Despite being heavily impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic, trade between Singapore and China has been showing signs of recovery in 2021, supported by China’s increasing focus on regional trade agreements and industrial chains.
Trading between the countries has been strong in the recent past, with China exporting $49 billion worth of goods to Singapore two years ago (2019).
There are many ways of moving goods from China to Singapore either by air or by ship, unfortunately transporting goods by road is not possible.
In this article, we tell you everything you need to know about moving goods from China to Singapore, including key points on the necessary regulations.
When trying to find the cheapest shipping from China to Singapore there are many factors to consider, such as time, cost and location. SeaRates.com can help at every stage of your journey.
How long does it take to ship from China to Singapore?
It is quicker to transport your goods by plane than by ship when shipping between China and Singapore. Any type of ship travels at an average speed of 35km/hour, while a plane can reach 900km/hour. If you are in a hurry the later mode of transport might be better.
The shipping route from China to Singapore goes along China’s east coast and along Singapore’s west coast. When considering where to load your goods, you should choose the port that is closest to your warehouse. Before you set off, you will also need to add supplementary rail and road times to your journey.
The table below shows the estimated travel times from China to Singapore by ship.
|From where? ||LCL||FCL||Duration |
|Guangzhou ||YES ||NO ||12 days |
|Chongqing ||NO ||YES ||21 days |
|Fuzhou||YES ||NO ||15 days |
|Huangpu ||NO ||YES ||10 days |
|Nansha ||NO ||YES ||9 days |
|Shanghai ||YES (11 days) ||YES ||14 days |
|Shekou ||NO||YES||6 days|
|Shenzen ||YES (10 days)||YES||31 days |
|Tianjin ||NO||YES||31 days|
|Xiamen||YES (13 days)||YES||8 days |
Major ports in China
Below is a list of the major ports In China to ship your goods from:
- Fang Chenggang
- Haikou, Basuo
- Taizhou (North of Wenzhou)
- Zhuhai, Shenzhen
- Taizhou (South of Wenzhou).
Major ports in Singapore
Below is a list of the major ports in Singapore to ship your goods to:
- Tanjong Pagar
- Pasir Panjang
If you are thinking of shipping your goods from China to Singapore during holiday seasons, think again. As this will add extra time to the journey and additional charges. Also shipping from China to Singapore during big holidays like Chinese New Year is best avoided.
The Chinese New Year occupies approximately three weeks in the Lunar calendar. There is a national holiday for one week between the October 1 and October 7.
Peak season for China exports is usually one month to Chinese New Year in January, and the third quarter of every year when goods are shipped from China to Singapore for Halloween, school term-time and Christmas.
|Holiday ||Duration |
|New Year’s Day ||1 working day |
|Chinese New Year/Spring Festival ||3 working days |
|Qingming Festival ||1 working day |
|International Labor Day ||1 working day |
|Dragon Boat Festival ||1 working day |
|Mid-Autumn Festival ||1 working day |
|National Day ||3 working days |
|Women’s Day ||A half day |
What is LCL and FCL?
LCL stands for Less than Container Load (LCL) and is suitable for shipping a small amount of goods from China to Singapore. If you choose LCL shipping, your goods will share a container with other products, and it is likely they will be handled or move more than if you choose the Full Container Load (FCL) shipping.
LCL shipping is a good choice if your goods are suitable for being shipped in a shared container, not urgently required, and if the goods occupy less than six standard pallets. Conversely, if your goods could be easily damaged, are unsuitable for shipping in a share container and are required in Singapore on a specific date and time, the LCL option is not the best choice.
FCL shipping on the other hand involves paying a flat rate for rental and transportation of a shipping container from China to Singapore. For large consignments, it is usually the most cost-effective shipping option, occupying at least six pallets in a 20ft container or 12 standard pallets in a 40ft container.
FCL shipping is a good option if your goods must arrive in Singapore by a specific time and date. It’s also a good option if you can fill half the capacity of a standard 20ft shipping container and if your goods are unable to be shipped in a shared container.
