Shipping From China to UK

Updated: Aug 16, 2021

As one of the world’s largest trading nations, the United Kingdom relies on the ships and waterways that make it possible. However, similarly as critically, it relies upon the ports that serve them. Working around 30 delivery organizations through the port, offering 90 types of assistance on all mainlands each week, the Felixstowe port receives ships from all over the world. This article will focus on shipping from China to UK.



Shipping modes

Many customers wants shipping from China UK. Neptune is a multimodal freight forwarder expert. We have 19 years of rich experience and can provide you with door-to-door shipping service. There are generally two modes of transportation from China to the UK, air freight or sea freight. But if the client has special requirements, or if the shipper provides a certain price range, Neptune global logistics can develop a multimodal transportation plan for you, and we can transport from China to Germany by rail.Then it was shipped from Germany to a British ports.



Sea Feright

Sea freight is cheaper than other modes of transportation, and it will definitely be cheaper than air and rail transportation. Especially when shipping to the United Kingdom by sea, there is a strait barrier, and the railway cannot reach it directly. The railway transportation on the market is also transferred from other countries. Therefore, shipping bulky cargoes to the UK is undoubtedly the best mode of transportation.


Shipping Rates from China to the UK: LCL

Less than Container Load (LCL): When shipping smaller freight cargoes from China to the UK and finding air freight prices excessively expensive, you can send your imports as a less-than-container-load (LCL) by ocean.

LCL is a form of container transportation that allows small pieces of cargo belonging to multiple shippers to share a container. It can save you the cost of renting and transporting containers from China to the UK, because you only need to pay for the space occupied by the cargo.


China to UK Shipping Time by sea freight

Counting from the second day of sailing, it usually takes about 24 days to arrive at the British port. It should be noted that this is only the time to the port, because after the ship arrives at the port, the container needs to be unloaded from the ship, and then the cargo needs to be taken out of the container. This also takes time, which is about 1-2 days. In addition, in the event of typhoons and tsunamis, it is normal for the voyage to be delayed by several days. When the ship arrives at the port of destination, after the unloading and unpacking are completed, customs clearance and delivery are required. This process normally takes a week. If you only need the goods to be sent to the port, then go to the dock warehouse to pick up the goods after customs clearance.

Shipping to the UK logistics operation process

  1. Ask the salesperson for a price and determine the route and freight price.

  2. Receive the warehouse entry number and warehouse receipt.

  3. Arrange the warehousing of the goods (guests who are close to the warehouse can be delivered to the warehouse directly, or sent to the nearest warehouse by logistics or express) and provide a list of goods, and the consignee, receiving address, and telephone number.

  4. After the goods are in the warehouse, after confirming the actual volume and total cost with the salesperson, arrange the consolidation.

  5. The clerk informs the customer of the cargo loading and sailing date and informs the estimated arrival date.

  6. The customer pays before the goods arrive at the port.

  7. After the goods arrive at the port and are cleared and released by the customs, they will enter our foreign warehouse.

  8. After the goods enter our foreign warehouse, our warehouse will deliver them to the door according to the agreed time, and deliver them to the door as scheduled.

Air Freight

There are some advantages and disadvantages of international air freight to the UK and air freight from domestic airports to European countries and regions. Advantages of air transportation: The timeliness of air transportation is very fast, because the coverage network is widely restricted by geographical conditions, and the seller will choose air transportation if only the speed is considered in all modes of transportation.

Disadvantages of air transportation: 1. Compared with sea transportation, the cost of air transportation is higher. 2. There are many restrictions on products that can be transported by air, and large sensitive goods are generally not accepted.


China to UK Shipping Time by Air Freight

Generally, the time limit for domestic dispatch to the UK will be about 5-10 working days.


Felixstowe Port

Felixstowe Port is the biggest and busiest port in the British. Felixstowe, Suffolk, in the east of England, handles more than 40% of the country's container trade.The Port of Felixstowe is located at the confluence of the Allwell River and the Stour River on the southeast coast of the United Kingdom. The water field in the port area has good water depth conditions. It is close to the major ports in Northwest Europe and is the best place for British import and export of goods. , Provide services for Yuanxiang, offshore, branch lines, and transit. At the same time, the port has a wide range of feeder services, as far as Ireland, Scotland, Continental Europe, Iberia, Scandinavia, and the Baltic countries.


Due to its small deviation from the main route, the advantages of the Port of Felixstowe, such as high efficiency, low cost, low carbon emissions, and low risk of natural disasters such as tides, are becoming more and more significant. The port of Felixstowe handles more than 400,000 TEUs of container freight per year and can serve about 300 container ships per year, and it can also serve ultra-large container ships carrying more than 20,000 TEUs. The Port of Felixstowe has about 17 routes, providing 33 related services to more than 700 ports around the world.


