Shipping from China to Australia


Written by the team at Guided Imports, this guide is here to answer all your questions as it relates to shipping from China to Australia. It covers everything from common methods used when shipping methods, timing, and costs. Keep reading to learn why we’ve rapidly become the preferred shipping agent from China retail, high-growth e-commerce brands and FBA.


Table of Contents

What is the best way to ship from China to Australia?

Shipping methods from China to Australia include express, air freight and sea freight.

Regardless of the method chosen, the best way to ensure a stress-free and on-time delivery, at the best rates, is by contacting a China Freight Forwarder like Guided Imports. 

Not only can we offer our customers high-volume rates, we can easily underquote Australia-based forwarders because our rates have been negotiated for the Chinese, and not Australian market. As a result, we have negotiated pricing that’s simply unavailable in Australia.That’s why we’re able to offer a best-rate guarantee.

Keep reading to learn more about your freighting and shipping service options from China to Australia.

Express Shipping from China to Australia

China Express shipping to Australia is offered by the major global couriers like DHL, UPS and Fedex.

As the most expensive shipping option from China to Australia, express shipping is best used for small loads, such as receiving factory samples, or highly-urgent items.

Express shipping services from China to Australia are all included, which means the price you pay includes logistics from your factory to the Airport of origin, transport to Australia, customs clearance, and logistics to the final destination. 

Due to the speed and convenience of China express shipping to Australia, it comes at a higher cost per kilo than Air Freight and is significantly higher priced than sea freight.

How long does China Express shipping take to Australia?

Express courier shipments from China to Australia can range anywhere from 1-4 days.

How much does China Express Shipping to Australia cost?

Express shipping is never cheap. But if you work with Guided Imports, we can offer you better rates than if you contacted the couriers themselves. This is thanks to our high-volume rates negotiated for the Chinese and not Australian market.

And that’s why we’re able to offer a best-rate guarantee.

At the present time, express shipping from China to Australia.

Less than 10 kg (↓LOW↓)Less than 10 kg (↑HIGH↑)Less than 100 kg (↓LOW↓)Less than 100 kg (↑HIGH↑)Less than 200 kg (↓LOW↓)Less than 200 kg (↑HIGH↑)300-500 kg (↓LOW↓)300-500 kg (↑HIGH↑)

Air Freight from China to Australia

China Air Freight is the preferred shipping method when you need your goods imported quickly or they are sensitive in nature. 

Airfreight is less expensive than air express and is almost always more expensive than sea freight. 

Air cargo from China to Australia is most economical when shipment loads are between 300 and 500 kilograms. 

Bear in mind that air freight is typically not “all-included”, which means logistics to/from airports in China and Australia, as well as customs clearance procedures and costs, fall on the importer. 

How Long Does Air Freight Take from China to Australia?

Airfreight shipping from China to Australia can typically take 3-8 days, depending upon the load, point of origin, and destination. The additional time when compared to express shipping is for logistics and customs clearance upon arrival to Australia.

How much Does Air Freight Cost from China to Australia?

Refer to the table below for current rates as of the time of writing.

45kg (↓LOW↓)45kg (↑HIGH↑)100kg (↓LOW↓)100kg (↑HIGH↑)200kg (↓LOW↓)200kg (↑HIGH↑)300kg (↓LOW↓)300kg (↑HIGH↑)

Sea Freight from China to Australia

China Sea Freight to Australia via sea lanes is the best option for importers whose goods are not needed quickly, and it allows considerable flexibility with regards to load. 

LCL from China to Australia

LCL (or less than container load) shipping from China to Australia is ideal for goods that are between 1-15 cubic meters. During an LCL shipment, your goods are consolidated with other shippers into a shared container.

FCL from China to Australia

During FCL (or full container load) shipping from China to Australia, your goods travel in their own container. 

It is the preferred method for importers whose load is greater than 15 cubic meters.

Container sizing options include:


How Long Does Sea Freight Take from China to Australia?

Depending upon the origin in China and destination in Australia, sea freight can take anywhere from 19-30 days. This varies depending upon whether the goods were sent FCL or LCL, and the vessels sailing schedule.

Sea freight from China to Australia can take anywhere between 25-60 days, depending on the origin and destination, the load, and whether or not the goods are being shipped port-to-port or door-to-door. 

The chart below shows the approximate shipping dates for the three major ports in China.

Shipping from Shanghai (CNSHA Port)

Shipping from Ningbo

(CNNGB Port)

Shipping from Shenzhen (CNSZX Port)


19-30 days

19-30 days

19-30 days


19-30 days

19-30 days

19-30 days


19-30 days

19-30 days

19-30 days


19-30 days

19-30 days

19-30 days


19-30 days

19-30 days

19-30 days


19-30 days

19-30 days

19-30 days


19-30 days

19-30 days

19-30 days

How Much Does a Container Cost from China to Australia?

During the peak season, the average cost of a container shipment from China to Australia is $4,500.

Shanghai (↓LOW↓)Shanghai (↑HIGH↑)Ningbo (↓LOW↓)Ningbo (↑HIGH↑)Shenzhen (↓LOW↓)Shenzhen (↑HIGH↑)

The quotes on this table are port-to-port peak season FCL shipping average rates

How Much Does LCL Cost from China to Australia?

View sample pricing for some of the more popular shipping routes from China to Australia.

Shanghai (↓LOW↓)Shanghai (↑HIGH↑)Ningbo (↓LOW↓)Ningbo (↑HIGH↑)Shenzhen (↓LOW↓)Shenzhen (↑HIGH↑)

These rates are port-to-port shipping averages for a load of 200 kg/1 cbm.

How to Ship from China to Australia

Step 1: Contact a Freight Forwarder based in China

Leverage our high-volume rates to Australia, to ensure a stress-free and on-time shipment at the best price guaranteed.

Step 2: Get a Shipping Quote from China

Let us help you find the best shipping option from China to Australia for your load, speed, and budget requirements. 

Step 3: Get China Freight Insurance

It’s affordable and provides peace of mind.

Step 4: Arrange Customs Clearance

Nothing is worse than having your goods stuck in customs, so make sure they’re packaged and labeled appropriately, and require all documentation for export from China and entry into Australia. Should you have any questions, the team at Guided Imports is here to help.

Useful Links

  1. China Customs
  2. Australia Customs

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