Shipping from China to Singapore

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Written by the team at Guided Imports, this guide is here to answer all your questions as it relates to shipping from China to Singapore. 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 to for retail, high-growth e-commerce brands and FBA.

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Table of Contents

What is the Best Way to Ship from China to Singapore?

That’s a common question and there’s no one right answer. The best way for you to ship your goods from China to Singapore will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • How soon you need the goods
  • The size and weight (load) of your goods
  • What type of goods you are shipping
  • And of course, your budget as well. 
 

Depending upon these requirements, importers will invariably find that one of the below three options best suits their needs: 

  • Air Express
  • Air Freight 
  • And Sea Freight
 

While air express is the fastest and sea freight is slowest, the absolute best way to get the cheapest price when shipping from China to Singapore is to use a reputable China Freight Forwarder like Guided Imports. Why? Because our rates have been negotiated for the Chinese market, which means they’re far lower than a Singapore-based freight forwarder would be able to offer. Likewise, because we are experts in all things related to China importing, we’re also able to find more cost-effective routes and carriers for shipments than our competitors. 

Keep reading to learn more about shipping options from China to Singapore. 

Express Shipping from China to Singapore

Express shipping is the movement of goods via major global couriers like DHL, FedEx, and UPS. It is always the fastest way to move your goods between China and Singapore, and it also happens to be the most convenient. But this speed and convenience do come at a price, with express shipping being more expensive than air freight and substantially more expensive than sea freight.

Unlike air freight and sea freight, express shipping is a door-to-door service with costs “all-included”. This means when you select express shipping to move your goods from China to Singapore, they will be transported from your factory to their final destination by just the courier; no other third parties are involved. Plus, with express shipping, there are never any additional costs for things like customs clearance.

Yet, as we’ve mentioned, this convenience does come at a significant cost increase over air freight and sea freight. Especially for loads under 200 kilograms. That’s why we typically recommend importers based in Singapore only use express shipping for very small shipments, like receiving samples, or when you need your goods extremely fast. If those two scenarios don’t apply to you, then it is always advantageous to consider air freight and sea freight as alternatives.

How long does express shipping take from China to Singapore?

Express shipments between China and Singapore typically take anywhere from 1 or 2 days, door-to-door, and the cost increases depending on just how quickly you want your goods sent.

How much does express shipping cost from China to Singapore?

Rates are based on the load (size and weight being shipped), with larger loads being more economical. You can consult the table that follows for a snapshot of this month’s current rates

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↑)
S$9.23S$9.23S$9.23S$9.23S$9.23S$9.23S$9.23S$9.23

Air Freight from China to Singapore

A more cost-effective alternative when shipping goods from China to Singapore via air is China Air Freight. Yet, there are a couple of important considerations to keep in mind that make air freight different from express shipping. Those include the fact that:

1. Air freight is not a door-to-door service, which means you’ll be responsible for transporting goods from your factory to the airport in China, and again from the destination airport in Singapore to wherever you want your goods sent.

and…

2. Air freight costs are not “all-included”, which means you will be responsible for the above logistical costs, fulfilling any export requirements for China, in addition to paying any customs clearance fees or duties imposed on your goods by Singapore.

As with express shipments, air freight is the most cost-effective at higher loads, with the best rates offered for loads between 300-500 kilos. And it’s a great alternative to sea freight when you need your goods quickly, but not quite as fast as air express.

How Long Does Air Freight Take from China to Singapore?

Airfreight shipments between China and Singapore typically take anywhere from 2-6 days.

How much Does Air Freight Cost from China to Singapore?

Airfreight costs are highly volatile and can vary greatly depending upon the season, current demand, and the load being shipped. We’ve included the current rates (Feb 2021) in the table below for your reference.

45kg (↓LOW↓)45kg (↑HIGH↑)100kg (↓LOW↓)100kg (↑HIGH↑)200kg (↓LOW↓)200kg (↑HIGH↑)300kg (↓LOW↓)300kg (↑HIGH↑)
S$6.72S$8.96S$4.55S$6.00S$4.55S$6.00S$4.32S$5.80

Sea Freight from China to Singapore

China Sea Freight is the third, and most economical shipping option, when importing goods from China to Singapore. Yet, it is also the slowest, making sea freight the best alternative when:

  • Express and Air Freight are beyond your budget
  • You don’t need your goods particularly quickly
  • Or you are shipping very large loads to Singapore, or goods that cannot be transported by air

When selecting sea freight, various options are available to Singapore imposters, including LCL and FCL shipments. We’ll cover each of these methods next.

LCL from China to Singapore

LCL means “less than container load” shipments, and is when your goods are packed inside a container only with the goods of other Singapore importers.

LCL shipments to Singapore are ideal when the volume of goods is roughly 1-15 cubic meters. Loads larger than 15 cubic meters will require an FCL shipment, which we’ll detail next.

FCL from China to Singapore

FCL means “full container loads”, and is when your goods are packed into their own container for shipment from China to Singapore.

It’s ideal to use FCL shipments from China to Singapore when the volume of goods exceeds 15 cubic meters, and various container sizing options are available, including:

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How Long Does Sea Freight Take from China to Singapore?

Shipments made via sea freight between China and Singapore typically range between 4-10 days. Exactly how long a sea freight shipment between China and Singapore will take depends on a number of factors, including:

  • The shipping port selected in China
  • The shipping port selected in Singapore
  • Whether the shipment is an FCL or LCL shipment
  • Whether the incoterms used are port-to-port or door-to-door, with the latter typically taking a day longer

To follow, we’ve created a handy table you can reference that shows you average shipping times from China’s most popular ports to Singapore.

Shipping from Shanghai (CNSHA Port)

Shipping from Ningbo

(CNNGB Port)


Shipping from Shenzhen (CNSZX Port)

Port of SIngapore

4-6 days

7-9 days

8-10 days

How Much Does a Container Cost to Ship from China to Singapore?

Container or FCL costs from China to Singapore will depend on your incoterms, the route used and the type of container-buying shipped. Here are the average costs as of the time of writing (Feb 2021).

Container shipping rates from China to Singapore: 40’ container

Shanghai (↓LOW↓)Shanghai (↑HIGH↑)Ningbo (↓LOW↓)Ningbo (↑HIGH↑)Shenzhen (↓LOW↓)Shenzhen (↑HIGH↑)
SingaporeS$2,372.40S$3,163.20S$2,372.40S$3,163.20S$2,372.40S$3,163.20

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

How Much Does LCL Cost from China to Singapore?

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

Shanghai (↓LOW↓)Shanghai (↑HIGH↑)Ningbo (↓LOW↓)Ningbo (↑HIGH↑)Shenzhen (↓LOW↓)Shenzhen (↑HIGH↑)
SingaporeS$52.72S$79.08S$59.31S$79.08S$39.54S$52.72

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

How to Ship from China to Singapore

Step 1: Contact a freight forwarder based in China

Leverage our logistical expertise and high-volume rates. 

Step 2: Get a shipping quote from China

We’ll inform you of your options, depending on your budget, speed, and load requirements.

Step 3: Get China freight insurance

Avoid catastrophic loss. It’s affordable and the best way to protect your investment.

Step 4: Arrange Customs Clearance

At Guided Imports, we’re happy to assist with any arrangements you might need.

Useful Links

  1. China Customs
  2. Singapore Customs

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