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Shipping Time from China to Australia

In an increasingly interconnected world, the global flow of goods has become a cornerstone of international trade. One of the most vital trade routes lies between China and Australia, two economic powerhouses separated by the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean. Sea freight is the lifeblood of this trade, facilitating the movement of goods ranging from electronics and textiles to raw materials and machinery. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of Shipping from China to Australia, providing insights and tips for a successful and cost-effective journey across the sea.

If you’re looking to export from China to Australia for the first time or you’re seeking an easier way to move your goods, this page should be of interest. Its varied content includes details about ocean and air shipping from China to Australia, along with guidance on securing customs clearance. You will also find profiles of key airports and seaports in both China and Australia, as well as transit times from the Basenton logistics database.

You may also be interested in: Guide To Shipping A Car From China To Australia

Shipping Time from China to Australia

How to ship from China to Australia

Shipping from China to Australia is a common and cost-effective method of shipping goods between these two countries. Here are the key steps and information you need to know if you’re considering shipping goods via sea freight from China to Australia:

Container Type: Decide whether you want to use a Full Container Load (FCL) or a Less than Container Load (LCL) service. FCL means you rent an entire container, while LCL means your goods will share space with other shipments in the same container.

Book Your Shipment: Once you’ve chosen a freight forwarder or shipping line, you’ll need to book your shipment. Make sure you provide accurate information about the volume and weight of your cargo.

Customs Clearance: Ensure that you have all the necessary documentation for customs clearance in both China and Australia. This includes invoices, packing lists, and any required permits or licenses.

Container Packing: Properly pack and secure your goods in containers to prevent damage during transit. Make sure to comply with any regulations related to hazardous materials if applicable.

Inland Transportation: Arrange for the transportation of your goods to the departure port in China. This can be done by truck or rail, depending on the location of your supplier.

Port of Departure: Your goods will be loaded onto a ship at a Chinese port. Common departure ports in China for shipments to Australia include Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Qingdao.

Transit Time: The transit time can vary depending on factors like the shipping route, the carrier, and the specific ports involved. It typically takes around 15-25 days for a sea freight shipment to reach Australia from China.

Port of Arrival in Australia: The major ports in Australia where your shipment might arrive include Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth.

Customs Clearance in Australia: Prepare for customs clearance in Australia by having all necessary documentation in order. This includes providing accurate information about the goods, their value, and their intended use.

Delivery to Final Destination: After customs clearance in Australia, your goods can be transported to their final destination, which could be your warehouse or distribution center.

Import Duties and Taxes: Be aware of the import duties, taxes, and fees that may apply when your goods arrive in Australia. These will depend on the type of goods and their value.

Insurance: Consider purchasing shipping insurance to protect your goods in case of damage or loss during transit.

Regulations and Restrictions: Be aware of any specific regulations or restrictions that may apply to the type of goods you are shipping. Certain products may require additional permits or inspections.

How to ship from China to Australia

What are the shipping methods from China to Australia?

Ocean and air shipping are the only ways to ship freight from China to Australia. Each mode of transportation has its advantages and disadvantages and it’s good to know what they are before you make your choice. So let’s take a look at both in a little more detail:

1. Ocean Freight From China to Australia

  • Less than Container Load (LCL): With LCL ocean shipping, your cargo shares container space with products from other companies importing from China to Australia.
  • Full Container Load (FCL): FCL shipping services provide you with the use and transportation of a container from China to Australia, with no need for your shipment to share space with others. This is often the most cost-effective option for consignments big enough to fill at least twelve standard pallets in a 40ft container, or six in a 20ft container.

2. Air Freight from China to Australia

Air freight is by far the quickest way to get your import or export from China to Australia. Some shipments can be completed in just two days. However, it’s the most expensive way to ship freight internationally.

Sea Freight from China to Australia

How long does it take to ship from China to Australia?

Delivery timescales will no doubt influence your choice between ocean and air freight for your export from China to Australia. Air freight is quicker, with some shipments completed in just two days.

If you have a less pressing delivery deadline or your consignment is too big to fly, ocean freight is for you. You should allow between 12 and 62 days for your goods to be shipped by an ocean carrier from China to Australia.

