Do you desire to do the import and export business between China and Netherlands? Are you a newcomer in this field and find everything so complicated? Not sure about various regulations and the requirements of documents during the whole process? With our instructions in this destination guide, we can offer you assistance which enables you to know the merits and demerits of different transportation modes, various shipping terms, etc. In conclusion, we will always be the specialized and professional helper standing by your side and making the whole process easier for you.
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 Netherlands
DocShipper Tips: Sea freight will be the best option if :
- Your cargo is more than 2 m³ (CBM)
- You don't have a time imperative
Note DocShipper: Are you looking for prices or advice for your sea freight shipment? Click on our button to fill in our online form, a dedicated expert will contact you within 24 hours!
Overview - Ocean shipping from China to the Netherlands
Bilateral trade between China and Holland reached a record high of $78.6 billion in 2017, with China's imports from the Netherlands exceeding $10 billion for the first time. It's predicted that the trade volume between the two countries will exceed $100 billion in the next five years.
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 the investment from China to Netherlands is increasing, the shipping from China to Netherlands is uprising as well. Ocean shipping places a large role in the bilateral relationship.
The main shipping seaports in Netherlands
Port of Rotterdam
In 1961, it became the world's largest port, surpassing the Port of New York (180 million tons) for the first time in terms of throughput. In 2000, it reached a record high of 320 million tons and has remained so ever since. Rotterdam annual inbound ships more than 30,000, sailing to the European countries more than 120,000 river vessels. The Port of Rotterdam has the most advanced ECT container terminal in the world, with an annual transport capacity of 6.4 million TEUs, ranking fourth in the world. The Port of Rotterdam employs more than 70,000 people, accounting for 1.4% of the national workforce, and 78% of the country's cargo volume, with a total output value of 12 billion guilders, accounting for about 2.5% of the Netherlands' gross national product.
Website: Port of Rotterdam
Port of Amsterdam
It's the second largest seaport in the Netherlands, and the first large stevedore port in the world. In order to meet the growing demand for the transport of goods, the port authorities have been working since the spring of 1993 on the construction of an international multimodal freight transport center to serve the port's production. It will be located in the western part of the port, on a 65-hectare site with a 1,000m deep-water quay and facilities for loading and unloading ro-ro vessels. The center will have 300,000 square meters of the open yard and office buildings and will be paved with the port's rail network. It will be fully equipped with warehousing facilities, trucks, and in-truck handling equipment. The construction of the intermodal center reflects the Port of Amsterdam's new strategy for port development.
Website: Port of Amsterdam
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 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.
Transit time between China and Netherlands ports
Please find below the average transit times (in days) of the most important ports in China and Netherlands:
|Rotterdam||Amsterdam||Zeeland Seaports||Groningen Seaports|
Remember that transit times just including the days onboard, which means you have to add more time for other procedures like pre-carriage, delivery as well as customs clearance. And try to add a few more days for your schedule time.
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:
Less than Container Load (LCL)
LCL is generally applied when it comes to the shipment of small volumes. In this way, the carrier classifies goods according to their nature and destination and consolidates goods of the same destination and nature into the same container for transport.
This should be suitable if:
- Your goods are a small volume range from 2 cubic meters to 13/14 cubic meters
- Your merchandise is to be shipped to various locations for its destination.
DocShipper advice: If you are transporting smaller quantities, then airfreight is the best option, as it will be more competitive for shipments under 1/2 cubic meter. Except for the price, airfreight is considered much faster (by air: less than a week; LCL by sea: 40 days).
FCL (Full Container Load)
This way of delivery is the most common, but also the most efficient because from beginning to end, the goods will not be unloaded and distributed to the consolidation warehouse. FCL enables you to forward large volumes of goods, and as you own the usage of the whole container, it should be faster compared with LCL. Your container is sealed during the whole shipping process, thus bringing down the instability and fees.
If you want to load exceptionally large goods (such as a piece of very big furniture for example), you have the choice between Open top container or Flat rack container.
DocShipper tips: From our perspective, we'd suggest you to choose FCL when your volume is larger than 13/14 cubic meters. It's much more cost-efficient and reliable, and except a customs control, in the port, there will be no handling of your merchandise.
Advantages of Maritime Groupage (LCL)
- Any kind of goods can be shipped under the safety regulations
- Best choice for "heavy" goods, when the volume is less than the weight
- Suitable for small volumes economically
Disadvantages of LCL
- Transport time is relatively long.
- Palletization mandatory.
- Riskier since the high handling
Advantages of the Full Container (FCL)
- Container sealed during the whole process
- Little handling
- suitable for large volumes
Disadvantages of the Full Container
- Transport time: very long time
- 13/14 m³ should be the minimum volume
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.
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.
Regarding any specific and special shipments, contact us directly we will offer you the best choice as we can, no matter personal belongings or commercial goods.
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.
