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Shipping from China to Australia: Method, Costs, Time

Shipping from China to Australia is not simple as shipping domestically. There are many steps when export Australia, such as local shipping, clearing customs, booking a shipping space, etc. There are three shipping methods for shipping goods from China to Australia, choose the shipping method depends on the type of goods and the value of the goods.

And many factors need to be taken into account when calculating the shipping cost. So it is a headache if you do not know anything about shipping to Australia. We offer the complete process and how to calculate air and sea shipping costs in this article.

Sea freight from China to Australia

Sea freight is a more economical way of transportation. The price of sea freight is cheaper than that of air freight; the transportation time is longer than that of air freight, which is suitable for non-urgent and heavy goods. Most exporters choose to ship their goods to Australia by sea. 

The shipping time and cost are their main concern. You will know them through reading the next words.

How long does it take to ship from China to Australia?

It will spend you 11-30 days to ship cargo from China to Australia, depending upon your choice of the port of origin and destination. For example, the port of departure is Guangzhou, and the port of destination is Adelaide, which needs around 27 days. If the port of departure is Shanghai, and the port of destination is Adelaide, which needs around 24 days.

The selected sea freight company and the sailing date are different and there are some differences in time. The time between major ports in China and Australia is provided below

ShekouAdelaide25 days
WaigaoqiaoAdelaide18 days

How to calculate the sea shipping cost?

The sea freight is divided into FCL and LCL according to the cargo volume.

FCL means the exporter’s goods can fill a container without other people’s cargo. Under the FCL, the cost is according to per container. The container is divided into 20GP, 40GP, and 40HC. Here are some FCL prices for your reference.


LCL is that the cargo from different suppliers is loaded in one container, and they only pay for the space they use. If using the DDP, the LCL shipping cost is calculated per kg. If not, the shipping cost is calculated by CBM. The more goods, the cheaper shipping price per kilogram.

Here are some LCL prices by DDP and DDU for your reference.


Seasonal factors influence the shipping cost. During peak time, price increase because the demand is high but container space is low. But in the low season, the shipping cost will decrease, maybe two or three times lower than before. So the sea shipping price changes every week, the above is just for your reference.

Air freight from China to Australia

The sea shipping is so slow causes delayed inventory sales and cannot meet your requirements. Air shipping is the smart choice for urgent cargo and high-value goods. For example, if the seller will sell products next week and they must be delivered in a short time. Air shipping can achieve shipping goods arrived destination in one day or within one week. But the shipping cost is more expensive than others methods.

How long does it take to ship from China to Australia?

There is urgent delivery and economy delivery upon your demands. Urgent delivery only spend one day. However, economical delivery requires a transfer, so it takes 1-3 days.

The time between major airports in China and Australia is provided below:

PODDestinationUrgent Delivery
SZXSYD20 Hours
SZXMEL32 Hours
SZXBNE28 Hours
PEKBNE24 Hours
image of the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia

How to calculate the air shipping cost?

First, you must know what the billing weight is. It means that the cargo weight you have to pay for. The air price is according to per kg.

The cargo weight is divided into actual weight and volume weight. When the goods arrive at the airport, the staff will weigh the goods, and the final actual weight is subject to the airport’s measurement. volumetric weight refers to the weight calculated based on the volume of the package. Volumetric weight (CBM) =length * width *height / 6000.

The final billing weight is the bigger between them. And the air price of DDP and DDU is different.

I list the air freight price for reference only


Express shipping from China to Australia

There are many couriers to choose from when sending things from China to Australia. FedEx, DHL, UPS, TNT, and EMS are all good choices. The advantages of shipping by express are fast speed, safe and convenient delivery, and strong customs clearance ability. However, international express is not suitable for overweight and oversized goods and can transport daily necessities. Shipping cargo from China to Australia by express only spend 2-5 work days and send the goods door to door.

1. EMS 

It is an express service provided by China Post, which has priority in customs and international aviation. EMS has a strong customs clearance capability and is suitable for bulky and lightweight goods. It needs 4-7 days.

2. DHL

The aging time is very fast, usually 3 days can be delivered to the door, and the service is very good. However, sensitive goods cannot be transported.

3. FedEx

Fast shipping, high security, more suitable for mailing urgent items or more essential documents, materials, etc., but the fees are very expensive.

4. UPS

It can transport charged items to Australia, and it is cheaper to transport large quantities of goods. However, the price of transporting small goods is relatively high.

5. TNT

Good service, fast customs clearance, and door-to-door pickup service.

How to calculate the express shipping cost?

Before sending the package, you need to tell the freight forwarding company the details of the goods, such as origin and destination, volume, weight, number of pieces, and product name.

Different goods have different prices, especially sensitive goods, and not all express delivery can transport sensitive goods.

The following reference prices from China to Australia:

Cargo TypeShipping MethodsWeightTotal Price
General GoodsFedEx10KG$98.5
General GoodsDHL10KG$123.7

The above form is just a typical example; we can also transport all type of goods, such as products with batteries and so on. And our price is 20% off other agency companies. We can book directly with shipping companies and airlines. There are sufficient positions.

The documentation is required if shipping to Australia

1. Commercial Invoice

It is the basis for buyers and sellers to receive payment and bookkeeping, including the name, specification, price, quantity, and packaging of the product.

2. Packing List

Also known as a packing list and code list, it is a list used to describe the packaging details of goods. The function of the packing list is mainly to supplement the content of the invoice and record the packaging method, packaging material, number of packages, specifications, quantity, weight, etc. of the goods in detail, to facilitate the approval of the goods by importers or relevant departments such as customs.

3. Certificate of Origin

A certification document proving the origin of the goods, that is, the place of production or manufacture of the goods, is the main basis for the importing country to determine the tax rate treatment, trade statistics, and quantitative restrictions and control of the goods.

If you are transporting sensitive goods, you need to prepare MSDS, packaging performance result sheet, packaging use identification result sheet, etc.

There are subtle differences in customs clearance documents depending on the type of goods being exported. If you are unsure what documents to prepare, you can consult us. We have been engaged in freight forwarding for 18+ years and are familiar with Australia’s import-related rules. We can assist you in preparing documents and providing packaging consultation for goods.

The process of shipping to Australia

1. Contact the factory and sign a sales contract

Determine the type of shipping agreement such as FOB and EXW, the quantity, price, and shipping date of the goods.

2. Contact a professional freight forwarder

There are two main purposes. The first is to determine whether the transported goods are sensitive goods or general goods. It is necessary to inform the forwarder of the type of goods in advance. The second is to ask about the price of shipping.

3. Prepare customs declaration documents

Pay special attention to the documents required for sensitive goods for customs clearance.

4. Transport the goods and carry out customs declaration

Pack the goods, and the packaging must meet the specifications. If you are not clear about the matters that need attention, you can consult the freight forwarder. Carry out container loading, delivery to the airport, customs clearance, tax payment, and delivery.

5. Unloading at the port of destination

Deliver the goods to the designated location.

ASL offers unbeatable prices to you

China is the biggest trading partner in Australia, so it is common thing that ship to Australia. A right freight forwarder can help you win the trade victory in the Australian market.

Airsupply is such a freight forwarder. We provide multiple shipping solutions to meet your company’s trade plan. The main services when shipping from China to Australia we offer include:

1. Sea, air, and express.
2. The competitive price.
3. Door-to-door service (DDU and DDP).
4. Strong clear customs in China and Australia.
5. Shipping dangerous and sensitive goods.
6. Free value-added service.

Talking with our expert immediately to get detailed information on shipping to Australia.

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