Sea shipping from China to UK
How many modes of transportation are there from China to the UK?
Full Container Load (FCL)
FCL refers to when the quantity of your goods is large enough that it can be put in at least one container. In this case, the freight is calculated on an FCL basis. FCL shipment will be loaded and sealed at origin by your supplier, then shipped to your final destination.
When it comes to size, there are three types of containers 20 ft. (33 CBM), 40 ft. (66 CBM) and a 40 ft. high cube container (76 CBM).
The 20 ft. containers are designed to carry more weight such as minerals, metals, machinery, sugar, paper, cement, etc., while the 40 ft. containers are designed to carry voluminous cargo rather than heavy cargo, for example, furniture, steel pipes, paper scrap, cotton, tobacco, etc.
Note that when FCL goods arrive at an American port, it can only be delivered by truck due to its large size.
• Shipment Type – LCL/FCL
Less Than Container Load (LCL)
If the quantity of your goods is small and its volume is less than 15CBM, the freight forwarder will help you ship your goods by LCL. This enables importers to ship smaller amounts of cargo, which doesn’t have the right volume to make Full Container Load a viable option. This means your cargo is combined with other shipping cargos for the same destination.
When LCL goods arrive at ports, they can be delivered by truck or by express companies because of their small size and relative flexibility. LCL uses CBM (Cubic Meter) as measurement unit to calculate the freight cost.
Air Freight from China to the UK
• Air Products
Air transportation is suitable for goods that are urgent in time, or the unit price of the goods is high, but the quantity of the goods is small (300-500kg).
Shipping time for air freight is represented by the time required for booking shipping space, flight time, and local delivery time in the UK.
With this mode of transportation, the delivery time and price are more flexible than sea freight because you can choose non-stop transfer or charter services, with different airline routes. In general, experienced freight forwarders will divide the air freight from China to the UK into three categories:
a) Economic air freight: Delivery time is 6-16 days, economical price, suitable for goods with low time requirements (no dangerous goods, oversized or temperature-controlled goods).
b) Standard air freight: delivery time is 3-8 days, reasonable price, and a shorter time.
c) Emergency air freight: Delivery time is 4-5 days, speed priority, suitable for time sensitive goods (perishables).
Express Shipping from China to the UK
How can you make sure that your shipment is delivered on time?
Sometimes the delivery time can differ with a day or two, but in general is always fixed, and no freight forwarder can offer faster shipping than others.
Here is a list with things you can do to avoid getting your shipment delayed:
a. The declared customs value must match your commercial invoice and bill of lading. Always make sure that that information is correct.)
b. Make your orders according to the FOB terms, and make sure your supplier prepares all the documents in time (export clearance documents).
c. Don’t wait until the last day your goods are ready to ship. Ask your forwarder to contact your supplier a few days before.)
d. Buy a customs bond with at least one month before the goods arrive in the UK port.
e. Always ask you supplier, and be specific, to use high-quality packaging, to prevent your goods from being repacked before shipment.
f. In order for your shipping documents to be completed in time, always pay the balance and freight cost on time.)
You can also consider splitting your shipping in two, if you are running late. One part (let’s say 20%) is delivered by air, while the rest (80%) is shipped by sea. Thus, you can stock up just one week after the production run is completed.
Shipping to Amazon UK
With the continuous rise of e-commerce business, shipping from China to Amazon in the UK has become very popular. But this process is not simple; every link is directly related to the profit of your Amazon business.
Of course, you can entrust your supplier to ship the goods directly to your Amazon address, which looks simple and convenient, but they will also have to contact a Chinese freight forwarder to transport your goods. The difference in the middle is also a large fee, and when you ask about the status of your goods, they often respond slowly.
In the following, we will mainly share what you should know when you choose to use freight forwarding, or what kind of requirements can you ask them.
1. Require picking-up or to consolidate your goods
In order to make it as convenient as possible, your freight forwarder will contact your supplier, pick up the goods to their own warehouse, and help you store them until you need them. Even if your goods are not at the same address, they will collect them separately, and then send them to you in a unified package, which is a time-saving and labor-saving choice.
2. Product/goods inspection
When doing Amazon business, your reputation and free from damage products is what matters. When you are shipping from China to the UK you will need a cargo agent to do one last inspection of your goods (in China). All requirements can be met, from the inspection of the outer box, to the quantity, quality, and even product photos or other needs. Therefore, you need to keep a clear line of communication with the freight forwarder as much as possible to ensure that your products are delivered to the Amazon center safely and in time.
3. Amazon preparation services such as labeling
If you are a new e-commerce seller, then you need to rely on the additional services of a freight forwarder because Amazon products always have their own rules.
Cargo agents often have years of experience and will ensure that your product meets Amazon’s requirements. And doing these preparations in advance, such as FNSKU labeling, packaging, poly bagging, bubble wrap, and so on, in the Chinese warehouse, will save your costs greatly.
4. Choose your shipping method.
You should choose the mode of transportation of your goods according to the weight, size and the delivery time.
When you go to Amazon in the UK, you should understand the advantages and disadvantages of each mode of transportation, whether it is air, sea, or express, or let your freight forwarder recommend it to you, so you won’t lose money and valuable time.
Customs clearance and various documents may sound complicated, but as an Amazon seller, you should focus on improving your Amazon business, and handing these shipping burdens to a reliable Chinese freight forwarder for shipping from China to the UK, is really the best choice!