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What is the best method of transport between China and Netherlands?


It's acknowledged that there are 3 ways for carrying the goods among China and Netherlands, which are through rail, sea, and air freight. As a professional helper, we have already anaylized these 3 varing ways for you below, please follow our guide in order to know more information.


Sea freight from China to the Netherlands

Overview - Ocean shipping from China to the Netherlands

Bilateral trade between China and the Netherlands continued to grow in 2021 despite ongoing challenges in the global economy. According to the data released by the General Administration of Customs of China, the total trade volume between China and the Netherlands reached $121.34 billion in 2021, an increase of 18.3% compared to the previous year.

In 2021, China's imports from the Netherlands reached $21.61 billion, while its exports to the Netherlands amounted to $99.73 billion.

There are main four ports in Holland, and most of them contribute to the trade relationship between China and Netherlands. In recent years, not only has the investment from China to the Netherlands is increasing, the shipping from China to the Netherlands is uprising as well. Ocean shipping places a large role in the bilateral relationship.

Zeeland Seaports

Among European seaports, Zeeland Seaports lies on No. 8 for freight traffic. And among the Hamburg - Le Havre range, it accounts for No. 5. The added-value is 14 billion euros, which is a relatively high amount in the same industry. Multi-functional, multi-modal, with plenty of room for growth, that's the Zeeland Seaports. It entails very different types of cargo coming through terminals and open the hinterland through various modes of transport, with a focus on inland waterways, providing space for development, with a business park of over 1,000 hectares.

Website: Zeeland Seaports


Groningen Seaports

Groningen Seaports is the most major port for the ports of Delfzijl, Eemshaven, and adjacent industrial sites. It offers full coverage of assistance to its industry as well as business customers, from logistics and infrastructure services to site development and maintenance of the two-port areas. It's maybe not as famous and renowned as other ports, though it still exerts influential effects on the shipping and logistics industry to a large extent.

Website: Groningen Seaports

*For Netherlands, the above mentioned ports are the major 4 ports there, should you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us.

How much time does it take to ship freight from China to the Netherlands?

The average sea freight shipping time from China to the Netherlands is between 22 and 36 days. And this will vary depending on several factors such as customs formalities, and the distance between the different ports. As well as other factors.

Rotterdam Amsterdam Zeeland Seaports Groningen Seaports
Shanghai 27 33 31 32
Shenzhen 22 33 29 34
Guangzhou 26 30 30 30
Qingdao 31 34 34 31
Tianjin 33 35 32 33
Ningbo 28 31 30 34
Dalian 32 32 35 36

What type of container should I choose for shipping between China and the Netherlands?

3 sizes of containers are mainly introduced here besides those other several containers:

  • 20 feet (33 cubic meters capacity, approximately 10 pallets: each dimension of 120 x 100 cm)
  • 40 feet (67 cubic meters capacity, approximately 20 pallets)
  • 40 feet HQ (High Cube, 76 cubic meters capacity, approximately 24 pallets)

Let's take a look at the two methods of transportation:

Special maritime transport between China and Netherlands

The size of your shipment, as well as the commodity and etc. will determine the type of container you will need. Please check the following ways of the method if you are going to ship goods.


Reefer container

Refrigerated container, always referred to as Reefer container, provides with temperature maintenance in the container itself. It can transport goods under specific temperatures, always used for food, vegetables, fruits, or other chemical stuff.


A  ro-ro is a type of vessel used to transport vehicles loaded by a ramp. They are also known as Ro-Ro, from the word roll-on/roll-off. RORO is the easiest and cheapest way to transport vehicles. The vehicles are driven directly to the RORO vessel and secured to the car deck. They are safely stowed inside the boat and are weatherproof and waterproof.


Bulk goods are basically loaded in their natural form and transported on trucks, ships, planes, and other means of transport without packaging. They are mainly bulk cargoes in the block, granular, powder, or liquid forms such as grain, ore, cement, crude oil, scrap iron, and steel.


Out of Guage, Cargo that exceeds any of the standard external dimensions of the means (container) in which the cargo is carried in terms of length, width, and height. These types of cargo are frequently loaded on a platform or trailer for transport.

How much does sea freight between China and Netherlands cost?

If you want to export or import, it is important to know specific information about your goods, say, the demension and the weight of your goods. In fact, shipping pricing is always based on a weight/volume ratio. In order to save the quotation time, try to figure out specific information first then send your inquiry.

Should you have any questions or inquiries, contact our sea freight expert directly by filling out our online form.

DocShipper Advice: Looking for a reliable ocean freight solution for your imports and exports? Our DocShipper Sea Freight service offers customized solutions for all your ocean freight needs. Contact us for more information.

Air freight from China to Netherlands

Traditional or express air freight

Air shipments are a frequent choice for importers since as a means of transportation between these two territories, it's of great safety, efficiency.

Check the major two types of air freight: conventional air freight and express air freight.

These two are various from each other due to the price and service:

What are the advantages of air transport?

Air travel brings the most satisfactory speed.

Generally, transit time from China is no more than 7 business days. Actually it always takes only 3 - 5 days, which is much faster compared with sea freight. And it's acknowledged that the delivery time matters a lot in the whole selling process.

Airfreight belongs to the several links of the logistics chain, and except for this, you'll need (at least) import and export services, including airport fees, customs clearance, etc. All of these services will be provided by DocShipper.

How do you calculate the volumetric weight of your shipment?

The basic rate is a weight band rate, rapidly decreasing, with a minimum charge for very small shipments for the traditional freight. And express freight provides a rate per step depending on the dimensions of your goods as well. As it suggested, the carrier will base the rate on the greater of the gross weight and the volumetric weight, which is calculated as follows:

  • Conventional Air Freight: 1 mÂł = 167 Kgs
  • Express Air Freight: 1 mÂł = 200 kgs

How much time does it take to ship air cargo from China to the Netherlands?

The average air freight shipping time from China to the Netherlands is between 10 and 15 days. And can vary depending on several factors such as the type of service chosen, the carrier, the departure and arrival airports, and possible delays.


DocShipper info: The airway must be the most efficient way to carry your goods, despite it being more expensive, contact us to make a specialized arrangement for you at a fairly reasonable price with the fastest speed. Should you have any questions, please contact us directly as your best consultant ever. Fill out our online form for quick feedback from our experts.

Rail freight from China to the Netherlands

Rail transport from China to the Netherlands

The rail section to the Netherlands was opened in 2016. Tilburg is actually an ideal location from where we can connect to Rotterdam, Moerdijk, and even the UK and France. In addition, many large international companies have chosen to have a distribution point in Tilburg. From China to the Netherlands, it's electrical goods, such as laptops, as well as new ready-to-wear and footwear, while from the Netherlands to China, it's European brand names, from beer and wine to cars such as Land Rovers and Bentleys, and even complete industrial equipment.

And now, from China to the Netherlands, it only takes 15 days if you choose the route Chengdu-Tilburg - Rotterdam Express, which is the fastest and direct way.


Door-to-door delivery between China and Netherlands

What does it mean by door-to-door delivery? It means you don't have to take care of all the process, it including all the services from the beginning of the collection to your inclined destination.

The good news is that's what we do in DocShipper, whether you need sea, air or rail transport, we will offer our assistance in the whole process, with a reliable and professional attitude: packing, storage, loading/unloading, customs clearance, international freight, trucking...

Customs clearance in Netherlands / European Union for goods imported from China


We will be detailing the customs clearance from China to Netherlands/Euopean Union, since it's sometimes the same rules. All imported products are subject to customs debt. This is payable upon acceptance of a statement requesting MLP (Release of free practice).

Customs debt consists of tariffs that allow MLPs and VAT that allows MACs. And this should be bear in mind since it counts as the most necessary one in the process. Netherlands and EU have set specific rules about it.

And below we have listed all the information you should be aware of.

The value for duty

Imported goods will be charged duties and taxes when entering in Netherlands as well as EU. The amount of taxes will be figures out based on the total value of the imported products. 

What are the customs duties and taxes?

How to calculate customs duties and taxes?

It's essential for you to know the duties and taxes on the goods you are importing into the Netherlands. Part of the merchandise is going to be taxed largely, in contrast, others are lighter or even exempt from duties and taxes. 

