When you’re running an eCommerce business, it’s quite common for most of your suppliers to be located in China. As you’ll need to ship from China to US, you must know the ins and outs of the process or find someone who does.
First, you should know the three main shipping methods for delivering goods from China to the US. Importers use all three to receive products manufactured in China. Ranked by their speed, the three options are:
As you can tell from its name, express shipping is the fastest option. Meanwhile, air freight and sea freight can take quite a bit longer. That said, each of these shipping methods can benefit your eCommerce business in specific scenarios. Let’s review each one.
1. Express Shipping
Since express shipping is the fastest option, it is also the most expensive one. And the best express shipping carriers are Ups, FedEx, TNT and DHL. Now, with express shipping, you can receive your packages in less than five days. Typically, importers use this option when they need to receive a shipment especially quickly. For instance, during the holiday season, you might be close to running out of your best-selling product. Therefore, you need to fly in more of that product as quickly as possible to capitalize on the high demand.
Consequently, you should only use express shipping when you really need it. When deciding whether to use this option. You want to calculate your extra cost per unit shipped. If you stand to make more money by getting the product in faster, go ahead and use this option.
Typically, reputable companies like DHL, UPS, and FedEx offer express shipping options. They have the most experience with such matters, and they can even fly goods in on a day’s notice. Although, the faster you need the product the more expensive your shipping will be. After all, a lot of preparation goes into getting these goods through the airports. You’ll need to expedite all the relevant customs documents and monitoring procedures in China.
Express shipping usually takes 4 to 7 days. If your product has a high profit margin, you might want to use this option to get your product on the shelves as quickly as possible.Here the average shipping times for express shipping to the US. depending on the carrier. EMS takes 3 to 16 days, DHL takes 1 to 4 days, FedEx takes 1 to 5 days, and UPS takes 1 to 5 days as well.
2. Air Freight
The difference between air freight and express shipping is simply that air freight is not expedited. Shipping companies will still use the same methods. Fortunately, you won’t have to pay extra to receive these services because you won’t be in a rush. Air freight is the most economical option for shipments that weigh between 400 lbs and 1200 lbs. And that price is 30% to 40% cheaper than express. You get the best of both worlds fast shipping and lower pricing
That said, you still need to understand the nature of what you are shipping so that you can complete your orders appropriately. You need to be aware of which regulations apply to your shipment.
Air Freight is quite like express freight. However, your regular air freight shipment won’t be a priority because you did not pay the extra fees. There is a wide range in shipping times with air freight. Anywhere between 7 and 15 days.
Since Sea Freight is best suited for larger loads, sea freight companies will charge you per container. In April ,2022, You can normally expect to pay $9,000-$10,000 for a 40ft standard container, shipping from China to US. That might seem expensive, but if your load weighs more than 5,000kg, shipping by sea freight becomes the best option by far.
With sea freight, there are a variety of ways for you to reduce costs. For instance, you can choose the right container type, port, and insurance to save money. Not to mention, sea freight is cheaper during the off-season. Using a full-container load is usually cheaper and faster, so keep that in mind. If you don’t use a full container, you’ll need to pay extra to deload the container at the port.
Lately, we’ve seen numerous port closures in China due to the coronavirus. This has had a domino effect on all aspects of shipping, but it has harmed sea freight the most. Nowadays, Sea freight to the west coast of US is 15+ days.Sea freight to the east coast is going to be about 30+ days.
In case you want to ship sea freight to the east coast, you might be better off receiving your goods from a port on the west coast and sending them to your destination by truck or by rail.
Parcel from China