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Shipping from China to Sweden Cost and Time

In 2023, 6.5% of Sweden’s total imports came from China, and this trade totaled approximately US$10 billion. China is Sweden’s seventh largest source of imported goods.

Shipping from China to Sweden involves air, sea and rail transport. Sweden has a population of 10.42 million and the capital, Stockholm, is Sweden’s largest city with over 1 million residents. The country has an advantageous geographical location, bordering the Kattegat Strait and Kagerrak Strait to the west, and the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Bothnia to the east. The maritime routes are very developed, which can greatly improve transportation efficiency.

Shipping from China to Sweden

What are the options for shipping from China to Sweden?

There are three main ways to transport freight from China to Sweden: air transport, sea transport and rail transport. We’ll outline each process for you below.

Sea Freight From China to Sweden

Sea freight is the most common way to ship items from China to Sweden, mainly due to its versatility and reliability. While rail and air freight have restrictions on what they can transport, virtually everything can be shipped by sea freight, including very large heavy equipment (such as cars). The main disadvantage of ocean shipping is its timing. Other shipping methods take just a few days to deliver goods, while ocean freight can take weeks. Items typically take 35 to 55 days to reach their destination, depending on the type of shipment and the specific departure and arrival ports.

Maritime transportation involves container transportation, and importers can choose to use their own containers (full container) or combine with others (LCL) to import. These containers can also be transported from the port to the railway, becoming an intermodal freight method. A standard 40-foot container can hold 22 standard pallets, and a 20-foot container can hold 10 pallets.

Less than Container Load (LCL):
This applies to small quantities and when air freight is too expensive. Because the quantity is less than one container, the cost will be less than full container shipping.
However, a small additional period of time may be required for LCL delivery, which involves consolidating (packing) and unpacking (unpacking) your goods with the rest of the container contents before departure and upon arrival.
If you agree to share space with your shipment with other shipments from other companies, then LCL shipping (also known as LCL shipping) offers a more economical way to ship smaller quantities that are less than half the volume of the entire container.

Full Container Load (FCL):
As the name suggests, this shipping method uses full shipping containers and is therefore suitable for loads of at least that amount.
If your individual quantity is less than a container, you can consolidate or adopt a strategy of bundling multiple orders into one container. Flat rate pricing makes full container shipping a great deal.

Some other points to consider when you are choosing between LCL and FCL are:

  • Are you okay with your goods sharing a container with other goods from other companies? If so, then LCL may be right for you.
  • How many pallets are in your order? If you have more than 6 pallets, you should compare prices for FCL vs. LCL, as it may be more cost-effective to get a full container even if you can’t fill it completely.
  • How important is time? The whole box will be faster.
  • Can your business fill containers and ship them together in a reasonable amount of time?
Ocean Freight

Sweden’s main seaports

Port of Trelleborg
Trelleborg is Scandinavia’s largest ro-ro port with 13 berths, including 8 direct ferry terminals with connections to Rostock, Sassnitz and Travemünde. Located at the southern tip of Sweden, close to the German border, it is Sweden’s second largest cargo handling port. In 2020, the cargo throughput was approximately 12 million tons and the passenger throughput was 2.15 million.

Port of Stockholm
The Port of Stockholm is located on the east coast of Sweden, covering an area of approximately 1,755 hectares. It handles exports of steel, paper, wood pulp, machinery, packaged food, timber, etc. Major imports include coal, minerals, petroleum products, chemicals, edible oils, vehicles and general cargo. It handles approximately 8,570,000 tons of cargo, 27,865 TEUs and 9,150,000 passengers annually. The Port of Stockholm includes the subsidiary ports of Kapellskar (a port serving Estonia and Finland) and Nynashamn (a port serving mainly Gotland and the Baltic Sea).

Port of Gavle
The Port of Gävle is located in the Gulf of Bothnia, about 170 kilometers north of Stockholm. It is Sweden’s third largest container port. It receives approximately 1,000 vessels annually and handles approximately 4,650,000 tons of cargo. The port also serves as a logistics hub, providing opportunities for regional maritime development.

