Shipping from China 101
The Ladingo Team
October 21, 2020
Your step-by-step guide to shipping from China
Do you want to sell more to more people, while incurring lower overhead costs?
Do you want to truly compete with your direct competitors – and emerge the victor with all the spoils?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, learning about the stages of shipping goods from China should be your next best move.
China is a sourcing superpower, responsible for the production of a significant proportion of the Western world’s resellable goods at rock-bottom prices. Thousands of businesses across the globe source their products from Chinese manufacturers, navigating the maze that is cross-border shipping, import taxes and duties, VAT, last-mile delivery, and more, to bring anything and everything from toiletries and fabrics, to electronics and household furniture, to their local markets – and you can too!
All you need to do is follow this step-by-step guide and you’ll be contacting your sourcing agent about shipping a container of your customers’ next favorite product, in no time!
What you need to know before ordering goods from China
Before you attempt to forge business ties with Chinese manufacturers, it is important that you learn about Chinese business culture and practices, namely the concept of “face.” Giving face means being respectful, punctual, and generous. Losing face, means turning down invitations, acting rudely, or exhibiting self-control. Giving face will help you build trust, which motivates a mutually beneficial relationship. Losing face will have them prioritizing other business partners, their needs, and their timelines.
It’s also important to master some of the local business jargon. For example, EXW or Ex Works refers to the international trade agreement that states the supplier should prepare your goods for pickup at their factory. Conversely, CIF or Cost, Insurance and Freight, stipulates that the supplier is responsible for arranging for the transportation of your goods to the port of destination, as well as providing the buyer with all customs clearance documentation.
Once you’ve figured out how to express yourself when ordering products from China, it will be time for you to decide which products to source – and which to avoid. Make sure to steer clear of knockoffs, as well as those products that are trademarked.
How to safely source products from China
When looking to safely source products from China, Alibaba is a great place to start. The largest B2B import platform in the world, it is an ideal place to safely and reliably connect with Chinese suppliers and source their products.
The price per unit listed. If the price is accompanied by FOB (Free on Board) destination, the seller will bear any associated risk, while FOB shipping point will have you bearing the risk. Be cautious of prices that seem too good to be true. Chances are, they are. You can and should order samples – one under your name and one under a fictitious name and address – to test quality and value for money before making a purchase.
The minimal order quantity (MOQ). How many units you need to order. This quantity, multiplied by the unit price, will tell you how much your minimum order will cost, before shipping fees are added.
Gold Supplier, Trade Supplier, and Trade Assurance. Sellers who do not have these badges of certification have not been verified and should be avoided like the plague.
The supplier’s history. How long has the supplier been selling on this site? What is their transaction history? Where in China is their factory situated? The more you learn about the supplier, the better you’ll understand if they’re safe to order from.
Production time. This information will not necessarily be found on the import site, but should be requested upon contacting the supplier to inquire about an order. You want to know how long it should take to complete (and ship) the order, so you can engage in sales and marketing activities on your end.
Payment terms. How does your Chinese manufacturer want to be paid? When? If something doesn’t seem kosher, chances are it isn’t. Secure methods of payment include a letter of credit, Paypal, or Secure Credit (Escrow on Alibaba). Bank transfers and payments through Western Union have proven to be risky for buyers.
Read more on our Alibaba beginner’s guide to buying from Alibaba
What are the stages of shipping from China?
Stage 1 – Understand your import rights
Fill out any documentation required by your home country to enable yourself to legally import goods from China. Make sure you’re aware of the kinds of goods your country does and does not allow to be brought into their borders. Commonly restricted items include fresh produce, drugs, trademarked and counterfeit items, and flammables.
Stage 2 – Decide how you’re shipping
Will you be using a sourcing agent, a 3PL (third-party logistics partner), or will you leave the shipping to your Chinese supplier? As a logistics solution provider, we highly recommend partnering with a 3PL, and strongly dissuade against relying on your Chinese manufacturer.
Stage 3 – Settle on a price and sign a contract
Prepare yourself. Chinese manufacturers have a reputation for being savvy negotiators. To get the best bang for your buck, you’ll need to read up on your potential supplier, get quotes from similar factories to use as points of comparison, and focus on what matters most to you: price, quality, or lead times. Make sure your contract, or purchase order (PO) is legally binding, to avoid hassle in the long run.
