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


As we know, Italy located in the Europe, while China is in the east of Asia. There is actually huge distance between these two countries. Bellow we can show you 3 different ways to get to Italy from China. And you might find the most suitable one route for you to do you business smoothly.

Sea freight from China to Europe

Overview - Ocean shipping from China to Italy

On March 23, 2019, China and Italy signed the terms of the joint promotion of the construction of the "Belt and Road", Italy thus became the first in the "Group of Seven" (G7) to formally join the "Belt and Road "The initiative of the developed Western countries. The signing of the "One Belt, One Road" memorandum will not only boost the Italian economy but also create more space for the development of trade between Italy and China.

Italy's main imports from China are electromechanical products and textiles and raw materials, importing $6.78 billion and $2.39 billion from January to June, accounting for 38.3% and 13.5% of total imports from China. Among the mechanical and electrical products, imports of electrical and electrical products were $3.47 billion, up 1.2%, while imports of machinery and equipment were $3.31 billion, up 2.0%.

China was the primary source of imports of Italian textiles and raw materials, furniture and toys, shoes, boots and umbrellas and other light industrial products, with market shares of 18.3%, 30.6% and 17.2%, respectively. In addition, China was the second-largest source of imports of Italian mechanical and electrical products, accounting for 16.3% of its market share.


Port of Bari

Bari, the capital of the Puglia district in the southeast, is located in the southeast of the Apennine peninsula, on the southwest side of the Adriatic Sea to the east. To the southeast near the port of Brindisi. Bari is the largest artificial seaport in southern Italy. The port is connected to the rest of the country by rail and is about 10 km from the airport. The port is not only an important center for textile processing, food processing, and oil refining industries but also serves as a gateway to the Balkans and the Middle East.

Website:Port of Bari


Porto di Napoli

It is one of Italy's major seaports. It was founded in the 6th century B.C. and was the summer resort of the Roman emperors. In modern times, it has developed into one of Italy's major oil refining centers, as well as one of the centers of the steel industry. Major industries include oil refining, steel, shipbuilding, machinery, chemicals, automobile assembly, textiles, and food. There are also a large number of ancient art, cultural relics, and scenic tours, and tourism is well developed. The port is about 8km from the international airport, and there are regular international flights to various places.

Website: Porto di Napoli


Transit time between China and Italy ports

Find the average time (in days) of the ports from Italy to China.

Gioia Tauro




Shangaï 26 27 31 30
Shenzhen 22 32 25 35
Guangzhou 25 27 26 27
Qingdao 27 28 32 33
Tianjin 30 32 42 35
Ningbo 30 30 33 27
Dalian 29 29 38 32


What are the choices do I have for shipment from China to Italy?

There are 3 sizes of containers which are frequently applied: 

  • 20 feet, which has around 33 cm3 capacity
  • 40 feet, which has around 67 cm3 capacity
  • 40 feet HQ, which has around 76 cm3 capacity

Firstly we should check two ways of transportation:

Other containers except for LCL and FCL

If your products are specific, and you find that you might need other ways for the storing of your goods, please check the following specific containers for your reference. 


Bulk goods are goods transported in the ship's hold, or in ships containing only bulk products. Vessels carrying this type of cargo are called "bulk carriers". There are several types of bulk carriers: coal tankers, ore carriers, etc...

Before choosing the mode of transport, you must distinguish between "bulk" goods and "general" goods.

There are several types of bulk goods:

  • solid bulk: ferrous and non-ferrous ores and coal
  • liquid bulk: petroleum products and oil

Reefer container

Refrigerated container (reefer container) is the temperature can be adjusted in -60 ℃ ~ +30 ℃ between the outside and inside of two kinds of containers. The built-in container in the process of transport can start the refrigerator at will, so that the container to maintain the specified temperature; and external type must rely on container special car, ship and special yard station equipped with refrigerator to refrigeration. This type of box is suitable for transporting butter, chocolate, frozen fish, condensed milk, margarine, etc. in the summer.


