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Sea freight from China

In this comprehensive guide, we’ve explored the ins and outs of sea freight shipping from China, covering concepts like FCL and LCL, calculating CBM, container types, cost efficiency, departure ports, necessary documentation, transit times, major sea ports, shipping lines, tracking containers, benefits and drawbacks, booking processes, handling dangerous goods, busy seasons, and alternative methods.

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FCL & LCL Sea freight

DDPCH offers both FCL and LCL options for your sea freight from China.

Low ocean freight Cost

Enjoy competitive pricing with DDPCH's ocean freight services from China.

Online tracking

ith DDPCH, track your shipment from China in real-time.

Widely shipping network

DDPCH's vast shipping network covers numerous destinations from China.

scheduling of cargo pick up/delivery

DDPCH allows flexible scheduling for pick-up/delivery.

Free Warehousing

Benefit from DDPCH's free warehousing services in China.

Door to Door Ocean Feright

DDPCH provides door-to-door ocean freight services from China.

Customs clearance

DDPCH offers assistance with customs clearance in China.

24/7 Customer Support

DDPCH's customer support is available 24/7 for your shipping queries.

Table of Contents
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What is sea freight service ?

Sea freight service is a method of transporting large amounts of goods using carrier ships. Goods are packed in containers and then loaded onto a ship where they will be transported to their destination. Sea freight is widely used in international trade, especially for goods that aren’t time-sensitive. This method of shipping is often much cheaper than air freight and is excellent for bulky items or large volumes of goods.

When you’re shipping from China, sea freight can be a cost-effective option, especially when you’re shipping heavy items or large quantities. China, being a manufacturing hub, frequently employs sea freight services to export goods to many parts of the world.

DDPCH is a company offering various shipping services from China, including sea freight. They specialize in door-to-door delivery services, meaning they handle the entire process from collecting the goods from the supplier in China to delivering them to the buyer’s doorstep. This can include customs clearance, paperwork, cargo tracking, and more.

Their sea freight service, like most sea freight services, usually takes longer than air freight but can be a lot more affordable, especially for larger shipments. They might offer different options for sea freight, such as FCL (Full Container Load) for when you have enough goods to fill an entire container, or LCL (Less than Container Load) for when you only have a few pallets of goods.

Remember, while choosing a freight forwarder, it’s essential to consider factors like the company’s credibility, service quality, pricing, and their ability to handle the entire logistics chain, from pickup and packing to delivery and customs clearance. The choice of the right shipping service can help your business run smoothly and efficiently.

Everything's about Full Container Load (FCL)

Full Container Load (FCL) is a term used in the shipping industry for transporting large amounts of goods via sea freight. It involves booking an entire container for shipping goods. Containers typically come in two sizes: 20-foot (holding approximately 30 cubic meters) and 40 – foot (holding approximately 60 cubic meters).

FCL is often used when there’s enough merchandise to fill at least one entire container. From China, FCL is a commonly used method of export due to the high volume of goods produced and exported globally.

Here is a table detailing the advantages and disadvantages of FCL:

Advantages Disadvantages
Cost-effective for large shipments High cost for smaller shipments
Lower risk of damage as goods aren't mixed with other shipments If not filled, wasted space can add to costs
Faster shipping times as no consolidation/deconsolidation is required Less flexible in terms of volume of goods
Greater control over the packing of goods Can be more complex to arrange and manage

When to use FCL:

  1. Large Volume Shipments: If you’re shipping large volumes of goods and can fill an entire container, FCL is more cost-effective.
  2. Time Sensitivity: If you want to avoid delays from consolidation and deconsolidation, FCL can be faster as the entire container is devoted to your goods.
  3. Risk Minimization: FCL might be better if your goods are fragile or high-value since the risk of damage is reduced when not sharing the container with other goods.
  4. Consistent Shipping: If you consistently have the same volume of goods to ship, FCL can be more efficient and straightforward to manage.

On the other hand, if your shipment volume is not sufficient to fill a whole container, you might want to consider Less than Container Load (LCL), where you share container space with other shipments. LCL can be more cost-effective for smaller shipments, but it may also come with longer transit times due to the need for consolidation and deconsolidation.

Everything's about Less than a Container Load (LCL)

Less than Container Load (LCL) is a term used in the shipping industry for transporting goods that do not fill an entire container. With LCL, several smaller shipments from different shippers are consolidated into one container for the journey. Upon arrival at the destination port, the container is deconsolidated, and the individual shipments are delivered to their respective recipients.

LCL shipping is common for importers and exporters in China that do not have enough cargo to fill an entire container.

Here’s a table outlining the advantages and disadvantages of LCL:

Advantages Disadvantages
Cost-effective for smaller shipments May be more expensive per unit for larger shipments
Flexibility in shipping smaller volumes and not having to wait to fill an entire container Potential for longer transit times due to consolidation/deconsolidation
Less capital tied up in inventory Higher risk of damage or loss due to handling during consolidation/deconsolidation
Ideal for businesses that need to ship products frequently and in smaller quantities Greater potential for delays due to dependencies on other shipments

When to use LCL:

  1. Small Volume Shipments: If the volume of goods you’re shipping isn’t enough to fill an entire container, LCL can be more cost-effective.
  2. Frequent Shipping: If you need to ship goods frequently and in smaller quantities, LCL provides the flexibility you need without having to wait until you have enough goods for a Full Container Load (FCL).
  3. Lower Capital Requirement: If you’re a smaller business with less capital, LCL allows you to ship smaller quantities of products, meaning you have less money tied up in inventory.
  4. Testing New Markets: If you’re testing a new product or a new market, LCL allows you to ship smaller quantities initially.

