In online shopping, there are a few platforms that provide convenient services. Alibaba is one of these being reliable for quality products.
The advantages of using such platforms are far more than the disadvantages. But these disadvantages prove to be difficult for some users.
Alibaba shipping costs from China are one of the issues. There are different prices depending on several factors. For instance, your location, and the weight, number, and features of your goods.
This guide will discuss the shipping costs and factors that affect them.
- 1) Why Are Alibaba Shipping Costs So Expensive?
- 2) The whole Alibaba shipping process
- 3) Alibaba Shipping Costs Overview:
- 4) Best 5 Alibaba Shipping Methods
- 5) Alibaba Shipping Tracking Tool
- 6) Alibaba Shipping Cost Calculator
- 7) How to Save Your Alibaba Shipping Costs?
- 8) Alibaba Shipping Terms You Should Know
- 9) How to Find the Best Alibaba Freight Forwarder to Ship From China?
- 10) Alibaba One Touch Service: Make Your Shipment Easier
- 11) FAQs About Alibaba Shipping Cost
- 12) What’s Next?
Why Are Alibaba Shipping Costs So Expensive?
Alibaba shipping costs are expensive mainly due to the distance. If you want to buy something and have it delivered to the USA, you must consider how far apart the two countries are. Located in Asia, China is quite far from the United States of America.
If you consider the shortest routes, it still adds up to a distance of 6000 miles. Alibaba charges its customers for the distance. Some of the other factors that affect the Alibaba shipping costs are the weight and amount of your item(s).
The whole Alibaba shipping process
Step1: Order Goods from the Right Supplier:
Note to differentiate trading companies from manufacturers.
Step 2: Conduct Quality Control
Ensure product quality before delivery. Quality control is vital, especially for branded products with expensive shipping.
Step 3: Review the Regulations of Reliable Shipping Options
Air, land, and ocean shipping each has its pros and cons. From there, select a suitable shipping method.
Step 4: Choose a Freight Forwarder
Select based on the commercial route between two countries.
Step 5: Select Customs Brokers
They can help ease your import business. You can let them handle your customs clearance procedures and fees. Remember to get customs information for paperwork purposes. You’ll need different information for import and export ports.
Step 6: Arrange Shipping from Alibaba
Arrange to ship based on the size restrictions. After confirming the details, you can pass your orders to the freight forwarder. They will arrange shipping from Alibaba for you.
Step 7: Make Payments to Freight Forwarders
You can pay to his bank account via Wire Transfer, Western Union, or others.
Step 8: Follow up with Your Buyers
Check if they received within the delivery time and look for room for improvement.
Alibaba Shipping Costs Overview:
The stages of transportation for your product fall into intervals. It makes sure the costs are transparent. There are several stages through which the product passes. All these stages impose a specific price on the end shipping costs. These stages include:
1. Factory to Port Transportation:
After the production and the finalization, the factory awaits confirmation from the buyer. Once the buyer confirms the product, the provider arranges a commute for the product.
This takes it from its factory to the nearby port for transporting. This cost of transportation is added to the net total. It ranges from 50-480$.
2. China Export Clearance:
The Chinese authorities will verify the goods at the port. If everything is in order, they will allow customs clearance for export.
But, they might prohibit the goods’ transportation due to arguable faults. It can lead to legal issues too.
3. Shipping Freight Cost:
Freight cost is charged from the departure ports to the destination ports. The cost usually exceeds the 1000$ mark, varying upon distance, size, and amount.
It includes the costs imposed by the local authorities. Here are two ways to pay freight costs.
- You can pay high freight forwarder costs and low local charges
- You can pay low shipping freight costs and high local charges
The latter option looks more appealing. But, the first choice gives you a better outcome.
4. Shipping Insurance
It is always recommended to buy insurance. Ignoring shipping can cause you great loss during an unprecedented accident.
The insurance company provides compensation for your shipment issues. They only charge a minor cost to do so.
The general formula for insurance cost is 0.02% based on 110% of FOB cost.
