Shipping Cost From China to UK (Updated May 2024)

Shipping Cost of From China to UK

Ever ordered something from China and waited eagerly for its arrival in the UK? It’s quite the global journey — and it’s not just about the miles it travels. Shipping costs are the unsung heroes of international trade.

In this friendly chat, we’re going to spill the beans on what it really costs to get your goods across the sea. We’ll break down the key factors that shape these costs, peek at the latest trends, and dish out some insider tips for both businesses and the everyday shopper. Buckle up! It’s not just a postman’s walk from China to the UK; it’s a full-blown adventure for your package — and your wallet.

Understanding the Cost Puzzle of Shipping from China to the UK

When it comes to shipping from China to the UK, several factors will dictate the price you’ll end up paying. Travel Distance & Route is the first consideration; the longer and more winding the journey, the higher the cost, thanks to increased fuel, labor, and time. Next up is your Transportation Mode — it’s a crucial choice between the swift but pricey air freight, the more economical ocean freight for bigger shipments, or rail, which offers a middle ground. Then there’s the matter of Container Choices, akin to selecting accommodation for your cargo; standard containers might suffice, or you might need extra space (high cube) or even specialized conditions like refrigeration. Lastly, don’t forget about Weight & Volume: the heavier and bulkier your shipment, the deeper you’ll have to dig into your pockets, as these factors directly influence fuel consumption and the physical space occupied.

    5 Key factors determining Shipping Costs From China To UK


    Weight and volume of the cargo

    Shipping rates hinge on the weight and volume of your cargo. Heavier shipments cost more, and for light yet large items, volume is the determining factor. For Air Freight, the greater of the actual weight and the volumetric weight (calculated as Length x Width x Height/6000) is used to calculate the cost. For a comprehensive guide on how to calculate chargeable weight, refer to this detailed resource.

    Transit time

    The urgency of your shipment significantly affects the cost. Express Air Freight, though priciest, delivers within 1-4 days, while regular Air Freight takes about 7-10 days. Sea Freight, the most economical option, requires 30-40 days for delivery. 


    The shipping cost significantly varies with the distance between the loading and delivery points. 

    Delivery Service Type

    There are four main services – port-to-port, door-to-door, door-to-port, and port-to-door. Express Air Freight offers door-to-door service, while standard Air Freight is typically port-to-port unless you opt for an ‘all-included’ service that covers the entire transportation chain.

    Shipping season

    Shipping rates fluctuate with the season, peaking during Chinese holidays like the Chinese New Year, Dragon Boat Festival, Qing Ming Festival, Golden Week, and Mid-Autumn Festival. Planning your shipment around these high and low seasons can be cost-effective. 


    Sea freight Cost From China to UK

    Full Container Shipping (FCL) Cost From China To UK (Updated May 2024)

    Discover the average costs of shipping a 20 foot and 40 foot Full Container Load (FCL) from various cities in China to UK

    From (China) To (UK) Type of Container Average Ocean Freight Rate
    Shanghai Felixstowe 20 foot container $2950
    Shanghai Felixstowe 40 foot container $4800
    Shenzhen Felixstowe 20 foot container $2450
    Shenzhen Felixstowe 40 foot container $4250
    Ningbo Felixstowe 20 foot container $2450
    Ningbo Felixstowe 40 foot container $4180
    Hong Kong Felixstowe 20 foot container $2450
    Hong Kong Felixstowe 40 foot container $4350
    Guangzhou Felixstowe 20 foot container $2450
    Guangzhou Felixstowe 40 foot container $4350
    Qingdao Felixstowe 20 foot container $2700
    Qingdao Felixstowe 40 foot container $4650
    Tianjin Felixstowe 20 foot container $2450
    Tianjin Felixstowe 40 foot container $4650
    Dalian Felixstowe 20 foot container $3400
    Dalian Felixstowe 40 foot container $5950
    Xiamen Felixstowe 20 foot container $2450
    Xiamen Felixstowe 40 foot container $4350
    Yingkou Felixstowe 20 foot container check with us
    Yingkou Felixstowe 40 foot container check with us


    Less-than-container-load (LCL) Shipping Cost From China To UK (Updated May 2024)

    On average, the cost to ship goods from China to the UK using LCL (Less than Container Load) ranges between $3 and $10.

