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Shipping from China to South Korea

The trade relationship between China and South Korea has remained strong over the past few decades, with bilateral trade volume reaching significant heights. In recent years, China has become South Korea’s largest trading partner, and South Korea has become China’s third largest trading partner. For the whole year of 2022, the trade volume between China and South Korea reached 362.2 billion U.S. dollars. The trade between the two countries mainly includes electronic products, machinery and equipment, excavators, transportation equipment, optical instruments and raw materials.

Basenton Logistics is a leading Chinese freight forwarding company that provides comprehensive transportation solutions from China to South Korea, including packaging, warehousing, air freight, ocean freight, customs clearance, door-to-door and other services. With a decade of experience and an unwavering commitment to providing cost-effective and reliable shipping options, Basenton has the expertise and resources to help you navigate the complexities of shipping between China and South Korea. Please rest assured that your goods will arrive safely and on schedule.

Shipping from China to South Korea

What are the shipping methods from China to South Korea?

There are 2 available shipping methods from China to South Korea: Sea freight and air freight. Sea freight is one of the most popular methods for all merchants, mainly because there are no restricted items and the price is very reasonable.

Sea freight from China to South Korea

With the continuous economic development and globalization of various countries, shipping has gradually become an international industry. This huge industry is also facing many challenges. Shipping companies face these challenges one by one and overcome them. One of the advantages of shipping by sea is the use of containers.

The main trade route connecting China and South Korea is by sea. Major Chinese ports such as Shanghai, Ningbo, Qingdao, Tianjin and Guangzhou regularly deliver goods to Busan, Incheon and Pyeongtaek in South Korea. Typically deployed vessels are container ships, bulk carriers and ro-ro vessels.

For affordable cargo transportation from China to South Korea, sea freight is a cost-effective option. Shipments usually arrive at their destination within 5 to 10 days. The exact cost of ocean shipping depends on the weight and size of the goods being shipped.

Sea freight from China to South Korea

Less than Container Shipping (LCL) from China to South Korea

LCL shipping is much cheaper than FCL shipping. This means you can typically ship with other importers for shipments with dimensions below 1-15 cubic meters. LCL shipments are ideal for those who need to send small shipments internationally.
If you need to ship LCL goods by sea from Guangzhou, China to South Korea, the cost is approximately US$85 per cubic meter.

Full Container Load (FCL) Shipping from China to South Korea

FCL shipping is the most affordable and efficient way to ship products between mainland China and Hong Kong. It is an ideal solution for businesses that need to transport large quantities of goods quickly, cost-effectively and safely.
The cost of shipping FCL goods to Hong Kong is estimated based on the weight of the goods and other factors.
Shipping a 20-foot container from Guangzhou, China to South Korea costs approximately $700.

Major sea shipping routes from China to South Korea

There are many routes between China and South Korea, and the most popular routes are between major ports in each country. The main shipping routes between China and South Korea include:

  • Shanghai to Busan: This is one of the most popular sea shipping routes between China and South Korea. The port of Shanghai in China is the world’s busiest port, while Busan in South Korea is the fifth busiest port in the world.
  • Ningbo to Incheon: Ningbo is another major port in China and Incheon is the largest port in South Korea. This route is also popular for transporting goods between the two countries.
  • Shenzhen to Gwangyang: Shenzhen is located in southern China and Gwangyang is the main port in South Korea. This route is particularly important for the transportation of raw materials and finished goods between the two countries.
  • Qingdao to Busan: Qingdao is a major port in northern China and Busan is located on the southeast coast of South Korea. This route is particularly important for the transportation of agricultural products, minerals, and chemicals.

Air freight from China to South Korea

Air freight is a popular choice for transporting goods between China and South Korea, as it is fast and efficient.
Why is air freight from China to South Korea the perfect choice for your cargo?
First, this service supports high-value shipments, which is necessary when your shipment is urgent. You can also enjoy door-to-door delivery so you don’t have to waste time getting your goods to their destination.
Air freight from China to South Korea takes about 1 to 5 days, and the average price is US$5 to US$8 per kilogram.

Air freight from China to South Korea

There are two major types of air transport on routes between China and South Korea: conventional air transport and express air transport.

