Do you want to export from China to the Philippines? Perhaps you want to know every detail you may need to nail your freight shipping process between China and the Philippines.

Nothing is complicated, all that is required is a thorough examination of the various modes of transportation and documentation that must be provided. This guide will summarize the most crucial aspects of the Freight shipping process from China to the Philippines in detail.

What is the best method of transportation between China and the Philippines?

To begin with, we will compare the different existing modes of transport between China and the Philippines: sea freight and air freight.

We will give you the advantages and disadvantages of each of these modes of transportation. And we will guide you on your choice with advice according to different situations.

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Sea freight from China to the Philippines

Ocean freight between China and the Philippines

Trade relations between China and the Philippines have a centuries-old history of fruitful and mutually beneficial exchanges. Maritime transport has played a key role in the development of these economic ties.

In recent decades, bilateral trade between the two countries has experienced remarkable growth, driven by economic expansion in both China and the Philippines.Sea freight has emerged as the preferred choice for moving a wide range of goods, including manufactured goods, raw materials, electronics, and everyday consumer goods. Major Chinese and Philippine ports have adapted to this growing demand by modernizing their infrastructure and introducing efficient procedures to facilitate sea transport operations.

This section will focus on sea freight between China and the Philippines, covering the main ports in both countries, transit times, the various types of containers used, and the associated transport costs.

Main ports of China

The port of Shanghai

port of ShanghaiThe Port of Shanghai, is the world's largest container port, with a cargo capacity of over 40 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) per year. In 2020, it handled over 43.5 million TEUs of cargo.

The port of Ningbo-Zhoushan

port of NingboNingbo-Zhoushan Port, is the second-largest container port in China, with a cargo capacity of about 30 million TEUs per year. In 2020, it recorded a cargo volume of nearly 28.8 million TEUs.

The port of Shenzhen

logo port ShenzhenThe Port of Shenzhen, is one of China's busiest ports, with a cargo capacity of about 25 million TEUs per year. In 2020, it handled more than 25.2 million TEUs of cargo.

The port of Tianjin

Tianjin port logoTianjin Port, is one of the country's largest ports, with a cargo capacity of about 17 million TEUs per year. In 2020, it handled more than 17.6 million TEUs of cargo.

The port of Qingdao

Qingdao port logoQingdao Port, with a cargo capacity of about 18 million TEUs per year and a cargo volume of nearly 18.5 million TEUs in 2020.

Philippine ports

The Port of Manila

He's a major seaport in Manila Bay, Philippines. It is one of the most important ports in the Asia-Pacific region in terms of cargo volume handled.

The Port of Manila plays a crucial role in trade between the Philippines and China. Due to its strategic geographical position, it serves as an essential gateway for trade between the two countries. It facilitates the transport of goods such as electronics, textiles, automotive parts, foodstuffs and many others.

The geographical proximity between Manila and China enables a fluid flow of trade, promoting economic exchanges and strengthening bilateral relations. Imports from China are routed via the Port of Manila to the Philippines, while Philippine exports to China also pass through this port.

The Port of Cebu

It is one of the Philippines' most important ports, located in the city of Cebu. It plays a crucial role in the region's economic development and is considered a vital maritime hub in Southeast Asia.

The Port of Cebu is strategically positioned as a hub for trade and logistics between the Philippines and other countries. It boasts a modern infrastructure, well-equipped quays, and well-organized terminals to accommodate ships of all sizes.

In terms of its importance to China, the Port of Cebu plays a key role in strengthening economic ties between the two countries. China is one of the Philippines' major trading partners, and the Port of Cebu facilitates the transport of goods between the two nations. Many Chinese products are imported through the Port of Cebu, contributing to economic growth and bilateral trade.

The Port of Davao

Located in the province of Davao del Sur in the Philippines, it is an important seaport in the Mindanao region. It is considered the third-busiest port in the country.

In terms of its importance to China, the port of Davao plays a significant role in trade between the Philippines and China. China is one of the Philippines' main trading partners, and Davao is one of the key ports used to facilitate this trade.

Chinese investments have modernized and developed Davao's port infrastructure, consolidating bilateral trade and economic ties. It thus plays a key role in trade relations between China and the Philippines.

