Shipping from China to Nigeria: Cost & Steps [updated Sep-2023]

This guide equips you with all the information you need while shipping goods from China to the Nigeria.

  • As a newbie importer, you don¡¯t have to travel all the way to China to facilitate the procurement and shipment of goods to Nigeria. You can do this through trusted intermediaries whose services many importers use today

  • There are multiple platforms you can use to import online, but the most popular of them all is Alibaba. Alibaba contains a rich directory of Chinese manufacturers and suppliers, along with information regarding the goods they supply.

  • To ship your goods into Nigeria, there are a few shipping methods to consider but only go for the method that guarantees the safest, cheapest, and fastest option.

  • Contact Honour Ocean Shipping to be of service to pick a cost-effective shipping method, We provide shippers with efficient and cost-effective shipping methods

    Honour Ocean Shipping offers the following services for your reference: Transportation and General Logistics, Packing and Listing, Warehousing, Cargo onboarding, Product sourcing, and Shipping cost evaluation.

  • The transit time for sea freight is around 45 days. For airfreight, the transit time is within 7 days. There are air freight companies in Lagos that handle shipments from China to Apapa, Lagos, every day of the week.

  • For years, Honour Ocean Shipping has been involved in the facilitation of international trade between China and Nigeria. Our freight forwarding service is curated to serve the economic interest of importers who work with us

  • Duties and taxes may be applied to your package when it reaches Nigeria. Please ensure you provide contact details for the recipient so customs can contact them for payment.

  • China has become a production hub, and this remains the case even today. As of today, countries from all over the world source their industrial and consumer goods from China, and this is also the case for Nigeria. Nigeria is a West African country with the continent’s largest population, with about 200 million people and counting. Such a huge population creates room for significant demand for a product, and China’s industry has been supporting the quest to satisfy this demand.

  • In this article, we will introduce you to the world of shipping goods from China to Nigeria, and all you have to do to complete the process. You will also be introduced to reliable shipping agents who facilitate goods shipments as well as the shipping rates for sea and air freight.

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Air freight from china to nigeria

door-to-door shipping from china to nigeria

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  • When shipping by sea, there are two main transit types: FCL and LCL. FCL is when an entire container is used to ship your products, while LCL is when your products share space with other people’s products in the same container – also known as groupage. If you’re shipping large volumes and can fill a container, it makes sense to choose FCL 
  • Generally speaking, FCL is a better option if you’re shipping a large volume of goods or items that are sensitive to damage (e.g., electronics). LCL is ideal for small shipments or if you’re just getting started with importing from China. It’s also worth noting that LCL rates are calculated per cubic meter, so be sure to factor that into your decision.then LCL shipping (also known as groupage) offers a more economical way to ship smaller quantities that make up less than half of the volume of a full container

FCL Shipping from China to Ghana

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 Ghana

Honourocean provides LCL shipping service from any port in China to Tema, Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi in Ghana and charges lower destination fee.

Additional services for shipping from China to Ghana

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 Nigeria

custom clearance

Customs clearance

We will handle all paperwork and other details for you.

Table of Contents

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How to import goods from China to Nigeria?

Step-by-Step Guide to Importing Goods from China to Nigeria

Step 1: Do Your Homework on the Product

Before you jump into the importing business, take a moment to research the product you’re interested in. It’s essential to understand the demand, the target audience, and the various options available in the market. Make sure to find a reliable supplier who can provide the quantity you need and figure out a strategy to sell the product quickly and at a profit.

Step 2: Understand the Importing Rules in Nigeria

Next, get familiar with the importing process in Nigeria. You don’t need to be an expert, but having a basic understanding will help. Check the regulations and necessary documents to avoid any legal issues. A good place to start is the Nigeria Customs Service website or consulting with a well-known shipping company.

Step 3: Choose the Right Supplier

Finding a trustworthy supplier is crucial. Compare prices from different suppliers to ensure you get the best deal. When you find a potential supplier, ask about:

  • The cost per item

  • Where the product is made

  • Customs charges

  • Shipping and logistics costs

  • Any available discounts

Make sure to get a sales contract that includes all the vital details about the supplier and the product. You can find suppliers on platforms like the Canton Fair, DFH Logistics China sourcing agent, and others mentioned in the original text.

Step 4: Select the Best Shipping Method

Finally, decide on the most suitable shipping method for your goods. Consider factors like safety, cost, and speed, which will depend on the type of product you’re importing. Remember, each shipping method (like regular shipping or courier) has its pros and cons. To find the most cost-effective option, you might want to contact a logistics company like DFH Global Logistics, which offers various services to help with your shipping needs.


