The Complete Guide to ship from China to Europe

By Sarah
July 18, 2023

Some buyers think that shipping to Europe is expensive. But there is a solution to this problem now. Do you know that buying products from China and shipping them to Europe can grow your business?

We received a lot of questions about how we can help clients save money when shipping to Europe. So if you are one who wants to buy from China and ship them for a low price, you come to the right place!

What is the cost of shipping to Europe from China? How long before you can receive your package? What is the cheapest way to ship? All of this and some more as you read along.

1. Basic

What is the freight forwarder from China to Europe?

If you have DHL, UPS, or FedEx in mind, you are right! However, they are international freight forwarders. There are shipping companies in China that can deliver your goods to Europe with many options.

If you want to purchase from China and ship small to large packages in Europe, a China freight forwarder can do that for you. They can arrange to send your products according to your needs. Whether you like it in as little as three days or longer than a month, they can help you in many ways.

Freight Forwarder China to Europe

A freight forwarder in China is the best company to hire for a hassle-free and quick shipment from China to Europe. You can get their services for a reasonable price but with great benefits. You can save money and time.

Why ship from China to Europe?

It takes a minimum of eight hours if you want to travel from China to Europe. The vast marketplace and millions of product choices can allow you to make a good profit if you buy your items from China. Good thing you do not need to go to your supplier’s place to secure your order.

Platforms like Alibaba, AliExpress, Made in China, or Global Sources sell to clients worldwide. So if you want to buy in bulk or wholesale, you can ship them to any part of Europe.

You can rest assured that shipping from China to Europe is safe, quick, and worry-free. There are many products you can source from China. Aside from low prices, you will always have stocks. You will receive your package just in time you need it.

You can ship goods from China to the UK, Germany, France, Italy, etc., by our freight companies in China. As long as the items are legal, they can enter Europe. There are several options for shipping that you can choose from. We will talk about each one in the next part.

2. Shipping options from China to Europe

1) Air freight

The quickest way to ship your item to Europe is air freight. The usual average time is from 3 to 5 days. However, this is the most expensive means of delivery. There are also restrictions like you are not allowed to ship fake goods.

The cost is charged per kilogram, and the weight can be more than 150 pounds. You can rent a full truckload or less than a truckload, which allows you to share the cost with other shippers. Other factors like freight classification, flight type, or fuel charges can affect the shipping cost.

You should opt for this shipping when the goods cannot take any delay or you want them to arrive in less than a week. But you still need to put in mind some factors like bad weather, peak seasons, holidays, and customs delays.

Shipping opitions

2) Sea freight

The preferred option by most importers is sea cargo or ocean freight. The price is up to 8 times cheaper than air freight and can take up to 30 to 45 days of travel time. When you choose this option, you must consider the timing of your shipping.

Sea freight delivers by a container. You can pay for a Full Container Load (FCL) or Less than Container Load (LCL). LCL shares the cost with other shippers, so this is a practical approach for bulk items that cannot occupy a full container.

3) Rail freight

The China-Europe railway freight is said to be 20 days faster than sea freight. The Silk Road that connects China and Europe gave a greener alternative to shipping goods. Even after the pandemic, when air and ocean freight re-opened, more importers choose rail freight to ship their goods.

In China, there are two primary rail lines:

  1. Trans-Siberian trains may travel via Russia or Mongolia, depending on where in China they depart from.
  1. Europe to China via Kazakhstan connects Yiwu, China, with Madrid, Spain.

The train service from China to Europe goes on weekly. It carries your goods using container transports, and the travel time can take up to 20 days. It is safe because once the train starts moving, it cannot be stopped, and there’s a low chance for your goods to be stolen.

4) Road Freight

You can ship your goods using FTL (Full Truck Load) or (LTL) Less than Truck Load. LTL is a cheaper solution for all shippers who cannot fill an entire truck. Sometimes, road freight is faster than railway freight. Road freight companies use a smart lock feature on their trucks to avoid the theft of goods.

