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There are kinds of delivery methods when it comes to shipping from China. But any type of importer or buyer you are, courier logistics is a must for the following two kinds of specific cases.

  • A sample or small quantity goods transportation needs a courier
  • Original shipping documents transportation need a courier

With express courier services, you get every package hand-delivered anywhere in the world within 1 week. No need to clear shipments personally if low value, such as under $2,000 for U.S. imports. Besides, you can save on freight charges for smaller package, even more competitive than LCL sea shipping.

As you may know, DHL/FedEx/UPS/TNT (FedEx acquires TNT on May 25, 2016) are the top 4 couriers of the world. All of them have a sizable share of the express market.

Though many Chinese sellers from Aliexpress or eBay choose China Post, Hong Kong Post or EMS as their first worldwide delivery option, the transit time are not so dependable. Especially you are waiting for the documents provided by China vendor, such as original B/L or Certificate of Origin for customs clearance and pickup.

Time cost and money cost are the two main concerns when you make a decision in international trade business. We had a post comparing what’s the delivery time of different carriers. The conclusion is there’s no big difference of the top 4. Normally all the delivery can be done within one week.

DHL/FedEx/UPS/TNT are famous brands known by people in every country. They have a worldwide shipping network. So choosing either one of them will never be wrong. But if there’s a chance for saving dollars, nobody says no.

So let’s just focus on the rates. If one is cheaper, we can take it as our primary choice. We’ll select the rate from the 4 official websites (all English version) for a comparison.


Rates comparison

Please note:

1. We are assuming some stuff ( ① an envelop with documents or ② a carton with samples) shipping from the same address in China to different countries. Some of the basic parameters are locking down as:

Origin Country: China
Origin Zip: 200001, Shanghai

Documents in an envelop: chargeable weight 0.1 kgs
Samples in a carton: chargeable weight 5 kgs, and customs value US Dollar $200

2. The destination countries we choose in this case study are:

  • 90001, Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 20001, Hamburg, Germany
  • 4029, Durban, South Africa
  • 20001, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • 2000, Sydney, Australia

They are from different continents, and picked randomly. We hope all our readers can have a easy reference.

3. Each courier may have different delivery variables and options to choose from, such as International First/Priority/Economy, so it’s difficult to make an apples to apples comparison. Since we have explained the time issue above (within one week), we’ll look only into the cheapest one.

4. All prices are calculated by each official tool online on the same day. Lower negotiated rates or discounted rates from any sources are not taken into account.

Let’s compare the published rates offered by the 4 officials.

Courier to United States

DHL

courier-dhl

Envelop price: CNY290.33 (USD46.69)
Parcel price: CNY1305.87 (USD210)

* The currency unit is only available for the original country. 1CNY=0.1608USD

FedEx

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Envelop price: USD53.53
Parcel price: USD200.29

UPS

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Envelop price: USD53.7
Parcel price: USD213.38

TNT

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Envelop price: USD55.14
Parcel price: USD259.45

We put the data into a table as below.

China - U.S.DHLFedExUPSTNT
Documents in an envelop46.6953.5353.755.14
Samples in a carton210200.29213.38259.45

Conclusion

If you are in America or Canada, try DHL/FedEx/UPS.

Courier to Germany

China - GermanyDHLFedEx,UPSTNT
Documents in an envelop49.5468.7075.6849.02
Samples in a carton236.28232.55257.39231.71

* UPS Worldwide Expedited has the lowest price of USD189 with time cost 10 days.

Conclusion

If you are in Europe, try TNT.

Courier to South Africa

China - South AfricaDHLFedExUPSTNT
Documents in an envelop87.0884.6254.33N/A
Samples in a carton394.43,246.86272.76N/A

Conclusion

If you are in Africa, try FedEx/UPS.

Courier to Brazil

China - BrazilDHLFedExUPSTNT
Documents in an envelop87.08N/A54.33N/A
Samples in a carton394.43N/A272.76N/A

* UPS Worldwide Expedited has the lowest price of USD189 with time cost 10 days.

Conclusion

If you are in South America, try UPS/DHL.

Courier to Australia

China - AustraliaDHLFedExUPSTNT
Documents in an envelop43.2646.7244.9643.66
Samples in a carton196.84132.13189.02198.42

* UPS Worldwide Expedited has the lower price of USD143.12 with time cost 9 days.

Conclusion

If you are in Australia, try DHL/FedEx.


10 tips from practical experiences

We work with top of the world’s most trusted courier companies, meaning you can always be sure that your documents, parcels or samples are in good hands, no matter how far around the world they are travelling.

A lot of people would think that international shipping is a complicated and expensive task before they come to us. This doesn’t have to be the case and you might just be surprised at how easy it is using the cheap courier services available from us.