5. Document Delivery (DHL or FedEx)
This cost usually consists of miscellaneous charges during shipping. It includes specific certificates, authorizations, records, and invoices.
It is not a big expense which usually ranges from 40-50$. Companies like FedEx and DHL charge these costs.
6. Port Charges (Port of Destination)
The local charges at the destination port are usually high. Local authorities charge a lot, up to 500-1000$ per container.
The price relies on cubic meters for independent or smaller packages.
Some fresh importers choose not to pay to save money. But, they face big charges when receiving the product. Experienced importers maintain these costs to receive a good output.
7. Custom Bonds (United States)
A customs bond is necessary to bring something above $2,500 to the USA. Shipments below $2,500 can import with minor paperwork without bonds.
There are two types of bonds. You can get them via surety companies or custom brokerages.
- Single entry bond
It is for one-time transport, costing $100-200.
- Continuous bond
It is for regular importers, costing $250-450.
8. Domestic Transportation (Port of Destination to Final Address)
It is the last transportation phase of the whole import. Heavy vehicles take your product from the Destination port to your warehouse.
The cost is usually low, within $50 – $500. Several factors determine it. For instance, distance traveled and modes of transportation like trucks and trains. The fragility, amount, and size of goods will affect it too.
9. Shipping Quotation Sample
Several suppliers on Alibaba make complicated invoices to rip their customers.
So, you should always pay attention to the invoices. Try to understand the costs to avoid scams.
You may base your bill on simple distance, amount, and volume measures. You should always demand Delivered-at-Place (DAP) or Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU) prices.
Best 5 Alibaba Shipping Methods
Shipping items from China to the USA seems complicated for some companies. But, it is easy despite many steps. Sticking with the rules ensures profitable business.
Let’s learn some basics:
1. Express Shipping Method from China to the USA
- Which express company is better?
International shipping is costly, and any rate decrease can save you a lot.
Express companies are cost-effective and efficient. You can also choose sea and air express for your need.
Three main international air express companies are:
You should look for a reputable and reliable courier service with better rates.
- Express Shipping Costs from China to the USA
Express shipping generally takes 1 – 8 days to reach buyers. The costs are based on weight.
To transport via FedEx, you need to decide on the shipping methods.
International Priority (IP) grants high priority. In contrast, International Economy Delivery (IE) is given less importance. This cost is for IP and is slightly more than that of IE.
For 0.5-5.5 kg, the cost ranges from $25-$90. Whereas the cost of 17-20.5 kg is 241-280$.
- Dimensional weight VS Real weight
The Alibaba shipping costs of heavy goods are usually based on weight.
You’ll need to pay based on volume to ship lightweight but high-volume goods. For instance, wrapping paper or styrofoam. The formula to measure dimensional weight is
Dimensional weight= Length (cm) x Width (cm) x Height (cm)/ 5000
2. Air Freight Shipping
We will now discuss Air Freight to learn its difference with express delivery. We will then discuss different aspects of Air Freight and its pros and cons.
- The difference between Air Freight and Express Delivery
The main difference is the weight limitation. Express Delivery allows delivering Alibaba products below 300 kg. But you must use Air Freight for goods above 300 kg.
Besides, Air Freights fall in the category of import transportation. There are many legal bindings and obligations to fulfill. You must follow the foreign exchange guidelines imposed by both countries too.
- Air Freight Shipping Costs and shipping time
Airfreight delivers fast and provides quality assurance, but is more pricy. It takes about 4 – 5 days from China to East Coat of America. To reach the West Coast of America, you can expect about 2 – 3 days.
The shipping costs are more pricy and charged based on volume and chargeable weight. You can expect $5.5 – $7.5 per kg with FedEx or $7.5 – $9.5 per kg with DHL.
- The cost breakdown of Air Freight
We divide the added amounts by 6000 to know the dimensional weight for Air Freight. It is higher than express delivery.
FOB (Freight-On-Board) Costs
- Shipping costs from the Chinese airport to the USA airport
- American customs clearance charges
- The Local logistical charges.