However, if your shipment is large enough to fill an entire container, you might want to consider FCL, which can be more cost-effective for larger shipments, faster, and pose less risk of damage to your goods.

FCL or LCL which one is the best option for you?

Choosing between Full Container Load (FCL) and Less than Container Load (LCL) largely depends on the volume of your shipment, your budget, your time frame, and the nature of the goods being shipped. There isn’t a definitive answer to which is “better,” as it will vary based on the individual needs of the shipper.

Here’s a table comparing FCL and LCL:

Comparison Criteria Full Container Load (FCL) Less than Container Load (LCL)
Cost More cost-effective for larger volumes. You pay for the full container, regardless of whether you fill it completely or not. More cost-effective for smaller volumes. You pay for the space you use in the container.
Transit Time Generally quicker, as there's no need for consolidation or deconsolidation. Usually longer transit time due to consolidation at origin and deconsolidation at destination.
Risk of Damage Lower risk as goods are not handled as frequently, and you don't share the container with other shipments. Higher risk of damage or loss due to more handling during consolidation and deconsolidation.
Flexibility Less flexible. Best for consistent, high-volume shipments. More flexible. Good for inconsistent volumes and smaller, more frequent shipments.
Capital Tied in Inventory More capital tied up in inventory as it's better suited to larger shipments. Less capital tied up in inventory, suited for businesses with less capital or those wanting to ship smaller quantities.
Shipment Size Best for large shipments that can fill at least one container (either 20ft or 40ft). Best for smaller shipments that wouldn't fill a standard 20ft container.

Remember that these are general comparisons, and the specifics can change based on various factors, including the freight forwarder’s policies, the nature of the goods, and the exact shipment sizes. It’s best to consult with a logistics expert or freight forwarder, like DDPCH or others, to make the best decision based on your specific circumstances.

How calculate CBM in sea shipping service?

CBM stands for cubic meter, and it is the standard unit used to calculate the volume of packages in sea freight shipping. It helps to calculate the amount of space a package will take up in a container ship.

Here’s how to calculate CBM:

  1. Measure the length, width, and height of your package in meters. These measurements should include any packaging and crating.
  2. Multiply these three measurements (length, width, height) together. This gives you the volume of your package in cubic meters.

The formula is: CBM = Length (m) x Width (m) x Height (m)

Let’s walk through a real-world example:

Suppose you have a package that is 2 meters long, 1.5 meters wide, and 1 meter high. To find the CBM of the package, you would multiply these measurements together:

CBM = 2m (Length) x 1.5m (Width) x 1m (Height) = 3 cubic meters

This means that your package will take up 3 cubic meters of space in a shipping container.

If you’re measuring in centimeters, you’ll need to convert to meters as there are 100 cm in a meter. So if your package is 200 cm long, 150 cm wide, and 100 cm high:

Length = 200 cm = 2 m Width = 150 cm = 1.5 m Height = 100 cm = 1 m

Then you proceed with the calculation as above.

This CBM calculation is essential in determining how much you’ll need to pay for your sea freight shipping, as shipping costs are often based on the volume of goods being shipped. Keep in mind, though, that many shipping companies have minimum volume requirements, so even if your goods take up less space, you may still be charged a minimum volume fee.

All Type of container ( 2024 UPDATE)

In sea freight shipping, there are several types of containers used to transport different kinds of goods. The most commonly used container types include:

  1. Standard Dry Storage Container: These are the most common types of shipping containers, used for dry goods that do not require any temperature control. They are typically available in 20ft, 40ft, and sometimes 10ft lengths.
  2. High Cube Dry Storage Container: These are similar to the standard containers but with an extra foot in height for more volume. They are typically available in 40ft and sometimes 45ft lengths.
  3. Reefer (Refrigerated) Container: These are temperature-controlled containers used for shipping perishable goods like fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and meat. They are typically available in 20ft and 40ft lengths.
  4. Open Top Container: These containers have a convertible top that can be removed to make room for goods that are taller than the container height. They are typically available in 20ft and 40ft lengths.
  5. Flat Rack Container: These containers have sides that can be folded to accommodate oversized goods, like machinery or large vehicles. They are typically available in 20ft and 40ft lengths.

Here’s a comparison table for these container types along with their approximate sizes, loading CBM, and maximum weight:

Container Type Size (Length x Width x Height in ft) Maximum Load (CBM) Maximum Weight (KG)
Standard Dry Storage (20ft) 20 x 8 x 8.5 Approx. 33 CBM 28,000 KG
Standard Dry Storage (40ft) 40 x 8 x 8.5 Approx. 67 CBM 28,000 KG
High Cube Dry Storage (40ft) 40 x 8 x 9.5 Approx. 76 CBM 28,000 KG
Reefer (20ft) 20 x 8 x 8.5 Approx. 27 CBM 28,000 KG
Reefer (40ft) 40 x 8 x 8.5 Approx. 59 CBM 28,000 KG
Open Top (20ft) 20 x 8 x 8.5 Approx. 31 CBM 28,000 KG
Open Top (40ft) 40 x 8 x 8.5 Approx. 65 CBM 28,000 KG
Flat Rack (20ft) 20 x 8 x 8.5 Varies based on load 28,000 KG
Flat Rack (40ft) 40 x 8 x 8.5 Varies based on load 28,000 KG

Note: The maximum load and weight for Flat Rack Containers can vary greatly depending on the size and weight of the cargo, and the specific restrictions of the shipping company.

