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Shipping Method - Air, Sea, Land?

As with most businesses, cost can’t be the only consideration but it is usually a primary and determining factor. After all, we are all in this and making each decision to help our customers and ourselves save or make money.


Different logistics methods can make a vast difference both in transit time and freight charges. Therefore we always need to determine which method will be the most cost effective one.


1. Regular Post


This means normal, regular China Post (or Hong Kong Post) which can take up to 2~5 weeks to arrive. If you can wait, this is the cheapest option for small shipments, like samples and parcels. You may track and trace online, but the information cannot be updated in time.


We don’t recommend this way at most times.


Plus: Pretty economical.


Minus: Unsafe. Lost packages are hard to find.


2. Express courier


Transportation with a courier company will be the most suitable method for most people starting out. Courier company, widely used in China is DHL, UPS, and FedEx. TNT is popular in Europe, but it’s not so popular like the others in China.


With courier service, you get fast delivery times and an online tracking facility. Most courier shipments take just 2~5 business days to arrive in anywhere around the globe.


Courier to America, South America, Southeast Asia and Africa, suggest FedEx


Courier to Southeast Asia, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, suggest DHL


Courier to America, suggest UPS


Please note that the advantages of different courier may vary from different weight. You can contact us for the most suitable courier with your shipment details.


Pluses: Get seamless delivery. All you have to do is sign for the package when it arrives. In most cases delivery is quick and reliable. When there’s a problem, there is a tracking number that can help resolve the matter.


Diasdvantage: The price is much higher than postal service.


3. Air freight


If the weight of sourced products is too large for couriers, example 500kg, air shipment might be the best bet. With air freight, costs will be significantly lower than with courier companies.


This way is for not so heavy cargo, and there are tight deadlines or a tighter control on the security. Transit time varies based on the schedule of airlines, but in general range between 2~10 days which is not bad.


While extra work is involved when the goods arrive at the destination airport. You have to handle documentation and customs clearance on your own (unlike with courier companies), which for many newbies may seem impractical. Of course, you can always outsource these tasks to a customs broker or a trucking company at an additional cost.


We suggest if the chargeable weight is over 250kg, you can try to choose air freight. If under 250kg, stick to international couriers.


4. Sea freight


Transport by ocean can take a very long time but can carry a massive amount of goods, which drives down the costs. The diversity of cargo that can be shipped is also a major benefit to this mode. That’s why it’s popular and widely used mode in logistics.


Despite the lengthy delivery time, if you plan ahead, and have enough time to wait, sea freight will be your top choice. Depending on where you’re located, it will be in the vicinity of 3~60 days.


Just like with air freight, you’ll have to take care of the documentation, customs clearance and delivery of goods from the port to your warehouse or facility. But if you choose to-Door services, which is popular to USA/Canada/Europe/Australia, all you have to do is pay the freight charges and wait for your cargo sent to your specified address.


Shipping by sea can be economical, particularly, if you’re prepared to handle the logistics of clearing the goods through customs yourself. Also, the best way to handle large bulky purchases.


A quick summary


Each come with unique benefits and it’s often a combination of these shipping methods to get the Chinese sourced goods to your business. There should be some deliberation over the time frame you need your products, the security of your shipment, and usually the biggest factor, the cost.


Shipping rates will make up a substantial percentage of your total product landed cost, so it’s important to keep them as low as possible at all times. But sometimes, time is more crucial than money.


It’s all about balance. Choose the right way after considering all the actual situations. You’ll have to decide which factors are the most important for you and your business to declare a winner. Of course, whether ocean or air shipping is right for you could very easily change from shipment to shipment.


Category : Blog