The Complete Guide to Ship from China to Saudi Arabia

By Sarah
July 25, 2023

Saudi Arabia is a LONG-STANDING partner of China. In 2022, China exported 37.99 BILLION USD valued products. In the upcoming years, it will INCREASE exponentially.

To export products, China has an ENORMOUS logistics infrastructure. It is ready to support and withstand all shipping problems. The increasing demands for products have GLORIFIED the needs of China shipping services.

But every shipper wants a RELIABLE and cheap option. Do you want to?

No problem. I will dive deep into the Shipping methods, cost, and shipping times. Let’s explore!

1. Shipping from China to Saudi Arabia Basic

What is shipping from China to Saudi Arabia?

Shipping from China to Saudi Arabia refers to the whole process of sending items. It may include every shipping method available out there. For example, suppose you send products by air. You can choose sea shipping too.


In short, your origin of products is China, while the Destination is Saudi Arabia.

Why is shipping from China to Saudi Arabia so important?

China is the world’s factory with TRILLION DOLLARS in the manufacturing industry. Shipping infrastructure becomes the foundation of exporting products from China to Saudi Arabia.

Here are many reasons why people choose China shipping services.

They have warehouses locally and internationally

China companies are one of the most admired ones. Do you know why?

Because they have warehouses all around the globe, their warehouses are available in Almost every country. If they do not own, they have contracts with the warehouses.

In cross-border shipments to Saudi Arabia, it becomes pretty effortless to store products in transit. Your product remains safer and gets on time.

Shipping is Cheap

I do not think I need to recall this fact. China suppliers have the cheapest products. When it comes to SHIPPING, shipping is also reasonable.

You can save some bucks over your next export of products from China. Moreover, the Chinese government has significantly fewer taxes implemented on exports.

Therefore, overall shipping costs are not that much.

Diverse shipping option

You don’t only get sea freight from China to Saudi Arabia.

Air shipping, express shipping, and even door-to-door delivery are there. It becomes easier to choose which one will be the BEST option for your business based on your needs.

Such diversity of shipping options is adequate for businesses.

Hundreds of shipping companies

Don’t ever think you got the CHINA POST only! Instead, there are tons of different sea shipping and air shipping companies. Almost all of them are reputable in China.

It increases the flexibility in choosing the best shipping service in China. You can land in the best company and ship safely.

2. Step 1: Find a Freight Forwarder In China

Is it your first TRY to find a freight forwarder? If yes, I am 100% sure you might not get the right company.

No problem.

There are multiple methods to explore the best shipping company in China. Are you ready?

Let’s try the following methods.

● Use Google

Google is always the Newton for me. Whenever I want to find a shipping company or a Chinese manufacturer, I go to Google.

Here is how you can research the shipping company.

  • Open Google.
  • Write “Shipping services from China to Saudi Arabia.”
  • Choose 5 to 10 shipping services.


Talk to the shortlisted companies about your shipping needs. They will tell you the rates. You can get a RECORD of their previous shipping services.

After thorough research, you’ll get the COMPANY tailored to your requirements.


● Search On Supplier Directory

Do you know about the supplier’s directory?

China has many online wholesale sites—for example, Made-In-China or Alibaba. You can search for your freight forwarder on this site. The best strategy is to explore the TOP-RATED shippers.

Here are some tips while browsing shipping services:

  • Check the rating of the shipping company.
  • Know and verify the exact location of the shipping service.
  • Assess the transaction history.
  • Monitor feedback.
  • Negotiate about your shipping needs.

A good shipping provider will be READY to work at reasonable prices.

● Explore in Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber of eCommerce is the junction of businesses in the local communities. In China, you can find the Chamber of eCommerce in every city.

To sort out the best company, you can contact the sourcing agents to get you the best shipping service. That is one of the best ways to find the top shipping services in China.

● Get reviews from other customers

Has your friend or family member shipped ever?

If yes, get the reviews about the company. If the shipping service ships from China to Saudi Arabia, that would be great.

You have got the right company. While in other cases, you can talk to different customers and check their reviews about the company.

3. Step 2: Choose the Shipping Method

Are you shipping from China to Saudi Arabia?

Great. You have got four shipping options. These are:

● Express Freight

Express freight is one of the best options and even the FASTEST option. But there is one fact about it. It is the most expensive option.

Express freight is suitable when.

  • You need your products to arrive faster.
  • Your parcel weight is significantly less. For example, less than 30 kilograms.
  • You have enough budget to spend.

● Air Freight

Want fast shipping at a lower cost?

