The Ultimate Guide to Shipping from China to Australia | Sea & Air Freight Rates

When it comes to international shipping, particularly between powerhouse nations like China and Australia, understanding the nuances of the process is vital. From the bustling ports of Shanghai to the serene shores of Sydney, the journey is not just about distance; it’s about cost, efficiency, and reliability. In this comprehensive guide, we delve deep into the intricacies of Shipping from China to Australia | Sea & Air Freight Rates to ensure your goods arrive safely, affordably, and on time.

Freight forwarder china to australia

Ship from china to Australia

we arrange sea freight from China to Australia. We also provide you with customs clearance service and arrange all necessary documentation on your behalf.

Air freight to Australia

We ship your goods via air freight shipping from China to Australia. We provide air freight services at an affordable shipping cost from any city of China to Australia.

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door to door shipping from china

One of our advantage of shipping way from China to Australia is door to door shipping for your deliveries. We provide door to door shipping at a low freight cost from China to Australia

FCL and LCL shipping

Generally speaking, shipping is available via FCL and LCL. There will be many considerations in the transportation from the China to Australia. A standard 40 foot container can hold 22 standard pallets, and a 20 foot container holds ten pallets. If the volume of shipping is large and can be loaded into a container, FCL shipping is a good choice. Full containerload is another advantage as your merchandise is separated from other imports. On the one hand LCL is the term that refers merely to shipping when goods are sharing space between the container and other goods.

cost of shipping 20ft/40ft container from china to Australia

FCL(full container load), Full Containerload, equates to filling a 20′ or 40′ container full with all the necessary materials. When importing fcl you can save time by sending fcl in large quantities. Price for FCL can vary depending on whether or not container is full. .Regular customers of a shipping company always get a reasonable price, cooperate shipping company :such as COSCO, CMA, ONE, MSK, MSC, etc.

LCL shipping from china to Australia

LCL (less than container load) means you cannot fill all containers and are delivered in addition to other containers or pallets. Note: During LCL shipment the goods must occupy a unified destination port and have to be consolidated. This is the reason LCL ship times are longer than FCL.

you may interest: Standard Pallet Sizes & Dimensions

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Additional services for shipping from China

pick up

Pick up and delivery

We will pick up your goods in any city in China.


Honourocean provides free warehousing services for any of your goods

cargo insurance

The cargo insurance protects your goods all the way to any city of Australia

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as top 5 logistics companies in china to Australia, Our service includes:

1. air freight from china to Australia;

2. shipping from china to Australia prices;

3. Ddp shipping from china

4.we can support buying from china to Australia, then arrange door to door Australia delivery for customers.

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Sea Freight Rates: The Oceanic Journey

  • Rate Determinants: Factors such as container size, weight, and the specific port of origin play crucial roles.

    • 20-foot Container: An average cost for a 20-foot container could range from $1,000 to $2,500.

    • 40-foot Container: For larger containers, you might be looking at a range from $1,500 to $3,500.

  • Additional Costs: Remember, port charges, customs clearance, and local delivery are often not included in the initial freight quote.

Air Freight Rates: Soaring Through the Skies

  • Weight vs. Volume: Air freight often calculates costs based on either the weight or the volume of the goods – whichever results in higher revenue.

  • Standard Rates: As of 2023, shipping a kilogram of goods might cost you between $3 to $8, but these rates fluctuate based on demand, fuel prices, and carrier options.

  • Express Options: Need it faster? Express shipping will cost more but can significantly reduce transit times.

How much does it cost to ship from China to Australia?

Shipping from China to Australia varies in cost based on several factors, including the type and volume of goods. As per current information:

  • Full Container Load (FCL): Renting an FCL from China to Australia is estimated at $1700 USD for a 20 ft container and $2200 for a 40 ft container.

  • Less than Container Load (LCL): According to Australia Trade, an LCL is priced between $150 and $250 AUD per cubic meter, with the cost applied to the greater value.

It’s essential to note that these are estimated costs, and actual prices can fluctuate based on various factors like seasonality, specific shipping requirements, and additional services. Always consult with a shipping or freight forwarder company for precise quotes.

