About 30% of the questions I get about importing from China relate to courier & air freight, so this post has been overdue for a few years.
I have done quite a few posts related to sea shipping from China like here, here, here & here but haven’t addressed sending goods by air yet. To make up for all that delay I will try to make this a meaty post & dive deep into this subject.
Courier & Air freight are two popular modes of importing goods from China. New importers often do not understand the difference between“couriers” & “air freight”so this post goes into the differences as well as looks at when it is a good idea to send your goods by air as opposed to sea, which air channel to use, key issues to avoid when shipping cargo by air & some strategies to reduce costs when using courier or air freight.
As a large proportion of the readership of this blog comes from the UK & because I see a lot of questions related to logistics & accurately calculating landed costs of products from new importers who are trying to import from China to the UK, I will try to address these issues in this post. I will try & do a similar post for the US in the near future. You can also download the UK Landed Cost Calculator Template Spreadsheet here.
One of the pet peeves of importers importing from China is that Chinese suppliers don’t reply to email requests for quotations or are generally slow at responding to emails.
This issue has come up in so many discussions I have had in the past that it deserves a post.
I won’t go into too much detail about why Chinese suppliers don’t reply to emails as my fellow China business blogger, Mike Michelini has done an excellent job of that in his post “Why Chinese Don’t reply to my emails”.
To summarise, there are both cultural & practical reasons as to why Chinese suppliers are slow at responding to emails or do not bother to reply at all. Mike mentions: