Shipping from China to India? Here’s how SeaRates can help

Mar 16, 2021 Lilia Khovrak Lilia Khovrak

Shipping goods from China to India for the first time?

The SeaRates platform offers a one-stop shop for all your shipping and logistical needs, with access to the best routes at some of the lowest rates.

Browse the best rates and make a booking in just a few clicks

Instant online quotes for FCL and LCL Shipping from China to India

At SeaRates, we specialise in both full-container load, FCL shipping and less-than container load, LCL shipping from China to India and can offer accurate quotes within minutes.

For FCL, your cargo will occupy an entire container and can be unloaded either at the destination port or at the receiver’s warehouse. Although FCL shipping is the more expensive option, it offers a faster delivery time.

In the case of LCL, if your cargo isn’t large enough to fit the whole container, it will be loaded with other shipments in a shared container. This is a great way to save money on shipments if you only require a small amount of space. However, this will often take longer to ship as you must wait for the cargo to be fully loaded with other goods before it can depart.

Our team at SeaRates can assist you in finding the best container shipping costs from China to India, so if you’re unsure what will work best for you, feel free to contact our team of experts. They’d be more than happy to help.

What are the key shipping ports of origin in China

We ship from all the major ports in China, including:

  • Nansha
  • Tianjin
  • Ningbo - Zhoushan
  • Shanghai
  • Shenzhen

As well as shipping from the five main ports in China, our FCL and LCL services also operate from other Chinese container gateways, so don’t hesitate to get in touch to discuss your specific preferences.

What are the key ports of arrival in India?

We ship goods from both west and east coast ports in India, including these major hubs:

  • Nhava Sheva
  • Mundra
  • Chennai
  • Haldia
  • Visakhapatnam

The SeaRates Marketplace gives you access to many trade lanes that connect China to India, so make sure you filter your preferences to find the rates and routes you require.

Never miss your shipping window again with easy online booking

Finding the right time to transport your cargo means figuring out other issues like lack of availability on the right dates, conflicting carrier schedules and high rates.

Our Marketplace removes these complications with a simple, easy to use platform where you can see the routes available on any given date, by land, air or sea.

Check rates

Shipping from China to India by Sea

Shipping times for sea freight from China to India can also vary based on the origin and destination. So, careful planning in advance and choosing the right shipping port is absolutely paramount to protecting your margins and ‘on time’ shipment.

Here’s an example of common transit times you can expect when shipping by sea from China to India:

Hong Kong
24 days
18 days
17 days
17 days
15 days
17 days
23 days
22 days
20 days
23 days
19 days
19 days

Shipping from China to India by Air

Air freight, naturally, offers faster delivery times and is an ideal choice for small or lightweight shipments. If speed is crucial, shipping by air may be your preferred choice, but worth noting that this method still takes several days and must factor in different processes, including customs, security, loading and unloading.

Here’s an example of common transit times you can expect when shipping by air from China to India:

Airports of Origin
Destination Airport
Est. Transit Time
6 hours
7 hours
8 hours
8 hours

Shipping by air is not usually the most cost-effective method of getting your goods from A to B, so using our Marketplace to view the available shipments for both cost and speed can help you to make the best decision.

Our Distances and Time tool will give you a detailed picture of your cargo’s journey as well as the time it will take to reach the shipping port. It also provides options from different shipping lines, so you can select the one that’s most convenient for you.


The Shipping Schedules application tool will make your planning process easier when shipping from China to India. All you have to do is input the port of departure and arrival, as well as the relevant date and transit time and you will be provided with the available schedules. You can also filter your search by direct or transhipment, as well as by shipping line.


Optimise cargo packing and save on shipping costs

Container space is yet another aspect that needs to be factored in when you’re working on total costs. Packing your cargo efficiently will help save on transportation costs. That’s where our Load Calculator tool comes in. Simply input your shipment details and view a 3D simulation of how the goods will be placed inside the container.

Handling customs clearance when shipping from China to India

You want to be confident that you’ve done everything possible to ensure you’re customs compliant. A must if you want to get your goods safely from A to B. Here are a couple of things you need to know:

  • There is currently no FTA (Free Trade Agreement) between China and India, making it very unlikely that a shipment will come with tax exemption
  • India has a considerably more complex customs clearance process compared to other countries

Several items are prohibited for goods transportation without special exemptions. This requires an additional process, so it’s important that you check your cargo is safe for shipment first.

The good news is that operating through SeaRates means you can access the best freight forwarders who have years of experience in handling customs clearance and shipments from China to India, helping you to remain customs compliant at all times.

The documentation required for shipping from China to India

Every customs authority expects and requires the appropriate documentation to be in order in advance of any shipment arriving. When shipping from China to India, you will need:

  • The Certificate of Origin (CO)
  • The Bill of Entry (BOE)
  • The Bill of Lading (BL)
  • Product test reports
  • Product description
  • General Agreement on Tariff (GATT)
  • Directorate General of Foreign Trade declaration

There is also a range of labelling requirements where Chinese products are concerned, including:

  • Product name and description
  • Net weight
  • Date of production
  • Importer’s address
  • Maximum selling price, including taxes
  • Batch ID
  • Month and year of import
  • Expiry date and net weight of food goods
  • Dimensions (optional)

If you need support with documentation, our team at SeaRates can help. OurSmart Documents tool not only provides you with customisable templates for the above documents, but also lets you add your electronic signature and company logo.

Share, print and sign documents quickly and reduce admin time considerably.

Ship from China to India with SeaRates

When it comes to shipping from China to India, we can’t ignore the pandemic-induced volatility affecting the market today. That means that finding the most cost-effective methods of shipping can be a challenge.

Finding quotes that meet your budget can be an issue as well, since rates vary according to shipping times, distance, volume, and so on.

Whether this is your first time shipping goods or you’re looking to make your next shipment easier, we’re confident that our wide range of tools offer all you could need and more.

Not quite sure where to start? Our support team can answer any questions you have, and guide you through the shipping process. We also offer additional tools for route planning and container tracking to ensure a smooth and easy shipping journey, from start to finish.

Just want to book your next shipment? Head straight to our Marketplace now to get started.


Lilia Khovrak is a professional content manager from Odessa, Ukraine. Loves life by the sea. Dreams to see Paris and eat a croissant on the thresholds of Notre Dame de Paris. Hates to read meaningless articles.

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