Air freight is your partner to go. Air freight involves the precise handling of sensitive products. The transit time is less, and the products arrive within a week.

Air Freight is a suitable choice when.

  • You want to ship sensitive products.
  • You want an affordable price.
  • Have an inventory weight ranging from 100-300 kilograms.
  • Need fast shipping.

You should choose this shipping option for safe shipping.

● Sea Freight

Here is Sea Freight. It is the cheapest shipping from China to Saudi Arabia.


  • Because it is slow.
  • Consumes longer periods.
  • Ship bulk products.

There are two types of containers for sea cargo.

  • Full Container Load is a relatively cheaper and faster option.
  • Less than container load is less cheap and less fast shipping option.

So, when is Sea Freight suitable?

  • When you need to ship a considerable weight of inventory. For example, 300+ kilograms of products.
  • You need the LOWEST SHIPPING cost from China to Saudi Arabia.

● Door-to-door shipping

The name defines it all.

Door to Door Cargo from China to Saudi Arabia ships products from the supplier to the shipper’s door.

It might involve the local shipping companies sending products to the customers’ doorstep. It is the easiest option for the customers.

Here are some pros of using the door-to-door delivery service.

  • It ships products to your doorstep.
  • The point of contact is single.
  • Product tracking becomes more valid.
  • You get peace of mind without worrying about shipping anymore.

Step 3: Rules and Regulations for Shipping to Saudi Arabia

Are you shipping to Saudi Arabia? Wait. I have some rules and regulations before you go for the ultimate shipments.

Here are the details of the rules and regulations in Saudi Arabia.

● Customs Clearance

Customs is part of every country. Customs check the product. Ensure they are safe. You have the relevant certificates. And then customs give a permit based on the requirements and fees you have paid.

  • VAT is 15% of the TOTAL value of the products.
  • Customs duties and average taxes are around 85% from China to Saudi Arabia.

Import is possible by Saudi companies. You also need a LICENSE for the import of products.

● Import conditions

When you are transporting products, these are special import conditions.

  • You must have a VALID commercial record for the possession of your products.
  • Your products must possess a UNIQUE custom code. After submitting the record to the customs authority, you can obtain the customs code.
  • You must have the ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS for product origin. Your Chamber of Commerce in China provides it. You can grab them to import in Saudi Arabia.
  • An import invoice is necessary to get the imports into Saudi. You can get it from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.
  • Your documents must show the products are safe and adhere to Saudi Rules.
  • Products must have labels indicating the country of origin. You can’t remove it if tags are already there.
  • The expiry date of the inventory must conform to the regulations of the Saudi government.
  • Whatever products you ship must be VERIFIED by the relevant authority. For example, if you ship electronic products, they must have RELEVANT CERTIFICATES such as CE or UL. In the case of Health inventory, they must have a permit for safety from the Ministry of Health.
  • You should import verified products from the Ministry of Information and Culture for Audio and Videos. Saudi Arabia Customs verify it themselves before allowing you to import.
  • The Ministry of Agriculture must ensure your animal-related inventory is safe for import.

● Necessary DOCUMENTS

China to Saudi Arabia Shipping comes up with the following essential documents. Keep them ready!


Certificate of Origin

The certificate of origin shows the factory area where the product is manufactured. The critical point is the verification from the local Chamber of Commerce.

You must have it in the Arabic Language to understand.

Saudi Customs Invoice

If your imports have been approved, get the customs invoice from Saudi Customs. It would be helpful when you are selling the products.

Bill of Lading

It is also an official document that must have the following info.

  • Country of the origin of products.
  • Name of the shipping person
  • Description of the goods
  • Quantity of the goods

Commercial Invoice

Commercial invoice has the HS code and shows the product details

Packing List

It contains the details of all the products you are shipping, including their HS codes.

Insurance Documents

If sea freight from China to Saudi Arabia has a high value of products, you might need insurance. In that case, you must have this document ready to submit.


SASO is a necessary document signed by the Chinese Authorities for product shipping.

● Prohibited items and restrictions

You can’t ship all the products from China to Saudi Arabia. Instead, many products are restricted—for example, chemicals.

Here is a brief list of prohibited items.

  • Drugs.
  • Ivory.
  • Poison
  • Batteries.
  • Pornography.
  • Explosive.
  • Biohazards.
  • Flammable.
  • Knife.
  • Chemicals.
  • Firearms.
  • Tobacco.
  • Drugs.
  • Gambling.
  • Hazardous products.
  • Counterfeit products.

