In online shopping, there are a few platforms that provide suitable services. Alibaba is one of these and it has the reputation of being reliable. 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 to US is one of the things that are able to become an issue if they pass a certain point.
There are different prices depending on your location, the weight of your goods, the number of your goods and the features you want to get.
Here, in this guide. We will discuss the shipping costs and the different factors that affect it.
The main reason behind the Alibaba shipping cost being so expensive is the distance. If you want to buy something and have it delivered to the USA, you must think about 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 rate varies with dealers and providers depending upon their methods. The main idea of it remains the same. For products under 10 kg, the shipping cost is from 10$ to 100$.
If your product weighs about 5 kg and you want to have it delivered with the tracking feature, you will have to pay around 40-50$. Furthermore, if the weight exceeds 10 kg, then you will enter the cost range of 100-200$.
The stages of transportation for your product fall into intervals. This makes sure the costs are clear. There are a few stages through which the product passes through and all these stages impose a certain price on the end shipping cost. These stages include:
After the production and the finalization, the factory awaits confirmation from the buyer. Once the buyer confirms and approves the product, the provider arranges a commute for the product.
This takes it from its factory to the nearby port for transporting. This cost of transportation is added to the net total. It ranges from 50-480$.
After the product reaches the port, it has to get verified. The Chinese authorities conduct a check on the goods. If everything is in order, they will clear it for export and your product can commence its journey.
This part is of extreme importance. If the authorities find some arguable fault in your product, it can simply prohibit its transportation. If any action is taken nevertheless, it can lead to legal issues.
This part usually offers the option of following the guidelines of EXW. This part is usually handled by the supplier. The cost of the authorization is included in the FOB. This cost ranges from 100-300$.
Freight cost in one of the most fundamental expenses when it comes to international shipping. Freight cost means the charges imposed by the shipping from the Port of Departure to Port of Destination. If your product is to be transported via freight, there is a number of dues that pop up.
These include the costs due to the international shipping and the costs from the supplier’s end. But other than that, it also includes the costs imposed by the local authorities.
When you are moving your products through freights, it must be kept in mind that the cost of doing so is large. Most of the time, the cost crosses the 1000$ mark.
But if your product doesn’t necessarily need freight, you can move it around with ridiculously low prices. One of the things that are always advised is to always rank paying international charges. There are two ways to pay freight costs.
For most people, the latter option looks more appealing but it is recommended that you pay higher freight costs. Doing so will give you a better and efficient outcome. So, in essence, the cost of freights varies upon distance, size and amount.
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Shipping insurance may look unimportant to some people. Some people even ignore insurance. This is very careless and this can cause you great loss in the wake of an unprecedented accident. It is always recommended to buy insurance.
The insurance company provides compensation if anything happens to your shipment. They only charge a minor cost to do so. If you want to cut prices, you should definitely not do it with insurance.
The general formula for insurance cost is 0.02% based on 110% of FOB cost.
This cost usually consists of miscellaneous charges during shipping. This includes certain certificates, authorizations, records, and invoices. This is not a major expense which usually ranges from 40-50$. Companies like FedEx and DHL charge theses costs.
One of the major costs a buyer has to face is when his product reaches the Port of Destination. The local charges are one of the biggest problems during importing. Local authorities charge a lot for containers.
The costs usually go up to 500-1000$ per container. When it comes to independent or smaller packages, the price relies on cubic meters.
Local charges often pose an issue for fresh and starting importers. These importers jump at opportunities to save prices.
They save money on the actual shipping but they face big charges when it comes to receiving the product. Experienced importers maintain these costs to receive a good output.
If any importer wants to bring something from China to USA, they must get a customs bond. The custom is obligatory for shipments that are above $2,500. If your shipment is above the stated amount, you cannot carry on without the custom bonds.
However, if your shipment or your product(s) fall under $2,500, you can commence the import on the basis of some minor paperwork. This is far easier than acquiring bonds but you can only do this if the price of your shipment remains under the set bar.
There are two types of bonds. You can acquire whichever suits your needs better.
As the names indicate, the former is used for one-time transport. The latter is used by importers who conduct their business on a regular basis. These cost 100-200$ and 250-450$ respectively.
You can acquire these bonds through surety companies or custom brokerages. These bonds are one of the many legal documents required for imports.
