Wholesale Goods From Alibaba – How to Save on China Shipping Costs

By HX Wenli
December 1, 2021

This guide will show you exactly how to save Alibaba shipping costs.
Alibaba cheapest shipping method
Things you should do before shipping
Lots more
So if you want to make your Alibaba shipping easier and cheaper, this guide is for you.
Let’s move in.

Chapter #1 Alibaba Shipping Costs Basic

Alibaba is an eCommerce company that provides products for business. They cater to entrepreneurs, drop shippers, amazon entrepreneurs, and companies. They are seeking bulk goods from suppliers, manufacturers, and wholesalers.
Alibaba will deliver you the product with a cheap Alibaba shipping cost. Yet, these extra Alibaba shipping costs can either increase or can make you save.

1)What is Alibaba Shipping Costs?

Alibaba shipping costs are fees that you will pay to deliver your goods to you. It includes sample products, packaging, service, and shipping. It is what Alibaba suppliers and manufacturers charge.

2)Why are Alibaba Shipping Costs important?

Alibaba shipping cost will depend on your chosen suppliers and manufacturer. But, the purpose of this is to give assurance to suppliers and manufacturers about the transaction.
This Alibaba shipping cost includes the unit price, shipping method, shipping insurances location, order quantity. It also ensures that the supplier arranges your products to the destination port.

3)What is the average Alibaba Shipping Fee?

The average Alibaba shipping fee depends on many factors. On average, the Alibaba shipping prices range from $6 to $15 per pound.


Chapter #2  Four Available Alibaba cheapest shipping method

There are different shipping methods available you can choose from, but you can use ways to get cheap shipping from Alibaba. For example, maximize the size and weight of products, location, and shipping method.
To lower the Alibaba shipping fee, here are the five most used Alibaba cheapest shipping methods that you can choose.

Shipping method


Air-freight or air cargo is the shipping of items by plane. It is the fastest shipping method for transporting meat, goods, and delicate products. It is also best for shipping small things or meeting a deadline.
It’s among the most Alibaba expensive shipping.
There is an exception — when the weight of your shipment exceeds 100 kg, the price would be lower than couriers. Depending on your location, the average shipping time using air freight is 3 to 10 business days.
The Alibaba air freight cost is between $4 to $8 kg with a shipment time of 5-10 business days. It has lower rates than air express with shipping rates of $5 to $10 kg arriving 3 to 5 days.
You need to consider all factors. But, you can make use of the Alibaba freight calculator to save Alibaba shipping rates.


This Alibaba freight cost is the Alibaba cheapest shipping method known as sea-freight. Although the Alibaba shipping time takes a long time — it has a lengthy shipping method. It is often around 30 to 60 business days, based on your location.
FCL (Full Container Load) and LCL (Less than Container Load) are two forms of sea shipping. Both differ in shipping prices and container size.

3) Less than Container Load (LCL)

Less than Container Load (LCL) allows your container to mix with other shipments. It is a versatile and the Alibaba cheapest shipping method. It’s perfect for carrying smaller and not time-sensitive cargo.
LCL shipment can range up to 13 cubic meters capacity and handle a large quantity. LCL shipment may be subject to extra destination charges. Yet, their shipping rates are more consistent than FCL.

4) Full Container Load (FCL)

FCL (Full Container Load) refers to when a shipper has enough products to fill a whole container. In an FCL shipment, your products are all into a single container and will not mix with other packages.
Using FCL, your products have a low percentage of loss or damage since few people will handle your cargo. You can track the location and the estimated arrival time of your shipment to your shipping company website.
You have an option of whether to ship using FCL or LCL. It all boils down to the size of your product and shipping destination. But, remember to follow all the shipping guidelines to save in the Alibaba shipping fee.

5) Air Express

Are you a business start-up looking to ship your orders from China to your destination? If yes, then air express is for you.
DHL, UPS, and FedEx are some of the most well-known courier companies in China. If your product weight is less than 300 kg, express delivery is best. This method is also expensive, but they provide fast and trustworthy delivery. Within 25 business days or less, you can get your cargo.
This Alibaba shipping method is best for drop shippers and first-time buyers. The Alibaba express shipping time is also the fastest among the rest.