Air freight from China to Netherlands
DocShipper Tips: Air freight will be the best option if :
- Your cargo is less than 2 m³
- If you have a deadline requirement
DocShipper Note: Looking for prices or tips for your air freight shipment? Click on our button to fill out our online form, a dedicated expert will contact you within 24 hours!
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:
Main Chinese airports
- PEK – Beijing Capital International Airport
- CAN – Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport
- PVG – Shanghai Pudong International Airport
- SHA – Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport
- CTU – Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport
- SZX – Shenzhen Baoan International Airport
- KMG – Kunming Changshui International Airport
- XIY – Xi’an Xianyang International Airport
- HKG – Hong Kong International Airport
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 much does air freight transport between China and Netherlands cost?
If you are going to calculate the air freight cost, remember to count all the costs, not only the airport charges, but also others regarding documentation, declaration fees, and taxes, as well as customs duties...
Keep in mind that Traditional air freight companies charge less than the courier companies since they don't require higher fixed fees. And regarding the weight and dimensions, the carrier will choose the one of great importance value.
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 m³ = 167 Kgs
- Express Air Freight: 1 m³ = 200 kgs
The airway must be the most efficient way to carry your goods, despite it's more expensive, contact us to make a specialized arrangement for you at a fairly reasonable price with the fastest speed. Shoud 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 Europe
DocShipper Tips: Rail freight will be the best option if :
- The volume of your cargo is important
- If you have a deadline requirement
DocShipper Note: Looking for prices or advice for your rail freight shipment? Click on our button to fill out our online form, a dedicated expert will contact you within 24 hours!
Rail transport from China to 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.
What are the advantages of rail transport between China and Netherlands?
As we know that, compared with airfreight, Rail transport is cheaper and compared with sea freight, rail transport is faster, it is more and more applied in many business between China and the Netherlands. So, what exactly are the merits of rail transport?
- Transit time is greatly shortened- around 15-20 days.
- Either LCL or FCL will be taken depending on your goods.
- For most people, it's environmentally friendly compared with other tools.
- It's can be applied with special transports and other containers, such as open tops, reefers, tanks.
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...
Why is door-to-door service useful?
Actually, door-to-door service means"all-inclusive". If you are not familiar with all the processes and inclined to avoid the scams during the logistic process, try to hire a professional agent to carry out your tasks.
This service makes your business more smooth, and you are not only going to save money, you are going to save your time and energy.
If you need help, don't hesitate to hire a professional agent, since it's what we do in DocShipper!
Click here to take a look at our dedicated page that provides more details about this service: Door-to-door service
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.
The value for duty
It includes the price of the products as soon as they are not on the supplier's side, along with the transportation cost when entrying Netherlands. We also refer to it as the CIF (Incoterm) charge.
It is the proof of collecting customs duties - also called as "Release for free circulation or MLP".
The statistical value or value for duty
The statistical value should include the cost of the goods as well as its transport costs, until entering the Netherlands territory. And it's the same for EU territory. And always been used to figured out the foreign trade statistic as well as the taxes.
The tax value
"First destination value" is another well known name for the tax value. This is always be referred as the proof when VAT is to be charged- called as "Release for Consumption or MAC".
The taxable amount should include followings :
- Except for the VAT, it should be charged based on taxes, duties, levies, and other charges that occurs because of the import.
- Costs along with the transaction process, for instance, commission, packaging, transport, and insurance costs incurred until the arrival of Netherlands territory.
What are the customs duties and taxes?
It is a common tariff that applies when you arrive the territory of the Netherlands. Sometimes there will be various agreements that enable you to reduce or even exempt tariffs. If the goods come from a third country, the duty is paid by the importer. They apply to the customs value at the Netherlands border.
Dumping relates to the sale of a country's goods in a foreign country at a lower which even lower than the cost of the manufacturing or below the domestic market. Countries have the right to impose anti-dumping duties to avoid unfair competition and harm to similar goods domestic.
Certain agricultural products purchased at a relatively low prices outside the Netherlands or covered by the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy). This is mainly to compensate the higher price of agricultural products in a country leading more importing activities.
An indirect tax on the consumption or use of certain products (alcoholic beverages, mineral oils and tobacco products) is known as an excise tax. It is levied on MAC or MLP.
National tax policy leads directly to VAT. MACs will be authorized at the national level, once VAT is paid. All cost elements, including customs duties are included by the basis or (base) for the calculation of VAT.
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
How do I find the HS Code?
The easiest way to find out the HS code of your merchandise is to ask your supplier for it, since he should be familiar with this if he sells his products for export.
And also, you can check it by yourself by searching the tariff database of any country using the "Harmonized System" and just typing your keyword.
Calculate applicable tariff with the HS code
If you have problems, please check the Netherlands Customs Website for more knowledge about the HS code.
