How to Save International Shipping Freight Cost

Are you looking for a way to cut down your international shipping cost to earn more profit when purchasing from China? The following suggestions are recommended to you according to FSC's experience.



1. Consolidate Items & Ship Together.

As you may have known, most express shipping methods are having different prices on the initial weight and additional weight for small parcels under 20kg. And the initial weight price is usually much higher than additional weight price, so consolidating items into one parcel will help you save cost. If you want to ship multiple items to the same location, it's suggested to select those items together and click the submit shipping button once. This means these items will be shipped in one parcel and usually saves shipping cost and cut down the average shipping price.

Let's see how shipping cost consists of elements:

1. First Weight Price: First Weight Price is usually much much higher than Additional Weight Price. For EMS, DHL and ARAMEX, the first weight is 500g; for SAL and Air Parcel, it's 1000g; for airmail small parcel, it's 100g.


2. Additional Weight Price: Additional Weight price is much lower than First Weight Price. For EMS, DHL and ARAMEX, the first weight is 500g; for SAL and Air Parcel, it's 1000g; for airmail small parcel, it's 100g.


3. Custom Service Fee: It is charged based on ticket/parcel.

Take a parcel of 11450g as example:

The shipping cost for EMS to United States should be: 120(first weight price)+ 22*37.5(very additional 500g price is 37.5)+8(custom service fee)=953

If you divide into two parcels, let's say 5000g and 6450g, the shipping cost should be as follows:
#1) 5000g:   120+9*37.5+8=465.5
#2) 6450g:   120+12*37.5+8=578

The total cost should be 465.5+578=1043.5. Therefore, if you divide into two parcels, it's of 90.5 CNY higher than that in one parcel.

Be Aware: we usually suggest the parcel to be under 15 kg to avoid destination custom's attention. If it's higher than 15 kg, it will have higher rate of being opened and checked by custom, and higher taxes maybe charged.


2. Use Commercial Shipping/Courier for Wholesale Orders.

If your orders are for wholesale in bulk and there is No branded item, liquid, cream, chemicals, magnet or other sensitive items which are prohibited by most commercial shipping companies, you can consider shipping via DHL, Fedex, UPS, TNT, ARAMEX and other commercial shipping companies as they may be cheaper if the parcels are large and heavy and need to be delivered to your door in fast speed. However, you still need to be aware of the followings before using commercial shipping company's services:

a.) Branded Items, liquid, cream, chemicals, battery, magnet and Other Sensitive Items are not accepted. These items are trouble makers and may even cause your loss.


b.) Dimensional Weight will be calculated and my be adopted if it's higher than real weight. The way to get dimensional weight is: Dimentional Weight(kg)=Length(cm) X Width(cm) X Height(cm) /5000.  So if your item is light item but with large volume, you may probably need to give up the idea of using commercial shipping company as the dimensional weight will make the cost too high. Services from Post office (like China Post) are not considering dimensional weight and may be better for light items in this case.

c.) By default we use services from Hongkong commercial shipping companies, not China Mainland companies as the prices are completely different. Services from Hongkong are usually much more cheaper. So don't be strange that there will be some days of delay before the trace can be found with the tracking number.

d.) Don't make one parcel with too many kinds of items inside. If one parcel is containing too many different items, there will be too much information like HScodes, item names, materials, usage, quantity, single price, total price needed in the invoice. If there is anything wrong, even if it's to only one item, found by customs, there will be trouble or return, which causes loss. So we only suggest wholesale orders without too many kinds of items to use commercial shipping services.

e.) If the parcel's size exceeds the size limitation, additional fee will be charged. When shipping too large items, you need to consider this additional fee.

f.) There are more additional limitations and fees in different conditions. For example, if the destination address is out of the courier's coverage, they may charge additionally to deliver your parcel. You may need to consultant your local related shipping company site to learn more before using it.



3. Find Third Party Cargo Service.
When you are doing large import and export business, you may think the shipping cost of China Post and commercial couriers are too high to you, especially your items are very heavy or large but with low value. Third party cargo service or forwarding service companies are suggested in this case. Usually they will offer cheap air cargo and sea cargo(LCL or FCL) to you with competitive prices. Of course, you may also want to use their customs clearance services which are necessary in the whole export and import process.

Third party cargo service companies can be found by googling or in other ways, like business communities. You can find many and compare their services and prices before decide which one you want to turn to.

When you engage cargo service from third party shipping forwarder company, FSC will focus on the purchasing, inspection, repackaging jobs and later hand over your goods to your forwarder company to complete the tasks. For more details of the process, you may want to read:

4. Use Drop Shipping Service
If you are purchasing from China and going to sell to end-clients globally, why not have FSC to ship from China to your clients directly? This is Drop Shipping Service offered by FSC. You no longer need to ship your items from China to your warehouse and pay customs taxes and VAT. You can save this unnecessary shipping cost and taxes, and earn more. Of course, you business will also be run in higher efficiency because of the time saved. The following are the detailed advantages of using FSC's Drop Shipping Service:

Sale Tax or VAT (Value Added Tax) Benefits: You don’t need to pay sale tax or VAT locally. In most of the countries or states, you as an e-commerce seller, must incur the payment of the sales tax or VAT for each business for sending products from your resident warehouse. Using drop shipping means you can walk around this cost.

Avoid Duties: If you have a warehouse away in a different country, import duties will be applied at the border customs when importing bulk goods into the country for most made-in-china products. Eventually, you this will be an important part of your total business cost that you nee to consider. However, if your warehouse is in China itself and you are sending small packages directly to your individual end customers from China, the import duties are very likely avoided.

Minimize Losses: If you have to write-off your inventory and dispose your outmoded or seasonal products, the freight fees and all the taxes that you have already paid will convert into irrecoverable losses. However, if you keep these products in warehouse in China, you can save the wasted freight fees and taxes. They will never come to you.

Low Labor Cost: You can benefit from the lower labor cost in China, comparing to Europe and North America.

Sell More, Faster: As all operations are done in China, the time of exporting and importing along with shipping to your own resident warehouse are saved. Totally, you can make your business running faster, especially for those seasonal hot selling which is very time sensitive.


You can also refer to the following pages for more details:


Drop Shipping is especially very useful only when your end-clients are from all over the world. If your customer is from your own country, you may probably not consider it because of the timing of shipping to your end-client.

Tags:How to Save International Shipping Cost

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