Different logistics methods can make a huge difference in transit time and shipping costs. Therefore, we always need to determine which method is the most cost-effective.
If your order is by air, the shipping time should be within 3-10 working days. If by sea, the transit time may take 30 to 45 days. Next, I will talk about the 4 most common ways to ship from China to the US.
1. Postal delivery
Mailing from China Ordinary Post This means that the regular Ordinary China Post (or Hong Kong Post) may take 15~35 days to arrive. If you can wait, this is the cheapest option for small shipments, such as samples and packages. You can track and trace online, but the information cannot be updated in time.
We do not recommend this approach most of the time. While this is a very economical method, it is not safe and it is difficult to find lost packages. This method is usually a good option for drop shipping.
2. Air express
For most people just starting out, shipping with a courier will be the most appropriate way. The courier companies widely used in China are DHL, UPS and FedEx. With courier service, you can get fast delivery time and online tracking facility. Most express shipments can reach anywhere in the world in just 3-5 business days.
The advantage of choosing express delivery is seamless delivery. All you have to do is sign for the package when it arrives. Delivery is fast and reliable in most cases. When a problem arises, there is a tracking number to help troubleshoot the problem. But the disadvantage is that the price is much higher than the postal service.
3. Air Freight
If the weight of the purchased product is too large for the courier, such as 100kg, air freight may be the best option. Using air freight, the cost will be much lower than the courier company. This method is suitable for medium-weight cargo and has tight deadlines or tight controls on security. The transit time varies according to the airline’s schedule, but it is generally between 8 and 10 days, which is not bad.
It is worth mentioning here that air freight usually has a minimum requirement for shipping weight. The average cost of air express is about 5 to 10 USD/kg and the transit time is about 3 to 5 working days, while the average cost of air freight is 4 to 8 USD/kg and the transit time is about 5 to 10 working days.
The picture below is a detailed comparison of air freight from China to the UK and air express freight. When your weight is small, the cost of air express may be lower, but when you are heavier, air freight starts to show its cost advantages. But this is just a pure cost comparison, and there are other factors you need to consider when making your decision, especially shipping time.
Ocean shipments can take a long time, but can carry a lot of cargo, keeping costs down. The variety of goods that can be transported is also a major benefit of this model. This is why it is a popular and widely used model in logistics.
Despite the long delivery time, if you plan ahead and have enough time to wait, sea freight will be your first choice. Depending on your location, it will take about 30 to 60 days. There are two types of ocean freight, FCL and LCL, both of which are related to shipping costs and the size of the container used.