Shipping from China to UK

Shipping from china to uk involves many factors such as location, size of cargo, mode of transport (air, sea, ground – standard or express) and many more.In 2020 the UK imported nearly $65 billion worth of goods from China, making it China’s ninth largest export trading partner in the world. The UK is also China’s third largest export destination in Europe, after Germany and the Netherlands.Other factors affect Shipping from china to uk, including location, size and shipping method: FCL by sea, LCL by sea, air or express.

This guide is designed to answer all your questions about delivery from china to uk. It covers everything from common methods, timelines and costs. Read on to find out why we’re quickly becoming the shipping agent of choice for retail, high-growth e-commerce brands, and FBA

shipping from china to uk
shipping from china to uk
How to Ship Products Shipping from china to uk ? From China to Amazon UK Choose Air Or Sea? Shipping Terms Explained

Shipping From China To UK

shipping from china to uk

What is the best way to shipping from china to uk?

Importers who manufacture in mainland China and sell in the UK have a variety of shipping options to choose from: express, air, sea, road and rail. We’ll go into detail about each method in this article, including time and cost.Whichever method you choose, the most reliable way to ensure safe, timely and hassle-free delivery is to ship to the UK through a freight forwarder, Thanks to our large number of agreements with global airlines and freighters serving the UK from China, we can save you a lot of money without the logistical requirements that are overly complicated for us.

Shipping from China to the the UK doesn’t have to be a hassle – it can actually be quite simple. Numerous options exist for you to select from, enabling you to tailor your choice according to your individual requirements.

Air freight is the fastest and affordable way to transport goods from China to the the UK, Sea freight may be cheaper in terms of costs, but it takes significantly longer. Shipping by air is the most popular option due to its affordability and speed.

We will now introduce the four main shipping methods available to you as an importer shipping from china to uk.

Sea Shipping From China To UK

Sea freight is the most important mode of transportation for global import and export business. The advantages of low prices, high volume loads, full container loads (FCL) or less than container loads (LCL) make sea freight the first choice for most UK importers.

Sea Shipping From China To UK is the most popular and cheapest shipping route for international goods. It is also a reliable and fast delivery method. If you want to ship goods from China to the UK, you should consider sea shipping as your best option. Sea freight is not only cheaper, but also has a higher delivery rate than air freight.

When shipping from China to the UK, you must carefully choose the port closest to your destination. If you have a Full Container Load (FCL) you can ship it to Felixstowe or Southampton, depending on where your goods are going in the UK. If you have a LCL (Legage Container Load) shipment, you simply ship it to Felixstowe.

UK was the largest export market of goods to China. The total value of the UK import from China reached USD $48.72 billion in 2015, accounting for 11.7% of the total import from China, when shipping cargo from China to the UK , the most popular methods are sea freight, air freight, and rail freight. The three main sea ports in the the UK are Felixstowe, Southampton and London Gateway.

Shipping by sea freight from China to the UK can be done in two ways, LCL or FCL. You’ll need to decide which one is best for your needs and budget. Here are the key points you need to know about each option:

Less than Container Load (LCL): If you are shipping small quantities from China to the UK and find air freight too expensive, you can ship your imported goods via Ocean LCL (LCL).

LCL is a form of container shipping that allows small shipments owned by multiple shippers to share a single container. It saves you the cost of renting and shipping containers from China to the UK as you only pay for the space your cargo takes up.

Full Container Load (FCL): Another way to get your international shipments to their destination is to send them in a full container load. A full case is ideal when your shipment will fill a shipping container, or you can wait until you accumulate enough orders to fill it. Flat pricing per container makes FCL the cheapest way to ship bulk cargo from China to the UK, using one container or even multiple containers.

china to uk shipping
China to uk shipping

Container Shipping Time From China To UK

Sea freight from China to the UK can take anywhere between 25-60 days, depending on the origin and destination, the load, and whether or not the goods are being shipped port-to-port or door-to-door.

