Shipping from China to Sweden

Shipping from China to Sweden

Shipping goods from China to Sweden has become a pivotal aspect of international trade, particularly as China becomes one of the world’s largest exporters. When you’re involved in such shipping transactions, understanding the logistics, including the options available, costs, transit times, and customs clearance procedures, is vital. This is a crucial step in planning and executing your shipping operations efficiently.

Your choice of shipping method will significantly affect the duration and cost of the journey from China to Sweden. The most common methods are sea freight and air freight, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Sea freight is typically less expensive and can accommodate larger volumes, making it suitable for heavy or bulky goods, but it has longer transit times. On the other hand, air freight offers much faster transit times at a higher cost, which may be suitable for time-sensitive or high-value items.

Navigating the regulatory framework is also an integral part of the shipping process. You must be aware of the customs regulations, duties, and taxes imposed by both China and Sweden. Proper documentation, such as commercial invoices, packing lists, and certificates of origin, is essential to clear customs smoothly. Moreover, Sweden being a part of the European Union (EU), adheres to EU regulations, which standardize certain processes but also add specific compliance requirements that you need to manage effectively.

This article provides an in-depth guide on best practices for shipping freights from China to Sweden.

Overview of shipping goods from China to Sweden

China and Sweden have strong trade relations. Major products imported to Sweden from China include:

  • Electronics
  • Machinery
  • Clothing and textiles
  • Plastic products
  • Furniture

There are three popular shipping methods to transport items from China to Sweden:

  • Ocean freight
  • Air freight
  • Rail freight

The most common ports used for ocean freight in China are:

  • Shanghai
  • Shenzhen
  • Ningbo
  • Guangzhou

In Sweden, major ports include:

  • Gothenburg
  • Stockholm
  • Malmo

Air freightis faster but more expensive than ocean freight. Air cargo typically arrives at:

  • Stockholm Arlanda Airport
  • Gothenburg Landvetter Airport
  • Malmo Airport

Rail freight may be the cheapest option but also the slowest.

Three shipping options from China to Sweden

How long does it take to ship cargo from China to Sweden

Shipping MethodTransit Time
Ocean Freight30-45 days
Air Freight1-2 weeks
Rail Freight15-30 days

How much does it cost to import from China to Sweden

Shipping MethodAverage Cost
Ocean Freight$1000-$5000 per 40′ container
Air Freight$5-$10 per kg
Rail Freight$3000-$8000 per 40′ container

Sea Freight

Sea Freight

Ocean freight is the cheapest shipping method from China to Sweden. Costs vary based on container type and shipment details but are estimated to be around $1500-$4000 for a 40-ft FCL container. Sea freight shipping times from China to Sweden are typically 30-45 days. The sea freight process includes:

  1. Booking shipment with freight forwarder
  2. Receiving final shipping rates and quotes
  3. Preparing export documents (invoice, packing list, certs)
  4. Customs clearance at the origin port
  5. Load and transport container to port
  6. Consolidation with other LCL freight (if applicable)
  7. Load container on ocean vessel
  8. Global transport to destination port
  9. Customs clearance and inspection in Sweden
  10. Final delivery to the consignee

Sea freight is cheaper than air freight. Estimates for a standard 40-foot container range from $1,500 – $4,000 USD. Costs of shipping containers vary depending on factors like:

  • Container size (20-ft vs 40-ft)
  • Type of shipment (FCL or LCL)
  • Route taken
  • Fuel prices and surcharges
  • Season/demand fluctuations

FCL shipping is cheaper than LCL shipping per unit volume since you utilize the entire container. However, FCL requires enough cargo to fill the container.

Air freight

Air freight

The air freight process includes the following:

  1. Obtain air freight quotes
  2. Prepare documents
  3. Customs clearance at the origin
  4. Transport cargo to the airport
  5. Load onto airplane
  6. Global air transport
  7. Clear customs in Sweden
  8. Final delivery

Air freight is more expensive than sea freight. As a rough estimate, shipping costs via air range from $5-$10 per kg depending on factors like season, availability, fuel prices, shipment size, and urgent delivery needs.

Air freight from China to Sweden is best suited for smaller shipments between 35kg and 100kg. Anything above 100kg will be more economical to send by ocean freight unless speed is required.

Air transit times from China to Sweden are much faster than the ocean, typically around 8 days by air compared to 35-45 days by sea.

When calculating air freight costs, weight and size are key factors. But the delivery schedule is also important – express air shipping will cost more than regular air freight shipping.

It’s recommended to get a custom air freight quote based on specific cargo details and delivery requirements. A freight forwarder can provide quotes taking into account size, weight, volume, transport mode, and schedule.

