Cheapest Shipping from China to Singapore

7 Practical Tips on How to Get the Cheapest Shipping from China to Singapore

Cheapest Shipping from China to Singapore

When shipping from China to Singapore, you have a lot to learn, certainly, to become an expert in freight.

Getting the appropriate means is a good start.

If you are considering ocean or air freight, ensure that when requesting for shipment quotes, you are choosing a good forwarding agent as well as the best price.

Contracting the services of a freight forwarder will help stay away from any problems, as they take over the management of the shipping.

But there is one crucial step before bringing forth a forwarder.

Singapore and China Bilateral Trade
Singapore China Trade

Before brokering an agreement with your seller, ensure that you are familiar with the chosen trade term.

Most buyers select incoterms without knowing the risks they are assuming.

Sometimes you can go scot-free with it, but the freight can become a nightmare, leading to losses.

Contracting a forwarder implies that you do not need to know everything concerning shipment.

But prepare yourself for the barrage of documentations that will ensue.

Always ensure that all paperwork is complete and correct.

Also, furnish yourself with a freight charges reference; do not admit to every surcharge and levy.

If you are considering continuous shipments, engage your supplier on the packaging alternatives.

You might be able to save on freight charges.

And insurance coverage?

You can conduct extensive research, but there is no need.

Bottom line is, ensure that you acquire comprehensive cargo insurance.

I would like to share with you these seven practical tips on how to get the cheapest shipping from China to Singapore and believe all the information provided will be useful in improving your supply chain management.

Which Shipping Method you can choose import from China to Singapore?

Different logistics means can make a huge difference both in freight costs and transit time.

Thus we at all times need to establish which medium will be the most economical one. Here the transportant you can choose:
· Regular Post
· Express Courier
· Air Freight
· Sea Freight

How to Choose the Right Shipping Container for your Cargo?

When importing from China to Singapore, you can select FCL or LCL in case your overall shipment volume does not satisfy one full container stipulations.

There are LCL destination charges, more than the amount you prepaid in most instances.

If you cannot meet a full container capacity, FCL shipping might notwithstanding be the best alternative.

How to choose a the right Incoterm ?

Depending on the incoterm you settle on, you can allow the supplier to manage the shipping of goods to

A convenient port in China, which FOB

A nearby port in Singapore, which is CIF

No further place other than their premises, which is EXW

all the way up to your final destination, which is DAP/DDU
In summary, we can divide it into two categories.

FOB and EXW implies you can use your freight forwarder and settle up for their services directly.

Other term implies your supplier uses a freight forwarding company of their choice and you still cover the cost.

What is the Sea Freight?

Sea shipping from China to Singapore can take a very long duration but can transport a large quantity of goods, which reduces the costs.

The variety of cargo you can ship is as well a prominent advantage of this mode of shipping.

That is why it’s prevalent and widely used means in logistics.

Regardless of the long delivery time, if you plan upfront, and have the patience to wait, shipping by sea will be your first choice.

The delivery period ranges between 5-10 days.

Sea freight can be cost-saving, especially, if you are ready to handle the customs clearance of goods.

Also, this the best method for transporting large purchases.

Tip 1: Choose the right Incoterm (Trade Term)

There are four common Incoterms 2010 used when buying from China to Singapore.

Your products prices will be quoted based on the trade term you select.

Principally how much of the shipping you pay the seller to manage your freight.

Commonly, you will find the term declared in the quote sheet or proforma invoice issued by your supplier.

If not, ask the seller to include it in the documentation to avert any dispute or confusion.

Incoterms 2010

Incoterms 2010

When you are comparing prices from different suppliers, ensure to base them on the same trade term.

For example, if seller A quoted FOB USD 5.5 per unit while seller B quoted EXW USD 5 per unit, it does not imply the price of supplier A is not more competitive than supplier B.

Majority of suppliers will quote FOB or EXW price at the start but are adaptable in offering different price founded on a different incoterm upon your request.

A quick suggestion

If you are fresh to shipping goods from China to Singapore, let the seller manage the haulage as far as possible.

Then you can concentrate on growing your business.

Simple but expensive.