First step: determine your goods' tariff type. We can call it the "HS code" as well.

Basically, there are 3 concepts when it comes to the choice of the customs treatment to your goods. Except for origin and customs value, Tariff type remains the major one.

HS Codes are important for government officials to identify goods being imported and exported in order to collect the proper taxes. HS Codes stands for Harmonized System Codes. ... They identify products that are being imported or exported through a country's borders.

The Harmonized System (HS Code) is used by the government authorities to identify products that are imported and exported for collecting the right taxes. It has already covered more than 95% of the world and applied by 207 countries.

The composition of an HS Code is as follows

hs code pineapple

Does Docshipper charge duty?

Actually, the duty shouldn't be charged by an agent since it, along with the taxes with goes to the government. Try to make a distinction with the customs clearance fee. Custom clearance fees are going to be charged by any freight forwarder like DocShipper since is the act of putting together a declaration file, the charges related to the declaration itself.


Procedure and customs contact


Docshipper Tip: Clearing your goods through customs can be a complicated task, especially when it comes to international operations. Our DocShipper Customs clearance in the Netherlands service offers complete management of all customs formalities related to the import or export of goods to the Netherlands. Contact us today to learn more about our customs clearance service.

Required documents

Bill of Lading

Document issued by the carrier. It refers to the basis for dealing with the rights and obligations of both parties in transport between the carrier and the shipper. Although generally it is not signed by both sides of a contract, the main items such as the name of the ship, sailing date, route, port of call, and other related freight items, is well known. It is also customary to become the basis for dealing with various problems in transport in the future. To know more about Bill of Lading, read this guide. It may be an AWB (airwaybill) for air cargo.


Packing List

It should be completed by the shipper and including the following:  weight (gross and net), dimensions, contents, the numbering of each package in the shipment, and any identifying features (e.g. serial numbers). It may also be used as a proof to identify if there are items damaged; most importantly, the buyer only pays duty depending on what he had received. 


Original Invoice

Remember to check if the original invoice and the packing list are remained the same. No matter in which part of the world, the original invoice is required to clear your goods through customs.


Certificate of Origin

This document is used in international trade that traditionally indicates the country of origin of the goods shipped, but the term "origin" in a Certificate of Origin (CO) means the country of the goods manufactured instead of the country from which the goods are shipped. Verifying the country of origin of the goods being shipped is the purpose of the CO. It indicates that the goods being exported were manufactured in a particular country. It plays an important role for the preferential tax rate of the product.


Documents of conformity (CE standard)

Product compliance documents, such as test reports, technical documentation, declarations of conformity and product certificates, show that a product is manufactured in accordance with the applicable product safety standards and regulations in your target market.


Your EORI number (Economic Operator Registration Identification)

Mandatory for all companies that import or export goods. If you don't remember, go to the pro-customs portal and get it from your SIRET number.


Restricted and prohibited products

Actuallly, Netherlands is relatively flexible about permits and licenses. On the other hand, certain categories of products are subject to restrictions or even totally banned, it is important to be aware of them to avoid any problems.

Are there any agreements between China and the Netherlands?

Recently, China has always been in a cooperative relationship with Netherlands. On 31 May 2013, the New Tax Treaty is signed between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the People’s Republic of China. It replace the original tax treaty which was introduce in 1987. The New Tax Treaty is introduced to enhance the investment and cooperation between the two countries of course, and there are many updates as well as improved provisions.

Top 7 freight forwarders in the Netherlands

  • DocShipper
  • Damco
  • Agility Logistics
  • Panalpina
  • Kuehne + Nagel
  • DHL Global Forwarding
  • Expeditors

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DocShipper info: Do you like our article today? For your business interest, you may like the following useful articles :

DocShipper Advise : We help you with the entire sourcing process so don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

  • Having trouble finding the appropriate product? Enjoy our sourcing services, we directly find the right suppliers for you!
  • You don't trust your supplier? Ask our experts to do quality control to guarantee the condition of your goods!
  • Do you need help with the logistics? Our international freight department supports you with door to door services!
  • You don't want to handle distribution? Our 3PL department will handle the storage, order fulfillment, and last-mile delivery!


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