Your Best Freight Forwarder from China to Italy
- Provide the competitive shipping rates
- Provide the best solution for all kinds of shipping goods
- Charge the reasonable local charge to shipper under the FOB trade term
- Free warehouse service
- Enough space even in the peak season from carriers
- Professional for product classification and paperwork
- Provide importer license
- 24/7 online support
How Long does it Take Shipping from China to Italy By Sea
|Port of Loading||Port of Arrive||Transmit Time|
Shipping from China to Italy: The Definitive Guide
I know you want to import from China to Italy.
That’s why today I want to walk you through a complete guide for shipping from China to Italy.
You’re going to learn about customs regulations, mode of shipping, cost of shipping, safety standards, etc. to mention a few.
I can promise you this, by the end of this guide, you will be an expert when shipping from China to Italy.
Chapter 1: Italy customs Regulations
Italy’s customs regulations are there to ensure the imports that you bring to the country conform to the law.
Now, getting into trouble with the customs is the last thing you would want to happen.
Shipping from China to Italy
Not only with the customs confiscate your goods but you may also end up paying fines for these goods.
As such it is important that you adhere to the regulations in place for smooth customs clearance.
That is what this chapter aims to bring out for you.
1.1. Top Imports from China to Italy
As an importer, you want to engage in a business that is fast moving and generates profits.
This involves importing goods that are in demand in Italy.
But what are these imports that you should focus on?
Here is a list of the top imports in Italy.
- Mineral fuels including oil.
- Machinery including computers.
- Electrical machinery and equipment.
- Plastics and plastic products.
- Iron and steel.
1.2. Packaging and safety standards and in Italy
The Italian customs imposes packaging and safety standards for your imports to protect its citizens
Packaging in corrugated boxes
For starters, you will have to label your imports clearly in either English, Italian or French language.
Information on the labeling should include:
- Name of the products.
- Name and address of the manufacturer.
- Country of origin of the product.
- Ingredients or components of the product.
- Wight and volume.
- Usage instruction.
- Expiry date.
Also when you are importing certain items, you should make sure that they conform to the European standard.
You need to mark your products with The “CE” mark.
- Agricultural machinery
- Construction products
- Medical apparatus
- Explosives for civil use
- Measuring Instruments.
Before I forget, if you are importing genetically modified organism or their products, you will have to label them.
Lastly, when you are importing goods for trade shows display, you will need an ATA Carnet.
This allows you to import these goods duty-free up to a year.
However, you will have to label these imports AS NOT FOR SALE.
You will also have to accompany these products with the following documents:
- A certificate of origin
- A description of each sample preferably in Italian.
- A statement which declares the use of the sample for demonstration purposes only.
1.3. Import Duties and Taxes in Italy
Importing duties and taxes play an important role when it comes to determining the cost of your imports.
Also, knowing the duties and taxes to pay will help in faster clearance of your cargo.
As such, you need to understand what duties you will pay for your cargo.
In this section, I am going to detail the various applicable taxes and duties on various imports.
Let’s read along to understand.
To start with, any import that you bring to Italy is subject to an import tax.
The customs base this tax on the CIF value of your import.
This is normally at 4.2%.
Another tax that the customs will levy on your import is the Value Added Tax.
This is at 25% of the CIF.
You re expected to pay for the testing of your goods to ensure conformity to standards and for examining of your cargo.
Without forgetting, in case you are importing tobacco, you will have to pay an exercise duty on top of the other charges.
1.4. Restricted and Prohibited Goods in Italy
You cannot import everything in Italy.
Some laws govern the importation of goods that you need to know.
There are items which when you import to Italy will lead to the customs seizing them.
This will be a loss on your part.
To avoid this, here are items that you cannot import to Italy from China.
- All forms of asbestos fibers
- Animal products and skins
- Fabrics & fabric samples
- Illicit Narcotics and Drugs
- Medical samples and equipment
- Oil products
- Radio equipment
- Ship Spares
- Televisions, television equipment
Again, there are some items that you can import to Italy but only after getting special permits.
