Freight From China to South Africa

Shipping from China to South Africa | Air | Sea | Express | DDP 

This guide will show you how to ship goods from China to South Africa, with strategies to improve your existing import operation. Whether you’re starting out or have experience, this guide has everything you need.

We can help you ship cargo from China to South Africa, with guidance on making it cost effective. This includes all the components of shipping. It will be a smooth process.

Our extensive connections with major shipping hubs like Guangzhou, Shanghai, Hong Kong etc. give us an advantage when it comes to pricing and transit priority. The partnerships we have with both seaports & airports ensure fast and effective delivery of your shipments.


freight between china and South Africa

How to Ship goods From China to South Africa  ?  

Are you looking to ship goods from China to South Africa efficiently and hassle-free? Whether you’re a business owner or an individual, understanding the shipping process is crucial for a smooth transaction. This guide breaks down the essentials, so you can make an informed choice and ensure your goods arrive safely and on time. Discover everything you need to know about this guide show you How to import goods from China to South Africa. From customs regulations to freight forwarders, we’ve got you covered. Gain valuable insights and make informed decisions for a successful shipping experience.

Your Step-by-Step Shipping Guide

Step 1: Select Your Shipping Method

Determine the right balance between speed and cost. Choose sea freight for savings, or air freight for faster delivery.

Step 2: Find a Reliable Freight Forwarder

Partner with a trusted expert like Super International Shipping for peace of mind.

Step 3: Secure Packing & Documentation

Ensure your items are packed safely and all documents are in order for a worry-free shipment.

Step 4: Clear Customs with Ease

Navigate customs clearance smoothly in both China and Singapore with proper preparation.

Step 5: Track Your Delivery

Stay updated with real-time online tracking to know exactly where your shipment is at all times.

Step 6: Shipping Costs

Understand and fulfill your financial obligations according to the agreed terms.

Step 7: Final Reception

Be on standby to inspect and receive your goods once they land in Singapore.

Why This Matters

Following these steps is vital for a smooth and successful shipping experience from China to Singapore. Our guide is designed to help you avoid common pitfalls and ensure your goods are transported without any hitches.

Get the Full Picture

Dive into our comprehensive guide to importing from China to South Africa. We cover everything from customs regulations to choosing the right freight forwarder. With our expert advice, you can make smart shipping decisions and enjoy a successful, stress-free experience.

Air Freight from China to South Africa

Air freight from China to South Africa is becoming increasingly popular due to its speed and convenience. Although air freight is more costly than sea shipping, it offers a quicker alternative for those who need their goods delivered in a timely manner. With the freight forwarder in China, businesses can enjoy fast, reliable shipping without the added cost of delays or damage.

How long does air freight take from China to South Africa?

Standard air freight from China to South Africa typically takes 8-10 days for delivery. However, express delivery courier services can get the item there within a couple of days.

From To Transit time
Air Freight China South Africa 8 to 10 days
Air Freight DDP China South Africa 12 to 16 days

Air Freight Cost From China To South Africa


From To Transit time cost per kgs
Air Freight China South Africa 8 to 10 days

$4 – 7.9 per kgs


Shipping goods from China to South Africa via air freight is an economical option with a door-to-door cost of $4 – 7.9 per kg.

This makes it a great choice for those looking for quick, yet cost-effective shipping solutions.

Air freight cost is basically a combination of various charges and surcharges, including air freight charge, fuel surcharge, security fee, terminal fee and other surcharges. These charges are set by different airlines based on their operating costs. According to factors such as season, international oil prices and off-season, airlines revise these charges frequently to reflect market changes.

Air freight charges are calculated by the number of kilograms in a shipment, multiplied by the cost per kilogram. A fuel surcharge is applied by airlines at a set rate per kilogram , regardless of the number of miles your cargo has traveled. Fuel surcharge is another cost that you’ll need to consider when determining how much your air freight will be. This fee is applied at a set rate per kilogram and is based on international oil prices—so it fluctuates regularly.

Other surcharges are constantly being revised from time to time, According to factors such as off-season, peak season, international oil prices, etc., so the difference between each airline that may change once a few months or once a week.

