Air, Sea & Railway Shipping from China to the UKThe United Kingdom is an island nation in Northwest Europe. In terms of import, the UK has become China’s 3rd largest trading partner in Europe, after Germany and the Netherlands. The most often imported goods from China to the UK are electronic equipment, textile, machinery and furniture, etc.
Explore a comprehensive guide into shipping from China to the UK with one leading China based freight forwarder. We are here to share knowledge tips about shipping method, transit time, cost, best way to ship your goods, and what to expect from an experienced freight forwarder for your China-UK shipments.
3 major shipping methods for China-UK trade lane, air freight, sea freight, and railway.
Sea Freight from China to the UKWhen speed is not a priority, we tend to choose the least expensive shipping method, to send goods in a container from China to the UK as sea freight. A sea shipment from China takes 30-40 days to arrive in the UK. It is time-consuming, but cost saving.
Also if you plan to send some large or bulk shipments to the UK from China, shipping by sea is the only way. Another advantage of sea freight is, it can accept almost all types of cargo when airlines and railway decline.
Most common sea shipments are FCL and LCL. FCL (Full container load): shipping a container filled with goods exclusively for one client from China to the UK. Shipping FCL is more cost efficient. LCL (Less than container load): Sharing a container with other clients who have cargo at the same time, to the same destination. Naturally, due to extra work (consolidation, de-consolidation, warehousing, paperwork, etc.), the final cost on each unit is higher than FCL, and shipping takes longer. LCL is a good choice for small business to start with.
As one of the top China based freight forwarders, we handle large & heavy cargo shipping as well. Flat rack and open top containers are often used for OOG cargo and reefer containers for temperature-sensitive shipments, breakbulk and RO-RO for bulk shipment or wheeled cargo shipping.
Our China-UK sea freight forwarding services cover all major China ports as well as ports of the UK.
Top ports in China: Shanghai, Ningbo, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Xiamen, Qingdao, Tianjin, Dalian, etc.
The UK’s top 5 portsFelixstowe (FBFXT)
The port of Felixstowe is the largest and busiest port in UK, 8th in Europe
Handling 48% of the country’s containers
Container throughput in 2019 was 3.8 million TEU, and 3.43 million in 2020
The port of Southampton is one of Britain’s busiest deep-water ports, the second largest container terminal.
1.87 million TEU were processed by port of Southampton in 2021
Port of London (GBLON)
Ideal location for reaching the largest consumer market in the UK
Easy access to road, sea and rail transports to the rest of the country
London Gateway is a port within the wider port of London.
Other ports: Immingham, Liverpool.
Air Freight from China to the UKIf you are coordinating time-sensitive shipments from China to the UK, we suggest you opt for air freight. Maybe you are having a pressing deadline of delivery; maybe the cargo to be shipped are perishable products, emergency supplies; or maybe you are shipping some high-value equipment, and do not wish to wait for over 1 month to receive the goods, shipping by air ensures a rapid transit from China to the UK.
Whatever your case is, for faster speed, you’ll have to pay more for shipping.
Lastly, due to limitations and restrictions of airlines, not everything can be air shipped, not everything is worth shipping by air.
Furthermore, air shipping market is changes more frequently than sea shipping. Consult an air freight forwarder for more information on your China-UK shipments, get a shipping solution and quote by filling in the form.
Main airports in the UKLondon Heathrow Airport (LHR)
The largest airport in the UK, for both passengers and cargo.
The London Heathrow airport handles over 60% of all the UK’s air traffic.
East Midlands Airport (EMA)
The UK's busiest pure cargo airport, second only to London Heathrow in terms of total cargo traffic
Handling over 370,000 tonnes of cargo per year
Manchester Airport (MAN)
Currently handling over 111,000 tonnes of air cargo
Rail freight from China to the UKIf you are not satisfied with the slow speed of sea freight and the high cost of air freight, please consider shipping from China to the UK by railway. Rail freight is a third option, making cargo shipping from China to the Netherlands more affordable and faster than ever. Transporting goods by freight train became popular only recently. Shipping containers by freight train from China to the UK reduce the 1 month transit time to only half.
The first freight train from China to the UK was launched in 2018, connecting Yiwu with London. The Yiwu-London Railway line is a freight train route of 12,000 KM, 18- day journey, and it’s the second longest railway route in the world after the Yiwu-Madrid Railway Line.
Shipping from China to Spain by freight train.
New China-UK freight train route - Xi’an-Immingham Railway LineChina-Europe freight train opened a new railway route to the UK last year (2021). It’s a rail and sea combined transport line between Xi’an and the UK port of Immingham. The westbound railway transport ends in Kaliningrad port, where the containers continue the journey by vessels to the port of Immingham, UK. The whole journey of rail-sea combined transportation is about 11,316 kilometers, and takes about 16 days.
The first freight train leaves Xi’an for Immingham
To accelerate container shipping from China to the UK, reach out to us for a railway freight solution and quote.
How long does it take to ship from China to UK?Shipping from China to the UK takes 30-45 days by sea, 3-5 days by air and 16-20 days by freight train.
The final transit time might be slightly different, depending on supplier and delivery address, service and route chosen, weather, congestion, etc.
China-UK sea freight transit timeContainer shipping transit time by sea from China to the UK (Felixstowe, Southampton)
|POL (port of loading)||POD (port of discharge)||Transit time|
|Yantian, Shenzhen||Felixstowe||31 days|
|Yantian, Shenzhen||Southampton||30 days|
The transit time by sea, port to port, depends on the specific origin and destination ports chosen, service route, sailing schedule and choice on carrier.