One of the most popular routes is Shanghai to Hamburg. Poland is the next stop after passing through Kazakhstan and Russia. There are roughly 10,000 kilometers between each point. If there are no delays along the way, it will take roughly 15 to 20 days to traverse the entire trip.

5) E-packet

E-packet is a cheaper way to send goods, especially when you purchase from platforms like AliExpress, Alibaba, etc. The product measurement is limited to 60cm for length and height/thickness of 90cm.

A package must weigh at most 4.4 pounds (2 kg), and the value must be at most $400  to be eligible for E-packet delivery.

Europe accepts E-Packets from China. You can easily track your shipment using this option, which is faster than standard shipping. More or less, it could be 15 days. People who buy small items and retail goods from Chinese platforms enjoy this option due to the really low shipping cost and acceptable delivery time.

6) Express

From the term itself, this is the fastest option for any shipment from China to Europe. You can receive your package in 1 to 3 days. However, expect that the cost is too high. The fee is based on what type of product you are sending, its weight and volume, and category.

7) FBA

If you are a seller on Amazon and you buy your products from China, freight forwarders can ship them directly to an FBA warehouse in Europe. Depending on how fast you want it, they can provide you with options.

Most clients use LCL shipment for a lower price. The most preferred option is sea freight, rail freight, or combined service like sea and road freight or air and road freight.

8) Door-to-door shipping

A freight forwarder can arrange a hassle-free delivery right to your doorstep in Europe from any seller or supplier in China. They will handle the customs clearance; you just need to pay for the charges.

Your freight forwarder will pick up your goods and arrange the shipping. It will be a Delivery Duty Paid service. Then, they will process the customs clearance, so you will not stress about it! You just have to wait for the package at home or at the address you indicated.

3. China to Europe Shipping cost

The exact cost is hard to determine. The price depends on the freight forwarder of your choice, the exact location, and the shipping mode. The table below will show you an estimate of the standard fees for each type of shipping.

Shipping Freight Rate

Type of Shipping Estimated Cost in $USD
Air freight $4-8 per kg
Sea freight $0.75- $5 per kg $200- $300 per CBM LCL $1300-$2000 FCL
Rail freight $1- $2 per kg (FOB with MOQ)
Road freight $1.5-$5 per kg (FOB)
E-Packet $3-5 per kg
Express $5-10 per kg (FOB)
FBA Amazon shipping $0.75-$2.5 per kg (FOB)
Door to door shipping $5-10 per kg

4. China to Europe Shipping time

Some factors can affect the shipping time from China to Europe. These are:

  1. Chinese holidays and festivals
  1. Bad weather conditions
  1. Peak Seasons
  1. Western Holidays
  1. Customs Clearance Process
  1. Country Restrictions

The table below will show the standard number of days you must wait before receiving your package. With the factors mentioned above, it can be longer than usual.

Shipping Freight Timing

Type Estimated Time to Reach Europe
Air freight 3-5 working days
Sea freight 30-60 working days
Rail freight 16-25 working days
Road freight 15-20 working days
E-Packet 14-15 working days
Express 1-3 working days
FBA Amazon shipping Refer to air/sea/rail/road
Door to door shipping Refer to air/sea/rail/road

5. Shipping from China to the Main destination country in Europe


Shipping from China to France usually takes 5 to 13 days, with an average delivery time of 8 days for standard or express shipping. You can get them in less than a week without uncontrollable delays.

However, if you have a big shipment that can only be delivered via air cargo, you must expect higher fees. If you can wait 4-8 weeks, you can take advantage of low rates using ocean freight, railway, or road freight.

Shipping from China to the Main destination country in Europe


Shipping from China to Germany typically has a 1-2 weeks wait for standard post, three days for air express freight, 8–10 days for air freight, and 30–40 days for ocean freight. Your freight forwarder can help you choose your package type’s best route and mode.

You do not have to worry about paper works because they can do it for you. With their knowledge of the whole process, they can also inform you what products are allowed and prohibited to send to Germany.


