Shipping from China to UK

Shipping from China to UK

Make Logistics Your Competitive Advantage

Are you looking for a shipping forwarder company who can arrange the ship from China to UK? It is recommended that you choose CUC as your designated shipping agent China to UK! CUC term have rich experience in UK market and are good at providing various customized services according to your needs. Whether air freight or sea freight, our team will work hard to provide you with the best solution of shipping from China to the UK.

Best Practices For Finding Reliable Chinese Carriers For UK Importers

1. Research and compare: 

Conduct thorough research and compare different shipping companies. Read reviews and testimonials from other UK importers who have used their services.

2. Check their certifications: 

Make sure the shipping company you choose is certified and licensed to operate in China. Check for certifications from organizations such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) or the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

3. Check their experience: 

Choose a company that has experience in shipping goods from China to the UK. They are more likely to be familiar with the shipping routes, customs regulations, and other challenges that may arise during the shipping process.

4. Ask for quotes: 

Request quotes from several shipping companies and compare their rates. However, keep in mind that the lowest quote may not always be the best option, as there may be hidden costs or other issues that could arise.

5. Customer service: 

Choose a shipping company with good customer service. They should be responsive and provide timely updates on the status of your shipments.

6. Shipping options: 

Choose a company that offers a range of shipping options, including air freight, sea freight, and other specialized services such as door-to-door delivery.

Best Practices For Finding Reliable Chinese Carriers For UK Importers

What Is The Cheapest Way Shipping From China To UK?

Sea freight is typically the cheapest way of shipping from China to the UK. It is especially cost-effective for large quantities of goods and heavy items. However, it is important to note that the shipping time will be longer than air freight.

When using sea freight, there are two options:

1. LCL (Less Than Container Load) - This involves sharing a container with other shippers. It is a more affordable option for small to medium-sized businesses that are not shipping a full container load.

2. FCL (Full Container Load) - This involves renting an entire container for your shipment. It is typically cheaper than LCL if you are shipping a large quantity of goods and can fill a full container.

It is important to consider all variables, such as shipping time, handling fee, customs clearance, and import duties, when selecting the cheapest way for shipping from China to the UK. Additionally, consider working with a trustworthy and experienced Chinese shipping company that can help guide you in the process.

If you are looking for a cheap courier from China to UK, Contact CUC right now! As a leading shipping forwarder China to UK, CUC provides cheap yet reliable shipping solutions from China to UK. Simply fill out the form below, and we will contact you as soon as possible.

What Is The Fastest Way Shipping From China To UK?

If you need your shipment from China to the UK to be delivered quickly, then air freight or express delivery is the fastest option to consider. Your choice between these two would depend on factors such as the quantity of goods being shipped, packaging sizes, and timing requirements. CUC has ample experience in both air freight and express delivery, and can advise on the most reasonable airline or express carrier for your specific shipment based on your requirements. This will help ensure that your shipment is delivered to the UK in a fast and efficient manner.

What Is The Fastest Way Shipping From China To UK?

How Long Does It Take Shipping From China To UK?

The exact time it takes to ship from China to the UK can vary depending on factors such as the mode of transport and chosen route. Sea freight is an affordable option for large and heavy cargo but takes longer, with typical shipping times ranging between 12-45 days. On the other hand, air freight is faster, with typical shipping times ranging between 1-15 days, but tends to be more expensive. However, both modes of transportation can experience delays due to factors like customs clearance, weather conditions, and transportation issues, which can impact the overall transit time. It's essential to keep these factors in mind when planning your shipments from China to the UK.

Sea Freight Transit Times from China to UK

Origin Port (China)Destination Port (UK)Estimated Transit Time (FCL)
Estimated Transit Time (LCL)
ShanghaiFelixstowe20-30 days12-18 days
ShanghaiSouthampton22-32 days14-20 days
ShenzhenLiverpool25-35 days15-21 days
QingdaoLondon Gateway23-33 days13-19 days
TianjinTilbury21-31 days11-17 days

Air Freight Transit Times from China to UK

Origin Airport (China)Destination Airport (UK)
Estimated Transit Time
Shanghai Pudong (PVG)London Heathrow (LHR)4-6 days
Shenzhen Baoan (SZX)Manchester Airport (MAN)4-7 days
Guangzhou Baiyun (CAN)Birmingham Airport (BHX)4-8 days
Chengdu Shuangliu (CTU)Stansted Airport (STN)5-9 days
Xiamen Gaoqi (XMN)East Midlands Airport (EMA)5-8 days

Shipping Costs/Prices/Rates/Charges From China To UK

Shipping costs from China to the UK depend on several factors such as the mode of transport, weight, and size of the goods being shipped, and the distance covered. Here is an overview of the shipping costs for different modes of transportation from China to the UK:

1. Sea Freight:

The cost of shipping from China to the UK by sea is generally cheaper than air freight. The cost of sea freight usually varies from $500 to $1,500 depending on the volume of shipment, the type of goods, and the distance covered.