Above transit time is for full container load shipping, port to port only, for LCL shipping time estimate, pls add 7-10 days.
China-UK air shipping transit timeHow long does it take to ship by air from China to UK? Generally air cargo from China takes 3-5 days to arrive in the UK.
There are direct cargo flight services between some Chinese cities and London.
Guangzhou – London
Shanghai – London
Flight routes are subject to change without prior notice, contact us for the latest information and get a shipping solution and cost from us.
China-UK freight train transit timeShipping containers from China to the UK by railway takes 16-20 days. The shipping time will be prolonged when there’s congestion in peak season.
Anyway, shipping time has been reduced from 30-45 days by sea to only half railway.
Best way to ship from China to UKThe best way to ship goods from China to the UK is definitely to count on an experienced freight forwarder, for their knowledge, expertise, as well as their local and global connections to carry out a tailored China-UK shipment solution, which must meet the below standards:
1. Speed: fast delivery (as fast as possible, before a pressing deadline if there’s one)
2. Cost: within the planned budget, at the minimum cost
3. Safety: to have your goods arrive in good condition
4. Other customized requirements
To decide which is the best way, we’ll take the below factors into consideration.
1. The type of goods and its value
2. How quickly you need your goods
3. The load of your goods (size, weight, quantity) or simply share the packing list
4. Supplier address (origin seaport/airport), delivery address(destination seaport/airport)
5. Your budget
6. Goods ready time
Submit the details to us, our team will provide the best shipping solution and quote, and a hassle-free shipping experience starts from here.
How much does it cost to ship from China to the UK?Shipping a 40ft container from China to the UK used to cost $1000-2000, and the highest record reached over $15000 after the pandemic. Similar case with air and railway freight.
It’s impossible to provide a general estimate of shipping cost from China to the UK. Each shipment is different, and clients may have different requirements under different circumstances.
The shipping market is fast changing, the year-on-year difference could be drastic, and price for last week may not be valid for this week. Sea, air and railway freight rates fluctuate frequently, affected by seasonal and strategic adjustment by carriers, as well as by law of supply and demand.
Knowing the shipping cost from China to the UK is essential to your business. Shipping cost is an indispensable, and sometimes constitutes a large percentage of the final landed cost of imported goods. Rule of thumb, the faster you wish to receive the shipment, the more you’ll have to pay for shipping.
Contact a China freight forwarder for a tailored shipping solution and get the latest freight quote for your shipments from China to the UK.
Freight forwarder for China-UK door to door shipping
China-UK freight forwarderEverybody’s got limited time and energy, as well as their knowledge and expertise. Shipping from China to the UK is a tough job. Why not rely on an experienced freight forwarder for your China-UK shipments? Let the professional tackle the professional things, and you have more time to spend on your core business.
As one of the top China based freight forwarders serving the UK, our expertise and experience allow us to provide the most accurate answers and optimal shipping solutions tailored to your needs. With the help of our professional team, your shipment will be well planned and carried out smoothly.
Moreover, airlines, sea carriers and railway have limited reach, through our freight forwarding service, door to door is made possible and the reach is extended.
Door to door shipping from China to the UKUCS provides the easiest one-stop shipping solution, i.e. to have their goods shipped from China to the UK door to door.
Maybe you are new into trade and shipping, maybe you are just not interested in handling the logistics and shipping on your own, we the one that takes care of everything, the only thing you do is to receive goods when they arrive. You are in the right place if you are seeking door to door shipping service from China to the UK.
Whatever your shipment is, whether you are shipping a private address, or commercial address or FBA address, regardless of which shipping method you prefer, sea, air, or rail freight, we got you covered. You are released from all the complexity and perplexity related to international shipping. We take care of all the related logistics work from A to Z, all the required paperwork, supervision, consolidation, loading, offloading, customs clearance and final delivery, without adding any stress on clients.
Door to door shipping from China to the UK is easy with us.
How to ship from China to UK?Step 1: Contact a freight forwarder; a China based one is preferred. (More on “Why you should work with a local China freight forwarder”)
Step 2: Submit shipment details and get a shipping quote from China
Step 3: Connect the freight forwarder with supplier, forwarder does his job
Step 4: Get cargo insurance (optional)
Step 5: Arrange customs clearance
You can also reach us for stress-free one-stop door to door shipping solution from China to the UK
Why us when importing and shipping from China to UK?We are China based freight forwarder, specialized and experienced in international logistics for import and export business. We have been putting hard effort on building and growing networks of sea, air, railway and local connections to provide a hassle-free one-stop shipping solution from China to the UK. For importers from the UK, we have the below reasons for you to choose us as freight forwarder for your freight shipping from China.
1.Quick Response, high efficiency
3.Professionalism, agility, accuracy
4.Our logistics expertise, local and global connections
7.Higher attention & tailored shipping solution
More on Why us when importing and shipping from China to the UK
As one of the leading China based freight forwarder serving the UK, we have the logistics knowledge, expertise as well as insight into global trade to ensure the stress-free cargo shipping experience from China to the UK.
If you are interested in shipping from China to the UK (Felixstowe, Southampton, London, Immingham, Liverpool, etc), whether by sea, air or railway, contact us to get a shipping solution and quote for your shipment.