Container Freight Costs: Shanghai to Sydney

Container TypeAverage Cost (USD)Description
20 ft Standard$1,700Suitable for medium-sized shipments, commonly used for a variety of goods.
40 ft Standard$2,200Ideal for larger shipments, offering double the volume of a 20 ft container.
20 ft Refrigerated$2,500Equipped with temperature control, perfect for perishable goods.
40 ft Refrigerated$3,500Larger temperature-controlled space for perishable bulk shipments.
20 ft Open Top$1,900Useful for oversized cargo that doesn’t fit through container doors.
40 ft Open Top$2,600Offers more space for larger oversized cargo.
20 ft Flat Rack$1,800Designed for heavy machinery and construction equipment.
40 ft Flat Rack$2,700Provides more space for heavier and bulkier machinery.

Additional Costs (If Applicable):

ServiceAverage Cost (USD)Description
Door-to-Door Delivery$300 – $500Pickup from origin and delivery to destination address.
Insurance1% – 2% of cargo valueProtects against potential damage or loss during transit.
Specialized Handling$100 – $300For fragile, hazardous, or high-value items.
Customs Clearance (Both Ports)$150 – $250Processing and clearance of goods through customs.

Note: The above costs are average estimates and can vary based on several factors, including seasonal demand, fuel prices, and currency exchange rates. Always consult with a shipping provider for the most accurate and up-to-date quotes.

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How long does it take for China to ship to Australia?

The shipping duration from China to Australia can vary based on several factors:

  1. Shipping Method: There are different methods of shipping such as air freight, sea freight, express couriers (like DHL, FedEx), and postal services. Each method has its own delivery timeframe.

    • Air freight: Typically 3-5 days, but customs clearance might add some delays.
    • Sea freight: Usually 14-28 days, depending on the specific route and ports involved.
    • Express couriers: Around 3-7 days.
    • Postal services: Can range from 10 to 30 days or more, depending on the service level and other factors.
  2. Customs Clearance: Delays in customs can extend the delivery timeframe. This might happen if there’s missing documentation or if customs decide to inspect a shipment in more detail.

  3. Origin and Destination Cities: Shipping from a major port in China like Shanghai to a major Australian city like Sydney will generally be quicker than shipping from a smaller inland Chinese city to a regional area in Australia.

  4. Shipping Company: Some companies might have more efficient operations or better routes that lead to shorter delivery times.

  5. Time of Year: During peak seasons like the lead-up to the Chinese New Year or Christmas, there might be increased shipping volumes which can lead to delays.

  6. Other Unforeseen Delays: Weather conditions, strikes, or other unexpected events can also influence shipping times.

Given these factors, it’s always a good idea to check with the specific shipping company or service provider for a more accurate estimate for your particular shipment.

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Why is shipping from China to Australia so expensive?

Shipping costs from one country to another can be influenced by a variety of factors. When considering shipping from China to Australia, several reasons can contribute to the high costs:

  1. Distance: China and Australia are separated by a vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean. The longer the distance, the higher the fuel costs and other related expenses.

  2. Demand and Supply: If there’s a high demand for shipping space (like containers) and a limited supply, prices will naturally rise. The Australia-China trade route is a busy one, and at times, the demand can outstrip the supply.

  3. Customs and Duties: Australia has its own set of customs regulations and duties. Importing goods might attract certain fees, taxes, or duties, which can add to the overall cost of shipping.

  4. Infrastructure and Port Fees: The cost of using port facilities can vary. If there are port congestion or limited infrastructure, it can lead to delays and higher costs.

  5. Type of Goods: The nature of the goods being shipped can influence the cost. For example, perishable goods might need refrigerated containers, which are more expensive. Similarly, hazardous materials might require special handling and documentation, adding to the cost.

  6. Currency Exchange Rates: Fluctuations in currency exchange rates can affect the cost of shipping. If the Australian dollar weakens against the Chinese Yuan, it could make services and goods more expensive for Australian importers.

  7. Insurance: Depending on the value and nature of the goods, insurance costs can be significant. This is especially true if the goods are fragile, valuable, or prone to theft.

