Your Best Freight Forwarder from China to UK
Provide the most effective sea products from China to UK
Supply the affordable air cargo from China to UK
The expert work for custom-mades clearance in China
Provide the complimentary storage facility solution as well as filling remedy
The container filling guidance service
Grab and shipment service in China
24/7 online support

    Chapter 1: League shipping  your Freight Forwarder from China to U.K.

    When it comes to the shipping from China to the U.K., you can count on League shipping  freight forwarder.

    With years of experience in the freight forwarding industry, League shipping  offers an all-in-one shipping package.

    League shipping  has over ten offices in different cities in China, making it easy to coordinate well with the suppliers.

    It has been in the freight forwarding industry for more than ten years, besides being awarded NVOCC 7.

    Furthermore, League shipping  works closely with various airlines and top cargo ships, making it easier to negotiate 

    for the best deals when shipping from China to the U.K.

    Can you imagine using League shipping ’s warehouse for 20 to 30 days for FREE?

    Or, using the League shipping ’s shipping containers for free for up to 28 days!

    Well, you’ll save a lot.

    And, this will give you peace of mind.

    You know, what?

    Whether you want the door to door shipping from China to the U.K., customs clearance or insurance – League shipping  

    handles everything for you.

    Also, League shipping  will evaluate your shipping needs to recommend the best mode of transport.

    League shipping  will help you to choose from rail freight, ocean freight or sea freight.

    But, there something even more important you need to know when shipping from China to U.K.

    That is the.

    Chapter 2: Cost of Shipping Goods from China to UK

    Before thinking about how to import from China to UK, one has to wonder how much will it cost for such a shipment.

    Several factors will always determine the cost of shipping from China to U.K.

    And, some of the factors may include:-

    §  The Port

    When one uses a port with high handling capacity, the shipping cost will be lower than a port with low handling capacity.

    This difference comes as a result of economies of scale.

    World’s busiest port, such as Shanghai will be cheaper owing to the large capacity of around 32 million containers a year 

    it handles.


    Port of Shanghai

    You should know the exact port where your freight forwarder will load the cargo.

    As a rule of thumb, go for a port that will cost less.

    That is, check whether they will use feeder vessels or not.

    Remember, some ports do not have a direct link to United Kingdom i.e. Zhongshan.

    When you use such ports, you will incur additional shipping costs from China to the U.K.

    Also the distance between the departure and the destination port is a factor determining the cost.


    Sea route from Shanghai, China to London Thamesport U.K.

    Sea route from Shanghai, China to London Thamesport U.K. – Source:

    The distance between the two ports is directly proportional to the shipping charges.

    Obviously, longer sea routes will cost more.

    The difference simply comes as a result of the logistics incurred like the fuel etc.

    §  Weight or Dimensions of the Cargo

    The cost will also depend on the weight /measure of the good you’re shipping.

    This means that 1 cubic meter is equivalent to 1000 kg.

    If anything varies from the standard measure, you’ll incur additional costs.

    An example is where the shipment is 3 cubic meters and 3500 kg.

    In such a case, the weight is considered bigger and hence the shipping rate for the sea depends on that.

    §  Importing from Inland

    When importing from a supplier far from any port, one has to incur the road transport charges to the departure port.


    Shihang transporting copper nickel pipes to the port

    This factor has to be considered when sourcing for a commodity to be imported.

    It is important to have the supplier located near the main port to avoid such extra costs.

    §  Shipping Fluctuation Rates for Full Container Loads

    From time to time, the container shipping changes fluctuates.

    So, it is important to factor in the fluctuations when budgeting.

    A freight forwarding company such as League shipping  can give the probable estimation of the fluctuation to 

    avoid underestimation 

    which may end up in delays.

    These fluctuating rates are simply fixed by all the shipping lines so that they can stop the falling sea freight rates.

    These rates are normally artificially increased using the large general rate increases (GRIs).

    §  Cost of Air and Sea Freight

    Before deciding on the method of shipment to the UK, the weight is an important parameter to consider.

    Normally, the sea freight is 4 to 6 times cheaper than the air freight though very slow as it takes long.


    Evergreen cargo ship

    It is cost effective to use courier to ship weights less than 100kg than other modes.

    When loads more than 100kg are to be shipped, sea or air flight will be cost effective.

    In the sea freight, more weight translates to high shipping cost.

    Big cargo via air freight will attract high charges to a tune of 4 to 6 times.

    §  Deferment

    This is a cost that is normally charged when the shipping company pays VAT and UK duty on behalf of the importer 

    before billing it.

    In some cases, deferment may be charged as a percentage, which may be high and add to the final importation cost.

