Sea freight from China to UK-Maritime trade

Having global communication with other countries develop the business markets of different continents. Shipping by sea has a long history of international trade. If you are planning to ship large quantities of goods from China to anywhere in the United Kingdom, it is time to consider sea freight from China to UK.

The United Kingdom is a country surrounded by water and the best way to export and import to this country is through water. It has many important ports through which most of the country’s trade takes place. On the other hand, importing from China can be a very rewarding business, if a freight forwarder company helps you with. There are different ways of shipping by sea, which you can choose based on the time and size of your goods.


What documents are required for Chinese and Canadian customs?

What are the main airports in China and UK?

How does Top Shipping handle your sea freight?

What factors determine the cost of ocean freight?

How long does sea freight from China to UK takes?

Sea freight from China to UK process-Do it right


Sea freight from China to the United Kingdom process is like other sea freight from China process.

Now that you have decided to import your goods from China, you must first find the right source, negotiate the price and make the contract under the EXW or FOB terms, and place your order. When it’s time to ocean freight, you must provide all the necessary documents to import to Canada. Generally all the documents you need to prepare fall in to two categories. One set is approved at the customs of origin and the other set at the destination customs.

Make sure your licenses comply with the commercial standards for the product and that you meet all the requirements.

The customs of UK and China strictly control the import and export of some goods such as and require such as military goods and weapons, artwork, antiques, animals and foods, etc. As a rule, They require special permits and unauthorized import of these goods is a crime.

Customs paperwork, duty and taxes

First of all, for exporting from China you need some documents like bills of lading, ID labels invoices, packing lists, etc. Also, your commercials invoices include the description of the product, its items, the exact value of the product, the address of the recipient and the seller and some other information. Also make sure register your EORI number.

You can easily find all the information on your Bill of Lading. The booking number and B/L number are listed on the top right, and the container number is usually under the section of “Marks & Numbers”.

For your importing to UK, you must have import licence from China, import duty, VAT, insurance certificate, etc. Different goods have different duties, UK duty is 0-12% based on the value of the goods. VAT UK customs includes the cost of the good+ cost of the shipping it+ duty.

These are the basic documents required for ocean freight from China to the UK. For more details about the documents of each type of good, you can contact our consultants.


Sea freight from China to UK services-The right choice means saving money and time



Depending on the type and size of your goods and the delivery time, there are different ocean shipping methods for you like:

LCL: In this way, your product does not occupy all the space of the container and shares it with other boxes.Also, keep in mind that all goods collect and load at the Chinese port. So it takes longer than the FCL but in terms of price it is more economical.

FCL: In this way, your product covers the entire space of the container. No matter what the size of the product, you have to pay for the whole container. Therefore, this method is suitable for large goods.

Packaging and insurance

One of the most important concerns in this industry is that the product reaches its destination safely. As a result, there are different packaging services depending on your product like bubble wraps, tape, wooden boxes and fulfilled with great polystyrene. This is a cover for the weight or volume of the goods.

There is also no reason not to insure your goods. It is a long way from China to the UK by sea so it is very important to insure your goods so that in case of any problems, the damages will be paid. The insurance cost will also cover the value of the goods, but not the weight or volume.

Main sea ports

Knowing the ports is very important because the services they offer are different. For example, some ports don’t provide direct services to the UK. So, you have to choose the port that suits your needs.

The main Chinese sea ports are:

  • Shanghai: The busiest ports in the world handling a large number of containers annually which has a huge deep-water port on an island connected to the Mainland by a bridge.
  • Ningbo: It is 350km away from south of Shanghai which is famous for cargo freight forwarding.
  • Dalian
  • Shenzhen: A name for a set of ports located in Shenzhen City, Guangdong which is famous for its technology and industry.

The main British sea ports are:

  • Southampton: being a home seller in south of England to import FCL or a supplier in Asia to export LCL, this port helps you save your time and money.
  • Manchester
  • Felixstowe: It is in Suffolk which is suitable for LCL shipment from Asia. It manages shipments to and from 365 ports around the globe.
  • London

Flexible delivery

Cargo delivery services vary depending on your location. If you don’t have access to the port, you can use the door-to-door or port-to-door delivery services. But if money is your priority, you can use port-to-port or door-to-port services because they are cheaper than the other two services.

The most important advice is that if you want to save your time and energy and have an efficient sea transportation, get help and advice from a freight forwarder.


Sea freight from China to UK company-We have targeted your peace.


To use these sea freight services properly and have a hassle-free and low-cost sea freight from China to UK, cooperation and consultation with a freight forwarder company will help you a lot.

As a shipping company specializing in shipping, Top Shipping provides you with the best services at the lowest cost:

  • Our agents in China are familiar with their language and culture and find the best and cheapest source for you.
  • During the process, we assess your needs and make sure that everything works out in your favor.
  • We know the list of documents required for your product and we ensure the accuracy of all of them.
  • We calculate the exact weight and value of your product and give you a clear price.
  • Our experts take care of all your customs clearance work.
  • And a range of other services that are just to meet your needs.


Sea freight from China to UK costs


Sea freight is a cheap and cost effective solution for your transportation from China to the United Kingdom. The cost of this method depends on several factors. Some of them are:

  • Size and volume: The main sea shipping rates are determined by these two factors.If the product does not meet the standard size and is larger, you will have to pay extra.
  • Season: Note that you know the peak season in China and England, like Chinese new year or Holiday shopping season, so you can buy in the cheaper season.
  • GRI (General Rate Increase): this rate is added annually to sea freight costs because of shipping lines decisions to refresh low market movement as a result of seasonal cycle to have a stable more.
  • EBS (Emergency Banker Surcharge): it relates to increase in fuel cost. We also has no control over it.
  • Extra sea freight costs: some charges such as demur-rage and detention and fees from customs inspection may be added to the total costs.
  • FCL and LCL: Each has different rates. So, you have to choose one of the shipping methods based on size of the good, your money and time.
  • Ports: If you know Chinese and English ports well, you can choose more easily because the prices of ports are different.For example, the Shanghai is the largest commercial port in the world. So it is cheaper than other ports.

Sea freight from China to UK rates

Here are some average rates from different Chinese ports to different British ports:

LcL: Hong Kong⇒Southampton= $50.oo

Ningbo⇒Manchester= $80.00

Shanghai⇒Manchester= $80.00

∗p/cube= 100 cm× 100 cm× 100 cm

FCL 40′: Shanghai⇒Southampton= $1596

Ningbo⇒London= $1803

Shenzhen⇒Felixstowe= $1886


Sea freight from China to UK time


True shipping to Canada is one of the cheapest ways, but it takes more time. If time is not a priority for you, then you can easily import this way. The three main factors that affect time are port, type of delivery and type of container.

FCL→port to port⇒ 30-35 days    FCL→door to door⇒ 46-50 days

LCL→port to port⇒ 29-41 days     LCL→door to door⇒ 42-58 days

Shenzhen⇒Flexstowe⇒23 days     Shanghai⇒Southampton⇒ 26 days

Note that if the documents related to your goods are not complete in terms of customs, it may even interrupt the delivery time.


EXW – Ex Works: In this case, the supplier only has the duty to make the product available to the buyer. So, the buyer bears the costs, risks of loading and transporting the goods.

FOB – Free on Board: If you sign a contract under these terms, the supplier shall bear all costs and liability of your goods until the ship leaves port. As soon as leaving the port, all responsibilities and costs will be transferred to the buyer. Also, using FOB is very effective in timely delivery of goods.