Shipping from China to Canada

For every importer, the cost of shipping from China to Canada is a crucial factor. This guide will outline the considerations and costs involved in shipping from China to Canada.

Table of Contents

Are you a wholesale or retail business looking to sell goods imported from China? In this case, we recommend getting used to the different shipping routes available. Why? Because you’ll be better informed to choose the best path for your package. As a bonus, you’ll also optimise your supply channel.

This also means your company will be able to estimate delivery times more precisely. You can also choose the most cost-effective shipping route for your goods. So, without further ado, let’s dive deeper into the subject.

Read on! 

Major shipping routes from China to Canada

Let’s start by dissecting the two most common routes you’re most likely to take. If you’re ordering items from China to Canada, you may have to use either the Pacific and Atlantic routes.

Pacific Route

Very simply, the Pacific route means shipping through the Pacific Ocean. This is actually one of the most common ways to transport goods over the ocean. It typically involves sailing from major Chinese ports like Shanghai and Ningbo.

Atlantic Route

Next, we have the Atlantic route. This one ships goods through the Atlantic Ocean from Chinese ports to Canadian ports. The problem is that this option isn’t as direct as the Pacific route. But it’s best if your goods need to land somewhere in eastern Canada, like Montreal and Halifax.

Cheap shipping from China to Canada

Shipping across the ocean is undoubtedly expensive. It cost anything from $2150 to $4850 for a 40-foot container. But are there more affordable options, especially for small businesses? Absolutely! Gorto Freight recommends one of two options – Bulk Shipping or LCL Shipping.

Bulk Shipping

Bulk shipping involves handling and packing each item individually in one shipment. So, it’s an inexpensive way to transfer large quantities of goods from China to Canada. Companies often use this shipping method for items like liquids and raw materials. why? Because these loads are easy to combine into a single shipment. 

LCL Shipping

For smaller shipments from China to Canada, we wholeheartedly recommend LCL shipping. It’s more affordable since it involves filling a single container with several shipments. These packages are from various exporters, so, everyone technically owns the shipment.

Since these businesses share the container space, it saves everyone cost. Do we recommend this method? Yes! But mostly for small businesses whose goods don’t need a whole shipping container.

Shipping from China to Canada,Canadian landmark cover for product page.

Shipping from China to Canada Time

For sea freight, it may take around 20 – 40 days to arrive in Canada from China. This is because weather conditions can slow down the journey. Also, you may run into some issues with customs clearance, which will add to the delivery time..

But if you want speed, Air Freights are way faster than their sea counterparts. How fast? Well, they can deliver your goods within 5 – 10 days after ordering. But note that this transport method is quite expensive. So we only recommend it for time-sensitive shipments.

As for Land Transport, predicting the time is a little harder . why? Because it involves transporting the goods in areas near the borders of China and Canada. You may need to contact our team for an accurate estimate if you plan to use this method.

What is the best way to ship from China to Canada?

Now, let’s explore the different shopping methods for shipping from China to Canada. Why is this important? It lets your business better understand shipping parameters like budget and delivery time.

These options include:

Sea Freight:

Sea freight is typically the least expensive method if you’re sending a lot of items from China to Canada. It is also important to note that sea freight takes longer to reach their destination. However, businesses choose them because they’re less expensive.

Air Freight

If you plan to use Air freight, note that it is the fastest option on this list. However, it costs way more than other options. That’s why we only recommend it for urgent deliveries or perishable goods. But how quickly does this shipping method take? Well, it’s typically within 5–10 days, except some unexpected issue slows it down.

Express Courier

Most people choose Express couriers like UPS and DHL, for their door-to-door services. But they actually have other benefits. They also manage the entire shipping process, including customs clearance. In our opinion, this makes them one of the most hassle-free shipping options. The only problem is that they can be expensive at times.

Land Transportation

Using trucks for shipping can be great in areas where China and Canada share borders. While it’s an affordable choice, the delivery time is unpredictable. It basically depends on the chosen route and distance. So, in this case, it’s best to contact our experts for their professional insight.

Combination of Methods

It can be beneficial to utilise a combination of shipping options for packages. For time sensitive goods you may want to think about using ocean freight and air freight as needed.

