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Shipping a container from China to Canada. Costs and the best type of transportation


Shipping from the largest manufacturing country to Canada is not an issue, however, you should be aware of the best methods and the costs that you will spend.

This article will help you to answer questions about transportation types, methods, and costs.


The best transportation type.

If you are importing from China to Canada, there are different ways of shipping. Sea freight is the most used way of shipping. Besides sea freight, you can choose express and air freights.

Several factors should be considered while choosing the shipping way and method. You should consider factors like the type of goods, size, timing requirements, and your budget.


1.    Sea freight.

If you decided to ship by sea, then you can choose one of two modes: FCL or LCL.  Your choice will affect the timing and cost of shipping.



FCL – Full Container Load. In this mode, you will fill the whole container. You can choose the size of the container, 20 or 40 long. The biggest advantage of FCL is that it reduces your expenses and waiting time. The price for the FCL doesn’t depend on the volume of goods that you are shipping. Using the full or half place of the container costs the same.


Timings of FCL.

If you are shipping from a Chinese port to a port in Canada, then it will take around 50-55 days. While door-to-door the mode would take around 30-33 days.


Shipping costs

Let’s look at shipping costs from Chinese ports to the major ports of Canada. We will consider a 40’ size container.

Shipping costs from:

  • Shanghai or Ningbo to Vancouver costs around $1200 - $1250
  • Shanghai or Ningbo to Montreal costs around $1600 - $1650
  • Shanghai or Ningbo to Toronto costs around $2800 - $2850

Note that these are the average costs in peak seasons.



LCL - Less Container Load. In this mode, you will share a container with other importers.

It can be really suitable for your importation if your goods will take around 1-15 cubic meters. In most cases, it is the cheapest way of shipping.


Timings of LCL.

LCL shipping mode takes around 25-35 days if your goods are transferred from one port to another. When you are using door-to-door mode it will take around 20-35.


Shipping costs

We will look at the shipping costs of the LCL service. Door-to-door shipping of 200kg/cbm good is going to be considered.

Shipping costs from:

  • Shanghai or Ningbo to Vancouver is around $650 - $700
  • Shanghai or Ningbo to Montreal is around $730 - $760
  • Shanghai or Ningbo to Toronto is around $725 - $765


2.    Express

Express shipment can be the best solution if you have a small number of goods and need to deliver them as fast as possible. There are famous couriers like UPS, DHL, and FedEx that offer door-to-door delivery from China to Canada.

The biggest advantage of express shipment over other ways is that you will get an invoice which will be the final price and includes all fees and duties. It is the fastest way of transfer from another country and it doesn’t require to involve third-party organizations to deliver.

Don’t forget that you will get all these comforts for an extra cost. It is the most expensive way of shipment.


Express shipping timings

As it was said this is the fastest way of shipment. So, it takes only 1-4 days to deliver.


Shipping Costs

The average cost of the express shipment depends on the size and weight. However, we can consider the average for 50kg/0.2 cbm good: $860.


3.    Airfreight

Airfreight is one the fastest ways of shipment between China and Canada. It can be the best option if you are transferring loads between 300 – 500 kg.

Airfreight politics are different from express shipment. In this mode, you will have some responsibilities. You will be responsible for:

  • Delivery from the factory to the airport
  • Customs clearance and duties
  • Delivery from an airport in Canada to the final destination.

The biggest advantage over other sea freight is that there is less risk of damage and speed.


Airfreight timings

If you are using port-to-port service it takes around 4-10 days to ship. While in door-to-door shipment it takes around 6-15 days.


Shipping costs

In air freight timings, the cost per kg will decrease depending on the total weight of your goods.

For example, the average cost for goods under 10 kg is $66. While for under 100 kg and 300 kg the prices are $12.5 and $6 respectively



So, the shipment of a container from China to Canada would cost you around $2500. And on average it takes 50 days.

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