These are typical values, but exact dimensions and capacity can vary slightly depending on the container manufacturer and the shipping line. Always verify with your freight forwarder or shipping line for exact specifications.

Why is ocean freight the cheapest shipping method?

Ocean freight is typically the cheapest method of shipping large quantities of goods, especially from manufacturing hubs like China, due to a few reasons:

  1. Capacity: Ships can carry massive amounts of goods at once, much more than planes or trucks. The cost of the journey can therefore be divided among many more units, bringing down the cost per unit.
  2. Fuel Efficiency: Per ton-mile (a unit of freight transportation which is a ton of freight moved one mile), ships are more fuel-efficient than planes or trucks, which reduces costs.
  3. Infrastructure: Sea freight has a well-established infrastructure globally, which allows for economies of scale.

To understand the cost comparison between different modes of transport, it’s important to note that prices can vary greatly depending on the exact origin, destination, and the nature of the goods. However, we can provide a broad comparison.

Let’s assume we are shipping 1 cubic meter (CBM) of generic cargo from Shenzhen, China to Los Angeles, USA:

Shipping Method Approximate Cost
Sea Freight (FCL/LCL) $100 - $200
Air Freight $600 - $1,200

Remember, while sea freight is usually cheaper, it’s also slower than air freight. If speed is crucial, air freight may be a better option despite the cost. Road freight is mostly used for domestic shipping or shipping within the same continent where road networks are accessible. Always consider your specific needs in terms of cost, speed, and reliability when choosing a shipping method.

Port of Departure in China – How to choose?

Choosing the right port of departure in China is a critical decision that can impact both your shipping costs and transit time. As a team at DDPCH, we’re here to provide you with guidance on how to make this decision effectively. Here are some key factors to consider:

  1. Proximity to Supplier: The closer your supplier or manufacturer is to the port of departure, the lower your domestic transport costs will be. So, it’s important to consider where your goods are being manufactured or sourced.
  2. Port Infrastructure and Capacity: Some ports have better infrastructure and higher capacity, leading to more frequent shipping schedules and potentially faster transit times. China’s biggest ports like Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Ningbo-Zhoushan are examples of such ports.
  3. Destination Port Compatibility: Not all shipping routes are available from every port. You must ensure that the port you choose has direct routes to your destination port. Direct routes can lead to faster transit times and lower costs.
  4. Shipping Costs: Different ports may have different shipping costs based on the factors mentioned above and the specific shipping lines operating at each port. It’s important to compare these costs when choosing your port of departure.
  5. Customs Procedures and Regulations: Some ports may have more streamlined customs procedures, which can reduce delays and make the shipping process smoother.

At DDPCH, we suggest you assess all these factors carefully. Communicate with your supplier or manufacturer about the best port options based on their location. If they frequently export goods, they might have some recommendations based on past experiences.

It’s also worth considering engaging the services of a trusted freight forwarder like DDPCH. Our expertise and knowledge of Chinese ports can help streamline your shipping process, and we can provide advice on the best port of departure based on your specific requirements. We have a comprehensive network across all major Chinese ports, and we can provide efficient and reliable shipping services, whether you’re shipping via FCL, LCL, or other methods.

Remember, the cheapest option isn’t always the best. It’s important to strike a balance between cost, transit time, and the reliability of the shipping route when choosing your port of departure.

Necessary documents for a sea freight quotation

As the DDPCH team, we understand how crucial it is to have all the necessary documents ready for a seamless sea freight quotation process. The correct documentation is vital because it contains information that can affect the shipping cost, customs clearance, and overall shipping procedure. Here’s a table outlining the primary documents you’ll need for a sea freight quotation, along with an explanation of why each document is important:

Document Importance
Commercial Invoice A commercial invoice is critical as it details the value of the goods being shipped, which is essential for calculating duties and taxes.
Packing List This provides details about the exact contents of your shipment, including weight and dimensions, which are necessary for determining the cost of shipping and for customs clearance.
Bill of Lading (B/L or BoL) This is a contract between the owner of the goods and the carrier. For sea freight, it serves as a receipt issued by the carrier confirming they've received the goods and have a contract from the shipper to carry them to the specified destination.
Import/Export License Some goods require an import/export license for being transported across borders. This document is necessary to prove you are legally allowed to ship these goods.
Certificate of Origin (CoO) This certificate is essential as it states the country in which the goods are manufactured. This can affect the amount of duty you have to pay, depending on trade agreements between countries.
Insurance Certificate If your goods are insured, this certificate is proof and provides details about the coverage. Insurance is highly recommended for protecting your investment.