Ultimately the method you choose to transport goods will depend on your requirements. Reach out to our team of shipping specialists at Gorto Freight for guidance. We can help you with the most cost effective shipping solutions for your items.

Sea freight from China to Canada

How long is sea shipping from China to Canada?

Shipping by sea from China to Canada has transit times varying from 20 to 40 days. This depends on factors like the starting point, weather conditions and customs regulations.

The primary shipping route spans the Pacific Ocean connecting ports. These include Shanghai and Ningbo to Canadian destinations like Vancouver and Montreal. This route’s popularity stems from its efficiency and direct access to markets.

It’s crucial to communicate with shipping companies or logistics professionals when making changes. They will help you with shipping plans or schedules. These experts can customise solutions based on requirements ensuring optimal delivery of goods.

Cost of shipping from China to Canada

We made a chart showing the time it takes for packages to travel from China to Canada. The chart also includes the cost, per kilogram. Here’s what we came up with;

CHINA - Canada Transit time (port to port) Transit time(door to door) Average US dollars/KG
China - Canada YYZ 13 days 28-35 days 1.42$
China - Canada YOO/YHM 13 days 28-35 days 1.42$
China - Canada YXU1/YGK1 13 days 30-40 days 1.5$
China - Canada YOW 13 days 30-38 days 1.57$
China - Canada YYC 13 days 28-35 days 1.27$
China - Canada YEG 13 days 28-36 days 1.42$

Please remember that these prices and times are estimates that may vary. They all depend on shipping providers, routes, customs, and other variables. For precise details about your shipment, consider talking to our shipping experts.

Shipping risks of shipping from China to Canada

When transporting your goods by cargo there are risks to consider. The most pressing are cargo security, transportation logistics and customs clearance.

Dealing with customs clearance can present challenges. The most common is when errors occur in your documentation. It is essential to engage customs officers to navigate this process 

The transportation and logistics industries often face some obstacles on the way. These include weather conditions, congested ports and disruptions in the supply chain. However, you can mitigate these challenges. We recommend selecting carriers, maintaining communication channels, and staying informed about prevailing conditions.

Ensuring security and preventing loss are paramount. Why? This is due to the threats of theft, damage or loss during transit. To safeguard your shipment effectively opt for carriers, with security protocols. 

Additionally, consider investing in cargo insurance. Ensuring packaging and labelling of your goods.

Air Freight from China to Canada

How long does air freight take from China to Canada?

The duration of shipping by air from China to Canada can differ based on several factors. These include the airline, flights, starting point and final destination. Customs clearance also plays a role in delivery time. Generally air freight from China to Canada usually spans one to two weeks.

Nevertheless the time frame might vary. Hence we offer a breakdown of shipping expenses, from Canada to China. For the precise details feel free to reach out to our team.

Air Freight Rates from China to Canada

The shipping fees for sending a parcel from China to Canada differs. This is based on the package weight and the specific destination within Canada. Here’s an overview of the cost per kilogram, for weight brackets;

CHINA - Canada 21KG+ 45KG+ 100KG+ Transit time(door to door)
China - Canada YYZ $6.7/KG $6.42/KG $6.14/KG 7-11days
China - Canada YOO/YHM $7/KG $6.71/KG $6.42/KG 7-11days
China - Canada YXU1/YGK1 $7.2/KG $7/KG $6.71/KG 7-11days
China - Canada YOW $7.14/KG $6.75/KG $6.57/KG 7-11days
China - Canada YYC $6.21/KG $5.92/KG $5.57/KG 7-11days
China - Canada YEG $6.5/KG $6.21/KG $5.85/KG 7-11 days
China - Canada YVR+YXK2 $6/KG $5.71/KG $5.42/KG 7-11days

Please be aware that the air freight shipment takes approximately 7 to 11 days from China to Canada. However, it can vary based on a number of factors. So for a more precise estimate, we advise contacting Gorto Freight specialists.

Express Shipping from China to Canada

When transporting products, two utilised approaches are air freight and Express shipping. Express shipping or Courier services such as DHL and UPS specialise in deliveries. They ship directly to your doorstep.

Naturally, They’re also faster than air freight. This makes them ideal for time-sensitive deliveries; however, they cost significantly more.

