Shipping from China to Canada



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


Table of Contents

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

If you manufacture goods in China for import into Canada, you have various shipping methods available to you, including express mail, air freight, and sea freight. 

Which of the three shipping methods is the best method for your goods will depend upon a number of factors, including: 

  • the type of goods being shipped
  • the load (size and weight) of the shipped goods
  • timing requirements
  • In addition to your budget

And no matter which method you ultimately choose, the absolute best way to ship your goods stress-free and on-time are by contracting a reputable China Freight Forwarder, like Guided Imports.

Using a freight forwarder has several distinct advantages over having your factory arrange shipment, managing the shipment yourself, or even using a Canada-based freight forwarder. These include:

  • You can leverage our high-volume rates that were negotiated for the Chinese market, giving you access to rates unavailable to you or any North American forwarder
  • We are experts in complex logistical requirements and can present you with a variety of shipping options to suit any timeline and budget
  • And perhaps most importantly, when you work with Guided Imports, we also offer a best-rate guarantee

Keep reading to learn more about the shipment options available to you in more detail.

Express Shipping from China to Canada

Express Shipping from China is a door-to-door service available from major global couriers like UPS, DHL, and FedEx.

Express shipping has several key benefits over air freight and sea freight, including:

  • The service is “door-to-door”, meaning no third-party logistics are necessary to move your goods from the factory to the departure airport, or from the arrival airport to the final destination 
  • Costs are “all-included”, meaning the quoted price is the final price and includes any customs duties and taxes
  • And as the name implies, express shipping is the fastest way to move goods from China to Canada

That being said, all this convenience and speed does come at a cost, with express shipping being the most costly of the three shipping methods available. Let’s look at those factors now in a bit more detail.

How long does China Express shipping take to Canada?

Express shipments from China to Canada can range anywhere from 1-4 days, with the cost increasing the faster you want your goods delivered.

How much does China Express Shipping to Canada cost?

The average rate for an express shipment from China to Canada will depend on the load (size and weight) of your shipment, with the most favorable rates being offered for shipments in excess of 200 kilos.

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 Canada

China Air Freight is the second-fastest shipment method between China and Canada. During an air freight shipment, your goods are moved by major airline carriers.

As with express shipping, air freight is the preferred option when you need your goods relatively quickly, and the best prices are offered on loads between 300 and 500 kilograms. 

That being said, air freight is not typically a door-to-door service, nor is it “all-inclusive”. When opting to use air freight,  it’s important to remember that you will also be responsible for: 

  • transporting goods from your factory to the departure airport
  • Customs clearance and duties upon arrival to Canada
  • Transporting goods from the arrival airport in Canada on to their final destination 

The primary benefits of air freight are its speed relative to sea freight and the ability to send fragile goods with less chance of being damaged in shipment. 

The primary disadvantages of air freight are its cost relative to sea freight, in addition to the added logistical and customs clearance requirements.

China Air Freight is a good option for shipments that you need quickly or are sensitive, and is most economical when shipment loads are between 300 and 500 kilograms.

Unless the air freight quote you request is “all-included”, air freight does not typically include: 

  • logistics from your factory in China to the airport, 
  • from your destination airport in Canada to the final shipping point,
  • customs clearance on arrival to Canada

How Long Does Air Freight Take from China to Canada?

Airfreight shipments from China to Canada are quick, with typical transit times between 3-10 days.

How much Does Air Freight Cost from China to Canada?

Airfreight costs between China and Canada can vary greatly depending upon the season, seed of transit chosen, current demand, and the type of load being sent. 

You can refer to the table below for current rates as of the time of writing (2021)

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

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

Sea Freight from China to Canada

China Sea Freight is the third and final option for importers wishing to move their goods from China to Canada. 

It is the favored shipment method when speeds are not the primary concern and/or the volume of goods needing to be shipped is too high to make airfreight economical.

When using sea freight, importers have two options available to them, less than container load shipments or full container load shipments. We’ll detail what each of these shipment methods involves next.

LCL from China to Canada

LCL, or less than container load shipments, are shipments that are sent in a shared container with other importer’s goods.

These types of shipments are ideal when the goods being shipped are between 1-15 cubic meters, and LCL shipments are almost always more economical than air freight.

FCL from China to Canada

FCL, or full container load shipments, are shipments where your goods are stored and shipped in your own container.

These types of shipments are ideal when your goods are in excess of 15 cubic meters, and various container sizing options are available to you with FCL shipments.


How Long Does Sea Freight Take from China to Canada?

Sea freight from China to Canada can take anywhere from 14-37 days. 

Exactly how long your shipment will take will depend upon a number of factors, including: 

  • the port of origin in China,
  • any export requirements in China
  • whether you are making an FCL or LCL shipment
  • the destination port in Canada, 
  • any import requirements and duties in Canada
  • and whether or not your shipment is port-to-port of door-to-door

That being said, we’ve created a handy table to give you a ballpark of how long can you expect your goods to take when being shipped between China and Canada by sea freight.

Shipping from Shanghai (CNSHA Port)

Shipping from Ningbo

(CNNGB Port)

Shipping from Shenzhen (CNSZX Port)

Shipping to Vancouver

14-16 days

23-34 days

26-37 days

Shipping to Montreal

25-27 days

26-37 days

26-37 days

Shipping to Toronto

25-27 days

26-37 days

26-37 days

How Much Does a Container Cost from China to Canada?

Container shipping costs from China to  Canada vary depending upon whether the shipment is port-to-port or door-to-door, in addition to the selected route. Here are the average rates as of the time of writing. 

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 Canada?

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

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 the Canada

Step 1: Contact a Freight Forwarder Based in China

The team at Guided Imports is standing by to pass-thru our high-volume rates with a best-price guarantee. 

Step 2: Get a Shipping Quote from China

We will inform you of all available options based on your load, speed requirements, and budget.

Step 3: Get China Freight Insurance

Make sure to always protect your investment from catastrophic loss, because it’s more affordable thank you think.

Step 4: Arrange Customs Clearance

Last but not least, make sure your goods have the proper documentation to leave China and enter Canada. At Guided Imports, we’re happy to assist with any arrangements you might need.

Useful Links

  1. China Customs
  2. Canada Customs

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