It’s no secret that the People’s Republic of China is a rising economic power, a serious competitor to the US. China is the world’s largest exporter, and is also a major importer of such commodities as medical equipment, food, and chemical products as well. The development of China’s domestic consumer market is a priority for the country’s government, and to export from the US to China is your gateway to this exciting commercial opportunity.

In the past decade, China has become both more open, and more compliant with international trade practices. It represents unprecedented opportunities for those seeking access to a huge and rapidly developing market. If you’re an exporter, then learning more about how to export from the US to China should be a priority.

Full Container (FCL) or Groupage (LCL)

Either a full container load (FCL) or a shared container-(LCL, a less-than-container load)-are your options when shipping a container to China.

Your shipping volume can help you make a choice here: you will need a full container load if the volume of your shipment is equal to six or more standard pallets. Ten standard pallets is the maximum capacity of a 20-foot shipping container; 22 such pallets can fit in a 40-foot container.

If you wish to avoid any risk of damage to your goods that may be posed by contact with other exporters’ goods, you should also go with FCL.

A shared container-groupage (LCL)-is a good choice otherwise. This allows you to pay only for the space you require. iContainers can provide you with information on rates and other important details.

Ocean Freight Routes to China

Maritime export and import activity is enormously important to the Chinese economy. Foreign trade has grown rapidly over the last decade and a half, and China’s many commercial ports reflect this. Major port centres include Dalian, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, and Xingang, but the following ports are particularly vital to exporters.

  • Port of Shanghai
    The Shanghai International Port Group manages this port, the busiest commercial port in the world; in 2014, it handled in excess of 35 million TEUs of goods.
    Three individual ports comprise the Port of Shanghai: Yangshan deep-water port, Wusongkuo, and Waigaoqiao. Among the most prominent of the numerous terminals featured at these locations are the Baoshan Terminal Branch (which handles bulk and general cargo); the Zhanghuabang Company (which handles iron and steel, containers, and heavy cargo); and the Coal Branch (which handles carbon, sand, and gravel).

  • Port of Ningbo
    The port of Ningbo-Zhoushan, as this is officially known, is located on the coast of the East China Sea, in Zhejiang province, facing Jiaxing and Shanghai. It is a modern, multi-purpose deep-water port, consisting of inland, estuary, and coastal harbors. Through this port pass most goods exported from Zhejiang, the country’s second most-important province. When Ningbo was merged with the port of Zhoushan, the result was a combined capacity of 17 million TEUs. The port features 309 berths and five port areas: Beilun, Zhenhai, Ningbo, Daxie, and Chuanshan.

  • Port of Hong Kong
    This deep-water port is managed by the Hong Kong Marine Department. The majority of its trade is in raw materials, containerized manufactured products, and passengers. All types of ships can berth safely in Victoria Harbor, famous for its deep waters and natural shelter. In terms of both traffic and volume, this is one of the busiest ports in the world. Substantial container throughput is handled by the River Trade Terminal at Tuen Mun, and there are nine container terminals at Kwai Chung, Stonecutters Island, and Tsing Yi.

  • Port of Shenzhen
    Shenzhen is a deep-water port located in the south of the Pearl River Delta in Guangdong Province. The port is divided into an eastern port and a western port that extend for around 160 miles along the coast of Shenzhen. The port hosts 39 shipping companies, making it one of China’s most important ports. A projected merger with the port of Hong Kong will make this the world?s premier commercial port.

  • Port of Qingdao
    Qingdao Port International manages this port, located in the south of the Shandong Peninsula. It handles more iron than any other port in the world, and more petroleum than any other port in China. It has a terminal dedicated to the handling of iron ore, as well as two container terminals. It is ranked among the ten busiest ports ever constructed, handling more than 440 million tons of cargo annually.

  • Port of Xiamen
    The Port of Xiamen is an important deep-water port located at the mouth of the Jiulongjiang River on the southern coastline of Fujian province. It is the eighth-largest container port in China. In 2013, Xiamen handled 191 million tons of cargo, including 8.08 million TEUs of containers. The world’s top 20 shipping companies have all established major shipping routes and operations in Xiamen. A total of 68 shipping routes serve over 50 countries via almost all the major ports in the world.

Air Freight Transportation to China

Air freight imposes some limitations on shipping in terms of volume and weight, but it may be more appropriate to your needs than ocean freight. This is especially so if you are working against a short deadline or with an urgent shipment. Consult the calculator provided by iContainers to help you determine which is the right option for you.