Shipping from China to Australia

Latest Update:

China has established itself as a cost-effective and efficient manufacturing hub for various products. The shipping process from China to Australia is complex, and you need a professional logistics company to help reduce shipping costs.

Shipping From China To Australia

If you’re looking for the most reliable way to ship from China to Australia, Luckystar Logistics is your solution. Our services include:

  • Door to door deliveries
  • 20tk containers
  • Sea Freight
  • Air freight
  • Land Freight
  • Customs clearance
  • Warehouse storage
  • Cargo insurance
  • Shipping agents

Our logistics company is your one-stop shop for shipping from China to Australia. Our company aims to ensure that you ship from China to Australia smoothly through our strong network with various stakeholders, including port authorities, for customs clearance.

Factors That Affect Shipping

If you want to ship from China to Australia, there are several factors you must consider, such as:

  • Type of cargo
  • The ports being used
  • The countries involved, such as China and Australia

These factors are essential in choosing a shipping method and determining the overall shipping costs.

Cargo Classification

One of the primary considerations to ship from China to Australia is the type of cargo and how it can be classified. The cargo classification plays a crucial role in deciding on the shipping methods such as air freight, sea freight, and land transportation.

Customs Clearance Service: Cost-Effective, Seamless

You can start by considering whether the cargo is in liquid, loose (dry cargo), live load, or gas state. These categories are then further subdivided based on the characteristics of the goods to determine the safest shipping method.

Some of the common types of cargo are classified as follows:

  • General cargo includes packed or unpacked goods in bulk or single pieces.
  • Loose or bulk cargo
  • Dangerous cargo: This includes hazardous cargo such as explosives, flammable substances, radioactive materials, and poisonous substances.
  • Liquid cargo: These are liquid food products such as milk, oil, and liquefied gas.
  • Conditional cargo: This includes all the goods that require special conditions during the shipping process such as ventilation. A great example of such shipment is perishable goods like flowers.
  • Oversized and super-heavy cargo: This cargo must be adequately secured on the vessel to ascertain safety during transport.
  • Valuable goods: Valuable cargo has to be securely packaged to avoid damage during the freight.

When transporting cargo from China to Australia, our shipping agents will ascertain that it’s appropriately classified to ensure a smooth shipping and easy customs clearance.

Ports Being Used

If you’re considering sea shipping, the cargo might have to stop at several ports before making it to the destination port. Australian sea freight from China to Australia can dock at either Sydney, Melbourne, or Brisbane.

Purpose Of Insuring Containers

You must provide the Sydney port code, Melbourne port code, or Brisbane port code if the sea freight is docking at either port destination. Moreover, details on the destination port and any other ports where the sea freight might be stopping are essential for customs clearance.

International Shipping

Shipping goods from China to Australia is different because the shipping laws in the two countries are different. It’d be best to hire a shipping agent who understands the shipping regulations between the two countries and can ensure that your shipment complies.

In addition, international freight has to ensure that the cargo being transported isn’t illegal in one of the countries. For instance, if the goods being shipped are legal in China but illegal in Australia, they might be rejected at the Australian port. This can lead to financial loss, especially for the shipper.

International shipping from China to Australia can be done through air, land, and ocean freight. Depending on the classification, costs, and shipping regulations, you can decide how you want to transport goods. Nonetheless, our company can handle your international freight through the method you opt for.

Shipping Services From China To Australia

As a shipping company, we(Luckystar) provide the following services to businesses that want to ship from China to Australia:

Shipping Agents

Our shipping agents are well-trained professionals with a vast network of stakeholders in China and Australia. The primary focus of the shipping agents is to ensure that you have a smooth shipment from China to Australia.

In addition, the shipping agents can help ensure that information is exchanged by all parties, such as the shipper, vessel owner, customs brokers, and port authorities. Thus, you must ensure that you’re getting the best freight forwarders in the market.

When you hire a shipping agent, they become your representative and can connect you with people who are essential to the operations of cargo transit. As a shipper’s representative, the agency manages the arrival and departure of freights at ports, the maintenance of cargo, ensures that the vessel crew and captain have all the necessary supplies, and helps mitigate any possible risks.

Additionally, the shipping agency will consolidate the total shipping cost of transporting cargo from China to Australia by creating an invoice and including any receipts of expenses incurred along the way. Curating a cost analysis helps the charterer anticipate the freight’s overall costs and helps negotiate for services.