EXW (Ex Works) Costs
- Chinese logistical local cost
- China Export cost
- Everything in FOB
3. Sea Freight Shipping from China to the USA
Sea Freight is a many-procedure activity. It is best for goods quantity above 2 cubic meters.
- Less than Container Load (LCL) and Full Container Load (FCL)
LCL means that your product is less than the whole container area. It is efficient for Chinese suppliers. They can deliver more shipments in fewer containers. The limit is 15 Cubic Meters.
FCL is more cost-effective for goods above 15 Cubic Meters. Your goods get a whole container, isolating them from other items. Hence, there is less chance for confusion.
- Sea Freight Shipping Costs and Shipping time
Sea Freight takes about 30 – 40 days to ship from China to the USA. It depends on customs, port, and documentation process.
There are over 100 ports in the US, and each imposes varying costs. In the major ports, the prices range from $310 – $4200. It is for containers within 3-40 CBM.
To calculate the Freight Cost, you can use this formula:
Freight cost= Number of products x Dimensions of the product
- Cost breakdown of Sea Freight
Sea Freight cost breakdown is similar to Air Freights, calculated in EXW and FOB.
FOB means the fulfillment of charges on your end. It includes the Local charges and custom clearances in America. Your Chinese supplier helps you throughout the process.
In EXW, your Chinese supplier does not help you. It includes the export costs and China local charges.
4. Cost-effective Shipping Solution (SFUC & AFUC)
There is an increase in international shipping and transportation. Thus, several cost-effective shipping systems have been made.
These solutions provide ease and convenience for regular users and newbies alike. For instance, a drop shipping owner. Or, a private label business owner who makes private label products.
Let’s start with the SFUC.
- SFUC (Sea Freight UPS combined)
As the name indicates, UPS collaborates with Sea Freight transportation. SFUC takes care of everything when the product arrives in America.
It is at least 10 days faster than traditional sea freight. Then, it ensures delivery to your doorstep.
The price is $1.5 – $1.8 per kg, for goods within 100 kg – 1000 kg. But, goods with high taxes will incur extra, which is $0.3 – $0.4 per kg.
- AFUC (Air Freight UPS combined)
UPS also collaborates with air freight for cost-effective transportation. It is faster than the Sea Freights, hence preferred by many importers.
AFUC takes about 11 to 15 days to deliver to your doorstep. It is ideal for many suppliers on Amazon FBA or other e-commerce platforms.
It charges about $4.8 – $5.3 per kg for goods below 50kg. Above that, you can expect $3.8 – $4.8 per kg.
5. DDP Shipping Method
DDP stands for Delivery Duty Paid shipping. It assumes maximum seller’s obligations and minimum buyer’s obligations.
In DDP, the seller must deliver the goods to the buyer’s port. He must also handle inland transportation to the buyer’s location.
The sellers will pay all shipping costs like customs clearance and import duties. Let’s discover further in this post.
Alibaba Shipping Tracking Tool
An Alibaba shipping tracking tool allows integration to your online store. You’ll need to key in your tracking number on the tracking tool. It allows most suppliers and buyers to know the status of orders.
Alibaba Shipping Cost Calculator
It is crucial to calculate your shipping costs to maintain a budget. You should also know that each transportation mode incurs different charges. This Alibaba shipping cost calculator can help you save more money.
How to Save Your Alibaba Shipping Costs?
- Packaging Optimization
Some packages are not optimized and take up extra weight or volume. You should optimize when packing your own products for future orders.
Buyers can try ordering samples to check sample cost and quality issues. You can also communicate with your seller about packing methods from the sample.
- Shipment Consolidation
Sometimes, your buyers order with small minimum order quantities. You can consider combining several orders like this to consolidate shipping. It saves you cost on warehousing, shipping, and consignments.
- Shipping Provider Selection
As mentioned in this article, you should choose professional freight agents. They have experience in managing shipping and customs. You can avoid unnecessary costs and quality issues with their help.
- Route Planning
It is also crucial to analyze and optimize the optimal route. Using a suitable transportation mode will save you many costs too.
