Chapter 2: Ways of Shipping from China to Russia
The existing infrastructure, distance and China-Russia border, makes it possible to adopt many shipping methods or ways.
Depending on the type of cargo you’re importing from China to Russia, you can use:
- Railway shipping from China to Russia
- Truck shipping from China to Russia
- Ocean freight from China to Russia or,
- Air freight from China to Russia
Therefore, in this section, I am going to walk you through various ways of shipping from China to Russia.
And, let’s start with:
2.1. Railways Shipping from China to Russia
The proximity of Russia to China favors the shipping of your cargo via rail.
Unlike to ocean freight, this mode of shipment reduces your shipping time and cost.
Also, you have the advantage of shipping your cargo in bulk.
But before you start shipping, let me take you through the routes that rail freight uses from China to Russia.
Three main rail corridors link China to Russia.
The first one is the Harbin- Suifenhe railway which links the northeastern side of China and Russia.
This is at Harbin town in China and Suifenhe town in Russia.
The advantage of this railway is that it is double tracked and electrified.
It is 548 km in length.
Double tracked railway line
Another route is the Harbin- Manzhouli railway which connects the town of Harbin in China and Manzhouli in Russia.
It is 935 km in length and is double tracked.
Its electrification enables faster shipping of goods.
In case you want to ship oil or oil products, then this railway line should be your option.
This is because it passes through the oil fields of Daqing.
Major cities that you will find on this route include Dayan, Yakeshi, Zhalantun, Zhaodong, and Harbin.
However, they will introduce a new route later this year with the aim of cutting the transit time.
This is the Russia- Mongolia- China route.
This route starts in Beijing proceeding to the Chinese province of Inner Mongolia.
It passes through the town of Erenhot where there is a change of bogies before heading to Mongolia and finally to Russia.
China to Russia Railway Line
With rail transport, the transit time for your cargo is between 10 to 16 days.
It depends on which route you will pick.
2.2. Truck Shipping from China to Russia
The shorter transit days of truck shipping makes it an alternative shipping mode to rail shipping.
If you have a large volume of cargo and you would like to have it faster, then this might be a better option.
Let me take you through the routes that your cargo will pass through using this mode of shipment.
Truck shipping from China to Russia
This route starts at Tianjin in China passing through the towns of Zhangjiakou before heading to Mongolia at Erenhot.
In Mongolia, it passes through the cities of Choyr, UlaanBaatar before crossing to Russia at Darkhan.
In Russia, it passes through the towns of Kyakhta before terminating at Ulan de.
Your shipment will take 14 days to arrive in Russia from China using this route.
2.3. Ocean Freight from China to Russia
Another way of shipping your cargo from China to Russia is by using ocean freight.
The advantage you will have is that you can export a large volume of your shipment.
And that is not all.
Compared to other modes of shipment, ocean shipment is relatively cheap.
Let’s have a look at ocean freight in depth.
Major seaports in Russia
· Port of Vladivostok
The proximity of this seaport to China makes it easy for you to ship your cargo to Russia.
Equipped with modern cargo handling and bunkering facilities allows well handling of your cargo.
Port of Vladivostok
Another fact that makes this seaport stand out is its storage facilities.
You don’t have to look elsewhere to store your goods once they arrive from China.
And what’s more?
It is the only free port in Russia.
What this means, you can store or handle your goods under specific customs regulations.
Therefore, the Russian authorities will not subject your goods to customs duty and taxes,
Perhaps statistics that you may want to consider is its cargo handling capabilities.
In the first three quarters of 2016, the seaport recorded a freight turnover of 9.3 million tons.
· Port of Kaliningrad
In case you want to ship via this seaport, you will find it in the southeastern part of the Baltic Sea.
This location makes it closer to Europe.
Port of Kaliningrad
At this port, you have ample space to store your cargo since it has 44.8 square kilometers of dockside warehousing.
Also, it has an additional open storage area covering 238.2 square kilometers.
And you don’t have to worry about shipping perishable cargo.
It is because the port has a refrigerated warehouse covering an area of 5.7 square kilometers.
What of the cargo statistics of this port?
Well, this is an important consideration you would like to consider before choosing this port.
Since the start of January 2018 to May 2018, it has handled a total of 1259.2 tons of cargo.
One advantage you have with this port is that you can ship anything through it with a few exceptions.
But remember that this port does not handle 7th classes of danger.
· Port of Murmansk
Port Murmansk is the 2nd largest port that is located in the northwestern part of Russia.
A large volume of Russian imports passes through this port.
This makes it the largest seaport regarding cargo turnover.
Port of Murmansk
The advantage of this port is that it operates throughout the year.
It is despite the freezing ice temperature experienced in Russia during the winter.
This is due to its design.
Here, the existing infrastructure guarantees quick cargo handling since it has 52 gantry cranes with a capacity of up to 40 tons and one ship loader.
That is not all.
You don’t need to worry about the size of the vessel that the port can handle.
It can handle any vessel that calls at the port.
· Port of St. Petersburg
Port of St. Petersburg is located on the east part of the Gulf of Finland off the Baltic Sea.
It is the largest seaport in the northwestern part of Russia.
Port of St. Petersburg can handle 5 million twenty-foot containers annually.
Port of St. Petersburg
Another thing is that in 2017, it handled 6.9 million tons of cargo.
And by the way, it is connected to the mainland by rail commonly known as October Railway.
It makes shipping to Russia easier.
If you want to import minerals, metals, chemicals and scrap metals, then this is your seaport of choice.
It is because this port handles such cargoes.