Shipping OptionEstimated CostTransit Time
Full Container Load (FCL - 20ft)£1,500 - £3,000
25-40 business days
Full Container Load (FCL - 40ft)£2,500 - £4,500
25-40 business days
Less Than Container Load (LCL) per cubic meter (cbm)£200 - £400
30-45 business days
Origin Port (China)Destination Port (UK)FCL (20ft) CostFCL (40ft) CostLCL per cbmTransit Time
ShanghaiFelixstowe£1,800 - £3,500£2,800 - £5,000£250 - £45028-42 days
ShenzhenSouthampton£1,700 - £3,200£2,700 - £4,800£220 - £42030-45 days
NingboLiverpool£1,600 - £3,000£2,500 - £4,500£200 - £40032-47 days
QingdaoLondon Gateway£1,500 - £2,800£2,400 - £4,200£180 - £38035-48 days
TianjinTilbury£1,900 - £3,300£2,900 - £5,100£280 - £48030-43 days

2. Air Freight:

It is often the fastest way to transport goods from China to the UK but tends to be more expensive than sea freight. The cost of air freight can vary depending on the airline carrier, weight, and size of the shipment, but it typically costs around $3 to $7 per kg.

Weight Range (kg)Estimated Cost per kgTransit Time
Under 10kg£8 - £12
4-7 business days
10kg - 50kg£6 - £9
4-7 business days
50kg - 100kg£5 - £8
4-7 business days
100kg - 300kg£4 - £7
4-7 business days
Over 300kgNegotiable
4-7 business days
Origin Port (China)Destination Port (UK)Weight Range (kg)Estimated Cost per kgTransit Time
Shanghai (Pudong)London (Heathrow)Under 10kg£8 - £12
4-7 business days
Shenzhen(Baoan)Manchester10kg - 50kg£6.50 - £9.50
4-7 business days
NingboBirmingham50kg - 100kg£5.50 - £8.50
4-7 business days
QingdaoEast Midlands100kg - 300kg£4.50 - £7.50
4-7 business days
TianjinLondon (Stansted)Over 300kgNegotiable
4-7 business days

3. Express Delivery:

This is the fastest and most expensive shipping method. The price for express delivery can vary depending on the courier service provider, weight, and size of the shipment, but it typically costs around $30 to $40 per kg.

Service ProviderWeight Range (kg)Estimated CostTransit Time
DHL ExpressUnder 0.5£50 - £70+
1-2 business days

0.5 - 10£45 - £65+ per kg
1-2 business days

Over 10Negotiable
1-3 business days
FedEx International PriorityUnder 0.5£45 - £60+
1-2 business days

0.5 - 10£40 - £55+ per kg
1-3 business days

Over 10Negotiable
1-3 business days
UPS Worldwide ExpressUnder 0.5£40 - £55+
1-2 business days

0.5 - 10£38 - £53+ per kg
1-3 business days

Over 10Negotiable
1-3 business days
TNT ExpressUnder 0.5£35 - £50+
1-2 business days

0.5 - 10£33 - £48+ per kg
1-3 business days

Over 10Negotiable
1-3 business days
SF ExpressUnder 0.5£30 - £40+
2-4 business days

0.5 - 10£28 - £45+ per kg
2-4 business days

Over 10Negotiable
2-4 business days

Origin Port (China)Destination Port (UK)Service ProviderEstimated Cost per kgTransit Time
Shanghai (Pudong)London (Heathrow)DHL Express£45 - £60
1-2 business days
Shenzhen (Baoan)ManchesterFedEx International Priority£40 - £55
1-3 business days
NingboBirminghamUPS Worldwide Express£38 - £53
1-3 business days
QingdaoEast MidlandsTNT Express£33 - £50
2-4 business days
TianjinLondon (Stansted)SF Express£30 - £45
2-4 business days

It is important to note that these prices are indicative and subject to change due to factors such as fuel costs, exchange rates, and other variables. It is recommended to compare prices from different shipping companies and choose the one that best fits your budget and shipping needs.

Sea Freight & Container Shipping From China To the UK

Choosing between FCL (Full Container Load) and LCL (Less Than Container Load) shipping for your China-UK shipment depends on the volume of your goods.

