Chapter 4: Ways of Shipping from China to United Kingdom (UK)
Several factors come into play before one decides on which mode to use when shipping from China to UK.
The goods can either be shipped via air or the sea.
It will all depend on the nature of goods.
Of course, the urgency of the commodity will determine the mode of shipping.
The perishable goods requiring very short duration can use air transportation while those that require long duration can use sea transportation.
Panda prides herself with on time delivery of the goods both at the port and at the inland destination.
This means that Panda will ensure that the customer receives the goods at the convenient place.
4.1. Courier from China to UK
The courier services are known to give bulk service on every process involved in the importation. They will provide door to door services.
The importer will only enter into an agreement with Courier Company and they shall ensure that the good is delivered to the importer’s door step.
Most trusted courier companies for UK to China shipment may include: DHL, FedEx, UPS and TNT.
Courier shipping from China to UK
4.2. Sea Freight Shipping from China to UK
China is about 7,775 km away from the United Kingdom but traversing this distance may take longer owing to the sea routes defined by water bodies.
Sea freight is determined by the location of ports to be used and the nature of consignment to be transported.
Very bulky consignment is normally shipped via sea.
Although it takes time to reach the final destination, it has proven to be the cheapest ever.
Before choosing this shipment method, he/she must be well acquainted with different ports both in China and United Kingdom.
Sea freight to U.K.
· Sea Ports in China
China has so many sea ports.
The busiest sea ports include:
- Fang Chenggang
- Taizhou (North of Wenzhou)
- Taizhou (South of Wenzhou)
- Yantai Haikou
Note: You should ship your goods to a convenient sea port that allows you to easily ship from China to U.K.
· Sea Ports in UK
The majority of the UK ports are owned by five companies namely:
i. Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH)
ii. Forth Ports
iii. Associated British Ports (ABP)
iv. Peel Group
v. PD Port
Some of the major ports include;
Main container sea ports – Photo courtesy: Shippo
· Port of Felixstowe
It is located in Suffolk and is the Britain’s largest container ports.
It is rated as the largest in Europe.
When importing from China to UK, this port is centrally positioned for quick distribution within the land of the United Kingdom.
Its capacity is equivalent to 3.5 million twenty foot containers every year.
It runs services with 365 other ports in the world.
· Port of Southampton
This is located in the South of England and handle mostly full container loads.
In case there is a haulage cost to be incurred due to re-routing the container to Hampire based ports, Port of Southampton stands to be the best in saving such costs.
Occasionally, it can also handle the less than container loads from suppliers in Asia.
This port is rated as the UK’s second largest container terminal which can handle over 1.5 million containers in a year.
· Port of Tilbury
Situated on the banks of the River Thames in Essex.
The Port of Tilbury operates the London Container Terminal and is known as the biggest terminal for the refrigerated containers in Europe.
It has an installation of 1,400 reefer plugs on terminal with a 25,000 pallet space cold storage facility.
· Port of Grangemouth
It is located midway between Edinburgh and Glasgow and is the Scotland’s largest container port in the middle of Scotland’s industrial sector.
This is the main container terminal in Scotland and handles averagely 150,000 containers every year.
The beauty of this port is that it links the national motorway network and the railway.
This is the only Port in UK that does more exportation that importation.
· London Gateway Port
This is one of the newest ports in the United Kingdom.
It is situated in London on the River Thames.
It enjoys a lot of advantages due to the fact that it is located in the major city with high business exercises.
It is known to have the largest logistics park in Europe.
Its location helps in saving on the haulage cost for those who live within the city since you can easily walk into the port and collect the consignment.
Other ports in the United Kingdom may also include port of ; Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol, Thame sport, Aberdeen, Bradford, Cardiff, Coventry, Dundee, Derby, Durham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hull, Ipswich, Leicester, New castle Upon Yyne, Nottingham, Northampton, Newport, Norwich, Oxford, Preston, Plymouth, Swindon, Sunderland, Stoke on trent, Sheffield, Swansea, Stockport, Telford, Watford, Worcester
· Sea Routes from China to UK
Ships leaving China to other parts of the world can only traverse three routes.
The routes include;
- Indian Ocean
Different sea routes
Let’s look at these three routes:
- Atlantic Route from China to U.K.
When a vessel takes the Atlantic route, the ships transverse the southern direction from China, and then sail through the Indian Ocean to the Cape of Good Hope.
From here, the vessel can go United Kingdom, Western Europe, and the East Coast of the U.S., the Suez Canal, the Gulf and the Mediterranean area.
- Pacific Route from China to U.K.
When the Pacific route is used, the ship will follow the southern direction of the East China Sea.
Then, it goes northward via the Sea of Japan passing through Okhotsk to enter North Pacific Ocean.
Through this route, the ship reaches the following destination; the west of the U.S., west of Latin America, New Zealand, western Canada and Australia.
