Cheapest Way To Ship To China: A Guide To Know

Cheapest Way To Ship To China

Knowing the most economical way to ship to China is important to every merchant. Shipping cost is always an issue for businesses, as it can increase the cost of the product.

There are diverse factors to consider when shipping to China. These include shipping duration, package weight, estimated shipping fee, custom bonds, freight rates, container load, and many others.

 So, what’s the cheapest way to ship to China?

Diverse factors determine shipping costs. These include the size, weight, and how quickly you want your goods to travel. There are various ways to ship to China. You can use regular post, express courier, and air or sea freight.

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Where the goods are being shipped from can affect their shipping cost. However, if you are shipping from the US to China, the cheapest way is through a tracked mail service. Examples include the EMS Parcel Post and DHL eCommerce. They use local carriers like USPS and FedEx to handle the journey’s US domestic leg, including local postal service in China, in making final deliveries.

So that’s the cheapest way individuals or merchants in the United States of America can ship to China. Continue reading for more on this topic!

Shipping To China The Different Methods

Shipping To China – The Different Methods

As a merchant, knowing the various shipping methods is vital for your business. You’ll be able to make good decisions when shipping products to China or any part of the world.

But now, we’re focusing on China. Below are the various shipping methods to send goods from the US to China.

Regular Post: 

The regular post is the cheapest shipping option there is. It’s highly economical but only ideal for shipment of smaller items, such as parcels and samples.

However, if you the recipient is in haste and wants item delivered quickly, the regular post isn’t a wise choice for you. The shipping duration can take 2 to 5 weeks. So, if you don’t mind waiting that long, then you’re good to go.

The regular post also has some pitfalls. You’ll be able to track your parcels online, but the tracking information won’t be updated consistently. Another pitfall is that lost parcels may be hard to locate.

Express Courier:

Next is the express courier. If you’re just starting your business, this should meet your shipping needs. Examples of well-established express courier companies are UPS, FedEx, and DHL.

Under the express courier, delivery is much quicker. You’ll get a unique tracking number and be able to track your goods online with ease. Delivery time can take within 2 – 5 business days.

The express courier is much more reliable and fast. Your goods won’t go missing, and even if they did, resolving the issue won’t be a problem. All you have to do is make the tracking number available.

One of the pitfalls of using the express courier is the high shipping cost. It’s more expensive than the regular post.

Air freight: 

If your goods are just too big for courier companies to ship, air freight is your best bet. The cost of shipping goods via air freight is slightly lower than what most courier companies offer.

Under air freight, transit time differs based on the airline’s schedule. But you can receive packages within 2 to 10 business days. Standard air freight between the US and China takes between 8 to 10 days, while express air freight takes 2 to 3 days lesser.

Air freight is also reliable and safe. Security is tight, so your packages won’t go missing.

However, the only major pitfall air freight has is the extra work attached. Once your goods get to the airport and are ready for pickup, you have to handle the paperwork, customer clearance, and delivery yourself.

If you’re not chanced, then you can contact a trucking company or custom broker to help you out for an agreed fee.

Sea freight: 

Here goods are moved via the ocean, and it’s a popular shipping method in logistics. Most of the ships used are massive and can transport an impressively large number of goods simultaneously, which, in turn, lowers shipping costs.

Sea freight can transport cargoes of various sizes and weights. The major pitfall is the delivery time. Depending on one’s location, delivery can take between 3 to 60 days.

If you’re not in haste and wants to ship a large number of goods for little money, sea freight is a good option.

You should also be ready to handle customs clearance, documentation, and delivery yourself. Or you can check if there’s a “to-Door delivery” option available. With that, you won’t have to lift a finger to get your package cleared and sent to its final destination.

Shipping Goods To China What You Need To Know

If you’ve ever tried shipping from the US to China or have goods shipped in from China, the disparity in the shipping costs will make you think that you’re being overcharged or cheated.

The cost of shipping items into the US from China is way cheaper than the other way around. It will make you think you overpaid the courier service. But that’s not the case.

There are good explanations as to why the shipping cost in moving goods from China into the US is lower than the other way around. Below are some of the reasons.

The product’s cost:

China encourages mass production, which helps to drive down the prices of goods. Labor costs are also hugely lower than in most countries. Chinese products are also being shipped to almost every part of the world.

The Chinese government has been investing handsomely in infrastructural development for long. Now they can boast of stable power supply, world-class highways, ports, and other infrastructure that increases productivity. China also set aside diverse economic zones, which resulted in massive FDI (foreign direct investment).

One of the reasons Chinese products or packages shipped from China are way lower in price is mass production. It allows manufacturers to cut costs, produce more, and sell cheaper.

World-class infrastructures:

The nature of the roads, ports, and rail networks in China shows how much value the government places on infrastructural development. Having functional road networks make transporting raw materials and finished products easier, less time-consuming, and cost-effective

Reverse engineering process:

Unlike in the US and other countries, laws on intellectual property are not that strict in China. Manufacturers in China can imitate whatever product they feel, whether produced in China or elsewhere.

There have been numerous cases where popular products from other parts of the world were studied, and replicas were made in bulk by Chinese manufacturers.

Instead of investing heavily in research and development, most Chinese manufacturers simply study and imitate various products. And this helps to free up funds and enables them to sell for lower prices.

Agreement between China post and USPS:

The USPS, in 2011, reached a shipping service agreement with Hongkong Post and eBay China. The contract automatically qualified packages from Hongkong and China for first-class mail services and tracking confirmation. The shipping method was called “ePacket.”

Today, the ePacket has grown bigger, expanding to over 35 different countries. The ePacket is also reliable, fast, and lets manufacturers from China and Hongkong ship packages to the US at a much cheaper rate.

Again, while Postal Service rates in the US keep increasing, the reverse has been the case in China. Chinese producers can ship their packages to the US and other faraway countries at considerably lower rates.

The USPS ePacket program is worthy of emulation. And as long as the program remains, Chinese manufacturers will continue to smile to the bank. Manufacturers in China can ship their products to any part of the world at a cheaper rate, not just the US alone.

Currency advantage:

When it comes to currency value manipulation, the Chinese government has it. For years, they have blatantly turned a blind eye to the WTO agreement because of the transparency obligations they have to follow.

Signing the WTO will prevent China from manipulating its currency value, which favors the Chinese industry. The yen is much weak than the US dollars but keeps the competitiveness of Chinese products and export potentials intact.

This move is condemnable, but the Chinese government still deserves an accolade for upholding their policies and driving the economy forward.

Highly productive workforce;

China boasts the highest, most productive workforce in the world. But it’s not just the workforce and its size that matters. What matters most is the quality, and China has been able to get it right in that aspect.

China focuses on skill development programs, which has helped in creating the needed skilled workers for diverse industries in the country. Low wages and high productivity enables Chinese companies to lower the price of their products considerably.


So, now you know the cheapest way to ship to China from the United States of America. You should also have at the back of your mind that shipping cost isn’t the most crucial factor to consider when sending goods over a long distance. The safety and delivery speed of the product equally matters.

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