Why Do Shipments from China Take So Long?

By HX Wenli
March 1, 2022

Have you ever wondered why the packages from China took longer to arrive? If you are one of those people who waits patiently for your order from China, stick a little bit more. You will know why shipments from China sometimes take 20 days to arrive. 
You see, there are many options to get your package faster, but the first step in all that is to know the shipping process and the best courier you should pick. 
Let’s begin…

Chapter 1: Global Shipments from China Basics

What are the different methods of shipments from China?

Shipment from China to other destinations worldwide can take anywhere from a few days to a month. But these between days are based on the Chinese shipments you choose.
Suppose you choose, for example, the shipment by sea from China. Your package might arrive within months. While if you use air express, it can go for days. 


Meanwhile, there are other shipping methods aside from the choices stated above. This method is called a Multimodal courier. Multimodal shippers have sea freight, air express, and freight companies that ship to China. 
One of the examples of Multimodal couriers is Shenzhen shipment and Guangzhou shipment international port. 

What is Air Express Shipment from China?

Air Express is the fastest shipper from China to worldwide. They transfer the smallest parcel. Plus, the most expensive freight to China shipping method of all. 
This is preferable for long-distance delivery such as China to the US, China to the UK, and other countries. Those are examples of air express shipment from China if you are familiar with shipping to FedEx, DHL, and packets. 
They can transform your parcel within a 1-2 days interval. But usually, it will only take hours before your order arrives in your country. 
However, given that air express is the fastest, it is also the costliest. That’s why transferring small parcels is their main goal. It’s pretty convenient. They can gather numbers of orders in a day easily. 
But you have to remember that the easiest one is prone to delay service. It often takes your order from different places before it arrives at you. They have a lot of stopovers. 
Despite all this, you can still guarantee that the parcel is in the right hand. They handle your order with care. Plus, less moving because they were carried by plane. 
You might also want to be reminded of the paperwork. Air Express needs to comply with custom clearances, the pickup process, fee charges, and secure information details. 

What is ePackets Air Shipment from China?

If we got the chance to pick the best air express shipment from China, it would be ePackets and the shipping to FedEx. They are the most famous shipping methods from China because they will easily track your package. 
Plus, you will know that many orders have been delivered a day early internationally using China Post. And they have the lowest shipping rate. 

2.Air Shipment

Therefore, if you plan to order from China, ePacket is their main shipping air express option. They can deliver your goods regardless of where you are. And you can expect to have free returns if your items are not delivered – which is important. 
The rates and the delivery dates are just as same as the shipment to China from other countries, depending on the courier you pick. 

What is Sea Freight Shipment from China?

When we say Sea freight shipment, it is the shipment by sea from China to your place. It could be your best option if you are buying bulks from China. You will not have to worry about the expensive shipping rate. 
Instead, you will have to carry along the patient with you. 
Because sea freight shipment from China is the longest courier ever, they are the slowest to the point that it takes a month or two.
But price-wise, they will still cost you a lot but are cheaper than air express. You just have to expect a slow process. 
If you consider sea freight in shipments of Chinese products, you might want to try container shipping. This will help you to transfer your order most efficiently. 
However, this is the best for bulk orders and dry goods. Or in other words, the product must be unbeatable for a long time. 90% of goods are being transported internationally by sea. 

What is Shenzhen Shipment Port?

Shenzhen Shipment Port is one of the most efficient types of multimodal couriers. They are the transparent ones. 
This port is located in the Pearl River Delta in Guangdong Province in China for a quick background check. And this port is also divided into two parts: the eastern and western ports area. 
Shenzhen’s shipment port has 260 km, stretches 40 shipping companies, and is linked to over 300 ports worldwide. Undeniably, the shipping from Shenzhen China to the USA is prominent. 

3.Shenzhen Shipment Port

What is Guangzhou Shipment Port?

We understand that finding a courier in China can be challenging at times. But with Guangzhou’s shipment port, the challenges will to cast away. 
Guangzhou shipment is one of the busiest airports for cargo: Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport. Since they are international, shipment by sea from China and air freight are also available. 
And just like any shipment by sea from China, it will take much longer to arrive at your destination. Plus, it is preferable for wholesale packages. Otherwise, air freight is your choice if you want your order delivered immediately. 
But you can expect some thorough assistance when packaging or arranging your order. Their professional forwarders will accommodate all the labeling and arranging of your products. 