Few things to pay attention when air freight from China to South Africa 
  • Once you confirmed transport by air freight from China to South Africa, you need to provide the cargo details, cargo weight, cargo dimension. Once itinerary is confirmed, freight forwarder in China provides flight departure time and other information for your shipment.
  • Air freight cargo must be packaged to fulfil airline’s regulations, the packaging also varies according to different types of goods. In Super International Shipping, we provide professional packaging service in our China warehouse, that could saving your time also make sure your cargo packing fits into airline repacking requirement.
  • For fragile products, make sure fragile label stick onto outer packaging. In addition to the address label on the outside of the packaging bag, try not to carry other irrelevant signs.

What is Shipping Route From China To South Africa ? 

Wondering about the shipping route from China to South Africa ? It’s simple. Key seaports in China like Shenzhen, Tianjin, Qingdao, Shanghai, Ningbo, and Xiamen are your starting points. From there, vessels set sail directly to South Africa. This route is popular and well-traveled by freight forwarders, ensuring your cargo reaches its destination smoothly.

How long does it take from China to South Africa – Overview 

Understanding the transit times for shipping from China to South Africa is crucial for businesses and individuals planning to import goods. The delivery time can vary significantly based on the method of shipment chosen:

  • Sea Freight: Typically, sea freight from China to South Africa can take approximately 25 days. This duration is a general estimate and can be influenced by factors such as customs clearance and port operations.
  • Air Freight: For those needing quicker delivery, air freight is substantially faster, with an average transit time of just 5 days. Keep in mind that while air freight is faster, it is also generally more expensive.
  • Courier Services: A middle ground in terms of speed and cost is provided by courier services, offering delivery from China to South Africa in about 5-7 days. This service is often used for smaller packages or important documents.

Sea freight cost from China to South Africa

If you’re looking to transport goods from China to South Africa, understanding the cost of sea freight is crucial for budgeting and choosing the most cost-effective shipping option:

  • 20-Foot Container Rates: Shipping a 20-foot container typically ranges from US $1,860 to US $1,800. This size is often preferred for its affordability and efficiency.
  • 40-Foot Container Rates: For larger shipments, a 40-foot High Cube (40HQ) container rate is approximately US $2,530. The added space can accommodate a greater volume of goods, making it suitable for bulkier shipments.
  • Cost Influences: The final shipping cost is subject to a variety of factors, such as carrier selection, seasonal demand, and additional logistical elements. The standard rate per cubic meter (CBM) is around US$25, but this can fluctuate based on the specific details of the shipment.

Ocean Freight FCL and LCL

Full Container Load (FCL) Shipping

FCL shipping is the most affordable option for larger shipments, as you will be required to book an entire container (either 20ft or 40ft) for your goods. This option is ideal for businesses shipping large quantities of goods, as it offers better economies of scale.

Less than a Container Load (LCL) Shipping

LCL shipping allows you to pay only for the space your goods occupy within a container, making it an ideal choice for small businesses and individuals shipping smaller quantities of goods. In LCL shipping, a freight forwarder will consolidate multiple shipments into one container, which is then shipped to South Africa.

How Long Sea Shipping From China To South Africa

From To Transit time
Sea Freight China South Africa  25 to 30 days
Sea Freight DDP China South Africa  35 to 40 days
Sea Freight Hong Kong South Africa  25 to 30 days
Sea Freight Chongqing South Africa  27 to 30 days
Sea Freight Fuzhou South Africa  24 to 30 days
Sea Freight Huangpu South Africa  23 to 30 days
Sea Freight Nansha South Africa  23 to 30 days
Sea Freight Shanghai South Africa  26 to 30 days
Sea Freight Guangzhou South Africa  23 to 30 days
Sea Freight Shenzhen South Africa  23 to 30 days
Sea Freight Xiamen South Africa  24 to 30 days

The transit time from China to the South Africa is approximately 25 days by port to port shipping transit time, door to door shipping takes approx. 30 to 35 days by sea.

What is the cheapest way to ship from China to South Africa?

Sea freight shipping is the most economical way to ship goods from China to South Africa.

If you’re shipping something bulky, it’s much more economical to go with sea freight – a $1000 parcel could cost as little as $195.

On the other hand, for smaller items such as documents and other important papers, air freight is usually the better option.

Import Tax and Duties in South Africa

All imports have VAT charged at 14% of the FOB (Free on Board) value as well as an additional 10% increase on that same amount.

When budgeting for transportation costs, it is important to take into account the following factors:

When importing products from China to South Africa, it’s essential to calculate the landed cost. This is determined by the duties on imports from China to South Africa.

Logistics Costs of Importing from China to South Africa

  • The Price of a Customs Broker

  • The cost of employing a Chinese freight forwarder to transport goods to South Africa

Members of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), including South Africa, Swaziland, and Namibia, have all been subjected to the same excise duties and taxes.

