Importing and dropship imports from China presents tremendous opportunities for eCommerce. Importing goods from China has cost advantages due to the manufacturing power stretching from Hong Kong to Beijing. Harnessing that power for your sales activities while using a reliable, experienced freight forwarder like Barrington Freight can smooth your way to profitable import of merchandise from China. Contact us to get a competitive quote for your China to UK import shipping.


Importing from China to the UK

Why import from China? Post-Brexit trade deals and Amazon dropshipping make it more accessible to source products to sell online via Amazon or eBay. Changing perceptions about China-sourced products have reshaped eCommerce, and we only have to look around our homes to appreciate the diversity and quality of modern goods from China.

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Options for importing from China to UK

Depending on the size and value of your shipments, you’ve got several options:

Courier from China to UK

For small, high value, or very urgent deliveries, using a courier service for express shipping may be your best choice as door-to-door delivery times are considerably less.

Pros: speed, security and cost-effectiveness for small, high value, low volume consignments, usually without delays.

Cons: expensive with poor environmental impact.

Air freight from China to UK

Typically taking between six and 18 days from China to your delivery address. As a guide, air freight will be cheaper than courier for shipments over 100 kg (FOB) or 200 kg (EXW China).

Pros: speed but not as fast as courier services, convenience and security, trace and track consignments, and usually limited delays.

Cons: expensive and a poor carbon footprint.

Sea Freight

For over 100kg of goods, sea freight is usually cheaper than air freight and is the primary shipping method or relatively low value but high volume goods and has a favourable environmental footprint. It’s essential to factor in enough lead time for the door-to-door journey. Sea shipping can be done by full container load or by sharing a container

Pros: low cost, excellent carbon footprint compared to airfreight.

Cons: door-to-door, China to UK shipping time is typically six weeks, cost of port duties and taxes, harder to track consignments, basic freight rates are subject to fuel and currency surcharges.


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cost-effective global

door-to-door delivery.

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Shipping Costs From China to the UK

You can read more on Costs to Import from China here. Costs of shipping calculations consist of the following:

  • Shipping cost by ship, plane, or train.
  • Import duty from China to UK made up of customs duty and, if applicable, ‘excise duty’.
  • Value Added Tax (VAT) payable.
  • Marine insurance.

Our Top Tips for Importing From China

  • Understand your import objectives.
  • Get an EORI number before you import from China.
  • Source suppliers carefully.
  • Use a well-drafted contract to reduce risks.
  • Choose a suitable freight method for your China to UK shipping.
  • Understand your shipping costs.
  • Keep in HMRC’s good books by sorting paperwork and payments.
  • Keep up to date with Brexit’s impact on China imports.
  • Understand the applicable UK Trade Tariffs.
  • Know your commodity codes.
  • Be aware of the taxes and duties on UK imports.
  • Find out if you need an import licence for goods from China.


Read the complete list of our top tips here for import, calculating the landed cost of your goods, shipping terms and arranging to ship.

Ready to Import?

The quickest way to get help if you’re considering importing from China is to get in touch so we can talk you through the process and advise on the best approach for your business. We’re your experienced China import to ensure your goods reach the UK on time, in perfect condition and ready to boost your bottom line.

For more information about how we can help, reach out to our sales team on 01268 978660 or email [email protected].