6) Regular Post

Regular post (China Post or Hong Kong Post) is cheap shipping from Alibaba. Perfect for modest shipping, dropshipping shipments, and obtaining sample products from your suppliers. The delivery takes up to 15 to 35 days depends on the location. You can also track your order and handler, but it’s not updated.
This method is not recommended, especially with expensive products. It would be hard to locate your products, and they’re vulnerable to misplacement.

7) Courier

Courier has an advantage for first-time buyers because it provides fast delivery. This method is like air express but focuses on a small number of products. It has an Alibaba high shipping cost than a regular post. Though, the delivery is prompt and dependable. You can be sure that your product is safe and the courier company assists if any situation arises.

Chapter #3 What are shipping arrangements you can do?

1) Sizes and weight of the product

The size and weight of the product are factors in the shipping price. There is a different approach to maximize your Alibaba shipping cost. For example, maximize and reduce the packaging. You can also get a diverse product set. You can ask for rates from an Alibaba shipping cost company for the size and weight of the product. From this, choose the cheapest Alibaba shipping.

2) Define your shipping strategy and objectives

You must identify your shipping goals for you to arrive at cheap shipping from Alibaba.
Here are the things you can do to establish your goal:
1. Reduces your shipping expenses
2. Efficient operations and transaction
3. High-quality product options
4. Select an Alibaba cheapest shipping method
There is a different shipping method that you can choose from and a cheap option. You can use all the shipping by picking one at a time or employing two shipping methods.

3) Destinations for shipping

Shipping destinations are as significant as product weight and dimensions. Your Alibaba shipping charges can either be low-cost or high based on your location.
You can negotiate with your shipping company if your location is near China. For sure, they can offer you Alibaba cheap shipping.

4) Estimate the Alibaba shipping time

Alibaba shipping times depend on the shipping method and the delivery location. On average, air express product delivery is around 5-7 days. Airfreight delivery time will be 3-10 business days, while sea-freight cargo will arrive at 30 to 35 days.

5) Leaving the Alibaba shipping cost to the supplier

You can ask your supplier to arrange the Alibaba shipping cost for you. For first-time Alibaba buyers and inexperienced importers, this method is best.
They will arrange all product arrangements, port destination, and shipment route. You only need to negotiate with your supplier and agree with the proper terms. Let your supplier provide you with the Alibaba shipping cost, but this is not a good idea, because the Chinese supplier will also add the Alibaba shipping cost to your product cost. This is equivalent to you paying the Alibaba shipping cost yourself.

6) Do a One-man Job

If you have all the time and resources, arranging the product shipping will save you money. If not — getting a team who is experts when it comes to China shipping is best.
This arrangement is the most effective for long-term importers and buyers. But, this is not recommended for beginners and small to medium businesses.

7) Working with a freight forwarder in your own country

Cooperating with a freight forwarder is the most convenient alternative. For importers and buyers, this works well. But, not meant for start-up businesses and individual buyers since it’s expensive. But for small and medium companies, partnering with a freight forwarder is best.
Another problem with freight forwarders is that they have limited offices in China. So, they deal with city agencies and later add the Alibaba shipping prices for their profit.

8) Cooperate with a China freight forwarder

It is a popular alternative that you can do since it is a time-efficient and cost-effective method. Your chosen China freight forwarder will communicate with your suppliers. They will negotiate and will later update you. Even if a problem arises, your chosen China freight forwarder will address it as soon as possible.

9) Shipping solution

You can make your shipping solutions before and after it comes to your destination. Here are some of them.
1. Inspect if the product is high-quality and meets your expectations. You can do a sample product first to test its longevity and quality before ordering a bulk amount.
2. You can also choose the Alibaba cheapest shipping method. But first, then later explore with other shipping methods.
3. Packaging should also be high-quality and secure. But, you can also talk to reduce the packaging for Alibaba shipping costs purposes.
4. Make sure to check MADE IN CHINA label after the package or box arrived. If it isn’t included, make a request the following time.

shipping from China process

Chapter #4 Why is Alibaba shipping cost expensive?

