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Import from China to UK & Freight Forwarder China to UK

Global efficient sea freight forwarding services

Importing and dropship imports from China present tremendous opportunities for eCommerce.

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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 the profitable import of merchandise from China. For sea freight from China to the UK, we utilise the top shipping lines worldwide, including Maersk, MSC, COSCO, Evergreen, ONE, Hapag-Lloyd, and CMA CGM, ensuring your goods are transported with reliability and efficiency.

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.

Options for importing from China to UK

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

Courier from China to the 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.

Airfreight from China to the 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 for relatively low value but high volume goods and has a favourable environmental footprint. It is 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.

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

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

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’s 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.

List of Chinese Ports

We are friendly, easy to work with, honest and we do not charge the earth.

The quickest way to get help if you are 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 are 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 978666 or email

Kay Sherry
Kay Sherry
Simon Pool from Barrington freight was very helpful and door to door service to S.Korea was excellent, pick up and delivery services on time. I highly recommend Barrington Freight for air cargo services. Thank you Simon and the team! Kay
Daniel Gardner
Daniel Gardner
The team at Barrington where incredible at delivering our goods on-time despite the new Brexit regulations on goods being imported. We even didn't pay tax on the returning shipment coming back to German.
Drewit Studio
Drewit Studio
Brilliant service. Extremely helpful, and they supported us all the way through the process of transporting goods to mainland Europe, which for anyone who hasn't done that before can seem quite daunting. Would definitely recommend using this company.
Jason Scott
Jason Scott
Working with Barrington was brilliant. They really looked out for us, tackling our tough shipping/freight requirements keeping us informed at every stage of the process. Thank you
James Ayre
James Ayre
kept up to date with all progress, i know they had a particularly troubling time with import customs messing up paperwork but sorted all that out for me. highly reccomend will use again
Peter Seal
Peter Seal
Excellent company, very efficient and great communication. Competitive , quick quotes!
We are very satisfied, we would like to thank the team for this with an awesome rating! They handled the delivery of a very sensitive, valuable, gigantic pallet for us at a fair price and without any problems. I mean, out of 4 companies, only they were able to undertake it. Nothing is damaged! We recommend the company to everyone :)
Sophie Benge
Sophie Benge
Joshua at Barrington Freight is friendly and patient. Their service hassle-free and affordable compared to other freight forwarders.
Alex Burton
Alex Burton
Fantastic service from Barrington Freight. It was our first time exporting goods from the UK and it was very reassuring to have them manage the shipment. The process was made easy and hassle free and Simon was always quick to respond to any queries. I would highly recommend.
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Barrington Freight Ltd,
Bowden House,
Luckyn Lane, Basildon,
Essex SS14 3AX