Which are the different means of transportation between China and France?

For freight transport to France, the 3 major methods are Rail Freight, Sea Freight, and Air Freight.

We have listed three major ways below and compared 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 France

Overview – Trade relations between China and France

China and France have deep historical relations: in 1964, France became the first Western power to establish diplomatic relations with China; in 1997, France became the first Western power to establish a comprehensive partnership with China; and in 2000, China and France jointly pioneered a bilateral strategic dialogue. It can be said that these histories have made Sino-French relations a model for China-West cooperation.

In recent years, bilateral trade between China and France has risen greatly, with French exporting to China in fields as medicine, agriculture, and food growing rapidly, especially in the new business model represented by e-commerce, and the scale of business cooperation expanding continuously. Chinese enterprises are expanding their investment in France as well. At present, Paris is the key region for Chinese enterprises to invest in France, with more than 40% of Chinese enterprises choosing Paris for investment and cooperation. However, in addition to Paris, Rhône-Alpes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Brittany, and Normandie are also becoming hot spots for Chinese companies to invest.

This year is an important moment of the 56th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France, further deepening bilateral economic and trade cooperation is an important guarantee for the continued vitality of the relationship between the two countries, and the prospect of Sino-France relations will be more promising. At the same time, close business contacts will also promote the common development of the economy and trade between the two countries and make new and greater contributions to win-win cooperation.

DocShipper Alert : DocShipper is an international freight forwarder that organizes the transportation of your goods from the supplier's warehouse to the final destination. Relax, because we take care of everything: from packing, to organizing the transport, to customs clearance and administrative procedures, regardless of the shipping method (air, sea, road, rail).

Contact us to receive a free estimate in less than 24 hours. You have a question ? Call our consultants for free.

Port of Bordeaux

The port of Bordeaux is a French commercial port located in the southwest of the country along the lower Garonne River, with an airport and a port above the stone bridge in the port city, distributed in six-port areas, three of the mains are dry cargo port area. The total length of the wharf line is 11 kilometers, with about 90 berths, handling petroleum, timber, coal, ore, grain, fertilizer, general cargo, and liquor.

Website:Port of Bordeaux

Port of Lyon

Since 2006, the Port of Lyon has been committed to a sustainable development approach that aims to strike a balance between port development, urban development, and environmental quality in order to optimize the management and attractiveness of its site. It is reorienting its land-use policy by favoring projects that use multimodality (river and rail) to serve the city. The Port of Lyon also aims to develop a relevant rail offer by optimizing reception capacities on the bundle and by opening up to alternative operators.

Website: Port of Lyon

How much does it take to ship freight from China to France?

The average shipping time from China to France is two to five weeks, depending on the shipping method chosen. The cost also depends on various factors such as the weight, volume, and nature of the goods, as well as the chosen mode of transportation (sea, air, or land). It is recommended that you contact shipping companies or freight brokers such as DocShipper to get an accurate quote for your shipment. Do not hesitate to contact us for a free quote within 24 hours.

Le Havre




Shangaï 26 27 35 32
Shenzhen 26 32 28 32
Guangzhou 28 34 28 28
Qingdao 32 29 34 32
Tianjin 31 30 37 35
Ningbo 30 26 35 26
Dalian 27 29 37 30


What shipping container to France can I choose for shipment?

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

  • 20'GP, 33 cm3 capacity, 20 feet (6.1 m) container for general purpose
  • 40'GP, 67 cm3 capacity, 40 feet (12.19 m) container for general purpose
  • 40'HC, 76 cm3 capacity, 40 feet (12.19 m) high cube container

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

DocShipper Alert: Are you planning to ship goods to France by sea? Whether it's a groupage shipment or a full container, DocShipper takes care of all the procedures with the various players in the logistics chain. A single point of contact, dedicated service, peace of mind, expertise... DocShipper makes importing and exporting more pleasant.

You can contact us to receive a free estimate in less than 24 hours. Or if you have a question, Call our consultants for free.



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 Ocean freight between China and France cost?