This is the last transportation phase of the whole import. This is where your product is taken from the Port of Destination to your warehouse or wherever you wish to store it.
This is done by heavy vehicles such as trucks and trains. All of this is carried out according to your desires. And you can choose whatever method of conveyance you like.
The cost of this final step is usually not so much. It is determined mainly by the distance of the port to your warehouse. But some factors that can increase or decrease it are the fragility, amount and size of the product(s).
Furthermore, this is also affected by the mode of transportation you choose. The cost of Domestic Transportation usually falls from $50-$500.
When it comes to ripping their customers off, there are some nasty tricks that dealers do. One of the oldest tricks is to make the invoice or the bill so complicated that the customer gets overwhelmed.
He/she doesn’t question the charges at all. To avoid this, we advise you that you always pay attention to the invoices and try to understand the costs. This will help you avoid any sort of scam.
It is recommended that you base your bill on the simple measures like distance, amount and volume. Invoices and quotations should be kept simple so that they can be understood easily. You should always demand Delivered-at-Place (DAP) or Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU) prices.
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For many people who wish to buy something from Alibaba, the whole shipping procedure seems impossible and difficult.
Many business ideas and revelations can vanish because of the difficulties in transporting products and items overseas. Many potential businessmen may be disheartened by the seemingly hard task.
But this is a common misconception. Shipping items from China to USA is a many-step procedure, but it is not so hard. If you stick with the rules and follow the guidelines, the whole business can be very rewarding and beneficial for you.
Here we will cover some basics you need to know to get your business started.
Express companies usually are more cost-effective and efficient than any other mode of transportation. Sure, you can use sea and air freights if your needs demand it. But if you wish to bring a controlled amount of goods from China to USA, express companies are better.
Now, comparing companies can yield indefinite results. Each company has its pros and cons. When we decide which company is better, we do on the basis of efficiency and smoothness.
Internationally, there are three main express companies. These include:
These companies have a reputation for being reliable and trustworthy. They also offer better rates than their rival companies.
You must keep in mind that moving around goods on a worldwide level is a fairly costly thing to do. Therefore, any decrease in rates can save you a lot of money. You can use either of these companies as they are both equally efficient.
As I said before, regardless of the company you choose, moving goods on an international scale is a costly affair. You have to pay a considerable amount for bringing products in from overseas.
Though certain companies offer discounts and lesser prices, the general range is constant. The prices can also increase in different seasons.
There are whole algorithms and whole formulas for calculating prices, but here I will give you some basic costs according to weight. If you wish to transport something via FedEx, you will face an option on which method you want to use.
One method grants high priority and is known as International Priority (IP) and International Economy Delivery (IE). The latter is given less priority.
For 0.5-5.5 kg, the cost ranges from $25-$90. This cost is for IP and is slightly more than that of IE. Furthermore, if we see the other end, we can see that the cost of 17-20.5 kg is 241-280$. You can consult for more accurate prices but hopefully, this will give you an idea.
When you ship something, the price that is dependent on weight is measured in a specific manner. If you want to ship something that is extremely light but it is large in volume, you will have to pay according to the space it takes.
If you want to ship a lot of, say, wrapping paper or Styrofoam, you will have to pay according to the dimensional weight. The formula to do so is:
Dimensional weight= Length (cm) x Width (cm) x Height (cm)/ 5000
Now, we have discussed the factors of express delivery. We will now discuss Air Freight. The first thing we have to do is to make the difference between these two methods clear.
We will then go on to the different aspects of Air Freight. We will also discuss the pros and cons it has to offer.
The main difference between these two modes of transportation is the weight limitation. If your desired product is below 300 kg, then you can use Express Delivery without any worries.
But if your product’s weight exceeds 300 kg, then you must resort to Air Freight.
Now, what makes Air Freight so different?
Air Freights fall in the category of import transportation. When this happens, there are a lot of legal bindings and obligations you must fulfill. You must follow the foreign exchange guidelines imposed by the country you wish to transport to or from.
When you wish to use Air Freights, you must always be very clear about the costs and prices. The All-Included Air Freight cost means each and every expense that is incurred starting from the factory and ending at your doorstep.
Whether you are dealing with an Alibaba supplier or an import agent, you should always be clear about the financial terms.
As we mentioned before in this article, there are a lot of steps and procedures in transportation from the supplier to the buyer.
