Monthly Archives :

June 2017

Importing From China: Shipping Lead Times

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Shipping and other lead times

The port to port lead time depends on the distance between the two ports. Here is an example of how those distances may impact the lead time:

Hong Kong – LA, USA: 20 days

Hong Kong – New York City, USA: 32 days

Hong Kong – Felixstowe, UK: 29 days

Hong Kong – Hamburg, Germany: 30 days

Hong Kong – Singapore: 5 days

Hong Kong – Sydney: 12 days

Bear in mind that it may be as long as a week before your cargo is loaded at the port in China. Administrative delays apply at the port of destination also, which, in many cases, can be even longer. In more rare extreme cases, you may face delays as long as two to three weeks at the port of destination.

Shipping by sea, in terms of lead times, is both slower and more unpredictable than air freight. With this in mind, companies importing from China by sea must do some significant planning, and have generous margins for delays.

If you need your goods in time for the Christmas season, you may want place your order in July rather than in September. As a rule of thumb, you should place your order 4 months in advance of your hard deadline.

Importing From China: Freight Insurance

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Freight Insurance

Insurance is included, by default, when you select CIF, standing for Cost Freight (and) Insurance. If you order shipping according to DAT (Delivered at Terminal) or DAP (Delivered at Place), you must inform your shipping company that the cargo must be insured.

Shipping insurance is cheap, and rarely costs more than US$50 to US$100. Normally, shipping insurance only covers the value of the cargo, in case of transportation damage. It will not cover lost sales, or product development costs.

Importing From China: FCL and LCL

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FCL and LCL Shipping

FCL is also the most cost effective freight method available, if counted by cost per volumetric unit and weight unit. FCL stands for “full container load.” It means that your container is yours- you aren’t sharing the container with any other parties, and you are welcome to use it as you wish.

LCL, or Less (than) Container Load. Basically, LCL is shared container freight. Cargo from multiple buyers is stored in the same container. The freight cost per volumetric unit is higher, as the shipping companies must factor in administrative fees that are fixed on a per consignee basis.

Importing From China: Shipping to an Amazon FBA Center from China

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Shipping to an Amazon FBA Center from China

Many importers ship their products directly from the factory in China, to an Amazon FBA warehouse. From there, Amazon manages the storage and distribution of these products.

Amazon operates according to strict regulations. As a seller, you must comply with their rules. This is what you must know about shipping to an Amazon FBA center:

1. The cargo must be labeled in accordance with Amazon’s cargo labeling policies.

2. The cargo must be palletized to facilitate quick unloading upon arrival. Each side of the pallet must be labeled.

3. The cargo shall be forwarded to the Amazon address, according to DAP or DDP terms.

Note that Amazon does not manage any shipping or customs clearance procedures. This is exclusively up to you as a seller to handle.

You can book DAP or DDP shipping from us.

Importing From China Part IV

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Part 4: Calculate Your Landed Cost

Once your harmonized tariff code is established, that information along with your goods certificate of origin can be used to calculate the land cost. The total cost of your import will comprise these 3 items:

-The price of the product from the supplier

-The shipping charges of your freight forwarding company

-the charges of customs clearance, duty and tax, and transport to your warehouse

Importing From China Part III

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Part 3: Ensure your product is physically legal for import

Certain items are prohibited for import into the USA. Make sure your intended goods do not violate any statutes regarding materials and hazardous products, and agree with American regulatory bodies, such as the FDA, FCC, FAA, and others. It is the importers responsibility to establish that their freight will be viable. If goods do not comply with American regulation, the importer can lose money and time, and their goods could be detained, or in worst-case scenarios, destroyed by United States Customs.

Importing From China Part II

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Part 2: Select What You Want To Import

As a trade company, your income will be generated by selling the goods that you import. Careful selection of your goods will result in an efficient business, and avoid undue loss of time or capital. We want to see you succeed, and your success is largely dependent on the items you select. To do this, gather as much information as possible on what you intend to import- understand the product, how its made, what materials it uses, etc. Understand the market, who currently sells it, how much does it sell for, and where and when is it popular? If possible, samples of the product can further aid your determination.

This information will all be useful to determine the goods’ tariff classification. A tariff classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule, allows the freight forwarder to properly identify the rate of duty which will need to be collected for the import.

Importing From China Part I

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Step 1: Understand Your Import Rights

The first step to importing goods into America is making sure you are able to import whatever your intended product is. Certain items are protected by trademark or patent, and selling them on American soil may result in lawsuits. It is your responsibility as the importer to make sure that you will be able to sell your goods as intended, and the research to the feasibility of this is best conducted far in advance of your acquisition and import.

In some situations, companies coordinate to set up distribution zones for their products. It is a worthwhile task to make certain that your goods wont be negatively affected by such an arrangement.