Before you begin the sea freight quotation process, please make sure you have all of these documents prepared. Missing or incorrect documentation can lead to delays, extra costs, or even refusal of shipment. Our team at DDPCH is here to assist you in understanding these requirements and navigating the complexities of international shipping. We strive to make your shipping experience as smooth as possible. If you need any further clarification or assistance, feel free to reach out to us. We’re here to help!

Transit time in sea freight service from China ( 2024 UPDATE )

As part of the DDPCH team, we understand how crucial it is for you to plan your shipping process effectively. The transit time can be affected by a variety of factors, and estimating it correctly is key to ensuring a smooth shipping experience.

Here is an estimated transit time table for both FCL and LCL shipping services from China to 30 different countries. Please note that these are approximate times and actual transit times can vary based on several factors:

Country Estimated Transit Time for FCL (Days) Estimated Transit Time for LCL (Days)
USA (West Coast) 14-20 20-25
USA (East Coast) 22-28 30-36
Canada (Vancouver) 15-21 20-25
Canada (Montreal) 25-30 30-36
Australia 20-Dec 18-24
New Zealand 15-21 21-27
UK 25-32 30-38
Germany 28-34 35-42
France 28-34 35-42
Spain 28-34 35-42
Italy 27-32 33-38
Netherlands 26-32 32-38
Poland 30-36 36-43
Sweden 28-34 35-42
Norway 28-34 35-42
Finland 29-35 36-43
Denmark 28-34 35-42
India 14-20 18-25
Thailand 7-May 14-Sep
Singapore 7-May 14-Sep
Malaysia 7-May 14-Sep
Indonesia 9-Jun 15-Oct
Japan 8-May 14-Sep
South Korea 8-May 14-Sep
UAE 15-21 20-26
Saudi Arabia 18-23 23-28
South Africa 25-30 30-36
Brazil 30-35 35-40
Argentina 32-38 38-44
Chile 30-35 35-40

Factors that affect sea freight transit times include:

  1. Route and Distance: Naturally, longer distances take longer to cover. Moreover, some routes may require the ship to pass through congested areas or make multiple stops, which can add to the transit time.
  2. Weather Conditions: Adverse weather conditions can slow down ships or even force them to wait until it’s safe to proceed.
  3. Port Congestion: If the port is busy, it can take longer for the ship to unload and reload, increasing the transit time.
  4. Customs Clearance: If the customs clearance process is slow or there are issues with the documentation, it can lead to delays.

Here are a few ways to save time:

  1. Choose Direct Routes: If possible, choose routes that are more direct and have fewer stops.
  2. Prepare Documents Properly: Proper and complete documentation can speed up the customs clearance process.
  3. Choose Less Busy Ports: If possible, choose ports that are less congested to avoid delays.
  4. Work with a Reliable Shipping Company: A reliable shipping company like DDPCH can help

Major Sea ports in China ( Full Guide )

Here’s a list of 30 major sea ports in China along with their respective port codes and cities. Each port serves as a significant hub for international trade, offering different advantages based on their geographical location, accessibility, and the infrastructure available.
Sea Port Port Code City Brief Description
Port of Shanghai CNSHA Shanghai The busiest port in the world in terms of cargo tonnage, it's strategically located in the Yangtze River Delta which makes it highly accessible.
Port of Shenzhen CNSZN Shenzhen One of the busiest and fastest growing ports in China, it serves the Pearl River Delta region.
Port of Ningbo-Zhoushan CNNGB Ningbo/Zhoushan This port is known for its heavy traffic in cargo tonnage, particularly in crude oil and ore.
Port of Hong Kong HKHKG Hong Kong One of the busiest ports globally, it's a major hub for transshipments and the gateway to mainland China.
Port of Guangzhou CNGZU Guangzhou Serving the Pearl River Delta, it's a major end destination for goods rather than a transshipment point.
Port of Qingdao CNTAO Qingdao Located in the Yellow Sea, it is one of the busiest ports in the world and a major hub for northern China.
Port of Tianjin CNTXG Tianjin This port is the maritime gateway to Beijing, making it crucial for supply chains aiming for this region.
Port of Dalian CNDLC Dalian It is the most northern ice-free port in China and a major hub for oil, bulk grain, and various other goods.
Port of Xiamen CNXMN Xiamen A large deep-water port on the Taiwan Strait, it's particularly significant for container shipping.
Port of Suzhou CNSZH Suzhou One of the busiest inland river ports in the world, it serves the region around the Yangtze River Delta.
Port of Lianyungang CNLYG Lianyungang As the eastern end of the New Eurasia Land Bridge, it serves as a gateway connecting many Chinese provinces to the Pacific.
Port of Yantai CNYTN Yantai Located on the northern coast of the Shandong Peninsula, it is a natural deep-water port.
Port of Yingkou CNYIK Yingkou Known for its advanced handling equipment, it's one of the key ports in northeast China.
Port of Rizhao CNRZH Rizhao An important port for coal transportation, it is strategically located on the Shandong Peninsula.
Port of Tangshan CNTSN Tangshan Located on the Bohai Sea, it's one of China's fastest growing ports due to its rich resources.
Port of Zhanjiang CNZHA Zhanjiang This port is important for iron ore imports, serving the heavy industry in central China.
Port of Jiaozhou CNJIA Jiaozhou A key logistics hub for northern China, it handles various types of cargo.
Port of Weifang CNWEF Weifang This port is known for handling bulk agricultural products and coal.
Port of Fangchenggang CNFAN Fangchenggang An important port for ore and energy resources, it's located in the southwestern region of China.
Port of Dongguan CNDGM Dongguan Serving the Pearl River Delta, it's an important port for container and bulk shipping.
Port of Zhuhai CNZUH Zhuhai Located in the Pearl River Delta, it's a key hub for the southern Chinese region.
Port of Taizhou CNTZO Taizhou Located on the Yangtze River, it's a crucial port for the chemical industry.
Port of Qinhuangdao CNQHD Qinhuangdao This port is known for its coal transportation, serving the energy needs of northern China.
Port of Wenzhou CNWNZ Wenzhou Situated on the Ou River, it's an important port for southern China.
Port of Yangzhou CNYZH Yangzhou Located on the Yangtze River, it's a busy inland port serving central China.
Port of Jiangmen CNJMN Jiangmen This port is a significant hub for container shipping in the Pearl River Delta region.
Port of Nantong CNNTG Nantong Located on the Yangtze River, it's an important port for general and bulk cargo.
Port of Cangzhou CNCZH Cangzhou This port is a key logistics hub in the Hebei province and is known for handling various types of cargo.
Port of Quanzhou CNQZJ Quanzhou Located on the Taiwan Strait, it is a vital port for bulk and general cargo.
Port of Fuzhou CNFOC Fuzhou Located on the southeast coast of China, it's an important gateway for trade with Taiwan.