  • Guangzhou to Southampton or Felixstowe – 34 days LCL, 46 days FCL
  • Ningbo to Felixstowe – 33 days LCL, 41 days FCL
  • Shanghai to Felixstowe – 36 days LCL, 34 days FCL
  • Shanghai to Southampton – 37 days LCL, 33 days FCL
  • Tianjin to Felixstowe – 59 days LCL, 43 days FCL
  • Dalian to Southampton – 42 days FCL
  • Ningbo to Liverpool or London Gateway – 46 days FCL
  • Ningbo to Southampton – 41 days FCL
  • Qingdao or Xiamen to Southampton – 46 days FCL
  • Shekou to Felixstowe – 37 days FCL
  • Shekou to London Gateway – 38 days FCL
  • Qingdao to Felixstowe – 40 days FCL
  • Qingdao to London Gateway – 42 days FCL
  • Tianjin to Southampton – 38 days FCL
  • Zhongshan to London Gateway – 41 days FCL
  • Zhuhai to Felixstowe – 36 days FCL

Shipping Container Cost From China To Uk

To avoid consolidating your shipments with other carriers’ shipments, you may have to pay for your own container for larger shipments. In fact, if you think your cargo will fill (or almost fill) a container, FCL is your shipping method of choice.

Another way to take advantage of the lower unit cost offered by FCL shipping is to charge shipping until you have enough to fill a container.

Of course, for some companies, this is not possible. For example, you may need to quickly ship small quantities of goods to fulfill customer orders. Suppose you can use the cumulative method. In this case, shipping can save you a lot of money if you have enough shipping to use the FCL service to avoid LCL’s more expensive volumetric rates.

With FCL shipping, you pay a flat fee for using and shipping the container. Your container can be sealed before shipping and the contents will not be over handled. Sea containers are multimodal, so they can be used to transport your cargo from its origin in China to its final destination in the UK. This is an excellent way to reduce the risk of loss or damage during shipping and handover.

Other good reasons to choose FCL freight services include the opportunity to have a container that only holds your cargo and shorter transit times compared to LCL.

cost of shipping 40ft /20ft container from china to uk

Shanghai (↓LOW↓)Shanghai (↑HIGH↑)Ningbo (↓LOW↓)Ningbo (↑HIGH↑)Shenzhen (↓LOW↓)Shenzhen (↑HIGH↑)
Southhampton£ 7,280.80£ 7,492.00£ 7,280.80£ 7,492.00£ 7,280.80£ 7,492.00
Felixstowe£ 7,280.80£ 7,492.00£ 7,280.80£ 7,492.00£ 7,280.80£ 7,492.00
London£ 7,280.80£ 7,492.00£ 7,280.80£ 7,492.00£ 7,280.80£ 7,492.00
cost of shipping 40ft container from china to uk 2022

Top Shipping ports in the UK

  1. The Port of Felixstowe (Port Code: GBFXT) – It is the UK’s largest and busiest container port, handling over 4 million TEUs a year and serving more than 700 ports worldwide.
  2. Port of Southampton (Port Code: GBSOU) – Known as the UK’s busiest deep-water port, this port handles a wide variety of cargo.
  3. The Port of London (Port Code: GBLON) – London is ideally located to reach consumer markets across the UK by road, water and rail.

Other important British ports are: Immingham, Liverpool and Milford.

Air Shipping From China To UK

Maybe the leisurely pace of ocean shipping simply won’t be able to get your shipping from china to uk on time.This is a common reason why companies choose air freight. Shipping your shipments by air reduces transit time from weeks to days. However, this is much more expensive than shipping from China to the UK in a container.

Air freight is usually faster but more expensive than ocean freight. Therefore, the shipping method you choose depends on the size and weight of your shipment, and how fast you want it to reach its destination.

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 UK into three categories:

  • 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).
  • Standard air freight: delivery time is 3-8 days, reasonable price, and a shorter time.
  • Emergency air freight: Delivery time is 4-5 days, speed priority, suitable for time sensitive goods (perishables).
Air Shipping From China To Uk

How Long is Air Freight Transit Time from China to the UK?

