Home » News » Company News » Shipping from China to Serbia Cost and Time

Shipping from China to Serbia Cost and Time

China and Serbia have established solid economic and trade relations in recent years. With the advancement of the “One Belt, One Road” initiative, trade cooperation between the two countries has deepened and the scale of trade has continued to expand. In May 2024, Chinese President Xi Jinping paid state visits to France, Serbia, and Hungary respectively.

China has been Serbia’s largest importer and second largest trading partner for many consecutive years. The bilateral trade volume between China and Serbia has increased eightfold in the past 10 years, reaching 4.35 billion US dollars in 2023. Many companies have begun to pay attention to how to efficiently transport goods from China to Serbia. This article will introduce in detail the relevant knowledge of transporting goods from China to Serbia, including China and Serbia. Import and export products, transportation methods, transportation costs, transportation time and customs clearance documents, etc.

Shipping from China to Serbia

Import and export products from China and Serbia

China’s exports to Serbia

Mechanical equipment: including electrical equipment, construction machinery, agricultural machinery, etc.
Electronic products: such as mobile phones, computers, household appliances, etc.
Textiles and clothing: various clothing, shoes, hats and textile fabrics.
Automobiles and parts: complete automobiles and their parts.
Daily consumer goods: furniture, lamps, toys, etc.

The “China-Serbia Free Trade Agreement” stipulates that Serbia will include automobiles, photovoltaic equipment, solar panels, lithium batteries, communication equipment, mechanical equipment, refractory materials, some agricultural and aquatic products, etc. that China is focused on, into zero tariffs. The tariff on relevant products will be from the current 5% to – 20% gradually reduced to zero;

Serbian exports to China

Produce: fruits (e.g. apples, berries), vegetables and grains.
Mineral products: copper, zinc and other mineral products.
Chemical products: basic chemical raw materials and fertilizers.
Food and Beverages: Wine, dairy and processed foods.
Lumber and wood products: Lumber and wood products used in furniture and construction.

The “China-Serbia Free Trade Agreement” stipulates that China will include generators, electric motors, tires, beef, wine, nuts, etc. that Serbia is focused on, with zero tariffs. Tariffs on relevant products will also be gradually reduced to zero from the current 5%-20%.

How to ship from China to Serbia

To transport goods from China to Serbia, you can choose from a variety of transportation methods, including sea freight, rail transportation, and air freight. Here’s a detailed look at each shipping method:

How to ship from China to Serbia

Sea Freight from China to Serbia

If you are looking for a cost-effective way to ship goods from China to Serbia, then you should probably choose sea shipping.
Maritime transportation is the preferred method of bulk cargo transportation, mostly using container ships, sometimes bulk carriers or ro-ro ships, oil tankers, etc. Although the shipping time is longer, the cost is relatively low. It can start from Shanghai Port, Ningbo Port, etc. in China, pass through Mediterranean ports, such as Piraeus Port in Greece, and then reach Serbia by land transportation. It takes about 30-45 days

FCL (Full Container Load): Shipping a container filled specifically for one customer from China to Serbia. Generally speaking, we provide FCL shipping services to Serbia, including 20-foot containers and 40-foot containers (20GP, 40GP and 40HQ). Full container shipping is more cost effective.
LCL (Less Than Container Load): Sharing a container with other customers who are shipping goods to the same destination at the same time. Of course, due to the extra work (consolidation, unpacking, warehousing, paperwork, etc.), the final cost per unit is higher than the full box, and the shipping time is longer. LCL is a great option for small businesses. If your goods cannot fill the entire container, we can always provide LCL (less than one container shipping) service from China to Serbia.

The Meaning Of LCL VS FCL Shipping, The Differences And How To Choose

Serbia’s main shipping port

Port of Belgrade

The port’s location in the Serbian capital is crucial for facilitating domestic and international trade, with an annual transport volume of approximately 1 million tons.
Key trading partners and strategic importance: The port plays a leading role in trade activities with key European partners such as Germany, Italy and Hungary. It is also of strategic importance as it provides an effective link between Eastern and Western Europe.
Business Background: If you are considering expansion into the European market, the Port of Belgrade may be an important part of your strategy as it has modern facilities and good connections with Europe’s main trade routes.

