• FreightVP Support

Are You Making These Mistakes When Importing From China?

Updated: Nov 4, 2020

Since 2010, imports from China to the United States, or European countries, are up 69.7%. In fact, China has become largest goods trading partner, with imports of electrical machinery, furniture and bedding, toys and sports equipment and plastics leading the charge.

FreightVP certainly seen a rise in new companies getting into this market. While many take advantage of the Amazon platform to sell these imported goods, we’ve also seen several companies establish their own websites.

Mistake #1: Assuming You Don’t Need a Freight Forwarder

If you’re new to the import business, you’ll soon discover that logistics has a language all its own. FCL, LCL, drayage, consignees, detention and demurrage, transshipments, waybills, bills of lading—it gets complicated quickly. (And don’t forget about the eleven Incoterms!)

A professional freight forwarder or FBA prep center like Freightvp can help you navigate both the vocabulary and the logistics involved with shipping from another country, also save you a lot of cost.  For example, if you’ve accepted EXW shipping terms, how confident do you feel about arranging for a local carrier in China to move the shipment from the seller’s warehouse to the port? If you hire the right freight forwarder, it’s a walk in the park for them (and you!). It not only saves your time and also save your money as well.

So before you decide you don’t need the help of a freight forwarder, try a complimentary quote on your next project. In addition to saving you time, a good freight forwarder can leverage their expertise to help you find the most cost-effective way to move your goods.

Mistake #2: Underestimating Transit Times

When you try to arrange a shipment from China, you might hear an estimate of 12 days’ transit time. That might lead you to think you’ll have the shipment in your hands in 12 days.

Usually, that 12-day estimate starts the moment the boat carrying your goods leaves port. And also usually it means the 12 business days, which not counts the regular weekends. What it doesn’t take into account is:

The time it takes your goods to get to the port and get loaded onto the ship, which can take as much as a week.  The time it takes your shipment to get unloaded, reconsolidated and to its final destination, which can also take another week.

So instead of 12 days, you’re likely looking at somewhere around ~26 days from door to door. A good forwarder can help you come up with an accurate estimate that ensures you have the inventory you need to keep your business running smoothly.

Mistake #3: Ignoring the Possibility of Customs or Paperwork Delays

If your container is chosen for inspection by U.S. customs, your shipment can be delayed by anywhere from a few days or a few weeks. Additionally, incorrect paperwork can also cause your shipment to be held up until the errors are corrected.

Working with a professional freight forwarder or customs broker helps minimize the possibility of incorrect or incomplete paperwork. And while they also may be able to help reduce the possibility of customs inspections, sometimes it’s just the luck of the draw. Check out our service at FreightVP.

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