Freight Insurance

While it’s optional to insure your cargo against risks during the freight, it’s advisable to consider getting one. The voyage from China to Australia can be treacherous, with many unknown variables. These risks can result in the loss or damage of the cargo, which can be detrimental to you as the charter.

Consider getting cargo insurance, especially when transporting valuable goods. A shipping agent can help determine the best insurance option for your cargo by considering the value of the goods. Furthermore, many affordable cargo insurance options would come in handy when seeking compensation for lost shipments.

Door To Door Delivery

Shipping goods from China to Australia has been made accessible through different shipping methods offered by logistics companies. You can now order a shipment from China and deliver it to your doorstep in Australia.

This is an excellent service for businesses, especially e-commerce retailers, where you can order goods from China and have them delivered to different customers in Australia. Such a shipment reduces shipping costs because the shipping agency organizes the coordination of cargo from either sea freight or air freight to land freight for door to door delivery.

It’s essential that you give the shipping agency all the details necessary to make such a freight successful. For example, you can provide a detailed order list that specifies the order and the customer’s address for delivery. Moreover, this would prevent delays and returns because of the wrong shipment.

Shipping Methods

There are several ways for you to transport cargo from China to Australia. The method of freight you opt for will depend on the condition of the goods, whether perishable, the type of cargo, and the shipping cost.

There are two ways to ship cargo from China to Australia; air freight or ocean freight. Other factors, such as the size and amount of cargo being shipped and shipping time, also affect the choice of shipping method. Here are your shipping options from China to Australia:

Air Freight

Air freight will be the best solution if you’re looking for the fastest way to ship from China to Australia. Ideally, air freight from China to Australia takes about one to five days from port to port and four to 11 days for a door to door delivery. This makes it ideal for perishable shipping goods.

However, air freight costs can be higher than other shipping methods, such as ocean freight. Thus if you’re looking for the cheapest shipping method, air freight is not ideal. Further, air freight is also suitable if you wish to have express shipping.

Another aspect that affects air freight is the air cargo category. There are two primary categories of air cargo that have a significant effect on the Australian shipping procedure:

  • Special cargo
  • General cargo

You can consult with the shipping agent on which category your cargo falls into and how that affects the air freight.

General cargo

These products are considered safe to transport on an aircraft without special packaging, documentation, or precautions. The goods often include:

  • Toys
  • Hand tools
  • Textile
  • Homewares
  • Mechanical parts
  • Clothing

For such general cargo, consider using freight forwarders and shipping companies to transport the goods from China to Australia.

Special cargo

On the contrary, special cargo involves specific packaging, documentation, safety procedures, and handling. Some of the cargo that’s classified as special includes:

  • Hazardous materials
  • Wet goods
  • Live animals
  • Frozen foods
  • Lithium-powered devices, including toys and electronics.

Considering the special conditions and care to be given to special cargo, a carrier must be willing to ship them. In addition, the air carrier must have the necessary equipment to transport the cargo.

A shipping company has a network of carriers that they utilize for transporting special cargo from China to Australia. It’s best to consider a shipping agency with experience managing your special cargo type. This will ensure that the shipment is successful and safe.

When shipping cargo from China to Australia using air freight, you can use the following airports:


You can use the following airports to ship goods from China to Australia using air freight:

  • Hong Kong International Airport: This is the largest airport in China and is often used by carriers shipping goods internationally. It’s also the second-largest cargo airport in the world.
  • Shanghai Pudong International Airport: This is the second-largest cargo airport in China and the third-largest in the world. The airport has created a reputation as a reliable hub for international cargo air freights.
  • Beijing Capital International Airport: This is China’s third-largest cargo airport used by carriers for international and domestic shipping.
  • Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport: This is China’s fourth busiest cargo airport and is used to ship cargo worldwide. It’s also one of three airport hubs in the Pearl River Delta.
  • Shenzhen Baoan International Airport: China’s fifth-largest airport hub used by carriers and freight forwarders for international shipments. It has also been described as one of the fastest-growing airport hubs in China.

The carriers in these airports can ship both general and special cargo.


Cargo shipments from China to Australia can be delivered at any of the following airports:

  • Sydney Airport is arguably the busiest airport in Australia for commercial and cargo use.
  • Melbourne Airport: This is the second busiest airport in Australia.
  • Brisbane Airport: This is one of the best-performing large-sized airports in the world.
  • Perth Airport: This is one of the biggest airports in Western Australia.

Air freight cargo should be delivered to the airport prescribed by the shipper and is convenient for a destination delivery. For instance, if the cargo’s destination is Sydney, then the load should be shipped through the Sydney airport for convenience and to reduce the cost of transporting it to the warehouse.