· Port of Novorossiysk
It is in the Black Sea and one of the most popular ports in Russia.
If you are importing grains, general or dry bulk cargo, then this is the port of choice.
Another factor that you can consider is the storage facility at the port.
Its warehouse covers an area of 62 square kilometers.
Also, it has an additional refrigerated warehouse covering a space of 0.416 hectares.
Therefore, you don’t have to worry when it comes to shipping from China to the Port of Novorossiysk.
And, by the way, with its six terminals, your cargo will be handled quickly.
Now, with all these in mind, let’s have a quick overview of the shipping distance from China to Russia.
I will also walk you through the estimated time for each route.
Remember, the sea route and time estimate are critical when planning for your business.
Let’s have a look.
Shipping Routes from China to Russia
Below are some of the most popular shipping routes you can consider when importing from China to Russia.
Evergreen Shipping Company
· Jinan Port to Port of Vladivostok
With this route, your cargo will cover a distance of 1572nm in 7 days.
It is the shortest sea route between Russia and China.
Sea route from China to Russia – Photo Credits: Ports.com
Your shipment will start at the Jinan port in China proceeding to the Bo Hai Sea then, to the Yellow Sea.
It will head to the Sea of Japan before docking at the port of Vladivostok in Russia.
Other options you may include:
- Port of Shanghai, China to Port of Vladivostok, Russia, which takes about five days
- Mawei Port in China to Port of Vladivostok in Russia, which takes about seven days
- Port of Shanghai to Port of Vinino, taking about seven days
In short, you can use the Ports.com website to estimate sea routes from China to Russia.
As you go about this process, you must consider the distance from China to Russia depending on the sea route.
For instance, ocean freight from any port in China to St. Petersburg or Belomorsk Ports in Russia will take between 50 to 60 days.
In fact, these are some of the longest routes that may not be economically viable.
Remember, in such cases; you will pay more.
Again here, you should discuss this with your freight forwarder.
It will help you find a shorter and cost-effective sea route from China to Russia.
2.4. Air freight from China to Russia
Choosing an air freight for shipping your cargo from China to Russia is a guarantee that your goods will arrive faster.
You might consider selecting this mode of shipment if you want to import expensive items.
Also, if you want a sample of your product, this is the sure way of having it in a matter of hours.
The secret that you should know is that Russia has many airports that are of international standards.
They will help you connect to China and have your shipment quickly.
Some of these airports include:
· Sheremetyevo Airport
Sheremetyevo airport is located in the Molzhaninovslay district in the northern administrative region of Okung.
It is 29 km northwest of Moscow
With this airport, you don’t have to get worried about how your goods will reach you.
There is an infrastructure in place such as roads and railway line allowing you to connect to other regions.
You can also access the airport via the leningredskoyo highway.
Not forgetting the availability of a toll road that connects the airport to the Moscow Automobile ring road.
What about the amount of cargo the port has handled?
Well, in 2014 a total of 217,829 tons of shipload was processed at the port.
While in 2017, it managed 260,000 tons of cargo.
· Domodedovo Airport
It is 42 km southeast of Moscow.
East line group operates this port.
Best serves Moscow and its environs.
You don’t have to worry if you are shipping into the interior areas of Russia.
It is because other modes of transport serve the airport.
This includes a railway line that connects the airport to the pareletsky railway station.
It is also connected by road to the junction of Moscow ring road and Kashirskage highway through a 52km four-lane freeway.
It is one of the largest airports when it comes to cargo traffic and second busiest airport.
· Vnukovo Airport
Being the 3rd busiest airport in Russia, it is 28 km southwest of Moscow.
The airport is as an alternate airport during the fog season.
It is due to its location and architectural design.
You can use this airport if you are shipping to Moscow or its environs.
You don’t have to worry if your shipment is destined for far off places.
This is because it is connected by rail to kryersky rail terminal.
Current renovation and expansion will enable it to serve its customers better since at the moment it is served by one terminal.
2.5. Sea-rail Shipping from China to Russia
The main aim of sea-rail shipping from China to Russia is to cut on importation costs.
Now, how does it work?
First, you can ship the cargo to Yingkou in China.
Then arrange for rail freight from Yingkou to Manchuria and any inland city in Russia through Zabaikalsk.
Two, ship goods to Vostochny or St. Petersburg port, then use rail freight to transport cargo to inland cities.
Of course, this is possible due to the existing transport system in Russia.
In most cases, you should use sea-rail shipping from China to Russia for container or cargo less than 1500kg.
2.6 Cost of Shipping from China to Russia
The cost of shipping from China to Russia depends on many factors such as:
- Mode of shipping; you can choose air, sea, road or train
- Type of cargo; size and whether the cargo requires special handling or not
Here, I am not going to discuss these factors again.
Already, this guide covers how they affect the cost of shipping from China to Russia.
In this section, the main focus will be on the approximate cost of shipping under various categories.
Let’s have a quick look at the cost of shipping from China to Russia:
i. Air freight from China to Russia – rates vary between $2.5 and $5 per kg.
ii. Sea freight from China to Russia – rates range from $1 to $18 per cubic meter
iii. Drop shipping from China to Russia – rates range from $1 to $5 per kilogram
iv. Door to door container shipping from China to Russia – rates are between $10 and $30 per short ton.
v. Railway shipping from China to Russia – rates vary from $1 to $5 per kilogram
Furthermore, you can estimate the cost of shipping from China to Russia using various free online calculators.
You can access the freight calculator fromWorld Freight Rates.
Please note: Estimations here depend on average rates other players in the industry charge.
To get an accurate shipping cost from China to Russia, contact us here at Panda.