4. Step 4: Shipping Time for shipping from China to Saudi Arabia

Shipping time from China to Saudi Arabia depends on several factors. For example:

  • The duration during which you shipped.
  • Who is your shipping company?
  • What is your shipping method?
  • How fast do you need products?

I have listed the shipping times for different shipping methods.

● Express Freight

Express freight is the fast shipping option from China to Saudi Arabia. Usually, the shipping occurs through Air Freight from China to Saudi Arabia.

Since you need a product urgently, the shipping is the FASTEST. It takes 3-5 days for a shipment to reach from China to Saudi Arabia.

● Air Freight

Air freight is also a FAST OPTION. But it is not as fast as express freight. However, Air freight can give better security to ship sensitive or dangerous items.

The tracking facilities further boost your CONFIDENCE.

Here are different transit times when you are using air freight.

  • Shanghai to Jeddah takes around 7-10 days.
  • Guangzhou or Shenzhen to Dammam, Jeddah, or Riyadh takes 8-11 days.
  • Chengdu to Dammam, Jeddah, or Riyadh takes 9-12 days.
  • Beijing to Dammam, Jeddah, or Riyadh takes 6-8 days.
  • Qingdao to Jeddah takes a transit time of 8-11 days.

● Sea Freight

Sea Freight is the most AFFORDABLE option available for shipping. But it sometimes doesn’t have tracking facilities. Moreover, product handling is not very good.

Shipping cost is very LOW if you use the FCL. In the case of LCL, it is a bit higher. Let’s talk about the shipping time from China to Saudi Arabia.

  • FCL takes 36 days from Qingdao to Jeddah.
  • FCL takes 20 days from Guangzhou to Ad Dammam. LCL takes 42 days.
  • FCL takes 36 days from Guangzhou to Jeddah. LCL takes 40 days.
  • From Shanghai to Ad Dammam, FCL takes 32 days. LCL takes 31 days.
  • LCL takes 40 days from Tianjin to Ad Dammam.
  • LCL takes 34 days from Xiamen to Ad Dammam
  • FCL takes 20 days from Huangpu to Ad Dammam or Jeddah.

The shipping time might vary from service to service.

● Door-to-door shipping

Door-to-door shipping takes some extra time depending on your desired delivery. If you use EXPRESS shipping, it might take one day additional. For air freight, it might take 1-2 days. The time might be longer for the SEA freight.

The reason for delays owes to the customs clearance and local shipping companies for delivering the

5. Step 5: Shipping Cost for shipping from China to Saudi Arabia

China to Saudi Arabia Shipping price depends on various factors. For instance,

  • What is your shipping method?
  • Who is your shipping provider?
  • Is there any peak shipping season going on?

Many other factors influence total China to Arabia shipping prices.


Here are some shipping methods and their costs.

● Express Freight

Express freight is the most expensive option. Usually, it costs more than air freight.

The reason?

It is the urgency of the products that cause the companies to ship faster.

Express freight costs $500-$700. Remember one key point. Prices fluctuate over time. You need to consult your shipping provider about the exact cost.

● Air Freight

Air freight has almost the exact charges as express freight. But we can say the total cost is still lower.

If express freight charges you $500, air freight costs $300-400. Price differences are due to the shipping speed difference and the area you are shipping.

● Sea Freight

In Sea shipping, a container price from China to Saudi Arabia varies. And it is the container that ensures the total cost.

For example, 20 feet charges less compared to 40 feet.

Let’s know the rates for both the FCL and LCL.

  • Shipping a 20 feet container might charge $850-$1000. It is the shipping price to Dammam. The price might rise if you change the location to Jubail. Companies charge around $750-$1150.
  • A 40 feet container does not charge twice the price. But there is still a range of costs. Shipping to Dammam is possible at rates of $1100-$1450. To Jubail, this price ranges from $1250-1450.

The container price from China to Saudi Arabia is simple now.

● Door-to-door shipping

Door-to-door shipping does not have a much higher cost. It depends on your shipping provider whether it provides the door to door delivery or not.

The prices are the same for air or sea freight, except the shipping reaches your home.

6. Step 6: Reasons for late shipments

Many times your shipments get late. Have you ever thought about why it is so? Why is your shipment taking a month instead of 20 days?


Here are some crucial reasons for China to Saudi Arabia.

● Any Natural Crisis such as COVID

Pandemics, epidemics, and all other such things count in the category of natural disasters. And these occur more or less often depending on the area.

During the COVID, the whole world faced the consequences. Everything was shut down. Lockdowns were implemented all around the globe.

