The Complete Guide to Ship from China to Japan

By Sarah
August 1, 2023

The last two years of the Covid-19 surge caused shipping problems worldwide. It includes Japan. The shipping rates went very high, and some buyers from China to Japan faced issues.

But the start of 2023 gave hope to many importers as they saw more shipping options. As there are more ways to deliver goods from China to Japan now, buyers are asking how to get low shipping rates.

That’s why in this blog, we will give you what you need to know about shipping from China to Japan. What is the fastest way? What is the cost of delivery from China to Japan?

We will answer all these questions and more so you can learn the best way to get a low shipping fee.

1. Basic

Japan and China were rivals before. Today, these two countries are now growing in the trade field. They support each other to ensure they expand their economy. Japan imports products from China for many years.

What is shipping from China to Japan?

You can now buy from Chinese selling sites when you want to buy from China. Then, your purchases can be shipped to Japan using a few shipping options like air or sea freight.

Freight Forwarder China to Japan

Shipping from China to Japan is now easy. As long as you follow the rules stated in Japan’s import rules, you can directly buy from a Chinese seller and then ship them to Japan quickly.

If you have heard of shopping sites like AliExpress, you can buy from those shops and ship them to Japan. We will explain everything you need to know as we go along.

Why do shipping from China to Japan?

Shipping from China to Japan is hassle-free when you hire a China freight forwarder. It means that you can ship your package using a cheaper way.

You know that the standard couriers are DHL or FedEx. They can be costly. But if you want to save on shipping costs, you can use another affordable service.

Shipping from China to Japan is now offering low rates. You can buy products anywhere in China and ship them to Japan without paying too much. You just need to look for a China freight forwarder that can help you save on costs.

What can you import from China to Japan?

You can buy almost everything in China but only import some of them to Japan. So you have to be careful about what you want to ship. Most of the buyers and importers purchase the following products from China:

  1. Clothing or apparel
  1. Toys or sports products
  1. Medical products
  1. Footwears
  1. Lighting signs/ furniture
  1. Food products
  1. Rubbers or Glass products
  1. Clocks/watches
  1. Precious metals or stones
  1. Spices
  1. Books
  1. Pharmaceutical products
  1. Building materials
  1. Machines
  1. Chemical products

What can you import from China to Japan

You must check the rule if you import products from China to Japan. There is a list of restricted or prohibited products in Japan. For example, you cannot ship any of these:

  1. Fake products
  1. Alcohol products like liquors, etc.
  1. Artworks or antique products
  1. Drugs
  1. Leather goods
  1. Animal skins
  1. Agri products
  1. Chemicals
  1. Explosive materials
  1. Firearms

2. How can you ship from China to Japan?

We will now explain seven ways to ship from China to Japan. Depending on how small or big your shipment is, you can find affordable and cheap options below.

Air Express Delivery

The fastest option to ship is Air Express. You can receive your package in as fast as 24-48 hours. As it is the fastest, it is also the most expensive option. If you want an item rushed or delivered quickly, you can take advantage of this.

The cost of shipping depends on the item you are sending. You can ask for a quote from JustChinaIt to give you an estimate.

Air Freight Service

The standard shipping time for an air freight service is less than 7 working days as long as there are no delays. The delays can be due to weather problems, peak seasons, etc. Japan is near China, and you can get it in as fast as 4 business days using this option.

Sea Freight Service

Sea or ocean cargo is also quick. This option can take up to 7 to 21 days to ship. Sometimes, your packages can arrive in 5 days! The time of delivery can depend on the port where it is shipped. The major seaports in Japan are:

  • Port of Tokyo
  • Port of Nagoya
  • Port of Osaka:
  • Port of Yokohama
  • Port of Akita

Sea freight is the cheapest shipping service you can avail. Since Japan is not too far, you don’t have to wait long to receive them. It is an economical way of shipping goods that are bulky.

When using sea freight, you can pay for FCL (Full Container Load) or LCL (Less than Container Load). FCL is good for shipments occupying a whole container, while LCL is when you only need a portion.

Inland Trucking Service

The inland trucking service can be arranged when your package arrives in Japan via air or sea freight. When you want your shipment to be shipped directly to your warehouse or preferred address, this can be set up.

