5 Best Options to Ship from the US to China

Both traditional techniques of commerce and eCommerce have seen significant growth in China. There is a large market for American goods in China and vice versa, in addition to the country’s predominance in manufacturing and the global economy. But how can you equip your eCommerce business to export to China? Shipping to China from the US may be time-consuming, error-prone, and expensive, especially if you’re a smaller or mid-sized eCommerce business, due to the country’s stricter guidelines and rules than most other nations. Although shipping to China has gotten a little bit simpler as a result of numerous Chinese and foreign shipping firms, there are multiple problems you might face. Learn about the delivery alternatives, restrictions, delivery timelines, and services that can assist you in growing your e-commerce business in China in this guide on shipping from the US to China.


Basics of Shipping from the US to China

Depending on the shipping carrier chosen, the origin, and the delivery address, international shipments from the US to China take varying amounts of time to arrive at their destination. Your shipments should arrive within one to twelve business days, nevertheless.


The cost of shipping a product from the US to China is also dependent on a number of factors. These factors consist of the following: Delivery timeline, Shipment weight, and dimensions. If you choose a cheaper method of shipping to China, you should assume a lengthier commute time for your package and if you want expedited shipping you might have to pay a bit more.


Customs Clearance and Documentation for China

Above all, before sending anything to China, a tariff code is necessary. Next, based on the item’s worth and the exportation’s purpose, the duty and taxes you must pay are calculated. With the exception of papers or documentation, duty and tax are applied to all products that pass through customs. The recipient often must pay customs fees upon entrance, and the local customs authorities will typically contact the recipient to arrange payment.


A customs invoice including a detail of the contents, the place of manufacturing, the specific value of each item, and the purpose for export is required to clear your package through customs. 20–30% of the cost of the items being shipped may be charged in customs. If the products in your package are less than 500 Yuan in value, they will be exempted from customs and taxes. 


  • A Custom Registration (CR) code needs to be listed on the invoice for each product you export to China.

  • Each type of product has a unique customs number called the HS (Harmonized System) code, which defines the regulations, certificates, and customs charges.

  • Products including fabrics, beauty products, toys, furniture, and food that must pass safety testing are covered by the GB standard (Chinese national standard).

  • Certain products have quality certificates issued by the Chinese government. Among them are items like toys, latex items, medical instruments, electronics, and telecommunications products.

  • Most products are subject to a 17 percent VAT.

  • It’s crucial to know that the total amount of your package cannot surpass 1,000 Chinese Yen. If this is the case, the receiver must register with the customs authorities.


Prohibited or Restricted Items

In comparison to other major countries, China has more restrictions on products imported from other countries. As a result, based on processing times and customs clearance, your products’ delivery could be delayed by a few days or weeks.


The following items are forbidden from being shipped to China:

  • Beverages containing alcohol

  • United States-produced beef and beef-related products

  • Machine components, equipment, and electronic products (requires certification)

  • Wood

  • Bamboo

  • Rattan

  • Cane

  • Food items

  • Pets and animals

  • Fur

  • Dairy products

  • Fragrances 

  • Tobacco

  • Seeds and plants

  • Cash

Best Options to Ship from the US to China

In order to meet the shipping requirements of just about every customer, FedEx, DHL, UPS, and USPS provide a range of international shipping options from the US to China. The available shipping services are listed below:



FedEx International First – 3 business days as early as 10 a.m

FedEx International Priority – 3 business days

FedEx International Priority Freight – 3 working days

FedEx International Economy – 5 business days

FedEx International Economy Freight – 5 working days to deliver



DHL International Express – Next possible business day (3 to 6 days)

DHL International Parcel – 4 to 15 days



UPS Worldwide Express Plus – As early as 8:00 a.m., 1-3 business days

UPS Worldwide Express – generally 1-3 business days by 10:30 a.m. or 12:00 noon

UPS Worldwide Express Freight – 1-3 Business Days by end of day

UPS Worldwide Express Freight Midday – 1-3 Business Days by 12:00 noon or 2:00 p.m., depending on the destination postcode

UPS Worldwide Express Saver – 1-3 Business Days by end of day

UPS Worldwide Expedited – 3-5 Business Days by end of day



USPS Global Express Guaranteed – 1 to 3 working days

USPS Priority Mail Express International – 3-5 working days

USPS Priority Mail International – 6 to 10 working days

USPS First-Class Package International Service – Vary depending on location

USPS First-Class Mail International – Prices vary depending on destination.

USPS Airmail M-Bags – Varies by destination


How to Ship from the US to China with ReachShip

Creating a shipping plan that enables eCommerce companies to effectively explain their delivery alternatives to buyers is vital. ReachShip has made international shipping easier and more streamlined than ever before. When you sign up with ReachShip, you can get real-time pricing from all four primary carriers, including FedEx, UPS, USPS, and DHL. From a single location, you can compare the rates, services, and delivery timelines for all shipping options offered for US to China shipping. Every stage of the shipping process can be automated using ReachShip, including buying postage, printing shipping labels, creating packages, scheduling pickups, and tracking shipments.


To Wrap Up

In conclusion, Chinese customers continue to be enthusiastic and keen on buying international products. It’s understandable that cross-border eCommerce businesses seek to discover the best shipping options to China as their spending power grows and online shopping becomes more popular.  While exporting goods to China is still difficult, finding a reliable local logistics partner, like ReachShip, that can help with everything from shipping to customs and tracking can be an excellent starting point. We hope this article has given you a detailed idea about shipping from the US to China. If you have any questions regarding the US to China shipping options, please let us know in the comments section below.


Further Reading

5 Best Options to Ship from the US to Canada

4 Best Options to Ship from the USA to India

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