Key Shipping Terms You Should Know When Shipping Items from China to Nigeria

When you’re planning to ship items from China to Nigeria, it’s really important to understand the terms that define the responsibilities of the buyer and the seller. These terms, known as Incoterms, help prevent misunderstandings and potential losses. Before you place an order from China, take a moment to familiarize yourself with these terms to avoid any hiccups down the line. Here are some common terms you might come across:


This term means that the seller will bring your ordered items to a certain place, and then your agent takes over from there. It’s a bit more work on your part because you’ll have to handle everything from that point forward.

FOB (Free On Board)

In a FOB agreement, the seller will get your items to the ship that’s going to transport them. Once the items are on the ship, it’s all in your hands – you’ll be responsible for everything until the items reach their final destination.

DDP (Delivery Duty Paid)

DDP is pretty convenient because the seller handles everything, including covering all the costs. They’ll organize the transportation and shipping to get the items all the way to your home country.

CFR (Cost and Freight)

With CFR, the seller gets your items to the port and takes care of the export process. They cover the export costs, but once the items reach your country, you’ll need to handle the import procedures and costs.

DDU (Delivered Duty Unpaid)

DDU is kind of the opposite of DDP. Here, you’ll only need to cover the import duty tax, while the seller handles all the other costs.

CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight)

Insurance is a big deal in international shipping, and CIF is a term that outlines that the seller covers the costs of the items, their insurance, and the shipping. So, you won’t have to worry about these aspects.

Heads up: Honour ocean can help you with all these shipping terms!

Nigeria Import Regulations

Every country the world over has an indigenous regulation that is used to regulate the flow of cargo into their territory. These regulations are strictly adhered to by the Nigerian authorities, and they guide the practices of all the parties involved in goods imports. From the exporters to the importers, the carriers to the middlemen involved in the facilitation of the cargo, all entities are expected to operate according to laid down guidelines. Here are some very important import regulations all importers must follow in Nigeria.

SONCAP Certification

The Government of the Federal Republic of  Nigeria has made it mandatory for all importers to provide the following documents for regulated consignments.

Product Certificate issued by Cotecna

This certificate is a certificate of Conformity (COC) issued to imports by Cotecna. To get this certificate as an importer, you first need to possess a Product Certificate that is used to open (Form M). Form M is used to declare the goods in the consignment. Product Certificates are of three types. Here they are.

Unregistered/ Unlicensed products

This certificate is mainly used by importers who do not import too frequently.

Registered products

Importers or manufacturers that frequently ship items into Nigeria are required to apply for a SONCAP certification under registered products. To use this option, the importer must provide proof that the seller has consistently churned out products of the same quality over a significant period of time.

Licensed Products

If you ship items regularly into Nigeria, and you have demonstrated a high level of compliance as regards quality and compliance, you are allowed to use this option.


A Combined Certificate of Value and Origin is a document used by the Nigerian Customs Service to validate the country of origin as well as the value of the cargo coming into Nigeria for the purpose of affixing a custom duty charge to it. CCCO is another mandatory document used for clearing goods at any of Nigeria’s seaport or airport.


Custom Duty in Nigeria

Here are some key details about customs duty in Nigeria:

  • Authority – Customs duty is administered by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

  • Tariff Structure – Nigeria uses the ECOWAS Common External Tariff which has 5 tariff bands – 0%, 5%, 10%, 20% and 35%. Duty rates for goods fall under these bands.

  • Assessable Value – Duty is calculated as a percentage of the Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) value of the imported goods.

  • Exemptions – Some exemptions from duty exist under the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) for imports from member states. Goods manufactured in Export Processing Zones also enjoy duty exemption.

  • Concessions – Nigeria grants preferential duty rates to certain countries it has trade agreements with like China, UK, EU countries etc. Certificates of origin will be required to enjoy these concessions.

  • Surcharges – A surcharge of 7% is added on the assessed duty for imports arriving by air and 20% surcharge for imports arriving by land.

  • VAT – Value Added Tax of 7.5% is also applied on the CIF value along with the customs duty and other import levies.

  • Documentation – Key documents required for customs duty assessment include Final Invoice, Packing List, Bill of Lading/Airway Bill, and Certificate of Origin.

  • Payment – Customs duty and other import charges must be paid before goods can be released from the ports after inspection. The importer is responsible for payment.

  • Bonds – Importers may apply for customs bonds as a guarantee for duty payments. This allows release of goods before duty is paid.