Ocean Freight

Another method for you to transport your cargo from China to Australia is through sea freight. Typically, the Australia sea freight can take between 18 to 36 days for a port to port voyage and 23 to 41 days for door to door delivery.

When considering sea freight, you’ll have to decide whether it’s a full container load (FCL) or a less-than-container load (LCL). If you have a high-volume shipment, it’s best to use a full container load and LCL shipping if you’re transporting a few items. This can help save on shipping pricing and rates.

One of the benefits of using sea freight for moving cargo from China to Australia is that it’s economical, especially when shipping large volume cargo. Getting a freight forwarder to help with all the logistical issues of shipping to Australia from China is best.

You can ship using the following seaports:

Seaports in China

China has the most prominent and busiest ports globally because of its manufacturing and exporting prowess. Here are the five biggest ports in the world and China:

  • Port of Shanghai: This is the most popular, busiest, and biggest container port in the world. Most shippers prefer to ship their cargo from China to Australia through this port.
  • Port of Guangzhou: This is a deep-water cargo port located on the west bank of the Pearl River Delta. The deep water makes it great for docking large ships.
  • Port of Ningbo-Zhoushan: This is the third largest cargo port in the world and can be used to ship goods from China to Australia.
  • Port of Shenzhen: This is the fourth-largest container port in the world.
  • Port of Hong Kong: China’s fifth-largest seaport used to ship cargo to various parts of the world.

You can ship your cargo from China to Australia using the above ports, depending on where you’re getting your manufactured goods.


When shipping cargo from China to Australia, the freight forwarder can deliver the cargo to any of the following ports in Australia depending on your instructions and needs:

  • Brisbane Port: This is the largest cargo port in Queensland, Australia.
  • Sydney Port: This port is said to be the second-largest container port in Australia.
  • Fremantle Port: This is arguably the busiest port in the western part of Australia.
  • Melbourne Port: This is said to be the fourth biggest cargo port in the southern hemisphere.
  • Hedland Port: This is arguably the biggest container port in Oceania.

The freight forwarder can help advise on the best ports to use by considering delays at the port because of busy schedules and the cargo’s destination.

Factors To Consider Before Shipping From China To Australia

Before deciding to ship cargo from China to Australia, a few aspects must be considered. These factors are essential to determine whether the shipment can be made:

  • Weight of the shipment: The shipment agency must weigh your cargo before loading it to either air freight or ocean freight. This is because there’s a weight limit for cargo that can be transported using Australia air freight or any other carrier. In addition, the cargo weight also plays an essential role in determining the cost of shipping.
  • Australian packaging rules: Every country has regulations on packaging rules that you have to adhere to. For instance, Australia has strict packaging rules on the dimensions of the parcels, and you have to ensure that they are according to the accepted standards. This is primarily applicable when shipping smaller packages, but you can consult your shipping agent on the required packaging for oversized cargo.
  • Value of the package: Australia has a value limit of at least $AUD 1,000 for items shipped from China. The value of the cargo is considered when determining import duties and any other shipping fees imposed by port authorities in Australia. The shipping agent can advise on your tax obligations depending on your cargo weight and whether there could be more fees.
  • The legality of the cargo: Every country has laws on what they consider legal and illegal. This means that if an item is illegal in Australia, it won’t receive customs clearance at the Australian port. To avoid such inconveniences and to incur extra costs, check the list of prohibited items before starting the freight.

Discussing all these factors with the shipping agent before commencing to ship goods is best. This will ensure you have all the necessary information to make an informed decision and make the customs clearance process easy and fast.

Shipping Time

As discussed earlier, the cargo shipping time depends on whether you’re using air freight or sea freight. Air freights generally use a shorter shipping time than sea freight for both port to port and door to door deliveries.

While air freight takes less than 11 days to be shipped from China to Australia, sea shipping takes about 36 days. However, air freight is more costly, and you should only use it in emergencies where the delivery must be made quickly.

In addition, other factors, such as undue delay, can also affect the shipping time. Consider factoring in delay time when planning a shipment to avoid disappointments and delaying client deliveries.

Further, when using a private carrier, you’ll have options such as standard and express shipping, which impact shipping time. In urgent cases, the carrier can propose that you use the express shipping option, which is more costly and only available to cargo that doesn’t exceed a certain limi5t in size and weight.