If you are unsure about the weight of the goods you are carrying from China to Singapore, you can check using the SeaRates Load Calculator.
What does shipping from China to Singapore cost?
Shipping costs between China and Singapore are dependent on several factors: the port of origin and its destination, the specific time of year when shipping and carrier availability, for example. Other factors include the nature of the goods, chosen method of transport (LCL shipping, FCL shipping or air freight), weight and dimensions, and the length of the shipping journey. Small shipments that don’t weigh very much might be affordable to ship by air, while large, heavy shipments are almost always cheaper by sea.
*Actual rates up to 30 June 2021.
|CURRENCY ||20ST* ||DESTINATION/DIRECTION |
|USD ||688 ||Ningbo-Singapore |
|USD ||688 ||Qingdao-Singapore |
|USD ||688 ||Shanghai-Singapore |
|USD ||770||Xingang-Singapore |
*Actual rates up to 30 June 2021.
|CURRENCY ||20ST* ||DESTINATION/DIRECTION |
|USD ||1311 ||Ningbo-Singapore |
|USD ||866||Qingdao-Singapore |
|USD ||1470 ||Shanghai-Singapore |
|USD ||1444||Xingang-Singapore |
How long does it take to ship from China to Singapore by air?
It can take anything from five days to 14 days to ship your goods from China to Singapore, below are some examples of times from China to Singapore International Airport.
- From Guangzhou or Nanjing — 7 days
- From Shanghai-Pudong or Shenzhen — 5 days
- From Wuhan — 14 days
- From Xiamen — 6 days
Should I have cargo insurance?
Customers should always insure their cargo. It is the only protection you have should your shipment suffer damage or loss. SeaRates can help you find the ideal insurance policy for your shipment from China to Singapore.
Check out our Online Freight Marketplace for insurance quotes across the market.
What costs do I need to consider when shipping from China to Singapore?
The operational costs of shipping from the China to Singapore can be planned well in advance, but you also need to consider import taxes and duties, federal duties and state-level duties.
Try to keep in mind that your exports could face unexpected costs if you are unfamiliar with the taxes, duties, and any customs-related fees relating to any route. We recommend researching these prior to booking.
What else do I need to consider when shipping from China to Singapore?
There are several expected costs that come with physically transporting goods across international waters. Those costs vary, depending on volume, weight, dimensions, distance and method of shipment.
The good news is that by using the SeaRates Online Freight Marketplace, you’ll have access to freight rates from around the world, helping you keep costs low whilst remaining efficient.
If your goods weigh under 100kg, there’s unlikely to be much difference between the cost of air cargo and ocean freight. Heavier goods with a weight of 100 kilograms or more will cost significantly less to ship as ocean freight than as air cargo.
Freight forwarders are usually only for loads weighing in excess of 35 kilograms. SeaRates can help you connect with freight forwarders or talk about requesting for rates.
Customs clearance in China and Singapore
Customs clearance often lead some businesses to form a partnership with a freight forwarder - someone who will manage the process on behalf of your business. Freight forwarders can ensure shipments meet the regulations related to importing from China to Singapore and avoid delays.
Freight forwarders still must work in partnership with shippers to ensure the customs clearance process goes smoothly. They will need to provide the following documents which are essential to satisfy the demands of customs officials: a commercial invoice, packing list, certificate of origin, letter of credit, airway bill for air freight or bill of lading for shipping by sea.
Get an online quote from SeaRates
Finding cost-effective routes is admittedly a tricky business, but the SeaRates’ Online Freight Marketplace is useful for novice users and seasoned professionals alike. It offers the most competitive shipping rates, direct from the global freight forwarding community.
For additional guidance, there is also a sizeable team on standby to assist with quotes, insurance, and in the planning of your end-to-end shipping journey.
Is it time to find an easy route from China to Singapore?
Shipping to a new destination can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be.
The SeaRates platform ensures you secure the most convenient route at the best price. We aim to help you navigate the complexities out of the market so that you can concentrate on growing your business.