These ports are key nodes in the international shipping network, connecting China with the rest of the world. Your choice of port would depend on factors such as proximity to your supplier or buyer, type of cargo, shipping costs, and other specific requirements. As a reliable shipping partner, DDPCH can help you navigate these decisions, ensuring that your shipping needs are met efficiently and effectively.

Major sea shipping line in China

China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO)

Number of Ships: Approximately 1,330
Head Office: Beijing
Brief Overview: COSCO is one of the largest container shipping companies globally, offering services in over 160 countries. It was established in 1961 and has since grown to become a world-leading shipping company.

China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL)

Number of Ships: Merged with COSCO
Head Office: Shanghai
Brief Overview: CSCL was a major global shipping line, but it merged with COSCO in 2016 to form China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited, now one of the largest global shipping companies.

Pacific International Lines (PIL)

Number of Ships: Approximately 150
Head Office: Singapore (though not based in China, PIL is a major player in the Asia-Pacific region)
Brief Overview: Founded in 1967, PIL is the largest ship-owner in Southeast Asia and a major player in the region. It provides container liner services and multi-purpose services at over 500 locations worldwide.

Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation

Number of Ships: Approximately 101
Head Office: Keelung, Taiwan (though not based in mainland China, Yang Ming is a significant player in the region)
Brief Overview: Established in 1972, Yang Ming provides services in over 70 countries, and its service scope covers over 170 service points.

Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL)

Number of Ships: Approximately 59
Head Office: Hong Kong
Brief Overview: OOCL, established in 1969, is one of the world’s largest integrated international container transportation and logistics companies.

Understanding these peak periods and planning ahead can help you mitigate their impact. By working with an experienced freight forwarder like DDPCH, you can navigate these peak periods and ensure your goods reach their destination in a timely manner.

Track container in sea shipping service

Tracking a container that’s being shipped from China, or any other location, involves several steps and can typically be done through the shipping line’s website or a global container tracking service. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Obtain your Container Number The first thing you need is your container number, a unique identification code assigned to every container. It’s typically a combination of 4 letters (which represent the shipping line) followed by 6-7 digits. This number should be provided by your freight forwarder or the shipping line.

Step 2: Visit the Shipping Line’s Website or a Global Container Tracking Service Go to the website of the shipping line transporting your goods. This is usually the quickest and most reliable way to track your container. However, if for some reason you can’t use the shipping line’s website, there are several global container tracking services available online.

Step 3: Enter Your Container Number Look for a field labeled “Track & Trace,” “Cargo Tracking,” or something similar. Enter your container number in this field. Ensure you’ve entered the correct number, as an incorrect or incomplete number won’t yield results.

Step 4: Check the Status of Your Shipment After entering your container number, the website should provide you with the status of your container, including the current location, the expected arrival date at the next port, and the estimated delivery date at the destination.

Please note that while this method generally works, the availability and accuracy of the information can vary based on the shipping line and the specific voyage your container is on. Additionally, please be aware that tracking information may not be updated immediately, and there may be some lag time between when an event occurs (like the container being loaded onto a ship) and when that information appears in the tracking system.

Remember, a good freight forwarder or shipping company, like DDPCH, will provide you with all necessary information, including the container number, and guide you through the process of tracking your shipment, ensuring a smooth and worry-free experience.

below is a list of some useful websites that offer global container tracking services:

Website Description
Marine Traffic Offers real-time AIS tracking of ships worldwide. It also provides expected arrival and departure times of the vessels.
Track-Trace Allows you to track your container by inserting the container number. It supports multiple shipping lines.
Cargo From China Provides a platform to track your shipment from China by entering the container number.
World Cargo Tracking Lets you track cargo via container number across several shipping lines. Offers worldwide container tracking service for all shipping lines.
Vessel Finder Provides worldwide vessel tracking based on AIS data.
Container Tracking A free tool to check the status of your shipped container.
Seabooker Another free platform that provides tracking for various shipping lines.