- Shipping Calculator Utilization
Don’t forget to use a shipping calculator to calculate your shipping costs. This step is essential before you enter your target market.
- Shipping Costs Comparison
You should also compare shipping costs from various freight forwarders. Don’t look for unreasonably low prices as it could be a scam or illegal.
You must also choose the service from a reliable service provider. View their own websites to check for their reliability.
A Fast, Easy, and Cheap Way to Ship from China
Do not hesitate to contact Leeline Sourcing at any time regarding your shipments from China.
Alibaba Shipping Terms You Should Know
Each shipping terms indicate different responsibility by sellers and buyers. It is vital to understand and choose a suitable shipping term for your need.
How to Find the Best Alibaba Freight Forwarder to Ship From China?
You can make international shipping is easier by engaging a freight forwarder. They have the experience and expertise to make safe delivery on time. You can also get warehousing and contract logistics solutions from them.
But, many Alibaba suppliers and buyers might not know how to work with them. You can read this article to learn more.
Alibaba One Touch Service: Make Your Shipment Easier
It allows access to order financing, logistics management, and export procedures. You must use it for customs clearance for orders above $5,000. Let’s discover more here.
FAQs About Alibaba Shipping Cost
What do I need to get a shipping quotation?
Freight Forwarders require some basic parameters to give you a shipping quotation. These include:
1. The total volume of your product(s)
2. The total weight
3. The Port of Loading (Departure)
4. The Destination Port
5. Whether you do or don’t want insurance
6. Supplier and delivery incoterm
This can give you an estimate of the cost. You can only determine the actual cost once the shipping is good to go. Several factors may affect it. Holiday seasons can affect the total cost of Alibaba shipment.
Does Alibaba have free shipping?
Most suppliers show free shipping with vague meanings. Technically, we can say that suppliers on Alibaba provide free shipping. But, note that they always charge you secretly for it.
It is not a recognized trait of Alibaba. Instead, it is solely the trick for suppliers on Alibaba. Let’s look at some users’ experiences.
Q: Why is it possible that Alibaba suppliers allow free shipping from China to the US?
A: It is actually not free. Shipping is costly, including fuel, warehouse, transportation, labor, etc. It will cause them loss if they allow free shipping.
In fact, these suppliers include the shipping fee in the goods’ price. Some suppliers have a minimum order quantity to allow free shipping.
Q: Why are the goods’ prices so low even after including the shipping costs?
A: Most goods manufactured in China incur low production costs. It is due to the advantages of raw materials and labor costs.
For instance, a watch costs only $10 in China. The suppliers will sell it at USD$40, which is relatively cheap for Western buyers. It includes the $20 product costs and $20 shipping costs.
Q: Is there other possible reasons that Alibaba sellers offer free shipping?
A: Yes. The China e-Commerce has grown bigger in recent years. It benefits from economies of scale in production, warehouse, and transportation.
The labor costs are also relatively cheap. Some sellers will have a minimum order quantity.
That is why they can still sell you a cheap and quality product.
How to get cheaper shipping on Alibaba?
After comparing, FCL Sea Freights are the cheapest from China. Shipping using any other shipping method like LCL incur more cost.
Once you establish your need for a separate container, you have to pay a fixed price. Air Freights are fast to have your order shipped, but they are expensive.
In short, FCL Sea Freights are the cheapest, while Air Freights are the most expensive.
Does Alibaba ship to the USA?
Yes. In fact, many Alibaba suppliers are already experienced in shipping to the USA. You can choose whether to ship via air or sea freight.
But, you should find the right supplier. Conduct market research or view the eCommerce site to check the supplier response rate.
A reliable supplier will discuss your cost and delivery time needs. You should also make sure the shipping method and term are in your plan. Let’s discover further here.
Shipping goods from suppliers to buyers is a long and complex procedure. It will incur Alibaba shipping costs too.
We’ve shared everything about Alibaba shipping costs and methods in this article. You must calculate properly to prevent scams and reduce Alibaba shipping costs.
You can also read further on this article to learn about the Alibaba shipping service. Or, talk to Leeline Sourcing for professional shipping services.
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