These items include:
- Combat knives, ammunition, and firearms. You can only import these items if you obtain a special permit from the police station.
- When you are importing precious metals, you will be required to have receipt of purchasing these items.
- If you import electronic equipment and their appliances, you will require an import permit. This you can obtain from the Italian ministry of posts and communications.
- You will have to have a special import permit when you are importing pictures, work of arts and antiques. This you get it from the fine arts authorities.
- You will be required to obtain a phytosanitary certificate when you are importing plants or their products.
- Alcohol and tobacco
1.5. Important shipping documents from China to Italy
If there are things that can cause delays in clearing your cargo by the customs, then it has to be the shipping documents.
Not having proper shipping documents may cause the customs to seize your cargo.
The problem you have with this is that you will pay extra charges that the customs will levy on your cargo.
But why should you wait for that moment when you can prepare your shipping documents in advance?
Here are the important shipping documents that you should be having as you import your cargo.
- Single administrative document
This is a document that the customs will use to identify your imports.
The information included here is the country of origin, the name of the manufacturer and your name.
You will also include an inventory of your cargo.
- Phytosanitary Certificates
You will be required to produce this certificate if you are importing fresh fruits, vegetables, and other plant materials.
- Sanitary Certificates
This certificate is required when you are importing items containing animal products or their byproducts.
You will be required to obtain this document from a competent authority in China.
- Commercial Invoice
You will present an original and a copy of this document to the customs authorities.
The document details the transaction you have made with your supplier.
Your supplier is the one responsible for the preparation of this document whose content includes:
- Unit value
- Unit of measure
- Quantity of goods
- Invoice number
- Date of issue
- Description of goods
- Packing list
This is a document that details the contents of your cargo.
This is regarding the weight, dimension and each unit that you are importing.
You will present it to the customs so that they can use it to clear your cargo.
Here are additional sources of information you can learn from:
Chapter 2: Modes of Shipping from China to Italy
Safe importation of your cargo is key when it comes to shipping.
You don’t want your cargo damaged or lost during shipment.
Though your cargo has insurance, we all understand the long process it takes to make a claim.
It is better to choose a shipping mode that will safely import your cargo to you.
This chapter takes a look at the available modes of shipping that you can choose for your shipment.
2.1. Reefer Shipping from China to Italy
With reefer shipping, you have the advantage of shipping cargoes that require certain temperature during shipping.
It is ideal when you are shipping cargoes such as perishable items like flowers.
Also if you are shipping medicines and medical equipment that require temperature maintenance, you can choose this mode.
One thing you need to remember is that the function of a reefer is not to cool or warm your
Therefore, always ensure that you have cooled or warmed your cargo to the required temperature before you load in a reefer container.
2.2. Door to door shipping from China to Italy
When you are in the importation business, your major concern needs to be on the growth of your business.
This entails that you delegate some activities.
One of this activity is shipping which you can delegate to your forwarding agent.
The agent will be responsible for picking up your cargo from your supplier and loading it to a carrier for shipment.
Door to door shipping – Photo courtesy: FedEx
The agent will clear the goods for you and transport them to your premises.
All you have to do is to receive your cargo and pay for it.
Door to door delivery is convenient if you are a frequent importer with established suppliers and forwarding agents.
It will be risky for you to use this mode if you are a first-time importer.
2.3. LCL Shipping from China to Italy
If you are importing small quantities of a cargo which cannot fill a container, you need to consider an LCL shipping.
This is where your cargo will be consolidated with others to come up with a full container.
These consolidated goods need to be heading in the same direction as yours.
With LCL, you will have to wait a bit longer for the shipment to arrive at your port.
This is because the ship will have to pass through the other ports for unloading en route to you.
And by the way, though cheap, an LCL runs the risk damage to your cargo.
This is due to the consolidation in which you don’t know the nature of the other cargoes.
2.4. FCL Shipping from China to Italy
FCL provides the luxury of you shipping your cargo exclusively in your container.
What happens is that you will fill a container with your cargo and secure it for shipping.
Note that you don’t necessarily have to fill the whole container.
If you don’t have enough goods, you can leave the other space empty.
