Are you searching for reliable air freight from China to the UK? We have contract agreements with all major airlines – giving us a selection of routes from all Chinese airports at extremely competitive prices. Whether you need the fastest possible direct flight, or the cheapest rate via an indirect route, we are confident that we can offer the right solution for you.
Send from anywhere in China
Our main operating airports in China are at Pudong (Shanghai) and Beijing. As the busiest airports in China they host many of the largest cargo airlines providing direct connections to Heathrow as well as other airports throughout the UK and Europe. From other locations, cargo can either be sent on a direct flight to the UK, or via a connecting flight through Shanghai or Beijing. Direct flights have the advantage of being quicker – however some airports may have only one or two airlines operating a direct service giving us less flexibility to negotiate lower rates. Indirect flights are a little slower as the goods have to be offloaded and reloaded at the connecting hub – but do mean we have access to the full range of airlines operating out of the main airports.
The airports we can offer direct flights to the UK from include Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Nanjing, Xiamen, Qingdao, Tianjin and Dalian. For other regional airports there may only be indirect flights but we would always suggest speaking to our imports team directly as schedules are often changing with new routes coming online.
Depending on the arrangements you have made with your seller/manufacturer in China, it may be the case that your goods need to be collected from their premises (known as an EX WORKS shipment). Our local partner can arrange collection from anywhere in China and transport by road to the airport of departure. They will arrange X-Ray screening prior to loading at the airline and issue the correct export documentation.
Customs Cleared and delivered to your door
Once your consignment arrives at the UK airport we will arrange customs clearance with HMRC on your behalf. In order to do this we will generally require a copy of the commercial invoice from your seller. Depending on the commodity being imported we may also require further documentation – our imports team will be able to offer specific guidance and it is generally best to check this before booking to avoid any last minute surprises. Most commercial imports are liable for duty and/or VAT. Once again our imports team can offer specific information and calculate these duties before sending – so you will know in advance exactly what costs will be incurred.
Once HMRC have granted clearance and any duty or VAT is paid we can arrange delivery to your premises. This is usually done on a next working day basis, but for urgent consignments we are able to arrange same day delivery on a dedicated vehicle. Alternatively, you can collect your shipment directly from the airport using your own vehicle.
Cost of Air Freight from China
Air freight rates from China are subject to constant fluctuation. The key driving factors are space availability, fuel costs and currency exchange rates. Of these, space availability is by far the most influential factor. During peak-season (just before Christmas and just before Chinese New Year) there is more cargo flying from China than the airlines can handle. When demand exceeds supply the airlines can and do increase their rates accordingly. This is where our knowledge of the market comes in to play. By holding accounts with every major airline we can continuously monitor rates and space availability in order to provide an option that works for your specific business case.
An example of this was a recent shipment for a customer who urgently required spare parts from a Chinese factory before the Christmas shutdown. The airlines we use for this specific route were demanding a rate that was nearly three times the usual charge and an indirect flight would not have arrived in time. We were able to arrange a direct flight to Paris and then delivery to the southeast of the UK by road – delivering the goods just in time and with a significant cost saving.
Away from peak season, fluctuations are generally less severe, and for most routes we can offer rates that are valid for up to a month in advance. By constantly monitoring market conditions we can also take advantage of one-off special rates. For example, an airline may plan an extra-large aircraft to carry a particular shipment only to have it cancelled leaving an urgent need to sell-off the empty space now left on the plane.
To get a quick quote for your shipment you can complete the enquiry form at the top of this page. If you need more detailed information or advice you can contact our import team on 0845 463 4656. We will provide specific guidance on routing and flight times, and a written quotation that clearly details all applicable charges.