Air freight from China to Sweden

If time is of the essence and you need to ship your goods from China to Sweden quickly, then air freight is what you need. The distance between China and Sweden is relatively long, and air transportation generally takes about 5 to 8 days. This includes the time required for customs declaration and delivery. Note that the price you pay for speed and flexibility is likely to be much higher than with ocean shipping.

Sweden has three major international airports: Stockholm Arlanda Airport (the largest airport), Gothenburg Landvetter Airport (the second largest airport), and Malmö Sturup Airport (the third largest airport).

Air freight from China

Sweden’s main airports

Arlanda Airport
It is located north of Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, and is Sweden’s largest airport and major international hub. Arlanda is the main base for Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) and an important hub for other airlines connecting Nordic and international destinations. The airport consists of multiple terminals offering a wide range of facilities and flights connecting Sweden, other European cities and global destinations.

Landvetter Airport
Landvetter Airport is located near Sweden’s second largest city, Gothenburg, and is the country’s second largest airport. It is an important international airport in the Nordic region, offering a wide range of domestic and international flights connecting various destinations in Europe and other continents.

Sturup Airport
Sturup Airport is located near Malmö, Sweden’s third largest city and is the country’s third largest airport. It primarily serves the southern region of Sweden, offering domestic and select European flights, serving residents and tourists in the region.

How does air freight from China to Sweden work?

In most cases, air freight can be arranged by contacting the China freight forwarder directly. For example, they may be large organizations that also arrange express services and ocean freight. Of course, they will have experience in international customs procedures and cargo transport logistics.

Here are the general steps you need to know when shipping goods from China to Sweden using air freight:

  • To choose an air freight forwarding company to provide services for your transportation from China to Sweden, and to determine the price of the services you require, you can contact Basenton Logistics, a Chinese freight forwarding company with more than 10 years of global freight forwarding experience.
  • The freight forwarding company will receive the goods from your manufacturer. These shipments are either ready for shipment (called RFT) or have the required packaging performed by the freight company.
  • Freight forwarders transport your goods to the airport and China and handle customs clearance.
  • The goods were loaded onto planes and shipped from China to Sweden. If combined shipping, this may take a few days.
  • Upon arrival in Sweden, the goods must pass through customs again and will only be released after all duties and taxes have been paid
  • After the air freight from China to Sweden is completed, you will receive the goods in accordance with the agreement with the freight forwarder.
Air freight from China to Sweden

Things to note when air freight from China to Sweden

  • Please be sure to clearly communicate the type, weight, size, and category of the goods that need to be transported by air to the freight forwarding company. Reserve your space in advance and stay informed about flight departure details.
  • Different types of cargo require appropriate air transport packaging and should comply with airline regulations. It is important to gather this information ahead of time. For example, we at Basenton Logistics offer packaging services that save you time and effort.
  • In addition to the address label, avoid adding other irrelevant markings to the packaging. For fragile items, it is best to have a clear “Fragile” sign on the outer packaging.
  • We recommend considering air freight if: Your shipment is time sensitive/requires a higher level of security during transportation/is of high value.

Railway train freight from China to Sweden

Chinese importers have been using rail freight since 2011, and Sweden is no exception. Rail freight infrastructure and processes have improved significantly between then and now. Rail freight costs half the price of air freight and is nearly 50% faster than sea freight.

Rail freight has a transit time of 14 to 20 days, making it a quicker alternative to sea freight, which can take up to 35 to 55 days for the same route.

Shipping Cost From China To Sweden in 2024

The final cost of shipping from China to Sweden depends on several factors. 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)

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

The average price to ship a container from China to Sweden is US$3,250 to US$5,850. The shipping cost of shipping an entire container from China to Sweden depends on the size of the container (20 feet or 40 feet) and the schedule route, please contact Basenton Logistics for detailed rates on shipping containers from China to major container ports in Sweden.