The UK has trade relations with more than 80 countries and regions in the world, and the main trading partners are the European Union, the United States, and China. The main imported products are food, fuel, raw materials, clothing, footwear, electronic machinery, and equipment cars etc. The main export products are petroleum and related products, chemical products (including pharmaceutical products), machinery and equipment, etc.


Because of the perfect location of Felixstowe, rail and road connections connecting the port to the Midlands and distribution centers in other parts of the UK have played a key role in maintaining the UK’s trade transformation, bringing customers, communities, and industries Affordable.


According to statistics from the UK Revenue and Customs Administration, from January to September 2018, the bilateral trade in goods between the UK and China was US$61.36 billion, an increase of 14.7%. Among them, British exports to China were US$23.6 billion, an increase of 43.6%, accounting for 6.0% of total British exports, an increase of 1.2%; Britain’s imports from China were US$39 billion, an increase of 2.8%, and accounting for 8.0% of British imports, a decrease of 0.3 %. The UK's trade deficit was 16.4 billion U.S. dollars, a decrease of 256%. As of September, China was the UK's fifth-largest export market and the fourth-largest source of imports.


The top four categories of commodities exported by the United Kingdom to China are precious metals and products, transportation equipment, mechanical and electrical products and mineral products. From January to September 2018, exports were 6.19 billion U.S. dollars, 4.56 billion U.S. dollars, 3.19 billion U.S. dollars and 2.65 billion U.S. dollars. Exports to China accounted for 27.7%, 20.4%, 14.3%, and 11.9%. Exports of precious metals and products, transportation equipment, and mechanical and electrical products increased by 2089.2%, 8.9%, and 9.7%, respectively, while mineral products fell by 0.5%.


The top three categories of goods imported by the UK from China are mechanical and electrical products, furniture toys, textiles and raw materials. From January to September 2018, the imports were US$1.36 billion, US$5.52 billion and US$4.51 billion, accounting for 35.6% of the UK’s total imports from China. , 14.2% and

11.6%, mechanical and electrical products increased by 6.8%, furniture toys, textiles and raw materials decreased by 0.3% and 5.0% respectively. In addition, base metals and products, plastic rubber and chemical products are also important commodities imported by the UK from China. In the UK market, China has greater advantages in labor-intensive products, such as textiles and raw materials, furniture, toys, shoes, boots, umbrellas and leather products. These products account for 19.6%, 38.3%, and 25.0% of the UK's import market, respectively.


Felixstowe port provides convenient and quick UK freight distribution. Less than 2 hours by road or rail from London, the port is close to the capital. Its geographical location can fully get the advantages of being close to the British capital, which includes reducing port traffic congestion, reducing labor, and reducing land costs.

Combined with the proximity of the port of Felixstowe to European waterways and easy access to London and the entire UK market, the port can provide all users with unparalleled location advantages.


Freight Rates

Everyone is very familiar with domestic express delivery, but for international express delivery, many people have no relevant experience, so they don't know how to proceed. You can inquire about our company’s salesperson: you can get a rough quotation by simply inputting the commodity name/origin/destination/weight/volume/how many ft container and other information. Of course, if it’s for special goods, or your own If you are not sure about the volume and other information, you can also consult a salesperson for details.

For any logistics related services, you can enquiry via email:enquiry@nep-logistics.com cc. edm2@nep-logistics.com


Customs clearance

1. Copy of ID

  • If you are a new immigrant, a person with a British green card or a work visa, provide a copy of the passport with the photo and visa page.

  • If you are a British citizen returning to your country, you need to provide a copy of your residence permit, employment permit and passport with photos and visa pages in the country.

2. English version packing list

Please fill in the packing list. The list must clearly indicate the name of each item and indicate the time of use. If the consignment is brand new, the value of the item must be indicated.

Commercial Invoice The original invoice serves as the basis for verifying to the customs whether the goods you import are consistent with your declaration.

The commercial invoice is the first receipt and serves as the basis for the customs to check whether the products you bring in are compatible with your display.


3.ocean bill of lading

The ocean bill of lading is a proof of delivery, and the name of the bill of lading is required to show personal belongings and personal property.



4. Fill in the customs form C3

This is the personal goods clearance form required by the British Customs to fill in the destination country. This form needs to be filled out by fax or scanned to our company about 1 week before the goods arrive at the port.

The import policy of the British Customs for personal goods:

The import of personal goods by the British Customs is tax-free, but the importer must have lived in an EU country for 12 months, and the consignment must have been used in the country for more than half a year, otherwise customs duties and value-added tax will be levied.


Duty & Tariff

After Brexit, the United Kingdom no longer enjoys EU trade borders. The new tax system is called the UK Global Tariff (UK Global Tariff), which is specifically designed for the economic situation of the United Kingdom, to reduce and eliminate trade barriers and benefiting the local economy. According to the plan of the British government, duty-free trade will account for 60% of its total trade, which is much higher than the current 47%. The average tariff rate dropped from 7.2% to 5.7%


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