    These are costs which the importer can easily avoid.

    §  Marine Insurance

    To protect your goods in transit, it can be important to get an insurance cover.

    This cover takes care of the damages or losses during the transit period.

    The insurance cost will cover the value of the goods, but not the weight or volume.

    The cost increases with the value of the commodities.

    Hence, more valuable goods will attract high insurance charges.

    §  UK Duties and Taxes

    The U.K. import duties and taxes will obviously affect the cost of your imports.

    As a matter of fact:

    Every importer has to pay all the UK Duty + VAT unless his/her goods are eligible for duty relief scheme.

    Once your goods reach the UK, they will be cleared via the customs.

    Charges of the invoice together with UK Duty + VAT will be paid at the port of destination.

    Obviously, this is before the goods are finally released.

    The shipping costs keep varying depending on the seasons.

    Below is an example of the recent shipping costs from different ports in China to UK ports include;-

    For Full Container Loads (FCL) rates

    China Port of Departure            

    UK Port of Destination            





    CONTAINER TYPE            

    20′ GP            

    40′ GP            

    40′ HC            

























































    For Less Container Load (LCL) Rates

    China Departure Port            

    UK Destination port            

    Sea freight rate            


    Hong Kong




    Hong Kong




    Hong Kong
















    Note: For LCL; P/Cube =100cm x100cm x 100cm.

    Now, here are some resources for you:

    K. Import Tariffs

    Tax and Customs for Goods Sent from Abroad

    Calculate U.K. Import Duties and Taxes

    China-U.K. Relationship after BREXIT

    International Trade Regulations

    Import Controls

    Bringing Goods to the U.K.

    Chapter 3: Shipping Time When Shipping from China to UK

    It takes good time to ship from China to United Kingdom owing to some logistics which have to take place.

    Be it a huge cargo, or a small parcel – it has to undergo some processes or procedures.

    And, therefore, so many factors come into play when shipping from China to the U.K.

    Apart from the shipping time, you need to factor in customs clearance, delivery, loading and offloading the cargo.

    So, in this section, I will give you a rough idea on how long it takes to ship from China to the U.K.

    Let’s look at three different scenarios:

    a) Shipping from Southern China to U.K.

    When goods are sourced from Southern China (Guangzhou/Shenzhen) for example, it takes around 23-25 days on the water.

    However, we can give allowance of about 6 weeks to cater for the time it takes from the supplier’s factory to your delivery address (door to door).

    b) Shipping from Central China to U.K.

    For Central China (Shanghai/Ningbo) it takes around 28-30 days on the water, but due to door to door processes, it will take a maximum of around 7 weeks.

    c) Shipping from Northern China to U.K.

    Northern China (Qingdao/Tianjin/Xingang) -This is one of the furthest areas in relation to the United Kingdom location.

    The shipping takes around 32-35 days on the water, although the other door to door processes will make it take around 8 weeks to reach to the final.

    Of course, the shipping time will vary depending on the means of transport.

    Having said that, let me take you a step further to discuss ways of shipping from China to United Kingdom.

    Chapter 4: Ways of Shipping from China to United Kingdom (UK)

    Several factors come into play before one decides on which mode to use when shipping from China to UK.

    The goods can either be shipped via air or the sea.

    It will all depend on the nature of goods.

    Of course, the urgency of the commodity will determine the mode of shipping.

    The perishable goods requiring very short duration can use air transportation while those that require long duration can use sea transportation.

    League shipping  prides herself with on time delivery of the goods both at the port and at the inland destination.

    This means that League shipping  will ensure that the customer receives the goods at the convenient place.

    4.1. Courier from China to UK

    The courier services are known to give bulk service on every process involved in the importation. They will provide door to door services.

    The importer will only enter into an agreement with Courier Company and they shall ensure that the good is delivered to the importer’s door step.

    Most trusted courier companies for UK to China shipment may include: DHL, FedEx, UPS and TNT.


    Courier shipping from China to UK

    4.2. Sea Freight Shipping from China to UK

    China is about 7,775 km away from the United Kingdom but traversing this distance may take longer owing to the sea routes defined by water bodies.

    Sea freight is determined by the location of ports to be used and the nature of consignment to be transported.

    Very bulky consignment is normally shipped via sea.

    Although it takes time to reach the final destination, it has proven to be the cheapest ever.

    Before choosing this shipment method, he/she must be well acquainted with different ports both in China and United Kingdom.


    Sea freight to U.K.

    · Sea Ports in China

    China has so many sea ports.