Once the shipment exceeds 500 kilograms, shipping by sea becomes the most affordable choice when sending cargo from China to UK. For the delivery time, note that it takes three days for air express freight, eight to ten days for air freight, and thirty to forty days for ocean freight.

The good thing about China to UK shipping is that your China freight forwarders can help you speed up the process by finding the best carrier and option for your package. They can also help you with complex paper works by providing DDP or door-to-door shipping.


Sending a package to Italy can take 2-3 business days for air express, 3-6 days for air freight, 30 days for rail or road freight, and 20-50 days via sea freight. Your China freight forwarder can arrange the shipping and clearance of your goods.

As for the cost based on the value of your goods, Italian customs will impose a 21% value-added tax (0-17% customs taxes with a general tariff averaging 4.2%). Customs and excise duties also apply. Additional taxes and charges might be necessary depending on the kind of goods you’re sending.

6. Why Choose a Freight Forwarder From China to Europe?

Low and Reasonable Shipping Rate

Your freight forwarder from China to Europe can offer reasonable rates for an excellent shipping service. They can look for a cargo carrier that is two times lower than international carriers like DHL. For example, if the sea freight charge per kilo in DHL is $5, they can look for a cheaper alternative between $1.5-3 (with MOQ).

Customs Clearance Services

Your freight forwarder will be your Customs broker to ensure that European Customs will clear your package. They will prepare all the legal papers and documents needed. They are as follows:

  • Bill of Lading/Airway Bill
  • Packing List
  • Commercial Invoice
  • Certificate of Origin
  • Documents of Conformity for product compliance
  • Economic Operator Registration Identification Number

You do not need to worry about this complex process. The entry procedures in Europe may be complicated. Your freight forwarder knows the procedures. They will also help you get the taxes and fees you need to pay for your package.

Why Choose a Freight Forwarder From China to Europe

Expert and Professional Service

If they have been in the business long, they can provide an effective and satisfactory service. They will be consistent and will not surprise you with other charges. They can be transparent with their pricing and stick to it until they finish the service.

Exceptional Customer Service

They are always ready to provide you with honest information about your package.  And, they will inform you of problems and become proactive in dealing with them. They do not make you wait for answers. But they always communicate and reach out as needed.

Wide Network Coverage

They have partnerships with carriers and shippers who are reliable and experts in logistics. And, they will always provide you with options because they can communicate with the shipping lines or companies. They have broad access to ship schedules and routes, so you can choose what’s suitable for your needs.

Efficient System and Service

One efficient system is how you can track your shipment with pertinent details. Knowing what’s happening while your package is in transit can give you peace of mind. Their procedures are also smooth and in order. You do not go back and forth with them since they always give updates.

7. Top Freight Forwarders from China to Europe

Hart Logistics

The company specializes in sending goods to Europe and US. They can do air, ocean, rail, and road freight with other services like customs clearing and warehousing. And, they can send to FBA Amazon and do door-to-door shipping. They have 20 warehouses across China cities and opened up a few in major countries like Asia, US, and Europe.


Being a one-stop solution company, JustChinaIt can assist you with supplier selection, product sourcing, warehousing, packing or customization, and shipping. They can ship any goods from China to Europe and help you select the best method with the fastest route and accurate shipping time.

With our quality service, ensuring the safety and quality of your orders is not a problem. We take no kickbacks from suppliers, making every stage of our transaction reliable and professional. We become transparent about all charges from the beginning until the end. Our highly-skilled team can assist you anytime.

Shenzhen Rich Fun Railway Logistics Supply Chain Company

They offer import-export, multimodal international rail transportation, customs declaration, warehousing, and dispatch services. They primarily travel between Iran, the CIS, China, and Europe.

Additionally, the business offers FCL/LCL services and value-added services, including cargo security, short-term storage, transporting sensitive commodities, customs clearing, etc., to Europe and other countries.

Longyuan Forwarding Co., Ltd.