In South Africa, the duty charges usually vary between 0% and 45%, depending on the product.

In South Africa customs duty rate typically stands at an average of 18.74%.

Certain items are excluded from any tariffs or duty charges, such as electric guitars, laptops and computer peripherals.

For more information about taxes, visit the official South African Government website for detailed information. . South African Government

import tax:

Door-To-Door Delivery From China To South Africa

Door delivery is a service that is available to assist with your international shipments no matter DAP or DDP. Door-to-door delivery options usually come in two types : Trucking delivery and express door delivery.

Trucking deliveries are shipped by truck, from the origin station to your door. Trucking is the most common method and takes approximately 1 to 2 days for transit time. The cost for this method is cheaper than express services , but the cost is higher than ground services

DDP Shipping Cost From China To South Africa

From To Transit time LCL cost
Sea Freight DDP China South Africa  15 to 20 days $ 190 per cbm
Air Freight DDP China South Africa 7 to 10 days 
$3.5 to 6.00 per kgs 

Shipping your goods by DDP terms save your shipping costs and removes the need for you to care about taxes and duties, which saves time and money. Using a freight forwarder like Super In’l Shipping is going to make everything easier for you at every step.

DDP shipping from China to South Africa can be done in several different ways: sea freight, road freight, rail freight, or air freight. You’ll need to prepare a few documents for your Chinese factory to fill out when they’re exporting your goods from China.

DDP Shipping is a popular shipping method in the South Africa. It is also known as Door-to-Door (D2D) shipping. In this type of shipping, the consignee can receive the shipment at their doorstep, without any additional charges.

The consignee needs to be available at the address where they want to receive the shipment and sign for it on delivery. The company then delivers it to them and takes responsibility for any damages or losses that may occur during transit. DDP is a very secure method of shipping because it does not require any third-party involvement in order for goods to be delivered successfully.

DDP stands for “Delivery Duty Paid.” It means that the seller pays all costs related to the delivery of your cargo. These include transportation and insurance costs. This is in contrast to FOB (Free on Board), which means that you pay all the costs up until a certain point of time. After that point, the buyer takes over and has to pay for the rest of the way. It’s a very popular way of shipping goods between South Africa and China, and it’s used by businesses in a wide range of industries

Cargo need to go through customs clearance in China before they are exported. They will be sent to our warehouse in Shenzhen or you can appoint us to pick up your goods from your China factory. In South Africa, we use our business partners as importers for import declarations. We manage all customs clearance procedures from China and South Africa.
Last miles delivery will be arranged by express couriers

DDP shipping best for Amazon FBA Shipping, Business addresses, Private addresses.

DDP Shipping Transit Time From China To South Africa 

  • DDP Air freight from China to South Africa can take between 7-10 days.
  • DDP Sea freight shipping from China to South Africa takes 35-40 days by LCL

DDP Shipping requirement from China to South Africa:
  • Do not send any items that infringe on intellectual property rights.
  • Do not send any illegal
  • Items need to be labeled with “Made in China” on their packaging and SKU labels.

In addition to cargo original packaging, the outer carton should be new and sturdy. Suggest using transparent tape to seal the carton’s outer box. Do not use coloured tape.

DDP shipping from China to South Africa weight limit range from 11Kg/ to 21Kg. The maximum gross weight for each waybill is 30Kg.

DDP shipping from China to South Africa min chargeable weight per shipment is 100kgs.
Please make sure that the total cargo weight of all the items does not exceed 30Kg.

Does Alibaba Ship to South Africa?

Indeed, Alibaba suppliers offer shipping to South Africa, leveraging their extensive experience in air and sea freight. However, to avoid hidden costs and obtain competitive rates, it’s crucial to partner with a dedicated freight forwarder like Super International Shipping. Don’t entrust your logistics to suppliers; instead, rely on reliable freight Forwarder to ensure smooth and cost-effective shipping.

Express Shipping from China to South Africa: Transit Time Summary

When you’re in need of the fastest shipping solutions from China to South Africa, express shipping services offer the quickest transit times available. Here’s a brief summary before we delve into the specific services:

  • FedEx Express: 2-3 business days
  • DHL Express: 3-5 business days
  • UPS Express: Comparable to DHL, usually within 3-5 business days
  • TNT Express: Similar to DHL and UPS in terms of transit time
  • EMS: Longer than private express services, but more cost-effective

Now, let’s explore each express shipping option in detail:

Detailed Express Shipping Options

FedEx Express

A leader in express logistics, FedEx Express offers expedited shipping that ensures your parcel arrives in South Africa from China within 2-3 days, inclusive of customs clearance procedures.