    The busiest sea ports include:

    未标题-2.png Zhuhai

    未标题-2.png Zhanjiang

    未标题-2.png Lianyungang

    未标题-2.png Tianjin

    未标题-2.png Shanghai

    未标题-2.png Guangzhou

    未标题-2.png Qingdao

    未标题-2.png Shenzhen,

    未标题-2.png Ningbo

    未标题-2.png Dalian

    未标题-2.png Xiamen

    未标题-2.png Yingkou

    未标题-2.png Fang Chenggang

    未标题-2.png Weihai

    未标题-2.png Qingdao

    未标题-2.png Rizhao

    未标题-2.png Zhoushan

    未标题-2.png Nantong

    未标题-2.png Nanjing

    未标题-2.png Shanghai

    未标题-2.png Taizhou (North of Wenzhou)

    未标题-2.png Wenzhou

    未标题-2.png Changle

    未标题-2.png Quanzhou

    未标题-2.png Shantou

    未标题-2.png Jieyang

    未标题-2.png Beihai

    未标题-2.png Sanya

    未标题-2.png Yingkou

    未标题-2.png Jinzhou

    未标题-2.png Taizhou (South of Wenzhou)

    未标题-2.png Qinhuangdao

    未标题-2.png Tianjin

    未标题-2.png Yantai Haikou

    未标题-2.png Basuo

    未标题-2.png Zhenjiang

    未标题-2.png Jiangyin

    未标题-2.png Note: You should ship your goods to a convenient sea port that allows you to easily ship from China to U.K.

    · Sea Ports in UK

    The majority of the UK ports are owned by five companies namely:

      i. Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH)

     ii. Forth Ports

    iii. Associated British Ports (ABP)

    iv. Peel Group

     v. PD Port

    Some of the major ports include;


    Main container sea ports – Photo courtesy: Shippo

    · Port of Felixstowe

    It is located in Suffolk and is the Britain’s largest container ports.

    It is rated as the largest in Europe.

    When importing from China to UK, this port is centrally positioned for quick distribution within the land of the United Kingdom.

    Its capacity is equivalent to 3.5 million twenty foot containers every year.

    It runs services with 365 other ports in the world.

    · Port of Southampton

    This is located in the South of England and handle mostly full container loads.

    In case there is a haulage cost to be incurred due to re-routing the container to Hampire based ports, Port of Southampton stands to be the best in saving such costs.

    Occasionally, it can also handle the less than container loads from suppliers in Asia.

    This port is rated as the UK’s second largest container terminal which can handle over 1.5 million containers in a year.

    · Port of Tilbury

    Situated on the banks of the River Thames in Essex.

    The Port of Tilbury operates the London Container Terminal and is known as the biggest terminal for the refrigerated containers in Europe.

    It has an installation of 1,400 reefer plugs on terminal with a 25,000 pallet space cold storage facility.

    · Port of Grangemouth

    It is located midway between Edinburgh and Glasgow and is the Scotland’s largest container port in the middle of Scotland’s industrial sector.

    This is the main container terminal in Scotland and handles averagely 150,000 containers every year.

    The beauty of this port is that it links the national motorway network and the railway.

    This is the only Port in UK that does more exportation that importation.

    · London Gateway Port

    This is one of the newest ports in the United Kingdom.

    It is situated in London on the River Thames.

    It enjoys a lot of advantages due to the fact that it is located in the major city with high business exercises.

    It is known to have the largest logistics park in Europe.

    Its location helps in saving on the haulage cost for those who live within the city since you can easily walk into the port and collect the consignment.

    Other ports in the United Kingdom may also include port of ; Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol, Thame sport, Aberdeen, Bradford, Cardiff, Coventry, Dundee, Derby, Durham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hull, Ipswich, Leicester, New castle Upon Yyne, Nottingham, Northampton, Newport, Norwich, Oxford, Preston, Plymouth, Swindon, Sunderland, Stoke on trent, Sheffield, Swansea, Stockport, Telford, Watford, Worcester

    · Sea Routes from China to UK

    Ships leaving China to other parts of the world can only traverse three routes.

    The routes include;

    未标题-2.png Atlantic

    未标题-2.png Pacific

    未标题-2.png Indian Ocean



    Different sea routes

    Let’s look at these three routes:

    未标题-2.png Atlantic Route from China to U.K.

    When a vessel takes the Atlantic route, the ships transverse the southern direction from China, and then sail through the Indian Ocean to the Cape of Good Hope.

    From here, the vessel can go United Kingdom, Western Europe, and the East Coast of the U.S., the Suez Canal, the Gulf and the Mediterranean area.

    未标题-2.png Pacific Route from China to U.K.