Considerations for FCL Freight Shipping

FCL Freight Shipping is ideal for Large shipments that can fill a 20ft or 40ft container. FCL Freight Shipping features faster transit times (20-35 days) than LCL. You'll have more control over scheduling and security. And it's cost-effective per unit when filling the container. (Flat rate per container). But it's More expensive upfront if you don't have enough cargo to fill a container.

Considerations for LCL Freight Shipping

LCL (Less Than Container Load) is Ideal for Smaller shipments that cannot fill a full container. LCL shipping is More affordable for smaller cargo volumes. You only pay for the space your goods occupy. But it features Slower transit times (10-16 days or more) due to consolidation at ports and Less control over scheduling and potential handling delays.

Ideal forLarge shipments
Smaller shipments
Transit TimeFaster (20-35 days)
Slower (10-16 days or more)
Cost per unit (when full)More cost-effective
Less cost-effective
Total CostCan be expensive upfront
More affordable for smaller volumes
ControlMore control over scheduling and securityLess control

Air Freight From China To the UK

Air Freight shipping from China to the UK features:

Fast Transit Times: Air freight offers the fastest shipping option, typically taking 4-10 days depending on the specific origin and destination cities.

Security: Air cargo generally experiences less handling compared to sea freight, potentially reducing the risk of damage or loss.

Perishable Goods: Air freight is ideal for perishable items like food or medicine that require quick delivery.

Time-Sensitive Shipments: For urgent deliveries or products needed for immediate production in the UK, air freight is the clear choice.

You should consider:

Cost: Air freight is significantly more expensive than sea freight. This is a major factor, especially for large shipments.

Capacity: Airplanes have lower cargo capacities compared to ships. This limits air freight's suitability for very bulky or heavy goods.

Customs Clearance: Just like sea freight, air shipments require customs clearance in the UK, which can add time and cost.

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Door to Door shipping – Importation from China to the UK

1. Prepare Your Shipment:

  • Packaging: Ensure your goods are securely packed in sturdy boxes or containers suitable for international travel. Fragile items need extra cushioning to prevent damage.

  • Itemized List: Provide CUC freight with a detailed list of everything you're shipping. This should include descriptions, weights, and values of each item.

  • Customs Documentation: The freight forwarder can guide you on any necessary customs documentation like commercial invoices. These documents typically include information about the shipment like origin, destination, contents, and value. They are essential for customs clearance in both China and the UK.

2. Freight Forwarder Takes Over:

  • Pickup and Booking: CUC freight will arrange for pickup of your goods from your location in China.

  • Transportation Booking: Once everything is confirmed, they will book the appropriate transportation (air or sea freight) based on your needs and budget. They will handle any export documentation from China.

3. Track Your Shipment:

  • Tracking Information: CUC freight will provide you with tracking information so you can monitor your shipment's progress throughout the journey.

4. Customs Clearance:

  • UK Import Regulations: Be aware of any import regulations or restrictions for the UK. Certain items might require special permits or certifications. The freight forwarder can help navigate these complexities.

  • Customs Clearance Process: The freight forwarder will manage the customs clearance process in both China and the UK. This might involve paying any duties or import taxes levied on your shipment. They will ensure all necessary paperwork is completed efficiently.

5. Delivery and Completion:

  • Final Delivery: After customs clearance in the UK, your shipment will be delivered directly to your recipient's address, completing the door-to-door service.

  • Delivery Notification: The freight forwarder will notify you upon successful delivery, marking the completion of the entire process.

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

  • Shipping Method:

    • Air Freight: Fastest option, typically taking 1-2 weeks for the actual transport but can be more expensive.

    • Sea Freight: More economical option, taking 4-6 weeks for transport but can be significantly slower.

  • Customs Clearance: This process in both China and the UK can add 1-2 weeks depending on the complexity of your shipment and potential inspections.

  • Pick-up and Delivery Locations: Remote locations in China or the UK might add a few days for pickup and final delivery.

  • Holiday Seasons: Peak shipping seasons around holidays in China or the UK can cause delays.

A range for total door-to-door shipping times based on method:

  • Air Freight: 2-4 weeks (fastest)

  • Sea Freight: 6-8 weeks (most common)

DDP Shipping Cost From China To The UK

Shipping MethodEstimated CostTransit Time
Air Freight£3.50 - £6.00 per kg
4-7 business days
Sea Freight (FCL - Full Container Load)£1,500 - £3,000 per 20ft container
25-40 business days
Sea Freight (LCL - Less Than Container Load)£200 - £400 per cubic meter (cbm)
30-45 business days

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What are the Shipping Costs from China to UK?