  • Clearing Agent – Most importers hire a licensed customs agent to handle the customs clearance process and ensure accurate duty payment.

I hope this overview of customs duty in Nigeria helps provide clarity on the regulations and requirements involved in importing goods. Let me know if you need any clarification or have additional questions.


What Goods can I import from China to Nigeria?

Popular Goods to Import from China to Nigeria

Hey there! If you’re thinking about importing goods from China to Nigeria, you’ve got plenty of options. Here’s a list of popular items that generally do well in the Nigerian market:

1. Fashion and Clothing Items

People always love to dress up! Consider importing trendy clothing, footwear, and accessories. These items usually have a good market in Nigeria.

2. Electronics and Gadgets

Everyone loves a new gadget! Items like smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other electronics are always in high demand.

3. Home Appliances

Think about bringing in home appliances like washing machines, refrigerators, microwaves, and air conditioners. These make life easier and are always sought after.

4. Furniture

Quality furniture, both for homes and offices, can be a hit. Consider importing various styles and types to cater to different tastes.

5. Building Materials

With the construction boom in Nigeria, building materials like tiles, marbles, and sanitary wares are good options to consider.

6. Automobiles and Spare Parts

Cars and their spare parts are another category that you might explore. There’s a steady demand for these products in Nigeria.

7. Beauty and Personal Care Products

Beauty products like cosmetics, skincare items, and hair products are also popular choices. Just make sure to comply with any regulations regarding the import of these items.

8. Toys and Children’s Items

Consider importing toys, children’s clothing, and other items for the little ones. These products usually have a good market.

9. Sports and Fitness Equipment

With a growing focus on health and fitness, sports equipment and fitness gear can be a great niche to explore.

10. Agricultural Equipment

Agricultural equipment and machinery can also be a lucrative area, given the focus on agriculture in Nigeria.

Note: Before you decide on the goods to import, make sure to do a thorough market research to understand the demand and preferences in Nigeria. Also, check the Nigerian import regulations to ensure that your chosen products are allowed for import.

Types of Shipping from China to Nigeria

Absolutely, here are the different types of shipping methods from China to Nigeria:

1. FCL Shipping


FCL, which stands for Full Container Load, is a type of shipping method where an importer reserves the entire space within a shipping container, which can be either a 40 ft or a 20 ft container, exclusively for their cargo.

Suitable For:

  • Large scale importers

  • Bulk shipments

  • Importers who prefer not to share container space with others


  • Greater control over the cargo

  • Less likelihood of damage as the cargo is not mixed with others

  • Potentially faster as there are no stops to offload other goods

2. LCL Shipping


LCL or Less than Container Load is a shipping method where smaller volumes of cargo from various importers are consolidated into a single container. The cargo is separated and identified to belong to different importers.

Suitable For:

  • Small to medium scale importers

  • Importers with goods that do not fill up an entire container


  • Cost-effective for smaller shipments

  • Flexibility in shipping smaller quantities

  • Allows for shipping without waiting to fill a full container

3. Door to Door Shipping


In door-to-door shipping, the freight forwarder ensures the cargo is delivered directly to the importer’s doorstep. This service includes handling customs clearance and other formalities at the port of destination.

Suitable For:

  • Importers looking for a hassle-free shipping process

  • Those who prefer not to be involved in the clearing process


  • Convenience as the importer does not have to deal with customs clearance

  • Potentially faster delivery times as the forwarder handles all procedures

  • Peace of mind as the forwarder takes responsibility for the safe delivery of the goods

I hope this gives you a clear understanding of the different shipping methods available from China to Nigeria. Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to know!

How to Ship Goods from China to Nigeria with Honour Ocean Shipping

Shipping goods from China to Nigeria can be accomplished through two primary methods: sea freight or air freight.

When opting for sea freight, your merchandise will be securely loaded into a shipping container. Conversely, air freight might utilize containers or other means depending on the cargo plane’s size and capacity, as well as the characteristics of the items being shipped.

Between the two, air freight stands as a superior choice if a swift delivery is your priority, given that airplanes have a faster transit time compared to ships. However, it’s important to note that this method comes with a higher price tag. On the other hand, sea freight emerges as a more economical alternative, especially when dealing with large volume shipments, offering a significant reduction in costs.

Did You Know?
Honour Ocean Shipping has been a steadfast ally for Nigerian importers facilitating shipments from China to Nigeria. Our extensive range of services encompasses:

  • Transportation and General Logistics: Streamlining the process of transporting your goods efficiently.