The rate depends on the distance from the port it will be picked up and the weight/volume of the package. If you need an estimate, message JustChinaIt for a quick quote.

Door-to-Door Services

An easy way to get your package delivered right to your doorstep is through this option. Your freight forwarder will handle the customs charges, so you do not have to worry about it. You only need to wait for it at your stated delivery address. The rate depends on the product category.

Amazon FBA shipping

This option is for sellers on Amazon who wish to have their purchases from China delivered to their Japan Amazon FBA store. Below is a critical reminder when shipping to your FBA store:

  • Insurance is required for high-value items.
  • FBA shipments to Japan are limited to 30 kilograms per carton, with a maximum combined length, breadth, and height of 170 cm.
  • FBA only accepts items with regular packaging, and Amazon Japan may reject overweight or oversized items.
  • A customs clearance document is required for products in contact with food or the human body.
  • When sending toys for kids, items should be labeled. For example, “appropriate for kids over 6, or use over 6 years old.”
  • There should be no counterfeit, brand-name, powder, liquid, or other sensitive materials.

Dropshipping Service

You can use platforms for dropshipping if you are familiar with AliDropship and Oberlo. If you want to start a dropshipping business and choose a Chinese supplier, you can possibly ship it to Japan! Your supplier can inform you about different shipping options available on their platform.

3. Shipping Guidelines from China to Japan

We want to share these critical notes when you are shipping from China to Japan. Some buyers told us that when they talked to their suppliers, they were reassured that they would not encounter issues because they were familiar with them.

But you have to remember that not all sellers are transparent. When the package is shipped, there are delays due to incomplete documents. If this happens, the package will not be cleared in Customs.

How should you pack the items when shipping to Japan?

Here are a few helpful reminders when packing the items to be sent to Japan. Generally, this is a reminder for the freight forwarder, but it is also good for you to know how it must be done.

  • Pack fragile or sensitive objects properly. Use extra protective packaging. Keep them away from the corners of boxes.
  • The sharp goods must not pierce the box to avoid damage and injury.
  • You must remove outdated packaging labels and match them with the shipment’s waybill.
  • The waybill’s barcodes are scanned several times as it travels. The barcode must be flat and not covered by tape, shrink wrap, or straps.
  • Please ensure the waybill does not overlap the corners or edges of the boxes. Just place it on the top or side of your cargo box.

What documents are needed when shipping from China to Japan?

Original Invoice  – the invoice given by the supplier to indicate the complete details and quantity of the purchased items.

Packing List – prepared by the shipper or freight forwarder for all the parties in the logistics chain for all air and ocean freight shipments. It includes product information, the sender, the bill of lading number, the type, and the number of items.

Bill of Lading or Air Waybill– this valid and legal document is proof of transport for shipped packages. It states information about the goods to be delivered, where it is coming from, and where they will be delivered.

Certificate of Origin –  states the country of origin of your exported goods. It refers to the country that the items are manufactured in, not their place of origin. This document is crucial for enabling exporters and importers to take advantage of the lower customs tariffs that apply to specific goods.

What is the shipping time?

This is the standard China to Japan shipping time. Do note that factors can affect the shipping schedule, so it may extend in some circumstances.

Type of Shipping Estimated Time of Delivery to Japan
Air Express Delivery 1-3 working days
Air Freight Service 5-7 working days
Sea Freight Service 5-21 working days
Inland Trucking Service 15-20 working days
Door-to-Door Services Refer to air or sea freight
Amazon FBA shipping Refer to air or sea freight
Dropshipping Service 5-20 working days

What is the shipping cost?

Type of Shipping Estimate Cost of Shipping to Japan (US Dollars)
Air Express Delivery $2-10 per kilogram
Air Freight Service $5-8 per kilogram
Sea Freight Service $30-80 per cubic meter or 167 kilograms
Inland Trucking Service $1-5 per kilogram
Door-to-Door Services $10-20 per kilogram with MOQ required DDP
Amazon FBA shipping $1-5 per kilogram with MOQ required
Dropshipping Service $1-5 per piece

4. Customs Clearance in Japan

What are the Customs procedures?