    When the Pacific route is used, the ship will follow the southern direction of the East China Sea.

    Then, it goes northward via the Sea of Japan passing through Okhotsk to enter North Pacific Ocean.

    Through this route, the ship reaches the following destination; the west of the U.S., west of Latin America, New Zealand, western Canada  and Australia.

    未标题-2.png Indian Ocean Route from China to U.K.

    The last route is the Indian Ocean, which is mostly used to ship oil.

    This route enables goods from China to reach East Africa, Persian Gulf, Western Europe, United Kingdom and North America by setting sail in the direction of the Cape of Good Hope.

    · Shipping Companies from China to U.K.

    United Kingdom shares most shipping companies with those taking consignments to the neighboring European countries.


    MSC Shipping company

    Depending on the shipping rate and the shipping time, the shipping company is chosen appropriately.

    When one requires medium shipping rates and medium transit time, the following companies will be recommended; COSCO and KLINE.

    For low shipping rates and long transit time; MSC, CSCL, PIL, ZIM, WANHAI, MISC will do.

    While for high shipping rates and less transit time, you can consider APL, CMA, HMM or MSK.

    · Paper Work During Shipping from China to United Kingdom (UK)

    The time taken for the consignment to reach its final destination is greatly determined by the availability of the documents for importation.

    Different authorities will require different types of documents.

    Once the authenticity of all the import documents is conformed, the importer gets the consignment on time without any delays.

    Basically, two sets of documents are important during shipment; one set is verified at the departure port and the other set at the destination port.

    In an event that the importer chooses to use an agent, the FOB will have to be bought by him to authorize the supplier to process all the necessary documentation.


    Customs clearance

    In this case, the importer will have the obligation to handle clearance of the commodity at the destination port.

    In any international importation, the key documents needed when doing shipment will include:

    Packing list

    未标题-2.png Commercial invoice

    未标题-2.png Carrier’s bill of Lading

    未标题-2.png And, any other required documents from the authority depending on the good imported.

    At times, the agents may not inform the importer when the goods arrive at the destination port.

    Hence, it is important that the importer be well equipped with all the necessary documents.

    Besides, the importer should have a good track of the ship movement to estimate the exact arrival date.

    For any international shipping, packing list and commercial invoice are mandatory.

    Let’s have a quick overview of these documents:

    · Packing list

    This indicates all the contents in the container.

    Descriptions such as:

    未标题-2.png Different types of the products

    未标题-2.png Quantity per type of the products

    未标题-2.png Number of the products

    未标题-2.png Volume are all indicated in the packing list

    未标题-2.png This will also be helpful at the destination port.

    You will use it to verify the goods you’ll receive.

    · A Commercial Invoice

    It indicates the actual types of the products, their order values and the consignee and is used by the customs to calculate the custom duties.

    In other words, commercial invoice is a custom declaration document.

    Since it is a declaration document, the following must be contained inside it;

    未标题-2.png Signature and names certifying the actual commodities being imported

    未标题-2.png Weight, pieces

    未标题-2.png Information regarding goods to be shipped, such as country of origin

    未标题-2.png Currency

    未标题-2.png Name and signature of the sender

    未标题-2.png Specification of the goods

    未标题-2.png Order number

    未标题-2.png Invoice date

    未标题-2.png VAT number

    未标题-2.png Invoice number

    未标题-2.png Shipper information

    · Bill of Entry

    This is part of a clearance document to be presented at the port of entry.

    The importer will authenticate this document by filing and appending signature on it.

    It is usually filled and signed within the first thirty days when the goods arrive at the customs location.

    A custom official can only give a ‘pass out order’ document after doing an assessment and ensuring the bill of entry is fully filled and signed.

    Upon receipt of the ‘pass out order’ from the customs official, the consignment is free to be taken to the final destination.

    · Insurance Certificate

    When the goods arrive at the destination port insurance certificate will be required as part clearance procedure.

    It assists the customs official in differentiating whether the imported good selling price is part of the insurance or not.

    This is vital in coming up with the import duty – you’ll use it to assess value of goods.

    · Technical Write Up

    This is used mostly in machine importation.

    During value assessment, the customs official uses this document to come up with the recent market value of the machinery.

    This document will explain in literature form the use of such equipment and the literature must be attached alongside other clearance documents.

    It implies that, this document type is only needed for specific goods.

    · Test Report

    Due to standards of different countries, some goods will require the test results showing the conformity of the imported product to the country’s standard.

    At the port of entry, customs official usually takes a specific commodity and gives to an authorized government laboratory to test if its quality conforms to the set standards.