However, you will pay for the whole container.
With this exclusivity, you can ship fragile or expensive items.
Your cargo will arrive at your port of destination faster using FCL as opposed to LCL.
Also note that with FCL, you can choose the type of delivery that you want.
This includes door to door, door to port, port to door and port to port deliveries.
2.5. Express Shipping from China to Italy
You can leverage on the quick delivery of express shipping to import your cargo to Italy from China.
With a lead time of around 3-4 days, express shipping gives you a quick option of availing your cargo.
Though there is a limitation to the amount of cargo, you can import.
But generally, you can use express shipping if you are importing small quantities of your cargo.
Ideal for shipment of samples and reducing customer demands.
Chapter 3: How to Ship from China to Italy
One of the major concern that you will face as an importer is finding ways in which your cargo will be shipped safely from China to Italy.
While there are a variety of methods that you can use, some may not be able to fit your needs.
Not only that, you need to factor in the resources you have as well as the destination of your shipping.
In this chapter, I am going to narrow the choices for you to help you make an informed decision.
3.1. Ocean Freight from China to Italy
Ocean freight is best suited if you are shipping bulk cargo.
This is due to the large shipping space that it offers.
Also if you are not in a hurry with your shipment, the ocean freight is the best option for you.
With an allowance of a couple of days to months, ocean freight is a bit slower which can work to your advantage.
Shipping to Italy
However, the secret of ocean freight is in its shipping cost.
It is relatively cheaper when you are using ocean freight as compared to other shipping methods.
With this in mind, you might be asking which seaports are available in Italy as well as sea routes for your cargo.
That is what this section is all about.
Keep reading to understand.
· Sea Ports in Italy
There are a variety of seaports in Italy that you can choose for the shipment of your cargo.
They include the following seaports.
Main ports in Italy
· Port of Pescara
This port lies on the Adriatic Sea close to the mouth of River Pescara.
It is in the city of Pescara.
The annual cargo turnover for the port stood at 40.071 metric tons as of 2010.
This comprised of petrol, diesel, tanks, metals, and cars.
· Port of Augusta
You can locate this port in Sicily Island between the Ionian Sea and the Gulf of Augusta.
You can access the seaport via two bridges that link it to the main island.
In 2017, the port was able to handle 33.041 million tons of cargo.
You can ship inorganic fertilizer as well as oil and oil products through this port.
· Port of Bari
You can locate this port in the southeast of Italy in the city of Bari.
It is among the largest ports in the Adriatic.
The port of Bari is a multipurpose port fitted with modern equipment to handle its cargoes.
· Port of Brindisi
The location of this port in Brindisi on the Adriatic Sea allows for the industrial shipping of goods.
· Port of La Spezia
You can locate this port in La Spezia, Liguria, Italy in the northernmost part of the Gulf of La Spezia.
It is among the largest commercial ports in the Ligurian Sea.
You can conveniently ship your container via this port since it has equipment that is specialized to handle containers.
The port handled a total of 15,700,000 tons in 2014.
Sea Routes from China to Italy
While shipping, you may want to know which routes your cargo will pass through.
Let me take you through some of these routes.
Sea route from China to Italy – Source: Ports.com
· Beijing Harbor to Porto Catania
This route begins in Beijing harbor passing the China Sea heading to the Arabian Sea and into the Gulf of Aden.
From there, it heads to the Suez Canal through the Red Sea and into the Mediterranean Sea.
You cargo arrive at Port Catania after passing through the Ionian Sea.
This voyage takes 35 days covering 8275nm.
· Beijing harbor to port La Spezia
Starting from Beijing harbor, this route heads to the Bay of Bengal and into the Red Sea through the Gulf of Suez.
It heads to the Nile River via the Suez Canal and into the Mediterranean Sea.
From there, your cargo arrives at the port of La Spezia after passing through the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Your cargo will take 37 days to arrive in Italy after covering a distance of 8868nm.
·Beijing harbor to Port of Brindisi
Your cargo will take 35 days to arrive in Italy from China using this route.
It will depart from Beijing harbor heading to the Bay of Bengal through the Andaman Sea.
