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How to Import and Ship Frozen Food from China

Shipping frozen food can be a challenging task, especially if you’re new to the process. However, with proper preparation and knowledge, you can transport frozen food easily, safely, and efficiently. In this blog, we provide a comprehensive guide to help you understand the frozen food shipping process and provide tips to ensure a successful shipment.

If you are looking for a reliable China freight forwarder to transport your frozen food, Basenton Logistics is the right choice for you! Our experienced team will assist you in navigating the complexities of frozen food shipping and ensure the safe and timely delivery of your goods.

Frozen Food

What foods can you import from China?

It is your responsibility to ensure that food imported from China is subject to any regulations, restrictions or licenses in your country.

Some foods you can import from China include:

  • meat and dairy products
  • Rabbit legs, frog legs
  • fish
  • Crab, shrimp, cod, prawns, tilapia, shellfish and other fish
  • food preparation and ingredients
  • Cocoa butter, plant juices and extracts, soy sauce, malt extract, starch and wheat gluten and other food preparations
  • Nut products, vegetables, fruits, vegetables and juices
  • canned citrus dried mushrooms, canned beans, frozen vegetables, garlic, pears and apple juice
  • spices and tea
  • Chili sauce/powder, ginger, tea leaves
  • Animal feed and pet food
  • pet food and treats
  • drinks
  • Vinegar, beer, ethanol, sweet water
  • Oilseeds and grains
  • Soybeans, rice

What do you need to start importing food from China?

Before importing food from China, you need to determine whether you have import rights, especially if you are purchasing the food for business purposes.

For example, if you are importing into the USA, you can use your company’s Internal Revenue Service Number (IRS EIN) or Social Security Number (SSN).

Please check with your government for specific requirements.

What is the basic process for importing food from China?

Confirm your import rights.
Determine the food you want to import. This will be your main consideration.
You should conduct a market search beforehand to determine whether there is a market for the specific food you intend to import.

  • Make sure your exports comply with specific government rules and regulations.
  • Estimate your landed costs. Get food prices from suppliers; add shipping and customs clearance fees to get the landed cost.
  • Find your supplier in China and place your order.
  • Arrange your shipment. You can choose between Sea Freight,Air Freight and Express shipping
  • Track your shipment and prepare it for arrival
  • Receive your shipment.
How to Import and Ship Frozen Food from China

Learn about transporting frozen food

Frozen food refers to food that needs to be transported and stored in a low temperature environment. These foods are often kept frozen to maintain their quality and safety, extend their shelf life and prevent bacterial growth. Frozen food includes ice cream, frozen meat, frozen seafood, frozen vegetables, etc.

In modern logistics and supply chains, the transportation and storage of frozen food is a crucial link. Shipping frozen food requires special considerations and measures to ensure its quality and safety. This includes maintaining appropriate cold temperatures, selecting appropriate containers and packaging, controlling temperature and humidity, and avoiding exposure to adverse conditions.

Challenges of Frozen Food Transportation

Shipping frozen foods poses challenges in ensuring the quality and freshness of these products throughout the supply chain. Frozen food requires special attention and measures to maintain the proper temperature, control humidity and deliver within the stipulated time. To address these challenges, logistics and supply chain management must implement a series of measures to ensure that the quality and safety of frozen foods are not compromised. Let’s take a closer look at the challenges of frozen food shipping:

Maintain the right temperature: Frozen food needs to be kept at a constant low temperature throughout the transportation process. This is necessary to prevent food spoilage and bacterial growth. Any temperature fluctuations can lead to reduced food quality or even spoilage. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that the entire transport chain is maintained at appropriately low temperatures. This includes selecting appropriate freezer containers, using cryogens such as dry ice or gel packs to maintain low temperatures, and ensuring that transport vehicles or storage facilities have appropriate temperature control capabilities.

Control Humidity: Proper humidity control is equally important for transporting and storing frozen foods. High humidity can cause condensation on the surface of frozen food, leading to frost or freezing, which affects food quality. Therefore, the humidity of the transportation and storage environment should be controlled and monitored to ensure that it remains within the appropriate range. Using a desiccant can help absorb excess moisture and maintain proper humidity levels.

Timeliness: Frozen food often needs to be delivered to its destination within a specified time. This is to ensure the freshness and quality of the food is not compromised. Long delays can result in food thawing, spoilage or damage. Therefore, when planning the transportation of frozen food, factors such as transportation time, route selection, and traffic conditions need to be considered to ensure that the food is delivered in time.

In summary, transporting frozen food presents challenges in maintaining the right temperature, controlling humidity, and ensuring timeliness. Overcoming these challenges requires taking appropriate measures, such as selecting appropriate shipping containers and packaging materials, ensuring proper temperature and humidity control, and effectively planning shipping times and routes. Only in this way can the quality, freshness and food safety of frozen food be guaranteed during transportation.

