How Much Should You Pay for Your Shipment from China?

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The Ladingo Team

Don’t let scammers run away with your money! Ladingo is the most transparent way to calculate shipping costs and benefit from cheap shipping from China 

These days, it seems like almost everything is “Made in China.” The country is home to multiple wholesale markets and websites, and importing from China to your home country is par for the course. But that doesn’t make the process cheap – or straightforward. Trying to estimate shipping costs from China can seem overwhelming, and calculating the shipping costs of your China imports can be a major deterrent for those retail businesses new to importing goods from China to another country.


Not to worry. Today, we’re going to overview everything you need to know to ensure you get the best bang for your buck while ensuring your imports are delivered safely, on time, and on budget. 

What factors affect the cost of shipping from China?

When shipping from China, your inventory must be transported from the seller’s warehouse to the port, be transported via air or ocean freight to the destination port, clear customs, and then be shipped from the destination port to your final address. Logistically, this means involving several points of contact – sellers, export clearance officials in China, shipping companies, customs clearance officials in your destination country, last-mile delivery companies, etc. – and each of these points of contacts’ respective timelines and fees. 

  1. Transportation from the warehouse to the port – Once your order is ready and approved, the supplier will arrange for its shipment to the agreed-upon port of loading. The cost of this leg of the shipment is generally a factor of the size of the shipment and the distance traveled to reach the port. This price tends to range between $50 and $500 and is usually factored into your shipment’s FOB price, rather than into your shipping costs.
  2. China export clearance – Export clearance documents are typically included in your FOB price, though some buyers try to cut costs by ordering according to Ex Works (EXW) terms, which does not include the required export clearance documentation. It is up to you to ensure that all necessary documents are prepared and presented, in case your shipment is one of the roughly 10 percent of orders randomly inspected by Chinese Customs Authorities. Fail to do so, and you run the risk of losing out on time, money, and your shipment. Note that purchasing export clearance documents from a licensed freight forwarder or export agent instead of paying your supplier a little extra to take care of the paperwork usually results in higher overall costs – an additional $100 to $200 dollars tacked onto your bill.
  3. International shipping or freight forwarding cost – The cost of shipping your order from the Port of Loading in China to the Port of Destination in your home country is, perhaps, the trickiest cost to calculate. It is usually a balancing act between freight costs and local charges – the cost of clearing customs at your destination port. Note that local charges include any additional charges, such as the delivery of the Bill of Lading, Commercial Invoice, Packing List, Country of Origin Certificate, Customs Bond (for US shipments), and other required paperwork. 

Shipments with high freight costs tend to have low local charges, and vice versa. Full container load (FCL) shipments are most often set according to the first option and calculated according to container size, while less than container loads (LCL), tend to incur low freight costs and high local charges, calculated according to the shipment’s volume in cubic meters. This can be extremely frustrating for buyers who seek to know all of their shipping costs upfront.

  1. Last-mile delivery costs – The cost of shipping your order domestically, from the Port of Destination to your local warehouse, usually via land transportation. These costs depend entirely on your proximity to the Port of Destination and cannot be calculated without providing exact coordinates. 
  2. Additional costs, such as insurance, must also be factored in. It is important to insure your shipments from China in case of loss, damage, delays, etc. These costs can vary according to the insurance provider selected, but usually range around 0.2 percent of 110 percent of your shipment’s value.

What does that mean for your bottom line?

As highlighted above, there are many factors that contribute to your China shipment’s overall cost. Some of these fees are known in advance, while others vary greatly depending on the size and contents of your shipment, the geographical distance your shipment must travel, and the shipping “partners” you and your seller opt to work with. As such, it can be extremely difficult to determine how much you will pay for your shipment from China in advance. 


That being said, how much should you pay for your shipment from China? As little as possible! Selecting an ocean freight forwarding company may take longer for your shipment to arrive in your destination country, but it is more affordable and most conducive to the shipping of large and heavy items. Be sure to use the company’s freight rate calculator to obtain as clear a picture of your final costs as possible.


Dealing with all of the stakeholders involved in your shipment from China – and avoiding being scammed! – can be overwhelming. Selecting safe payment options, like PayPal and credit cards over wire transfers, speaking to suppliers directly or via WhatsApp, as opposed to via email (to avoid being hacked), and test-running the shipment process on a much smaller scale before making a large purchase, are all highly effective ways of safeguarding your bottom line. Another best practice: collaborating with Ladingo to enjoy a free and complete logistics solution that keeps your costs down and visible from the start!

Know exactly how much you should pay for your shipment from China

Our trusted and transparent company will handle your shipment end-to-end, from the moment you’ve completed your order, through cross-border shipping, customs clearance, and last-mile delivery. With Ladingo, it’s easy, affordable, and risk-free to ship LCLs, FCLs, and large and bulky shipments from China. All you need to do is upload your orders, review our fully-transparent rates, and book. Our China shipping rates include pickup, global transit, customs automation, tracking, insurance, labeling, and last-mile delivery, so you know exactly how much you’ll be paying, from the start!


What are you waiting for? Learn how much your shipment from China should cost with Ladingo’s  by signing up today

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