Typical transit time for air freight from China to the UK is 4 to 7 days. Of course, the time that goods take in transit is only a fraction of that. Flights are completed within hours, but cargo consolidation (before shipment) and customs clearance upon arrival in the UK take at least a day or two.

  1. Guangzhou to Glasgow – 7 days
  2. Guangzhou or Shanghai to London Heathrow – 5 days
  3. Zhengzhou to London Heathrow – 7 days
  4. Beijing to Manchester – 4 days
  5. Shanghai to Glasgow or Birmingham – 4 days
  6. Shanghai to Manchester – 5 days
  7. Shenzhen to Birmingham – 7 days
  8. Shenzhen to London Heathrow – 4 days
  9. Shenzhen to Manchester – 7 days
  10. Xiamen to London Heathrow – 6 days

How Much To Air Ship From China To UK

Air freight is calculated in kilograms. But do you think there are advantages to being larger and lighter?Then you think too simple. Because major airlines have unified standards: actual weight and volume weight, corresponding to the maximum value. There are two ways to calculate the air freight weight, one is calculated according to the actual weight of the goods, and the other is calculated according to the volume weight.

This shipping method is similar to express delivery. The difference is that express is the volume divided by 5000, air is the volume divided by 6000.Your shipping costs will largely depend on the goods being sent, the demand and the time of year. The table below shows the current prices at the time of writing.

45kg (↓LOW↓)45kg (↑HIGH↑)100kg (↓LOW↓)100kg (↑HIGH↑)200kg (↓LOW↓)200kg (↑HIGH↑)300kg (↓LOW↓)300kg (↑HIGH↑)
£ 4.58£ 6.72£ 3.84£ 4.66£ 3.64£ 3.86£ 3.84£ 3.86
Air freight from China to UK

TOP SHIPPING Airports of Arrival IN THE UK

Situated 11 kilometers southwest of Central Manchester
A £1 billion expansion program is currently underway, and should be complete by 2024
The third-largest airport in the United Kingdom
70 airlines connect Manchester Airport to some 210 international origins and destinations.
The airport operates two runways and a single cargo terminal.
Connected Airports in China: Beijing-Capital.

One of the world’s busiest airports
Situated to the West of Central London
Infrastructure includes an extensive range of modern cargo-handling facilities
Cargo to the value of £133 billion passes through Heathrow airport annually
Offers robust connections to the UK road and rail network
Served by several direct flights to and from airports in China
Connected Airports in China: Shanghai-Pudong. Beijing-Capital, Chengdu, Qingdao, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Zhengzhou.

Situated in Central England, with useful road connections to all UK regions
The airport has been in existence for over 80 years
Annual freight throughput totals more than 8,000 tonnes
No direct flights from China currently in operation
Connected Airports in China: None.

Located 15 kilometers from the center of Glasgow, In Paisley, Renfrewshire
Good road and rail connections for freight headed to Northern English and Scottish regions
Scotland’s Second-busiest airport, after Edinburgh
Eighth-busiest airport in the UK
No current direct flights to or from China are in operation
Connected Airports in China: None

Rail Freight From China To The UK

Rail freight from China to the UK is an eco-friendly alternative to container shipping, offering both LCL and FCL options,The rail transit time from China to the UK is between 18 and 21 days, which is faster than sea freight and much cheaper than air freight.If air freight is expensive and sea freight is slower than expected, you can choose China to UK train transportation. Rail Freight also offers less container load (LCL) and full container load (FCL) shipping options,The good thing about rail transportation is that it is cheaper than air transportation. In other words, it’s an economical way to ship your goods to the UK. Unlike by sea, your goods can be shipped from China to the UK in two to three weeks, depending on the rail route.

Another benefit of rail transport is faster customs procedures. You’ll also explore flexible and diverse services, including customs clearance and customs inspection,All shipments are safe until they reach your preferred destination. Once sealed and loaded onto the train, the package cannot be opened in transit. Delays are rare, but only happen when the train has problems en route. Damaged goods may also cause shipping delays,Rail freight shipping is generally 50 percent cheaper than air freight.