From here, it heads to the Red Sea through the Gulf of Aden and into the Nile River.
It then heads to the Adriatic Sea through the Mediterranean Sea and finally to the port of Brindisi.
This journey covers a distance of 8342nm.
· Shipping Companies from China to Italy
Below are some of the most popular shipping companies you may consider when importing from China to Italy.
ZIM shipping company
· Zim Integrated Shipping Services
Zim integrated shipping services specialize in container shipping and refrigerated cargo.
Zim integrated shipping services have a total capacity of 344,460 TEU’s.
It 80 ships in its fleet.
With its headquarters are in Israel, the company has 73 years of experience.
· Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha( NYK Line)
The port began operating in 1885 with its headquarters in Japan.
The company has a cargo capacity of 500,359 TUE’s.
With this company, you can conveniently ship dry bulk, liquid cargo and cargo that require RORO services.
· Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM)
The company started operating in 1976 with its headquarters in South Korea.
The company has a cargo handling capacity of 395,477 TEUs.
They have a total of 130 state of the art vessels.
· Hanjin Shipping
Hanjin shipping company started operation in 1977 with its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea.
It has a cargo carry capacity of 621,243 TEUs.
You can conveniently ship through this company bulk and container cargo which are a specialty of the company.
3.2. Air Freight from China to Italy
When you want a quick shipment, then air freight should be your preferred method of shipping.
Now, this is a method you would prefer if you want to grow your import business.
The reason is that you will always be in a position to supply the needs of your customers.
You can also use this method when you want to ship valuable items like gold.
However, you will have to pay more as compared to ocean and rail shipping and also there is a limited amount of goods you can import.
Let’s have a look at what entails air freight when it comes to shipping from China to Italy.
· International Airports in Italy
Italy’s airports that your cargo is likely to pass through include:
Main airports in Italy
· Venice Marco Polo Airport
Thie location of this airport is on the northern side of the city of Tessera in Venice.
It is best situated if you are importing to Venice, Tessera,Mestre regions and their surroundings.
It is good to note the cargo statistics of the port in 2017 stood at a total of 60,853,800 metric tons of cargo.
You can access the airport by rail and road.
By rail from the Venice railway station and by road from the Piazzale bus terminal.
These stations connect the airport to other parts of Italy such as Roma, Lido, andMurano, Mestre, Treviso, and Padua.
· Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport
Located in Flumicino, this is the major airport in Italy.
The airport covers an area of 29 square kilometers.
You can ship through this airport if you are in Rome, Flumicino,and their surroundings.
However, if you can still ship through the airport if you are further away from these towns,
This is due to its integrated transport system that has the town connected by rail and road.
By rail, the airport is accessible from the Fiumicino Aeroporto railway station.
You can locate this at the airport’s terminal.
By road, you can access the airport through the six-lane motorway that connects it to Rome city center.
· Milan–Malpensa Airport
Located in the Milan metropolitan area north of Italy
Best suited if you are importing to Lombardy, Piedmont and Liguria, Canton Ticino and their environs.
You can access this airport by road through a four-lane motorway that links Milan at A8 and Switzerland.
Also via a five-lane motorway to A4 which connects to towns like Torino, Verona, Venice, and Trieste.
Other roads that connect to the airport include Local access to the airport State Road SS336dir from Magenta and by the State Road SS336 from Gallarate.
Another way of accessing this airport is through the rail.
This is possible through the Malpensa Express trains.
They operate from Terminal 2 and Terminal 1 stations to Milan Cadorna station in the south-west of central Milan.
Also, the Milan Central station connects the airport to Milan Porta Garibaldi and Saronno.
· Orio al Serio International Airport
You can locate this airport in the municipality of Orio al Serio that is southeast of Bergamo in Italy.
Cargo statistics at this airport stood at 117,765 million tons in 2016.
You can easily import through this airport to areas such as Orio al Serio, Bergamo, Milan and their environs.
The well-integrated transport network enables you to ship further to Italy.
This is possible through a road that connects the airport to A4.
You can also access the airport through Bergamo railway station located 5.6 km.
