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Guide to Importing and Shipping New and Used Excavators from China

Excavators are a must-have on today’s construction sites. Importing and shipping excavators from China requires special attention and careful planning. This guide will introduce in detail the classification of excavators, how to import excavators from China, how to ship excavators from China to your country, etc.

You may also be interested in: How to Ship Imported Excavators and Other Heavy Equipment from China

What is an excavator?

An excavator is a heavy machine used to dig soil, rocks or other materials, and to load and carry them. Excavators are widely used in construction, mining, earthwork and other fields, and have efficient and powerful operating capabilities.

Guide to Importing and Shipping Excavators from China

Classification of excavators

Excavators can be classified in a variety of ways to meet different engineering needs:

Classification by power
Electric excavator: Uses electric drive, usually used in urban projects with high emission requirements or inflammable and explosive environments.
Internal combustion engine excavator: Uses fuel engine, is the most widely used, and is suitable for various field projects.
Hybrid excavator: Combining the advantages of electric and internal combustion engines, it is both environmentally friendly and efficient.

Classification by transmission method
Hydraulic excavator: Driven by hydraulic system, flexible operation, high efficiency, and the most widely used.
Mechanical excavator: Driven by mechanical transmission, the structure is relatively complex and is now less used.

Classification by walking device
Crawler excavator: Has good off-road performance and stability, suitable for complex terrain.
Tire excavator: Fast moving speed, suitable for better roads and smaller work sites.
Truck-mounted excavator: has good mobility, suitable for long-distance migration and fast operation.

Mini excavator
Mini excavator is a type of construction equipment that is smaller and more maneuverable than traditional excavators. They are usually used in urban areas and other narrow spaces such as landscaping, utilities, etc. Mini excavators have the advantages of good maneuverability, low cost, high fuel efficiency, and easy maintenance. They are versatile and powerful machines.

Why import excavators from China

  1. Price advantage
    China-made excavators are relatively cheap and cost-effective, suitable for buyers with different budgets. The price of Chinese small excavators is usually 20-30% lower than similar products produced in Western countries. This price advantage does not come at the expense of variety or quality.
  2. Quality assurance
    Chinese excavator manufacturers use advanced production technology and strict quality control, and product quality is guaranteed.
    China’s excavator manufacturing industry has developed rapidly in recent years, especially in the field of hydraulic excavators, and has made significant progress. Many domestic excavator manufacturers have introduced and absorbed advanced foreign technologies, and product quality and performance have been greatly improved.
  3. Diverse choices
    China has numerous excavator manufacturers and suppliers that can provide excavators of various models and specifications to meet different needs. This enables buyers to choose an excavator that not only meets their budget but also meets the requirements of their specific project.

How to import excavators from China

Determine the demand and budget
Clarify the type, specifications, quantity and budget range of the excavators required.

Find reliable suppliers
Find reputable and strong Chinese excavator suppliers through exhibitions, online platforms or industry recommendations.

Sign a contract and pay a deposit
Sign a formal contract with the supplier and pay a certain percentage of the deposit to ensure the smooth transaction.

Handle import procedures
Including determining the customs code, applying for an import license, preparing customs declaration materials, etc. At the same time, you need to pay attention to the relevant laws and regulations and policy requirements of China and the importing country.

Arrange transportation and insurance
Choose a suitable transportation method and insurance company to ensure the safety and smoothness of the excavator during transportation.

Receiving and acceptance
After the goods arrive, inspect and pay the balance. At the same time, pay attention to after-sales service and warranty policies.

How to import excavators from China

Cost of importing mini excavators from China

Cost ComponentDetailsCost Range
Purchase PriceDepending on size and features$2,500 to $8,000
Shipping Costs– Sea Freight: Depending on destination port and shipping terms$2,000 to $5,000
– Air Freight: Depending on weight and dimensions$10,000 or more
Customs Duties and TaxesTypically based on the CIF value, varies by country’s tariff codes5% to 25%
InsuranceBased on the equipment’s value1% to 3%
Handling FeesIncludes port handling and inland transportation$500 to $1,000

The difference between imported new excavators and used excavators

  1. Performance and quality
    New excavators usually have higher performance and more reliable quality, and are made of the latest technology and materials. Old excavators may have problems such as performance degradation or component wear due to long service life.
  2. Price
    New excavators are usually more expensive, but have higher cost performance and longer service life. Old excavators are relatively cheaper, but may require more maintenance and repair costs.
  3. Environmental protection and regulations
    New excavators usually meet the latest environmental protection and regulatory requirements, while old excavators may need to be modified or upgraded to meet relevant requirements.

How to Buy a Quality Used Excavator from China

Buying an excavator from China requires a careful and strategic approach, as you can’t inspect the machine in person. When purchasing a used excavator, buyers should perform the well-known 5-point inspection. Here are 5 key inspection points that you can adapt to your online purchase:


Request detailed photos and videos: Request clear, close-up images and videos of the sprockets, rollers, idlers, and tracks from different angles.
Ask about wear and replacement history: Ask the seller about the history of undercarriage maintenance, including when parts were last replaced and any known wear issues.


