3 Ways You Can Start Shipping from China to Singapore

Expanding beyond the borders is the best step to grow your business, but that also means you should figure out the basics of international shipping. You’ll need a set of strategies that work for your company if you want to do things right. You don’t have to get familiar with everything. You need to understand the available shipping methods and find the best approach that will work long-term.

Different factors can affect your decision to ship internationally. Maybe you’ve tried a few times, and you’d instead stick to your local market. Or perhaps you just recently started to consider it as an option.

Going out of your familiar territory is essential for your business, even if you only ship a few items internationally. Hence, it’s worthwhile to learn more about this. Below are a few figures that you should consider:

  • Based on a study by Oberlo, one out of every four individuals you meet is an online shopper.

  • One study from Statista
    shows that retail e-commerce sales will only grow from USD 3.53 trillion to USD 6.54 trillion in 2022.
  • Most retailers who offer premium international shipping will grow up to 60% than competitors.

It shows that online shoppers expect retailers to offer international shipping, and most e-commerce businesses are gradually changing to meet that expectation. International shipping allows retailers to reach out to an even larger market.

Shipping from China to Singapore

Your chosen means to ship your goods from China to Singapore will depend on a few factors, including:

  • Your budget
  • What kind of items you’re shipping
  • Your goods’ weight and size
  • How soon do you need the items

Depending on these factors, you’ll soon figure out which of the following will best fit your company’s needs:

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Air Express

Air express means door-to-door service, replicating the experience of having an e-commerce delivery at home. While it means easier customs processing, speed, and convenience, you’ll have to pay the price for these benefits.

Express shipping is only suitable for small shipments. That’s because the size and weight restrictions differ by courier. DHL, FedEx, and UPS are the leading players in this delivery service.

 

Ocean Freight

Ocean freight has two classifications: full container load (FCL) and less than container load (LCL). You can opt for LCL when you’re only shipping a small volume of goods from China to Singapore. It’s the ideal option. It’ll also ensure that your parcels share a container with the other products shipped by other shipping service providers.

FCL entails paying a fixed price for transporting and renting a shipping container from China to Singapore. It’s usually the most cost-efficient option for large goods that need at least 12 standard pallets in a 40ft container or six pallets in a 20ft container.

 

Air Freight

Airfreight is the quickest way to ship goods from China to Singapore. It’s speedy, but it can also be expensive. It also means using nearly the same speed as courier shipping but with the help of an optimised process for international freight. It’s less automated and more challenging, but it’s more convenient than ocean freight.

Your goods are less likely to get damaged by air than by sea, but you have to remember that it’s more susceptible to restrictions on hazardous items. Here are a few examples of shipping periods from different airports in China to Singapore:

  • From Xiamen — 6 days
  • From Wuhan — 14 days
  • From Shenzhen or Shanghai-Pudong — 5 days
  • From Nanjing or Guangzhou — 7 days

 

Express Shipping from China to Singapore

Ocean freight is the slowest option available, and air express is the fastest. You can ship through UPS, FedEx, or DHL. On top of being the fastest, it’s also the most convenient option available. But convenience and speed have a price. Express shipping is the most expensive means of shipping products available.

It’s more expensive than air freight, so eventually more costly than sea freight shipping. Air express shipping is a door-to-door service, unlike air and ocean freight. That means that if you opt for express shipping from China to Singapore, only the courier will handle the transportation and delivery. You won’t have to hire third-party providers.

You also don’t have to spend more money on other things like customs clearance with air express shipping. Express shipping may take one or two days, door-to-door. Overall, the price increases depending on how quickly you want your goods delivered.

How Much Does Express Shipping From China to Singapore Cost?

Delivery costs differ depending on the size and weight of the shipped goods, with larger loads being more affordable. You can refer to this list for the current rates.

Less than 10 kg (↓LOW↓) – S$9.23
Less than 10 kg (↑HIGH↑) – S$9.23
Less than 100 kg (↓LOW↓) – S$9.23
Less than 100 kg (↑HIGH↑) – S$9.23
Less than 200 kg (↓LOW↓) – S$9.23
Less than 200 kg (↑HIGH↑) – S$9.23
300-500 kg (↓LOW↓) – S$9.23
300-500 kg (↑HIGH↑) – S$9.23

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Air Freight from China to Singapore

Delivering by air is the most cost-effective alternative to express shipping. But you have a lot of factors to consider because air freight shipping is different from express shipping. It may include the fact that:

Airfreight doesn’t offer door-to-door services. That means you’ll be responsible for transporting goods from your factory to the airport and from the destination airport to the local address of the order.