In most scenarios, express shipping is done through air freight. However, this method can also experience delays due to unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather conditions or prolonged customs clearance processes. Such delays can result in prolonged shipping time for your cargo.

In contrast, business-to-business shipments containing high-volume cargo are best shipped through sea freight, which can take a long time. The loads can take a long time to deliver but are relatively cheaper than air freight.

Shipping Cost

There’s no standard cost for shipping goods from China to Australia because it’s affected by several factors, such as:

  • Cargo insurance
  • Size and weight of cargo
  • Type of cargo, whether general or special
  • Mode of transport, whether air or sea freight.
  • Shipping time, whether express or standard.

The prices are also subject to fluctuation depending on global events and the economic status of the countries involved. In most cases, the cost of shipping provided by a shipping agent only covers shipping expenses and customs clearance but doesn’t include VAT.

Nonetheless, courier companies often have standard shipping prices based on weight, cargo type, and shipping method. You can consult with the shipping agent on the potential cost of shipping your cargo from China to Australia. Further, the shipping agent should also advise on any possible hidden fees.

Required Documents

Documentation is a very crucial aspect of shipping from China to Australia. A single document can save your customs clearance at the destination port. The documents you need to have may differ depending on the cargo you’re shipping from China to Australia.

Here are some of the must-have documents:

  • Packing list
  • Bill of lading
  • Commercial invoice
  • Air waybill (If using air freight)
  • Shipper’s letter of instructions
  • Certificate of origin
  • Customs entry or informal clearance document
  • Import license
  • Import permit
  • Consignor’s details

You’ll produce these documents upon request at the departure and arrival port.

Packing List

This detailed list of all the items shipped from China to Australia. You’ll be required to present a packing list to customs for clearance. It’s essential to ensure that all the goods have an HS code. If you’ve hired a freight forwarder, they’d ensure that the shipping list is attached to the cargo for easy inspection by customs officials.

Commercial Invoice

As a consignor, you’ll have to make a declaration on the cargo you’re shipping from China to Australia. The customs office will use the invoice to countercheck whether the goods packed in the cargo ship are the same as the ones declared.

The invoice should contain the following details:

  • Invoice reference number
  • Details of consignor and consignee
  • Description of the cargo
  • HS code
  • Total and unit price in $USD
  • Total FOB value
  • Total freight price
  • Net and gross weight and quantity

If you’ve hired a freight forwarder, they will ensure that the invoice has all the necessary details when presented to the necessary authorities.

Import Permit

The customs officer will give you an import permit as the last step of the customs clearance process. However, an import permit is only issued after all the documentation has been evaluated and approved as complying. The purpose of an import permit is to make the nationalization of the cargo in Australia official.

Import License

The freight forwarder has to get an import license from the specific local authority for the particular type of goods being imported. Getting an import license can be complex, and let your freight forwarder handle the process.

The import license should provide commercial and financial details on goods shipped from China to Australia. Some of the details in the import license should include the following:

  • Details of the importer and exporter
  • The destination of the cargo and customs clearance
  • The country of origin
  • The supplier or manufacturer of the goods
  • A detailed description of all the items being shipped from China to Australia.
  • The type of taxation and tax classification of the cargo
  • The total price of the freight from China to Australia.
  • The gross and actual weight and quantity of the cargo.
  • The payment method of the cargo and the freight.
  • The Incoterms.

You’d be required to present the import license upon arrival at the Australia port to be granted an import permit.

Bill of Lading or Airway Bill

The bill of lading is an important document for shipping freight; you must have one when shipping internationally. The purpose of a bill of lading is to provide the identity and details of the cargo being imported from China to Australia.

The document should also contain information on the payment made by the shipper to the freight forwarder or carrier and the issuance of a letter of credit, if any. An airway bill plays the same role and is similar but used for air freight.

Some of the details that would be in the bill of lading include the following:

  • Information about the consignor.
  • Information on the consignee
  • Ship number
  • Notify party
  • Specific port of loading and unloading.
  • Details on the place of delivery of the cargo.
  • A specific description of the cargo
  • Containers reference numbers
  • Gross and actual weight of the cargo
  • Dimensions and volume of the cargo

The freight forwarder should ensure that all the necessary parties have signed the bill of lading to ensure a safe shipment of cargo from China to Australia.

Certificate Of Origin

When importing goods from China to Australia, you must ensure that you get a certificate of origin. This document is significant for any cargo classification within the specified regulations.

The certificate of origin is an official document issued by the government providing details that the goods were manufactured at a specific place and the materials used. The freight forwarder can ensure that the certificate of origin adheres to Australian laws and standards.