If you have acquired enough experience, then you can take control of the goods transportation through a forwarding agent by yourself.

Simple and cost-effective.

It all depends on you.

I recommend you get in touch with a good freight forwarder as early as practical, particularly one with international shipping alternatives.

They can be useful in various ways, not only during the logistics process but equally in the supply chain management.

Tip 2: Consider Hiring the Services of a Freight Forwarder in China

Choosing the correct Incoterm and finding a Chinese freight forwarding agent to manage your consignment transportation will be beneficial to you.

The lower exchange rate, reduced labor cost, lower expenditures among other considerations, make Chinese forwarding company relatively cheap.

The circumstance here permits them to come up with the best pricing depending on your needs.

Freight forwarder

Freight forwarder

Furthermore, your Chinese logistics provider needs to be your partner.

You need to work with each other to boost the sustainability and growth of both businesses.

If your freight forwarder is only after getting money from you and not working for the best interest of both of you, that is not a good partnership for you.

Most international freight forwarding agents with operations in China will work with local Chinese transportation or logistics company due to their local knowledge and reduced costs.

Tip 3: Choose the Right Shipping Container for your Cargo

When importing from China to Singapore, you can select FCL or LCL in case your overall shipment volume does not satisfy one full container stipulations.

Sounds easy, but in my years of freight forwarding experiences, I have witnessed sad stories on how buyers are astonished by the invoice they had to settle at the LCL destination.

There are LCL destination charges, more than the amount you prepaid in most instances.

If you cannot meet a full container capacity, FCL shipping might notwithstanding be the best alternative.

LCL consignment larger than15 cubic meters attracts more cost than a 20 feet shipping container, even supposing half the container is free.

FCL LCL Shipping

FCL LCL Shipping

LCL allows you to smaller quantities of shipment whose volume is not large enough to qualify FCL a practical choice.

This implies your consignment will be put together with other cargo going to your destination.

The billing of LCL is dependent on the volume, fixed in cubic meters contrary to FCL, which always has a fixed rate per container.

LCL shipping is an economical way out for smaller consignments since you only need to settle up for the volume space used.

For the case of FCL, we use these three most popular types of container.

  • 20ft container = 20′ container = 20’GP
  • 40ft container = 40′ container = 40’GP
  • 40ft high cube container = 40’HQ = 40’HC

Types of shipping container

 Types of shipping container

Most businesses shipping from China to Singapore employ only these three standard sizes that constitute the majority of the container volume shipped globally.

As an importer, you should economize on your freight cost.

The price per unit product will be lower When you select FCL.

Some importers, nonetheless, only buy what they require.

Not only factoring landed cost, but as well avoid additional catalog that you might not sell.

If you are planning to ship a large number of goods frequently, then it would be wise considering FCL, as it has substantial economies of scale. Stick to LCL if your cargo is comparatively small.

Try to purchase FCL not LCL, and ONLY purchase LCL when your shipment volume is below 15 cubic meters, you should make this a basic rule.

Tip 4: Plan Ahead of Time

Last minute and holiday shipping are generally very costly.

If you want an express shipment with short deadlines, chances are you will incur extra charges.

Planning upfront not only enables you to evade over-paying, it also helps you enjoy some price cuts.

This can accord you time to arrange for storage in case it is necessary and generally make you more adaptable regarding selecting a carrier and tariff.

Planning a head implies you will have ample time to select the right transportation means, get a good forwarding agent and gives you and your clients better preparation.

Upfront planning will ensure achievement of all the other tips on how to get the cheapest shipping from China to Singapore.

Holiday effect

China exports peak season is usually the month prior to Chinese New Year (January).

And the third quarter of every year (between July to September) when traders ships goods from China for Halloween, back to school and Christmas.

Chinese holidays

Chinese holidays

The freight charges will be comparatively high during this period since a lot of shipments are awaiting dispatch.

You would better plan rightly as limited number of vessels and container will be available.

Nevertheless, you do not have to be keen on the effect of Chinese Holidays.

Everything will go on as usual save for this big festival – Chinese New Year.

Individuals will be away from work for approximately three weeks.

This big holiday may impact your shipping, so plan correctly.