Stage 4 – Find a shipping partner
Will you be shipping by air freight, ocean freight, or train freight? Once you’ve determined the method of shipping, you’ll need to select the freight forwarder that provides you with the most comprehensive service package, at the most affordable price, and with the promise of the speediest delivery.
Stage 5 – Calculate your costs
Determine the total landed cost of your shipment, based on the 10-digit tariff classification number for each item you are importing, the Certificate of Origin, a quote from your freight forwarder, and the rate of duty you’ll need to pay at your destination port. Doing so will not only help you understand your shipment’s profitability, but it will also help you negotiate final costs with your Chinese manufacturer, as well as enlighten you on what your resale costs should be. Pro tip: base your landed costs on your projected order volumes, not the MOQ. And remember to double-check costs according to updated exchange rates.
Stage 6 – Bring your goods home
Arrange for the freight forwarding company of your choosing to ship your order from China to your port of destination. Make sure to track your shipment, so you always know where it is, and when it’s slated to arrive. Once your shipment has made its way to your home country, it will need to clear customs before it can be released into your possession. You will need to present customs clearance officials with the following documents:
A bill of lading
An official invoice
A packing list
An arrival notice
Systematically invoicing your goods and organizing them so that the contents of each package is clearly understood will help speed up the clearance process, and enable your last-mile delivery crew to transport your order to your warehouse for resale.
How can Ladingo help you ship from China?
As a free, complete, logistics solution provider, Ladingo makes it easy, affordable, and risk-free for you to import FCL and LCL containers from China and other international destinations. Our calculators provide you with full and transparent shipping costs ahead of time, and our automated logistics documentation ensures your orders clear customs with supreme efficiency.
From pickup to last-mile delivery, when it comes to shipping from China, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website to learn more.