Sea freight benefits ( Why use? , Why not use? )

Sea freight, or ocean freight, is the process of shipping goods in large quantities via cargo ships. Depending on the nature of the goods and the requirements of the shipment, sea freight can have various advantages and disadvantages. Let’s explore some of these.

Advantages of Sea Freight:

  1. Cost-effectiveness: Sea freight is often significantly cheaper than air freight, especially for heavy or bulky items. This is because ships have a large capacity and can carry a massive amount of cargo, making the cost per unit more attractive for shippers.
  2. Suitability for Bulky, Heavy, or Hazardous Cargo: Sea freight can handle all kinds of goods, including heavy machinery, vehicles, hazardous materials, and other large or overweight items that would be difficult or impossible to transport by air.
  3. Less Carbon Footprint: Compared to air freight, sea freight contributes significantly less to carbon emissions, making it a more environmentally-friendly option.

Disadvantages of Sea Freight:

  1. Slow Transit Time: One of the most significant downsides of sea freight is that it can be slow. It can take weeks or even months for a shipment to reach its destination, depending on the distance.

  2. Less Reliable Timings: Sea freight schedules can be influenced by a variety of factors, such as weather conditions, port congestion, or customs delays, which can lead to less predictability in delivery times.

  3. Additional Costs: While the cost of sea freight may be lower, there can be additional costs, like customs duties and taxes, warehousing charges, and local handling and transport costs from the port to the final destination.

Comparison with Other Shipping Methods:

  1. Sea Freight vs. Air Freight: Air freight is significantly faster but also more expensive. It’s less suitable for heavy or bulky items due to weight and size restrictions on aircraft. However, for time-sensitive goods or high-value items, air freight might be the preferred option.

  2. Sea Freight vs. Road Freight: Road freight can be more flexible, with door-to-door delivery options and no need for a port infrastructure. However, it’s limited to certain geographical regions and is not suitable for very long distances or international shipping.

  3. Sea Freight vs. Rail Freight: Rail freight can be a good option for landlocked countries or regions with good rail infrastructure. It can be faster than sea and more environmentally friendly than road transport. However, similar to road freight, rail freight has geographical limitations.

The choice between these options depends on various factors, including the type and quantity of goods, the cost, the distance, the infrastructure in the origin and destination countries, and the urgency of the shipment. A good shipping company, like DDPCH, will help you assess your needs and choose the most suitable method for your shipment.

Sea freight order process

The process of shipping a container or cargo via sea freight from China to another country involves several key steps. Here’s a general overview of the process, using an example of shipping from Shanghai, China to Los Angeles, USA:

Step 1: Quotation & Booking You (the shipper) request a quotation from a freight forwarder or shipping company, like DDPCH, specifying details such as the type and quantity of goods, the desired shipping method (FCL or LCL), and the pick-up and delivery locations. Once you agree on the price and terms, you book the shipment.

Step 2: Cargo Pick-Up The freight forwarder arranges to pick up the goods from your supplier’s factory or warehouse in Shanghai. This involves coordinating with the supplier and a local trucking company.

Step 3: Export Customs Clearance Before the goods can be exported, they must go through customs clearance. This involves preparing and submitting necessary documentation, such as a commercial invoice, packing list, and bill of lading, and paying any required export duties or taxes. Your freight forwarder will usually handle this process on your behalf.

Step 4: Loading & Shipping The goods are loaded into a container (for FCL) or consolidated with other shipments (for LCL), and then transported to the port of departure in Shanghai. The container is loaded onto a cargo ship, which sets sail for Los Angeles.

Step 5: Transit The ship sails across the Pacific Ocean. This can take several weeks. During this time, you can typically track the progress of your shipment online.

Step 6: Import Customs Clearance Upon arrival in Los Angeles, the goods must go through import customs clearance. This involves submitting necessary documentation and paying any required import duties or taxes. Again, your freight forwarder will typically handle this process.

Step 7: Deconsolidation & Delivery The container is unloaded from the ship and, if you’re using LCL, the goods are deconsolidated. The freight forwarder arranges for the goods to be transported to the final delivery location, such as your warehouse in Los Angeles.

Step 8: Receipt of Goods You receive the goods at your warehouse, sign the delivery receipt, and the process is complete.

Throughout this process, your freight forwarder or shipping company serves as your main point of contact, coordinating all steps and ensuring everything goes smoothly. It’s important to work with a reliable and experienced forwarder like DDPCH to ensure a successful shipping experience.

Dangerous goods in sea freight service

Shipping dangerous goods (also known as DGR, for “dangerous goods regulations”) requires special attention due to the potential risks associated with these types of materials. Examples of dangerous goods include certain chemicals, batteries, and flammable, explosive, or corrosive substances.

Here is a general process for shipping dangerous goods via sea freight from China:

Step 1: Classify the Dangerous Goods The first step is to accurately classify the dangerous goods according to international standards. The International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code classifies dangerous goods into nine classes based on the type of risk they pose.

Step 2: Packaging and Labeling The goods must be appropriately packaged to prevent any leaks or damage during transit. They also need to be correctly labeled to indicate the nature of the risk they pose. This might include hazard symbols, proper shipping names, and other relevant information.