The port of Subic Bay

It is of great geostrategic importance due to its proximity to China. Indeed, it is located relatively close to the vital shipping lanes of the South China Sea. This region is a crucial transit point for international trade and the transport of goods to and from China.

In addition, the port of Subic Bay plays a key role in trade between China and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries. It provides a logistical platform to facilitate imports and exports between these regions, strengthening economic and trade ties between China and Southeast Asian countries.

The Port of Batangas

It is one of the most important ports in the Philippines. Located in the province of Batangas, it plays a crucial role in the country's maritime trade.

With regard to the importance of the Port of Batangas with China, it should be noted that China is a key trading partner for the Philippines. The Port of Batangas is a crucial link in trade between the two countries, enabling the efficient transport of goods between Chinese and Philippine ports.

How much time does it take ship from China to the Philippines

Above is a table showing the average transit times between the main ports in China and the main ports of the Philippines.

  Shanghai Ningbo-Zhoushan Shenzhen Tianjin Qingdao
Manilla 10 days 4 days 9 days 12 days 11 days
Cebu 11 days 4 days 10 days 13 days 12 days
Davao 12 days 4 days 11 days 14 days 13 days
Batangas 10 days 4 days 9 days 12 days 11 days

These transit times are given as an indication and may vary slightly.

Should I ship by groupage or full container between China and Philippines?

There are different types of containers, but the three most commonly used are:

For each type of container, two different shipping methods can be used.

Maritime consolidation or LCL (Less than Container Load)

Maritime consolidation allows you to send goods when you do not have enough cargo to fill an entire container. The rest of the available space will then be used by other customers. This saves money when you send a quantity of goods less than 15 CBM.

DocShipper Advice: We advise you to opt for sea freight if your shipment is over 2 cubic meters. Whether you choose the LCL or FCL shipping method, we can handle your shipment. Do not hesitate to contact us!

How much does sea freight cost between China and the Philippines?

The cost of sea freight between China and the Philippines can vary depending on several factors, including the volume of goods, the type of cargo, the chosen shipping method, and the specific route. Additionally, freight rates are subject to market fluctuations and other external factors. Fill out our form with the necessary information and receive a free quote in less than 24 hours!

Tariff surcharges

Here are some common tariff surcharges that may be applicable in the Philippines :

  • Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF): This surcharge accounts for the fluctuating cost of fuel (bunker fuel) used in shipping vessels. It helps shipping lines offset the impact of fuel price changes.
  • Peak Season Surcharge (PSS): This surcharge is applied during peak shipping seasons when demand for container space is high. It helps shipping lines manage capacity and balance supply and demand.
  • Currency Adjustment Factor (CAF): This surcharge addresses currency exchange rate fluctuations between the booking currency and the currency in which the shipping costs are invoiced.
  • Emergency Risk Surcharge (ERS): This surcharge may be imposed during periods of unforeseen events or emergencies that can impact shipping operations, such as natural disasters or geopolitical disruptions.
  • Low Sulfur Surcharge (LSS): This surcharge is introduced to comply with regulations requiring the use of low-sulfur fuel to reduce emissions. It covers the additional cost associated with using cleaner fuels.
  • Congestion Surcharge: This surcharge is applied when there is congestion at a specific port or terminal, leading to delays and additional operational costs for shipping lines.

DocShipper info: If you would like to know the exact cost of your sea freight shipment between China and the Philippines, the easiest way is to fill in our contact form. You'll receive a free quote in less than 24 hours!

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Airfreight from China to the Philippines

Classic or express air freight?

Air freight between the Philippines and China is a crucial mode of transportation for time-sensitive and high-value goods. The Philippines, with its strategic location and well-developed aviation infrastructure, serves as a major air cargo hub in the region.

Numerous airlines operate frequent flights connecting the Philippines and various cities in China. These flights provide efficient and speedy transport options for both imports and exports.

There are two different forms of air freight:

Conventional air freight: This option uses the space available on commercial aircraft and is used by airlines such as British Airways, Cathay Pacific, and Emirates to ship goods on scheduled flights.

Express air freight: With this second option, more expensive, items are transported by specialized freight operators such as DHL, FedEx, and UPS.

services express

How much does air freight cost between China and the Philippines?

The cost of air freight between China and the Philippines depends on a number of factors, including the weight and size of the consignment, the distance between the airports, the urgency of delivery, and current market pricing.