  • How much does it cost to ship a 20ft container from China to Sweden, the average price to ship a 20ft container from China to Sweden is from $3250 to $4250. The shipping timeline to ship a 20 foot container from China to Sweden ranges depending on the route.
  • How much does it cost to ship a 40ft container from China to Sweden, the average price to ship a 40ft container from China to Sweden is from $3050 to $5850. The shipping timeline to ship a 40 foot container from China to Sweden ranges depending on the route.

If you are interested in the cost from China to other European countries, you can click on the link:

shipping from China

Container shipping rates from China to Sweden

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

Container shipping service to SwedenType of containerOcean freight rates to Sweden:
How much does it cost to ship a container from Shanghai to Sweden20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average prices from: $3250 20FT
average prices from: $4850 40FT
How much does it cost to ship a container from Qingdao to Sweden20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average prices from: $3550 20FT
average prices from: $4850 40FT
How much does it cost to ship a container from Shenzhen to Sweden20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average prices from: $3250 20FT
average prices from: $4850 40FT
How much does it cost to ship a container from Tianjin to Sweden20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average prices from: $3550 20FT
average prices from: $5050 40FT
How much does it cost to ship a container from Ningbo to Sweden20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average prices from: $3350 20FT
average prices from: $4850 40FT
How much does it cost to ship a container from Hong Kong to Sweden20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average prices from: $3550 20FT
average prices from: $4650 40FT
How much does it cost to ship a container from Guangzhou to Sweden20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average prices from: $3250 20FT
average prices from: $4850 40FT

Air Freight Costs per kG From China To Sweden

Air freight from China to Sweden costs approximately $7 to $15 per kilogram, Cargo must weigh at least 45 KG to be eligible for air freight. Air freight from China to Sweden 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 be incurred due to importation.

How to calculate volumetric weight charges for air freight from China to Sweden

You may ask, how is the weight and volumetric weight of each product calculated when shipping your products from China to Sweden? First of all, we want to point out that the volumetric weight of each product is directly related to the volume and size of the product in the aircraft cargo hold. Since the cargo portion of an aircraft should not contain large volumes of cargo, consider a system called volumetric weight calculation that allows buyers or sellers to package their products smaller and lighter to reduce freight costs.

Based on this, we have two types of product weight calculations. The first is the exact weight of each product, calculated by multiplying the number of packages by the weight of each package. But we will explain the second method in more detail:

Calculating dimensional weight is simple. First, you need to take the length, width, and height of your package and multiply all three by the units to get the cubic inches of your shipment.

To get the exact weight, you must divide the number by 366 to get the kilogram weight of the shipment.

For example, let’s say you are shipping a product from Shanghai to Stockholm and your shipment has 8 packages, each weighing 15 kg and each package measuring 30 x 10 x 15 inches.

Exact weight 8 * 15 kg = 120 kg

Volumetric weight=301015*8 boxes/366=98 kg

Since the actual weight of the product is greater than its volumetric weight, we have to consider 120 kg as the final weight of the product.

What is the cheapest shipping method from China to Sweden?

If you are not in a hurry to receive your goods, please choose sea shipping as this is the cheapest shipping method from China to Sweden. Delivery takes approximately 45 days (although this may vary depending on various factors such as weather).

Several factors make it cheaper than air or rail shipping. Sea shipping has the longest routes and therefore has many ports to choose from. For example, one of the most popular ports in China is Shanghai. In Sweden you can find the ports of Stockholm and Gothenburg. Depending on which port your shipment originates from and is destined for, you may be able to save on shipping costs by choosing a port that is closer to your destination.

Ocean shipping has more options for large shipments. The larger your shipment, the cheaper it is per unit to ship it by sea freight rather than by air or rail. This is because each shipping method has its own limitations on the kinds of items that can be transported each way and the space those items take up in a container.