Chapter 2: Shipping Progress in China

Before you wonder why shipments from China took so long to arrive, you have to note some important details so that your parcel/package will transfer smoothly into your place. 
Like the following key points: 

Your basic information: address and contact numbers are updated

First and foremost, your basic information such as your address, Email, and contact number should always be updated. This is the only way your courier can able to contact you when your parcel is about to be delivered. 
You may want to check your personal information first before placing your order. This should normally happen for shoppers on Alibaba, Taobao, DHgate, AliExpress, and other online marketplaces. 
Because it is much easier for the rider to deliver your order to your place or otherwise, the shipment to China from US, they can either way contact you anytime, especially if they get lost or misplaced your order.  

Your package must be ready and packed by the seller before the shippers arrive

There are two ways of getting your order from the seller. The first one is when the sellers will have to wait until the shippers collect your order from their place. Another is when the sellers deliver your order to the courier by themselves.  
Suppose your parcel is in the first scenario. Your seller must pack your items ready before the shippers get your order. Otherwise, there’s a huge possibility that shipments from China delayed.

4.shippers arrive

Chances are – you and your seller will have to wait extra days before your parcel to process. Therefore, to avoid any inconvenience, it is a must that your order should be ready beforehand. 
Fortunately, you will be notified if this occurs.

Make sure your tracking number is trackable when you shipments from China 

Once you’re done placing your order, the next step is, of course, you will see your tracking number. This is where you have to visit your courier’s website then check the authenticity of your tracking number. 
Usually, you can track your parcel after your order has moved from the courier’s warehouse. You will see and be notified of each process on your phone. 
However, if your tracking number can’t track or is not changing its place, you can expect unfortunate things to happen to your parcel. – worse, the Chinese shipment delivery time will be much longer. 
Note: It’s the same progress in shipment to China from your place. 

There’s a safe warehouse for your package when you shipment from China

If you are close to a warehouse, that’s your advantage because you will get your parcel sooner than the expected date. But if not, you have to, at least, make sure that their warehouses are safe. 
They should handle your package with care. In that way, regardless of what your order is, you will still get what you paid for. 
After all, the warehouse is the second home of your items before they make their way to you. 
A warehouse is a place where the courier will store your orders. They temporarily place your order there before a delivery man distributes it. 
But then again, if you put your updated information, they will inform you of every step they make, like when it will be out for delivery. 

How long do shipments from China take?

The shipments from China usually took 3-8 days. The first three days are the process from China’s warehouse to your location. Then, it needs extra 2 days for some paperwork once it arrives in your country. It includes custom clearance, VAT, and other taxes fee. 
Normally, those 2 days are for a smooth paper process only. If there are some issues, that’s when your parcel will take extra long in the warehouse. 
After that, the next 2-3 days are for the process of shipping to your place, finally. 

Air Express(shipments from China)

The 7-8 days interval are for air express only. But there is still no guarantee that you will get your package on the exact date because each destination has different requirements and types of restrictions. 
For example, if your package is too big for air express, you might need a professional forwarder. This is when the forwarders will find the nearest and closest route for your package to transfer. 
Plus, a forwarder will also handle the negotiation in terms of rates. And certainly, they can deliver your parcel much faster. However, having a forwarder can be a little pricey.
They monitor logistic warehouses in China, other US broker services, and parcel insurance. In other words, a forwarder could be your shipping partner. 
However, if you want to follow the normal air express procedure, there might be a lot of stopovers on different routes, which can take up to 7 days before it delivers to you. 

5.1.Air Express

You don’t have to worry about the damaged package, because that is very often to happen if it is packed properly. Air express is the safest shipping method internationally, so you can put your mind at ease. 
Note: It’s the same progress in shipment to China from your place depending on which courier you pick and the parcel’s kg. 

ePacket air(shipment from China)

For ePacket air express, it usually takes 2-4 weeks to deliver. Yes, it requires more patience with ePacket. However, it is understandable given its rate. 
To be honest, it will measure your ability to wait. Luckily, you can track your parcel from time to time with ePAcket air. Thus, this is a more prominent shipping method for some Chinese suppliers. Perhaps, this is also why shipments from China take so long. 
It all begins when the carrier brings the package to the border. From there, it’s shipped through an international carrier to your location. 
And then, after arriving in your country, your package should collect by the local carrier. This local carrier is the one who’s responsible for delivering your parcel to your door. 
You have to remember that your parcel will originate from China or Hong Kong. Plus, the product price should not exceed $400. Otherwise, you will not be allowed for ePacket delivery or shipping to China FedEx. 