In such a scenario, the shipment staff is on holiday. Your shipping slows down, causing frustrations.

● Busy Ports

Have you ever shipped during the peak shipping seasons?

Mid-August to December is the peak season in China. During this period, companies remain in high demand. Since there is an explosion of shipments, you can expect the seaports or airports to have more traffic than usual.

What happens….

It is simple.

  • Shipping costs rise to new levels.
  • Pending shipments or upcoming shipments are late.

It is one of the biggest reasons for late delivery of products.

● Holidays

Whether it is China or the US, holidays and events are everywhere. Chinese new year holidays can largely influence your shipping delivery.


  • The staff is on vacation.
  • Fewer companies are available.
  • Shipment prices rise because of fewer shipping services.

More often, you face difficulties in shipments. Shipment takes more time.

● Chinese Festivals

Chinese people have various festivals each year. Some common examples are:

  • China’s Lantern Festival.
  • Qingming Festival.
  • Dragon Boat Festival.
  • Double Seventh Day
  • Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival
  • Winter Solstice (Dongzhi) Festival

In different cities, there are varying traditions and events.

How do these cases affect the shipment?

Suppose you are shipping to Saudi Arabia. If there is an event, less staff is available. Fewer workers take more time in loading, unloading, and shipping.

That is where your shipment speed gets affected. You’ll experience late shipments. In these cases, container shipping rates rise from China to Saudi Arabia.

● Accidents

Accidents have been a COMMON SOURCE of the delays. For example, on March 23, 2021, the Ever Given Container ship was stuck for a week. It caused 600 MILLION USD in damages. (A report from Insurance Information Institute)

It was carrying 18,000 containers carrying products. In 2020, there was a loss of 49 ships.

Airplanes might face severe weather conditions, and flights are late. Whatever the reason, your shipment gets late. And accidents play a crucial role in delaying it.

7. Step 7: Tips To Ship from China to Saudi Arabia

China to Saudi Arabia shipping is not a PIECE of cake for the first time. You need to reduce the costs. Get products faster. And ensure 100% safety.

Is that your goal?

Let me help you achieve it with some expert tips.

● Choose the right Freight forwarder China to Saudi Arabia

There are hundreds of shipping companies in China.

Are all of them the best?

Nope. You have to be very PICKY! For this reason, you need to check:

  • The company is authentic.
  • It has a previous positive record of shipments.
  • Is the company experienced? Or how many years of experience does the company have?

All these factors land you the BEST company. The best strategy is to choose a COMPANY with 5-10 years of experience, lower costs, and a fast shipping method. Moreover, it must ship on time and have positive feedback from the customers.

● Ship during off-peak season

During peak season, you have to face several problems.

  • Shipping container congestion.
  • Rise in shipping costs.
  • Shipping delays.

Do you want to avoid all of them?

Ensure there is not a peak season. At such a time, more shipping services will be available. You’ll get more diversity and settle on a lower price.

There will be no risk of shipping delays.

● Negotiate the price

Negotiation is the best way to settle on a fair price. Not only can you discuss the shipping price, but also manage the shipping method.

Talking about your potential business and getting relevant quotes from multiple companies get you a fair price.

● Ensure there is no holiday or event around

Holidays can interrupt the rhythm of the shipments. Your shipping delays and increasing prices are due to this reason.

The solution?

Simple. Avoid shipping during the holidays. Either ship before or just after the holidays. That is such a simple strategy.

8. Step 8: FAQ

How long does it take to ship a container from China to Saudi Arabia by sea?

Shipments take different shipping times. For example, an FCL takes 20 days from Guangzhou to Dammam. In comparison, LCL takes almost 30-42 days. By air, time reduces to 5-10 days. Depending on your shipping method, you can evaluate the estimated time.

What is the distance between China to Saudi Arabia by air?

China to Saudi Arabia has an average distance of 5763 kilometers. And it varies depending on the city where you are shipping.

Where can you get the cheapest and best approach shipment?

The cheapest shipping from China to Saudi Arabia is sea cargo. You get the lowest possible rates and enjoy a safer journey.

What is the best freight option for sending goods from China to Saudi Arabia?

The best option is air freight. It has affordable CHARGES and fast shipping speed. If you want to ship by sea, you can do that. And it is relatively cheaper than air freight but offers slow speed.


Choosing the correct shipping option can give you the best and safest shipping experience. Usually, people prefer air freight for smaller weights. If you have 500 kilograms of cargo, move to sea shipping. It will be better and cheaper.

Get quotes from multiple companies and settle deals at lower rates.

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