Rail freight

Rail freight

Delivery time by rail freight is around 18-24 days, which is faster than sea freight at 30-50 days but slower than air freight’s 1-2 weeks.

Costs to ship goods for rail freight are around $50 per cubic meter or $2/kg, including customs fees. A 40 ft container is estimated to cost around $10,000 from China to Europe.

Rail freight is a good compromise between cost and speed. It is cheaper than air freight but faster than sea. It is only feasible for certain types of cargo that can be transported by rail.

Cities in China offering rail connections to Stockholm include Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Dongguan.

Using a freight forwarder can help optimize and streamline the rail shipping process to Sweden in terms of route, documents, customs clearance, etc.

The process includes:

  1. Obtain rail freight quotes
  2. Prepare paperwork
  3. Customs clearance at the origin
  4. Transport container to the rail terminal
  5. Load the container onto a train
  6. Transport from China through Asia and Europe
  7. Clear customs in Sweden
  8. Final delivery to the consignee

Express shipping

Another way to ship packages from China to Sweden is express shipping.

  1. Transit time for express shipping is the fastest option at 2-3 business days or 3-6 calendar days from China to Sweden.
  2. It is a door-to-door shipping service offered by major carriers like UPS, FedEx, TNT, and EMS. Light items go by air and heavy items by sea.
  3. Key benefits are speed and a worry-free experience. It handles all sizes/weights of shipments.
  4. The downside is it is more expensive than alternative shipping methods like air freight or sea freight.

In summary, express shipping is the quickest transit time at 2-6 days but the most expensive method of shipping goods from China to Sweden. It offers a convenient, door-to-door service for items of any size.

Key Factors in Shipping from China to Sweden

There are several critical considerations when transporting cargo from China to Sweden.

Seaports in Sweden for imports

The major seaports in Sweden for import shipments are:

  1. Gothenburg
    • Largest port
    • Container terminal capacity of over 1 million TEUs annually
  2. Malmo
    • The Second largest port in Sweden, located in the south 
    • Key import flows include automotive vehicles and fossil fuels  
  3. Stockholm
    • The third largest port focused on Baltic shipping routes
    • The main imports are oil, steel, and forestry products

Airports in Sweden for imports

The major airports in Sweden for shipping from China are:

  1. Stockholm-Arlanda Airport (ARN)
    • Largest airport in Sweden
    • Offers direct flights from major airports in China like Beijing Capital International Airport
    • Home to Cargo City with many international airlines operating cargo flights
  2. Gothenburg Landvetter Airport
    • The second-largest airport in Sweden
    • Important freight hub in the Nordic region
    • Located close to Gothenburg city center for easy transport of goods
  3. Malmo Airport (MMX) 
    • The fourth busiest airport in Sweden
    • Situated close to Malmo city
    • Has two cargo terminals to receive shipments from China

Precautions for LCL and FCL freight

LCL Precautions:

  • Use proper boxes and sturdy packaging materials like bubble wrap for fragile goods. Plastic packaging can help fill empty space.
  • Seal boxes properly to prevent spillage.
  • Clearly label boxes on multiple sides with contents, weights, dimensions, etc. This helps with proper stacking/storage in containers.
  • Communicate shipment details thoroughly to the freight forwarder for consolidation planning.

FCL Precautions:

  • Brace and secure cargo properly inside the container using straps, airbags, pallets, etc., to prevent shifting during ocean transit.
  • Distribute weight evenly across the container floor.
  • Use moisture-resistant packaging materials if shipping perishable goods.
  • Work with the freight forwarder to advise on safe cargo loading inside the container to reduce damage risk.

The key is proper packaging, labeling, securing, and working closely with your freight forwarder for both LCL and FCL. This helps ensure cargo integrity during international shipping.

Documents required

Key export paperwork required for China to Sweden includes:

  • Commercial Invoice: Provides important details like description of goods, values, quantities, etc. Needed for customs clearance and duty/tax calculations in Sweden.
  • Packing List: Specifies what’s inside each shipment package – contents, sizes, weights, quantities, etc. Helps with consolidation planning for LCL shipments.
  • Certificate of Origin: Declares where the goods were manufactured. Some countries require this document for customs verification.
  • Bill of Lading (ocean freight) / Air Waybill (air freight): Serves as a contract between the shipper and carrier. Required for all shipments across modes.
  • Insurance Certificate: Provides coverage for cargo in transit in case of damage or loss.

Having all required paperwork ready is vital for smooth customs clearance and avoiding delays or extra costs when shipping goods from China to Sweden.