Airfreight doesn’t also offer “all-included” pricing. That means you’ll also be responsible for paying the customs clearance fees, fulfilling export requirements, additional shipping rates, and Singaporean fees imposed on the delivery.

Unlike express shipping, air freight shipping is the cheapest shipping from China to Singapore to transport massive loads. It’s also a great alternative to sea freight shipping if you need the goods delivered quickly, but it’s not as quick as air express.

Delivering by air between China and Singapore ranges from two to six days.

How Much Does Airfreight From China to Singapore Cost?

Air cargo charges differ depending on the weight you’re transporting, current demand, and the season. Hence, it’s pretty flexible. You can refer to this list for the latest fees.

  • 45kg (↓LOW↓) – S$6.72
  • 45kg (↑HIGH↑) – S$8.96
  • 100kg (↓LOW↓) – S$4.55
  • 100kg (↑HIGH↑) – S$6.00
  • 200kg (↓LOW↓) – S$4.55
  • 200kg (↑HIGH↑) – S$6.00
  • 300kg (↓LOW↓) – S$4.32
  • 300kg (↑HIGH↑) – S$5.80
How Importers Can Ensure Compliance with Consumer Goods Safety Requirements
Assessing Applicable StandardsThe Consumer Product Safety Office in Singapore conducts a post-market inspection. It reduces the effects of unsafe general consumer goods once they discover safety issues.
Sourcing ManufacturersManufacturers should only sell safe products. The office suggests using these tricks to improve the safety of their products:
  • Warn consumers about potential hazards associated with the use of their products.
  • Check their items for defects or safety issues before releasing them.
  • Ensure everything has been certified or tested to applicable standards.
Compliance TestingIf items don’t meet the safety standards, the office can instruct the retailers to stop their operations or remove them from the market. They also encourage retailers to inform their users of the potential dangers of their goods. If they don’t comply, they can face imprisonment or a fine.

Sea Shipping from China to Singapore

Sea shipping from China to Singapore is the cheapest option, but it’s also the slowest. That makes ocean freight the best alternative when:

You’re shipping heavy loads to Singapore or goods that you can’t transport by air.
You don’t have to transport your goods promptly.
Both express shipping and airfreight don’t fit your budget.

Different shipping options are available for ocean freight, including FCL and LCL.

LCL from China to Singapore

LCL refers to “less than container load” deliveries. With LCL, goods are transported and packed inside containers with items from other Singaporean importers. LCL is ideal if your goods are only 1-15 cubic meters. You’ll have to use FCL if your goods’ load exceeds that.

FCL from China to Singapore

FCL refers to “full container load” deliveries. With FCL, you’ll need to rent containers to transport your goods from China to Singapore. It’s the best option for shipments that exceed 15 cubic meters. You also have a lot of container sizing options to choose from.

Types of Containers for Sea Freight From China to Singapore

There are many options when it comes to shipping container types and sizes. When shipping goods, you should find out what kind of container best fits your needs. In most cases, the maximum weight and dimensions affect what equipment you can use for international shipping. Here are references you can use.

Container TypeInternal Dimensions
(L x W x H)
Door Opening
(W x H)
Cubic CapacityCargo Weight
20FT General5.89 x 2.35 x 2.36m2.33 x 2.26m33m³21,700kgs
20FT High Cube5.89 x 2.35 x 2.69m2.33 x 2.59m37m³21,700kgs
40FT General12.05 x 2.35 x 2.36m2.33 x 2.26m66m³26500kgs
40FT High Cube12.05 x 2.35 x 2.69m2.33 x 2.59m76m³26500kgs

Below are the different classifications of containers in terms of use:

Dry Good Container (Normal Container)

Dry storage containers are the standard and are typically used to ship dry materials. It comes in different sizes regulated by ISO, including 10ft, 20ft, or 40ft.

Refrigerated Container (Reefer Container)
Refrigerated or reefer containers are temperature-controlled chambers with a strictly regulated low temperature. They are used to ship perishable goods such as vegetables and fruits over long distances.

Open Side Container

Open side storage containers have doors that you can turn into entirely open sides. It offers a much wider room for loading and unloading the goods.

Open Top Container

Open-top containers have tops or ceilings that are removable, so they are ideal for shipping tall goods.

Insulated Container

Thermal or insulated containers offer regulated temperature controls. It allows you to maintain a higher temperature, unlike the reefer containers. It uses materials that will enable you to preserve the condition of your goods without being damaged by being constantly exposed to high temperatures. Insulated containers are the best choice for transporting goods over long distances.