Sea Freight(shipment from China)

A package from sea freight usually takes 35-45 days, particularly if it’s traveling from China to Europe. It might be the slowest process of all, but you can guarantee that you will get a lot of benefits from shipment by sea from China. 
One of them is – you can save more if you want to buy bulks from China. You just need to be cautious about picking the products you want to include in your package. It is strictly for dry goods alone.
There are standard international shipping terms under sea freight when it comes to other freight companies in China. It is called “incoterms.” This will explain how long the seller and buyers will be held responsible for the package. 

  1. Transport of exports
  2. Clearance of export customs
  3. Tracing origins
  4. Clearance of import customs
  5. Handling destinations
  6. Transport of packages/imports

The exporting, importing, and the process of clearance customs in sea freight is as fast as ePocket processing. However, the only most time-consuming of them is literally by sea transportation.
Moreover, below is the list where you will know the expected arrival date, hoping that your place is in here too.

  • New York, USA, 32 days
  • Germany, 30 days
  • United Kingdom, 29 days
  • Los Angeles, 20 days
  • Australia, 12 days
  • Singapore, 5 days

If your place is close to western Europe or farther than these given countries, you only need to add an extra 7 days or more from a place close to you. 
However, the sea freight will notify you when they receive your parcel to prevent mistakes on the expected date. So there’s nothing to be concerned about. 
NOTE: The rates and the delivery dates are the same as the shipment to China from another country, depending on the courier you pick. 

The best shippers from China

Sincerely, based on their function, Air Express is the best shipper in China. Particularly if you want your package to arrive promptly, sometimes, the importance of the product is based on how soon you can use it. 
The earlier, the better. Because that’s one of the main aspects of buying online, we want to experience a hassle-free and transparent shopping experience. Plus, we want it to arrive as soon as it can. 
However, when it comes to buying products overseas, it’s expected that the shipping from China delayed. That’s why you have to order before you need the product. 

6.shippers from China

In addition, if you want to go with the cheapest Air express method, try ePacket.
One of the most features of ePacket is that it has its tracking facility using China Post’s ePacket shipping services. In this way. You can avoid scams online. There will be no unexpected package you will see in front of your door. 
With its China Post tracking system, you will know exactly where your package is. You can track your ePacket shipment by USPS or 17track.net. 
Plus, if there are undelivered items, your money will be refunded without other expenses or complications.  
You might also want to try the local yet international method, which is the Shenzhen shipment and Guangzhou shipment.

Chapter 3: Reasons Why Your Package Takes Longer to Arrive

So, why do shipments from China take so long to arrive? It is because of the five reasons listed below:

There’s a problem with your tracking number

Your tracking number represents the identity of your parcel. Therefore, if there’s a problem with your tracking number, it will delay the Chinese shipment. It’s like having a specific name for your parcel. 
If your parcel/package is unidentified, the courier will have difficulty finding and delivering it. But really, this is very often happening. 
What usually happens is – that your tracking number might be from a scam. It should impossible to track it during the shipping schedule. But when the day comes, there will be some parcel waiting for you to be paid off even if you never really buy anything. 
Later on, you will know more about the tracking number. But for now, you have to remember at least the last 3 numbers of your tracking number to be easier for you to identify your order. 

The seller didn’t pack your order yet

We stated above that the schedule can move further once the seller forgets to pack your order before the shippers arrive. And when it did, the expected 7 days of delivery would become 8-10 days. 
The courier will try to get your parcel the next time, but sometimes, only if the schedule is convenient. 
Therefore, one of the reasons why some parcels took longer to arrive is the seller. You will be lucky if your seller is responsible for priorities your order first. 

Your package might be stuck or lost in the warehouse

This is the situation we will hate the most. Your parcel might get lost or stuck in the warehouse in China or at the destination place. Either which place it is, it takes almost 3 days to get your package. 
Normally, the courier will only notice if your package is lost when organizing the custom paper. They have to recheck the tracking number, address, and contact number.
If one of the three is nowhere to be found, they must contact the seller again and restart the processing. Of course, it will double the day of expected delivery from Chinese shipments. Sometimes, it takes 2-3 weeks before you get your order. 
It always happens during the day when sales are high due to the lower price offers that happen monthly. But if there’s no problem with your tracking number, regardless of how long you need to wait, you can still expect to get your order in no time.