· Cargo airlines from China to Italy
Let’s have a look at some of the airlines that you can consider for shipping your cargo from China to Italy.
· China Cargo Airlines
China Cargo Airlines has its headquarters in Shanghai, the People’s Republic of China.
With its base is at Hongqiao International airport, the airline started operating in 1998.
It has eight fleets dedicated to shipping your cargo.
· Cargolux Italia
Operations for Cargolux Italia commenced in 2009 with its headquarters in Vizzola Ticino, Italy,
The airline has its base in Milan-Malpensa Airport and serves the cities of Hong Kong and Zhengzhou in China.
This airline has a fleet of 4 cargo airlines to enable you to ship your cargo from China to Italy.
· China Postal Airlines
China postal airline started operations in 1997 with its headquarters in Haidian District, Beijing, China.
You can locate this airline at its base in Nanjing Lukou International Airport.
With a total of 25 cargo airlines, you don’t have to worry about shipping using this airline.
· China Southern Airlines
This airline was formed in 1988 and has its headquarters in Baiyun District, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province China.
You can locate this airline at its base at Beijing Capital and Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport. It has a total fleet size of 567 planes.
· Air china limited
A flag carrier for China, Air China limited started operations in the year 1988.
It has a total of 400 aircraft’s and handles its cargo through Air China cargo.
The airline has its headquarters in Shunyi District, Beijing, China with its base at Beijing Tianzhu Airport.
Among the aircrafts include the Boeing 747-400F, Boeing 757-200PCF, and Boeing 777F
3.3 Rail freight from China to Italy
Rail freight provides a middle ground from to the conventional air and ocean freight.
It is cheaper compared to air freight and faster than ocean freight.
Coupled with the ability to handle bulk cargoes, you can pick this method to ship your cargo.
Let’s see what route your cargo will pass through using this mode of shipment.
· Chengdu- Mortara Route
This route connects the southwest China’s Sichuan province capital of Chengdu to the town of Mortara in northern Italy.
Using this route will take 18-22 days for your cargo to arrive from China.
Chapter 4: Cost of Shipping from China to Italy
You will have to factor the cost of importing your cargo to Italy before you start importing.
Choosing different methods of shipping will cost you a different amount.
Here is a look at the cost factors that you will consider when using different methods of shipping.
· Cost of Shipping via Air
Air freight assures you faster delivery, but you will pay a higher prize.
As such, you need to understand what constitutes air freight cost.
Let me take you through the factors that will add to your air freight cost.
The first factor is the volume of your cargo which you calculate as a product of the length, width, and height of your cargo.
The next one is the total weight of your cargo.
Whichever is higher between the two is used to calculate the chargeable weight for your cargo.
In case you are the one paying for your cargo, it is better to consider shipping it under consolidation.
Apart from the chargeable weight on your cargo, the standard airline charges include:
- Fuel surcharge
- Risk surcharge
- Screening surcharge
- Automated manifest surcharge
- Screening surcharge
- Hazardous surcharge for goods that are
Before you ship your cargo via air, there are pre-export charges that you will incur.
Haulage charges which are charges you will incur for transporting your cargo from the supplier to the airport.
Then you will have to pay for the handling cost as your cargo is being labeled probably in a warehouse.
At the airport, the customs will inspect your cargo, and you will pay a fee known as the customs inspection fee.
Lastly, you will pay for the packaging of your cargo to ensure that they conform to the IATA cargo standards.
· Cost of Shipping via Ocean
Perhaps what cuts across your mind when it comes to ocean shipping is the relatively cheap cost incurred.
Compared to other forms of shipping, ocean freight is cheaper and also allows you to ship bulk cargo.
However, when we talk about cost, as an importer you need to understand what constitutes this cost.
Some factors that you will find in your charge is quite straightforward.
But some charges are bound to change in the course of your shipping.
Let’s have a look at the components of your ocean shipping cost.
First, we have the bunker rates which refers to the price of fuel.
This prize keeps fluctuating as a result of changing oil prizes.
These changes will appear on the cost of your shipping as bunker surcharges.