You do not want to arrange any shipment during this period.

Tip 5: Work with local transport companies in both China and Singapore

So, how do you go about this?

·Work with a Freight Forwarding Company in Singapore for Convenience

Get the services of a freight forwarding firm of the right size, and one who cares about your business.

But majority of the forwarders do not usually have their office in China.

They always collaborate with Chinese agents and add their profit on top of the fee charged by that agent.

This is not an economical or efficient option, though it is the most convenient one.

· Work with a Freight Forwarding Company Based in China for Speed

Most importers shipping goods from China to Singapore have chosen this option – the advantage is speed.

Freight forwader in China

Freight forwarder in China

The freight forwarder can maintain close contact with your seller and keeps you updated on everything.

When an issue arises, your local associate will solve that as quick as possible.

· Work with a Freight Forwarder on Both Side, for Savings and Speed

Another alternative is to be in direct personal contact with every party.

This is the right option for small and medium businesses transporting shipment from China to Singapore.

It enables higher control level since it is worth fighting for every dollar you save.

You should at all times contract a third-party logistics provider whether it is you or the supplier who will handle the transportation.

Whether you work with a forwarder based in China or Singapore, when you get the right associate, stick with them.

Tip 6: Choose a Suitable Shipping Method

As with most trades, cost cannot be the sole factor, though it is usually a fundamental and determining consideration.

We are all in this and reaching every decision to assist our clients, and ourselves cut cost or make money.

Different logistics means can make a huge difference both in freight costs and transit time.

Thus we at all times need to establish which medium will be the most economical one.

Singapore airlines cargo

Singapore airlines cargo

· Regular Post

This means ordinary postal services which can take a duration of between 5-10 days to reach you.

If you are patient enough, this is the most economical alternative for small shipments, such as parcels and samples.

This method makes it possible to track and trace your goods online, though the information may not be updated promptly.

Though the regular post is an economical shipping method, we do not recommend it since it is difficult to find lost cargo.

· Express Courier

Shipping with a courier firm is the most appropriate method of shipping from China to Singapore for individuals new to the business.

Courier companies popular in China include UPS, FedEx, and DHL.

Courier service offers you an online tracking facility and fast delivery times.

Shipping by courier takes between 1-2 business days for the shipment to reach your destination in Singapore.

Even though this shipping method to Singapore is fast and dependable, the cost is more expensive than postal service.

· Air Freight

If your shipment has a weight too big for courier, for instance, 500kg, air freight might be the best option.

Air shipment cost will be significantly reduced compared to courier delivery.

Air freighting is suitable for goods that are not so heavy, and there are tight security control or strict deadlines.

Transit times differ depending on the airlines, schedule, though its is usually in the range of 1-2 days.

I recommend if the chargeable weight is above 250kg, you can settle for air freight.

If below 250kg, opt for international couriers.


Each shipping method from China to Singapore has its unique advantages, and it is often a blend of these shipping modes to have your China-sourced goods to your destination.

You should consider the time frame you want the cargo, the safety of your products, and commonly the biggest concern, the cost.

Shipping rates will constitute a larger proportion of your goods total landed cost.

Thus it is essential to ensure they are as modest as practical all the time.

However, on occasions, time is more critical than money.

The bottom line is balance. Select the appropriate mode after deliberating on the prevailing circumstances.

You will have to determine which aspects are crucial for your business to decide a winner.

The decision on whether air or ocean shipping is convenient for you could easily vary from shipment to shipment.

Tip 7: Properly Package and Insure all your Shipment

All these cost-saving will be in vain if you do not pack your goods correctly to avoid destruction, or if you incur damages yet the consignment is uninsured.

Proper packaging

Proper packaging

Make sure that the products have proper inner and outer packaging, seal and label.

Moreover, if you have not secured cargo insurance, your freight forwarder should at least propose it to you, and if they provide the service, broker the best deal with them.


Every shipping company from China to Singapore are under growing pressure to lower landed and shipping costs.

Economizing on freight cost leads to lower charges and happy customers.

I am sure if you follow these seven tips, you will definitely get affordable shipping rates from China to Singapore.

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