Before committing yourself to it, ensure that you ask your freight forwarder about the current rail freight rates.That’s because a good freight forwarder can give you a breakdown o all the costs involved in sourcing products from a Chinese supplier.

Rail Freight from China to the UK is a cost-effective and efficient shipping method. It helps avoid the complexities of customs, making it a viable solution for those seeking a quick and straightforward approach. The rail freight service from China to London not only boasts speed but is also cost-effective, making it an attractive option for many.

How Long Does It Take from China to the UK by Rail Freight?

The average transit time for Rail Freight from China to the UK is approximately 18-20 days. This method is notably quicker by 7-10 days, providing a more cost-effective way to transport cargo compared to other options.

When compared to sea shipping, which takes 20-30 days, rail freight offers an expedited and economical solution. Therefore, rail freight could potentially revolutionize many industries by providing a faster and more affordable shipping method.

Express Shipping from China to the UK

China Express to UK is a door-to-door service provided by major global couriers such as UPS, DHL and FedEx, ideal for importers sending smaller packages, such as B. samples from your factory.As the name suggests, the main advantage of express delivery from China to the UK is speed.

Other advantages of China Express to UK include delivery of goods directly from your factory to your final destination and all logistics and customs clearance requirements are included in the cost.Of course, all this speed and convenience makes it the most expensive shipping option in China.

Advantages of express shipping

Expedited shipping is the fastest and easiest way to ship from China to the UK compared to sea or air. With Express, you also have the option to track your shipments at any time and plan accordingly.
Find a cheap shipping company and wait for your shipment to reach you.

Express service Process

Each carrier has its own operating procedures. Here is only the process of our company. I hope something inspires you.

  1. Fill out the quotation with your shipping information and submit.
  2. We will reply within 12 hours.
  3. If you don’t like our terms, we can discuss further until we reach an agreement.
  4. After contacting your supplier and double-checking everything, we booked the location with the carrier.
  5. You don’t need to worry about domestic shipment to our warehouse. We or your supplier will arrange this.
  6. We will tell you the billable weight.
  7. You are responsible for the cost.
  8. Your shipment will be handed over to a courier company (DHL, FedEx, UPS, etc.)
  9. Wait for your goods to be delivered to your door.

We will track your shipment and keep you informed until you receive it. Overall, we can help you reduce costs, improve service, minimize delays and improve performance.

Types of products that can be couriered

All courier companies use air freight to transport goods, so the delivery time and price are also flexible, similar to air freight.
There are many well-known express companies that regulate express companies such as FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc.

Express shipping means urgent and faster delivery at higher prices and rates than other shipping methods. Also, the cost of expedited shipping increases during the holidays but drops sharply during the off-season.

To save money, when you are looking for shipping solutions from China to UK, a freight forwarder is the best choice as they can find you a courier company that can give you a reasonable price and they can also provide you discount price. Couldn’t find it on their official website.

  • Cheap delivery: The delivery time is 6-16 days, and the price is cheap, suitable for goods with short time requirements (no dangerous goods, oversized pieces or temperature controlled goods).
  • Standard Delivery: Delivery time is 3-8 days, reasonable price and shorter time.
  • Express: The delivery time is 4-5 days, speed is the priority, suitable for time-sensitive goods (perishable goods).

Express has many advantages, the unit price is usually higher than sea and air, but it all depends on your product needs.

If your goods are samples, small parcels or even letters, please do not hesitate to choose express delivery. This method is quick and easy and will be on your doorstep in no time.

Your freight forwarder can help you find the best solution for shipping from China to the UK, saving you money and time even if your shipment is slightly larger but should be less than 500kg.

DHL Shipping Time From China To Uk

DHL is one of the fastest air courier shipping modes when shipping from China to the UK. Normally, DHL air courier shipments from China to the UK can arrive in as quickly as 3-4 days. This includes delivery all the way to your address in the UK

Trucking Freight From China To The UK

One of the best advantages about Road Freight Trucking is that it’s fast, and the lead time is short. In fact, when you compare it to air freight, you’ll find that the transit time for pickup and door delivery is shorter,From a shipping cost perspective, road freight trucking is 20% cheaper than air freight. When you take into account the overall lead time for road freight trucking, you’ll see how relatively advantageous it is, especially in terms of short-term transfer in the early stage.