    How Much is Shipping Cost from China to UK Per KG (updated May 2024)

    Shipping Method Weight/CBM Cost Range (USD) Service Type
    Air Freight Per Kg $8 – $20 Per Kg Rate
    Air Freight 200 kg/1cbm $1100 – $1400 Door-to-Door Delivery

    When assessing the air freight shipping cost from China to the UK on a per kilogram basis, it’s essential for shippers to note the typical range falls between $8 and $20 per Kg. Bulk shipments tend to reduce the per Kg cost, making it more cost-effective. For a standard 200 kg or 1 cbm air freight shipment, the rate is generally between $900 and $1100, which includes comprehensive door-to-door delivery service.

    Air Freight cost From China to UK in Comprehensive Guide

    Weight Range (KG) Service Type Rate per KG (USD) Note
    Up to 10 Standard Air Freight $65.47 – $66.00 Per KG rate for small shipments
    Up to 100 Standard Air Freight $14.31 – $15.00 Cost-effective for larger loads
    Up to 300 Standard Air Freight $5.09 – $5.61 Most economical for bulk goods

    Air Freight Rates From China to UK Per KG (updated May 2024)

    If you’re looking to send a shipment by standard air freight priced around $14 – 15 per kilo, it’s an affordable way to get your goods where they need to go.

    Air Express Freight Rates per KG from China to UK for under 21kgs (updated May 2024)

    For items weighing 0.5-5.5KG, the cost is $4.55-$16.36 per kg, and for those between 10 KG, it’s $66 – $67 per kg. 

    Air Express Freight Costs per KG from China to UK for over 21kgs (updated May 2024)

    For shipments over 21KG, the rates adjust accordingly. For cargo weight between 21KG-70KG, the rate ranges from $7-$7.5 and for anything over 70KG, you’re looking at a rate of $6.3-$7. It’s all about the weight with freight. 

    ePacket and China Post per kgs from China to UK

    For ePacket and China Post services from China to the UK, there’s a fixed fee of $2.17 per package. The charge per weight is $0.01 per gram, starting from a weight of 50g. The maximum weight limit for these services is 2000g.

    What are the additional Costs in China and UK Shipping

    When calculating total shipping costs, don’t forget to account for additional costs. These include:

    • Port Charges, which cover the use of port facilities, handling, and administration.
    • Customs Fees and Duties, which vary based on the type of goods and their value.
    • Inland Transportation, which covers the cost of moving goods to and from the ports.
    • Insurance to protect against damage, loss, or theft during transportation.
    • Documentation Fees for processing and handling the required shipping documents.
    • Destination Charges at the UK port for unloading, handling, and other services.
    • Container Type and Special Requirements, such as refrigerated containers, which can come with additional costs.

    Market Dynamics:

    Keep in mind that shipping costs can be influenced by various market factors, including global economic conditions, trade imbalances, fuel prices, and geopolitical events. These dynamics can lead to fluctuations in shipping rates over time.

    For the most accurate and up-to-date information on shipping costs from China to UK ports and port charges, contact Super International Shipping. Our freight forwarding experts can provide a custom quote based on your specific shipping needs and the latest shipping costs.

    Key Observations on 2024 Q1 on Market Trends in China-UK Shipping From Super International Shipping Team

      • Seasonal Influence & Market Adjustment: The data from January to March 2024 highlights a downward trend in ocean freight prices, particularly post-Chinese New Year, signaling a seasonal adjustment in market demand and the potential for strategic shipping timing to leverage lower rates.
      • Port of Origin & Carrier Competition: Prices vary significantly based on the port of origin, with Yantian emerging as the most cost-effective by April. The observed price harmonization across carriers in April could indicate a competitive response to market conditions or an overcapacity issue.
      • Strategic Planning for Cost Efficiency: Businesses should consider flexible shipping strategies, including port selection and carrier diversification, and engage in contract negotiations during periods of price dips to secure more favorable rates long-term.

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