Shipping from China to Canada can be a tedious and expensive process, but it doesn't have to be. It's important to find the best shipping company for your needs and one that you can trust.
This guide will take you through the complete process of shipping from China to Canada, including what you need to know before starting your shipment, how to get a quote, how much it costs, and what steps are involved in the process of shipping goods internationally.
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What costs do I need to consider when shipping from China to Canada?
Shipping costs can vary greatly based on several factors. These include the volume, weight, and dimensions of the package(s) being shipped, what the goods are that are being shipped; and the method of transportation. Also, it is important to consider the shipment’s insurance and the time of year.
SeaRates can help calculate the cost of shipping from China to Canada, but as a general rule:
- Air freight is typically more expensive than sea freight (although it can be cheaper to send small packages via plane).
- Shipping expensive goods that carry a high insurance premium will increase your shipping costs.
Considering these cost factors can feel overwhelming. SeaRates’ Online Freight Marketplace can help you figure out the best freight rates; to see what your options are, all you need to know is your ports of origin and destination, when you plan to ship your cargo, and what type of shipment you’re sending.
In general, the cheapest shipping from China to Canada would be FCL shipping via the ocean outside of the peak time of year.
How long does it take to move cargo from China to Canada?
Shipping cargo door-to-door from China to Canada could take anything up to 64 days depending upon your chosen port of origin and destination, what is being shipped, and the method of transportation.
Air freight is the fastest transportation method, with cargo taking between 1 and 5 days to reach its destination in Canada.
Ocean freight takes longer. It can take up to 52 days for goods to reach their Canadian destination port from China.
In addition, FCL shipping is a faster process than LCL shipping because of the logistics involved in loading and unloading the goods at either end of the journey.
Sea, Air freight time from China to Canada
|Port to port ||Door to door|
|Sea FCL||26-52 days||31-57 days|
|Sea LCL||26-52 days||34-64 days|
|Air cargo||1-5 days||4-11 days|
When is the best time to ship from China to Canada?
Both air and sea freight rates – especially for FCL shipping – are affected by seasonal factors.
The main peak season to consider when shipping from China to Canada is from mid-August to mid-October, ahead of Chinese New Year, Golden Week, Dragon Boat Festival, and the Holiday Shopping Season. During peak times, prices increase because demand is high and container space is low. It is therefore cheaper to ship freight away from the peak season.
When in the month you choose to transport goods can also make a difference to the price.
It can be cheaper to book a shipment in the last two weeks of the month because carriers are trying to fill spots on vessels. The beginning of the month can be a more expensive time, as carriers can levy general rate increases on cargo spots.
Generally, the cheapest shipping costs come from booking early.
What are the rates for shipping from China to Canada?
As shipping rates can vary significantly, the SeaRates Online Freight Marketplace can help to find a quote to suit you.
After adding in the basic details, such as the destination and date of shipment, the marketplace will allow you to compare various freight journeys. This allows you to view details on how your shipment will be processed and the duration of transit. The marketplace also provides a cost breakdown for each leg of the journey, to help you control your budget and spend.
You can request a more tailored quote. This more detailed process asks specific questions about your shipment, such as its commodity type, its HS Code and its weight. SeaRates will then contact you directly with some options.
What do you need to think about when packing your container?
Taking a practical approach to your packaging requirements when shipping cargo is vital. You will need to consider your shipment’s weight, dimensions, and what packaging material you will require.
While there is a lot to think about, SeaRates’ Load Calculator can help you understand what your shipment will look like and the space it will need.
The Load Calculator will ask you a series of questions about your shipment, including what equipment you will need to ship, your cargo dimensions, and what method of shipping you will use.
The calculator will finally produce an image of what your cargo will look like in your chosen container, as well as the total volume and weight it will achieve.
What are the essential documents that need to be completed when shipping from China to Canada?
Correctly packaged and labeled cargo is essential for its smooth journey from China through the customs clearance process in Canada. Having the necessary documents such as an importation permit for certain goods, a commercial invoice, and a packing list is also key.
Documents you need when shipping to Canada include:
- Commercial Invoice
- Packing List
- Bill of lading
- Certificate of origin
- Letter of Credit or other payment terms
You may also need a special permit if you’re shipping certain goods like hazardous materials.
Should you insure your container?
We encourage our customers to always insure their cargo. Cargo insurance is often the only protection you have if your shipment is damaged or lost.
You can find cargo insurance through the freight forwarding community or a third-party insurance agent. SeaRates can also help find the right insurance policy for you.
Insurance costs are typically in the region of 0.3% to 0.5% of your commercial invoice value.
What are the major shipping ports in China?
Your factory, supplier, or freight forwarder will likely be happy to offer advice on which port is right for you. Certain ports may prove better for you based on their location, customs processes, and goods handling volumes, or perhaps your factory has a special agreement with a particular port.
Major ocean cargo ports in China include:
Major air cargo ports in China include:
- Hong Kong
What are the major shipping ports in Canada?
Major ocean cargo ports in Canada include:
- Prince Rupert
- Saint John
Major air cargo ports in Canada include:
Is it time to find an easy route from China to Canada?
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.