What is the best method of transport between  China and the Democratic Republic of the Congo?

The following part explains the main shipping options that exist between both countries and highlights each one of them in detail. We will compare the air and sea freight solutions for you, pick the most appropriate for your requirements.




Sea freight between China and the Democratic Republic of Congo

The main shipping seaports in the Democratic Republic of Congo

One of the strongest trading markets of the world, the Chinese economy is at the same time the main commercial Partner of the Congo Democratic Republic (DRC). In the year 20/20, this country represented more than 41 percent of exports from DRC for a total of US$5.79 Billion, whereas the imports of Congolese goods from China totaled 11 percent for US$256 Million. The major sectors of exports of the ROC to China include the minerals such as cobalt, Petroleum and liquified Minerals ( 83%) as well as other rare and not so rare Woods, copper and ships, or any floating objects ("floating structures"). The main products being imported are pharmaceuticals, beef, and technological or electronic components.

The port of Matadi

The country's number one export and/or import terminal, it's the country's largest seaport with an annual carrying capacity of about 2,500,000 tons. With a length of 1610 meters, it includes only 16 quays. But many cranes and other infrastructures fail to work properly, and even though it handles over 90% of the maritime freight in the DRC, the Port Matadi has been overtaken by the new harbor of Matadi Gateway (MGT). It is largely integrated into the city of Kinshasa through rail and bus lines, making it one of the most significant harbors in the country. Meanwhile, this is an internal river harbor, which reduces its depth to 5, 6, and 7 meters.


Port of Boma

Operated or managed by the Congo Shipping Company, this is one of the second-biggest harbors in the U.S. Located along the north coast of the Congo river, it was initially established for handling the export of agriculture and forest products, however, since its decline, it has specialized in managing those sectors of the industry and is now a hub of the United States' economy It is approximately 90 kilometers away from the coast of the Atlantic 

The maximum capacity of this port is about 40,000m2 storage area, with only 6 cranes and few handlers, making it ideal for managing around 6,600 TEUs and about 500,000 tons per year. And was initially designed to handle exports for agriculture and/or the forest industry, but since the decrease of these sectors, the port is now specialized in vehicle transportation for the RORO. Unlike the other ports, it benefits from an 11 m deep depth which varies depending on the natural sand deposition, which reduces the depth to 7 m at times. 


Port of Kalemie

It is located on the Western side of Tanganyika River and is served by a mole measuring about 382 m in length and about 40 m in width.  It is situated on the north side of the Kalemie river and south of the unique Lake Tanganyika's.

Being prepared for the flooding, it is raised by 776 meters over the sea surface through reinforced concretes, with a terminal for fuel transportation and the necessary infrastructures to split the incoming cargo. A dedicated Terminal for the transportation of fuel with the required equipment is planned for the division of the incoming flows. There are 5 main elements of the bridge:

-The DERRICK Group G77 Crane, with a lifting range from 50 up to 30 tons 

-The Cranes of the G76 and the 117 of the type ACMT. 

-The G76 is out of action for many years.

-The G74 and the G75 of TITAN Anversois types of cranes

-Five tons with a range of up to 7.5 m.


Transit time between Chinese and Congolese ports

Matadi Boma Kalemie
Shangaï 46 46 47
Shenzhen 42 43 44
Guangzhou 42 43 44
Qingdao 47 47 47
Tianjin 49 49 49
Ningbo 48 49 49
Dalian 48 48 48

What container to choose between China and the Democratic Republic of Congo?

There are three different types and sizes of shipping units described below:

Delivery dates mentioned are approximate and can change according to many factors, we suggest that you be very flexible. In addition, it doesn't include collection, distribution, and clearance processes.

  • 20ft container = 33 m3
  • 40ft container = 67 m3
  • 40ft HQ container = 76 m3

Here is a comparison of transport according to the last modes presented.

The following provides you with an overall view of the most up-to-date methods used for transportation.

Special maritime transport method between China and the Democratic Republic of Congo

Reefer container

These refrigerated vessels are for transportation of perishables and/or other chemical commodities, where the temperature is necessary to ensure proper shipping operations as well as safe cargo delivery to the customers' destinations within a short period of time. Reefers come in many dimensions with the most up-to-date technologies for the control of both temperature and atmosphere, even The level of humidity.


The word Ro-Ro is used in reference to ships that are specifically made to transport lorries, semi-trucks, railroad trailers, and wagons, and even to carry vehicles or other mini boats at the entry and/or exit of the vessel.

The reasons behind the usage of a RORO from China?

This is the more economical and secure option to transport a large shipment. In many cases, they are charges that may only be carried in a single unit through a dedicated wagon, from point of origin to the target area. Roro's are stored in their own container so that they are not exposed to weather conditions or damage during transportation.

 Out of Gauges (OOG)

The short form of the term OOG (Out of Gauge) refers to ''out of gauge'' or out of specification. The two following methods are used: the Open top and the Flat rack containers.

A container with an opened top is designed for transporting A container with an opened top is designed for transporting high volumes and/or high finished goods that need to be handled and loaded by a truck crane.

The container with the flat base is dedicated to the transport of heavy goods in terms of both width and height.

These types of systems allow time-saving when loading cargo not conforming to the standard shipping regulations.


This means the carriage of Bulk Shipments that are carried into the hold of a ship.  The bulk cargo and the regular goods will have different storage types, ex. the solid or liquid bulk cargoes (such as coal), or minerals, petroleum, and cement are the most frequent for this type of forwarding),  These are known as bulk carriers.

What is the cost of sea freight between China and the Democratic Republic of Congo?