Port of Novi Sad

The port, located in Serbia’s second-largest city, handles approximately 1.6 million tons of cargo annually.
Main trading partners and strategic importance: The port mainly handles agricultural products and has close trade links with Turkey, Romania and France. It also plays a strategic role in connecting the northern and southern regions of Serbia.
Business background: If your business is related to agriculture, the Port of Novi Sad can provide you with a strong network and efficient infrastructure for your freight.

Port of Pancevo

The port is located on the south bank of the Danube River and handles approximately 2.5 million tons of cargo per year.
Main trading partners and strategic importance: The port is mainly engaged in the petroleum and chemical industries and maintains strong trading relations with Russia and other Eastern European countries. It is also considered an important port in the Balkans.
Business Background: If your business involves petroleum or chemical products, incorporating the Port of Pancevo into your logistics could be a game-changer as it has the ability to specifically handle such cargo.

Port of Smederevo

The port is located on the Danube River and handles approximately 1 million tons of cargo per year.
Major trading partners and strategic importance: The port mainly exports steel and agricultural products and maintains strong trade ties with China and European countries. It is worth noting that the port houses Serbia’s only steel plant.
Business Background: If your business involves steel trading, the Port of Smederevo may be crucial to your shipping strategy as it has specialized infrastructure for these industries.

Rail transport from China to Serbia

With the opening of China-Europe freight trains, rail transportation has become a fast and economical option, especially suitable for medium-volume goods.
Route: Depart from Yiwu or Chongqing in China, arrive in Hungary via the China-Europe Railway, and then transfer to Serbia. The transportation time is about 15-20 days.

Air freight from China to Serbia

Air freight is suitable for high-value and urgently needed goods. Although it is more expensive, it is the fastest. You can depart from China’s Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and other airports, fly directly or transfer via a European hub airport to Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport. Shipping time is about 3-7 days.

Air freight from China to Serbia

Serbia main international airports

Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport

Cargo volume: With annual cargo volume exceeding 22,500 tons in 2019, it is Serbia’s busiest cargo airport.
Main trading partners: Main trading partners include China, Russia, Germany, Italy, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia.
Strategic importance: As Serbia’s largest and busiest airport, it is an important hub for cargo in Southeast Europe. Its strategic location enhances connectivity to other European countries, Asia and the Middle East.
Distinctive features: It has a modern freight center and a free zone, providing tax and customs benefits for businesses. Facilitates all types of freight including general cargo, special cargo and dangerous goods.
For your business: If you are exporting to or importing goods from South-Eastern Europe, Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport may be strategic for your business due to its connectivity. The airport’s comprehensive facilities and free zone advantages can also effectively reduce costs and simplify your logistics processes.

Nis Constantine Airport

Cargo volume: Although smaller than Belgrade, the airport has been growing rapidly in recent years as cargo volumes have increased.
Main trading partners: The main trading partners are mainly European countries, including Germany, Italy, Austria and Switzerland.
Strategic importance: Niš Constantine Airport is located in southern Serbia and is a strategic gateway to the Balkans.
Distinctive features: Serves multiple airlines and has good road connections, ensuring efficient transportation of goods to other parts of Serbia and neighboring countries.
For your business: Given its low operating costs, Niš Constantine Airport can be a fruitful option for businesses looking for affordable transportation to Southeast Europe. Its growing production capacity and extensive regional connectivity are promising for companies planning to strengthen their foothold in the Balkans.

How Much Does It Cost To Ship From China To Serbia In 2024?