  8. Brokerage and Handling Fees: Using a broker or agent to facilitate the shipping process can add additional fees. These professionals handle documentation, customs clearance, and other logistics, but their services come at a cost.

  9. Economic Factors: Economic conditions, like inflation or economic downturns, can influence shipping costs. For instance, if fuel prices rise significantly, this will be reflected in the shipping costs.

  10. Political and Regulatory Factors: Any political tensions or changes in trade agreements between China and Australia can influence shipping costs. Additionally, regulatory changes in either country can lead to increased costs due to compliance requirements.

It’s worth noting that while shipping from China to Australia might seem expensive, it’s often still more cost-effective than producing certain goods locally in Australia, given the economies of scale and lower production costs in China.

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How much is shipping per kg from China to Australia?

The cost of shipping per kg from China to Australia can vary quite a bit depending on the mode of transport and other factors. Here are some rough estimates:

  • By air freight: $5-$10 AUD per kg

  • Air freight is the fastest but most expensive option. Rate depends on dimensions as well as weight.

  • By sea freight: $0.10-$1 AUD per kg

  • Sea freight is the most economical option for heavy shipments above 100 kg.

  • Express couriers: $2-$5 AUD per kg

  • Express door-to-door couriers like DHL and TNT offer 3-5 day service. Rates based on both weight and dimensions.

  • Postal mail: $1-$3 AUD per kg

  • Australia Post air mail is cheaper but slower than private couriers. Tracking and insurance extra.

  • Containers: $100-$300 AUD per cubic meter

  • Full container load rates are calculated by volume, cheaper than air or sea per kg.

Other determinants of exact rate include destination, package size, declared value, fuel surcharges and more. I’d suggest getting an actual quote from forwarders for accurate per kg rate for your specific shipment type and details.

Are there shipping delays from China to Australia?

Yes, there can be shipping delays from China to Australia due to several factors:

  • Port congestion – Major ports in China and Australia sometimes face congestion issues leading to delays in loading and unloading of cargo. For example, in 2022 there were long delays up to 2 weeks at Shanghai port due to COVID lockdowns.

  • Adverse weather – Storms along the shipping routes in the South China Sea or Indian Ocean can disrupt shipping schedules. Cyclones near Australia may also affect cargo handling.

  • Industrial action – Occasional strikes by port workers or seafarers in China or Australia cause freight backups.

  • Seasonal demand – Peak seasons like Christmas see a surge in shipping volumes from China, increasing delays. Chinese New Year also sees factory shutdowns.

  • Technical issues – Mechanical problems with ships or containers may result in the delay or cancellation of sailings.

  • Customs inspections – Additional screening of imports from China sometimes leads to goods being held up pre-delivery.

  • COVID-19 – Pandemic restrictions, precautions and outbreaks continue to impact supply chains.

  • Trade imbalances – More imports than exports between China and Australia means ships wait longer to secure return cargo.

While delays are usually for a few days, some exceptions can extend shipping times by weeks. Communication with suppliers is key to staying updated on any expected delays.


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What is the fastest shipping from China to Australia?

The fastest options for shipping from China to Australia are:

  • By air freight: Air freight is the quickest method and takes only 2-4 days door-to-door. Both major carriers like DHL and smaller freight forwarders offer air services from major Chinese airports to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane.

  • Express couriers: Major international express couriers like DHL, FedEx, UPS can deliver urgent parcels and packages from China to Australia within 3-5 days. DHL Express Worldwide service promises delivery by end of next business day.

  • Charter flights: For large air shipments chartering a dedicated aircraft can be the fastest way to transport cargo from China. It can arrive in 1-2 days but is also the most expensive option.

  • Rail freight: China has direct freight trains to Australia that take around 12 days transiting through Kazakhstan, China and Russia. However capacity is limited.

  • Amazon Global Priority: Amazon’s international delivery service claims to ship items from China to Australia addresses within 5-7 business days.

  • Sea freight via Suez Canal: The fastest sea freight from China to Oz takes 14-18 days routing through Suez to ports on the east coast like Sydney and Melbourne.

