If you are planning to import products from China, it is essential to understand the process of shipping. Here is a complete guide to shipping from China at the right international freight costs that covers everything you need to know.
Choose the right shipping method
The first step is to choose the right shipping method. The most common methods are air freight, sea freight, and express courier. Each method has its pros and cons, so it is essential to consider the size and weight of your shipment, the time frame, and your budget.
Find a reliable freight forwarder
A freight forwarder is a company that specializes in handling the logistics of shipping goods from one place to another. They can help you with customs clearance, documentation, and other important details. It is essential to find a reliable and experienced freight forwarder to ensure that your goods arrive at their destination safely and on time.
Verify the supplier’s credentials
Before you start shipping from China, it is important to verify the credentials of your supplier. Make sure they are a legitimate company and that they have the necessary licenses and certifications. You can also ask for references or check their online reviews to ensure that they have a good reputation.
Obtain the necessary documents
There are several documents you will need to ship goods from China, including a commercial invoice, packing list, bill of lading, and certificate of origin. Your freight forwarder can help you obtain these documents and ensure that they are accurate and complete.
Package your goods properly
Proper packaging is essential to ensure that your goods arrive at their destination in good condition. Make sure you use sturdy and durable packaging materials and label your packages with clear and accurate information.
Arrange for customs clearance
Customs clearance is the process of getting your goods through customs at the destination country. Your freight forwarder can help you with this process and ensure that all necessary documents are provided to customs officials.
Choose the right incoterm
Incoterms are a set of rules that define the responsibilities of buyers and sellers in international trade. Choosing the right Incoterm is important to ensure that both parties understand their responsibilities and obligations. Some common Incoterms include EXW, FOB, CIF, and DDP.
Shipping goods from China can be risky, and it is important to consider insurance to protect your investment. Your freight forwarder can help you obtain cargo insurance to ensure that your goods are covered in case of loss or damage.
Track your shipment
Once your shipment is on its way, it is important to track its progress and stay informed about any delays or issues. Your freight forwarder should provide you with a tracking number or other tracking information so that you can monitor your shipment’s progress.
Be prepared for unexpected costs
Shipping goods from China can be expensive, and there may be unexpected costs to increase your international freight costs along the way. It is important to budget for these costs and be prepared for additional fees such as customs duties, taxes, and storage fees.
Ship during off-peak period to avoid short notice shipping
Shipping during off-peak periods is a smart strategy to avoid short notice shipping and save money. Off-peak periods, such as during the Chinese New Year holiday, can cause congestion at ports and lead to delays and additional costs.
By planning ahead and scheduling shipments during less busy periods, you can avoid these issues and secure space on the carrier of your choice. This can also help build better relationships with your freight forwarder and carrier by reducing last-minute stress and uncertainty.
Build long-term relationship with Chinese suppliers, freight forwarders and carriers
Building a long-term relationship with Chinese suppliers, freight forwarders, and carriers is essential for successful and efficient shipping from China.
By establishing trust and open communication, you can ensure that your shipments are handled with care, and any issues or challenges can be resolved quickly and effectively. A good relationship can also lead to better pricing and more favourable terms in the future.
To summarize the whole guide for shipping goods from China at the right international freight costs can be a complex process, but with the right preparation and planning, it can be a smooth and successful experience.
Choose the right shipping method, find a reliable freight forwarder, verify the supplier’s credentials, obtain the necessary documents, package your goods properly, arrange for customs clearance, choose the right Incoterm, consider insurance, track your shipment, maintain good relationships and be prepared for unexpected costs.
With these tips in mind, you can import products from China with confidence and success.