Road freight trucking is suitable for large batches of time-sensitive goods or single-piece goods whose size and weight exceed the acceptable range of the rail freight train.

How Long Does It Takes By Road Truck Freight From China To UK

Road Freight FromToTimevia Chinese border
Shenzhen and All South China citiesUK18-20 DAYAlashankou, Xinjiang
Shenzhen and All South China citiesUK18-20 DAYAlashankou, Xinjiang
Shenzhen and All South China citiesUK18-20 DAYBathku,Xinjiang

Truck Freight Route From China To UK

We will start with one of the most common routes, which is from Shanghai to Hamburg. This route goes through Kazakhstan and Russia, belaurs, then Poland. The total distance is around 10,000 kilometers. It takes around 18 to 20 days for this route to be completed in total which means that it can take up to 16 days per kilometer if there are no delays on the way.

Customs Clearance UK

Once your cargo enters a UK port or airport, you will face customs inspection and clearance processes. This is a job that requires prior preparation and experience. The three things you need to know are: Document Checklist, Inspection Process, and HS Codes and Taxes.

Documents to be prepared

  • Commercial Invoice;
  • Packing List;
  • Bill of Lading;
  • Bill of Lading;
  • The customs manifest (cargo manifest) – is describing all the cargo that is transported on the ship;
  • Import license (if required) – this allows specific goods to cross the border of UK;
  • EORI number;
  • Customs Bond;
  • Arrival Notice;
  • Commodity Specific Documentation (Commodity code);
  • C79 form (import tax certificate).

What are the top Imports of UK from China?

China is the top trade partner of the United Kingdom. The UK imports more from China than any other country.

The main items that the UK imports from China are machinery and equipment, chemicals, and food. The largest Chinese export to the UK is machinery and equipment. This includes products such as aircraft, cars, medical devices, and oil and gas equipment. The UK also imports a lot of chemicals from China. These include products used in manufacturing, agriculture, and energy production.

Many items are easily imported from China into the UK, each with its pros and cons. One of the most lucrative imports from China is electronics,Chinese manufacturers not only have the highest quality products in the world, but also have a huge customer base in the UK. This means that the demand for electronics is high, so prices tend to be very low compared to other countries. Another popular Chinese import is clothing.

Chinese manufacturers have been known for their high-quality clothing for many years, which is why British consumers are always on the lookout for new designs and styles,This means that there is always a demand for clothing imported from China, often at a lower price than other countries.

Finally, goods imported from China typically have lower shipping costs due to the high number of container ships traveling between the two countries. This means that anything that can be shipped in bulk, such as electronics or clothing, is often cheaper to buy in China than anywhere else.

door to door shipping from china to uk

Are you planning to ship products from China to the UK but don’t know where to start? You don’t have to worry anymore because FBAFO is ready to help you ship your items. We collect goods from your Chinese suppliers and deliver them to your preferred UK location by air, sea or rail.

As the most trusted freight forwarding company in China, FBAFO provides customized transportation and logistics solutions to all our customers. We also offer Amazon Shipping, DDP Shipping and Express Shipping from China to the UK. We choose the best route to ship your goods from China to the UK.

FBAFO has partnerships with global freight forwarders to ensure reliable and safe deliveries to the UK market. We have strong foreign customs clearance facilities to ensure smooth and efficient shipment of goods. Additionally, we understand all Chinese and UK shipping regulations to ensure full compliance.

Cheap Shipping From China To UK

Shipping rates have been rising and falling. Therefore, when importing from China to the UK, the only way to accurately estimate shipping costs is to get a quote from a freight forwarder. All carrier quotes are based on calculations that take into account the following factors:

  • The demand for, and availability of, freight capacity in the market
  • Fuel costs
  • The type of freight you wish to ship
  • The amount of freight that makes up your shipment
  • The mode of shipping you want to use
  • Your choice of door-to-door, port-to-port, port-to-door, or door-to-port service

There are many other terms that are considered in the carrier’s pricing calculations, so it is not practical to provide real shipping details on this page. However, the following rough guide can at least help you understand the comparative costs of different shipping methods and freight volumes.