So in summary, air freight or express couriers are best for urgent packages, while sea freight over Suez is fastest for bulk cargo not exceeding two weeks. Charter aircrafts are ideal for large air shipments needing to arrive within 1-3 days.

How much does it cost to ship a 20/40 foot container from China to Australia?

Container shipping service to AustraliaType of containerOcean freight rates to Australia:
How much does it cost to ship a container from Shanghai to Australia20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average prices from: $850 20FT
average prices from: $1550 40FT
How much does it cost to ship a container from Qingdao to Australia20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average prices from: $850 20FT
average prices from: $1550 40FT
How much does it cost to ship a container from Shenzhen to Australia20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average prices from: $850 20FT
average prices from: $1550 40FT
How much does it cost to ship a container from Tianjin to Australia20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average prices from: $850 20FT
average prices from: $1550 40FT
How much does it cost to ship a container from Ningbo to Australia20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average prices from: $850 20FT
average prices from: $1550 40FT
How much does it cost to ship a container from Hong Kong to Australia20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average prices from: $850 20FT
average prices from: $1550 40FT
How much does it cost to ship a container from Guangzhou to Australia20 foot container FCL
40 foot container FCL
average prices from: $850 20FT
average prices from: $1550 40FT

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What is the best shipping method from China to Australia?

Understanding the Shipping Landscape

When shipping goods from China to Australia, it’s imperative to choose the right method. Not all methods are equal, and the best choice often depends on the specifics of your shipment and your priorities.

Air Freight: Speed Over Cost

Air freight stands out as one of the quickest ways. However, it might not be the most cost-effective for larger shipments.

Sea Freight: Economical for Bulk Shipments

Sea freight, while slower than air, is usually more cost-effective for larger shipments. It’s often the top choice for businesses importing in bulk.

Express Couriers: For Urgent Smaller Parcels

DHL, FedEx, and UPS offer express courier services. They provide door-to-door delivery, making it convenient for items that need to be delivered promptly.

Railway Shipping: The Middle Ground

Introduced more recently, railway shipping strikes a balance between speed and cost. It’s faster than sea freight but often cheaper than air freight.

Choosing the Best Method for Your Needs

Several factors come into play when deciding:

  1. Shipment Size and Weight: Larger, heavier shipments might be better suited for sea freight.

  2. Urgency: Need it there ASAP? Air freight or express courier might be the way to go.

  3. Budget: If you’re looking to save, sea freight offers value for larger shipments, while railway shipping can be a middle-ground solution.

  4. Customs and Regulations: Ensure your shipping method aligns with both Chinese and Australian customs regulations to avoid delays.

Ensuring a Smooth Shipping Experience

Regardless of your chosen method, some steps can ensure a smooth experience:

  • Work with a Reputable Forwarder: A seasoned freight forwarder can guide you through the process, ensuring compliance and timely delivery.

  • Track Your Shipment: Modern technologies allow for real-time tracking. Stay updated to address potential issues promptly.

  • Insure Your Shipment: To safeguard against potential losses or damages, consider getting insurance, especially for high-value items.


What is the best freight forwarder from China?

  • Honour ocean shipping is china top freight forwarder, there are 13 years logistics. they can arrange door to door including custom clearance and tax . such as furniture, battery and so on product, they have rich experience to arrange by DDU/DDP.
  • DHL Global Forwarding – One of the largest logistics providers globally, with extensive operations across China. Recommended for time-sensitive air and sea freight.
  • Kuehne+Nagel – Major global freight forwarder with a strong China network and focus on sea freight. Good for LCL and FCL shipments.
  • DB Schenker – German-based company with over 200 offices in China. Excellent option for rail freight between China and Europe.
  • CEVA Logistics – Leading supply chain provider with consolidated air and ocean freight services from China. Competitive pricing.
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How much is air freight per kg from China to Australia?

