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Guide to Importing and Shipping Clothing from China

China is the global giant in making generative clothes. As businesses around the world source clothing products from this East Asian powerhouse, understanding the intricacies of shipping has become critical. This guide aims to clarify all aspects of shipping clothing from China to ensure your products not only arrive safely, but also cost-effectively.

In today’s globalized economy, it’s critical to choose a shipping partner that understands the nuances of international logistics. Basenton is one such Chinese freight forwarding company that has been demonstrating its expertise in this field. With a strong service portfolio including air, sea, DDP (Delivered Duty Paid) and express, Basenton ensures your shipping needs are met in a professional and efficient manner.

Guide to Importing and Shipping Clothing from China

Why import clothing from China?

Over the past few decades, China has positioned itself as a manufacturing powerhouse, especially in industries such as clothing, shoes, luggage, transportation machinery and equipment, and photovoltaic products. The huge output of China’s apparel category means they have achieved significant economies of scale. Such a massive scale of production results in lower production costs per garment, providing an economic advantage that few countries can match.

In addition to the economic perspective, China’s apparel production also boasts rich variety and versatility. Whether you are looking for sportswear, formal wear, or any other niche style, Chinese manufacturers have a wide range of products. This diversity of production caters to diverse global market demands, making it easier for businesses to find suppliers that suit their specific needs.

China’s rise in manufacturing is not just about quantity; It’s also about quality. With years of experience and technology integration, many Chinese factories have advanced manufacturing technology. Advanced infrastructure and machinery ensure that the clothes are not only produced efficiently but also meet the global quality standards sought by international buyers.

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How to find Chinese clothing manufacturers

One of the most important things to consider when importing clothing from China is finding the right supplier. There are many different suppliers to choose from and it is important to find one that is reliable, responsive and produces a quality product.

Garments MarketMain TypeFeatures
Hangzhou Si Jiqing Market (Hangzhou city, Zhejiang Province)All types, women, men, children clothingTransportation: convenient
Price: middle and high-end
Combined with e-commerce best among these wholesale markets
Guangzhou Sha He Market (Guangzhou city, Guangdong Province)Cheap women clothing, jeans, men clothing, children clothingTransportation: convenient
Price: low
If you want cheap clothing, this is the right place.
Guangzhou Shi Sanhang Market (Guangzhou city, Guangdong Province)All types, especially popular Korean women clothingTransportation: convenient
Price: middle and high-end
Combined with e-commerce well, styles update very quickly in this market, follow the trends well.
Beijing Dong Wuyuan Market (Beijing, the capital of China)All types, women, men, children clothingTransportation: convenient
Price: middle and high-end
It is the biggest clothing wholesale market in the north of China, but noticed market location start move to new market from 2016.
Guangzhou Bai Ma Market (Guangzhou city, Guangdong Province)All types, especially the high-end women clothingTransportation: convenient
Price: High-end and middle
The head of the Guangzhou clothing market, old market. In Chinese eyes “High-end go to Bai Ma, middle go to Shi Sanhang, Low go to Sha He”.
Dongguan Fu Ming Market (Dongguan city, Guangdong Province)All types, especially the popular women clothingTransportation: 77km from Guangzhou, high-speed rail station
Price: low to high-end
Have rich factory resources here, many HK and surrounding countries source from this area.
Shanghai Qi Pulu MarketAll types, especially for high-end popular women clothingTransportation: convenient
Price: middle to high-end
The market always can follow or lead the trends.

One way to find potential suppliers is to attend trade shows in China. Trade shows are a great way to meet potential suppliers and see their products in person. They also provide opportunities to network with other industry professionals.

Another way to find suppliers is through online platforms such as Alibaba and Global Sources. These platforms allow you to search for suppliers by product category, location, and other criteria.

Detailed customs declaration process for importing clothes from China

Take import transportation from China to USA as an example:

Export declaration enterprises should register with the local customs and inspection and quarantine bureau, and have import and export operation rights and inspection qualifications.
Documents required for export declaration:
After the goods arrive at the customs supervision area and 24 hours before loading, the customer must prepare the required documents from the customs
Documents declared to customs
One copy each of the manifest, invoice, contract, verification form, customs declaration power of attorney, shipping company loading list and other documents.

