- Patrick Muir
- On November 2, 2015
- 0 Comments
When I first started sourcing product from China, I used airfrieght for shipping. I’m now using shipping containers placed on a boat. I changed my shipping method to lower my overall cost.
I’ve never done this so I had much to learn. Here are lessons I’ve learned from importing by boat from China:
- Be prepared to order large quantities of product: A good portion of boat container shipping is a fixed cost no matter how much product is ordered. This includes the freight and shipping, importer security filing, customs entry service, and overnight courier service. Also, you have to buy an annual bond that lets you import multiple shipments per year for one costs. If your suppliers can ship to the same port, you can spread the fixed costs over multiple factory orders.
- Suppliers typically have a specific port: Combining shipments from multiple factories is cheaper but a factory will have a specific port they typically send orders to. It’s difficult to get a factory to send product to a different port. I had to order two shipments because one factory went out of Shenzen while two others went out of Xiamen.
- Product arrives from China to the U.S. quicker than expected: The estimated time for delivery is 3 to 4 weeks; I expected a minimum of 8 weeks. The smaller time frame is just an estimate so I’ll see how soon my shippment arrives.
- Plan on doing a lot of paperwork: To be honest, I didn’t expect so much paperwork. Most of it was associated with the bond. Now that it’s done for the year it shouldn’t be so difficult the next time around.