What are the Air Freight Shipping Costs from China to Australia

Air freight rates from China to Australia (updated Aug 2023)

Departure City
Destination Airport
Price Per KG ($USD)
Estimated Transit Time (days)
Rate for 100KGS-299KGS
Sydney (SYD)
Melbourne (MEL)
Rate for 300KGS-1000KGS
Sydney (SYD)
Melbourne (MEL)
Rate for 1000KGS+
Sydney (SYD)
Melbourne (MEL)
Rate for 100KGS-299KGS
Sydney (SYD)
Melbourne (MEL)
Rate for 300KGS-1000KGS
Sydney (SYD)
Melbourne (MEL)
Rate for 1000KGS+
Sydney (SYD)
Melbourne (MEL)

To receive a personalized Air Freight quote, fill in our form in less than 5 minutes and receive a reply from one of our logistics experts within 24 hours.

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Ocean Freight From China to Australia

With LCL sea shipping you have fewer containers of goods than the ones you import from China to Australia. LCL is favored by businesses with small consignments that exceed 33 cm of container capacity. The FCL Container Load (FCL) provides you with the transport of a container from the destination port China into Australia, without sharing your cargo. The most economical option is generally the largest shipment of fewer than twelve standard pallets in 40 ft containers, or six in 20 ft boxes.

When is the best time to ship from China to Australia?

Air and ocean shipping prices – especially those for FCL ships – can vary depending on the seasonality of the shipment, causing a delay. The major peak period in transport from China to Australia is from mid-August through mid-October before the Chinese New Year, Golden Week, and Dragon Boat festivals. During the high seasons, the prices rise as demand for goods is high while container space is limited. The costs of shipping freight in a different region are therefore less. When transferring goods this can also affect the price. It is cheaper to reserve a shipment within a few days as the carriers try to fill spots in vessels.

What do you need to think about when packing your container?

When shipping cargo you must use the most appropriate packaging methods. The shipping size and the packaging materials should be considered when making a shipment. The SeaRates Load Calculator will tell you the size and quantity of shipping your shipment needs. It asks several questions about how much you’re shipping and what you can do to ship your cargo. It can also calculate the weight or volume you want to carry in the shipping container.

What are the essential documents that need to be completed when shipping from China to Australia?

When shipping goods from China to Australia, several essential documents need to be completed to ensure a smooth customs clearance and delivery process. Here are the primary documents required:

  1. Bill of Lading (B/L or BoL): This is a contract between the shipper and the carrier. It details the type, quantity, and destination of the goods being carried. The B/L also acts as a shipment receipt when the carrier delivers the goods.

  2. Commercial Invoice: This document provides information about the transaction between the exporter and importer. It includes details like product description, quantity, price, terms of sale, and the total value of the goods.

  3. Packing List: This document provides detailed information about the contents of the shipment, including the type, quantity, and weight of the items being shipped. It helps customs authorities verify the contents of the shipment.

  4. Certificate of Origin (COO): This certifies the country in which the goods were manufactured. Some trade agreements between countries may offer reduced tariffs or duties based on the origin of the goods.

  5. Fumigation Certificate: Australia has strict quarantine regulations. If you’re shipping wooden packaging or certain types of goods, you might need a fumigation certificate to prove that the goods have been treated to prevent the spread of pests.

  6. Import Permit: Depending on the type of goods being shipped, an import permit issued by the Australian government might be required.

  7. Quarantine Declaration: This is a declaration that the goods being imported meet Australia’s quarantine standards.

  8. Goods Declaration: This document provides details about the goods being imported, their classification under the Harmonized System (HS) code, and their value.

  9. Insurance Certificate: This provides proof that the goods have been insured during transit.

  10. Phytosanitary Certificate: For shipments containing plant products or certain types of wood, this certificate ensures that the goods meet health standards and are free from pests.

  11. Declaration of Conformity: For certain types of products, this document certifies that the goods meet specific standards or regulations.

Remember, the exact documents required can vary based on the type of goods being shipped, the specific terms of sale (e.g., Incoterms), and other factors. It’s always a good idea to consult with a freight forwarder or customs broker familiar with the China-Australia trade route to ensure all documentation is in order.


