The different methods of transportation between China and Australia


From China to Australia, the 2 major methods are: Sea Freight and Air Freight. We have listed two major ways below and compare each of them, from advantages to disadvantages, from ports to airports. Comparisons are made and you only need to choose what suits you best.

Sea freight from China to Australia

Overview - Trade relations between China and Australia

After Australia initiated diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China in 1972, it established an embassy in Beijing in 1973.

Australia and China bilateral relationship is based on strong complementarities in economy and trade. In 2014, the Australian Prime Minister and the Chinese President qualified the relation between both countries as a "comprehensive and strategic partnership".
A few years after the establishment of diplomatic relations between Australia and China, the market oriented reforms led to a significant and growing expansion of bilateral trade.

China is Australia's largest trading partner, mainly due to China's strong demand for iron, coal and liquefied natural gas, which together account for 27.4% of Australia's foreign trade.
Exports to China saved Australia from the global financial crisis' worst effects. Indeed, Bilateral trade registered a record of $252 billion in 2019.

The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) entered into force on December 20, 2015. CHAFTA is a history-making agreement that brings enormous benefits to Australia.

The agreement opens up valuable opportunities for Australia in China, which is Australia's largest export market for goods and services, accounting for nearly one-third of total exports, and a growing source of foreign investment.


Port of Melbourne

C'est il y après de 180 ans que l'homme d'affaire John Pascoe Fawkner en arrivant sur son navire nommé le Enterprize en 1835 qu'il donne son nom à ce port. Ce port tiens un rôle important dans l'emploi de la ville et ses habitants partagent une histoire commune. Il est dirigé depuis le 1er juillet 2003 par la port Melbourne Corporation. En 2006-2007, il est devenu le premier port australien à traiter deux millions de container par an en atteignant presque 2,6 millions de containers maintenant et environ 3000 navires par an.

Website: Port of Melbourne

Port of Fremantle

The Port of Fremantle contributes to developing and enforced maritime sector by supporting the local and national economy, with the employee amount that are involving the port activities. The Fremantle port is mainly used ofr the transport of goods such as : gypsum, clinker, sulfuric acid, coal, iron ore, fertilizer. The port is generating a value of 26 billions euros by dealing with 35.76 millions tons of merchandise each year.The port is named fremantle for the simple reason that it is the port where Captain Charles H fremantle arrived in 1829.

Website: Port of Fremantle

Transit time between China and Australian ports

Check below the average time (in days) from Australia to China in different areas.





Shangaï 19 18 21 24
Shenzhen 21 17 22 24
Guangzhou 21 21 22 24
Qingdao 23 21 24 23
Tianjin 22 22 25 25
Ningbo 21 19 23 24
Dalian 23 19 21 22


What container can I choose for shipment from China to Australia?

It's acknowledged that we have the below-mentioned choices: 

  • 20'GP, 33 cm3 capacity, 20 feet container for general purpose
  • 40'GP, 67 cm3 capacity, 40 feet container for general purpose
  • 40'HC, 76 cm3 capacity, 40 feet high cube container

However, we should know the different types of container modes when it comes to transportation:

What you should be paid attention to when choosing LCL

The terms of trade and the policies and regulations of the importing and exporting countries with regard to restrictions and requirements for various types of goods, some of which are not subject to restrictions at the time of export but are in the importing country, which, if they occur, will not only affect the clearance of the goods in question but will also directly affect other goods being transported in the same container.

There are different aspects of customs declaration, inspection, and other aspects of import and export of goods:

  • Customs clearance: Such as omission of inspection and omission of inspection items. For goods transported in the same container, if there is one batch of goods are held in customs clearance and inspection, it will affect the transportation of the whole container.
  • Complete documents: The complete of the documents, the consignor, and the port of destination, the name of the goods, specifications, packaging, quantity, weight, size, etc should be consistent with the actual condition.
  • Consistency of goods: Any error occurs, such as weight, if each batch of goods has a trace overweight, there might be a consequence of the entire container of a significant overweight. It might lead to container transport difficulties, or even worse, will occur in transport accidents.
  • Temporary changes: From the place of production to the final loading and sailing of the ship, traders and shippers will constantly check and verify the real condition of the cargo, and if any errors are found, including subjective and objective ones, they will propose to amend the documents or adjust the cargo.