    If the test results indicate that the quality is acceptable, the goods can be cleared otherwise it will be rejected.

    · Airway bill /Bill of Lading

    This is critically important right from the port of departure.

    It shows the services being offered by the freight forwarder to the shipper.

    With this document, the carrier and the driver can get accurate information to be used to process the invoice and the freight shipment.

    Normally, bill of lading is given at the point of the collection to the carrier and its copy attached to the package.

    In case of any damage or loss, bill of lading will be very helpful as it will act as a proof of ownership anytime claims of compensation are made.

    It contains:

    未标题-2.png Special reference numbers or purchase orders

    未标题-2.png Names and addresses

    未标题-2.png Description of items and packaging type

    未标题-2.png Department of transportation hazardous material designation

    未标题-2.png Special instructions

    未标题-2.png Date

    4.3. Air Freight from China to UK

    The fastest way to ensure the cargo reaches the United Kingdom from China is via air freight.

    Although it is the fastest, it is also restricted by a number of factors.

    Some huge consignments cannot be carried via air and hence has to undergo sea transportation.

    One may wonder why many prefer air freight to sea freight.

    The reasons are so many, but the most common one is the shortest delivery time.

    Also, the air freight agencies use shortest routes to the destination airport.

    It depends on the urgency of the cargo.

    A factor of cost effectiveness also comes into play due to the minimal point of contact.

    That is, one freight broker easily handles all the logistics which saves time and money.

    Also, the consignment is insured for risk reduction and tracking and hence its safety is highly guaranteed.

    To use air freight from China to UK, you need to know the location of various airports.

    And, that’s what you’re going to learn next.

    · Main Airports in China

    China being an industrialized country has several airports situated in different towns to ensure easy movement of goods to the nearest airport.


    Air China Cargo

    The busiest main airports in China include:

    未标题-2.png Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport

    未标题-2.png Taiyuan Wusu International Airport

    未标题-2.png Kunming Changshui International Airport

    未标题-2.png Beijing Capital International Airport

    未标题-2.png Shanghai Pudong International Airport

    未标题-2.png Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport

    未标题-2.png Hong Kong International Airport

    未标题-2.png Xian Xianyang International Airport

    未标题-2.png Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport

    未标题-2.png Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport

    未标题-2.png Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport

    未标题-2.png Changsha Huanghua International Airport

    未标题-2.png Qingdao Liuting International Airport

    未标题-2.png Wuhan Tianhe International Airport

    未标题-2.png Haikou Meilan International Airport

    未标题-2.png ÜrümqiDiwopu International Airport

    未标题-2.png Shijiazhuang Zhengding International Airport

    未标题-2.png Tianjin Binhai International Airport

    未标题-2.png Phoenix International Airport

    未标题-2.png Harbin Taiping International Airport

    未标题-2.png Guiyang Longdongbao International Airport

    未标题-2.png Lanzhou Zhongchuan International Airport

    未标题-2.png Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport

    未标题-2.png XishuangbannaGasa Airport

    Apart from this, you should know the main airport where you’ll deliver the cargo.

    Now, let’s shift to the United Kingdom.

    · Main airports in United Kingdom

    United Kingdom has the greatest connection to the whole world.

    Lots of business activities take place via her airports.

    Here, the United Kingdom encompasses Scotland, England, Wales or Northern Ireland.


    Main airports in UK

    On reaching the United Kingdom, the cargo plane can use any of the following airports depending on where the consignment on board is to be delivered.

    UK therefore have got high standard airport for effective operations which may include;-

    未标题-2.png London Heathrow

    未标题-2.png London Gatwick

    未标题-2.png Manchester Airport

    未标题-2.png London Stansted

    未标题-2.png London Luton

    未标题-2.png Edinburgh Airport

    未标题-2.png Birmingham Airport

    未标题-2.png Glasgow Airport

    未标题-2.png Bristol Airport

    未标题-2.png Newcastle Airport

    未标题-2.png East Midlands Airport

    未标题-2.png Belfast Airport

    未标题-2.png London Airport

    未标题-2.png Liverpool Airport

    未标题-2.png Aberdeen Airport

    未标题-2.png Leeds Bradford Airport

    未标题-2.png Belfast Airport

    未标题-2.png Southampton Airport

    未标题-2.png Jersey Airport

    未标题-2.png Cardiff

    未标题-2.png London Airport

    未标题-2.png Guernsey Airport

    未标题-2.png Doncaster Sheffield Airport

    未标题-2.png Exeter Airport

    未标题-2.png Isle of Man Airport

    未标题-2.png Bournemouth Airport

    未标题-2.png Inverness Airport

    未标题-2.png Glasgow Airport

    未标题-2.png Norwich Airport

    未标题-2.png Derry Airport

    未标题-2.png Sumburgh Airport

    未标题-2.png Newquay Airport

    未标题-2.png Humberside Airport

    未标题-2.png Durham Airport

    But, how will your cargo move from an airport in China to the United Kingdom?