Here are the reasons why Alibaba shipping cost is so expensive among other B2B platforms:

1) Shipping services that are efficient, quick, and guarantee

Alibaba is a trusted company with an excellent track record for 20 years. In 2018, They dispatched over 1.04 billion packages to all destinations.
Alibaba shipping rates are expensive for various reasons. These rates ensure that the products will come as scheduled and in good shape. Their employees are competent and experts who meet all your demands. Alibaba is also a leading industry and the excellent service they provide.

2) Long shipping distances

China has a far distance from parts of Asia, South and North America, Africa, and Australia. Alibaba is in China, as well as its manufacturers and suppliers. The Alibaba shipping time is long, and the transportation makes the prices high. Another reason for this is the hefty freight expenses.
The Alibaba shipping method —air shipping, is expensive. It is because of product weight and sizes, maintenance of airplanes, and more.

3) Not using bulk shipping



It is impossible to get cheap shipping charges for separate shipping. Sometimes, the total product price has shipping fees included by the supplier. At the same time, ordering from different vendors at less number of products is added to the charges.
Ordering large quantities of products allows shipmen all-in-one. All the products will arrive complete, and Alibaba shipping rates will be lower.

4) High-seller fees

Alibaba has lots of suppliers, manufacturers, and traders—it is hard to stand out. Alibaba addresses this problem by charging these sellers. It allows them to be at the top of the platform, particularly with searches and adverts.
To pay the seller fees ranging from $3,500 to $10,000, suppliers charged high shipping charges in Alibaba.

5) Seller labor cost

We should keep in mind that we are not only paying for the product itself. But for the materials, machines, and shipping arrangements. The labor cost is there to make sure that the products are high quality. It is why the product and Alibaba shipping are expensive.

6) Individual seller

The individual seller on Alibaba has a high shipping fee since they conducted all product shipping arrangements and labor. They have their processing factory and warehouse for faster transactions. Purchasing products from individual sellers will be higher. You need to expect that the delivery expenses will also increase.

7) Custom-made products

Alibaba suppliers also provide a diverse selection of custom-made products. You can get anything—from designing your product and building them to life! Compared to other manufacturers and suppliers, their product cost is low. Custom design products are more expensive. It takes


 longer to be pre-designed and to create. So, you need to expect a greater fee than the standard price of a regular product.
The cost added to the product, Alibaba shipping costs, and the time allocated to create the products, resulting in higher delivery costs.

8) Shipping for incoterms

It might be hard to ship products across other countries. Incoterms are a collection of recognized norms and laws. It outlines the guidelines and duties the seller and buyer should follow.
There are over 11 incoterms implemented. It composes the regulation shipment, insurance, custom checks, and logistical operations.
It is crucial to be aware of each Incoterm before making any purchases. Here are the three shipping incoterms you can use in Alibaba:
EXW shipping method allows the supplier to carry the products from their warehouse to the port and location. As a customer, you will be paying all these transportation expenses. It also has the highest Alibaba shipping costs.
Free On Board (FOB) charges the supplier with all the transportation fees from the supplier’s warehouse to the port. It’s the only expenses they covered, so from the harbor to your location, it’s on you.
CIF is the most cost-effective for buyers since the supplier shouldered all the costs. These costs are for both inland transportations and sea-freight.
There are varieties of delivery methods in Alibaba. You need to be familiar with between the expensive to the cheapest option.

9) Labor of the seller

High rates and the Alibaba shipping fee are reasonable for the amount of time and hard work spent by the manufacturer to make the product. This expensive fee also guarantees that the product is in good condition and will arrive at you on time.

10) High duty ratings of certain goods

Importers and buyers from China must pay Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF) or VAT. Products are put through the China consumption tax (CT) if the goods and products are taxable.
Some of the items are health-harming products like cigarettes and alcohol, luxury goods, and high-end products.

Why is Alibaba shipping cost expensive


Chapter #5 Documents you need for shipping

Shipping document

1) Commercial Invoice

A commercial invoice is a bill of sale that the suppliers will send you. It includes the condition of the deal and transaction.

