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Shipping from China to UK: Ultimate Guide

With the development of the UK economy, it is common thing that export cargo to the UK. Exporting cargo to the UK from China has five methods: air, sea, express, and rail. And no matter which shipping ways you choose, ASL will offer a free quote and significant savings.

And the law and regulations for exporting to the UK are more complicated than ever. If you wonder to develop your business in the UK smoothly, it is necessary to read our article below.

We are here to handle some detail for you to help you ship cargo from China to the UK smoothly.

Air freight from China to UK

Shipping goods by air is the best choice if transporting high-value and urgent cargo. The goods shipping by air reaches the destination port within a week. But air freight cost is most expensive than other shipping methods.

Air freight shipping cost to the UK

Price is the most important thing people care about. They always ask the freight forwarder how much cost does it cost to ship cargo. Actually, the calculation of air shipping prices is complex.

The air shipping price is affected by several facts such as the weight of the cargo, the shipping distance, the holiday, and so on. So the air shipping price may be different every day.  For example, when the country holds a major meeting, the conference center may be limited in the number of goods transported, and the goods can only be transported from other cities, which may result in insufficient storage space and soaring prices.

Although the price is floating, the calculation way is fixed. The price of the goods mainly depends on the weight of the goods. The weight of the goods is divided into volume weight  and actual weight.

What is the volume weight? Not all cargo weight is calculated by actual weight. For example, the full of feather pillows maybe take up an amount of space but it is light. The shipping cost of pillows is calculated by the space that the cargo takes up, rather than the actual measured weight. The calculation formula is L*W*H/6000.

The actual billable weight is the one with the largest weight between them. The following prices only involve port-to-port and it is only a reference price and not time-sensitive.

Urgent Shipping$6.7/kg$6.4/kg$6.4/kg$6.2/kg
General Shipping$5.8/kg$5.5/kg$5.5/kg$5.4kg

Air freight shipping time to the UK

Shipping from China to the UK can take anywhere between 1-5 days, it depends on the origin and the destination. The table below for air freight time between some of the popular airports.++

SZXLHR20 Hours
SZXMAN22 hours
SZXSTN24 hours
HKGSTN18 hours
HKGMAN17 hours
HKGLHR14 hours

Sea freight from China to the UK

Compare with air freight, sea shipping will spend 20-30 days to ship cargo to the UK. Although it is slower than air freight, it is cheaper than air shipping.

Ocean Freight LCL

LCL (Less than one container load) is shipping cargo in one container shared with other shippers. It is the ideal shipment if the cargo is less than 1-15 cubic meters or the cargo weight is less than 8 tons.

LCL price is calculated by cargo volume in the normal situation, but if you use the DDP or DDU, it will be calculated by KG. The following DDP and DDU sea price we provide is for reference only.


Ocean Freight FCL

FCL (full container load) is shipping cargo to the UK in your own container and does not need to share one container with other shippers. It is the preferred way if the cargo is more than 15 cubic meters.

FCL price is calculated by one container. And it is divided into 20GP, 40GP, and 40HC. The following price we provide is not the latest, just for reference.


The price fluctuates greatly. This fee needs to consult a professional freight forwarder according to the quantity and type of the goods. ASL has 10+ shipping experience and can give you professional advice and the best price.

Road freight from China to the UK

Road transport will take anywhere between 14-20 days to the UK, faster than rail and ocean freight and more affordable than air freight.

FTL (Full Trucking Loading)

FTL means you have to pay for the entire portion of the trucking. Even if your cargo is less than a full truckload, you have to pay for the full truckload.

LTL (Less Trucking Loading)

LTL means you don’t have to pay for the entire portion of the trucking. You pay as much freight as you use the space of the truck and the shipping cost is very cost-effective.

Due to the impact of the weather or holiday, LTL prices fluctuate at any time. The prices provided below are only reference prices and are not time-sensitive. If you need to get the latest prices, please feel free to consult us!


Rail freight from China to the UK

If you are not pressed for time, rail freight to the UK can be a more sustainable way to ship your goods. The rail freight price is cheaper than sea freight and the transportation time is less than sea transportation. There is no direct railway line from China to the UK, but it can ship cargo by FCL and LCL to Germany, Spain, Poland, and the Czech Republic for customs clearance and then deliver the goods to the UK.