从中国向美国进口时应避开的3个主要雷区 美国从中国进口什么？不进口什么？美国人喜欢从中国进口商品——因为产品便宜，质量达标，而且中国工业市场的生产力一直都充足。事实上，在美国的大型市场上，包括亚马逊、eBay和沃尔玛，有30%-50%的卖家是中国人或从中国进口的美国人。然而，从中国进口商品的过程可能很复杂。以下是你必须避开的3个雷区： 1 – 选对供应商 从中国进口到美国的产品，在购买之前，你必须比较来自不同制造商或供应商的同类产品，以确保质量最好，价格最好。首先在阿里巴巴等网站上采购多个产品，直接联系供应商获取报价，并创建同类产品列表，以便比较。阿里巴巴是个不错的进口工具。我们建议经常查看“信用保障”和“金品诚企会员”框，以防止选到不可靠的供应商。你也可以尝试DHgate.com、Made-In-China.com等提供类似服务的网站。同样的流程也适用于选择从中国到美国的货运公司。仔细研究每一家运输公司提供的服务，确保你购买的货物能尽可能快速、无缝、实惠地安全送到目的地。如果跳过这一步，你将可能面临从中国向肯尼亚进口手机、等待发货的时间不合理、或者收到错误或有缺陷的商品等风险（由于语言差距相当大，并且在紧急情况下可能会在包装、运输等方面出错）。 2 – 努力解决“额外成本”问题——进口手续费、税费和关税 想知道如何从中国进口商品并享受最佳性价比？自然，你会想用尽可能少的钱把你的货物从中国运到美国，并通过海关。但从长远来看，采取一些常见做法，比如故意低估产品价值，或将某些产品归到其他类别来避税或减税，可能会让你得不偿失。从中国进口货物到美国时，一定要准备好以下文件，并且要保证信息属实： 美国海关发票 商业发票 装箱单 提货单/航运收据 到货通知 特别许可证 如果填错了这些文件，或经受不住诱惑而伪造文件，你可能会发现需要支付更多本不需要支付的费用。你还可能会受到处罚，比如长时间的延期处理，或者被禁止从中国进口商品到美国。如果你希望尽可能准确地估计可能需要缴纳的税款，请在下次购买前研究2019年从中国到美国的进口税。 大多数航运公司会报给你航运费率，甚至提供航运服务比较。一些工具可以帮助你对产品进行分类，但没有一个工具可以真正承诺完全落地的最终价格。Ladingo是唯一能够提供全部运费信息的工具，包括所有适用的税费和所有门到门成本。有了它，你就不必承担任何隐藏费用风险。 3 – 不了解你的货物 凭空猜测会让你付出很大代价。从中国发货时，你应该确切地了解货物的尺寸和包装类型。是用板条箱、装成货盘，还是只用盒子？这可能会影响到抵达港卸货的成本、燃油附加费，甚至是需要参与送货上门的人数。例如，如果是小物品，一名工人就可以将包裹送到门口，但如果是冰箱或托盘，则可能需要叉车以及两名工人来完成这项工作。这可能会产生意料之外的额外费用。向航运公司提供数据时，数据应尽可能准确。你选用的运输工具/航运公司必须确切知道供应商的包装习惯。 需要帮忙简化从中国到美国的货运? Ladingo免费的完整物流解决方案使得从中国到美国的拼箱和大宗货物进出口变得简单、实惠、无风险，让你可以避开这3大雷区，开始从中国无缝进口货物，并扩大规模。点击此处了解更多。
成功实现国际航运的10个秘诀 Ladingo 队 October 10, 2021 “走出去”为注重增长的企业提供了巨大的潜力。然而，拓展国际业务并不总是一帆风顺，特别是当涉及到国际航运时。语言和文化障碍比比皆是。可能会突然出现不可预知的运输成本，延误也是家常便饭。即使你设法规避这些挑战，当地的清关流程和法规也可能使你的货物跨境运输或向国际商家订购库存以在本国转售变得更加复杂。因此，你可能会发现整个过程让人喘不过气来，令人望而却步。 话虽如此，但只要你有一点决心、毅力并进行一些尽职调查，你就可以克服与“走出去”相关的障碍，快速轻松地开始国际货物运输，并将你的业务提升到新的盈利高度。利用国际航运使业务全球化的好处包括获得更大的客户群和人才库、通过你的产品帮助更多的人、让你的公司获得更多和多样化的投资机会、提高你的品牌声誉等等。 如何才能成功进行国际航运，成为跨境电商巨头？以下是在纷繁复杂的国际航运领域应付自如的10个秘诀，以便帮助你实现大卖、大量运输、扩大业务规模。 1 – 在供应之前先评估需求 在你全力以赴与国际联系人建立合作关系以确保货物进口到你的国家，或向对方国家供应你的产品之前，请确保你想要运输的产品有市场需求。研究每个市场，为进入每个新地区制定策略。如果你的产品有市场需求–很好。如果没有，你将需要设计一个宣传活动，解释为什么每个目标市场的客户需要你的产品，以便在你开始用集装箱装货之前创造这种需求。 2 – 了解哪些物品可以在国际上运输，哪些不可以 每个国家都有自己的规则条例，规定什么可以入境和/或向谁销售，什么不可以。例如，以下物品不得从美国运往任何其他国家：气溶胶、生鲜农产品、香烟、大麻、香水（含酒精）、干冰、指甲油、弹药等。而不能运往美国的物品清单也有一长串。如果有疑问，就研究一下你想要进出的国家的进出口法规，以免被罚款或者被外国海关无限期地拒绝放行。 3 – 提前了解所有付款情况 为了使国际运输成本尽可能低，并避免任何隐性费用，重要的一点就是你要花时间研究一下需要支付哪些费用，以及每项费用是多少。标准费用款项包括货运代理费和最后一英里配送费，以及海关、关税和税费。这些费用取决于货物的大小和重量，以及产品的价值和被运往的目的地国家。请注意，你选择的托运人可能会选择包含额外的费用，如燃油附加费，以及周末配送和送货签字的额外费用，这些费用对你的客户群可能重要，也可能不重要。 为了降低成本，优先考虑与货运代理建立长期的合作关系，而不是一次性的谈判。与他们的合作越多，你的年度运费费率就越低。 4 – 研究你的竞争对手
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