Getting your products shipped
If you’ve got a product in production you’ll need a way of geting it from the factory to your storage unit. Often this is one of a few ways:
Sea shipment – This if the cheapest way of getting your goods from overseas, but it will take 4-5 weeks.
Air freight – This is a much more expensive way of geting your goods from overseas, but with much shorter delivery times of 4-5 days.
Courier – This is used for samples and very small batches of products from overseas and the UK.
The most common way to send goods is via sea shipment in a container. We use either 20ft of 40ft containers depending on the volume of the products. For smaller volumes, part of the container can be used and shared with other products. The price for this is calculated using the weight and size of the cartons.
Container prices vary throughout the year depending on demand and fuel prices. Sea shipment takes about 4/5 weeks including the onward shipment (from the port to the destination address). A specific date for delivery will not be able to be given until the boat is 4 days away from the port (this will also depend if the items get stuck in customs). For a 20ft container with onward shipment you would need to budget for around $4,000, or $6,000 for a 40ft. Items can be flown in within about 4/5 days, but the price for this is very high. For example we got a quote for 100 boxes weighing 8kg each 32cmx35cmx29cm. The cost for door to door delivery was $1,800 by sea, but $5,500 by air.
There are many individual charges that make up the overall cost for delivery.
International freight: the cost of shipping the container
Delivery cartage: Onward shipment from the port to the destination
Documentation fee: Fee for all the forms and documents to be completed
Freight insurance: Insurance whilst on the container
Port to destination insurance: Insurance during delivery from the port to the final destination
FOB: Cost of delivering the goods from the factory to the port in China.
Duty: Duty is also paid on the cost of the container as well as the goods.
Most of our deliveries are a series of cartons on a container. If your product is going to be stored in a corporate storage or distribution centre, they will have their own requirements for how the delivery is presented. Some places will only accept pallets. Your products can be put on pallets prior to being shipped from china, but this will mean considerably less products will fit in the container. Instead, often we have the cartons palletised at the UK port if this is needed. Each pallet add on about $50 in cost.
Import duty is a fee for importing goods into the country. The rate varies for different products. For example paper goods imported from China such as calendars are 0%, many plastic consumer goods are 6.5%, but age 18m+ sleepsuits are 12.5%. Import duty will be billed to you along with the delivery charges (see breakdown above). We do not include the duty in the product quotes because the code used to calculate cannot be guaranteed to be the code used when entering the country.
Items can sometimes get held in customs as random inspections of goods coming into the UK are carried out. These inspections are to check that the goods comply to regulations and are as declared. This can delay the delivery from 2 -7 days and extra charges apply. For smaller deliveries the time is likely to be less.
Receiving your products
When the lorry with your products on reaches the desination, there is normally a 2 hour slot in which you have to unload the items. This is the responsibility of yourselves and not the driver (although they may help). You will need to ensure you have enough people to unload the lorry within the time frame, charges occur for every additional 15 minutes.
You will have 5 working days to check the shipment you have received and ensure it is all accounted for and in good condition.