Step 3: Documentation The shipper needs to provide a dangerous goods declaration, which includes information such as the class of the goods, the UN number (a four-digit number that identifies the type of dangerous goods), and details about the packing group and packing instructions. This document is crucial because it informs everyone in the supply chain about the nature of the goods and the precautions that need to be taken.

Step 4: Booking When booking the shipment with a freight forwarder or shipping company, the shipper must declare that they are shipping dangerous goods. The freight forwarder will then ensure that the carrier (the shipping line) is aware of this and is equipped to handle dangerous goods.

Step 5: Loading and Shipping The dangerous goods are loaded into a container in a manner that minimizes the risk of accidents. They are then transported to the port and loaded onto the ship.

Step 6: Transit and Delivery During transit, the carrier follows special procedures to ensure the safe transportation of the dangerous goods. Upon arrival at the destination, the goods go through customs clearance, are unloaded, and delivered to the final destination following all necessary safety protocols.

It’s essential to work with a freight forwarder or shipping company like DDPCH that has expertise in handling dangerous goods. They can guide you through the process, ensuring that all safety regulations and documentation requirements are met, and that the goods reach their destination safely.

Alternatives for sea freight service

Shipping goods from China to other parts of the world can be done through several methods aside from sea freight. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the choice will depend on factors such as the type and volume of goods, budget, urgency, and destination. Here are some alternative methods:

1. Air Freight: This is the fastest method of transport and is suitable for time-sensitive shipments. It’s more expensive than sea freight, especially for heavy or bulky items, but it’s ideal for lightweight, high-value items or perishable goods.

2. Rail Freight: This is a viable option for landlocked countries or those connected to China via a railway network, such as the countries along the Belt and Road Initiative. It’s slower than air freight but faster than sea freight, and it can handle a wide range of goods, including heavy and bulky items.

3. Road Freight (Trucking): This method is ideal for destinations in nearby countries or within the same continent (like Asia or Europe). It’s flexible and can offer door-to-door delivery, but it’s not suitable for very long distances or large volumes of goods.

4. Multimodal Transport: This is a combination of different transport modes, like sea and air, sea and rail, or sea and road. This can be a good option when a single mode of transport is not efficient or possible. For example, goods might be transported by sea from China to a port in Europe, and then by truck to the final destination.

5. Courier Services: For small, lightweight, or highly valuable items, courier services such as DHL, FedEx, UPS, or EMS can be a good option. They offer fast, reliable, door-to-door delivery but can be quite costly for larger shipments.

Each of these alternatives has its own specific requirements and regulations, so it’s essential to work with a reliable freight forwarder or logistics provider, like DDPCH, who can advise you on the best shipping method for your specific needs.

Shipping Method Transit Time Cost Volume/Weight Capacity Ideal For
Sea Freight Long (weeks to months) Low High (heavy and large volume goods) Non-perishable, non-urgent, heavy, or bulky goods
Air Freight Short (days) High Low/Medium (depends on the aircraft) Time-sensitive, perishable, or high-value goods; lighter, smaller volume shipments
Rail Freight Medium (days to weeks) Medium High (heavy and large volume goods) Landlocked countries or regions, less urgent heavy or bulky goods
Road Freight Varies (hours to days) Varies Medium (depends on vehicle) Shorter distances, door-to-door delivery, flexible routes
Multimodal Transport Varies Varies Varies When single mode is not efficient or possible; door-to-door delivery
Courier Services Short (days) High Low (small, lightweight items) Small, lightweight, or highly valuable items; documents

Busy time for sea freight services

Busy times in sea freight, often referred to as “peak seasons,” can significantly impact the logistics of shipping goods from China. Here’s how:

1. Increased Rates: During peak seasons, demand for shipping services often outpaces supply. This high demand can lead to increased freight rates as shipping lines take advantage of the high volume of shipments.

2. Limited Space: With many businesses trying to ship goods simultaneously, space on cargo ships can become limited. This can lead to issues with booking space, and some shipments might get rolled over (delayed to a later voyage) if the ship is overbooked.

3. Longer Transit Times: Increased demand and higher volumes of goods being processed through ports can cause delays and longer transit times. This includes potential congestion at ports, slower customs clearance processes, and slower ground transportation due to high volumes.

4. Increased Risk of Delays: With the high volume of goods being moved, the risk of unforeseen delays due to overbookings, operational issues, or even weather disturbances can increase.

Peak seasons in China often coincide with major holidays and events, such as Chinese New Year, Golden Week, and the period leading up to Black Friday and Christmas in Western countries, when many businesses are stocking up on goods.

To navigate peak seasons effectively, it’s crucial to plan ahead. Consider booking space well in advance, building in extra time to account for potential delays, and maintaining clear and open communication with your freight forwarder or shipping company. A reliable and experienced forwarder like DDPCH can be invaluable in helping you manage these challenges and ensure your goods arrive as planned, even during busy periods.

Restrictions in sea freight service

Shipping goods by sea freight has certain restrictions that need to be adhered to, both for safety reasons and in accordance with international laws and regulations. Here are some common restrictions to be aware of:

1. Dangerous Goods: Certain goods classified as dangerous (such as flammable, toxic, or corrosive materials) can only be shipped under specific circumstances, with appropriate packaging and labeling, and often require additional documentation. Some goods may be entirely prohibited by certain shipping lines or countries.