Therefore, it is the duty of professional LCL company to verify all the conditions of cargoes before they are packed, and to judge accurately the various matters that may happen after the cargoes arrive at the destination port, and contact with relevant parties in time if there is any problem to ensure the smooth transportation of cargoes. If there are any problems, they should contact the relevant parties in time to ensure the smooth delivery of cargoes.

How much does sea freight between China and Australia cost?

It actually depends on different goods based on the regulations of China and Australia, and also, the date your shipment starts influences it as well. In a words, we can't guarantee a fixed-cost for you.

However, we now have a team specializing in a free quote for you, if you can fill in our online form, and indicate your shipment information, we can give you a quick response about the quotation. 

Air freight from China to Australia

There are 2 categories of Air Freight

So we have just mentioned about Sea Freight, which might be a cheaper way but the slower way. If you want to choose a faster way, here we have recommendations for you: Air Freight.

There are 2 different ways of air freight as well, they vary in some ways:

In price and speed, as well as service:

  • Traditional Airfreight: for instance,Virgin Australia, Air China, Qantas
  • Express Airfreight: for example, UPS, DHL, TNT, FedEx, ...

Why do we choose air transport?

International air transportation has advantages that no other transportation can match. It is fast(usually takes 7 days as transit time), safe, and accurate, simplifies packaging, and saves packaging costs.

International air freight is calculated in W/M, but the weight to volume ratio is 6000 cubic centimeters to 1 kilogram (equivalent to 6 cubic meters per metric ton), so the actual freight is calculated in kilograms. Although air freight is generally higher, international air freight has advantages for large volumes that no other transportation can match.

What is volumetric weight?

The airlines specify that when the cargo is small and heavy, it is calculated by actual weight; when it is large and heavy, it is calculated by volume. In centralized consignments, a shipment consists of several different pieces of cargo, both light, and heavy blister cargo.

Calculation: Volumetric weight = (length cm * width cm * height cm) / 6000

The chargeable weight is calculated using the total gross weight or total volume weight of the whole batch of goods, according to the higher of the two.

Door-to-door delivery between China and Australia

Do you find all these choices with every step are bothersome? You should choose between two different transportation methods, then it comes to LCL or FCL, and traditional or express,... I mean, how to be concentrate on your business?  Here we have a special service called door-to-door delivery. It basically means we are going to pick up your goods and prepare the documents for you and send them to the delivery address you give us.

During this period, you don't need to waste any time and energy, we can give you a professional and customized service. Check our website for any information you need, and this is exactly what we do in Docshipper.

Customs clearance in Australia for goods imported from China


Customs clearance, refers to that products imported, exported and in transit must be proclaimed to the customs authorities when entering or leaving the customs territory of a country territory ; it is only after fulfilling their obligations and going through the formalities of customs declaration, inspection, taxation and release that the goods can be released and the owner or declarant takes delivery of them. Similarly, all means of transport carrying imported and exported goods for entry, exit or transhipment must be declared to customs, go through customs formalities and obtain authorization from customs.

At the time of customs clearance, whether for import, export or transhipment, the goods are under customs control and are not allowed to move freely.


Categories of tariffs

It is a tax levied by the State on goods and articles entering or leaving the customs territory under the authority of the customs. In each country, tariffs are generally high-level taxes at a rate specified by the highest administrative unit of the State, and for countries with advanced foreign trade, tariffs are often the main source of revenue for the State and even for the State Treasury.

What are Preferential tariffs?

How to calculate customs duties and taxes?