The final shipping cost from China to Serbia depends on several factors, including cargo type, weight, volume, shipping method and shipping distance. Before preparing a quote, your freight forwarder may ask for the following details:

  • Nature of your shipment
  • Your preferred shipping method (FCL, LCL, air freight)
  • The weight and dimensions of your shipment
  • Origin and destination
  • Service type (e.g. port-to-port, door-to-door)
How much does it cost to ship from China to Serbia

Cost Of Shipping 20ft & 40ft Container From China To Serbia

  • How much does it cost to ship a 20-foot container from China to Serbia?
    The average price for shipping a 20-foot container from China to Serbia is US$2,050 to US$3,550. Shipping schedules for 20-foot containers from China to Serbia vary by route.
  • How much does it cost to ship a 40-foot container from China to Serbia?
    The average price for shipping a 40-foot container from China to Serbia is US$3,050 to US$5,550. Shipping schedules for 40-foot containers from China to Serbia vary by route.

You might want to know:

Container Shipping Rates From China To Serbia:

These are the average prices to ship a container from China to Serbia with the cheapest rates for loading and shipping containers from the major ports in China to Serbia for 20ft and 40ft containers (FCL) with all types of cargo such as: commercial cargo, vehicles, or personal effects for international shipments from China to Serbia.

Container shipping service to SerbiaType of containerOcean freight rates to Serbia:
How much does it cost to ship a container from Shanghai to Serbia20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average prices from: $2550 20FT
average prices from: $4050 40FT
How much does it cost to ship a container from Qingdao to Serbia20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average prices from: $3050 20FT
average prices from: $4550 40FT
How much does it cost to ship a container from Shenzhen to Serbia20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average prices from: $2850 20FT
average prices from: $4250 40FT
How much does it cost to ship a container from Tianjin to Serbia20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average prices from: $3150 20FT
average prices from: $4350 40FT
How much does it cost to ship a container from Ningbo to Serbia20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average prices from: $3250 20FT
average prices from: $4550 40FT
How much does it cost to ship a container from Hong Kong to Serbia20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average prices from: $3050 20FT
average prices from: $4050 40FT
How much does it cost to ship a container from Guangzhou to Serbia20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average prices from: $3250 20FT
average prices from: $4550 40FT

Air Freight Cost Per Kilogram From China To Serbia

Air freight from China to Serbia costs approximately $5.5 to $10.5 per kilogram, and cargo must weigh at least 45 kilograms to qualify for air freight. Air freight from China to Serbia takes 3 to 8 days (including the time required for loading, unloading, inspection and other procedures). Please keep in mind that this fee includes air shipping only and does not include customs duties or other taxes that may arise due to importation.

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

The above description of how to get from China to Serbia has already explained the transportation time. It takes 30 to 45 days for sea transportation, 15 to 20 days for rail transportation, and 3 to 7 days for air transportation.
Actual shipping time depends on a variety of factors, such as shipping method, departure/destination terminal, selected services and routes, weather, seasonal changes in shipping markets, etc.

Customs clearance documents for shipping from China to Serbia

Shipping from China to Serbia requires the preparation of complete customs clearance documents to ensure smooth customs clearance of the goods. The following are the main customs clearance documents:

  • Commercial Invoice: Details the goods information, value and trade terms.
  • Packing List: Lists the contents and quantity of each packaging box.
  • Bill of Lading: Ocean bill of lading or air waybill, issued by the carrier.
  • Certificate of Origin: Proves that the goods are produced in China and can be used for tariff concessions when necessary.
  • Import License: Certain products are required, such as medicines, food, etc.
  • Inspection Certificate: Such as the quality and conformity certificate provided by a third-party inspection agency.
  • Insurance Certificate: Proof of freight insurance.
  • Technical specifications and product manuals: Detailed equipment technical specifications and operating manuals for review by customs and relevant departments.

Shipping from China to Serbia involves multiple links and detailed preparations. By choosing the right mode of transportation, working with a reliable logistics partner, and preparing complete customs clearance documents, you can ensure that your goods reach their destination smoothly.
The trade relations between China and Serbia continue to deepen, providing enterprises with good cooperation opportunities. We hope this guide can provide valuable reference and guidance for your import and shipping business.

Get a Quote

Scroll to Top