Shipping to China: A US Merchant’s Guide

Published on March 24, 2022
Written by
Filed under Carrier Rates
Read time 8 Minutes

China is the US’s third largest trade partner, behind Canada and Mexico. Beyond manufacturing in China and their place as a central figure in world economics, there is a big demand for American goods in China and vice versa. As with any international market, China has its own set of rules and regulations regarding what can be imported. Being “on the other side of the world” also presents its own challenges of finding affordable shipping options. However, there are many ways to get your packages to China in affordable ways. 

Breaking Down: How to Ship to China

UPS International Shipping Options to China

UPS has a few shipping options that can ship to China. Two services they offer that work for more express options. UPS international shipping offers support for large, heavy shipments with a max weight of 150 lbs and combined length and girth of 165”. 

UPS Worldwide Expedited® 

UPS Worldwide Expedited® is an economical international shipping option that delivers to China in 3–5 business days. 

UPS Worldwide Saver®

Worldwide Saver® is a more economical shipping option that delivers from the US to China in 1–3 business days. 

USPS Shipping Options To China

The USPS has a few shipping options that let you ship to China. Though the USPS has had disruptions and cut services altogether to several countries, China does still have a few shipping options available that can send to China. It allows services weighing up to 70 lbs. with a maximum girth of 108”.

USPS First Class Mail International

Though a slow service with no real timeline for when final delivery will be made, First Class Mail International is one of the most affordable shipping options available for international shipping so long as the parcel weighs less than 4.4 lbs. 

USPS Priority Mail International

Currently, the USPS has suspended Priority Mail International to China. There is not currently a timeline for when it will be reauthorized. 

Priority Mail Express International

Though Priority Mail Express International  was previously suspended to China, the USPS has since allowed it again. This service takes 3–5 days to make delivery to most metro areas of China. 

Shipping to China with DHL

With DHL, shipping to China could not be any easier. This is why it is frequently used for express international shipping options. The maximum actual weight for individual shipments when using DHL Express is 150 pounds, and the maximum length is 118 inches.

DHL Express Worldwide

The only service to China available through ShipStation for DHL is DHL Express Worldwide. It is an affordable express option that delivers parcels in 1–3 days to most metro areas in China. 

GlobalPost Shipping Options to China

GlobalPost is an affordable shipping consolidation service. They offer discounted shipping rates within ShipStation. And if you have more economy or standard shipping needs for international orders, they make a great addition to your carrier portfolio. 

GlobalPost Economy International

This service functions similarly to USPS First Class International. As such, its maximum weight is 4.4 lbs. Furthermore, there is not an included delivery timeframe for orders. It can take a few weeks to make final delivery. But, as an economy option for shipping to China, its rates can’t be beat. 

GlobalPost Standard International

With a maximum weight of 70 lbs, GlobalPost Standard International generally takes 6–10 days to make final delivery to China. 

Shipping to China with FedEx

FedEx is a leader in global shipping. In fact, many other carriers utilize FedEx’s planes to help connect to their customers’ international geos. As such, FedEx has a few services that deliver to China. FedEx International allows parcels weighing up to 150 lbs. and maximum dimensions of up to 108″ in length and 130″ in length and girth.

FedEx Internatinoal Economy®

This is FedEx’s cost-effective option for shipping internationally. Luckily, they provide good delivery estimates. While the service usually takes 2–7 business days to make final delivery, it is usually on the longer end when delivering to China. 

FedEx International Priority Express®

International Priority Express® is FedEx’s quicker international shipping option. If it is available for the area of China you are shipping to, it will take 1–3 business days to make final delivery. 

Importing Goods to China

Fees and Duties

When importing goods into China, it is possible that you and the customer can rack up a substantial amount of import taxes and tariffs. To keep up to date on the current import fees and taxes, you can read this tariff list

Prohibited Items in China

There are many prohibited items that cannot be shipped to China. It’s best to check with for which items are not allowed to be imported into China or any other country you may be shipping to. Used clothing or foods containing certain chemicals or additives are among the more interesting banned items.  

How ShipStation Simplifies Shipping to China

Compare Shipping Rates

When shipping to China, or any other international location, the best shipping service for each parcel may not be as clear cut as it is when shipping domestically. Luckily, ShipStation has great discounts on a variety of shipping services and lets you compare the different services from all carriers to make sure that you are always using the most affordable and quickest shipping option for your parcels.  

Automate Customs Forms

With ShipStation, you can control your customs forms and international shipping just as you would with domestic shipping. This comes in handy when printing out the necessary paperwork for your outbound parcels and any tax information you need to pass to the carrier. Additionally, you can add customs information for your line items and automate whether you want to treat merchandise as abandoned or have it returned to sender in the event of non-delivery. Additionally, you pay duties on behalf of your customers if you’d prefer. 

To start saving on your international shipping, sign up for a 30-day free trial of ShipStation!

Written by

James Messer

James Messer is a copywriter specializing in shipping, logistics, and ecommerce.

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