Shipping From China To The UK? Here’s What You Need To Know

Shipping From China To The UK? Here’s What You Need To Know

It’s not news that China is a key part of the global economy. Looking at international trade as a whole, China’s steadily growing economy is responsible for creating the largest shipping industry — as well as one of the most competitive and challenging markets to enter today. Over the last few decades, we have seen a vast and diverse export market appear, heavily driven by consumers looking for more affordable items with better quality products to improve their standard of living. To put it simply: China is becoming a prime country for world trade.

So what’s going on locally? The UK has found itself becoming a significant shipping destination for Chinese companies looking to export their goods to Europe, North America and other parts of Asia. With China taking on a larger role in the global trade economy, it is vital that British companies understand how to take advantage of new opportunities as and when they appear.


Distance is a key factor any international trader needs to consider. Consider distance and the type of product in question — shipping from China to the UK can take up to six weeks (42 days), though most of this time is spent waiting in port. Unfortunately, we’ve found the costs of international logistics are going up yearly with practically no growth in terms of efficiency. That means businesses need to take the initiative and reduce these costs for themselves, such as through automation in warehouses and distribution centres, which is shown to help reduce the wait time in shipping between countries. At the end of the day, costs are rising for everyone. Businesses in the UK and China both have a vested interest in making shipping more cost-efficient.

China is a big place, so when it comes to shipping, things can get pretty complicated. With online shopping so standard nowadays, international shipping is borderline standard, and China is getting overwhelmed with the number of packages coming in. All in all, everyone feels the need to ship goods internationally. This has slowed down shipping abroad because many countries cannot handle all of the traffic coming through their borders, which causes delays in the arrival and export of shipments to and from other countries as well.

One solution that some companies have used is outsourcing their shipping needs overseas. This saves businesses time and money by avoiding delays and having a better chance of getting their product by the desired date.


Are you planning to import from China? You might be surprised by long it will take for UK customs to clear your package: up five to six weeks.

It can vary greatly, however, as it can vary based on the contents. If there are no items requiring a license? The process can take as little as two weeks. However, if any of the items require a license or a permit that you don’t have, it could even take anywhere from six months to five years. This real difficulty is meeting the needs of both countries.


Need to know more? Thankfully, Uneek Group has got you covered. At Uneek Group, we have unprecedented experience in importing and freight forwarding.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: +44 (0) 20 8984 0425

Uneek Forwarding is part of the Uneek Group Ltd.

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