Roll-on/ Roll-off Ship (English: Roll-on/Roll-off Ship; Ro/Ro Ship) is also known as Roll-on-Roll-off Container Ship or Open-on-Roll-off Container Ship, abbreviated as RO/RO Ship or RoRo Ship. Is a kind of in the bow, stern or side of the ship open door, container tractor trailer, forklift and other mobile loading and unloading handling machinery can be connected with the door through the springboard into and out of the cabin, the container into the cabin or from the cabin container will be carried out to the yard on the container transport ship.



OOG (Out of Gauge) cargoes are always loaded on a trailer/ platform for transport because of its irregular shape or other special traits.

How much does sea freight between China and Italy cost?

As we have suggested above, you have various choices because of the varieties of your goods shipped, so based on different transportation containers, it does cost differently.

So here, for your convenience, please filling out our form so you can get a free and really quick quotation.

Air freight from China to Italy

2 Choices of Air Freight

Most people would like to choose air shipments as well when importing from China, since it's really fast, safe, and not to mention the efficiency.

So what we want you to know is that there are 2 choices of airfreight between China and Italy, or wherever, which are : Express Airfreight and Traditional Airfreight.

There two, of course, are not quite same as each other, not only in price, but also in the service they offered.

  • Traditional Airfreight: such as Air China, Rome Airport Fiumicino, Air France
  • Express Airfreight: such as UPS, DHL, TNT, FedEx, ...

Why do we choose air transport?

As we have already assisted people who needs air transport service from China to Italy, it usually takes within 7 days, actually in most occasions, it only cost 3-5 days. This is actually really fast than around one month that Sea Freight needs.

But here please notice one thing, this does not include the whole import time, it's only transit time!! So if you have any questions just come directly to Docshipper, we can help with the exact time including other procedures.

What is volumetric weight?

Refers to goods whose volumetric converted weight is greater than their actual weight, e.g., wooden chairs, plastic products, cotton, sponges, etc. Blister/throw weight is the volumetric weight of a shipment. Volumetric weight is a flat rate provision in the transportation industry, which is the calculated weight of goods obtained by converting the volume of goods using a conversion formula.

Volumetric weight = (length cm * width cm * height cm) / 6000, when the volume of goods discounted weight greater than the actual weight of goods, generally calculated by the volume weight, when the volume of goods discounted weight less than the actual weight of goods, will be calculated by the actual weight.

Rail freight from China to Europe

Rail transport from China to Italy

On June 5, 2017, China's "Long-Term Group" signed an agreement with the logistics company of the city of Mortara to cooperate in the opening of a rail line starting in Chengdu, China, through Warsaw, Poland, and ending in the city of Mortara, Pavia, Italy. The line will be 10,800 kilometers long.

According to the head of the "Long-Term Group", railway transport saved at lease two-thirds of the time compared to sea transport, while the cost of rail transport will be reduced by three-quarters compared to air transport. Previously, rail transport from China to Italy took nearly 1.5 months, and some Italian specialty products (such as furniture, wine, etc.) have been trapped in the transport time is too long and can not be carried out smoothly. Therefore, the completion of the special transport line plays a huge role in promoting Sino-Italian trade.


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

As we have stated above that, for air it takes 7 days and for the sea, it takes around a month, here by railway, it only takes half of the month! As we've known the Chinese government has been promoting it's One Belt One Road Initiative, it has shortened the railway speed as a result, now, it only costs around 12 days from Italy to China.

Train China to Europe

Door-to-door delivery between China and Europe

Why there is a term named door-to-door? Of course, it's because of the convenience. You just need to focus on your business, on sourcing, on marketing, and everything else, leave the shipment to a professional agent and let it handle everything for you.

This is what we do in Docshipper, you just need to inform us your pickup and delivery address, the dimensions and volume of your goods, ... Our professional team will quote for you freely, and then we will help you with everything, packing, storage, loading/unloading, customs clearance, international freight, trucking...