While air freight is usually expensive, importing goods under 100kg from China to the UK by air may not cost much more than LCL sea freight,For shipments over 100kg, sea freight is almost certainly cheaper than air freight,FCL shipping is the cheapest way to ship bulk goods from China to the UK. It can sometimes be cheaper than LCL shipping even if your cargo is not full of containers.

For shipments over 100kg but less than 6 pallets, LCL is your most cost-effective shipping option.
Hiring a freight forwarder may not make sense if you plan to ship under 35kg,Most carriers cannot handle such a small load. In any case, the courier company will ship your goods at a cheaper rate.

Freight Forwarders from China to UK

Finding a reliable carrier for your shipment can be a daunting task. What matters is time, money and the success of your shipping from China to the UK. In general, there are a few questions you can ask the carrier or yourself to assess whether they are suitable for your shipment,When Shipping From China To UK, there are many factors that go into mastering your shipment. Finding the right pattern is a good start.

If you are interested in air or ocean freight, be sure to choose a reputable and affordable freight forwarder when requesting a freight quote,With a freight forwarder handling your shipping from China to UK, you’re relieved from mastering all freight details. However, readying yourself for the surge of freight documents and understanding their importance is beneficial.Ensure all paperwork is complete and accurate – an extra few minutes here saves potential trouble later. Keep a freight charges guide at hand to review additional costs or fees, avoiding unnecessary charges during your shipping from China to UK process.

Shipping To China From UK

Transportation from the UK to China encompasses the movement of goods, personnel, and more between the two countries through sea, land, and air transportation. To ensure a smooth and secure delivery, a combination of transportation methods, logistics facilities, and customs procedures are utilized. There are various options available for transporting goods from the UK to China, providing flexibility and convenience.

Sea Freight Shipping from UK to China

Sea freight shipping is a commonly used method, particularly for bulk goods, heavy machinery, and equipment. It allows for the transportation of a large volume of goods to Chinese ports. Land transport plays a crucial role in connecting the UK and China, especially for goods entering the Chinese inland market due to its short distances and convenient transportation conditions.

The shipping time from the UK to China via sea is influenced by several factors, including the chosen route, distance, and weather conditions. Typically, it takes approximately 25 to 35 days for goods to reach major ports in China through ocean shipping. The route taken, such as the Paris Strait, the Malacca Strait, or the Suez Canal, directly impacts the transit time. Additionally, adverse weather conditions can lead to delays or cancellations, thereby extending the overall shipping time.

sea freight forwarder
sea freight forwarder

Air freight from UK to China

For urgent or high-value goods, air freight is a fast and efficient mode of transportation. As globalization and cross-border logistics continue to grow, understanding the shipping time from the UK to China is crucial for UK-based companies engaged in international trade.

For some urgently needed goods or high-value goods, air freight is a faster mode of transportation. Air freight transport time from the UK to China will be shorter than sea freight, usually 3 to 7 days. Unlike sea freight, air freight is more affected by direct distance and flight operation time


Road transport from the UK to China can be carried out by a variety of means, including freight trains, trucks and road bridges. Each method has different operating times and restrictions, resulting in differences in ground shipping times. Border crossing and customs clearance procedures also have an impact on ground shipping times.

Especially for cross-border cargo transportation, border management and customs procedures between some countries may lead to extended land transportation time,Other influencing factors In addition to the transportation methods and related conditions mentioned above, there are some other factors that will affect the transportation time from the UK to China. The reliability and efficiency of transportation service providers have a significant impact on transit times

Choosing an experienced, professional and reliable international logistics company will ensure that the goods reach their destination on time. Seasonal demand changes can also affect shipping times. For example, during certain holidays, cargo transportation may be more congested, resulting in longer transportation times.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.