Best Containers for Shipping Frozen Food

Transporting frozen food requires choosing the right containers as they play a vital role in protecting the quality and safety of the food. The best containers have a range of key features to withstand challenges such as temperature fluctuations, humidity control and physical shock. In this section, we’ll look in detail at the best container features for transporting frozen food, ensuring that the food remains of high quality throughout the transport process.

FCL Container Ship from China

The best containers for transporting frozen food:

Choosing the right container is crucial to the successful transportation of frozen food. Here are some key factors to consider for optimal container functionality:

  • Insulation: Containers should be made of insulating materials such as foam (polystyrene) or coolers. These materials provide effective insulation, slow temperature changes and maintain food stability in low-temperature environments.
  • Sealing: The container must have excellent sealing ability to prevent the entry of outside air, moisture and microorganisms. Effective sealing prevents the adverse effects of temperature fluctuations and humidity, thereby maintaining food quality and freshness.
  • Impact Resistance: During transportation, frozen food containers may be exposed to shock, vibration, or compression forces. Therefore, it is crucial to choose containers with good impact resistance to ensure that food is not damaged during transportation. Durable containers effectively protect food from breakage, leakage or deformation.
  • Proper Size and Shape: Containers should be sized and shaped to accommodate the size and shape of the frozen food. Proper size ensures there is enough space inside the container to prevent food from being squeezed or deformed. In addition, proper design facilitates stacking and efficient use of space during transportation.
  • Sustainability considerations: Sustainability factors should also be considered when choosing a container. Prioritize recyclable or biodegradable materials to minimize negative impact on the environment and comply with the principles of sustainable development.

To sum up, the best container for transporting frozen food should have good insulation, good sealing, impact resistance and the right size and shape. By choosing containers suitable for the characteristics of frozen food, you can effectively protect the quality, safety and freshness of frozen food, ensuring that it remains in optimal condition throughout the transportation process.

What is the transportation process for frozen food?

The transportation process of frozen food is a key link that directly affects food quality and safety. To ensure that frozen food remains cold and fresh during transportation, a series of key steps need to be strictly followed. From pre-chilling food to packaging, choosing the right shipping method, and tracking the location and temperature of your shipment, every step plays an important role. In this section we will delve into the transportation process of frozen food to help you better understand how to ensure the high quality of frozen food during transportation.

The transportation process of frozen food is as follows:

  • Food pre-cooling: Frozen food needs to be pre-cooled to the required low temperature before transportation. This can be achieved by storing food in freezers or refrigeration units to ensure it reaches the appropriate temperature for transport. The purpose of the pre-cooling process is to keep food cold throughout transportation, preventing thawing and quality loss.
  • Food packaging: Frozen food needs to be sealed using appropriate packaging materials to prevent temperature fluctuations and the intrusion of external substances. Common packaging materials include ziplock bags, airtight plastic containers, or freezer cartons. During the packaging process, refrigerants such as dry ice or gel packs can also be added to maintain a low temperature environment.
  • Choose a shipping method: Choose the appropriate shipping method based on specific requirements and conditions. Common shipping methods include express delivery companies (such as UPS, FedEx, USPS) or specialized cold chain logistics services. Choose a reliable transportation partner based on cargo weight, distance, and time requirements to ensure that frozen food is delivered to its destination on time and safely.
  • Cargo Tracking: Use tracking systems to monitor the location and temperature of cargo during transportation. This can be achieved through online tracking services provided by shipping companies or specialized temperature loggers. Real-time tracking can detect any temperature anomalies or shipping delays in time, allowing appropriate measures to be taken to protect the quality and safety of frozen food.
  • Delivery and Receipt: Once the frozen food arrives at its destination, make sure someone is present to receive it. Depending on your needs, you may need to immediately store frozen foods in a refrigerator or freezer to keep them fresh and frozen.

To sum up, the transportation process of frozen food includes pre-cooling the food, packaging the food, selecting the appropriate transportation method, and tracking the location and temperature of the goods. Proper execution of these steps ensures that frozen food maintains the proper temperature and quality during transportation, meeting consumer demands for fresh and safe food.

How are frozen foods imported from China packaged and transported?

Proper packaging of frozen food is essential to ensure safety and maintain its frozen state during transportation. Here are some tips for properly packaging frozen food for shipping:

  • Choose the right packaging material: Use the right packaging material to protect frozen foods. Common packaging materials include foam boxes, freezer bags, and freezer containers. Make sure the packaging material has good insulation and sealing properties.
  • Seal food: Before placing frozen food in packaging materials, make sure the food is properly sealed. Use ziplock bags, tape, or a vacuum sealer to maintain food freshness and prevent temperature fluctuations.
  • Freezing medium: To keep the temperature low, you can add freezing medium to the package, such as ice packs or freezing gel packs. This helps maintain the temperature within the package and extends the freezing time of the food.
  • Fill Gaps: Use appropriate filler, such as foam particles or bubble wrap, to fill any gaps in your packaging. This prevents the food from being bumped or moved during transportation and provides additional protection.
  • Label the package: Clearly label the package “Frozen Food” or “Keep Frozen.” This helps transport personnel correctly identify and handle frozen food and take necessary steps to maintain temperature.
  • Follow Shipping Requirements: Follow the packaging guidelines and requirements of your chosen shipping service provider. Different shipping companies may have different regulations, such as maximum package sizes and labeling requirements.

