Sea Freight Shipping From China

We suggest everyone who relates to the logistics business in China should spend a couple of minutes reading this article. You can also contact us since we will provide hands-off services to your business.

The sea freight shipping method is the best price-value one for global buyers when handling business with China suppliers. However, it is a complex topic to decide how to proceed with your products via sea freight shipping.

In this article, you will learn:

  • Third parties on sea freight shipping
  • How to economically load your cargos
  • Documents needed about importing from China
  • Common seaports of China

Third parties on sea freight shipping

Shipping Company

A shipping company will support you in the handle of shipment. They have a big advantage in shipping companies’ own vessels because their mode of operation is through ships.

Custom Broker

A customs broker clears shipments of imported or exported goods. They are responsible for ensuring that the items meet all the regulations, laws, packing, and other requirements that are mandated by law. In addition, they must be certain that all taxes, fees, documentation, and other needs have been fulfilled.

Freight Forwarder

A Freight Forwarder is quite similar to a shipping company but more powerful in some aspects. A freight Forwarder is also an agent in the supply chain whose objective is to organize a freight transport or shipment, acting as an intermediary between the exporter or importer and transport companies. Thus making this process safer, more efficient, and profitable.

Briefly, with a good freight forwarder partnership, you can totally hands-off and focus on your main steps when importing.

How to economically load your cargos

Before we start to go through this chapter, you need to get aware of these two main concepts of LCL and FCL shipping, then we will share with you some tips on the packaging.

Less Than Container Load (LCL) Shipping

Less than Container Load refers to a shipment that will not fill a container. In LCL shipment, you pay for your load to be shipped in a container with one or more loads from other customers of the freight transport provider. LCL is the most reasonable option to use if you cannot fill a 20-foot container due to the cost and convenience.

There’s no need to worry about returning the container after delivery when you are using LCL shipping. Since you’re sharing the container, the shipping container service company is the one that will worry about the likelihood of having return trips booked for that container. Shippers making use of LCL should only be concerned about the load that is being shipped.

Full Container Load (FCL ) Shipping

This is a type of ocean freight. It does not mean you need to have enough cargo that will fill an entire container. The benefit of FCL shipping is that you don’t need to share a container with other shipments. If you are shipping 6 standard pallets in a 20ft container, 12 standard pallets or more in a 40ft container, the cost effective means of shipping such cargo is by making use of FCL shipment and not LCL shipment.

Packaging For Sea Freight Shipping

When selecting your packing materials, it is important to carefully examine the types of packages that are available. You need to take note of import restrictions such as quarantine requirements of the destination countries.

When you are packaging a product for export purposes, you need to consider factors such as:

  • Breakage
  • Weight
  • Moisture, and
  • Pilferage

How a product is packaged depends on the destination and the means of transportation. Your package needs to be designed in such a way that it can handle stress and repeated loading and unloading. When packaging for air shipments, lighter packaging materials must be used. Plain boxes without logos or brand names must be used to avoid theft.

Documents needed about importing from China

Bill of Lading

Bill of Lading (B/L) refers to the ticket that outlines the journey of the cargo from its origin to its destination. It’s synonymous with an airline issuing a ticket to a passenger. The bill of lading is issued by a carrier to a shipper and outlines the method and path of a shipment (irrespective of the path). It acts as a contract for the shipment of goods with the terms of the contract outlined on the back of the bill. It also functions as the receipt for the cargo and as proof of ownership of the goods being shipped.

Commercial Invoice

A commercial invoice is a list of contents that seller provides to the buyer which includes information such as the product name, specification, quantity, unit price, total amount, etc. It helps foreign buyers to confirm the goods that are paid for. It’s also useful for the custom clearance and for paying duty and tax when the goods arrived. Despite the fact that the commercial invoice is not a receipt (like bill of landing) for the goods, it is one of the most important documents in import/export trading process.

Packing List(PL)

A PL is a list of the details of the package, it is the supplementary document of the invoice, which details the packing method and packing materials, packing quantity, the specification and the quantity of cargo, the weight and so on. It is used by the importer and the customs to inspect and verify the goods.

The data and content in a Packing list must be consistent with the contents in the bill of lading and other documents as well.

Common seaports of China

Port of Shanghai

This includes Yangshan Deep Water Port & Waigaoqiao Shipping Terminals and it’s been operated by Shanghai International Port (Group) Co., Ltd. The port now handles over 35 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit containers per year and it keeps growing with more plans on the ground to increase its capacity.

Port of Shenzhen

It includes Yantian Port, Shekou Port, Dachan Bay Port, and Chiwan Port, and it is being operated by Shenzhen Yantian Port Holdings and Shenzhen Chiwan Wharf Holdings. The name ‘Port of Shenzhen’ is a collective term that refers to the multitude of ports found in Shenzhen City.

Port of Qingdao

It includes Dagang Port Area and Qianwan Container Terminal. The port is operated by Qingdao Port (Group) Co., Ltd.

Port of Ningbo

It includes Zhenhai Port and Beilun Port and it is being operated by Ningbo Zhoushan Port Group Co., Ltd. It is officially called the Port of Ningbo-Zhoushan since Ningbo and Zhuoshan ports were merged in 2006.

Port of Guangzhou

The port includes Xinsha Port Area, Nansha Terminal, Downtown Port Area, Huangpu Port Area, and it’s operated by Guangzhou Port Group Co., Ltd.

Port of Tianjin

It includes South Port, East Port, and North Port, It is operated by Tianjin Port (Group) Co., Ltd. It is located about 150km southeast of Beijing. The port made headlines in 2015 after various explosions (caused by poor chemical storage) led to damages and loss of lives.

Port of Xiamen

It includes Haicang Port Area and Dongdu Port Area. It is operated by Xiamen Port Holding Group.

Port of Dalian

It includes Dayaowan Port and it’s operated by Dalian Port Group Co., Ltd. The port is located in Liaoning province. It shares a border with North Korea and it’s China’s most northerly ice-free port.

Port of Hong Kong

It includes Kwai Tsing Container Terminals and it’s operated by Modern Terminals Limited, Hongkong International Terminals Limited, China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company, DP World, Asia Container Terminals Ltd. In recent years, its volume of shipping trade has fallen behind Singapore, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. It remains an important port for trade with southeast Asia.

Drop a message to us anytime, if you need a professional logistics service for your business.