The Big Mistake Everyone Makes When Shipping Express from ChinaDec 08, 2023
Hey there, today I want to dive into a crucial topic that could save you a ton of money when shipping products from China via Express. Whether you're just starting out or you've been in the game for years, there's a common mistake that many people make. They try to open their own accounts with Express carriers like DHL, UPS, or FedEx.
Now, you might be wondering, what's wrong with that? Well, it's one of the biggest missteps in the book. Let me explain why. These Express carriers have deals with massive Chinese freight forwarders. These forwarders have the kind of shipping volume that's out of reach for most small businesses. They negotiate rock-bottom rates with carriers and pass on these savings. So, when you try to go it alone, you're missing out on these sweet deals.
Your Money-Saving Strategy - Go Local!
You're probably wondering, what's the alternative? Well, here's the golden ticket: work with a local Chinese freight forwarder. These folks have the inside scoop on the shipping game in China, and they can offer you rates that are impossible to get on your own. This isn't just theory; it's a strategy used by many successful businesses.
Now, how do you find a reliable Chinese freight forwarder? I've got a few ideas for you. First, tap into your network. Ask your friends if they know anyone who's already working with a trustworthy freight forwarder. Personal recommendations can be gold.
Next, you can take your search online. It's a bit riskier, but at least you'll find people to chat with about rates and services. Do your homework, check reviews, and reach out to potential partners.
Lastly, consider asking your factory. They're often well-connected and know the local supply chain inside out. Plus, they might be willing to handle the shipping for you, albeit with a small margin added. But here's the kicker: even with that margin, the express rate they can get is likely to be more cost-effective than if you were to tackle it solo.
So, next time you're gearing up for a freight shipment, remember this money-saving strategy. But that's not all. Before you get ready to ship, here are a few more tips to make sure your express shipping from China goes off without a hitch.
Smart Tips for a Smooth Express Shipment from China
Great, you've decided to partner with a local Chinese freight forwarder, but that's just the beginning. To make sure your Express shipment is as cost-effective and trouble-free as possible, here are a few essential tips:
1. Master Your Carton Weight: Keep your master cartons between 12 and 20 kilograms. This is the sweet spot. It prevents you from being hit with extra charges due to cartons that are either too small or too large. Aim for cartons weighing between 12 to 16 kilograms when manufacturing your products. Communicate this to your factory to ensure they pack your products accordingly.
2. Understand Volumetric Weight: Express shipments are billed based on actual weight or volumetric weight. For Express shipments, the volumetric weight is calculated by multiplying the length, width, and height of your package and then dividing by 5000. Don't worry if you're not a math whiz; you can find volumetric weight calculators online. Knowing this helps you avoid unexpected charges and make informed decisions.
3. Reinforce Packaging: Insist that your suppliers use extra-hard, five-layer cartons. Why? These sturdy cartons protect your products during international transit. Sure, it might cost a little more, but the savings far outweigh the risks of damaged goods. Many Chinese factories might default to using less robust cartons, so make sure you specify your packaging requirements before production begins.
4. Think Compact and Save: Reduce the size of your individual product packaging and minimize open space within. This not only trims your shipping costs from China but also cuts down on delivery fees. Carriers in the US and Europe often charge based on volume rather than weight. So, the more compact you can make your products, the more you'll save.
5. Fast Boat vs. Express: If you're not in a super rush to get your products, consider shipping by the fast boat. This means opting for services like Matson or CLX that depart from the Shanghai area. While Express shipments can take about seven days, the fast boat usually delivers your goods within 20 days. It's a bit pricier than standard sea shipments but significantly cheaper than Express. So, if time isn't your top priority, it's a smart cost-saving move to consider.
And there you have it! These tips will not only save you money when shipping Express from China but also help ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience. Make sure to keep these strategies in mind as you navigate the world of international shipping.