Ventilated Container

Ventilated containers have openings that allow for proper ventilation. You can find it at the bottom and top side rails. The gaps prevent moisture entry, protecting goods from water or rain.

Heated Container

Heated containers or swap bodies are particular types of chambers. They are found mainly in Europe and do not meet specific ISO standards. Heated containers are not standardised for shipping, but they’re still helpful.

They feature a convertible top and durable bottom. That makes heated containers the best choice for shipping different kinds of products.

Tank Container

Tanks are the storage units used for transporting liquid materials and are frequently used by the shipping industry. Tanks are composed of anti-corrosive materials, such as steel, to protect and lengthen the lifespan of the transported goods.

Folding Container (Flat Rack Container)

Folding containers feature collapsible sides. That makes this container the best option for shipping a wide range of goods.

Platform Container

Platform containers are ideal for shipments with odd sizes. These storage units do not have any walls or ceilings. Instead, they have floors with high freight limits and no ends or sidewalls.

How Much Does Ocean Freight From China to Singapore Cost?

FCL costs from China to Singapore will depend on the container shipped, the route used, and your guidelines. Here are the average costs for your reference.

  • Shanghai (↓LOW↓) to Singapore – S$2,372.40
  • Shanghai (↑HIGH↑) to Singapore – S$3,163.20
  • Ningbo (↓LOW↓) to Singapore – S$2,372.40
  • Ningbo (↑HIGH↑) to Singapore – S$3,163.20
  • Shenzhen (↓LOW↓) to Singapore – S$2,372.40
  • Shenzhen (↑HIGH↑) to Singapore – S$3,163.20

Here are the average rates for LCL from China to Singapore

  • Shanghai (↓LOW↓) to Singapore – S$52.72
  • Shanghai (↑HIGH↑) to Singapore – S$79.08
  • Ningbo (↓LOW↓) to Singapore – S$59.31
  • Ningbo (↑HIGH↑) to Singapore – S$79.08
  • Shenzhen (↓LOW↓) to Singapore – S$39.54
  • Shenzhen (↑HIGH↑) to Singapore – S$52.72

Advantages of Ocean Freight for Shipping From China to Singapore

Ocean freight can be tempting because it’s cheaper, but you also have to remember that it’s also unreliable and slower. That makes it a dangerous option if you have a delivery time follow. But the shipping industry has made significant changes.

That makes ocean freight more reliable. “Expedited freight” highlights streamlining shipping procedures and only works with more efficient trucking or ocean services.

Because it’s more affordable than the other options, many retailers and commercial companies prefer to use this method. You’ll only have to pay a fixed price since large shipping companies set the charges. It’s something that you have to follow. You also don’t have to worry about using multiple containers to transport large volumes of goods.

If your goods weigh about 200 to 500 thousand tons, ocean freight may be the best choice. You can easily fit them into one ship from one port of Singapore to another. Ocean freight has become reliable and safe because shipping companies must comply with international laws and standards. Both sellers and buyers should follow the set guidelines.

International Companies for Shipping From China to Singapore

If you own a business that works with Chinese factories for production, you’d always want to use the most cost-effective means of transporting your products from China to Singapore. Use this list to find the right freight forwarder for your business.

DHL Express

With 400,00 employees in over 220 countries worldwide, DHL is reaching more people than ever. DHL’s team has started to prepare for logistics challenges that lie ahead as they’re already thinking about what the world might look like in 2050. DHL aims to bring prosperity and joy to the people they serve. They’re not only delivering packages.

DB Schenker

DB Schenker is one of the leading freight providers in special events logistics, special transports, trade fair logistics, consumer goods, technology, and automotive. D.B. ‘s team supports the trade and transportation industry in the global shipment of goods through contract logistics, supply chain management, worldwide ocean and air freight, and land transport. D.B. ensures the shipping flows seamlessly.

FedEx

FedEx believes that connecting people with ideas, services, and goods improves lives and creates better opportunities. This vision helps them be the best in everything they do.

United Parcel Service, Inc.

UPS expanded to the Asia Pacific region in 1998. Today, they have over 13000 employees that serve 41 countries and territories across the region.

PostNL

PostNL is the leading freight forwarder in the Netherlands. Their team works closely with private delivery companies and national postal services to provide you with the most reliable and comprehensive network for delivering your parcels, packages, and mail.

TFL International

TFL is a leading freight forwarder in North America, working with a wide range of clients in Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. TFL’s efficient and safe logistics solutions are designed to lessen time-consuming activities, risks, and costs. Because they still keep improving their network, they aim to add functionality and value for their customers.

