of Kaohsiung
The manufacturers of goods are spread all over, and it is easy to transport them from the nearest port.
The port that is nearer to the country where the products will go to is the one you should choose.
It becomes cheaper to transport the goods from a port that is nearer to the country you are taking your products.
As for Ireland, most of the people will have to choose the port that is closer to it.
If you decide that, the cost will reduce significantly and the time will be shorter.
Cargo Ships from China to Ireland
Whether your goods require FCL or LCL to get to the point you require them to be, a ship must be available.
The ship which normally carries the containers all the way is known as a cargo ship.
There are quite a number of companies with a lot of cargo ships to transport cargo from China to Ireland.
The main shipping companies that ship from China to Ireland include:
For medium rates such as medium transit time and medium shipping rates, you will use KLINE and COSCO.
For low rates such as low transit time and low rates of shipping, you will use different companies.
These companies include MSC, PIL, CSCL, WANHAI, ZIM, and MISC.
Lastly, for high transit time and high rates of shipping, you will use CMA, APL, MSK and HMM.
The companies listed above have lots of cargo ships that you can use to transport your cargo to Ireland.
Sea Routes from China to Ireland
China has many ports where goods leave the country on cargo ships all the way to Ireland.
Ireland has a number of ports where the goods from China come in.
This means that, from one port to another, a cargo ship will take a particular route.
The routes will change according to the port with which the ship is coming from and the port of destination.
The first main route is from the port of Shanghai in China to the port of Dublin in Ireland.
It can deliver the goods to other ports in Ireland too such as the port of New Ross and the port of Cork.
There are two main routes which the cargo ship can use to transport goods to Ireland.
The first is the Atlantic route which can easily transport the goods.
The second being Indian Ocean route all the way to Ireland
Different sea routes – Photo Courtesy: Silk Route.NET