    Cargo Planes from China to UK

    Since there is a business relationship between China and UK, there are several cargo planes making this possible.

    Some of the cargo planes using this network include; China Southern, Air China, DHL.

    4.3. China to U.K. Door to Door Shipping

    Door to door transit may take a junk of time, but it is important to know what it is.

    It is also an effective way of importing from China to U.K.

    In fact, in door to door shipping from China to U.K., the freight forwarder will handle everything for you.

    The process involves the following main stages:

    · Step 1: Source Goods from Supplier

    Once the supplier has finished production of the goods, they will be in the warehouse waiting to be collected depending on the agreement.

    The supplier may transport the good to the port.

    Or, if one operates on the EXW shipping terms, then he/she will take the full responsibility of organizing the transportation to the port.

    Packing Shihang copper nickel pipes

    Packing Shihang copper nickel pipes

    In such cases, the supplier will always leave the finished commodity in the factory for collection.

    All these transit times between the suppliers to the departure port takes time.

    A lot is involved, especially where the road transport is involved before the port.

    · Step 2: Goods Arrive at Port of Origin

    From the factory, the cargo/goods go to the port of origin in China/

    They then undergo different processes before loading ready for shipping

    The processes within 7 days may include; custom clearance, loading into the container, moving the container to the quay and finally loading onto the ship.

    · Step 3: Shipping from China to the U.K.

    Depending on the nature of goods, you can use air freight or sea freight.

    For air freight, the cargo will only take a few days.

    However, for ocean freight, it will take a number of days.

    I hope you remember what I had indicated earlier.

    · Step 4: Arrival at Port of Destination in the United Kingdom

    Once the cargo/goods arrive in the U.K., it will undergo through various procedures.

    It will include custom clearance, inspection, offloading and a bit of paperwork.

    After this, the cargo/goods will be ready for the next procedures.

    That is, the freight forwarder will arrange for transportation of the goods/cargo to your door step.


    Door to door shipping

    But, I know you could be asking yourself this question:

    How long does door to door shipping from China to UK take?

    From all the processes, important to note that the total time to ship a commodity from China to United Kingdom i.e. Wales, England or Scotland will be approximately 6 weeks.

    However, for ocean freight, it will obviously take more days.

    As a general rule, you should add about 7 days from the time the consignment leaves the manufacturer’s premises.

    However, at League shipping , we can reduce this time frame.

    Talk to us today, and we will handle all your door to door shipping from China to UK.

    Chapter 5: Modes of Shipping from China to U.K.

    Whenever you’re importing from China to the United Kingdom, you can choose many modes of shipping.

    The mode of shipping will depend on:

      i. Cost of shipping

     ii. Type and nature of goods

    iii. Space available, i.e. volumetric shape is key in ocean freight

    iv. Whether you’re going for ocean freight or air freight

    So, which options should you consider?

    We have:

    未标题-2.png Roll-on/Roll-off shipping

    未标题-2.png Reefer Container Shipping

    未标题-2.png Full Container Load (FCL) Shipping

    未标题-2.png Less than Container Load (LCL) Shipping

    未标题-2.png Out of Gauge (OOG) Shipping.

    Now, let’s discuss each mode of shipping from China to U.K.

    · A Reefer Container Shipping from China to U.K.

    This is simply a refrigerated container suitable for transportation of commodities requiring controlled temperatures and perishable goods.

    Some of the temperature sensitive goods likely to be transported in these containers are: dairy products, fruits, meat, fish, flowers, pharmaceutical products among others across long distances.

    This type of the container can maintain temperature within the range needed throughout the transit time.

    Reefer containers are designed with bottom air delivery units which distributes chilled air from its floor via the T-designed deck.

    This air then moves consistency throughout the container.

    Reefer container

    Reefer container

    Regardless of the room temperatures, the reefer containers have warm ups which are able to elevate the temperatures to about 30 degrees Celsius if need be.

    And please note:

    Reefer is designed to maintain the pre-cooled cargo temperature to its destination, but not to reduce the temperature.

    When chilled cargo is to be transported, heat and gases have to be removed by ensuring constant air flow and this is made possible by providing the cartons with ventilations.

    In the case of the frozen cargo, gaps between the cargo and the walls and the cargo itself cargo is avoided by ensuring air flows around the cargo (block stowed).