But when considering factors such as size, weight, and urgency, air freight is a better choice. They are great for handling sizable and heavier cargo. However, their only drawback is that they’re slower than express shipping. But this is just for one or two days. Besides, they cost far less.

Express Shipping VS Air Freight

Two common ways to send items from China to Canada are express shipping and air freight. Courier companies like DHL, FedEx, and UPS offer fast deliveries right to your door.

Air freight, on the other hand, is a more affordable choice for larger and heavier shipments. Consider size, weight, urgency, and budget. Choose between express shipping and air freight.

How long is express shipping from China to Canada?

Express shipping time from China to Canada varies by courier, city, and customs. Delivery times may differ based on factors like courier, cities, and customs. Generally, express shipping takes about 3 to 7 business days for delivery.

Unexpected events or customs delays might change when your order arrives. Contact us for the latest delivery updates. Contact us for more accurate and updated information on estimated transit time.

How much does shipping cost from China to Canada?

Shipping expenses from China differ based on factors like weight, dimensions, and worth. Additional services can also impact the expenditure.

To cut down on shipping charges, request estimates from courier companies. Evaluate their services. It’s important to factor in any fees linked to importing items. We recommend seeking guidance from a shipping specialist. They will provide you with more details on the expenses for shipping from China to Canada.

Amazon FBA to Canada

Shipping items from China to an Amazon warehouse in Canada is a journey. It all begins with selecting a shipping service that understands Amazon’s requirements.

This means understanding the guidelines for labelling and packaging within the FBA program. Subsequently products are sent from manufacturers often passing through ports. They must clear Canadian customs before reaching the designated Amazon warehouses.

You must also ensure that these items are stocked and ready for sale on Amazon’s platform. Collaborating with logistics firms experienced in dealing with Amazon can streamline this process. Enhance its predictability.

To delve deeper into this subject check out our article. It’s about shipping goods from China to the Amazon warehouse in Canada. Alternatively feel free to reach out to Gorto Freight for guidance.

Shipping container from China to Canada

Shipping costs from China to Canada cover

Container volume and dimensions

When shipping packages the 20 foot container is a choice, due to its compact and efficient design. The 40 foot container offers double the space, which makes it easy to transport a lot of cargo.

Additionally there’s the 40HQ container. Itt has a structure that provides more volume making it ideal for larger shipments. 

Each type of container is tailored to shipping requirements. So goods are transported securely and efficiently from their origin, to their destination. 

Container internal dimensions

long Width high Volume actual loading gross weight Weight limit
20FT 5.9m 2.35m 2.393m 33.2 cube 28CBM 2230Kgs 21770Kgs
40FT 12.036m 2.35m 2.392m 67.7 cube 58CBM 3700Kgs 26780Kgs
40HQ 12.010m 2.33m 2.690m 76.28 cube 68CBM 3968Kgs 26512Kgs

Container size selection

When bringing products from China to Canada it’s crucial to choose the container size. This helps cost effectiveness and efficiency. Importers often opt for the 40HQ container. This is because of its volume and weight capacity allowing them to transport goods in one go.

Essentially a 40HQ container offers more space than a 20 foot container. Its roomy interior measures 12.010 metres long, 2.33 metres wide and 2.690 metres high totaling 76.28 cube.

Moreover the 40HQ container has a weight limit compared to the 20 foot option. This allows importers to ship a lot of goods without passing the weight restriction of 26,512 kg.

Note: Due to their popularity, 40HQ containers are usually hassle free.

Container shipping rates from China to Canada

When importing goods from China to Canada importers face a range of complexities. The primary factor is the distance because shipping costs tend to rise with distance.

Opting for the 40HQ container size is a decision that maximises cargo space. It also helps manage weight restrictions, both of which directly impact freight rates. To secure terms thorough rate comparisons from freight forwarders are essential.

Shipping expenses can fluctuate due to market influences. These can include supply and demand dynamics, fuel costs and currency exchange rates. Moreover services such as transportation or customs clearance can significantly affect the cost.

Importers also need to understand the implications of Incoterms like FOB, CIF or EXW. They outline cost sharing arrangements between buyers and sellers. This knowledge is crucial, for budget management and negotiating terms.

