What Methods for Shipping from China to UK? What are the Pros and Cons?

Table of Contents

sfcu 11

There are five shipping methods available for shipping from China to the UK, Express, air freight, sea freight, rail freight, and truck freight. They are all good, but each with its own pros and cons.


The air Express companies that can arrive in the UK are DHL, FedEx, UPS, TNT, etc.

sfcu 1

Among them, DHL and FedEx have price advantages for small shipments weighing 10kg or less.

While UPS and TNT have price advantages for shipments weighing 23kg or more to the UK.

Pros: Fast delivery, logistics time is very fast, DHL, FedEx, UPS can basically achieve within 5 days to sign for the goods.

While air freight takes more than ten days, sea freight takes more than a month.

sfcu 6

Cons: Due to the better logistics services offered, the freight rates are also more expensive.

Being the highest rate and the most expensive for the same weight among all shipping methods.

Suggestion: If you do not have very high requirements for logistics timeliness and security, it is recommended not to choose Express to the UK.

Because it will bear the more expensive shipping costs.

Air freight

The air freight that can arrive in the UK is cargo airlines, international parcels, Amazon FBA headway, overseas warehouse headway, and other air freight logistics.

sfcu 2

Cargo airline is cost-effective, the international little parcel is the lowest price logistics type in air transport.

Amazon FBA headway, overseas warehouse headway, is for cross-border e-commerce sellers to provide logistics services.

Pros: The timeliness is relatively fast, and it is the fastest logistics channel in addition to Express.

And it is also relatively low in price compared to Express, which can meet the logistics needs of different shippers.

sfcu 7

Cons: The timeliness and price are in the middle, and the timeliness is in the range of 5-20 days.

Which can’t meet the logistics needs of shippers with high timeliness requirements.

Suggestion: For those who do not have high requirements on logistics time and want to save logistics costs, you can choose international air freight to the UK.

Sea freight

Sea freight is divided into the fast and slow ship, the fast ship is faster but more expensive, the slow ship is slower but with lower rates.

sfcu 3

Shippers can choose the corresponding shipping channel for their own needs to ship to the UK.

Pros: Sea freight is the lowest price of the whole shipping method, low shipping cost, low maintenance cost, large capacity.

So the shipping price is very low, shipping UK can reach about 7-8 RMB per kg only.

Cons: The logistics time is super slow, it takes between 30-50 days to arrive in the UK.

sfcu 8

The time stability is very poor and is affected by the natural environment.

Suggestions: Sea freight is low in price and slows in time.

it is suitable for the use of goods with low requirements for logistics time and large volume, which can significantly save shipping costs.

Rail freight

Rail freight, using CHINA RAILWAY Express to create a logistics channel, able to ship to the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and many other European countries.

sfcu 4

Pros: Stable timeframe, low shipping price, able to send liquid and electrically charged items.

Cons: Slow logistics time, unable to deliver goods to the destination quickly.

Suggestion: Rail transport is good stability and sufficient capacity, and good performance in the peak season of logistics.

sfcu 9

Which is very suitable for shipping and stock preparation during the peak season of logistics.

Truck freight

Truck freight to Europe and then transshipment to the UK is a method of shipping that is similar in time and service to rail freight.

sfcu 5

Pros: Slightly faster timeframe than rail, with good capacity, can be used as an alternate channel for shipping.

Cons: The overall timeframe is slower than air freight and Express, and less block than sea freight and rail freight, which is not suitable for shippers with high timeframe requirements.

sfcu 10

Suggestion: Truck freight costs are low, suitable for reaching some countries in the Middle East, and can also be used as a backup channel for shipping to the UK during the peak logistics season.

0 0 votes
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Hi, I'm the author of this post, and I have been in the sourcing field for more than 10 years. If you are interested in importing from China, feel free to ask me any questions.

Connect with me ➜

Submit Inquiry

Tell us what kind of product you want to import from China. We will assign you an agent to reach out to you in a few hours.

The Newest & Hottest Products In Last Month

All your answers are in Yansourcing’s monthly report last month.
We picked up the most popular items from 1,000+ orders of our clients, to help you find your winning product.

yansourcing monthly report 2023

The Newest & Hottest Products In Last Month

All your answers are in Yansourcing’s monthly report last month.

We picked up the most popular items from 1,000+ orders of our clients, to help you find your winning product.

Note: Your private information will be kept strictly confidential.