2. Illegal Items: The transport of illegal items is strictly prohibited. This can vary by country and could include items such as certain drugs, weapons, or counterfeit goods.

3. Oversized or Overweight Items: There are limitations on the size and weight of items that can be shipped, based on the capacity of the containers and ships. Oversized or overweight items may require special arrangements and could incur additional costs.

4. Perishable Goods: Sea freight often has long transit times, making it unsuitable for goods that have a short shelf life or require specific temperature controls (unless using specialized refrigerated containers, known as reefers).

5. Country-Specific Restrictions: Certain countries may have specific restrictions on the import or export of particular goods. For example, some countries have strict regulations on the import of plant or animal products to protect local ecosystems.

6. Packaging Requirements: Certain types of goods may require specific types of packaging or pallets (e.g., heat-treated pallets) to be accepted for shipment.

7. Documentation: Certain types of goods may require additional documentation or licenses to be shipped. This could include items such as certain electronics, machinery, or chemicals.

It’s always important to check with your freight forwarder or shipping company, like DDPCH, about any specific restrictions or requirements before arranging for a shipment. They have the expertise to guide you through these considerations and ensure your shipment complies with all relevant laws and regulations.

How book a container in sea shipping service?

Booking a container for sea shipping from China involves several steps. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Identify Your Shipping Needs Firstly, identify what kind of goods you’re shipping, the volume and weight, and any special requirements. Determine whether you need FCL (Full Container Load) or LCL (Less than Container Load) service.

Step 2: Choose a Reliable Freight Forwarder Select a reputable freight forwarder, like DDPCH, that has experience with shipping from China and understands the nuances of the process. They will be your main point of contact throughout the process.

Step 3: Get a Quote Provide all the necessary information about your shipment to your freight forwarder, including the type, quantity, and dimensions of the goods, as well as the pickup and delivery locations. The forwarder will then provide you with a quote for the shipping cost.

Step 4: Confirm the Booking If you agree with the quote, confirm the booking with your freight forwarder. They will then arrange the booking with the shipping line on your behalf.

Step 5: Prepare Your Goods Ensure your goods are correctly packaged and labeled. If you’re shipping dangerous goods, there may be additional packaging and documentation requirements.

Step 6: Arrange for Pickup Arrange for your goods to be transported to the port of departure. Your freight forwarder can typically help with this.

Step 7: Complete the Necessary Documentation Fill out the necessary documentation for your shipment, including the Bill of Lading, commercial invoice, and packing list. Your freight forwarder can guide you on this.

Step 8: Customs Clearance Your goods will need to clear customs at the port of departure. Your freight forwarder or a customs broker can help with this.

Step 9: Shipment and Transit Your goods will be loaded onto the ship and will begin their journey to the destination port.

Step 10: Customs Clearance at Destination Upon arrival, your goods will need to clear customs at the destination country. Again, your freight forwarder or a customs broker can assist with this.

Step 11: Arrange for Delivery Finally, arrange for your goods to be delivered from the port to their final destination.

Throughout this process, maintaining communication with your freight forwarder is key. They can provide updates on the status of your shipment and assist with any issues that may arise.


Sea freight is the process of shipping goods internationally through sea routes. It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to transport large volumes of goods over long distances.

FCL stands for Full Container Load and refers to a shipment where you book an entire container. LCL, or Less than Container Load, refers to a shipment that shares a container with other shippers’ goods.

CBM is calculated by multiplying the length, width, and height (all in meters) of the package or pallet. For example, if a package is 2m long, 1m wide, and 1m high, the CBM is 2 cubic meters.

The main types of containers are 20ft, 40ft, 40ft High Cube, and 45ft High Cube containers. There are also specialized containers like Refrigerated (Reefer) containers and Open Top containers.

Ocean freight is cheaper because it’s efficient for transporting large volumes of goods, and because the cost of operating a vessel over long distances is lower compared to airplanes or trucks.

Choosing the port of departure depends on several factors like proximity to the supplier, cost, transit time, and the shipping schedule of the carriers.

Documents include a detailed description of the goods, Incoterm, origin, and destination, weight and volume of the cargo, type of container needed, and any special requirements.

Transit time varies based on the origin and destination ports, shipping line schedules, customs processes, and potential delays. It can range from a few days to several weeks.

Some of the major sea ports in China include Shanghai, Shenzhen, Ningbo-Zhoushan, Guangzhou, Qingdao, Tianjin, Dalian, Xiamen, and Suzhou.

Major sea shipping lines in China include COSCO Shipping, China Merchants Energy Shipping Co., Ltd, and Sinotrans & CSC Holdings.

You can track your container through the shipping line’s tracking service, using the Bill of Lading number or container number. There are also various online platforms that offer container tracking services.

Advantages include cost-effectiveness for large volumes, suitability for a wide range of goods, less stringent weight and size restrictions, and reduced carbon footprint compared to air freight.

The process includes identifying your shipping needs, getting a quote, confirming the booking, preparing your goods, arranging pickup, completing necessary documentation, and clearing customs.

Yes, but there are strict regulations and requirements for packaging, documentation, and notification to the shipping line.

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