2) Packing List

It is a document containing the list of products and items included in a shipment. It serves as the point of reference for verification and import inspection.

3) Hs Code

The harmonized system code (HS code) is a six-digit code. It denotes a products group and for tariff purposes. This code is also used in custom procedures to determine import charges and other payments.

4) Custom Import declaration

A customs declaration is a government-issued document. It identifies and describes the imported and exported products.

5) Bill of Lading/Airway bill for the carrier

You will receive a bill of landing or an airway bill once the required processes are complete. But, don’t worry since the shipping company or freight forwarder will settle them for you. Sea shipper provides a bill of landing as an invoice of the received cargo shipmen, while an airway bill is an invoice provided by the airline.
This two are significant when it comes to shipping. You won’t be able to clear your products. and your cargo will be on hold. It’s a must to settle the payment with your supplier so they can issue you this bill of landing.

Chapter #6 How to pick the best shipping method on Alibaba?

1) Online-To-Offline Delivery

You must now select the most appropriate Alibaba shipping method for delivery. There are two different delivery methods available, online delivery and offline delivery.
Among the two, online delivery is more convenient and easy to arrange. You will only place an order, chat with suppliers, and set shipping methods. Then wait for your products to arrive. Yet, offline delivery is inexpensive, has many venues, and is easy to use.

2) Follow the rule of custom clearance


Clearance is the process of obtaining approval to do the transaction from your country. There is a different Alibaba approach based on the rule of custom clearance of your country. It will also prevent an unwanted custom clearance processes like delays.
It’s a lot of work, so if you cannot do it, you should work with a shipping company like JUSTCHINAIT. You can also choose a freight forwarder to assist you with the proper action.

3) Offers different shipping mode

The best shipping method on Alibaba is to choose a different shipping mode for your sample order. It will test its effectiveness on your end. It also allows you to filter out what works for you and save money in the long run.

4) Make use of a shipping strategy

By using a shipping strategy, you can get cheap shipping charges in Alibaba. One of these strategies is having a small quantity of cargo. Approximately 5% to 10% are the bulky quantity through the air and the rest thru the sea.
This method will allow your business to generate money from already-arrived products. Then, you can wait for the remaining products to arrive.

5) Get a shipping agent

Working with a shipping agent is an effective method to ship your products. You are sure that all your transactions are safe, timely, and with securi


ty. JUSTCHINAIT is one of the shipping agents experts in this shipping cargo. We will help you get cheap shipping from Alibaba with a minimal Alibaba freight cost.

shipping methods comparions


Chapter #7 Shipping from Alibaba to the USA


1) Alibaba shipping costs to USA

The average Alibaba shipping costs to the USA vary. It depends on the shipping methods, product weight, volume time, and delivery time.
Here is the comparison of the different shipping available.
The average price of Air Express to the USA ranges from $5 to $9 per kilo.
Approximately $4 to $8 per kilo for Airfreight to the USA.
An average price per container using sea freight is $3000-$4000.

2) Alibaba shipping time to the USA

Alibaba shipping time takes around 3-4 weeks depending on your location. But, you can measure the time range based on your shipping method. Shipping to the USA via air-freight takes 3 to 10 business days. And if it is by sea-freight, it will arrive between 30 to 40 days.

Chapter #8 Eleven Ways to save Alibaba shipping cost

1) Cut the product packaging

Have you noticed the change in the fee you pay because of extra space and overload packaging? Well, the size of your cargo has an impact on your Alibaba shipping charges. The total charges will depend on the weight or volume of the products.
You can cut the packaging enough to protect your products. Or, negotiate with your supplier on reducing the packaging and give packaging recommendations.Ways to save Alibaba shipping cost

2) Reduce product weight

The weight of the products affects the shipping charges. The weight charges depend on the calculation. For instance, if your cargo is lightweight but has a high volume, you’re going to pay for the space it occupies.
There are two types of weight calculated.

3) Dimensional weight

Chargable weight

Freight carriers use dimensional weight. It calculates the cargo’s cubic dimension by multiplying the length, width, and height.
For Imports the formula: Dimensional weight = Length (cm) x Width (cm) x Height (cm)/ 5000.
For Exports: Dimensional weight = Length (cm) x Width (cm) x Height (cm)/ 139.

