Shipping to the Chinese Consumer
The shipping times to China are around (form the UK);
- Airmail – 5 to 7 days
- Air freight – 5 to 7 days
- Train (EU) – 3 weeks
- Sea freight EU – 5 weeks
Shipment to Chinese consumers is by airmail / air freight.
Shipping of goods to China is not as well established as shipping goods from China. The exception to this are the services offered by the Chinese e-Malls; i.e. TMall, Taobao, JDBuy, etc.
The Chinese e-Malls have the following procedures for overseas purchases;
- Goods are ordered / purchased from the overseas
- Goods are dispatched to China to a central clearing centre e.g. Hangzhou for Taobao / Tmall.
- The goods clear customs and duties and local taxes paid
- Goods are despatched to the consumer in China
- If goods are returned they are sent back to the central clearing centre. Forwarding from there will depend on instructions from the seller.
Once the goods have arrived at the clearing centre in China the consumer can track the shipment process on their mobile APPs.
When purchasing international goods, the normally delivery time on the e-Mall sites is 15 days.
The central clearing centres are in specific zones within major cities. Within these zeros the Chinese Customs offer fast clearing service for imported goods by having the goods pre-registered with Customs. Customs issue you with “yellow” clearing labels for each product line so they can scan each package and record the import against your Custom account.
In this way Custom can quickly track and control the import process and collection of duty and local taxes
Most products in the Chinese e-Malls are the net price to the consumer. Given the processes above the net costs of supplier is straight forward to calculate.
Anyone can send a package to a Chinese consumer form outside and Chinese consumer will often purchase goods from overseas websites.
There will be issues of postage, custom clearance, fees, etc. These are normally paid directly by the Chinese consumer.
The Chinese consumer, we believe, will not be purchasing less from overseas websites as Chinese e-Malls “net pricing” is preferable.
Our recommendation is to talk to your local shipping / postal services companies. Use the Chinese e-Mall process above as your check list.
As new shipping services are available to the market, we will update this web page / report with more information.
Our other recommendation is do not store your stock overseas. If the goods do not sell you will have to arrange for the goods to be returned. Often this results in damaged goods and additional time and costs.
last modified: June 2019