Please note that before packaging frozen food, make sure the food has cooled to the desired freezing temperature and try to put it into the package as quickly as possible. Additionally, handle food carefully during packaging to avoid contamination or damage.

How much does it cost to ship frozen food from China?

Shipping costs for frozen food vary based on a variety of factors including shipping distance, weight, packaging requirements, shipping method and shipping service provider chosen. The cost of shipping from China to different countries is also different. Taking USA as an example, here are some approximate cost ranges for reference:

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. A flat-rack or open-top container will cost $2,000 to $3,000 more than a 40-foot container

For more information on costs from China to USA, click on the link

Shipping from China to USA

Cost Of Shipping From China To USA

20 FT & 40 FT Container Shipping Cost From China To USA

Shipping Time frozen food From China To USA

Sure, here is a table with estimated transit times from major ports in China (Shanghai, Ningbo, Qingdao, Shenzhen) to various destinations in the United States (West Coast, East Coast, Inland):

Transit Time (Days)ShanghaiNingboQingdaoShenzhen
Los Angeles (West Coast)22-2822-2826-3022-28
Long Beach (West Coast)18-2618-2620-3018-28
Oakland (West Coast)20-3224-3229-3724-32
Seattle (West Coast)25-3325-3328-3825-33
New York/Newark (East Coast)30-3528-3330-3530-35
Norfolk (East Coast)32-3630-3535-4032-36
Charleston (East Coast)35-4035-4040-4535-40
Savannah (East Coast)30-3530-3535-4030-35
Jacksonville (East Coast)35-4035-4040-4535-40
Boston (East Coast)28-3328-3330-3528-33
Baltimore (East Coast)28-3328-3330-3528-33
Philadelphia (East Coast)30-3530-3535-4030-35
Chicago (Inland)22-2822-2826-3222-28
Dallas (Inland)23-2923-2928-3423-29
Atlanta (Inland)28-3328-3333-3828-33
Memphis (Inland)25-3125-3130-3625-31

Please note that these are estimated transit times and may vary due to various factors including weather and customs clearance.

For more information on time from China to USA, click on the link:Shipping Time from China to USA

If the country you want to transport frozen food to is not the United States, but other countries, you can read the following posts about shipping from China to other countries.

Shipping from China to Saudi Arabia

Shipping From China To Egypt

Shipping From China To UAE

Shipping From China to Morocco

shipping from china to Nigeria


Shipping from China to France

Shipping From China To Germany

Key considerations before shipping frozen food

Before transporting frozen food, it is important to consider the following key aspects:

  • Temperature Requirements: Know the temperature requirements for frozen foods. Frozen foods often need to be stored at very low temperatures, such as below -18 degrees Celsius (0 degrees Fahrenheit). Make sure the shipping method and packaging selected can meet these temperature requirements.
  • Shipping Time: Determine shipping time for frozen foods. Frozen food needs to be delivered in a shorter time to maintain its quality and safety. Choose the appropriate transportation method and speed to ensure that the food reaches its destination within the specified time.
  • Transportation Regulations and Requirements: Become familiar with transportation regulations and requirements for different transportation providers or services. Different companies may have specific regulations, such as packaging requirements, labeling requirements, restricted item lists, etc. Please make sure your shipment complies with these regulations to avoid any issues or delays.
  • Tracking: Choose a shipping service with tracking capabilities to monitor the location and temperature of your frozen food in real time. This helps ensure food is properly protected during transport and enables quick action if any issues arise.
  • Insurance Coverage: Consider purchasing appropriate insurance to mitigate potential risks and losses. Shipping frozen food may involve certain risks, such as temperature fluctuations, shipping accidents or delays. Make sure your goods are fully protected and compensated.
  • Legal and regulatory compliance: Understand relevant laws and regulations, especially those related to food transportation and cross-border transportation requirements. Ensure compliance with all legal requirements and obtain necessary licenses or certificates when required.
  • Choose a reliable transporter: Choose a transporter or logistics service provider that is reliable, experienced, and reputable. Check their shipping records, customer reviews, and available services to choose the shipping partner that best suits your needs.
  • Maintain communication: Maintain good communication with your transportation provider to ensure your needs and requirements are met. Book transportation in advance and provide clear instructions and contact information for communication and coordination if needed.

Understanding and considering these critical aspects will help ensure smooth and safe transportation of frozen foods.

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