Request cold start video: Request a video of the excavator cold starting. This can reveal issues with smoke or unusual noises during startup.
Service records: Request detailed service records to understand the engine’s maintenance history, focusing on any major repairs or recurring issues.

Final drives:

Oil condition check: Request video or photo evidence showing the oil level and condition on the check plug.
Metal shavings inquiry: Ask specifically if there are issues with metal shavings in the oil, indicating internal wear.

Swing motor:

Oil level and quality confirmation: Request visual proof of the oil level and ask if there are any water contamination or leaks.
Maintenance history: Ask about oil change frequency and past issues with the swing motor.

Rotating Motors:

Leak Inspection: Request detailed images or videos focused on the rotating motor area to identify any potential leaks.
Recent Maintenance or Issues: Ask about any recent repairs or known issues with the rotating motor, especially regarding seal integrity.

How to Ship Excavators from China to Your Country

  1. Choose the Shipping Method
    According to the size and weight of the excavator, choose the appropriate shipping method, including sea, air and land.
  2. Packing and Fixing
    Ensure that the packaging and fixing of the excavator meet international transportation standards to prevent damage during transportation.
  3. Go through customs clearance procedures
    Go through export customs clearance procedures to ensure the smooth exit of the goods.
  4. Go through import procedures
    Go through import customs clearance procedures at the port of destination and pay relevant taxes and tariffs.
How to Ship Excavators from China to Your Country

Ways to Ship Excavators from China by Sea

Shipping OptionDescriptionAdvantagesConsiderations
Container ShippingMini excavators are shipped using standard 20-foot or 40-foot containers, providing protection against weather and sea conditions.Security, availability of equipment, ease of inland transportation.Size limitations; larger excavators may require disassembly.
Roll-on/Roll-off (RoRo)Ships designed to allow fully assembled machinery to be driven on and off.Minimizes the need for disassembly and reassembly, reducing potential damage and costs.
Flat Rack ShippingUsed for oversized excavators that cannot fit in standard containers.Accommodates larger equipment without the need for disassembly.Higher cost and limited protection from environmental factors.
Consolidation OpportunitiesCombining shipments with other goods to fill container loads more economically.Cost efficiency for smaller shipments.Potentially longer transit times due to additional logistics planning.

Shipping Excavators from China

  • Choose the appropriate transportation method: Choose the appropriate transportation method, such as sea transportation, air transportation or land transportation, based on factors such as the quantity, volume and transportation time of the goods.
  • Arrange transportation and insurance: Negotiate with Chinese suppliers to arrange transportation and insurance of goods.
  • Track the status of goods: Through the tracking system of China Freight Forwarding Company, you can know the transportation status of goods in real time.
  • Customs clearance and delivery: After the goods arrive at the destination country, customs clearance and delivery procedures must be carried out in accordance with local customs regulations.

Choose the appropriate shipping method (such as sea shipping, air shipping, etc.) to ship Excavators from China to your country. When choosing a transportation company, you can consider its transportation experience, service quality, price and other factors. Shipping companies usually provide a series of services such as door-to-door pickup, packaging, customs clearance, transportation and door-to-door delivery to reduce your burden.

For shipping from China to your country, it is best to find a China freight forwarding company to serve you, Below is the shipping information about shipping from China to different countries. If you are interested, you can click on the link to read:

Shipping Excavators from China

Price Of Shipping Excavators From China

Estimating Excavators shipping costs requires considering a variety of factors. Size, weight, destination, shipping method, and additional services like insurance or expedited shipping all affect the final cost. It is crucial to get accurate shipping quotes from different carriers or shipping companies to compare prices and services.

In 2024, the sea freight from major ports in China (such as Shanghai and Tianjin) to the West Coast of the United States (such as Los Angeles) will be approximately US$100 to US$250/ton. For specific prices, please consult the Chinese freight forwarder Basenton Logistics.

As a rough estimate, shipping a 40-foot container from China to the U.S. West Coast costs between $2,500 and $4,000. For the U.S. East Coast, costs may increase by $3,000 to $4,500 due to longer shipping distances.

For more detailed information on the cost of shipping from China to the United States, please click on the link:

Price Of Shipping Excavators From China

If you are shipping not to the United States, but to Germany, France, Spain, Romania, Turkey, Hungary or other countries, and want to know the cost of shipping from China to the destination country, you can read the following post.

Why choose Basenton Logistics to help you with shipping excavators

  1. Professional service
    Basenton Logistics has rich experience in transporting excavators and provides professional packaging, transportation and customs clearance services.
  2. Full tracking
    Basenton Logistics provides full tracking services to ensure that the goods arrive at the destination safely and on time.
  3. Favorable price
    Basenton Logistics provides competitive transportation prices to help customers save costs.
  4. One-stop solution
    Basenton Logistics provides a one-stop solution, including warehousing, transportation, customs clearance and other full-service services to ensure that customers save worry and effort.

Importing and transporting excavators requires careful planning and professional services. By choosing the right supplier, determining the model and specifications, preparing the necessary documents and choosing the right mode of transportation, you can ensure that the excavator is smoothly imported and transported to your country. Choosing a professional logistics company such as Basenton Logistics can provide full tracking, favorable prices and one-stop solutions to ensure that the goods arrive at the destination safely and on time.

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