LaserShip Inc.

LaserShip’s custom ground solutions and flexible delivery network will always be there to help you. It doesn’t matter if you’re a retailer still thinking about the benefits of in-store order fulfilment and same-day delivery or an online retailer aiming to deliver the products to your customers as affordably and quickly as possible.

S.F. Holdings

S.F. Holdings is one of the leading integrated express shipping providers in China. Over time, the company has built a reputation for providing customers with integrated logistics solutions. It may include financial management, extensive data analysis, sales forecasting, and warehousing management.

ZTO Express (Cayman)

ZTO Express (Cayman) has opened transit warehouses in Malaysia, Dubai, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Germany, France, the United States, Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, and other countries. Its recent improvements include sustainability, technology, automation, and research and development of new equipment.

Yunda Express

Yunda Express is committed to becoming the leading integrated freight forwarder. Yunda specialises in express delivery, but they also expanded to cold chain, international, and supply chain management. Yunda will continue to work on building an internationally competitive logistics provider.

YAMATO Holdings

Yamato Holdings is one of Japan’s leading door-to-door delivery service providers. They have trained their employees to deliver high-quality express parcel shipping, international delivery, customs brokerage, ocean and air freight, and logistics.

They’ll always be prepared to support their customers with over 100 years of experience and an extensive global network.

B Post SA/NY

Bpost is Belgium’s leading omni-commerce logistics partner in Asia, North America, and Europe. They have over 36,000 employees across the world. Their team can connect government, companies, and consumers by providing e-commerce logistics services and delivering parcels and mails to millions.

 

DTDC

DTDC has been through a lot in the past. They have gone through many growth and milestones, pushing their boundaries. With that, they have strived to grow as a reliable organisation and set an example for their competitors.

Japan Post Group

Japan Post Group has invested its resources to optimise delivery and post office networks, reaching every corner of the country to provide reliable services. Their team offers tailored services to meet customer satisfaction. Japan Post aims to deliver innovative services that respond to changes in society, enriching people’s lives.

How to Ship from China to Singapore

You can also find local shipping companies in China. Many retailers prefer working with them because they’re pretty familiar with the Chinese language and the local regulations of each region. It helps them ship more promptly than any other shipper. Even if they’re not that popular, they still offer excellent services.

Local companies offer an affordable shipping cost than other couriers. Here are the tips you can use if you’re shipping from China to Singapore.

  1. Hire a freight forwarding company from China. Take advantage of their cheaper freight rates and logistical knowledge.
  2. Ask for a shipping quote. You can ask for a shipping quote from a particular company you want to hire. Your choice will depend on the load requirements, speed, and budget.
  3. Pay for China freight insurance. Don’t wait for things to get worse. You should always protect your goods while in transit. It’s more affordable that way.
  4. Discuss customs clearance. Local freight service providers can always help you with customs clearance or any arrangements your business might need.

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Having a set of strategies is the first step to successfully establishing international shipping. Think about the different factors that can affect your business and do your homework because it’ll help you prepare to expand your business.

These factors include the contents of the cargo, the pricing, the shipment destination, and the mode of shipment. Make sure to refine your strategy as often as you can. If you can’t focus on that aspect of your business, don’t worry.

Spenmo will always be here to help you. With Spenmo, you can make payments with 0% F.X. markup. You’ll get the rates that you see on Google. Check out the website to learn more about it.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an invoice list for shipping from China to Singapore?

Commercial invoice lists are documents presented by exporters or sellers in exchange for goods or services. It contains information about what the buyer owes the seller for such products or services. You don’t have a pattern to follow for preparing invoices. You can make your own, but you should clearly state the items.

How long does customs clearance take in Singapore?

Usually, customs clearance in Singapore may span from three to five days. If they don’t see any problem with the documents, it can be shorter. But if customs find some issues in the record, the customer will be forced to deal with them. It takes even longer and is more inconvenient for the client.

What are prohibited items to import to Singapore?

Here are some of the prohibited items to import in Singapore:

  • Telecommunications equipment
  • Tapes and video cassettes
  • Radar equipment
  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Laser discs
  • Films (training, promotion, or entertainment)
  • Electronic cigarettes and games
  • Cotton seeds
  • Psychotropic substances
  • Communications equipment
  • Cigarette
  • Bunker oil sample
  • Animal skins and/or products

Refer to the lists provided on the Singapore customs clearance site for more information. You can find a lot of reliable information about the specific products you have.

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