Traditional Air Freight: Traditional air freight involves transporting goods via commercial airlines or freight companies. It is typically used for larger and heavier loads that are not time sensitive. Conventional air freight can be further divided into the following categories:

  • Standard Air Freight: This service is used to transport larger shipments that are not time sensitive.
  • Air charter: This service involves renting an entire aircraft to transport cargo. It is typically used for oversized, heavy or emergency loads.
  • Consolidated Air Freight: This service involves consolidating multiple smaller shipments into a single shipment to optimize shipping costs.

Express Air Freight: Express air freight involves shipping goods via express carriers such as DHL, FedEx, TNT or UPS. It is typically used for time-sensitive shipments that require expedited delivery. Express air transport can be divided into the following categories:

  • Same Day Delivery: This service involves same day pickup and same day delivery.
  • Overnight Delivery: This service involves overnight pickup and delivery of your shipment.
  • Two-Day Shipping: This service involves picking up and delivering your shipment within two business days.
  • Economy Delivery: This service involves picking up and delivering the shipment within a specified time frame at a lower cost than other courier services.

How much does it cost to ship from China to South Korea in 2024

Shipping market prices change rapidly. Ocean, air and rail freight prices fluctuate over time, influenced by supply and demand and carrier strategic adjustments. Year-over-year differences can be significant, and last week’s prices may not apply to this week.
The price from China to South Korea can only be estimated. If you want to know the latest and most correct price, you can contact Bassenton Logistics to get a quote.

How much does it cost to ship from China to South Korea in 2024

Cost Of Shipping 20ft Container From China To South Korea

How much does it cost to ship a 20ft container from China to South Korea? The average price for shipping a 20-foot container from China to South Korea is US$550 to US$1,550. Shipping schedules for shipping 20-foot containers from China to South Korea vary by route.

Cost Of Shipping 40ft Container From China To South Korea

How much does it cost to ship a 40ft container from China to South Korea? The average price for shipping a 40-foot container from China to South Korea is US$1,050 to US$2,550. Shipping schedules for shipping 40-foot containers from China to South Korea vary by route.

Shipping Container Cost from China to South Korea

Container shipping service from China to South KoreaType of containerOcean freight rates from China to South Korea
How much does it cost to ship a container from Shanghai China to South Korea20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average price from: $750 20FT
average price from: $1550 40FT
How much does it cost to ship a container from Shenzhen China to South Korea20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average price from: $650 20FT
average price from: $1250 40FT
How much does it cost to ship a container from Ningbo-Zhoushan China to South Korea20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average price from: $800 20FT
average price from: $1650 40FT
How much does it cost to ship a container from Hong Kong China to South Korea20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average price from: $550 20FT
average price from: $1250 40FT
How much does it cost to ship a container from Guangzhou China to South Korea20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average price from: $1050 20FT
average price from: $2050 40FT
How much does it cost to ship a container from Qingdao China to South Korea20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average price from: $850 20FT
average price from: $1550 40FT
How much does it cost to ship a container from Tianjin China to South Korea20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average price from: $950 20FT
average price from: $1850 40FT
How much does it cost to ship a container from Dalian China to South Korea20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average price from: $650 20FT
average price from: $1350 40FT
How much does it cost to ship a container from Xiamen China to South Korea20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average price from: $750 20FT
average price from: $1750 40FT
How much does it cost to ship a container from Yingkou China to South Korea20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average price from: $850 20FT
average price from: $1850 40FT
Shipping containers from China

Air freight cost from China to South Korea

The cost of air freight from China to South Korea is about US$5 to US$8 per kilogram. The specific cost may fluctuate because it is affected by many factors such as the distance from the departure and arrival airport, the size and weight of the cargo, etc.

How to calculate volumetric weight for air shipment from China to South Korea?

In express air freight, the equivalent rule is based on the ratio of weight to volume, a ratio of 1 to 5. This means that 1 ton of weight can be transported for every 5 cubic meters of space. In other words, 1 cubic meter of space is equivalent to a weight of 200 kilograms, which can be expressed as a weight-to-volume ratio of 1:5, or as
1 cubic meter = 200 kilograms (1/5)

For regular freight, the weight-to-volume ratio is 1 to 6, that is, 6 cubic meters of space can transport 1 ton of weight. In addition, a gross weight fee is charged for ratios of 1 to 6 or less. Pricing is calculated based on volumetric weight, which is the actual volume divided by 6. For example, 1 cubic meter of space is equivalent to a weight of 167 kilograms, or 1/6 ton, which can be expressed as a weight to volume ratio of 1 to 6, or
1 cubic meter = 167 kg (1/6)

How long does it take to ship from China to South Korea?