4) Real weight

The whole weight of the product, including packaging, is also known as the actual weight.

5) Work with a shipping company

You can work for a shipping company like JUSTCHINAIT. We will handle all the shipping transactions, product arrangements, and customs clearance.
Customs duties are significant on the product, goods, and in exporting. This custom duty is a hassle for a first-time buyer. But, you can calculate customs using websites calculators. You can also use Alibaba shipping calculators or Alibaba freight calculators. But, you have the option to choose suppliers that will arrange the shipping to you. So, custom clearance will not be bothersome.

6) Shipments should be consolidated

Paying for a single shipment is less expensive than paying for many smaller loads of cargo. You can save money by consolidating your package into large quantities. You can also decrease the number of shipments you will do.
Planning your Alibaba shipping costs to reduce the number of shipments and costs is also great. But, it is not limited to that.
You can use JUSTCHINAIT services for your shipping, and we will arrange your cargo. We make sure to merge your package into one to reduce volume. We also make sure that you will get lower custom fees and cheap shipping from Alibaba.

7) Make your shipping arrangements

As mentioned above, there are different ways of shipping arrangements that you can do. You may opt for a shipping arrangement by yourself or hire a shipping agent to do all the work for you. Both have advantages and disadvantages, so it is up to you and the supplier to meet terms.

8) Use an Alibaba shipping calculator

There are different Alibaba shipping calculators that you can use. They are always available on the internet. These calculators can calculate the Alibaba shipping cost aims to meet your demands and shipment criteria. Again, you can make use of JUSTCHINAIT to arrange and calculate the shipping cost. But, a freight shipment can also offer a quote and calculate all your shipping costs.


Ways to save Alibaba shipping cost

9) Route planning and optimization

Determining the effective route and transportation is also known as logistics. You can save time and money when you test the cost-effective options for Alibaba shipping costs. You must examine your chosen courier for price at various locations. As well, measure the entrance and exit ports. Best if you pick the most effective courier that delivers your products to your location at a lower price.

10) Compare Alibaba shipping costs

It is one of the most common strategies you can use to save money on Alibaba shipping costs. As you compare many freight forwarders, you can assess the prices they provide.
Tip: Do not choose a freight forwarder who offers low prices. They might be doing criminal activities, leading to exposing you to several hidden threats. But, you can choose a freight forwarder that is legit and offers a cost-effective price.

11) Negotiate with your supplier

Dealing with a scammer is the last thing you need when it comes to transacting in Alibaba. So when you discover you are choosing suppliers and sellers, you should look into more. You can inquire about the details of the product and the shipping. Or you can negotiate the shipping prices and terms based on the factors you need.

12) Choose the Alibaba cheapest shipping method

There is a different Alibaba cheapest shipping method you can choose from. But, you need to consider the delivery requirements, shipping price, and arrival time of the products to your location.

13) Choose a China shipping agent

Choosing a shipping agent like JUSTCHINAIT can make your life easier. Working with a shipping price can offer you competitive Alibaba shipping costs. They also arrange the delivery route and time to your convenience. Different shipping agents give low prices but are not the best. You need to choose a shipping agent that meets the best requirements and offers excellent service.

Chapter #9  Step-by-Step Dropshipping Method

1) Begin looking for potential suppliers

The first thing you need to do is go to Alibaba and look for the products you will buy. After, narrow down the potential suppliers. You can also use Trade Assurance to filter out the verified suppliers. Options such as Ready to Ship and Fast Dispatch are extra alternatives to input. It identifies suppliers that meet requirements and have an option for dropshipping.

2) Make a list of possible suppliers

You should look for potential suppliers that are legit and will build trust. To filter out the potential suppliers, here are the things to look for.

  • They sell high-quality products.
  • Set a minimum order quantity (MOQ) of one.
  • Offer a low and competitive price.
  • They are legit and provide Trade Assurance.
  • Have good alibaba freight reviews.

