Shipping from China to US
Our focus in this article will be to discuss the process of shipping from China to US, some of the different shipping methods, and why you should choose China SourceLink.
It has been a lot of workload of finding the suppliers, and you may benefit a lot from having a reliable China sourcing agent. Therefore you hope the shipping will go smooth as the last part of completing to import from China. However, International shipping isn’t as easy as most people think. There is a lot of paperwork involved, logistics need to be taken care of, and tracking your shipped packages is of utmost importance. Fortunately, if you are interested in shipping from China to US then with the help of China SourceLink, this needlessly stressful process can be taken care of for you.
In today’s article, we’re going to discuss international shipping and how we can help you with all of your shipping needs.
First Time Shipping
If you haven’t looked into shipping from China to US before and this is your first time, there are a few things that you need to know.
First, you need to understand that there’s a lot of paperwork involved. Second, understand that it might cost you more than you initially anticipated. Lastly, if you’re going to be shipping regularly then it’s a good idea to have a China freight forwarder take care of your shipping needs for you so that you can have them take care of the paperwork and you can focus on other matters.
We’ll dig deeper into these points throughout the article so without further ado, let’s jump right in.
How to Avoid Shipping Delays
One of the things about shipping your goods is that shipping can often be unpredictable. When you send something via sea freight it can take significantly longer than if you were to send via air freight, and this doesn’t take into account for any unforeseen events that may prevent the freight from arriving on time. With this in mind, if you’re shipping needs are time sensitive then there are a few different things that you can try to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible and any delays are minimal.
Do Research on Shipping.
Shipping isn’t always as easy as taking your package to a post office or a courier’s office; there are a lot of different shipping companies out there, a lot of different prices to consider, and you’ll always have to decide whether your package would be better as air freight or sea freight. Do your research, compare the different shipping companies that are near you, and take note of the best prices that they have to offer and compare those prices to the delivery time.
Have Your Paperwork Filled Out Professionally.
This is the main thing that you should do. Wrongly filled paperwork is the most common reason for shipping delays; after you file the paperwork it is reviewed by the shipping company and if there are any problems with the forms that you sent them, they’ll send them back and you’ll have to fill them out from scratch. This inconvenience can take as long as 4 days but if you were to have your paperwork taken care of by a professional (such as China SourceLink) when you are shipping from China to US, there won’t be any delays caused by wrong paperwork.
Know What You Want.
A lot of people who are shipping from China to US for the first time get overwhelmed with extra services that shipping companies have to offer (such as having the shipping company take care of packaging for them or thorough tracking logs). It might be tempting to pay the extra fees for this kind of service although not only will it cost you more, it will add additional time to your shipment. For example, tracking is already a part of the shipping process and is more than suitable for your basic shipping needs – thorough tracking isn’t much better and will mean that more time is required for the carrier to keep the appropriate logs. Stay basic, don’t go overboard with extra services, and your shipment will be quick.
Types of Shipping
There are four main types of shipping available and which type of shipping you use can depend on how large or heavy your goods are, although most of the time it’ll be up to your discretion.
Air Freight. The most popular shipping method is by air freight as this is the fastest way for goods to be transported across the globe. In comparison to the other shipping methods, air freight is cheaper than the likes of express couriers but more expensive than sea freight and postage. One of the downsides is that for air freight, more documentation and paperwork is required and thus, it’s usually companies that will choose this shipping method.
Sea Freight. Next, we have sea freight – another well-known shipping method which is relatively cheap, depending on what you’re shipping, and which provides you with a lot of flexibility when shipping your packages. The only significant downside to shipping via sea freight is that the shipping times are very long, especially if you are shipping from China to US. However, this is still the most popular shipping method that people choose.
Postage. Posting a package may be worth your time, especially if you are sending a small package that would otherwise be expensive to ship. Birthday cards, presents, or sending goods to your friends and family – all cases where postage would be ideal. General postage isn’t very expensive and will usually have a set price, allowing you to calculate how much you will have to pay beforehand, but when sending packages internationally the delivery time could be as long as 4 weeks (this is one of the main things that discourage people from using it).
Express Couriers. Lastly, an express courier is a private company who will transport your goods to anywhere in the world. The most popular global courier companies are FedEx, DHL, and UPS, although there are many others depending on where you are situated. Even though there are nothing but benefits to using an express courier service (such as free tracking information), these services are relatively expensive (especially when you send large packages).
Tips for Shipping
For those of you who are new to shipping from China to US or are looking to improve their shipping process, below we have listed some of the best tips that you can follow so that you can make your life easier, and shipping a more efficient process.
Although it depends on where you live, it’s very common for post offices to provide free packaging services to business (or if you are regularly shipping personal goods). If not, contact a shipping company directly and inquire about whether or not they provide a free package service – again, this is very common, and you’ll find that it’s more likely than not that they’ll send you some free boxes.
Handling Fragile Goods.