All sorts of customs and legal authorizations are included in these expenses as well as the Air Freight charges.
Last but not least, the local charges that are incurred at the Port of Destination can make a huge dent in your assets.
All the costs from the beginning to the end of the affair are added to the All-Included Air Freight cost.
All these costs can be very confusing and daunting. To give you a better understanding of the costs, we will break it down for you so you can get it more clearly.
First, we should cast our minds back to the dimensional weight. For Air Freights, it is slightly different. In Express Delivery, the added amounts are divided by 5000. In Air Freights, it is done by 6000.
This shows that even the rates of dimensional weight are higher in Air Freight. To understand the next bit of costs, we first have to learn about FOB.
FOB stands for Freight-On-Board and it is used to describe the point where the legal obligations are lifted from the supplier and their country to the buyer.
When we talk about FOB cost, it is very simple to understand. It includes the cost of transporting the freight from the Chinese airport to the USA airport, American customs clearance charges and the Local logistical charges in the USA. These three constituents make up the FOB cost and that’s all there is to it.
The method of EXW is slightly more complex. There are a couple more steps that have to be followed. In EXW, you are responsible for the cost of Chinese logistical local cost and China Export cost as well as everything in FOB.
These costs are best discussed with an experienced forwarder or agent.
Other than Air Freight and Express Delivery, there is another mode of transportation. This mode of transportation is called Sea Freight and it is a many-procedure activity.
There are some sensitive aspects of this affair that should be addressed. We will go through them one-by-one.
The first thing that needs to be understood is the criteria for Sea Freight. You should only consider using Sea Freights if the quantity of your goods exceeds 2 cubic meters.
Sea Freight should only be used when there is no other possible alternative. There are quite a few complexities in this method of transportation.
Now, these two points are really easy to understand. LCL means that your product or item is less than the area of the whole container. \
This means that you can share a container with other goods. This is efficient for your supplier as he can get more shipments sent in fewer containers.
Generally, the limit you can touch is 15 Cubic Meters.
If you exceed this limit, then you qualify for FCL. FCL means that your goods get a whole container. This isolates your items from other items so there is less chance for confusion. FCL is more adequately priced. They are more cost-effective.
Like we discussed in Air Freights, the total charges from start to finish are known as the All-Included Cost. Now, granted that the Sea Freight requires more legal procedures than the rest of the modes.
But, the All-Included Cost is quite simpler. There are more than 100 ports in the US. There are variations in the costs imposed by various ports.
But in the major ports, the prices range from 310-4200$ for containers measuring from 3-40 CBM respectively. To calculate the Freight Cost, you can simply use this formula:
Freight cost= Number of products x Dimensions of the product
To understand the cost breakdown of Sea Freights, we must remember a similar topic and issue in Air Freights. When it comes to Freights, the costs are calculated in two ways: EXW and FOB.
As we discussed before, the FOB means the fulfillment of charges on your end. This includes the Local charges and custom clearances in America.
In FOB, your supplier helps you throughout the process.
However, in EXW, your supplier does not help you and it includes the export costs and local charges of China as well. You can consult the formulae we discussed for the cost breakdown of Air Freights.
Due to the increase in international shipping and transportation, several cost-effective shipping systems have been made. These solutions provide ease and convenience for regular users and newbies alike. Let’s start with the SFUC.
When we use Sea Freights to transport products, it takes a long while to get the whole procedure done. It takes a month or more for Sea Freights to arrive at the port.
This is a lot of time and businessmen all around the world wish for a more convenient alternative.
Therefore, these shipping solutions were introduced. As the name indicates, it means that UPS collaborates with Sea Freight transportation and takes care of everything when the product arrives in America.
UPS uses the classic Sea Freight to transport your goods and then it takes the responsibility of making sure you get it at your doorstep.
This fusion of services has made imports very easy.
However, there are a limited number of agencies and Freights that provide this service. UPS charges a modest fee for this service.
Similarly, a service like this is also available in Air Freights. But unlike Sea Freights, time is not the issue here. Instead, it’s the expense.
UPS provides cost-effective transportation with the help of Air Freights. These are faster than the Sea Freights and therefore are preferred by many importers.
Freight Forwarders require some basic parameters to give you a shipping quotation. These include:
This can give you an estimate of the cost. The actual cost can only be determined once the shipping is good to go. There are several factors that may affect it. Holiday seasons can affect the total cost of shipment.