Shipping from China to South Korea usually takes 5 to 10 days by sea, and 1 to 5 days by air.

Shipping time from China to South Korea

Sea freight time from China to South Korea

IncheonPyeongtaekMokpoGwangyangBusanUlsanDonghae
Shanghai7857785
Shenzhen7575867
Dalian8856785
Qingdao5658765
Ningbo5788766
Guangzhou7865687
Xiamen6875887

Air freight time from China to South Korea

A flight from any airport in China to South Korea can take up to 6 hours. Air freight door to door, express freight (express) will allow you to transfer all your goods to an accurate address in South Korea within 3 days. With regular air freight, your goods will be delivered within a week from the Chinese supplier to your Korean address.
Air freight shipping time is difficult to estimate as it mainly depends on budget: direct flights within a day are possible, but may be more expensive. On average, you can expect it to take 3 to 5 days

Product information imported from China to South Korea

South Korea imports a wide variety of goods from China. The following are the most important categories:

  • Motors: From generators to batteries and more.
  • Machinery: includes heavy machinery and refrigeration equipment.
  • Automobiles and Accessories: Includes cars, trucks and related parts.
  • Computers and Electronics: Personal computers, parts and other electronic equipment.
  • Fossil fuels: such as oil and coal.
  • Plastics and plastic products: from plastic packaging to PVC.
  • Optics, Technology, Medical Devices: Covers eyewear, technology and medical devices.
  • Steel: Steel raw materials and processed products.
  • Electrical Appliances: Various household appliances and commercial appliances.
  • Organic chemicals: used in various industries.
  • Aluminum: Raw and processed aluminum products.
  • Tires: Various types and sizes for different vehicles.

Documents required for customs clearance of imported goods to South Korea

When importing goods from China to South Korea, a variety of documents are required to ensure smooth customs clearance. Here are the basic files you need:

  • Bill of Lading: This document verifies receipt of a specific shipment and permits its transportation to a specified destination for delivery to the recipient named in the document. It serves as proof of the contract of carriage and receipt of the goods
  • Packing List: This document must contain basic details such as the issuer, invoice number, quantity and type of package, and description of the goods. This information must match the bill of lading. Packing lists, weight lists, and bills of measurements supplement the commercial invoice and provide comprehensive details of the packaging, specifications, color, and weight of the goods.
  • Certificate of Origin: This document is used to verify the place of manufacture or origin of the goods. It usually includes information such as the names and addresses of importers and exporters, shipping methods and routes, merchandise markings and numbers, and details such as the name, quantity, and weight of the merchandise.
  • Document of Conformity: A Declaration of Conformity (DOC) is a formal statement provided by the responsible party indicating compliance with the CE Directive and the corresponding harmonized standards. It is based on a conformity assessment, which may include a test report or certificate of conformity for the product.

South Korea’s tax policy on imported goods

Import duties and taxes: All import duties and taxes in Korea are calculated on the value of the shipment, which is the landed price (CIF).
South Korea’s tariff rates range from 0% to 40%, with an average tariff rate of 4.17%.
Value-added tax: Imported goods worth less than 150,000 won are exempt from customs duties and value-added tax; VAT = standard VAT rate 10% x (CIF price + customs duty + applicable taxes).
The tariff rate for motors, electrical equipment and accessories is 0-13%, the tariff rate for steel is 8%, the tariff rate for organic chemicals is 0-8%, and the tariff rate for furniture, bedding and lighting equipment is 8%.

Things to note when exporting to South Korea

Customs clearance documents: bill of lading, packing list, invoice, China-Korea FTA certificate of origin.
Agricultural products, fruits, vegetables and other foods must provide animal and plant quarantine certificates.
Products that come into direct contact with the mouth, such as cups and plates, are classified as food grade and require a hygiene certificate, ingredient statement and manufacturing process.
Wood products, solid wood, and straw products require fumigation certificates and food quarantine to clear customs.

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