Customs Clearance Process

It’d be devastating to ship cargo from China to Australia to have them rejected at the destination port. One of the ways of ensuring that your cargo has a smooth sailing at the port in Australia s by complying with the Australian safety standards.

Ensure that you check the Australian regulations on the cargo you’re shipping, such as the chemical level in consumer products and the use of lithium batteries in children’s toys. Further other standards on ordinary products such as furniture and vehicles also apply, and you can check before commencing the shipping process.

Another essential aspect of customs clearance is familiarizing yourself with HS codes and customs duties. In most cases, customs duty is levied on products originating from China. However, the China-Australia free trade agreement eliminates customs duty on more than 85% of products from China to Australia.

However, any imported goods entering Australia are subject to Goods and Services Tax (GST) if they have a value of more than $AUD 1,000. You’ll have to present a complete Import Declaration Form during the customs clearance process.

The following documents should also be presented for customs clearance:

  • Bill of lading or airway bill
  • Commercial invoice
  • Packing list
  • Certificate of origin
  • Letter of Credit or proof of payment through other methods.

The customs clearance process can be simplified by using a shipping agency suggested by a freight forwarder.

Shipping Taxes

If you’re a frequent shipper, you know the tax obligations of shipping from China. As mentioned earlier, the China-Australia free trade agreement provides relief on zero taxes for up to 85% of the products being shipped from China to Australia.

However, the cargo would still be subject to other taxes. Some of the taxes that can be imposed on your cargo include the following:

  • Australian Government Standard Tax
  • Customs duty
  • Import processing fees
  • Value-Added Sales Tax

To determine the tax categories of the goods, you’re importing, you can check the Harmonized System (HS) code which is an identifier of the product. The freight forwarder can also help determine your tax obligations based on the cargo you’re shipping from China to Australia.

The taxes are calculated based on the CIF value of the cargo and the total cost including cargo insurance if any. Further, it’s essential to note that there’s no requirement to use a specific currency and you might be required to pay some fees in Chinese Yuan (CNY) instead of the Australian Dollar (AUD).

Subsequently, exchanging currency can increase expenses because some forex exchanges have additional fees, fluctuating exchange rates, and increased profit margins. Thus, it’s advisable to utilize a freight forwarder who can guarantee the best shipping rates.

Best Shipping From China to Australia

If you’re looking for the best shipping solutions from China to Australia, consider enrolling in the services of Luckystar Logistics. The courier company’s primary goal is to offer its customers the best shipping services at an affordable cost.

The company has adequate resources to handle all your supply chain management needs as a shipper. In addition, the company has the most experienced freight forwarders to make your shipping experience quick and easy.

The company’s core principles are providing reliable, flexible, and agile customer service. We also offer a wide range of services, including sea freight, air freight, land freight, door to door deliveries, cargo insurance, and free warehousing services.

You can also consult any of our freight forwarders on any issues regarding Australia shipping, ranging from cost, insurance, and shipping time. Our freight forwarders will also advise on domestic and international laws regarding shipping from China to Australia.

Best Time To Ship From China To Australia

Shipping can be affected by seasonal factors, especially in sea transportation. In addition, other trends also affect shipping, creating a peak and low season. For instance, peak seasons are generally from mid-August to mid-October and are characterized by holiday season price spikes. This is before the Chinese New Year, Golden Week, Dragon Boat Festival, and holiday shopping season.

The downside to shipping during the peak season is that prices are high because of the increased demand and decreased container space. Therefore, it’s best to consider shipping your cargo during the off-peak season when the demand is low hence low transport costs.

In addition, the cost of transporting goods within a month can also differ. In most cases, shipping at the beginning of the month can be more costly than shipping during the last two weeks of the month. This is because freight carriers tend to levy general rate increases on cargo spots.


Shipping from China to Australia can be a hectic experience, especially for a new business person. To avoid the hustle, consider hiring a broker in the freight forwarding industry. Freight forwarders can help ensure your Australia shipping is successful and cost-effective. Further, a forwarding company can help handle the entire supply chain process and ascertain successful shipping.Luckystar should be a good choice for you!

Luckystar have a broad network and resources to ensure that you get the most cost-effective freight insurance, ocean freight rates, and the best shipping mode for your cargo when shipping from China. Further, our freight forwarders have access to the major shipping ports in China and Australia, guaranteeing you a successful shipment.

Get a Quote

"*" indicates required fields