3) Examine the Minimum Purchase Quantity (MOQ) and the Pricing

Take note of the minimum order quantity (MOQ) of the suppliers. The suppliers who offer drop shipping permit buyers to buy one unit at a time. You can see the product’s MOQ on the product page, or sometimes you need to search the page to locate it.
Products that are subject to dropshipping have different pricing. For instance, for 1-8 products, the price would be $25 but reduced when you buy them. Yet, the Alibaba shipping cost is much higher since it’s not included in the product price.

4) Inquire about dropshipping with suppliers


The product price and minimum order quantities (MOQ) are not listed on every product page. You have to contact the suppliers and inquire if they are willing to drop ship to your clients. The best way to do this is to message them on Alibaba, but you can also contact them thru email and WeChat.
Communicating with Alibaba suppliers will be challenging because of time zone. Most suppliers on Alibaba are Chinese, so the conversation is built up if you don’t speak mandarin. But, here are available templates and translations for you to use.

5) Decide on a mode of payment and shipping

Payment is crucial when transacting with suppliers on Alibaba. There are different payment methods on Alibaba. Yet, you must choose the most effective for you and your supplier.
Here is the list of the most used payment methods:

  • Bank Transfer
  • Alibaba Trade Insurance
  • Credit Card and Debit Card
  • Paypal
  • AliPay
  • Wire transfer


Chapter#10 FAQs

1) What is an Alibaba shipping costs Quote?

An Alibaba shipping costs quote shows all the rates and charges from shipping the cargo—it encloses in a document. This document contains all the details on the pickup point and delivery locations. As well as the method of shipping, and further cargo information.
The rates included in the shipping cargo vary on the shipping company. The China wholesale suppliers free shipping quotes issued by the companies have an end date. It determines the validity duration of the stated pricing.

2) Does Alibaba have free shipping?

Alibaba shipping cost fees depend on the suppliers and manufacturers. They set their Alibaba shipping rates. Those shipping fees vary depending on who you buy from in Alibaba. Various suppliers offer free shipping or free delivery. Though, they apply the shipping cost to the product unit price. A Free on Board is also included in the Alibaba shipping fees. It is the cost of transporting the products to the port.

3) Is it important to have shipping insurance on Alibaba?

China wholesale suppliers free shipping insurance is one of the most common types of cargo insurance. It guarantees safety, and its inexpensive fee is between $50 to $100 on average. Shipping insurance is a must when importing goods and products from China.
They cover your package cost if there’s transportation damage. Delivering the products to the nearest port, putting them on board, and the cost of freight are parts of this. But, insurances will not compensate for your loss of profits or product development.
The general insurance cost calculation is 0.02 percent multiplied by 110 percent of FOB cost.
Trade assurance is offered by Alibaba to assist you and the supplier with trust as you transact and negotiate. Express alibaba shipping or quality-related issues, trade assurance will protect you.

4) Does Alibaba do dropshipping?

It’s a big YES! Alibaba allows you to do dropshipping. The only problem when it comes to Alibaba is finding and partnering with suppliers. Alibaba focuses more on large orders, suppliers, traders, and manufacturers. Sometimes, they’re unwilling to sell individual items to consumers from other countries. Alibaba’s dropshipping shipping charges are higher than other platforms like AliExpress.



5) Why is shipping from Alibaba so expensive?


The reasons above are why Alibaba’s shipping costs are so expensive. Yet, the weight of the products is a factor since the heavier the goods, the more the cost will be higher. Alibaba shipping costs are more compared to other platforms.

6) Can I get a cheap drop shipping cost on Alibaba?

There is a different shipping method that can make you save some amount of money. But, the cost decreases with the shipping method and the product itself. You can also negotiate with your supplier about the fee.

Chapter #11 Conclusion

There are different ways you can do to lower your Alibaba shipping cost. You must choose the best shipping method and suppliers to get a cheap shipping price. Ensure that the suppliers are legit and ready to work with you with express alibaba shipping.
Keep in mind to pick the most cost-effective shipping method.
JUSTCHINAIT is a shipping agent that can help you with your Alibaba shipping cost needs. We are experts and have experience in our field. And we will provide you with affordable China shipping services for your Alibaba transactions. We guarantee that you will receive the best service from us.

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