Japan’s Customs process is quick and orderly. Once your documents are complete and correct, you do not have to wait long to get the package released.

Here’s an overview of the stages or steps when clearing your package from Japanese customs:

  1. Information entry for the system
  1. Declarations and printing
  1. Evaluating the products
  1. Getting the required licenses
  1. Payment of duties
  1. Moving the goods to the warehouse
  1. Release and exit of goods

What do you need to know about Japan’s Customs?

Here are some good-to-knows about Japan’s Customs so you won’t be caught off-guard in the process:

  • Japan and China do not have a Free Trade Agreement yet, so there is no exemption on import taxes.
  • The customs authorities also request additional documents, such as an insurance certificate, to obtain customs clearance.
  • The Japanese government is stringent in permitting commodities and items into its country. Do not attempt to import goods or products under its Ban/Restricted/Prohibited list.
  • Consumption tax is assessed on all imported items in Japan and is based on the imports’ total value, including any applicable customs duties. The regular consumption tax rate is 10%, while a reduced rate of 8% applies to specific circumstances.

Custom Duties and Charges

Japanese customs will levy a value-added tax of 8% on their import. Additional taxes and charges might be necessary depending on the kind of goods you’re sending. Your freight forwarder will show you all the details of what you need to pay.

Be careful of choosing your freight forwarder because some companies or agents can take commissions or put hidden charges on your customs taxes. Always ask and check the details of your contract.

5. What is the best way to do shipping from China to Japan?

Shipping is a complex procedure. With proper knowledge, you will avoid frustrations and money loss. We want to explain further what can help you decide when shipping from China to Japan.

Get a Freight Forwarder

Availing the services of a freight forwarder eases the pain and hassles of sending a package to Japan. Why? Because they are experts in logistic processes and can help you save on shipping costs.

Some suppliers are unfamiliar with the shipping process if you are buying from Alibaba or AliExpress. If so, you will encounter issues like getting your package stuck in Customs, getting banned, or paying extra charges.

When you get a China freight forwarder to Japan, you will get the best experience in shipping and learn what can be a great help to your business. It helps you find a partner and expand your network.

Benefits of China to Japan Freight Forwarder

Competitive and Reasonable Shipping Rate

The freight forwarder will keep a balance to help you benefit when shipping your package. It means you pay a not-so-low rate, but you get your package safe and sound within an acceptable shipping time. They always set your expectations realistically.

Professional Logistic Service

If they have experience in the industry, they can offer a service that is efficient and fulfilling. They are always reliable and trustworthy. They can be straightforward about their rate and won’t incur any unexpected fees.

Benefits of China to Japan Freight Forwarder

Exceptional Customer Service

They give value to clients by providing top-notch customer service. They are always prepared to give you accurate details of your package. And, they will alert you to issues and take the initiative in resolving them. They don’t keep you waiting for responses. But they always talk and seek out when necessary.

Accurate Tracking System

One efficient solution is the ability to track your shipment with the necessary details. It removes worries if you know what happens while your package is transported. Their procedures are also well-run and structured.

Partnership with Shipping Lines

They work in collaboration with reputable logistics carriers and shippers. And, they can communicate with the shipping lines and always give you the best options, like the fastest shipping time and routes. They can access various ship schedules and routes, so you may pick the one that best suits your requirements.

Services You Can Avail from a Freight Forwarder

Your freight forwarder can offer different services other than shipping. We will enumerate some of the common services you can avail from them:

Customs Clearance Process

Your freight forwarder can handle this laborious and complex process. They will prepare and gather all needed documents to ensure that Japanese customs will clear the goods and not delay the release.

They will identify the correct product code, detailed information, and all required documents or contracts for faster clearance. When you do the shipping alone and are unfamiliar with it, you can incur more expenses, or your package will get stuck until everything is submitted.

Warehousing and Consolidated Shipping

Your freight forwarder can keep your purchases in their warehouse until you can ship them out. When you have multiple suppliers, they can deliver them to your freight forwarders warehouse to consolidate the shipping as one big shipment.

Packing or Quality Inspection

Packing services refer to anything that requires product customization. For example, your freight forwarder can prepare and pack your order using new branding or packaging.