- Indian Ocean Route from China to U.K.
The last route is the Indian Ocean, which is mostly used to ship oil.
This route enables goods from China to reach East Africa, Persian Gulf, Western Europe, United Kingdom and North America by setting sail in the direction of the Cape of Good Hope.
· Shipping Companies from China to U.K.
United Kingdom shares most shipping companies with those taking consignments to the neighboring European countries.
MSC Shipping company
Depending on the shipping rate and the shipping time, the shipping company is chosen appropriately.
When one requires medium shipping rates and medium transit time, the following companies will be recommended; COSCO and KLINE.
For low shipping rates and long transit time; MSC, CSCL, PIL, ZIM, WANHAI, MISC will do.
While for high shipping rates and less transit time, you can consider APL, CMA, HMM or MSK.
· Paper Work During Shipping from China to United Kingdom (UK)
The time taken for the consignment to reach its final destination is greatly determined by the availability of the documents for importation.
Different authorities will require different types of documents.
Once the authenticity of all the import documents is conformed, the importer gets the consignment on time without any delays.
Basically, two sets of documents are important during shipment; one set is verified at the departure port and the other set at the destination port.
In an event that the importer chooses to use an agent, the FOB will have to be bought by him to authorize the supplier to process all the necessary documentation.
In this case, the importer will have the obligation to handle clearance of the commodity at the destination port.
In any international importation, the key documents needed when doing shipment will include:
- Packing list
- Commercial invoice
- Carrier’s bill of Lading
And, any other required documents from the authority depending on the good imported.
At times, the agents may not inform the importer when the goods arrive at the destination port.
Hence, it is important that the importer be well equipped with all the necessary documents.
Besides, the importer should have a good track of the ship movement to estimate the exact arrival date.
For any international shipping, packing list and commercial invoice are mandatory.
Let’s have a quick overview of these documents:
· Packing list
This indicates all the contents in the container.
Descriptions such as:
- Different types of the products
- Quantity per type of the products
- Number of the products
- Volume are all indicated in the packing list
This will also be helpful at the destination port.
You will use it to verify the goods you’ll receive.
· A Commercial Invoice
It indicates the actual types of the products, their order values and the consignee and is used by the customs to calculate the custom duties.
In other words, commercial invoice is a custom declaration document.
Since it is a declaration document, the following must be contained inside it;
- Signature and names certifying the actual commodities being imported
- Weight, pieces
- Information regarding goods to be shipped, such as country of origin
- Name and signature of the sender
- Specification of the goods
- Order number
- Invoice date
- VAT number
- Invoice number
- Shipper information
· Bill of Entry
This is part of a clearance document to be presented at the port of entry.
The importer will authenticate this document by filing and appending signature on it.
It is usually filled and signed within the first thirty days when the goods arrive at the customs location.
A custom official can only give a ‘pass out order’ document after doing an assessment and ensuring the bill of entry is fully filled and signed.
Upon receipt of the ‘pass out order’ from the customs official, the consignment is free to be taken to the final destination.
· Insurance Certificate
When the goods arrive at the destination port insurance certificate will be required as part clearance procedure.
It assists the customs official in differentiating whether the imported good selling price is part of the insurance or not.
This is vital in coming up with the import duty – you’ll use it to assess value of goods.
· Technical Write Up
This is used mostly in machine importation.
During value assessment, the customs official uses this document to come up with the recent market value of the machinery.
This document will explain in literature form the use of such equipment and the literature must be attached alongside other clearance documents.
It implies that, this document type is only needed for specific goods.
· Test Report
Due to standards of different countries, some goods will require the test results showing the conformity of the imported product to the country’s standard.
At the port of entry, customs official usually takes a specific commodity and gives to an authorized government laboratory to test if its quality conforms to the set standards.
If the test results indicate that the quality is acceptable, the goods can be cleared otherwise it will be rejected.
· Airway bill /Bill of Lading
This is critically important right from the port of departure.
It shows the services being offered by the freight forwarder to the shipper.
With this document, the carrier and the driver can get accurate information to be used to process the invoice and the freight shipment.
Normally, bill of lading is given at the point of the collection to the carrier and its copy attached to the package.
In case of any damage or loss, bill of lading will be very helpful as it will act as a proof of ownership anytime claims of compensation are made.
- Special reference numbers or purchase orders
- Names and addresses
- Description of items and packaging type
- Department of transportation hazardous material designation
- Special instructions
4.3. Air Freight from China to UK
The fastest way to ensure the cargo reaches the United Kingdom from China is via air freight.
Although it is the fastest, it is also restricted by a number of factors.
Some huge consignments cannot be carried via air and hence has to undergo sea transportation.
One may wonder why many prefer air freight to sea freight.
The reasons are so many, but the most common one is the shortest delivery time.
Also, the air freight agencies use shortest routes to the destination airport.
It depends on the urgency of the cargo.