Getting Container Quotation From Gorto Freight

Are you looking to buy containers and need a precise quote for the type and amount being purchased? You’ll need to present some crucial information. These include:

  1. Port of departure
  2. Destination port
  3. Customs clearance invoice (Packing list, product + number of pieces + value + product picture + customs code + product quantity + product size and weight)
  4. Delivery address
  5. Supplier contact information
  6. Cabinet loading time
  7. Timeliness requirements

Customs and Regulations for Shipping from China to Canada

Importers must navigate customs during the shipping process while ensuring compliance with regulations. These key elements should provide an understanding of this procedure;

Customs Clearance in Shipping from China to Canada

The following five elements are crucial when managing customs clearance:

  • Import Documentation

To import goods successfully it’s essential for importers to provide paperwork. This includes packing lists, invoices and comprehensive shipping documents. These documents play a role in declaring the contents and value of the shipment. |Once submitted, customs officials can verify your compliance with import regulations.

  • Customs Broker

Utilising a certified customs agent can greatly facilitate the import procedure. These professionals understand the intricacies of customs regulations and provide valuable assistance.

They aid importers in manoeuvring through global commerce by preparing and submitting documentation. They can then ensure adherence to regulations and simplify the process.

  • HS Codes

An accepted system known as the Harmonised System (HS) is used globally to classify goods. This classification is done using names and numbers. So, importers are required to apply these codes for categorising their products.

It is crucial to note that choosing the HS code is vital as it dictates the taxes and duties to the item. Incorrect payment from misclassification could lead to fines or delay during clearance.

  • Goods Valuation

Customs officers rely on the stated value of items to calculate taxes and fees. That makes the valuation of goods a part of the process. Note, the total transaction value, freight and insurance is considered in this assessment. 

To avoid any issues during clearance, importers must be sure that the value is accurate. This is because customs will confirm the amount, and any wrong figure will be problematic.

Duties and Taxes when Shipping from China to Canada

For dealing with duties and taxes when shipping from China and Canada, here’s what you need to know:

  • Customs Duties

The Harmonized System code and declared value are used to calculate customs duties. Note that this is the amount importers need to settle when they import goods into Canada. The duty rates may vary based on the type of goods imported and the existing trade agreements.

  • Goods and Services Tax (GST)

In Canada most products and services whether local or imported are taxed. This levy is under the Goods and Services Tax system. Presently a 5% GST rate is levied on the price of all imported items covering any customs fees well. This tax is a component of the taxes imposed on imported goods and is collected upon their entry.

  • Provincial Sales Tax (PST)

In addition to the Goods and Services Tax, certain areas in Canada levy a Provincial Sales Tax. There are differences in PST rates and regulations, across provinces.

  • Excise Taxes

When products are brought into Canada they are required to pay excise taxes on items. These include products like tobacco, alcohol and cannabis. These taxes differ from sales taxes and customs duties as they target goods.


Shipping from China requires insurance coverage to safeguard your goods from mishaps. However there are factors to keep in mind;

Cargo Insurance

Importers should consider getting cargo insurance to protect their goods from risks. This insurance covers accidents, loss, damage or theft while the goods are in transit.

Insurance Coverage Options

There are types of insurance plans in the market to meet various needs. These options include coverage that protects against all risks. There are also more specific policies that protect against dangers or complete loss.

Insurance Documentation

Importers need to acquire and thoroughly examine all insurance paperwork. This also includes the certificate and policy terms and conditions. These documents are crucial as they detail the coverage details plus required deductibles.

Claims Process

Importers must grasp the importance of understanding the claims process. Being aware of the steps for documentation and deadlines is essential for the success of a claim. So, importers should know methods to notify their insurance provider about any losses.

Additional Coverage Considerations

Importers may want to consider additional insurance options for potential delays and losses. Opting for this coverage can help address all risks and offer an added sense of security and peace of mind.

Risk Assessment

One crucial stage in the import process involves conducting a risk evaluation. By identifying vulnerabilities, importers can determine the insurance coverage to protect their investments.

Looking for a freight forwarder?

Please leave us a message and stay in touch

Free quote

We will contact you within 24Hrs, please pay attention to the email with the suffix “gortofreight.com”

gorto transparent logo 1:3