    For better stowing, a checklist is necessary which will ensure;

     i. There is no stuffing of the cargo beyond the T-floor end

    ii. Cargo stuffing should not exceed the red load line

    iii. Cargo should not shift during the passage by ensuring they are made stable on the floor

    iv. Carrying temperature should be well set and monitored

     v. Dehumidification controls must be constantly monitored

    vi. Only the cargo has to be pre-cooled, but not the container in cases where pre-cooling is necessary. It is with an exception only if the container is placed in a cold storage tunnel with air lock.

    vii. Ventilation’s should be free from any obstacle since this system needs a free flow of air

    · Less than Container Load (LCL) Shipping from China to U.K.

    This type of container consignment carries different types of goods of different origin and importers.

    The goods are normally cleared and handled independently.

    The container is put into the vessel once it is full.

    This means that all the goods packed in the same container will be consolidated up to the point when the container is cost effective for shipping.

    Important to note is that all the consolidated goods must be heading to the same port of destination.

    To come up with the shipping cost, the individual space (cubic meters) taken by every good will determine how much one will pay.

    This is the cheapest sea/ocean shipping mode when one is considering importing small quantities of commodities.


    LCL Shipping

    Even though this mode shipping is cheap, it always takes longer time due to prolonged consolidation and handling time.

    Consolidation is done both at the departure and destination port plus independent clearance of every package.

    Due to availability of different packages in one container, one has to ensure he does good packaging to avoid the damages during transit.

    Goods which are chemical in nature have to be declared before transit for precaution to be made to avoid any further damages.

    Every package is marked for easy identification at the destination port.

    · Full Container Load (FCL) Shipping from China to U.K.

    This is used where one has too much goods which is almost or full of a container.

    The container is treated as a single entity and all handling and clearance is done singly.

    This saves a lot of time compared to the LCL and also it is safe as it can be easily tracked.

    During tracking after the ship departs, the booking number or the shipping container is used to track the duration shipment can take in the sea/ocean.

    Charges on the FCL are flat rate compared to those of LCL where the charges are levied on each and every individual package.


    FCL Shipping

    There are three commonly used container types during shipping:

    未标题-2.png 20 feet

    未标题-2.png 40 feet

    未标题-2.png 40 feet high cube container

    Each container should hold a load of 28 tones.

    There is always the difference on how LCL and FLC are handled both at the port of departure and at the port of destination. It is due to the ownership inside the containers.

    §  Handing LCL vs. FCL

    The following are what makes LCL and FCL vary in the way they are being handled;

    Handling of the FCL takes minimal time compared to the LCL.

    It is because the supplier takes the responsibility of loading, sealing and transporting to the port of departure.

    There is always no need of opening the consignment at the departure port till it reaches the destination port where the importer clears and collects it.

    For the sake of LCL, a lot of time is utilized during handling since every package has to be treated independently.

    This is during consolidation at the port of departure and at the port of destination during segregation for individual packages for clearance.

    The Freight forwarder issues bill of lading directly in the case of FCL while in LCL, the bill of lading is given by the official shipping line.

    FCL charges less than LCL owing to its low handling activities.

    The difference in charges come as a result of handling the LCL both at the destination and departure ports during consolidation and segregation.

    Many LCLs in one single container attracts high workloads which automatically pushes the cost high.

    During unloading of the LCLs at the port of destination, segregation will be time consuming.

    While for FLC, the consignment will just be unloaded from the vessel and sent to the owner.

    FCL has one single container number which can easily be tracked.

    On the other hand, in LCL, every package has independent shipping mark to help differentiate it from other packages.

    When putting marks on the individual LCL packages, care has to be taken to ensure that the marks are visible with bold black color and are waterproof to resist being erased easily.

    Basically the writings are supposed to be in English and possibly in the language of the destination port.

    For cargos containing dangerous chemicals/substances, orange or red colors are used to mark them.

    §  Roll-on/Roll-off Shipping from China to U.K.

    Shipping of wheeled machines or automobiles take a different mode of packaging.

    In such cases, Roll-on/Roll-off method of shipping (Ro Ro) is advisable.

    Ro – Ro are vessel containers that can safety carry wheeled cargo such as forklifts, tractors, trailers, vehicles among others.

    The conditions for such machines to be transported is that they must be in good working condition.


    In order for them to be easily driven on their wheels into the container at the port of departure and driven out of the container at the port of destination.

    Roll-on/Roll-off is the cheapest method when shipping the wheeled machines/automobiles, although other container types can as well be used.

    The only difference is that, in the container ship, the machines may not be in good working condition.