How long does it take?

It will take anywhere around 18 days if the train from Yiwu to London, but it does not include the shipping time from the factory to Yiwu. The total shipping time might take up to 25-30 days.

Delivery from China to the UK

The international express is the best option for door-to-door small and high-value cargo. The speed of it is as fast as air freight, and the cargo transportation process is very simple for you.

What do you need to know about sending packages from China to the UK? There are four courier services: DHL, FedEx, UPS, and royal mail from China to the UK. Express from China to the UK in 3-5 days. But the time limit varies according to the delivery method and destination country and is also affected by factors such as weather.

How to choose the four major international express? According to international express regulations, international packages need to compare the size of the volume weight and the actual weight and choose the one with the larger weight to calculate the freight.

Volume calculation method: Length × Width × Height (CMB) ÷ 5000 = Volume Weight (kg).


Regardless of volume and weight, no remote surcharges and fuel costs, but the timeliness is poor. EMS adopts superposition charges. Since the first weight is more expensive, the price advantage is more obvious if your cargo is heavy.


FedEx is a local logistics company in the United States has good delivery timeliness and logistics services. If the weight of the goods exceeds 21g, the price advantage is more obvious, but not as good as UPS.


The price is better than other shipping methods when shipping goods under 20kg to Europe and North America.


If the weight of the transported goods exceeds 23kg, it has a price advantage when arriving in the UK. It is suitable for shipping large goods, and UPS can also provide door-to-door service.

The different discounts can be enjoyed according to different agency authorities. ASL is a professional first-level agent of the four major express delivery companies. It is 20% lower than the price of the third-party agency counterparts.

Shipping from China to Amazon FBA UK

There are two ways of shipping from China to Amazon UK warehouses: air and sea. Choose different ways, the transportation cost is also different. In addition, you can choose seller-fulfilled or use FBA, and if you store the goods in Amazon warehouses, you will need to pay the VAT. In the UK, VAT varies for different types of products, but for most products, it is 20%.

What precautions you need to know?

1. The issue of customs clearance. The customs clearance process directly affects the speed of the goods to the consignee. Amazon FBA is not responsible for customs clearance. Therefore, the seller should choose a courier company that can clear customs quickly and handles customs clearance and tax payment.

2. FDA certification: Amazon has restrictions on the sale of goods. If there are eye drops, lipsticks, and other products exported to the UK, FDA is also required.

3. Packaging should be standardized: product packaging must comply with Amazon’s regulations, such as liquids must be sealed, and textiles cannot be packaged in simple packaging.

4. Labeling should be correct: indicate the type and size of the product.

ASL is the best freight forwarder China to UK

There are many freight forwarder companies available if shipping cargo to the UK. But trustworthy companies are few and far between. There are some judgment criteria you need to know before you contact a freight forwarder.

1. Possess excellent quality

They have a sense of responsibility for customers. If encounter all kinds of extra accidents during transportation which is unavoidable, an excellent freight forwarder will take the initiative to assume such responsibilities and help customers solve problems during transportation.

2. Super serviceability

If the goods are detained or returned by customs, the freight forwarder can solve the problem in time. If there is a problem in a certain link, a professional freight forwarder has a strong ability to solve the problem.

3. Complete the query system

When the goods are being delivered, the logistics details of the goods and the POD signed by the Amazon FBA warehousing are the main concerns of the shipper. Then the tracking number and the update of the tracking are also the basic guarantees for the timeliness and safety of the goods by the freight forwarding company. It is also a reflection of the professionalism of the inspection of freight forwarding.

Airsupply is such a freight forwarder company. We have 10+ transportation experiences and provide a wide shipping service. You can enjoy services include:

1. Air, sea, road, and express

2. Shipping from China to UK Amazon FBA

3. Shipping dangerous and sensitive goods

4. Competitive price and perfect solutions

5. 100% safe delivery

Click the link below to provide the basic information about the goods, consult with our professional freight forwarder, we will reply to you in time within 30 minutes.

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