When calculating the cost of cargo, the weight and the volume of the goods are crucial in order to obtain the total costs of transport. Here is how to determine the weight and the volume ratio of the products:

The weight/volume ratio : "1 ton = 1 m3"

Most of the world shipping sector agreed that the standard tariff rate is calculated according to the weight/volume ratio and based on the 1 ton = 1 m3 formula. The price is calculated in units of payload (UP) or mass expressed in tons, or the volume in volume expressed in cubic meters," in favor of the transporter" or the higher value.

For example, A shipment with a mass of six Tons and a capacity of 9 m3 will be counted as a 9 UP. In the case of a 7 tons weight and 6 m3 of volume, we count 7 UP.

Please feel comfortable contacting us directly through our online form. For more information, check the website: Sea freight.


Air freight between China and the Democratic Republic of Congo

The different types of  air freight

As 90% of goods are shipped by ocean nowadays, many importers are under time constraints that require a rapid and accurate shipment process toward the final destination. This is generally in the case for seasonal products, for electronic items, and for goods that are risky to send out by sea, they prefer to send them by air freight. 

There are 2 possible ways to deliver goods: traditional Air Cargo and Express Air Cargo.

Both have significant variations when it comes to price and service:

The traditional Air Cargo is shipped through the available space on the commercial airlines' companies like Air China, Canada, Qatari Airways, and UAE...

The express delivery by air is made by" courier companies "which operate generally through door-to-door service, including DHL, TNT, and UPS...

With Express Broker, you will get the possibility of having all of your products hand-delivered all over the world in just one week. Also, the customs procedure will not need to be handled by yourself, because this is already covered by the offer.


 Why choose air transportation ?

1. Speed

When you have to send your cargo rapidly, this is definitely the preferred solution. Nowadays, with the competitiveness of shipping in terms of rapidity, air transportation could provide you with advantages over the other competitors.

2. Reliable schedules

Most airlines maintain their schedules for arrivals or departures, or they even keep their schedules well ahead of schedule. This means that it is not necessary to reschedule your flight for the next day. In case you miss your flight, this is not so terrible as the flights are very frequent, and you can even rebook the flight for the next day.

3. The omnipresence of airports within territories

The airlines have an extensive global presence with many destinations across the world and some of them are in very remote places, making it very difficult to access them by ocean freight. This means that the cargo could be transported to some destinations that are not accessible by maritime transport.

The insurance costs will be cheaper than sea freight because of its lower duration, which means that although the air cargo is more expensive, you may save some money.

4. Safe and low-risk

Transportation by plane has the highest safety standards, with many safety regulations set at airports, both for cargo and for staff.

5. Smaller storage

The quicker delivery time of air cargo enables you to ship less quantity with more regular intervals, resulting in fewer warehouses. Custom clearances and inspections of cargo by customs are more efficient because most goods can be released in just a few hours.

The Air cargo represents only part of the "supply chain", as well as the major shipping, you will need all the required paperwork related to the import/export, including airport fees and the transportation of products to their final destination... DocShipper can help you with all these services too!

What is volumetric weight ?

For the traditional cargo, the ratio between weight / Volume is based on the ratio of 1T.for 6 (1 ton for 6 m3) with an additional fee of the gross load equivalent to 1 for 6. The real bulk is then divided by the 6 in order to calculate the dimensional weight, forming the basis of pricing. There is a 1:5 formula for rapid delivery.

Conventional Air cargo : 1 m³ = 167 Kg

express air freight : we will calculate 1 m³ = 200 Kg

Customs clearance in the Democratic Republic for goods imported from China

Choose an airline for faster delivery, it can be cost-effective, so you save time and money! Just choose the shipment method that meets your requirements and your need! Please fill out our online form(put link) and our experts will contact you in less than 48 hours.

In this section, we are going to cover in detail all aspects related to the border crossing procedure, a key element for importing merchandise out of China to other countries around the world.

It is necessary to be aware of the regulations and requirements concerning the territory of the Congo.

We will provide you with details on which products are legal for importation and which ones are restricted, plus instructions on the calculation of duty and fees.

Restricted and banned goods

We are used to dealing with the importers who have their products stopped by customs for some reason or other. In most cases, this is caused by the fact that the importers are not informed properly. This is why we advise you to inform yourselves through our guide and prevent any problems with customs clearances as much as possible.

Be completely informed of all the information concerning the commodities that you would like to export/import.

Getting every single piece of information on the manufacturer or export company is essential in order to be successful in the process of importation or exportation.

Be certain of the acceptance of the merchandise you are importing into the territory of the Congo.



Customs procedure

In order to avoid any problem, it is necessary to get the Bill of Lading, a unique certificate that allows you to have access to the Customs declaration, as well as to the importation/exportation process, and to calculate all taxes of the products you have bought or exported.

What is the customs classification of your products?

When you are allowed to bring in your goods into the Republic of Congo, it is necessary that you obtain a tariff classification number. This number determines the customs clearance fees to be charged for your goods

Identify the "HS code" for the products

The commodity number code, including the origin and the value of the goods for Customs control, is used to identify the customs clearance procedure.

The Harmonized  System  ("HS code"), used by 207 states worldwide (representing about 95% of global trade). This is a unique and systematic way of categorizing all types of goods traded worldwide, and providing a number for every sort of product or good that is traded internationally.


Here is the composition of a HS Code

hs code ananas

Required documents

Through customs. The following are the documents you may need for the clearance of your goods:

Original invoice

Also referred to as a trade invoice, usually serves two functions: the customs release as well as the purchase approval.

The Bill of Lading

There are different types of Bills of Lading, such as the bill of lading. It includes all the terms of the agreement made between the carrier and the forwarder, such as point of departure/arrival, etc. In the case of Air Cargo, it is called an AWB (Air Waybill).

Docshipper’s other logistics services

Storage service

Packaging service

Transport insurance

Sourcing services


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