    Only wheeled goods, accessories, i.e. spares are allowed in Ro/Ro, no personal belongings are allowed alongside the shipment.

    This shipping type has the guarantee of the consignment’s departure and arrival dates which makes it better than the container shipping.

    Out of Gauge (OOG) Shipping from China to U.K.

    It is for loads which have dimensions exceeding those of the container.

    Normally, the shipping company will charge an out of gauge surcharge on the “lost slots.”

    This is because when the goods protrude; more containers can never be loaded.

    Normally, there is no set limit for an out of gauge cargo.

    The capacity of the container to be used is not dependent on the height, width or the weight to be used.


    OOG Shipping

    In case any client has an out of gauge cargo for shipment, he/she must provide:

    未标题-2.png Weight of the cargo

    未标题-2.png Total dimensions of the cargo

    未标题-2.png Pictures of the cargo, alongside and other specifications

    All these requirements are vital since they help the ship’s planning officers to check if the cargo is suitable to be loaded in a particular ship or not.

    At this point, the process may take a bit long, but the suitability of whether to accept such a shipment is always communicated to the client.

    Chapter 6: FAQs about Shipping from China to UK

    I know probably, you may have some questions about shipping from China to U.K.

    Here, I’m going to cover common questions importers from the U.K. ask whenever they want to ship from China.

    You can go through these seven questions, and in case you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to ask.


    China to U.K.

    Question 1: Which port should I use to ship from China to U.K.?

    Answer: There are so many ports in China and I have highlighted most of them in this guide.

    However, as a rule of thumb, use one that is closer to your supplier.

    You need to discuss this with your freight forwarder.

    Because you need a port that can link you directly to the U.K.

    This way, you will save both time and money.

    Question 2: What is the total time taken to ship from China to UK?

    Answer: Normally, the transit time will vary greatly owing to a number of factors.

    You can determine the timeframe depending on the transit period and other logistics procedures.

    For instance:

    未标题-2.png Paperwork and handling consignment may take two weeks

    未标题-2.png Shipping may vary between a few hours to several days depending on the mode of shipping

    未标题-2.png Sourcing product from the supplier may take a few days or months

    In short, you can factor in all these to get all approximate time it will take to ship from China to U.K.

    Question 3: What do we mean by “Beat My Freight Quote” when importing?

    Answer: Beat My Freight Quote is when you deal directly with professional freight forwarder with good knowledge in your area.

    All inquiries will be dealt with by the local agent who will make a search of the best deal on your behalf.

    So, all the deals will be between the agent and yourself.

    In Beat My Freight Quote, no commission is taken for any transaction made and you can save a lot.

    In order to be a licensed Beat My Freight Quote Freight, the freight forwarder must either be a member of a national freight forwarding company association.

    Also, the freight forwarder must portray a high level of professionalism.

    In most cases, they are approved by members of FIATA or IATA cargo agents.

    Question 4: How do I make payment to a freight forwarding company based in China?

    Answer: One can use money transfer systems to pay to that company’s bank account in China.

    Most of these freight forwarding companies will have accounts with leading banks such as HSBC (Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation).

    The freight forwarder can conveniently and swiftly receive any payment.

    Question 5: I don’t have a Bill of Lading (B/L), what should I do?

    Answer: You can declare the cargo booking reference number in place of the “Bill of Lading (B/L) number” in your permit application.

    That is, if you haven’t been given the Bill of Lading.

    You can update the information once you get the Bill of Lading by simply submitting the amended application.

    Question 6:  How do I guarantee the safety of my imports from China?

    Answer: Hiring a professional and experienced freight forwarder is the only solution here.


    They will handle all procedures, be it loading, labeling, transportation or clearance.

    Such freight forwarders know the rules and regulations governing importing from China into the U.K.

    In fact, hiring a professional freight forwarder will save you both money and time.

    Question 7: How can I track his shipping order?

    Answer: The moment your order leaves the warehouse, the freight forwarder will send you the dispatch notification having the tracking information from the carrier.

    This will include the carrier website link which one can always use to know the distance status of the consignment.

    Anyway, that’s all I had for you in this section.

    Do you have any question on shipping from China to U.K., well, leave a quick comment below.


    Clearly, importing from China to U.K. is simple and straight forward.

    All you should do is to understand everything I have highlighted in this guide.

    From evaluating costs, knowing rules and regulations, choosing modes of transport, etc.

    And more importantly, hire a professional freight forwarder.

    I hope this helps.

    Feel free to share this article with your friends.

    Also, I’d wish to hear from you – which freight forwarder in China have you worked with before?

    What was your experience?

Ask Best Shipping Rate