If you are looking for a freight company based in Shanghai, this company is a leading international service provider. They can send your goods via air freight and ocean freight forwarding. Also, they offer supply chain management services for various industries, including international shipping booking, customs, and warehousing.

Cohesion Freight Agency Ltd.

Since 2001, the company has been serving end-to-end transportation services to accommodate your shipping timetables, methods, and needs. It handles all shipping-related negotiations with carriers, reserves space on the shipping lines, and processes all necessary shipment documentation on your behalf.

You can focus on your time and company since they can be your partner in expert logistics and transporting your goods.

7. FAQs

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

The shipping speed from China to Europe depends on the mode of shipping you will choose. The fastest is three days for the light to medium packages using air express. The rest can take from 15 to 60 days.

Your China freight forwarder can show you a few options based on your need. They can help you save for the shipping fee while giving you the best service and schedule of shipping carriers to ensure quick delivery of your goods.

What freight forwarder offers cheap shipping from China to Europe?

JustChinaIt offers low and reasonable rates when shipping to Europe. You can also avail of its one-stop solution services, so you do not have to worry about documentation and clearing your packages in Customs.

With over 12 years in this industry, JustChinaIt can provide affordable and high-quality service through its team of experts for China to Europe logistics services. They can explain and offer helpful options so you can buy from China and ship it to Europe.

The shipping cost from China to Europe varies. But now that the restrictions have eased up and more ports are opening, there are more options you can have to get cheap shipping for your goods.

What are the problems when shipping from China to Europe?

Some problems you may encounter are delays due to port congestions, changes in shipping schedules, or difficulties encountered while goods are in transit. These factors can cause the shipping time to be longer; sometimes, you must pay additional charges.

When your goods are not cleared in Customs due to incomplete documents or wrong information, it can cause more money for you to pay. Using the warehouse when the products are not cleared can be very expensive. You must get a reliable China freight forwarder from China to Europe.

Another crucial thing is to make sure the goods are not prohibited. Customs has the right to confiscate and destroy your products if you import non-compliant goods (i.e., ones without the proper labels or documentation). You must get a reliable China freight forwarder from China to Europe.

How much is the import tax from China to Europe?

The import tax depends on the type of HS Code of your goods. Most products shipped from China to Europe have a 2 to 6 percent import duty. Note that all imports from China are subject to a 19% duty in Germany.

Is train freight from China to Europe faster than sea freight?

Trains or railway services run frequently or daily between China and Europe. Rail freight shipments from China to Europe typically take 15 to 18 days. Compared to standard sea shipping, which can take up to 45-60 days, train freight is much quicker when there are no delays along transit.

What is the best freight forwarder for China to UK shipping?

The best freight forwarder for China shipping to Europe is JustChinaIt. Our services can include the following:

  • Choosing the best supplier.
  • Warehousing.
  • Picking and packing of your goods.
  • Shipping and tracking.

We ensure your products are delivered safely and sound to your location.

We listen to what our customer wants. Then, we provide options and flexibility so you do not have to go to other companies to cater to a specific need. We also help you understand our methods and procedure to set your expectations when shipping your goods to any place in Europe.

8. Conclusion

Buying from China is easy, but sending them to any country can be challenging. A first-time buyer or someone new to the business can experience confusion or hardships when dealing with suppliers and shipping procedures from China to Europe.

When you want to ship from China to London and other European countries, it is necessary to find a China freight forwarder. This ensures you will not waste money or pay more because you missed critical steps or documents during the process.

Nowadays, shipping to Europe is manageable and faster than ever. You can choose from all shipping modes- air, sea, rail, road, door-to-door, or FBA Amazon shipping. The shipping time required is based on how these services operate and a lot of factors involved.

Every country has rules and regulations when receiving goods from foreign countries. A reliable and knowledgeable freight forwarder knows the process clearly and executes the steps carefully to make the shipping experience successful.

If you need a freight forwarder from China to Europe to help you ship your goods hassle-free, JustChinaIt is all you need. We can discuss and plan for your shipping requirements so you can get them on time, safely, and damage-free. Ask us today.

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