There are disasters or emergencies in a destination

The expected Chinese shipment days included above are based on the regular delivering process. The 7 days for air express and the 30-40 days for sea freight. 
These days should expect to take longer, especially if there’s a natural calamity or emergency in your area or seller’s area. Just like, for example, the global pandemic – Corona Virus.  
All the goods that are shipped from China to the US or other countries can reach up to 70 days for sea freight while 30 for air express. 
The shipping dates are uncertain during these times. That’s why it is important that we also adjust our patience every time there are calamities. 
All the courier’s employees, sellers, everyone is affected. 

Chapter 4: Tips Before Ordering from China

Connect with the seller before and after(shipments from China)

No matter where you want to order on any e-commerce website in China, it is vital to connect with the seller. You have to demand the actual picture of the product you are buying before shipping it. 
This will help you avoid scams and buying things you don’t really need.
Sometimes, the updated shipping from China is delayed because of the tracking number when you are in the waiting phase. Therefore, you have to ask the seller directly about the current update for your package. 
Moreover, once the package arrives, you have to document everything first. You can grab your phone and take a picture or video of the product so that when it might be damaged, you can instantly get your refund.
And before we forget, always order from a legitimate manufacturer or seller. They are automatically responsible and hands-on in organizing the order up to the shipping process.  

7.Before Ordering from China

Choosing the right shipping method for you(shipments from China)

The air express in China has a lot of shipping couriers aside from ePAckets. They had shipped to China FedEx DHL, UPS, air freight, and others. The good thing about them is – they all have 5-7 days intervals besides ePackets. 
Thus, these couriers could be your choice if you want your parcel to arrive fast. But, you have to expect that the rates are expensive. This is, however, worth it. 
The air express method is best for small parcels. However, if you wish to buy wholesale from China and deliver all your orders internationally. You must select the shipment by sea from China (sea freight). 
It might take a minimum of 30 days before it arrives, but the money the waiting is also worth it. 
The shipping method you select should be reliable, fast, and cost-effective for your needs. Because either way, waiting is always on the list.

Read the shipping rules and regulations(shipment from China)

“Reading is the best cure for ignorance,” they say, but in this case, reading is the best cure for scams and the best defense for online shipping mishaps. 
Yes, you have to read thoroughly the description of the product you are buying to the shipping rules and regulations. The courier includes their requirements. Plus, they’re a refund when shipping problems occur. 
These rules and regulations protect both the seller and the buyer. Therefore, you must know the basic rules of the courier you pick. Feel free to check your courier’s websites, and learn how their regulations protect you. 

Chapter 5: Everything about UPSC Tracking Number

What is USPC Track China Post?(shipment from China)

Since China is one of the tops in trading goods worldwide, China Post is their accomplice in handling orders. It’s their official postal service.
China Post is commonly connected to ship your order when you purchase something from an online marketplace like Aliexpress Alibaba, DHgate, Banggood, Joom, and others. They offer international logistics services such as China Post Small Packet Plus and China EMS.
USPC Track China Post is the postal service that tracks down your parcel when it’s being transferred to the USA. It can locate parcels in the China Post Register Airmail, EMS, ePAcket, and Air or Sea parcels. 

8.Track China Post

● All domestic Chinese Post packages should deliver exclusively by China Post. You may connect with China Post staff by dialing 11185 or 11183 (EMS) or by visiting the nearest post office to your place. 
● All international China Post packages such as ePacket, airmail, surface mail, EUB, etc., will deliver by local postal offices once they arrive in the destination countries.

A USPC tracking number for shipments from China can be fake

Despite being the most reliable and authentic partner in importing/exporting, USPC tracking numbers for shipments from China can be fake. Anyone can send you a tracking number similar to the original. 
Here’s the China Post Register Airmail format to prevent this from happening. It should be R**********CN. For example, RW123456789CN. And the confirmation content will “China Post Tracking Result shows it was shipped on 03/30/2020 from Guangzhou and arrived USA on JAN 31, USPS tracking result shows it was delivered on FEB 10 by USPS.
For the ePAcket, the tracking number format is L**********CN. For example, LX123456789CN. And the confirmation content would be “China Post Tracking result shows this parcel was shipped from Fuzhou on Jan 31 and was delivered on Feb 10 in the USA. USPS tracking result shows USPS delivered this parcel in Detroit on Feb 11.”