Sea Freight Time from China to Australia

Sea Freight container time from China to Australia(Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane)

POLPODTransit time
ShanghaiSydney17 days
ShanghaiMelbourne20 days
ShanghaiBrisbane18 days
ShenzhenSydney12 days
ShenzhenMelbourne15 days
ShenzhenBrisbane12 days
QingdaoSydney20 days
QingdaoMelbourne22 days
QingdaoBrisbane25 days

As these sample shipping durations show, ocean carriers can get your goods from China to Australia in 12 to 30 days:

Guangzhou to Melbourne—24 days LCL
Guangzhou to Sydney—35 days FCL
Fuzhou to Melbourne—25 days LCL
Guangzhou to Brisbane—36 days FCL
Ningbo to Adelaide—29 days FCL
Ningbo to Brisbane—12 days LCL
Ningbo to Melbourne—23 days LCL
Ningbo to Sydney—22 days LCL
Qingdao to Fremantle—36 days FCL
Qingdao to Sydney—29 days FCL, 21 days LCL
Qingdao to Brisbane—21 days LCL
Shanghai to Brisbane—27 days FCL
Shanghai to Fremantle—27 days LCL
Shanghai to Melbourne—28 days FCL, 23 days LCL
Shanghai to Sydney—27 days FCL, 19 days LCL
Shekou to Melbourne—25 days FCL
Shenzhen to Brisbane—19 days LCL
Shenzhen to Sydney—21 days LCL
Tianjin to Sydney—31 days FCL, 26 days LCL
Wuhan to Sydney—36 days FCL
Xiamen to Sydney—36 days FCL
Zhongshan to Melbourne—24 days LCL
Huangpu to Adelaide—62 days LCL
Huangpu to Brisbane—24 days LCL
Huangpu to Sydney—24 days FCL, 27 days LCL
Nansha to Melbourne—28 days LCL
Nansha to Sydney—16 days FCL, 25 days LCL
Zhongshan to Melbourne—24 days LCL
Huangpu to Melbourne—27 days FCL

If you are interested in the time from China to other countries, you can read the corresponding links below:

How long does it take to ship from China to Australia?

Air Freight from China to Australia

Air freight is the fastest mode of transport and is suitable for high-value or urgent goods. The following are specific shipping times for air freight:

  • Direct flights: 2-4 days
  • Transit flights: 4-6 days

The speed and flexibility of air freight make it an ideal choice for the transportation of urgently needed goods, although the cost is relatively high.

Time for express delivery from China to Australia

Express delivery is suitable for small, high-value and urgent goods. Express delivery companies usually provide door-to-door services, and the transportation time is as follows:

  • DHL: 3-5 days
  • FedEx: 3-5 days
  • UPS: 3-5 days

The advantages of express delivery are fast speed and convenient service, but the cost is higher, which is suitable for small and high-value goods.

Door-to-door time for shipping from China to Australia

Door-to-door service includes door-to-door pickup, transportation, customs clearance and door-to-door delivery. The specific time and cost are as follows:

  • Air door-to-door: 5-7 days
  • Sea door-to-door: 25-35 days

Door-to-door service is convenient and fast, suitable for customers who need full-time custody to ensure that the goods arrive safely and on time.

DDP time for shipping from China to Australia

DDP (Delivered Duty Paid) service means that the seller bears all costs and responsibilities until the goods are delivered to the buyer’s designated location, including payment of customs duties. The specific time is as follows:

  • Air DDP: 7-10 days
  • Sea DDP: 30-40 days

DDP service is more convenient for buyers, without having to deal with cumbersome customs clearance and tariff issues.

Learn more: DDP Shipping From China

Shipping cost from China to Australia

The shipping cost from China to Australia can vary widely depending on several factors. These factors include the type of cargo, the shipping method (FCL or LCL), the shipping route, the departure and arrival ports, the shipping company or freight forwarder chosen, and the current market conditions. Here are some key considerations that can affect the cost of Sea Freight from China to Australia shipping:

Cargo Type and Volume: The type of goods you are shipping and the volume (size and weight) of your cargo will significantly impact the cost. Bulk commodities may have different pricing structures than standard consumer goods.

Container Type: If you opt for Full Container Load (FCL), you will pay for the entire container, while Less than Container Load (LCL) shipments involve sharing a container with other shipments, which can be cost-effective for smaller volumes.