Customs clearance in Italy for goods imported from China


Customs Clearance is an economic term. It refers to the formalities that should be carried out in accordance with laws, regulations and rules when importing, exporting or transferring goods into or out of a country's customs territory.

Only after the customs clearance has fulfilled its obligations and gone through customs declaration, inspection, taxation and release procedures, the goods can be released and the owner or declarant can take delivery of the goods. Likewise, all means of transport carrying imported and exported goods for entry, exit or transit must be declared to the customs, go through customs formalities and obtain permission from the customs. During customs clearance, whether for import, export or trans-shipment, the goods are under customs control and are not allowed to circulate freely.


Methodology for the collection of customs duties

Tariff collection methods, also known as levy standards, are the standards and calculation methods used by customs of various countries to calculate customs duties on import and export goods. There are mainly ad valorem tax, ad valorem tax, mixed tax and selective tax.

What are the customs duties and taxes?

How to calculate customs duties and taxes?

There three basic concepts for determining the customs duties and taxes, which are tariff type, origin and customs value.

So, our first step is to find out the tariff type of the products. But is there a harmonized system to value the type of all products?

Here we have a system! The customs code, which is the HS code, short for Harmonized System.

HS "Harmonization" covers the two major classification and coding systems of the CCCN and the United Nations Standard International Trade Classification (SITC), which is a systematic and multi-purpose international trade commodity classification system. In addition to being used for customs tariffs and trade statistics, it provides a usable international trade commodity classification system for billing of transported goods, statistics, computer data transmission, simplification of international trade documents and use of Generalized System of Preferences tariff codes.

The composition of an HS Code is as follows

hs code pineapple

Does Docshipper charge duty?

No agent can charge you duty!!!

The difference between customs clearance and duty is that, customs clearance goes to the agent like Docshipper and duty goes to the government directly. No agent has the right to charge you duty. So remember this and not be cheated by any others.

Procedure and customs contact


Required documents

Bill of Lading

When the shipper or its agent to the carrier booking is considered to be formed when the contract, so although the terms and conditions are unilaterally prepared by the carrier, the shipper should also be considered to both parties have approved, that is, a contract of carriage.

Therefore, it has become customary to deal with the future of the carriage of the basis for various problems.


Packing List

The packing list is a supplementary document to the invoice, which sets out the details of packaging matters agreed between the buyer and the seller in the letter of credit (or contract) for the convenience of the foreign buyer when the goods arrive at the port of destination for customs inspection and verification of the goods, and can usually be added to the commercial invoice, but when the letter of credit has specific requirements, it must be made strictly in accordance with the letter of credit.


Original Invoice

Original Invoice is a mandatory no matter where you import or export your products. Try to examine it and make sure it makes no difference than the details in the packing list.


Certificate of Origin

This document is used to indicate where your goods manufactured instead of where they are shipped from. For the preferential policy of taxes, fill in this form carefully.


Documents of conformity (CE standard)

This means that your products are manufactured in an appliance with the safety standards and the regulations in your selling markets. For instance: declarations of conformity, test reports and product certificates, technical documentation. Remember to ask your supplier about this for the goods especially for toys, electronics, equipment electrical... 


Your EORI number (Economic Operator Registration Identification)

This number is a mandatory registration number for all companies operating in Italy and the European Union, especially for import and export businesses.

The EORI number is valid throughout Italy as long as the company is registered with the customs authorities of the country of origin. The EORI number is used in the ENS (Entry Summary Declaration) and must be provided if it is available.


Restricted and prohibited products

There are some certain products which are restricted and prohibited by Italy, do some research before your business is going to be carried out.

There is still much room for expansion of economic and trade cooperation between China and Italy

Externally, Italy has expressed the need for closer relations with China. In particular, the Italian official stated that discussions had been held with Chinese representatives on how to "relaunch the strategic partnership from an economic and industrial point of view" and expressed support for China's desire to strengthen relations with China. Moreover, the official described the meeting with Chinese officials as "fruitful". Italy is, of course, very satisfied with this meeting with Chinese officials.

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