Shipping from China to Australia

China is Australia’s largest trading partner. It is not only Australia’s largest export destination but also the largest source of imports. In total, it accounts for over 30% of Australia’s trade. The Australian economy needs the Chinese market. Learn about the available modes of transportation when shipping from China to Australia.

Shipping from China to Australia

Available types of transportation

China and Australia have strong economic ties. The China–Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) entered into force in December 2015, eliminating most of the customs duties and boosting bilateral trade. When it comes to shipping from China to Australia, there are two available modes of transportation:

  • ocean freight
  • airfreight.

Ocean freight from China to Australia

If you are moving goods on a budget, sea shipping is the most effective way to ship products from China to Australia. Depending on your consignment’s size, you can choose Less Than Container Load (LCL) or Full Container Load (FCL). The shipping time from China to Australia by sea is approx. 16-30 days.

Seaports in China

  • Port of Shanghai is the largest container seaport in the world. Its Yangshan Port is the busiest in the world
  • Port of Guangzhou is a deep-water cargo port located on the west bank of the Pearl River Delta
  • Port of Ningbo-Zhoushan is the third-biggest cargo port in the world
  • Port of Shenzhen is the fourth-largest container port in the world
  • Port of Hong Kong is China’s fifth-largest seaport.
Shipping from China to Australia - Seaports in China

Seaports in Australia

  • Port of Brisbane is the largest cargo port in Queensland
  • Port of Sydney is the second biggest container port in Australia
  • Port of Fremantle is the busiest port in the western part of Australia
  • Port of Melbourne is the fourth-largest cargo port in the Southern hemisphere
  • Port of Hedland is the biggest container port in Oceania.
Seaports in Australia

Air freight from China to Australia

Air freight is the fastest means of transportation but also the most expensive. It’s worth considering air freight if you ship a small consignment (three pallets at most) of perishable and valuable goods. The transit time takes up to several days.

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Cargo airports in China

  • Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) is the second-largest cargo airport in the world and the largest one in China
  • Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) is the third-largest airport hub in the world and the second-largest one in China
  • Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) is China’s third-largest cargo airport
  • Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN) is the fourth-busiest cargo airport in China and one of three airport hubs in the Pearl River Delta
  • Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport (SZX) is China’s fifth-largest airport hub and one of the fastest-growing.
Shipping from China to Australia - Airports in China

Cargo airports in Australia

  • Sydney Airport (SYD) is the busiest airport in Australia
  • Melbourne Airport (MEL) is the second busiest airport in Australia, serving the city of Melbourne since 1970
  • Brisbane Airport (BNE) is one of the best-performing large-sized airports in the world
  • Perth Airport (PER), one of the biggest in Western Australia.
Airports in Australia

Customs clearance in Australia

Before you decide to source products from the Chinese trading partner of your choice, make sure that the goods comply with the safety standards in Australia. Australia’s law regulates, for example, chemicals in consumer products, children’s products, vehicles, and furniture.

You should also get familiar with the HS codes and customs duties. Fortunately, the duty is often levied on products from China. China-Australia Free Trade (ChAFTA) has eliminated customs duty on more than 85% of commodities entering the Australian and China border. Bear in mind that imported goods are subject to Goods & Services Tax (GST). If your goods are worth below AUD$ 1000, you need to submit a Self-Assessed Clearance (SAC) declaration and do not need to pay GST. Otherwise, you must complete and submit an Import Declaration (form B650).

For the customs clearance process, you need to provide many documents. Those include:

For customs clearance, you can use the brokerage provided by your freight forwarder or hire a broker.

How much does shipping from China to Australia cost?

Choosing a freight forwarder is one of the most challenging parts of shipping from China. To compare the cost of shipping from China to Australia, use ShipHub. By simply filling in a form on ShipHub, you can receive quotes for your order from multiple forwarders. Here are some examples of filled forms:

Check out our guide on shipping from the US to Australia.

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