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Ocean Freight from China to Canada Port

In an increasingly interconnected world, international trade has become the lifeblood of global commerce. One of the most crucial aspects of this trade is the transportation of goods from their country of origin to their final destination. For businesses and individuals looking to import goods from China to Canada, ocean freight is often the preferred choice.

Ocean freight 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 Ocean freight 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.

Ocean freight from China to Canada


Ocean freight from China to Canada

Shipping goods via ocean freight from China to Canada is a common and cost-effective way to transport products, whether for personal or business purposes. Here’s an overview of the process:

Plan and Prepare:

Determine the nature and volume of the goods you want to ship.
Find reliable suppliers or manufacturers in China.
Ensure that your goods comply with Canadian import regulations.

Choose a Port of Departure in China:

China has several major ports for ocean shipping, including Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Ningbo, and Qingdao. Select the one that is most convenient for your shipment.

Select a Shipping Method:

Decide whether to use Full Container Load (FCL) or Less than Container Load (LCL) shipping, depending on the volume of your cargo.
Choose between standard containers or specialized containers if needed (e.g., refrigerated containers for perishable goods).

Book Space with a Shipping Line:

Basenton freight forwarders book container space for your shipment.
Specify container size and type, departure date, and other relevant details.

Pack and Label Your Cargo:

Properly package and label your goods to ensure they are secure during transit.
Include all required documentation, such as packing lists, invoices, and customs documents.

Customs Clearance in China:

Complete the necessary export customs documentation.
Comply with any export regulations and obtain permits or licenses if required.

Transportation to the Port:

Arrange for the transportation of your cargo to the chosen departure port in China.

Container Loading:

Load your cargo into the container, ensuring it is properly secured and protected.

Customs Clearance in Canada:

Work with a licensed customs broker or agent in Canada to prepare the necessary import documentation.
Pay any applicable customs duties and taxes.

Ocean Freight Transit:

Your cargo is shipped from the port in China to a Canadian port, such as Vancouver, Montreal, or Toronto.
The transit time will vary depending on the specific route and the shipping line you choose.

Arrival and Unloading in Canada:

Your cargo arrives at the Canadian port.
Customs authorities in Canada will inspect and clear your goods for entry into the country.

Transportation to Final Destination:

Arrange for the transportation of your cargo from the Canadian port to its final destination, whether it’s a warehouse, distribution center, or retail location.

Throughout the process, we can assist you with documents, regulations and the smooth flow of goods from China to Canada.

Ocean freight from China to Canada

Ocean freight from China to Canada Port

Before we talk about Ocean freight from China to Canada Port shipping method, you need to know which are the major shipping ports and airports in China and Canada. This way, you will get familiarized with the transportation route of your goods.

Of course, if you have special needs, you can ask your freight forwarder to use your designated port of shipment, even if it’s not the nearest on.

• Major Ports

Shipping ports in China

Usually, your supplier or freight forwarder will tell you which is the best port you should consider for exporting your goods from China to Canada. They base on your location, transit time, costs, ease of customs clearance, and on any other agreements you made with them. But if you want to choose the port on your own, you should take into consideration these essential elements that contribute to a successful shipping: costs, location, and transit time.

However, keep in mind that the geographical location of your vendor isn’t something to pay much attention to because no matter where he is located in China, your goods will never be too far from one of the ports listed below.

These are the world’s largest and most productive ports that are ready to ship your goods from China to Canada:

The Port of Shanghai (Port code: CNSH) – Is the world’s busiest port; opened for international trade in 1842, but it dates back to the 6th century, and it has a volume of 42 million TEUs (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit) in 2018.

Ningbo Port (Port code: CNNGB) – It shipped more than 26 million TEUs in 2018, and it reaches over 600 ports in more than 100 countries.

The Port of Shenzhen (Port code: CNSZX) – It shipped more than 27 million TEUs in 2018, and includes multiple port terminals in Shenzhen City, Guangdong.

Other ports are: Tianjin port, Qingdao port, Xiamen port, and Hong Kong port.

Top Shipping ports in Canada

These are the top ports for importing into Canada:

     • Port Metro Vancouver (Port code: CAVAN) – the largest and busiest port in Canada
     • Port of Montreal (Port code: CAMTR)
     • Port of Prince Rupert (Port code: CAPRR)
     • Port of Saint John (Port code: CASJB)
     • Halifax Port Authority/Port of Halifax (Port code: CAHAL)
     • Port of Nanaimo (Port code: CANNO)
     • Port of Toronto (Port code: CATOR)

Ocean freight from China to Canada Port, Cost is usually a primary and determining factor in most businesses, and different logistics methods can make a great difference when it comes to money and transit time. Therefore, choosing the most cost effective option is the key to success.

Ocean freight from China to Canada


Sea shipping from China to Canada

Sea freight is the main mode of transportation for global import and export businesses. Low prices, high-volume loading, full container load (FCL) or less than a container load (LCL) options, are advantages that make ocean shipping the first choice for the most Canadian importers.

Sea shipping, like any other mode of transportation, has advantages and disadvantages – you can carry massive amounts of goods at once, but it can take a very long time for the goods to arrive at your destination. Another advantage is the cargo diversity you can ship. All of these, make sea shipping the most popular and used mode of transportation.

Planning ahead and having enough time for the entire shipping process, will make sea freight your top choice. Depending on your location, sea shipping takes between 3 to 60 days to arrive at your destination. Just like with air or land transportation, you will have to take care of all the documentation the shipping process involves, including customs clearance and the delivery of your goods, until it reaches your warehouse or facility. Door-to-door services are very popular in the USA, Canada, Europe, and Australia, and all you have to do is to pay the freight charges and wait for your cargo to be delivered at your address.

Sea shipping is an economical mode of transportation, and also the best way to handle large bulky goods.

• Shipment Type – LCL/FCL

Less Than Container Load (LCL)

If the quantity of your goods is small and its volume is less than 15CBM, the freight forwarder will help you ship your goods by LCL. This enables importers to ship smaller amounts of cargo, which doesn’t have the right volume to make Full Container Load a viable option. This means your cargo is combined with other shipping cargos for the same destination.

When LCL goods arrive at ports, they can be delivered by truck or by express companies because of their small size and relative flexibility. LCL uses CBM (Cubic Meter) as measurement unit to calculate the freight cost.


Full Container Load (FCL)

FCL refers to when the quantity of your goods is large enough that it can be put in at least one container. In this case, the freight is calculated on an FCL basis. FCL shipment will be loaded and sealed at origin by your supplier, then shipped to your final destination.


When it comes to size, there are three types of containers 20 ft. (33 CBM), 40 ft. (66 CBM) and a 40 ft. high cube container (76 CBM). he 20 ft. containers are designed to carry more weight such as minerals, metals, machinery, sugar, paper, cement, etc., while the 40 ft. containers are designed to carry voluminous cargo rather than heavy cargo, for example, furniture, steel pipes, paper scrap, cotton, tobacco, etc.

Note that when FCL goods arrive at an American port, it can only be delivered by truck due to its large size.

• Packaging

In sea transportation, sometimes your goods will be stacked in a container for a month or even more, and because of this you should pack your goods accordingly to keep them protected from the factory to the loading port warehouse, then to a discharge port warehouse, and finally on a truck to your destination. And because the goods have a long way to get to you, you should always make sure that your export packaging is up for the task.

Your package should have – 5 layers of inner carton, 5 layers of outer carton, plastic wrapping on the outer carton, IPPC ISPM 15 Standard Pallets, and the Freight Remark printed on the outer carton.

Common pallet size:

For Europe – 1200*1000mm or 1200*800mm,
For Australia – 1140*1140mm,
For the U.S. – 40*48inches (1016*1219mm).

Ocean freight from China to Canada, It is better to provide your shipper with clear and explicit packaging specification because they can make mistakes that can cause damage to your goods. And also provide them with graphical examples whenever possible.

Ocean freight from China to Canada


What costs do I need to consider when Ocean freight from China to Canada

What costs do I need to consider when Ocean freight 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.

Basenton 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.

– If you can’t fill a shipping container with your goods, LCL shipping (less than container load) is a cheaper shipping method than FCL shipping (full container load).

Considering these cost factors can feel overwhelming. Basenton 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.

Ocean freight from China to Canada


Ocean freight time from China to Canada

The ocean freight time from China to Canada can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the specific ports of departure and arrival, the shipping route taken, weather conditions, and the shipping line or carrier chosen. However, I can provide you with a general estimate of typical transit times for the most common routes.

Trans-Pacific Route (East Coast of China to West Coast of Canada):

For shipments from major Chinese ports like Shanghai or Shenzhen to Canadian ports such as Vancouver or Prince Rupert, the transit time can range from approximately 14 to 30 days. The exact duration depends on factors like the shipping line, the chosen service (direct or transshipment), and any stops or delays along the way.


Trans-Atlantic Route (East Coast of China to East Coast of Canada):

If your cargo is destined for Canadian ports on the East Coast, such as Halifax or Montreal, the ocean freight transit time will generally be longer. It can range from approximately 20 to 40 days, again depending on various factors.


The best time for Ocean freight from China to Canada


The timing of your ocean freight shipment from China to Canada can significantly impact the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of your logistics operations. Several factors can influence the best time to arrange your shipments:

1. Seasonal Demand:

Consider the seasonal demand for your products. For example, if you’re shipping consumer goods for the holiday season, you’ll want to plan well in advance to ensure your products arrive in Canada on time.

2. Weather Conditions:

Be aware of weather conditions that may affect shipping. Typhoon seasons in parts of China, especially in the South, can disrupt shipping schedules. Similarly, severe winter weather in Canada can impact transportation and port operations.

3. Peak Shipping Seasons:

Ocean freight often experiences peak shipping seasons. These typically occur in the months leading up to major holidays or retail events, such as the Chinese New Year or the holiday shopping season in North America. During peak seasons, demand for shipping space increases, and prices may rise.

4. Lead Time:

Consider the lead time required for manufacturing or sourcing your products in China. Allow sufficient time for production, quality control, and any unexpected delays.

5. Customs and Regulatory Considerations:

Be aware of any changes in customs regulations or trade agreements between China and Canada that may impact your shipments. Ensure that your documentation and compliance are in order.


The best time for Ocean freight from China to Canada, in general, planning ahead and having a flexible shipping schedule can help you mitigate potential challenges and secure favorable shipping rates. We can provide guidance on the best time for your specific shipment.

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