DHL Express

DHL’s global express shipping network is designed for reliability, with a delivery timeline of 3-5 business days for urgent shipments from China to South Africa.

UPS Express

UPS Express mirrors the reliability of DHL with similar delivery times, offering another robust option for your time-sensitive parcels.

TNT Express

With a strong market presence, TNT Express provides rapid shipping solutions, competing closely with DHL and UPS in terms of delivery speed and reliability.

Selecting Your Express Shipping Service

The choice of express shipping service should be informed by the urgency of your shipment, the weight and volume of your package, and your budget. Each carrier offers a service with the primary goal of minimizing transit time from China to South Africa, ensuring your shipment arrives swiftly and safely.

What are the most popular products Imported into South Africa from China

South Africa imports a significant amount of goods from China, among which cell phones lead the list with a value of US$1.2 billion, as reported by the International Trade Centre. Following closely are integrated circuits with imports worth US$757 million, information available through UN Comtrade. The country also brings in flat-screen TVs valued at US$550 million; this data can be found in studies by Oxford Economics. Additionally, furniture and mattresses make up another significant part, with imports amounting to US$480 million, as per the World Integrated Trade Solution (WITS) from the World Bank. Lastly, laptops and desktop PCs are also a major import, totaling US$430 million, with details provided by the South African Revenue Service.


South Africa receives a diverse range of goods from China. Here are the top categories:
  1. Electrical Machinery: From generators to batteries and more.
  2. Machinery: Including engines, and refrigeration equipment.
  3. Vehicles: Including cars, trucks, and related parts.
  4. Computers and Electronics: Personal computers, parts, and other electronic devices.
  5. Mineral Fuels: Such as oil and coal.
  6. Plastics and Plastic Articles: Ranging from plastic packaging to PVC.
  7. Optical, Technical, Medical Apparatus: Covering eyewear to technical and medical devices.
  8. Iron and Steel: Both raw and processed iron and steel products.
  9. Appliances: A variety of home and commercial appliances.
  10. Organic Chemicals: Used in various industries.
  11. Aluminium: Raw and processed aluminium products.
  12. Tires: Various types and sizes for different vehicles.

Prohibited and Restricted Items

Before shipping to South Africa from China, understanding the list of items that are restricted or banned is crucial to prevent shipment delays or penalties. This list includes:

  • Viagra
  • Jewelry
  • Wet blue leather
  • Minerals and mineral products
  • Paints and non-hazardous materials
  • Tobacco
  • Stones and stamps
  • Antiques

For an exhaustive list of items restricted or banned for import into South Africa, we recommend consulting your local Customs Department or a trusted freight forwarder.

Freight Storage and Warehousing Services in South Africa

At Super International Shipping, we offer comprehensive warehousing services for all your logistics requirements. If you’re sourcing from multiple outlets, temporary storage in a warehouse can be beneficial.

Warehousing allows for the collection and consolidation of goods, resulting in significant cost savings over time. It can even make the utilization of a full container economically feasible.

Our facilities offer a complete range of warehouse logistics services, including loading, unloading, crating, palletizing, and temporary storage.

Freight Forwarders from China to South Africa

Shipping freight from China to South Africa necessitates a thorough understanding of key factors. Your first decision involves selecting the ideal shipping mode, air freight or ocean freight. Always seek estimates from a reputable forwarder, one known for competitive pricing.

For an in-depth insight into arranging shipments from China, explore this Comprehensive Guide. This resource walks you through each phase, from document preparation to cargo tracking, promising a smooth importing process from China.

FInd a Freight Forwarder 

Navigating the complexities of shipping from China to South Africa is simplified with a freight forwarder, who can mitigate risks, manage the process, and troubleshoot as needed. Before enlisting a forwarder, it’s essential to grasp one critical concept: incoterms. Comprehending these global trade terms is a prerequisite before sealing any supplier agreement. Mastering incoterms is pivotal to the success of your China to South Africa shipments.

Freight Documents and Forms

With a freight forwarder handling your shipping from China to South Africa, you’re relieved from mastering all freight details. However, readying yourself for the surge of freight documents and understanding their importance is beneficial.