FCL Container Freight Rates From China to UK

Origin Port (China)Destination Port (UK)Container SizeEstimated Cost Range
Estimated Transit Time
ShanghaiFelixstowe20ft$1,900 - $2,300 USD20-30 days
ShanghaiSouthampton20ft$2,000 - $2,400 USD22-32 days
ShenzhenLiverpool40ft$4,000 - $6,000 USD25-35 days
QingdaoLondon Gateway40ft$3,800 - $5,500 USD23-33 days
TianjinTilbury20ft$2,100 - $2,600 USD21-31 days

LCL Consolidation sea freight rates from China to UK

Origin Port (China)Destination Port (UK)Estimated Cost Range per Cubic Meter (cbm)
Estimated Transit Time
ShanghaiFelixstowe$650 - $850 USD12-18 days
ShanghaiSouthampton$700 - $900 USD14-20 days
ShenzhenLiverpool$750 - $950 USD15-21 days
QingdaoLondon Gateway$700 - $900 USD13-19 days
TianjinTilbury$600 - $800 USD11-17 days

Air freight rates from China to UK

Origin Airport (China)Destination Airport (UK)Estimated Cost Range per Kg
Estimated Transit Time
Shanghai Pudong (PVG)London Heathrow (LHR)$8 - $12 USD4-6 days
Shenzhen Baoan (SZX)Manchester Airport (MAN)$9 - $13 USD4-7 days
Guangzhou Baiyun (CAN)Birmingham Airport (BHX)$10 - $14 USD4-8 days
Chengdu Shuangliu (CTU)Stansted Airport (STN)$11 - $15 USD5-9 days
Xiamen Gaoqi (XMN)East Midlands Airport (EMA)$9 - $13 USD5-8 days

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Ship Products/Items From China To the United Kingdom

Consumer Electronics: China is a major manufacturer of consumer electronics, offering a wide range of products such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktop computers, smartwatches, cameras, headphones, and gaming consoles. These items come in various brands, models, and specifications to cater to different consumer preferences in the UK.

Apparel and Fashion: Chinese manufacturers produce a diverse array of clothing and fashion items, including shirts, pants, dresses, skirts, jackets, coats, suits, activewear, swimwear, shoes, handbags, hats, scarves, and fashion accessories. These products cater to different styles and trends and are popular among consumers in the UK.

Home Goods and Decor: China manufactures a variety of home goods and decor items, including furniture, kitchenware, bedding sets, curtains, rugs, decorative pillows, wall art, vases, candles, and other decorative accessories. These items offer UK consumers the opportunity to decorate their homes with stylish and affordable options.

Toys and Games: Chinese factories produce a vast selection of toys and games for children of all ages, including dolls, action figures, stuffed animals, building blocks, puzzles, educational toys, board games, outdoor toys, and remote-controlled vehicles. These items provide entertainment and educational value for kids in the UK.

Health and Beauty Products: China is a major supplier of health and beauty products, offering a wide range of cosmetics, skincare products, haircare products, and personal care items. This includes makeup, facial cleansers, moisturizers, serums, shampoos, conditioners, body lotions, soaps, and grooming tools.

Automotive Parts and Accessories: Chinese manufacturers supply a variety of automotive parts and accessories for cars, motorcycles, and other vehicles. This includes replacement parts, performance upgrades, accessories, and car care products such as brake pads, filters, headlights, mirrors, seat covers, and steering wheel covers.

Machinery and Equipment: China produces various types of machinery and equipment for industrial, commercial, and personal use, including construction machinery, agricultural machinery, manufacturing equipment, power tools, welding machines, and packaging machinery. These items support various industries and businesses in the UK.

Textiles and Fabrics: Chinese textile manufacturers supply a wide range of fabrics and materials used in clothing manufacturing, upholstery, and home textiles. This includes cotton, polyester, silk, wool, denim, lace, and synthetic fabrics in different colors, patterns, and textures.

Food and Beverages: While the import of food and beverages is subject to regulations and restrictions, some packaged food products and beverages can be shipped from China to the UK. This may include snacks, tea, sauces, noodles, and canned goods, among others.

Art and Craft Supplies: China produces a variety of art and craft supplies, including paints, brushes, canvases, sketchbooks, craft paper, beads, yarn, sewing supplies, and other crafting materials. These items cater to artists, hobbyists, and DIY enthusiasts in the UK.

