Air Freight from China to UK

Air Freight Shipping From China with Rapid Shipping 

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Are you searching for a reliable air freight service from China to the UK? 

As International shipping services, 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 shipping prices via an indirect route, we are confident that we can offer the right solution for you with our wide range of air shipping methods and services. 

For peace of mind, cargo insurance is always included to ensure protection and 

Send from Anywhere in China

Our main operating airports in China are 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 that does 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) as road freight. 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 Goods, 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 to help settle import duties quickly and efficiently. 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 so it’s likely you need to check if you’ll be liable to pay customs fees, however, we can always help look into this for you. Once again our imports team can offer specific information and calculate these duties before sending – so you will know in advance exactly what shipping costs will be incurred.

Once HMRC has granted clearance and any customs duty or VAT is paid we can arrange a drop-off service to your chosen delivery address. 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 Shipping 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 and shipping lines can handle. When demand exceeds supply the airlines can and do increase their shipping costs accordingly, while shipping times may also be affected. This is where our knowledge of the market comes into 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, ensuring you get the best air freight shipping service.

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, the fluctuations in cost when shipping by air are generally less severe, and for most routes we can offer rates that are valid for up to a month in advance as well as express delivery options. 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, to get an idea of transit times or just to talk through customs duties and shipping terms 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 for friendly advice. We will provide specific guidance on routing and flight times with a written quotation that clearly details all applicable charges. 

Call us on 01604 926201 or complete the shipping quote request form for expert help, guidance and above all competitive rates.