Various certificates as per the customs tariff rules. (Such as customs declaration form, export license, etc.)
Documents required for export inspection:

  1. Customers should prepare the required documents three days before the customs declaration date and declare to the Inspection and Quarantine Bureau.
    Vouchers include: manifest invoice, contract, inspection power of attorney, factory inspection form, carton packing list and other vouchers.
  2. For goods exported to the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, UAE, Saudi Arabia and other places, the outer packaging is made of wooden materials and needs to be fumigated or heat treated. The documents provided by the customer include: list, invoice, contract, and inspection power of attorney. If the fumigation product is a wood product, a factory inspection form is also required.
  3. Fumigation or heat treatment
    For products, customers should deliver the goods to the designated yard or port area for fumigation two days before customs declaration. (Fumigation takes 24 hours)

The export declaration form is formally submitted to the customs. If taxes and fees are required for export, the taxes and fees must be paid in a timely manner.

The customs on-site inspection of documents has ended. After the goods documents are released, the owner of the goods shall transport the goods to the customs supervision area within the time specified by the customs.

Check and release. If inspection is required, the customs broker should promptly contact the customs to inspect the goods. After inspection, the designated lead should be stamped by the shipping company.

Seal it up. Those that do not require inspection should be released in time, and the bill of lading should be sent to the port for shipment according to the customs cut-off time.

After the goods are exported, the shipping company sends the export manifest data to the customs. After the customs receives the data, the customs broker waits for the customs data to be cleared, and then promptly prints the tax refund verification form at the customs.

Export declaration completed

Shipping Costs: Air vs. Sea Shipping of Clothes

Shipping clothes from China: air and sea freight

How to ship clothing from China? businesses have two main shipping options: air freight and sea freight. Both models have their unique advantages and disadvantages, which directly affect costs, delivery times and logistics planning. Here’s a direct comparison between the two:

Shipping by sea and air from China

Advantages of air freight:
Speed: Air freight is significantly faster, making it ideal for time-sensitive deliveries. This is crucial when it comes to seasonal shoe collections or fast fashion cycles.
Safe and secure: Shorter transit times and fewer handling points in air freight mean reduced risk of damage or theft.
Predictability: Flight schedules are generally consistent, allowing for better inventory planning, especially for brands with fast inventory turnover.

Disadvantages of air freight:
Cost: Air freight tends to be much more expensive than sea freight, and charges are usually based on actual weight and dimensional weight, depending on which is higher.
Cargo restrictions: Air shipping has stricter restrictions on cargo size and weight, which may limit the number of garments you can ship at one time.
Environmental impact: Aircraft have a higher carbon footprint than ships, potentially impacting the sustainability goals of eco-conscious businesses.

Advantages of sea freight:
Cost-Effectiveness: Especially for large quantities, sea freight offers significant cost savings compared to air freight.
Bulk Shipping: Shipping containers can accommodate large orders of clothing and footwear, providing advantages of scale.
Environmental considerations: On a per ton per kilometer basis, ships are more energy efficient than aircraft, thus reducing their carbon footprint.

Disadvantages of sea freight:
Speed: Ocean shipping is much slower. Shipping times can vary from a few weeks to over a month, depending on the origin and destination ports.
Potential Delays: Various factors such as weather, port congestion, and customs clearance can cause delays in shipping.
Increased handling volumes: A longer supply chain can mean more handling points, which creates more opportunities for damage or loss.

Price of shipping clothes from China

The price of shipping from China to different countries is different. Below is a post on the cost of shipping from China to different countries. You can click to read it, or you can consult Basenton Logistics.

What is the process of importing clothes from China?

The process of importing clothing from China typically involves finding the right suppliers, negotiating prices and payment terms, managing inventory, and providing excellent customer service. It also includes familiarizing yourself with import regulations, finding the right shipping method, and making sure the clothes meet quality standards and comply with customs regulations in the destination country.

Importing clothing from China requires attention to detail, compliance with regulations and effective logistics management.

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