Here are three perspectives we should take consideration into when we are going to calculate the customs duties and taxes: Tariff type, origin, and Customs value.

Firstly, we should check the tariff type of goods imported. All over the world, we are using the same system to check the tariff type for goods. Then what is this system?

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System: HS code

The Harmonized System is a multi-purpose international trade commodity classification catalog, based on the former Customs Cooperation Council's Commodity Classification List and the Standard International Trade Classification List, and harmonized with various international commodity classification lists. In reality, in order to apply to customs supervision, customs taxation, and customs statistics, it is necessary to accurately classify commodities into the corresponding categories and numbers in the Harmonized System according to the nature, purpose, function, or degree of processing of import and export commodities.

Commodity code is a scientific and systematic international trade commodity classification system, applicable to a variety of needs related to international trade, such as customs, statistics, trade, transport, production, etc., which is a kind of "standard language" of international trade commodity classification.

The composition of an HS Code is as follows

hs code pineapple

Customs vs. Customs clearance: Does Docshipper charge them?

Customs will be charged by the government of your products importing to, and it goes to the government directly. So, please notice this:  No agent has the right to charge you duty!!

If you entrust your customs clearance to us, we will charge it because we are going to help you with all the documents and make the clearance process happen smoothly.

Procedure and customs contact


Required documents


Bill of Lading

The bill of lading is issued by the carrier or the carrier's agent, certifying that the receipt of specific goods, allowing the goods to be transported to a specific destination and delivered to the consignee of the document. The bill of lading is evidence of the contract of carriage and a receipt for the goods. What does it contain? The content includes shipper, consignee, notify party, place of receipt, the port of loading, the port of discharge, place of delivery, gross weight, measurement, place, and date of issue, signed for the carrier.


Packing List

A packing list should indicate the necessary information such as Issuer, invoice number, number and kind of packages, description of goods, and should be identical to what is stated in the bill of lading.

Export enterprises not only need to provide a packing list and weight list in the export customs declaration, but the letter of credit will often also be used as a document for foreign exchange settlement. In fact, the Packing List, Weight List, and Measurement List are commercial invoices for supplementary documents. They indicate the different packaging and specifications of goods, different colors, and different weights, respectively, a detailed list of documents. It is the main basis for the buyer to check the variety, color, size, and specification of the goods and customs acceptance when receiving the goods.


Certificate of Origin

A certificate of origin is a document issued by a notary agency or the government or the exporter to prove the origin or place of manufacture of the goods, which is supplied by the exporter requested by the importer. Contents of certificate of origin: name and address of the importer/exporter; mode of transport and route; commodity mark and number; commodity name, quantity, and weight, etc. Notice: CERTIFICATE NO. This column cannot be left blank, or the certificate will be invalid.


Documents of conformity

Since 2016, all telecommunication and radio communication equipment, electrical/electronic products sold in Australia must comply with ACMA regulatory requirements which is simila to the CE label in Europe for example.
To be able to comply with all applicable ACMA regulations, concerned products should have a visible indication of the label including all technical and record keeping requirements. Like in Morocco the RCM must be attached to a product before it is supplied to the Australian market. It is the responsibility of the supplier to ensure that a compliance label is applied in the respect of rules for each product. However, An agent can also be assigned to this tasks by one of the two parties.

Restricted and prohibited products

If you want to be a successful importer, please check the following information because you don't want to waste your time and energy, even money in the products which are restricted and prohibited in Australia.

Cooperation relationship between China and Australia

Bilateral economic cooperation between the two countries is developing strongly, in fact China has overtaken Japan as Australia's largest trading partner and also its largest export market. Australia ranks 7th in the list of China's partners. Forty years ago, bilateral trade was less than $100 million, but today it is well above that figure.
Chinese investment in Australia is largely responsible for the well-being of the bilateral relationship. In recent years, Chinese investment has expanded to become the sixth largest investor in Australia, investing in both the mining and agricultural sectors.

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