Air freight rates are often computed on volumetric or gross weight, with the bigger of the two determining the shipping cost. The shipping cost might range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.

How to calculate the volumetric weight of your shipment?

The load's gross weight comprises the weight of the items as well as the weight of their packaging or pallet.

The volumetric weight of a package is the volume occupied by it, depending on its dimensions and gross weight. To determine the volumetric weight, measure the package's dimensions (length, breadth, and height) and then convert them to cubic meters. Then follow this formula:

Volumetric weight = (length x width x height) / 5000

(where 5000 is a standard conversion factor used in air freight)

gross weight air freight

air weight volumetric formula

Door-to-door delivery between China and the Philippines

The transportation of products from the place of origin to the ultimate destination, including the collection, transportation, and delivery of goods, is referred to as a door-to-door delivery service. Shippers benefit from this service since they no longer have to worry about the logistics of shipping their goods. E-commerce shipments, package deliveries, and other small to medium-sized items are frequently delivered door-to-door.

You may utilize specialist organizations like DocShipper China to take advantage of this service, which will manage the entire procedure for you. You may be confident that you will receive professional and high-quality service from our team of specialists and our global partners.

DocShipper info: Door-to-door services are very useful: your products will arrive quickly, and you can be sure that your transport will go smoothly! Contact us to find out more.


Customs clearance between China and the Philippines.

How can you find out which customs duties and taxes apply to your goods? All you need to know is the HS (Harmonized System) code! All member countries of the World Trade Organization have this HS code (composed of at least 6 digits). Each product has a different HS code depending on its characteristics. And thanks to this code, you can find out which customs duties and taxes apply to your product on the Hong Kong customs website.

Here's what an HS Code is made of :

hs code pineapple

How can I find the HS code for my products?

Go to this page: HTS - HS Code Finder and enter your product name. All you need to do is check which HS code your product corresponds to in the results. In the following example we take the case of pineapple.

find HS code online

Calculation of customs duties with HS code

Once you have the HS code, you can easily find the duties and taxes that apply to your product;

As for customs clearance in China, just go to the China Customs page: China Customs Tariff.

Please enter your HS code on this page first:


Click Search, and the results will look like this:


3 categories arise import tax and duty, customs declaration, and landed costs.

Let's take a look at them:

  • Import duties and Taxes in China

Tariffs and taxes in China

  • Cost calculator for cash procurement in China

China boarding cost calculator

As we can see, if you import products falling into category 0804 30, you won't pay customs duties when importing into China.

Does Docshipper charge customs duties?

No, DocShipper does not charge any commission on customs duties. DocShipper only collects customs clearance fees, as our professionals prepare the official documents to be shown to customs.

Customs procedure and contact

What import and export licenses are required?

To import goods from China to the Philippines, you will need to fulfill certain licensing requirements. Here are the general steps and licenses required for importing goods:

  1. Business Registration: Register your business with the Philippine government. You need to obtain a valid Business Name Registration from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) if you are a sole proprietorship, or register as a corporation with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for other types of businesses.
  2. Importer's Clearance Certificate (ICC): Apply for an ICC from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). This certificate is required for all importers and is used to validate your business and tax registration.
  3. Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Registration (Optional): If you plan to operate within a PEZA-accredited zone, you may need to register with PEZA to avail yourself of certain incentives and benefits.
  4. Bureau of Customs (BOC) Registration: Register with the BOC by filing the necessary forms and providing the required documents. This step will provide you with a unique Business Identification Number (BIN) and enable you to engage in import activities.
  5. Importer's Accreditation: Apply for importer's accreditation from the BOC. This process involves submitting various documents such as your business registration, ICC, and other supporting requirements.
  6. Importer Clearance Certificate (ICC): Secure an ICC from the BOC by filing the necessary forms and paying the corresponding fees. The ICC is an official document that certifies the legitimacy of your importation activities.
  7. Payment of Duties and Taxes: Importation involves the payment of duties, taxes, and other fees. Ensure you comply with customs regulations and pay the necessary charges to facilitate the release of your imported goods.

Please note that specific import requirements may vary depending on the type of goods you are importing. It is essential to consult with the relevant government agencies, such as the BOC and DTI, or seek assistance from a customs broker or import consultant to ensure compliance with the latest regulations and procedures.


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