It actually depends on different goods based on the regulations of China and France, 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 France

There are 2 categories of Air Freight

So we have just mentioned 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 to France,as well, they vary in some ways:

In price and speed, as well as service:

  • Traditional Airfreight: for instance, Air Canada, Air China, Air France
  • Express Airfreight: for example, UPS, DHL, TNT, FedEx, ...

DocShipper Alert: DocShipper helps small and medium-sized businesses and individuals import or export by organizing all the stages of international transport. DocShipper also acts as a customs broker in France for assistance from A to Z. We are ready to listen to your needs, contact us now!

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.


How much time does it take to ship Air Cargo from China to France?

The average delivery time for air cargo from China to France is approximately 3–7 days, depending on the carrier and shipping method chosen. However, the transit time may vary depending on a few factors such as weather conditions, customs formalities, and flight availability.

You should contact a logistics company like DocShipper to get more precise information about the time and cost of shipping your air cargo from China to France.

Rail freight from China to France

Rail transport from China to France

At 11:23 a.m. on April 21, 2016, the first Wuhan-Lyon special railway loaded with electronic products, machinery parts and clothing arrived at Vénissieux train station near Lyon after 11,300 kilometers.

The first Sino-European train to France started from Wuhan Wujiashan Railway Central Station on April 6, and left the country at Alashankou, going west, crossing seven Eurasian countries such as Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, and Germany, and finally arrived at Lyon, France - the European end of the "Silk Road".

When the train slowly entered the station, the French railway representatives, Lyon government officials, media and overseas Chinese representatives, who had been waiting there for a long time, applauded unanimously.
Jean-Dominique Durand, Deputy Mayor of Lyon, said at the welcoming ceremony that this was a historic moment, as the China-EU-France shuttle train had once again linked up the historical "Silk Road", enabling more trade exchanges and people-to-people contacts between China and European countries.

It is widely believed that the rise of the China-EU Bangla was in 2014. At that time, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the European Union, during which he proposed that China and Europe should upgrade the simple business-type trade cooperation to a complex economic and trade cooperation with linkages in various fields, and strive to achieve the goal of an annual trade volume of US$1 trillion as soon as possible.

How long does it take to travel by train from China?

More than 2000 years ago, relying on human feet and camels, along the ancient Silk Road, from China to Europe takes more than a year; now, in the whistle of the train, along the New Silk Road, from Wuhan to Lyon in just 15 days! In the case of water transport, although it is cheaper, it takes at least a month to a month and a half. Between the two modes of transport, sea, and air, rail transport is the more compromise option in terms of time and price.

Train China to Europe

Door-to-door delivery between China and France

Do you find all these choices with every step are bothersome? You should choose between three 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 France 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 for your products imported, 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.

Customs Procedures and 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 (CE standard)

The DOC is a declaration of responsibility stating that you comply with the requirements of the CE Directive and related harmonized standards, and it must be based on a conformity assessment, such as a test report or certificate of conformity for the product. In the case of electrical and electronic products, for example, the manufacturer can issue the DOC for both directives after passing the LVD/EMC test and preparing the technical data as required by the directives.


Your EORI number (Economic Operator Registration Identification)

This number is a mandatory registration number for all companies with economic activities in the European Union, especially for import and export businesses. The EORI number is valid throughout the European Union as long as it is registered at the customs office of the country of the company.

The EORI is issued by the customs authorities of the country in which the business is registered and is valid throughout the European Union. It is registered and issued by the national customs office and is used throughout the European Union since July 1, 2009. Its purpose is to better guarantee the effective implementation of the European Union security amendments and their content.


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 France.

Cooperation relationship between China and France

France is now China's fourth-largest trading partner within the EU. According to Chinese customs statistics, the bilateral trade volume between China and France reached $62.9 billion in 2018.. In 2018, Sino-French trade volume increased by 15.5% year-on-year, an increase of more than 15% for two consecutive years, the fastest growth rate among China's major trading partners with the EU. Then China further expands market opening, China and France strengthen relevant animal and plant inspection and quarantine cooperation, increase French meat products, dairy products, infant milk powder and other exports to China, which promotes the negotiation of the China-EU Geographical Indication Products Agreement, And it promotes trade in agricultural products between the two sides; strengthens trade exchanges in the field of aerospace; vigorously promotes the construction of China-France cross-border e-commerce trade platform.

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