After comparing every possible method of transportation, it is safe to say the FCL Sea Freights are the cheapest way to ship from China.
The reason behind this is that once you establish your need for a separate container, you have to pay a fixed price.
When you ship using any other method like LCL, you have to pay more and more, according to your shipments.
Air Freights are fast but they are very expensive. So, while we are at it, we can say that while FCL Sea Freights are the cheapest while Air Freights are the most costly.
when we ask for initial quotes from alibaba manufacturers in our RFQ’s, mostly we request them to quote prices in EXW and FOB.
FOB means that the seller ships the goods to the nearest port and the seller is responsible for everything after that.
The Seller will drop this off at the port of shipment and the Buyer will either pick it up themselves or more commonly work with a freight forwarder to ship it for them.
The seller is the one to clear the goods for export and the buyer is responsible for the good from the port onwards.
It’s very important when getting FOB quotes to make sure that you get the name of the port that they are dropping the goods off at.
This is the most basic shipping Incoterm that a supplier can provide. The seller makes the item available to pick up at the factory and is not responsible for the product once it leaves the factory doors.
The buyer is responsible for transporting it all the way from the factory and covers all export and import clearances as well as the insurance cost.
For CIF, the price also includes sea freight charges and insurance to deliver the goods to YOUR nearest port. But remember, it’s only to the port. From that point onwards, it’s up to you to take responsibility for the shipment.
CNF is similar to CIF, except insurance is not included.
If your supplier quoted you a CNF Felixstowe price, it means that the price includes shipping of the goods via sea freight to the Felixstowe port.
When the goods arrive there, you’ll have to organise customs clearance and delivery to your home/office/warehouse.
When we say free shipping, we should keep in mind that it doesn’t exactly mean that. Free shipping is shown by suppliers by remaining vague about it.
The costs are just added in some other way and it is shown as if the shipping is free but it is actually not. This is done by some suppliers. It is not a recognized trait of Alibaba. It is just done by some suppliers.
So, technically, we can say that Alibaba’s suppliers can provide free shipping. But it is not something that you can count in their favor as they secretly charge you for it.
There is no doubt that you should always have some sort of help if you are new in this sort of business. If you are new, you will fail to recognize scams and bogus deals.
Due to this, you can lose assets. You can lose a lot of money. To avoid any sort of issue or failure, it is advisable that you have some sort of support.
If you get the help of a person who has your best interests at heart, they will help you stay away from unyielding businesses.
They will help you identify false costs and overcharging agencies. In a field where there are so many sensitive aspects, a fresh business cannot hope to achieve success if he doesn’t get the help of someone experienced.
However, in the age of technology, there are several online services that can teach you all about importing. There are online videos that can give an in-depth review of every aspect of importing.
They can warn you about scams and rip-offs. You can also get useful advice that can help you stand on your feet faster.
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In online shopping and shipping of products, some companies offer sourcing to individuals and businesses. Sourcing means that they help individuals and businessmen to meet the needs of their clients better.
Leeline Sourcing is a sourcing company based in China that provides this service to Alibaba suppliers. They charge a small fee for their services.
These services help the suppliers to get goods that are best suited for their customers. Leeline Sourcing also provides multiple services to help improve the whole experience for the suppliers and clients.
These services include storing, quality verifying, and so on. Leeline Sourcing has a special collaboration with Alibaba.
Due to this, if you get the help of Leeline Sourcing, they can reduce the shipping costs from China to USA. This is very beneficial for both the supplier and the buyer.
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Suggested reading: Shipping From China to USA: Definitive Guide
Alibaba is one of the most efficient shopping platforms on the internet. Buyers from all around the world, especially the United States of America, make purchases of all kinds on this platform.
The shipping of goods from suppliers and buyers is a long and complex procedure. For overseas shipping, a substantial amount of funds is required.
There is much to know about Alibaba Shipping Cost. There are several Alibaba shipping methods and in this article, we touched every one of them.
We have discussed the pros and cons of each method. You can use any of these methods, depending on the nature of your needs.
Alibaba shipping costs must be calculated properly and you should always look out of sneaky charges and scams.
You should always get help if you are new to the business. Doing this can save you from a lot of loss and harm.