Ensure all paperwork is complete and accurate – an extra few minutes here saves potential trouble later. Keep a freight charges guide at hand to review additional costs or fees, avoiding unnecessary charges during your shipping from China to South Africa process.

Use Correct Packaging

For recurring shipments from China to South Africa, proactively engage with your supplier about packaging options. Strategic packaging decisions could significantly reduce your freight expenses.

Super International Shipping – Reliable Freight Forwarder between China and South Africa

  • At Super International Shipping, we understand that international shipping can be a complicated and time-consuming process. That’s why we strive to make it as easy and straightforward as possible.
  • We provide a single point of contact for all your sea freight forwarding needs in China, including customs clearance, documentation, and cargo tracking.
  • Our team of experienced professionals will help you navigate the complexities of international shipping with ease.
  • Whether you are shipping a few pallets or a full container load, Super International Shipping will ensure that your cargo reaches its destination safely and on time.
  • We have extensive experience in shipping containers to the USA, Europe, and the Middle East, so you can trust us to provide a reliable and cost-effective solution for your international shipping needs.
  • At Super International Shipping, we are committed to providing the highest level of customer service. Our team of expert personnel is available 24/7 to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have. We understand that international shipping can be a stressful process, so our customer service representatives are always on hand to provide guidance and support.
  • Super International Shipping is your go-to sea freight forwarder in China to South Africa. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality of service, and our team of experienced professionals will ensure that your international shipping needs are met with care and precision.

If you have any questions about importing from China to South Africa, please contact us. To get started, fill in your shipment’s details on our inquiry form or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.


Frequently Asked Questions when Shipping From China to South Africa

How do Incoterms affect freight prices in shipping from China to South Africa ?

Incoterms (International Commercial Terms) are pivotal in international trade, outlining buyer and seller responsibilities. They determine who bears which costs and at which point risk and cost transfer from seller to buyer. Grasping these terms is essential as they greatly influence freight prices.


What insurance is needed for shipping from China to South Africa ?

Insurance acts as a buffer against potential transit losses. The requirements can diverge based on goods’ value, shipping method, and trade terms. It’s advisable to discuss with your freight forwarder or insurance provider for precise information.

How do I ship to an Amazon FBA warehouse in South Africa from China?

Shipping to an Amazon FBA warehouse necessitates additional steps compared to standard freight shipping. Your goods must meet Amazon’s requirements, be appropriately labeled, and packed. Your freight forwarder can guide you through this process, ensuring a smooth delivery to the Amazon FBA warehouse.

What’s the most cost-effective time of the month to ship a container from China to South Africa?

Freight costs vary due to factors like demand, fuel costs, and carrier availability. Typically, mid-month shipping can be cheaper due to potentially lower demand. Consult your freight forwarder for the most current and accurate information.

How can I minimize costs and shipping time from China to South Africa ?

By optimizing your packaging, familiarizing yourself with your shipping terms (Incoterms), and collaborating with your supplier and freight forwarder, you can decrease costs and shipping time. Advance planning and avoiding peak seasons are also effective strategies.

Where can I get more information about shipping from China to South Africa ?

For more information, explore our website or contact our team of shipping experts. Also, consider reading our Comprehensive Guide on arranging shipments from China.

Q: How much does shipping cost from China to South Africa?

A: The cost of shipping from China to South Africa depends on several factors, including the mode of transport, the weight and size of the shipment, and the origin and destination. Generally, air freight is more expensive than sea freight, with rates starting from $4 per kilogram for air and $25 per cubic meter for sea.

Q: What is the cheapest way to ship from China to South Africa?

A: Sea freight is the most economical way to ship goods from China to South Africa. If you’re shipping something bulky, it’s much more cost-effective to go with sea freight. However, sea shipping takes longer than air shipping, with transit times averaging 25-30 days for port-to-port shipping and 30-35 days for door-to-door shipping.

Q: How to ship items from China to South Africa?

A: There are several options for shipping from China to South Africa, including air freight, sea freight, and express shipping. You can work with a freight forwarder or logistics company to handle the shipping process for you. They can provide a range of services, including customs clearance, cargo insurance, and door-to-door delivery.

Q: How long does a ship take from China to South Africa ?

A: Sea shipping from China to South Africa takes approximately 25-30 days for port-to-port shipping and 30-35 days for door-to-door shipping. Air shipping takes around 8-10 days for standard air freight and 2-3 days for express courier services.


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