This is an online seller’s worst nightmare – shipping fragile products across the world to another country. There is so much space for error and even if the box just slightly moves in the wrong way, the product may be damaged. The best way to prevent damaged products (especially very fragile items) is to place them in a box filled with polystyrene or loose fill peanuts, tape up the box as you would normally, and then place that box in a slightly bigger box which you have filled with polystyrene or loose fill peanuts. Do this one more time so that there is a total of 3 boxes and the package is as secure as possible. This might seem like going too far although, considering how cheap packaging is (or in this case, if the packaging is free), it’s not worth risking your goods being damaged.
One way to increase your business revenue is to offer expedited delivery on all of your shipments. With this shipping method, you are able to have your goods delivered to your customers within 24 hours (sometimes it may be 48 hours, depending on who the shipping company is) and this can be a great selling point. Of course, this will be more expensive for your customers, although you’d be surprised at how many people value their time.
Never Underestimate Taping.
To make sure that your items don’t fall out of the packaging while they are being shipped, you must make sure that you have taped the package properly. This might seem obvious although 1 strip of scotch tape won’t do the job – it’s more than likely that your package will get damaged while it’s being transported. Instead, consider buying parcel tape which is specifically designed for shipping goods and which is significantly stronger. Not only that, it is wider and therefore easy to use for taping boxes shut.
Before you start shipping from China to US, you should definitely take the time to do some extensive research regarding the shipping process, how to properly package your goods, how much it will cost you, and the type of paperwork that you’ll need to fill out. If you’re shipping products to your customers then you’ll quickly realise that a lot of your time is spent filing paperwork and this will take up big chunks of your schedule – when you realise this, get in touch with a freight forwarder like China SourceLink and we’ll help to make your life as easy as possible.
Ways to Save Money When Shipping
It’s not a secret that when you’re shipping from China to US, a pretty big price tag is going to be attached. Unfortunately, there isn’t any way for you to get around paying all of these shipping fees however, there are a few things that you can do to decrease these fees and save yourself some money when shipping internationally.
Package Your Goods Yourself.
This is one of the biggest mistakes that people make as packaging is one of the biggest costs of shipping nationally and internationally. For some people, they simply don’t care about this extra cost, although if you’re shipping from China to US frequently then having the shipping company take care of packing for you then these costs will quickly add up. Instead, purchase a box online (or from a local post office, most sell cheap packaging) and take care of it yourself. Believe it or not, this will save you a lot of money in the long run, especially if you’re running a business.
Air Freight or Sea Freight.
Following on from the previous point, packing your products yourself means that you have more control over how much you pay in the end. Let’s start by saying that sea freight is much cheaper than air freight, although it takes longer for your package to be shipped – if you want fast shipping then air freight is the best choice. There are a few factors which make sea freight cheaper although the main thing is that the cost isn’t dependant on the weight of your package but rather the size. With that in mind, shipping companies won’t be as accommodating with their packaging as the bigger the package is, the more they can charge you.
Take packaging into your own hands, choose sea freight over air freight, and you’ll quickly eliminate some unnecessary costs.
Sometimes you need to send packages urgently and while this is understandable, if you are flexible on time then don’t ship as soon as possible. At certain times of the year, costs will rise as shipping companies will be shipping a higher number of packages – times such as Christmas and Black Friday are the busiest time of the year for shipping companies. Instead, if you notice that your shipping costs are higher than they should be, either look at the rates for other shipping companies or wait a few weeks – the prices will have levelled out and will be back to normal.
Direct or Non-Direct Air Freight.
There are two types of shipping available – direct and non-direct.
Direct air freight shipping is when your package is shipped straight from your location to the destination; this will cost you more and will have a significantly quicker delivery time.
Non-direct air freight shipping is when your package is shipped through multiple locations (e.g. if you are shipping from China to US, your package may be taken to Madrid then New York). While the delivery time for non-direct air freight shipping will be longer than direct shipping, it will cost you much less.
Shipping companies calculate how much each package will cost to ship based on how full the shipping container is. If you are given the option, opt-in to FCL (Full Container Loads) shipping as this will cost you less. There are a lot of benefits to doing this – not only are you paying a lot less for shipping but given that there is less empty space for packages to move around during the ship’s journey, it’s less likely for your packages to get damaged.
Why You Should Choose China SourceLink for Shipping from China to US
Here at Chine SourceLink, we take pride in being able to offer a vast number of services which go far behind helping our customers with shipping from China to US. With our logistics service, we ensure that your documentation is in order so that all of your packages go through customs without any delays, that your goods remain undamaged, and ultimately, so that you receive the best possible experience from working with us.
The bottom line: we have extensive experience when it comes to shipping and logistics and we know what problems can arise if things aren’t done by the books. With our extensive knowledge in this field, we are able to ensure that all the forms are filled out properly, submitted accordingly, and that your package arrives at its destination without any problems.
Shipping doesn’t have to be one of those long and stressful processes that keeps you awake at night wondering if you had filled out the paperwork properly or if you had left enough time for the package to arrive at its destination. With us by your side, we can explain everything that you need to know about shipping from China to US, prepare all of the necessary paperwork that you’ll be required to file beforehand, and ensure that your shipping experience goes as smoothly as possible.