LCL container Ship from China

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

Air freight from China to Sweden takes 3 to 8 days, and in most cases a plane from China to Sweden takes a week to get your items to their destination. The average shipping time for shipping containers from China to Senegal is 35 to 55 days, and rail shipping is generally 15 to 20 days.

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

Air freight from China to Sweden takes 3 to 8 days, and in most cases a plane from China to Sweden takes a week to get your items to their destination. The average shipping time for shipping containers from China to Senegal is 35 to 55 days, and rail shipping is generally 15 to 20 days.

Popular shipping routes include Ningbo to Gothenburg, Shanghai to Gothenburg and Ningbo to Helsingborg. However, this also depends on the specific port of call, which may add or subtract a few days to the shipping time.

For example, LCL shipping from Fuzhou to Gothenburg takes about 41 days, while FCL shipping from Ningbo to Gothenburg and Shanghai to Gothenburg both take about 46 days. It takes about 48 days from Tianjin to Gothenburg, and about 39 days from Shekou to Gothenburg.

China-Europe trains usually take 15-20 days, depending on distance and customs inspection delays. The railway line passes through Kazakhstan-Russia-Belarus-Poland-Sweden.

Swedish customs clearance policies and documents

Trade policy

● The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of International Trade Policy and the State Trade Council oversee Sweden’s foreign trade.
● As an EU member state, Sweden abides by the EU’s trade preferential agreements and the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), including China.
● Sweden implements EU non-tariff trade restriction policies, which mainly involve bans, quantitative restrictions, trade remedies, technical trade barriers, etc.

Customs documents:

Bill of Lading (Sea Freight)/Air Waybill (Air Freight)
Bill of Lading (B/L): The bill of lading is an important contract between the shipper and the carrier regarding ocean transportation. It contains detailed information about shipping products, destinations, and other necessities. In addition, the bill of lading serves as a receipt after the goods have been shipped.

Air Waybill (AWB): Similar to the bill of lading, the air waybill is used to transport cargo by air. It outlines the products being shipped, their destination, and other key details. Like the bill of lading, the air waybill also serves as a receipt once the goods have been loaded onto the aircraft.

Commercial invoice
The commercial invoice is the most important document for customs clearance. It provides basic details about the product being shipped, including its value and HS code (the Uniform System code used to classify and track international shipments). To find the HS code for your product, you can refer to the World Customs Organization website.

Packing list
The packing list is another important document that lists all the items in your shipment along with their dimensions and weight. Customs officials rely on this document to verify the contents of your shipment, ensuring accuracy and compliance.

Certificate of Origin
A certificate of origin is a mandatory document proving that your product is made in China. This is especially required for certain goods that qualify for preferential tariff treatment. To obtain this certificate, you can apply through the chamber of commerce where the product is manufactured.

Swedish import duties and taxes

Goods imported from EU member states are exempt from tariffs, while goods imported from non-EU countries are subject to import taxes at the EU’s unified tariff rate.

  • Swedish Customs Clearance Import Tariffs
    Duties are calculated based on the duty-paid value of the item. The customs value usually includes the price paid to the supplier when the goods are sold into the EU, the cost of transport to the EU border and the cost of any transport insurance. Swedish customs duties generally range between 0% (for example, books) and 17% (for example, Wellington boots). Some items, such as laptops, mobile phones, digital cameras and game consoles, enjoy tax-free status. However, certain items may incur additional taxes based on their country of origin. For example, bicycles made in China are subject to an additional 48.5% anti-dumping duty.
  • Value Added Tax (VAT)
    Sweden’s standard VAT rate is 25%, and some products enjoy preferential VAT rates of 6% or 12%. Value-added tax = Value-added tax rate × (CIF value + import tariff).
  • Critical point
    Sweden has an import tariff threshold. Imported goods with a value (FOB) not exceeding SEK 1,300 are exempt from customs duties, but are still subject to VAT.
  • Other taxes
    Excise tax: This tax is levied on certain items such as tobacco products.
    Additional Customs Fees: These fees cover the costs of inspection, inspection and testing required during customs clearance of imported goods.

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