Container shipping service to AustraliaType of containerOcean freight rates to Australia:
How much does it cost to ship a container from Shanghai to Australia20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average prices from: $850 20FT
average prices from: $1550 40FT
How much does it cost to ship a container from Qingdao to Australia20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average prices from: $850 20FT
average prices from: $1550 40FT
How much does it cost to ship a container from Shenzhen to Australia20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average prices from: $850 20FT
average prices from: $1550 40FT
How much does it cost to ship a container from Tianjin to Australia20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average prices from: $850 20FT
average prices from: $1550 40FT
How much does it cost to ship a container from Ningbo to Australia20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average prices from: $850 20FT
average prices from: $1550 40FT
How much does it cost to ship a container from Hong Kong to Australia20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average prices from: $850 20FT
average prices from: $1550 40FT
How much does it cost to ship a container from Guangzhou to Australia20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average prices from: $850 20FT
average prices from: $1550 40FT

Shipping Route: The specific route your shipment takes can affect costs. The choice of routes can depend on factors like transit time, available carriers, and shipping rates. For example, a direct route may be more expensive but faster, while a less direct route might be more cost-effective but take longer.

Departure and Arrival Ports: Different ports in China and Australia may have varying handling charges and fees. Major ports like Shanghai, Shenzhen, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth typically have more frequent sailings, which can impact pricing.

Market Conditions: Shipping rates can fluctuate due to supply and demand, fuel prices, and other market factors. The time of year can also influence rates, as peak seasons may result in higher prices.

Additional Charges: Be aware of potential additional charges, such as port handling fees, documentation fees, customs duties, and taxes. These can add to the overall shipping cost.

Insurance: If you choose to insure your cargo, the cost of insurance will be an additional expense. Insurance can provide valuable protection in case of damage, loss, or theft during transit.

Currency Exchange Rates: Currency exchange rates between the Chinese Yuan (CNY) and the Australian Dollar (AUD) can affect the overall cost, especially if you are paying for shipping in a currency other than your own.

Customs and Compliance: Costs related to customs clearance and compliance with import regulations in both China and Australia should be factored in. Failure to comply with customs requirements can result in additional fees and delays.

Shipping cost from China to Australia

Learn more: 20FT Container Shipping Cost From China To Australia

Shipping Cost Per Cubic Meter China To Australia 

Cheapest Shipping From China To Australia

Customs Clearance in China and Australia

Customs clearance is mandatory for every commercial freight export from China to Australia. The process is complex. That’s why plenty of businesses choose to engage a freight forwarder to manage it. Doing so removes the chance of unnecessary delays affecting your shipment and ensures your consignment complies with Chinese and Australian shipping rules and regulations.

You will still need to take responsibility for providing the compulsory documentation that customs officials in China and Australia will almost certainly want to see:

  • 1. A Commercial Invoice
  • 2. A Packing List
  • 3. A Certificate of Origin
  • 4. A Letter of Credit or other payment terms (depends on the contract between the parties involved)
  • 5. An Airway Bill for air cargo or a Bill of Lading for ocean freight (you can leave this to Basenton logistics)

Examples of the paperwork listed above are available on this documents list page. Please note that you might be required to provide additional documentation with your consignment. For example, a permit, certificate, or license may be mandatory for the goods you will be shipping.

Factors affecting the time and price of shipping from China to Australia

  1. Nature of goods
    Goods of different natures have different requirements for shipping time. For example, fragile goods, liquids or dangerous goods take longer to handle and transport because they require stricter security checks and special packaging requirements.
  2. Destination location
    Australia is a vast country, and shipping time between different regions may vary. Major cities such as Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane have relatively short shipping times, while remote areas may have longer shipping times.
  3. International transportation conditions
    International flight frequency, weather conditions, customs clearance and other factors may lead to longer shipping times. Especially during special periods, such as holidays or global events, logistics and transportation may be adversely affected.

Tips to reduce Sea Freight from China to Australia shipping cost and shipping time

  • Book in advance. Shipping by sea is the cheapest, but also takes the longest. Booking in advance when you can saves you money– and cuts out the stress if delays arise.
  • Ship off-peak. When carriers get busy, both shipping prices and transit times go up. Ship during off-peak seasons whenever you can.
  • Get your documentation in order. Having your documentation in order can make all the difference when it comes to clearing customs quickly.
  • Know your HS Codes. A lot of shippers are surprised by how much customs fees can affect business costs. Do your research so you can budget effectively.
  • Compare quotes from different providers. Quotes can vary, so check out offers from different providers before making a decision.
  • Understand what’s included in your quote. Is your quote port to port or door to door? What service does it include? Know what you’re paying for to avoid getting hit with surprise fees.

Shipping from China to Australia, For an accurate estimate of shipping costs and times from China to Australia, it is recommended to contact Basenton Freight Forwarding directly. We can provide you with a quote tailored to your specific shipment and requirements. Shipping costs can change over time, so it’s a good practice to regularly check rates for updates and fluctuations.

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