A good freight forwarder will always update you on the changes in the bunker rates.
Another component is the port charges which the port levies for docking of the ships.
Different ports have different charges which will appear at the cost of your shipping.
Then we have the shipping distance between ports.
Ports that are far away tend to cost more as opposed to ports which are close by.
This will have an impact on the shipping cost of your cargo.
Fluctuating currency of exchange.
Let’s agree here; the foreign exchange market keeps changing.
As such always remember to negotiate for payment via a stable currency.
This will minimize instances where you get a low quotation but end up paying expensively.
Lastly, the season in which you import tends to have a factor in your shipping cost.
During the peak season, the shipping cost will be higher as opposed to the off-peak season.
For your information, always ship during the off-peak season.
It has many benefits apart from the cost such as availability of space.
As an importer, it is important that you minimize the cost of your import.
One of the ways of doing that is by reducing the shipping cost.
Loading shipping containers
But what are some of the ways of doing this?
Let’s have a look.
- Shop for different quotations from different forwarding companies
Sourcing for quotations from different forwarding companies will give you an idea of the best company.
Let’s say regarding cost and the services they provide.
You can even negotiate for the best price for your shipping.
- Limit your packaging materials to the required standards.
Since your shipping cost will be calculated based on the chargeable weight, you don’t want to add weight to your cargo.
This is through using unnecessary packages.
Restrict yourself to the packaging material specification provided by your airline.
- Include the shipping cost to the cost of your cargo
If your business is importing with the aim of selling, don’t bear the shipping cost burden.
Instead, pass it over to the buyers.
This will make your shipping cost cheaper and convenient for you.
- Avoid shipping in parts.
One of the reasons that you will find your shipping cost high is by you breaking your cargo for shipment.
You can avoid this by arranging for one way shipping for all your cargo.
This will reduce your shipping cost.
Chapter 5: FAQs on Shipping from China to Italy
Having taken you through the shipping guide from China to Italy, you might be having a question you want to ask.
Before you do that, here is a look at the frequent questions our clients ask us.
1. How long does it take to ship my cargo from China to Italy?
Even though most companies do not give you an exact date for the arrival of your cargo, they do provide an approximate date.
In most cases these dates are reliable.
But yet again it depends on the method of shipment and the frequency of the shipping company to your destination.
2. Can I be able to track my cargo while in transit once it leaves China?
You can track your cargo during transit using the bill of lading or container number.
3. What can I do if the customs seize my cargo?
This is an unfortunate place to find yourself.
However, the reasons for seizure do vary from you importing prohibited goods to lack of proper documentation.
You need to contact your forwarder to understand the cause first.
If it is about missing paperwork or failed duty payment, you can sort that out.
But if the customs seizeyour goods due to prohibition, then chances are that you may never get the goods back.
While that is not enough, you may end up paying for fines that you had not planned.
Always ensure that you observe all the customs regulations for smooth clearance.
4. How do I get my cargo to reach my destination when shipping via rail?
When you choose to ship via rail, your cargo will arrive at the nearest rail station.
From there, depending on the contract with your forwarder, further shipment of your cargo will occur.
This will be using road transport to your destination.
5. What should I do in case my cargo gets damaged or lost during shipment?
The first thing to do when you are importing is to insure your cargo.
This will cover your cargo against damages during shipment.
If your goods get lost or damaged, you need to contact your forwarder first who will help you file claims for your cargo.
Do not accept damaged goods.
6. How do I get cargo insurance for my cargo?
Cargo insurance is very easy to obtain.
Your freight forwarder should be in a position to offer you competitive rates when it comes to insuring your cargo.
Still not satisfied by the feedback we give to the questions asked by our clients?
Don’t worry, get in touch with us today and we will answer you.
Importation is a business that requires a freight forwarder who will be with you along the way.
A forwarder that you can trust with your cargo.
As you can see, shipping from China to Italy is a simple process.
Simply get the right goods, prepare necessary documents and choose method of shipping.
At Panda, we are with you from the moment you get in touch with us up to the point your cargo is in your possession.
Get in touch with us today and lets us professionally handle your shipping needs.