And here we are going to calculate applicable tarriff with the HS code, since its from EU, so go on this link (Free Trade Agreement Portal European Union), you will get a page like this :
We will see this together as below with European website customs :
Filled your information of following two, along with our screenshots:
- Your HS Code
- Origin of goods
Check the duties and taxes applied to your product
Interpretation of information : We can learn that customs duties on Pineapples from China are 7.7% of the CIF value, which must be added the VAT of the country of destination.
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
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. It may be an AWB (airwaybill) for air cargo.
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.
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.
- Pleasure crafts (boats)
- Drugs (Opium Act)
- Cars and motorcycles
- Chemical products
- Products related with medical
- Counterfeit articles
- Protected animal and plant species
- Weapons, ammunition and dummy weapons and explosives
If you intend to import any products of the above mentioned to Netherlands, check with us and we will give you best anwer.
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.
Other logistics services
Warehousing and storage
We have our branch company and warehouse in China as well as Europe, and no matter you are a supplier from China or Europe, we can offer you the most reliable service you could ever imagine. LCL and FCL will remain on your choice depending on the goods, or you can leave these stuff to us, we will arrange the best choice for you.
More info on our dedicated page: Warehousing services
Packaging and repackaging
Firstly we should mention that we offer the choice of cardboard box, palletization, wooden crate and others such as bubble wrap, adhesive tape, etc. And it's acknowledged the importance of packaging and repackaging since you have to sell at the goods' original shape and appearance. We don't have to address the necessity of that, contact us to offer you the best packaging service.
More info on our dedicated page: Packing Services
Calculation generally applied: premium rate x reported amount
Insurances are important when it comes to everything. Before your payment, remember to check it as what we suggest here: The rate is variable according to the mode of transport, the nature of the goods... The insurance value declared by the subscriber (generally national costs + costs related to the main transport), the uses allow increasing the insured value by a maximum of 20%. And also, this rate is not fixed all the time, it varies along with the nature and category of your goods.
More info on our dedicated page: Insurance services
Supplier Management in China
Don't start to find a supplier when other thing are finished, we will contact your supplier in the first place and guarantee that you have the right and best product. We know more precisely the characteristics of the product (CE standards) and will go through them with a fine comb (especially the condition + packaging). Your products will not leave without proper packaging if under DocShipper's supervision.
The operation will run smoothly from start to finish (whatever the incoterm) and our staff is fluent in Mandarin / English / French in order, among other things, to verify the dimensions and HS code of your goods.
More info on our dedicated page: Sourcing Services
Order fulfilment/packaging/labelling: With our warehouse in Camporosso in Northern Italy, we can store your inventory and prepare all your orders on a daily basis. Even supply chain is very complex and maybe you will encounter so many trouble, we'll take care of all the services you are going to need to deal with(packaging, inventory, labelling, fulfilment).
Delivery to the last mile: As a company who offers 3PL service, we naturally provide B2C delivery services for E-Commerce. We can deliver your customers within 48 hours with our warehouse in central Europe.
More info on our dedicated page: 3PL Services
Shipment of personal effects
If you are going to move from your current place to your hometown or just go back from a trip and want the luggages be shipped by others since they are too heavy, you should find us as your personal carrier. If you have problems with packing, storage, packaging or customs clearance, we can turn all these problems to OUR problems, from China to Europe (or elsewhere in the world).
More info on our dedicated page: Moving services
Along with 10 years experience in Asia, we are a mature and professional company who can provide you tailor-made transport solutions and offers at increasingly competitive prices. And it's never too late to find us, we are always happy to serve you and share our knowledge! Contact us
FAQ - Transport from China to Europe
✅ What is 3Pl service?
3PLs(The third party logistics )refers to the suppliers, which are external, providing all or part of the logistics services to the corporations. They provide logistics services generally including transportation, warehouse management, distribution, etc.This is what we do in Docshipper, provide you with the most professional 3PL service.
✅ What is the fastest rail freight from China to Netherlands
The most direct way will be Chengdu - Tilburg - Rotterdam Express, in this way, you can ship your goods within 15 days, which is faster than sea freight and cheaper than air freight.
✅ What are the transport times between China and Netherlands by freight methods?
You can choose an express solution (DHL, FedEx...) for delivery in less than 5 days door to door. Traditional air freight will be much slower and delivery time will be around 7 days. Rail freight,about 15-20 days while sea freight 35-40 days.
✅ How will DocShipper help you?
We built our business model about the fact to assist customer on all the product cycle : Sourcing services : Finding supplier (usually in China), quality control, compliance (as our customer usually come from regulated countries such US, Europe...). Shipping services : we can help you with various needs in differen regions. We provide distribution services : actually we called it 3PL (Third Part Logistics), basically we store goods, inventory management, order fulfillment and last mile delivery (this is focus for E-Merchant). Our objective for the customer : Focus on your marketing/sales, let us handle the rest