Right tracking number but the wrong item(shipments from China)

Sometimes, having the right tracking number is enough. You still need to check the item designed for that number to verify it. Yes, this happens to some people, and we want you not to experience it. 
Due to this, you must order from a reliable seller on the internet. Read their customer’s review and connect with the seller until it is delivered to you.

9.Right tracking number

There were small chances that someone might make a mistake while handling your package. That’s why they misplaced your order with other people but with the correct tracking number.

Always go to your chosen shipping carrier’s website

If shipment from China things took so long in waiting for your parcel to arrive, that’s when you need to go to your carrier’s website. Simply put your tracking number. Once the page loads, you will know your parcel’s current situation. 
They will update you whether yours are in the warehouse or in transit. 

Chapter 6: Signs That Your Tracking Number Might Be Fake

How to know if the tracking number is fake?

A fake tracking number is normally described as the number ID that is incorrect unintentionally. But when we say unintentionally, we can’t assume that this was just a mistake. 
Your courier’s customer service might mistakenly give the wrong tracking number. However, this is inevitable based on how prominent scammers are in the online market. 
Some people’s goal is to mess up orders just to get what they want. Therefore, in able to know if your tracking number is fake, you need to be aware of these signs: 

  1. Your tracking number doesn’t follow the USPC format.
  2. Your order confirmation email has not arrived.
  3. You can’t trace your tracking number.

Your tracking number doesn’t follow the USPC format

Most China Post tracking number comprises 13 alphabetic and numeric tracking codes. The first letter can start with “R,” “LF,” “C,” “U.” While the ending letter is always with “CN.”
After the letter part, it is followed by 9-digits. For example, “LF123456789CN.”
If this part is correct, the next thing you should do is…

You haven’t received your order confirmation via Email

As you enter your personal information, you will notice that you must also include your Email. That is because this is the alternative way of knowing the current update on your parcel. 
You will usually get an order confirmation in your Email. It includes your parcel’s tracking number, your name, and the price of the product you brought. 
If the tracking number is not the same as the one you get from your message or on the website, there’s a possibility that there will be a problem with your parcel, leading to shipments from China being delayed. 

You can’t trace your tracking number

Regardless of what courier you pick: shipping to China FedEx, ePacket, DHL, UPS, etc., When you have shipments from China, you can check your tracking number at their website. 
You will know the details about the delivery man, your order, and the estimated Chinese shipment date. Moreover, this is the most accurate reference to know if your tracking number is fake.

Chapter 7: Frequently Questions about shipments from China

How can I speed up my parcel’s delivery from China?

You can only speed up your parcel’s delivery by paying for an expensive courier from China. Because you see, the processing method alone would take 3-4 days before it reached the destination’s warehouse. 
You will need a private courier for your parcel for faster transactions. Therefore, you also need to allot a certain budget for delivery rates. 

What is the fastest shipment from China?

The fastest shipment from China is all air express delivery methods since the transportation system happens in the air, making it the fastest shipment for international delivery.

10.fastest shipment from China

The minimum delivery dates would only take 7 days. But that is for smooth transactions only. If there were some emergency, it could go to 14 days – the longest.

How much does the ship to China from the US cost?

The cheap shipping from China to the US is about $5 per kg using sea freight. While for air freight, you’ll pay at least $65 per 10klg. But these rates are only for personal shipments from China. You can save way more if you buy from the leading Chinese e-commerce website.
However, the ship to China from US can go for $15 using the USPS First-class international service that would take 11-20 days to deliver. The most expensive rate is $73 using UPS Worldwide Saver, which would take 6-10 days. 
And for the fastest ship to China from the US costs $67 using the UPS Worldwide Expedited service that can be delivered within 2-5 days. This might not be the cheap shipping from China to US. However, You can guarantee that they have the fastest service. 
You may check this freight rate calculator for a more accurate ship to China cost. And you will know the rate from the freight companies that ship to China(Shipments from China). 
Note: It’s the same progress in shipment to China from your place depending on which courier you pick and the parcel’s kg. 

How safe is the shipping method from China?

China has maintained its rank as the No. 1 trader worldwide since 2009. Since then, they already know the best routes and what to consider when transferring their customers’ parcels in different countries. 
Therefore, with its more than a decade reputation, you can guarantee that all shipping methods from China are safe and customer-wise. 
They will handle your parcel with care. Plus, they will wrap it properly to make it safe from breaking your products. However, you need to wait and expand your patience while waiting for it to arrive. 

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