CUC Freight – Freight Forwarder China to the UK

CUC always committed to providing the most economical, most suitable and safest cargo logistics solutions for you under the premise of complying with laws and regulations, and providing you with worry-free services through professional process management. When you choose CUC to start your shipment, you can follow the flow chart below, and the rest of the work will be handed over to our expert team, you just need to wait in the office/home to receive the goods!

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Import Tax and Duties in the UK

Import tax and duties in the UK are administered by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and are levied on goods being imported into the country. The main components of import charges in the UK include customs duty, value-added tax (VAT), and excise duty, where applicable.

  1. Customs Duty: Customs duty is a tax imposed on imported goods and is calculated based on the classification of the goods according to the Harmonized System (HS) code and the country of origin. Duty rates can vary widely, ranging from 0% for certain goods to several hundred percent for others.

  2. Value-Added Tax (VAT): VAT is applied to most imported goods at the prevailing rate, which is currently 20% in the UK. VAT is calculated based on the total value of the imported goods, including the cost of the goods, any shipping or insurance costs, and any customs duty payable.

  3. Excise Duty: Excise duty is a tax applied to specific goods such as alcohol, tobacco, and petroleum products. The rates of excise duty vary depending on the type and quantity of the goods being imported.

In addition to customs duty, VAT, and excise duty, other charges such as anti-dumping duty, countervailing duty, and specific tariffs may also apply to certain imported goods in the UK.

The UK has also established various trade agreements and preferences with other countries and trade blocs, which may affect the duty rates applicable to imports from those countries. Goods imported from countries with which the UK has a trade agreement or preference may be eligible for preferential duty rates or duty-free treatment under certain conditions.

Prohibited and Restricted Items

Prohibited Items:

  • Illegal substances: All illegal drugs and narcotics.

  • Weapons and Explosives: Firearms, ammunition, explosives (including fireworks), replica firearms, certain bladed weapons (flick knives, gravity knives).

  • Offensive Weapons: Items designed to cause injury, such as pepper spray, CS spray, and knuckle dusters.

  • Endangered Species Products: Ivory and animal products derived from endangered species (strict regulations apply).

  • Counterfeit Goods: Products infringing on intellectual property rights (trademarks, copyrights).

  • Obscene Material: Pornography and other indecent or offensive materials.

  • Rough Diamonds: Uncut diamonds require special licenses and controls.

  • Personal Imports of Meat and Dairy: Restrictions apply to personal imports of meat and dairy products from non-EU countries.

Restricted Items:

  • Alcohol and Tobacco: Subject to excise duties and import permits depending on quantity.

  • Food and Animal Products: Certain food items may require inspections and health certificates (e.g., meat, fish, honey).

  • Plants and Plant Products: Live plants and some seeds may require permits for import.

  • Radio Equipment:  Radio transmitters exceeding a specific wattage or not complying with UK regulations may require licensing.

  • Used Tires:  Used tires may require additional documentation and clearance procedures.

  • Certain Building Materials:  Some building materials may require specific certifications or approvals.

FAQs About Shipping From China To UK

Do I need an import license when shipping from China to the UK?

An import license is not required for most products when shipping from China to the UK. However, certain products may require specific permits, certifications, and licenses, depending on the nature of the goods being imported.

What are Incoterms, and how do they affect shipping from China to the UK?

Incoterms are international commercial terms that define the responsibilities and obligations between buyers and sellers during international trade. Understanding and selecting the appropriate Incoterm is essential when shipping from China to the UK, as it outlines the responsibilities, transportation costs, and risks throughout the shipment process.

What Our Clients Are Saying?

Your satisfaction are our utmost priority and we strive to provide professional, hassle-free, safe, secure, dependable and timely deliveries each and every time.  After had tried our service, most of them become our regular customers and they praise for our service.

Anna Tartaglia

I had a pleasure dealing CUC international freight in the past. The team is active and very responsive, always reply my emails in minutes although we are different time zone. Done several shipment requests recently with them and it was fulfilled without any issues. I will keep continuing to work with them.

Mobile Xcessories

We use CUC for all of our international shipping. They always are willing to help as our business continues to scale. Nothing but good things to say about their service! They take care of all of our shipping needs! The staff is always pleasant to deal with, prompt, professional and exceptionally knowledgeable. I highly recommend CUC international for your logistics needs from start to finish.

Moe Hussein

I have been dealing with CUC for over 5 years and I am never disappointed with the service I receive. CUC International is willing to go above and beyond for their customers and it shows with the positive feedback we receive with the end customers. I really appreciate your excellent service. Looking forward to our next cooperation soon.

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