We offer a range of postage options, so you can choose the one that best suits your package and bank balance. Besides, we’d love to share our experiences, but as you know, different destinations and unlimited weight/volume data make it harder to sum up many basic rules. So just a few below.

1. First of all, find a courier agent, hopefully us. As you may know, prepaid is always cheaper than collect. Prepaid through a broker, which is the super VIP of the carrier, is the key point to save money on courier shipping.

2. DHL vs. UPS

  • <5.5kgs, DHL win
  • 6-21kgs, UPS win
  • 21-100kgs, DHL win
  • >100kgs, UPS win

3. Courier to Southeast Asia, FedEx is the king, no matter small shipment or big shipment.

4. We don’t recommend TNT if you are out of Europe or Middle East.

5. Most big businesses just pick one carrier and focus on them, because it has much bigger discounts on pricing, while small and medium businesses tend to utilize two to three carriers to maximize cost savings.

6. Fuel oil surcharge / fuel adjustment factor range from 10% to 25%, and update on a monthly basis. So our quote can valid till the end of the month.

7. The total length (length+width*2+height*2) should be less than 330cm. And the weight should be less than 70kg per package for the best available rate.

8. Use reinforced cartons and take care of the packing quality.

Note: The carrier automatically weigh and laser scan dimensions of each package at their terminal and apply higher of weight or cube charges instantaneously. This means, even a small bulge in your cartons can lead to a significant difference in volume. And squeezing extra product into a box doesn’t help.

9. The trade term between you and your supplier should be FOB, which is for your best interest if other shipping methods, but EXW for courier shipments.

10. There are special lines for some specific destination and specific weight. Such carriers are not so famous, but also reliable and more cost-effective.


Our courier forwarding services

Besides the classic well-known big players, we also bring together the services of the world’s best carriers including specialized expresses and also Post & EMS. We offer everybody (business or individual) a really simple and cheap way to book worldwide delivery services out of China.

  • DHL
  • FedEx
  • UPS
  • TNT
  • China Post Air Mail (Weight < 2kg)
  • China Post Air Parcel (2kg < Weight < 30kg)
  • China EMS (Weight < 30kg)
  • Hong Kong Post Air Mail (Weight < 2kg)
  • Hong Kong Post Air Parcel (0.5kg < weight < 30kg)
  • ARAMEX to Middle East

We get to deliver dreams to every corner of the world, every day, with every package. We will select the most economical courier for you OR you can select your preferred carrier. With the express’s network and our big discount, it will be more easier for you to arrange shipments transportation whether the destination is located anywhere of the world’s 220+ countries and territories.

Amazon fulfillment center warehouse FBA

Optimize shipping solution.

We select the best carrier for each shipment to help our customers maximize their interests for best safety, price and transit time, also tailor-made services.

Pro-actively monitors your shipments.

We actively keep our customers update about shipment, and if there is a delay, we will be there to help it and solve it. The entire transportation process will be continuous monitoring.

Please be aware that any goods you purchased in China and send to another country, you are always facing the possibility of Customs issue, because you are liable to pay any inbound duties and taxes which local customs authority deems appropriate.

Meanwhile we will help you to reduce maximum the risk by choosing the most suitable shipping channel for you. Even when your package will be delay in local custom, we will help you to contact our carrier and solve the problem for you.

Courier Service Process

  1. You fill and submit our quote form with your shipping details. (Quote)
  2. You can expect the response within 12 hours.
  3. We discuss more, and come to an agreement.
  4. You or your supplier fill and submit our booking form. (Book)
  5. We contact your supplier and recheck everything needed, then book the space from the carrier.
  6. We or your supplier arrange inland delivery to our warehouse.
  7. We confirm the chargeable weight.
  8. You pay the shipping cost as we agreed. (Pay)
  9. We deliver your shipment to the courier (DHL/FedEx/UPS/TNT/EMS…).
  10. The courier handle everything and deliver to your door.

We’ll keep tracking your shipment and keep you updated till received.

By gaining access and understanding of your deliveries, we can help you reduce costs, improve service, minimize delays, reduce confusion and raise overall performance.


Wrapping up

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The cheapest courier selection is based on where are you located and how much weight you are going to ship. Besides, how much discount you can get is the key point.

You can negotiate with a rep. from a local branch in your country and arrange the pickup by yourself, but if you can prepaid, obviously the price will be more competitive. Just like the ocean shipping rates we have explained, work with a China forwarding agent will help you save both time and money.

As a leading global provider of express courier solutions, we provide our customers the highest standard international services from the world’s best carriers, but with a much lower price and a much easier way to do. Feel free to get an express quote from us.

Click to find more about our best sea shipping services and air shipping services.

— Last updated Dec. 8, 2016