A factor of cost effectiveness also comes into play due to the minimal point of contact.
That is, one freight broker easily handles all the logistics which saves time and money.
Also, the consignment is insured for risk reduction and tracking and hence its safety is highly guaranteed.
To use air freight from China to UK, you need to know the location of various airports.
And, that’s what you’re going to learn next.
· Main Airports in China
China being an industrialized country has several airports situated in different towns to ensure easy movement of goods to the nearest airport.
Air China Cargo
The busiest main airports in China include:
- Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport
- Taiyuan Wusu International Airport
- Kunming Changshui International Airport
- Beijing Capital International Airport
- Shanghai Pudong International Airport
- Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport
- Hong Kong International Airport
- Xian Xianyang International Airport
- Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport
- Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport
- Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport
- Changsha Huanghua International Airport
- Qingdao Liuting International Airport
- Wuhan Tianhe International Airport
- Haikou Meilan International Airport
- ÜrümqiDiwopu International Airport
- Shijiazhuang Zhengding International Airport
- Tianjin Binhai International Airport
- Phoenix International Airport
- Harbin Taiping International Airport
- Guiyang Longdongbao International Airport
- Lanzhou Zhongchuan International Airport
- Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport
- XishuangbannaGasa Airport
Apart from this, you should know the main airport where you’ll deliver the cargo.
Now, let’s shift to the United Kingdom.
· Main airports in United Kingdom
United Kingdom has the greatest connection to the whole world.
Lots of business activities take place via her airports.
Here, the United Kingdom encompasses Scotland, England, Wales or Northern Ireland.
Main airports in UK
On reaching the United Kingdom, the cargo plane can use any of the following airports depending on where the consignment on board is to be delivered.
UK therefore have got high standard airport for effective operations which may include;-
- London Heathrow
- London Gatwick
- Manchester Airport
- London Stansted
- London Luton
- Edinburgh Airport
- Birmingham Airport
- Glasgow Airport
- Bristol Airport
- Newcastle Airport
- East Midlands Airport
- Belfast Airport
- London Airport
- Liverpool Airport
- Aberdeen Airport
- Leeds Bradford Airport
- Belfast Airport
- Southampton Airport
- Jersey Airport
- London Airport
- Guernsey Airport
- Doncaster Sheffield Airport
- Exeter Airport
- Isle of Man Airport
- Bournemouth Airport
- Inverness Airport
- Glasgow Airport
- Norwich Airport
- Derry Airport
- Sumburgh Airport
- Newquay Airport
- Humberside Airport
- Durham Airport
But, how will your cargo move from an airport in China to the United Kingdom?
Cargo Planes from China to UK
Since there is a business relationship between China and UK, there are several cargo planes making this possible.
Some of the cargo planes using this network include; China Southern, Air China, DHL.
4.3. China to U.K. Door to Door Shipping
Door to door transit may take a junk of time, but it is important to know what it is.
It is also an effective way of importing from China to U.K.
In fact, in door to door shipping from China to U.K., the freight forwarder will handle everything for you.
The process involves the following main stages:
· Step 1: Source Goods from Supplier
Once the supplier has finished production of the goods, they will be in the warehouse waiting to be collected depending on the agreement.
The supplier may transport the good to the port.
Or, if one operates on the EXW shipping terms, then he/she will take the full responsibility of organizing the transportation to the port.
Packing Shihang copper nickel pipes
In such cases, the supplier will always leave the finished commodity in the factory for collection.
All these transit times between the suppliers to the departure port takes time.
A lot is involved, especially where the road transport is involved before the port.
· Step 2: Goods Arrive at Port of Origin
From the factory, the cargo/goods go to the port of origin in China/
They then undergo different processes before loading ready for shipping
The processes within 7 days may include; custom clearance, loading into the container, moving the container to the quay and finally loading onto the ship.
· Step 3: Shipping from China to the U.K.
Depending on the nature of goods, you can use air freight or sea freight.
For air freight, the cargo will only take a few days.
However, for ocean freight, it will take a number of days.
I hope you remember what I had indicated earlier.
· Step 4: Arrival at Port of Destination in the United Kingdom
Once the cargo/goods arrive in the U.K., it will undergo through various procedures.
It will include custom clearance, inspection, offloading and a bit of paperwork.
After this, the cargo/goods will be ready for the next procedures.
That is, the freight forwarder will arrange for transportation of the goods/cargo to your door step.
Door to door shipping
But, I know you could be asking yourself this question:
How long does door to door shipping from China to UK take?
From all the processes, important to note that the total time to ship a commodity from China to United Kingdom i.e. Wales, England or Scotland will be approximately 6 weeks.
However, for ocean freight, it will obviously take more days.
As a general rule, you should add about 7 days from the time the consignment leaves the manufacturer’s premises.
However, at BanSar, we can reduce this time frame.
Talk to us today, and we will handle all your door to door shipping from China to UK.