Typically, full container load takes fewer estimates than less container load. Since containers are not shared with other shipment, delays are reduced. Typically shipping between Port and Airport takes about 13-25 days. Shipping full container loads from china to an australia port takes approximately 23-26 days from arrival. The transit period on LCL is longer. Door to Door shipping is usually carried out between 21 and 28 days and takes 14 to 14 months to complete. The shipping of goods between ports in China from Australia takes between 15 and 28 days.

What is the cheapest way of shipping from China to Australia?

The cheapest shipping method for China-Australia shipping from China, irrespective of shipping method, is from Honour Ocean Shipping. The Simos Shipping Company carries along its large volumes shipping costs along with providing best rates guarantee for all modes. Start now with a shipment estimate of China.

Door to Door shipping from China to Australia

Door-to-door shipping from China to Australia involves a comprehensive service where the shipping company or freight forwarder manages the entire shipping process, from the supplier’s location in China to the final destination in Australia. This service simplifies the shipping process for the importer, as the freight forwarder handles all the logistics, customs clearance, and delivery.

Here’s a breakdown of the door-to-door shipping process:

  1. Pick-up from Supplier: The freight forwarder arranges for the collection of goods from the supplier’s location in China.

  2. Inland Transportation: The goods are transported from the supplier’s location to the nearest port or airport in China.

  3. Export Customs Clearance: Before the goods leave China, they must clear export customs. The freight forwarder will handle the necessary paperwork and ensure that all regulations are met.

  4. Loading and Shipping: The goods are loaded onto a ship or plane and transported to Australia. The choice between sea freight and air freight depends on the urgency, budget, and type of goods.

  5. Import Customs Clearance in Australia: Once the goods arrive in Australia, they must clear import customs. The freight forwarder will handle the customs declaration, pay any duties or taxes on behalf of the importer (which will be billed to the importer), and ensure the goods meet Australian regulations.

  6. Inland Transportation in Australia: After clearing customs, the goods are transported from the port or airport to the final destination in Australia.

  7. Delivery to Destination: The goods are finally delivered to the importer’s specified location in Australia.

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How long does it take to ship from China to Australia?

Shipping prices can vary according to several factors. The following include the quantity, the weight of the packages shipped, the contents of the packages, and the transport method. Then consider shipping and insurance costs and the time of year. Honour Ocean helps estimate shipping expenses from China to Australia, though generally, air freight is more costly than sea freight (although small packages are cheaper if transported by aircraft). Shipping expensive products with high insurance premiums increases the shipping cost.


Check trade laws in China and Australia

In many countries, the laws are different regarding imports and exports. In the case of importing products from a Chinese company from Australia, it requires awareness of customs clearance requirements and the regulations in each country. It is important to keep up with the legal process to protect your company from potential financial problems. importing the correct documents is crucial.


What are the major shipping ports in China?

Your supplier or your cargo transporter might be pleased to recommend a port that suits your needs. Depending on their location, their customs and customs clearance process, or their goods volume you could be looking at some of the most desirable ports.


Do I have to pay customs duties for a package sent from China to Australia?

The burden can be enormous for importers. This is the reason freight forwarders have the ability and experience necessary to negotiate the best possible prices for transportation. The right freight forwarder will help your business succeed. You’re also saving time that could be equally important for businesses.


How much does it cost to ship freight from China to Australia?

The cost of transporting freight between China and Australia depends in many ways on the type or mode of transport. Please get in touch for more details.


Are there any restrictions on what can be shipped from China to Australia?

Some items are subject to restrictions when shipped from China to Australia. This includes contaminated goods and drugs. There are also limitations of certain kinds of products like agricultural products and textiles.


What items cannot be sent to Australia?

All countries have their own lists of banned substances. Australia doesn’t make an exception. Here are some important things that should be banned. Law regarding the importing and export process is crucial for success. Make sure you contact the freight forwarder for the best assessment of the legality of the export. Failure to comply can cause unpleasant surprises for customs officials; as the importer, you are responsible. I’m sorry if we’ve imported something so please talk to us.


How can I track my shipment?

When your package has been reserved, the shipping company will send the tracking number to the shippers and this tracking number can be used online.



Do you offer insurance for freight shipments?

Yes, we also provide freight shipping cover.



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