  • Packing and Listing: Ensuring your items are packed securely and inventoried accurately.

  • Warehousing: Offering storage solutions to safeguard your goods until they are ready for shipment.

  • Cargo Onboarding: Facilitating the smooth loading of your cargo onto the chosen mode of transport.

  • Product Sourcing: Assisting in finding the right products and suppliers to meet your business needs.

  • Shipping Cost Evaluation: Providing expert analysis to help you determine the most cost-effective shipping options.

Trust Honour Ocean Shipping to be your reliable partner in navigating the complexities of international shipping.

Cost of Shipping Container from China to Nigeria

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

  • Here is a table showing estimated container shipping freight costs from major ports in China to major ports in Nigeria:

    Route20FT Container40FT Container
    Shanghai to Lagos$1,800 – $2,500$3,000 – $4,000
    Shenzhen to Lagos$1,500 – $2,000$2,500 – $3,500
    Guangzhou to Lagos$1,600 – $2,200$2,800 – $3,800
    Tianjin to Lagos$1,900 – $2,600$3,200 – $4,300
    Qingdao to Lagos$1,700 – $2,300$2,900 – $3,900
    Ningbo to Lagos$1,750 – $2,400$3,000 – $4,100
    Shanghai to Port Harcourt$1,850 – $2,550$3,100 – $4,200
    Shenzhen to Port Harcourt$1,600 – $2,150$2,700 – $3,650
    • The freight rates are general estimates only
    • Rates vary based on specific origin/destination ports used
    • Other charges like port fees, customs clearance etc. will also apply
    • Rates fluctuate frequently based on season, fuel prices and other factors

    Let me know if you need any other details!

    Sea shipments are primarily from eastern China ports to Apapa/Tin Can ports
  • Air shipments connect major Chinese cities with Lagos & Abuja airports
  • Transit stops vary slightly between shipping companies
  • Direct routes and shorter transits reduce shipping time

This table summarizes the most common routing options by sea and air between China and Nigeria. Let me know if you need any clarification!

How many days will it take to ship my goods from China to Nigeria?

Sea Freight Transit Times:

  1. Shenzhen Sea Port to Apapa Port, Lagos: 31 days

  2. Shanghai Sea Port to Apapa Port, Lagos: 33 days

  3. Guangzhou Sea Port to Apapa Port, Lagos: 31 days

  4. Ningbo Sea Port to Apapa Port, Lagos: 32 days

  5. Tianjin Sea Port to Apapa Port, Lagos: 41 days

  6. Qingdao Sea Port to Apapa Port, Lagos: 37 days

  7. Dalian Sea Port to Apapa Port, Lagos: 42 days

  8. Xiamen Sea Port to Apapa Port, Lagos: 30 days

Air Freight Transit Times:

  1. All Chinese airports to Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos: 5-7 days

  2. All Chinese airports to Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja: 5-7 days

In summary:

  • Sea shipments: 30-45 days

  • Air shipments: 5-7 days.

If door-to-door shipping, add 2-3 weeks.

Main Seaports in China from which goods are shipped into Nigeria

  • Guanzhou

  • Shenzhen

  • Shanghai

  • Ningbo

  • Xiamen

  • Qingdao

  • Tianjin

Main Seaports in Nigeria that receive cargo from China

  • Lagos Port Complex

  • Tin Can Island Port

  • Calabar Port

  • Rivers Port Complex

  • Onne Port


Air Freight From China to Nigeria

Airfreight represents your fastest option as far as shipping is concerned. If you ship with cargo planes, your items can bedroom for within 7 days. The cost of air freight, including custom duty payments, starts from $5.2 per kg.

Main Airport in China

  • Beijing

  • Shenzhen

  • Guangzhou

  • Chengdu

  • Shanghai

  • Hangzhou

  • Xi’an

Main Airports in Nigeria

  • Murtala Muhammed airport

  • Nnamdi Azikiwe airport

  • Kaduna International airport

  • Aminu Kano airport

  • Akanu ibidem airport


Express Shipping from China to Nigeria

Here are some details on express shipping options from China to Nigeria:

  • DHL Express – Offers door-to-door express delivery in 2-4 days from major China airports to Lagos and Abuja airports. Recommended for urgent documents or small packages up to 70kg.

  • FedEx Express – Provides time-definite express delivery in 3-5 days from selected China cities to major Nigeria airports. Best for high value shipments.

  • UPS Express – Estimated time in transit of 2-4 days from China to Nigeria with door-to-door delivery. Competitive rates for parcels up to 150 kg.

