China has the world’s second largest economy right after the US and a population of 1.3 billion people. If you want to expand your ecommerce business, then China is a valuable market to go after.
With a fast-growing middle class that continues to spend more money on exported US goods every year, you will see a lot of growth opportunities if you begin marketing your products to Chinese customers.
But how do you prepare your ecommerce company for shipping to China? With more rules and regulations in place than most other countries, shipping to China from the US can be time-consuming, error prone and costly — especially if you’re a small or mid-sized ecommerce business.
In this guide to shipping from the US to China, you’ll learn about the delivery options, rules, transit times and services that can help you expand your ecommerce business in China.
4 US carriers who ship to China
There are many carriers who can ship to China from the US. We recommend working with USPS, UPS, FedEx and DHL because they’re reliable and can get your packages to China within a matter of days. Below we break down the price and transit times for these 4 carriers when shipping a package to China.
|USPS||Priority Mail Express International||~$47||3-5 business days|
|USPS||Priority Mail International||~$33||6-10 business days|
|USPS||First-Class International Service||~$15||11-20 business days|
|UPS||Worldwide Expedited||~$67||2-5 business days|
|UPS||Worldwide Saver||~$73||6-10 business days|
|FedEx||International Priority||~$72||3-5 business days|
|FedEx||International Economy||~$65||6-10 business days|
|DHL||International Express||~$63||3-6 Business Days|
*Note: Only USPS offers flat rates to ship from the US to China. All other prices were calculated using the respective carrier’s pricing calculators for a 2 kg package in December 2019. Exact prices are subject to change.
If you want to save money on shipping and delivery time isn’t a big priority for your customers, USPS is a great option for shipping. Unlike the other carriers, you will only have to pay a flat rate depending on the mail class and package weight. Package dropoff is also convenient as you can drop off packages off at a mailbox or visit a Post Office.
However, one major drawback to using USPS for Canadian shipping is that the packages are transferred to China Post once they arrive in China. This means the tracking number provided by the USPS will no longer work. This can add on a few extra delivery days due to customs clearance.
- Priority Mail Express International
- Priority Mail International
- First-Class International Service
[Read more: USPS China Country Conditions]
When you should ship with USPS
You want the lowest cost and a quick delivery time isn’t a high priority.
UPS is a good option for shipping to China because they can get your packages delivered within 3 to 5 business days. With one of the largest logistics networks in China, they’ll pick up your packages from your warehouse in the US and deliver them to China within a few days.
Unlike USPS, packages are tracked from pickup to delivery through UPS’ tracking system. You don’t have to worry about any packages being transferred to China Post.
Note that UPS can be a more expensive option if you’re sending packages that are over 10 pounds.
- Worldwide Expedited
- Worldwide Saver
When you should ship with UPS
- You want tracking
- You want quicker delivery
FedEx is another great option for Chinese shipping because of their vast logistics network. They can pick up packages in the US and deliver them to Canada overnight or within a few days.
Because of their heavy competition with UPS, the shipping prices can be pretty competitive, which means more money saved for your ecommerce business. They also provide electronic trade documents which can help streamline the documentation process for international shipping.
FedEx can get pricey if you’re shipping heavy items over 10 pounds. If your customers don’t expect quick deliveries, USPS could be a more cost effective option for you.
- International Priority
- International Economy
When you should ship with FedEx
- You want tracking
- You want quicker delivery
[Read more: FedEx China Services]
DHL is considered the leading carrier for overseas shipments and a great option for shipping to China. Their rates are slightly cheaper than UPS or FedEx while offering the same delivery windows. If you want to ship to China, consider DHL as one of your first options when checking shipping prices.
When you should ship with DHL
If you’re sending packages overseas, DHL is a great option.
Handling times, customs, and other delays in China
Compared to other international countries, China has more regulations products imported in from other countries. Due to this, your products could potentially be delayed in their delivery by a few days or weeks depending on handling times and customs checks.
Handling and customs times
Handling times can take a few days to a few weeks depending on the specific airport. Beijing airport, is incredibly busy, and may take the most time to sort through packages. While a smaller, more urban airport, may be quicker.
China is a giant country, and has provinces very far away from central Beijing. If you have a customer in a rural province, we suggest budgeting in more time for transportation. When shipping to China, be sure to let customers know that deliveries can be delayed and do your best to notify them ahead of time.
Local holidays in China, such as Chinese New Year, have a massive impact on the lives of Chinese people. They may take off weeks due to celebrations, and that means some carriers won’t be able to deliver.
Chinese government regulations change from time to time, so make sure you check often about what is allowed and what isn’t, or else you could face a severe delay.
Shipping fees in China
Import taxes in China have decreased in the past few years, which is great news for US companies. China has a tariff rate of 9.3% and can also impose a VAT tax of anywhere from 10% to 16%. This is in line with most other countries.
An easier way to ship to China
If shipping to China sounds complicated, then we have good news: you can make shipping to China easier by working with a 3PL to make the shipping process easier. How so?
3PLs like ShipBob are used by fast-growing ecommerce businesses to turn shipping and warehousing into revenue drivers. With a 3PL, they store your inventory, fulfill your ecommerce orders, offer substantial shipping discounts, provide easier infrastructure for customs forms and taxes, and connect you with other international partners.
So with a 3PL fulfillment logistics for packages going to China, you won’t have to worry about picking and packing orders, managing a warehouse, labor, training and more. Your 3PL handles all of that for you, so you can focus on other areas of your ecommerce business.
Here’s why you should let ShipBob handle your shipping to China:
Outsource shipping to Chinese customers
Learning the regulations for shipping to China takes a lot of time. It can be complicated and a simple mistake could lead to many orders not being delivered, which will cost you time, money and decreased customer satisfaction.
ShipBob provides great and discounted shipping services for shipping to China. We ship orders out from the US to locations in China, all while providing order updates and tracking numbers. You can track every order from the ShipBob dashboard — without having to do any of the work yourself.
Save time and money
By working with ShipBob, you won’t need to manage expensive warehouses, complicated logistics operations, or hire and train labor.
Working with ShipBob turns logistics and warehousing into a revenue driver because you can increase sales and offer the shipping options, transit times, and delivery speeds that customers want. Want to offer an Amazon-like experience? ShipBob makes it happen.
ShipBob handles order fulfillment too. You don’t have to pack boxes, wait for package pickups, or spend time finding and building out warehouse space. Working with ShipBob gives you time back to focus on other growth areas like marketing, customer service and product development.
Work with shipping and fulfillment experts
International commerce is complicated. You don’t have the time to become a certified expert in every aspect of warehousing and logistics and hiring the right team can take months.
That’s why ShipBob is here — we’re staffed by warehousing and logistics professionals who are knowledgeable and up-to-date with the latest industry trends and complexities — so you don’t have to be.
By working with ShipBob as your logistics team, you get years of experience with a team that knows how to ship your packages to China. Plus, we have locations across the world.
Shipping to Canada from the US doesn’t have to be a hassle. It can be complicated, but working with shipping experts makes the process easier than ever before. At ShipBob, we’ve helped many ecommerce businesses expand their international shipping options to help grow their businesses.
Start shipping your orders to China with ShipBob. Fill out the form below to talk to a fulfillment expert today.
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