They can also do quality inspections for you at different stages of production to ensure there are no damages or quality problems. It can mitigate returning damaged items, especially when you have bulk orders. It saves you time and money.

Insurance providers for your cargo

There are risks associated when you’re shipping goods. Your freight forwarder can help you get freight insurance to refund your valuable items in case they are lost, damaged, or robbed. It can protect you from losing money if unwanted circumstances, like a storm or ship accident occur.

6. Best Freight Forwarders from China to Japan


You can have less work and worry-free transactions because we are the leading freight forwarding service provider of one-stop solutions. From finding and selecting your supplier to warehousing, packing, shipping, and tracking, we can help you immediately.

We can give you the best option and reasonable rates for all shipping methods to Japan, including express, air, sea, inland, Amazon FBA, and door-to-door delivery. Additionally, we will select the carrier with the quickest delivery time and exceptional service.

We are a skilled group of logistics specialists in international shipping who can assist you with the prompt and easy delivery of your goods to Japan. Since we have operated for over 12 years, we know how to send your goods safely and securely.

Hart Logistics

With a highly trained team for logistic operations, the company focuses on how to efficiently and effectively help clients with their shipping needs from China to Japan. They can assist you with document preparation for customs clearing and arrange an inland delivery.

They have 20 offices and warehouses globally. And, they make the shipping process easy for you because they handle the hard work. They can provide you with the best quotes for every shipping method.

Honour Ocean Shipping

If you are decided to have sea freight for your shipping method to Japan, this company can help you decide which port is best to take to ship your items from China to Japan. From the major ports in China to the best destination port in Japan, they can handle door-to-door shipping of Amazon FBA services.

Longyuan Forwarding Co., Ltd.

They are a well-known international service provider if you’re seeking a Shanghai-based freight company. They offer air and ocean freight forwarding to ship your goods to Japan.

Additionally, they provide supply chain management services such as FCL/LCL international shipping, customs clearance, and warehousing.


The company is known for its excellent service for any logistic needs on worldwide shipping. They offer express, air or ocean freight, door-to-door, and Amazon FBA services. The rates can be higher from other freight forwarders, but if you are looking for a reliable international courier, you’re sure to have your shipment delivered by them right on time.

7. FAQs

Can I consolidate my packages from different suppliers?

Yes. Most freight forwarders offer consolidated shipping services. JustChinaIt can handle consolidated shipping and other services like warehousing, packing, and quality checking. After receiving them from your suppliers, we can send all your items as one shipment.

onsolidate package from different suppliers

Who is the best freight forwarder for my shipment?

Choose the best freight forwarder who can provide the most competitive rates with a speedy service. That means you get to pay for a service that can deliver your goods within the standard delivery time for a cheaper rate.

What is the fastest way to get my delivery from China to Japan?

The Air Express is the fastest shipping option if you send anything from 1 kilo to 1000 kilograms from China to Japan. But sea freight is still the best option if you are looking for a cheaper alternative since Japan is just a short distance from China. You can save on shipping rates.

Why is shipping to Japan so expensive?

Shipping to Japan is expensive if you do not know the best method for a particular package type. If you choose air express, the rates are 5 to 10 times higher than the other shipping modes.

But if you choose JustChinaIt as your freight forwarder, you will get the best rate for all your shipping requirements.

8. Conclusion

There are seven options when you ship your purchases from China to Japan. Depending on how quickly you want it, there is always a cheaper way of sending them to you.

Shipping from China to Japan can take from 1 to 30 days. The factors that will determine the speed of your delivery are:

  • Your shipping budget
  • Volume or product type and quantity
  • Delays from Customs Clearing
  • Weather Conditions
  • Holidays and Peak Seasons

If you worry about expensive shipping rates to Japan, know there are many options and ways to lower them. So you will learn more about these options, it is necessary to avail the services of a reliable freight forwarder. You can get quotes and compare what is the best for you.

Shipping from Japan to China can be complex; you only need an expert like JustChinait to have a smooth and worry-free transaction. We assure you that you will not regret making us your partner. We are a one-stop solution company, so you’ll have more time doing what is more beneficial for your business. Let us handle all your shipping needs. Let’s chat!

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