  • TNT Express – Average delivery times of 4-6 days from China to main Nigeria airports. Specialized in part-charter air cargo.

  • EMS Express – An express mail service through China Post and NIPOST. Delivery within 4-6 days but has a max weight limit of 30kg per parcel. Low cost option.

  • SF Express – Leading Chinese express company with 3-6 day average delivery time to Nigeria. Offers online tracking.

Key factors when choosing an express shipping provider from China include transfer time, reliability, tracking, service coverage at destination, parcel size and weight limits and costs. Express delivery allows faster supply chain but is more expensive than normal air freight.

Shipping Companies that ship from China to Nigeria

COSCO, China Shipping, APL and Evergreen are leading container shipping lines that offer FCL and LCL services from all key Chinese ports to Lagos and Port Harcourt.

China Airlines, Air China Cargo, Lufthansa and Cathay Pacific are reputable airlines with extensive air cargo operations between major Chinese and Nigerian airports.

Shipping routes from China to Nigeria

  1. Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (CTU) to Mallam Aminu International Airport (KAN):

    • Duration: 20h 50m

    • Frequency: Every 1-2 weeks

    • Distance: 10,453 km (6,495 miles)

    • Carrier: Ethiopian Airlines (using Boeing 737 Freighter and other aircraft types)

  2. Beijing Daxing International Airport (PKX) to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (ABV):

    • Duration: 23h 37m

    • Frequency: 1-2 times a day

    • Distance: 11,172 km (6,942 miles)

    • Carriers: Qatar Airways (using Boeing 777-300ER and other aircraft types) and British Airways (using Boeing 777)

  3. Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (ABV):

    • Duration: 22h 40m

    • Frequency: 2-4 times a week

    • Distance: 11,222 km (6,973 miles)

    • Carrier: Lufthansa (using Boeing 777-200F Freighter and other aircraft types)

Sea Freight Routes:

  1. Shanghai (CNSHG) to Apapa (NGAPP):

    • Duration: 32 days 1h

    • Frequency: Every 2-4 weeks

    • Distance: 20,431 km (12,695 miles)

    • Carrier: Maersk (using Maersk Zambezi and other vessels)

  2. Nansha (CNNSA) to Apapa (NGAPP):

    • Duration: 32 days 18h

    • Frequency: 2-4 times a week

    • Distance: 18,569 km (11,538 miles)

    • Carriers: Maersk, COSCO, ZIM, and others

General Information:

  • The shortest shipping time by sea between China and Nigeria is approximately 32 days 1h.

  • The distance between China and Nigeria by cargo ship is approximately 20,431 kilometers (12,695 miles).

  • The distance between China and Nigeria by air is approximately 10,453 kilometers (6,495 miles).


What is the cheapest freight shipping from China to Nigeria?

The cheapest freight shipping method from China to Nigeria would depend on various factors including the volume of your shipment, the type of goods you are shipping, and your preferred balance between cost and delivery time. Here’s a summary of the information gathered from the Winsky Freight website regarding shipping options and their respective costs:

Shipping Methods and Costs

  1. Air Shipping: This is a faster but more expensive option, taking about 5 to 7 days. The cost is generally higher compared to sea shipping, and it is calculated based on the weight of the goods. The average rate is around USD 7 per kg.

  2. Sea Shipping: This is a cheaper but slower option. You have two main choices here:

    • FCL (Full Container Load): This is suitable if you are shipping a large volume of goods. The cost starts from USD 3500 for a 40 ft container from Xiamen to Lagos. Other starting rates are USD 4100 from Tianjin to Lagos, USD 3750 from Qingdao to Lagos, and USD 3600 from Guangzhou to Lagos.

    • LCL (Less than Container Load): This is more economical for smaller shipments, where you only pay for the space you use in a container. The cost would be USD 480 per CBM.

Additional Factors Affecting the Cost

  1. Distance Between Ports: Ports with shorter distances will cost less.

  2. Currency Rate: Fluctuations in currency rates can affect the overall cost.

  3. Type of Goods: Different goods require different handling and thus can have varying costs. For instance, fragile items need special treatment, and dangerous items require additional documentation and permissions, which can add to the cost.

Tips for Choosing a Shipping Method

  1. Consult with a Freight Forwarder: Before selecting a shipping method, consult with a freight forwarder to understand the best options for your specific needs.

  2. Consider the Incoterms: Incoterms define the responsibilities of the buyer and seller in the shipping process. Discuss with your freight forwarder to choose the most suitable incoterm that aligns with your shipping strategy.

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