Customs clearance process in Sweden

  1. Importers must submit an import declaration and pay applicable customs duties, VAT, and other taxes when bringing goods into Sweden from non-EU countries.
  2. Goods must be presented at an approved customs location for import clearance. These can be border locations or other approved inland sites.
  3. If goods are not immediately cleared, they may be stored temporarily before clearance. Alternatively they can be kept in customs warehouses for uncleared non-EU goods.
  4. Customs value is typically based on the price paid to the supplier. If it exceeds 206,600 SEK, additional documentation like the Customs Value Declaration form may be required.
  5. At the border, goods are taken to approved locations for presentation to customs authorities. Importers then obtain a release slip to retrieve goods after clearance.
  6. The initial simplified declaration is submitted electronically (TID) or manually (SAD paper form). Supporting documents are also submitted.
  7. If errors are discovered post-clearance, amendments can be filed. Reassessment of duties may also be possible subject to approvals.

In summary, the customs clearance process involves presenting goods at approved locations, filing import declarations along with documentation, payment of applicable duties/taxes, and retrieving goods after final customs release.

Working with a Freight Forwarder

Benefits of choosing a shipping company

A freight forwarder plays a crucial role in streamlining the overall shipping process from China to Sweden. Key advantages of using a freight forwarder include:

  • Existing relationships with carriers, customs brokers, warehouses for favorable rates and services
  • Consolidation of LCL cargo for cost savings
  • Experience handling shipments, paperwork, and cargo flows between China and Sweden
  • Guidance on best transport mode, carriers, routes, and transit times
  • Assistance with trade compliance and import/export regulations
  • Preparation and submission of customs documentation
  • Coordination of pickup, final delivery, and door-to-door services

How they can help optimize the shipping process

Freight forwarders optimize the entire logistics operation by:

  • Providing personalized quotes for each shipment that considers the size, weight, volume, transport mode, and delivery schedule. This enables them to find the most cost-effective solution.
  • Booking space with carriers at the lowest possible cost using their established relationships and contracts. This leverages their buying power.
  • Issuing shipping documents like manifests and bills of lading to facilitate customs clearance and meet compliance needs. This simplifies documentation.
  • Arranging customs clearance procedures in both origin and destination countries using their expertise. This accelerates border processes.
  • Tracking inland and ocean transit until delivery. This gives clients real-time visibility.
  • Providing updates on the estimated time of arrivals (ETAs)
  • Finding the best solutions if delays or issues occur

Questions to ask potential freight forwarders

Key considerations when selecting a forwarder:

  • Years of experience with China-Sweden cargo flows
  • Client references and reviews
  • Range of services offered
  • Competitive pricing and rates
  • Certifications held
  • Memberships in industry trade organizations
  • Visibility and shipment monitoring capabilities
  • Financial stability

Vetting forwarders thoroughly ensure you choose the best partner for Sweden imports.

Why choose Luckystar Logistics

Founded in 2022, Luckystar proudly holds a distinguished position as a member of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) and operates as a Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC). Specializing in serving China, the USA, Canada, and Europe, our mission revolves around delivering top-notch service quality at cost-effective rates. With a core team boasting over two decades of logistics experience, Luckystar brings substantial expertise to the forefront. Since our establishment, we have remained committed to providing global door-to-door transport and logistics solutions with a focus on dependability, adaptability, and responsiveness.

We stand out as transportation experts, offering industry-leading solutions that pride themselves on delivering premium shipping services at a fraction of the cost compared to other freight forwarders, both in China and globally. Partnering with us is a strategic move for several reasons:

  1. Accuracy You Can Count On: Bid farewell to delivery delays as we ensure timely deliveries, which is especially crucial for businesses needing swift shipment of goods to their customers.
  2. Your Passport to Global Reach: Our extensive network of delivery destinations spans the entire globe, presenting extraordinary opportunities for businesses aiming to expand their reach. Rest assured that your package will reach almost any corner of the world, facilitating global growth for your business.
  3. Track with Ease: Eliminate guesswork with our stringent procedures, providing a live tracking mechanism. Easily follow your shipment’s progress at every stage of its journey, staying informed and enjoying peace of mind regarding its exact location.
  4. Personalized Service, Every Step of the Way: Each shipment is personally overseen by a dedicated team member, coupled with our commitment to transparency and constant communication. This ensures you are consistently updated on the progress of your cargo every step of the way.

When dealing with hazardous materials, it’s imperative to collaborate with experienced service providers to guarantee safe and efficient handling. By choosing us as your partner, you can rest assured that your shipment is in capable hands.

In your quest for a seasoned and reliable freight forwarder to facilitate your shipping needs, contact us. We are ready to assist you every step of the way. With unbeatable and surprisingly affordable shipping rates for international shipping, we stand as your cost-effective solution. Let us turn your shipping requirements into a seamless and budget-friendly experience.