Shipping from China to South Africa | Sea & Air Freight | 2024

Shipping from china to south africa can be a daunting task. There are many things to consider when shipping goods from china to south africa, such as the cost of shipping, the time it will take to arrive, and the method of transportation. In this blog post, we will discuss the different methods of shipping goods from china to south africa and provide you with some tips on how to save money on your shipment.

We have warehouses in major cities in China. No matter which city your goods are in, we can arrange warehouses nearby, such as Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Ningbo, Xiamen, etc. Our networks with both sea and airports means we can provide the best possible service when it comes to price and transit priority.


China and South Africa established diplomatic relations in 1998. In just a dozen years, the relationship between the two countries has achieved a “triple jump” from partnership to strategic partnership and then to comprehensive strategic partnership.

In 2010, under the initiative of China and others, and through unanimous consultation with Brazil, Russia, and India, South Africa was included in the “BRICS” mechanism, which played an important role in improving South Africa’s international status.

On some rail lines in South Africa, “dual-stream” locomotives tailored by China are running; for South African consumers, Chinese brands have become an important choice when choosing home appliances. Trade between the two countries, especially exporting goods from China into South Africa, is set to be an important mechanism for economic growth between the two nations.


Shipping agents from china to south africa

We are Shenzhen Honourocean Shipping, a professional freight forwarder since 2009, with more than 12 years of experience, especially in shipping to South Africa.

Our main services include air and sea freight, express shipping service,Railway,Truck, Container/Vessel (FCL/LCL) DDP FBA shipping services, etc


Shipping from china to south africa

Air Shipping

Air freight from china to south africa

Sea freight from China to South Africa

  • 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 South Africa

Shipping by FCL (full container load), means that one large shipment is sent with just one mode of transportation, such as a cargo plane, train or ship. By consolidating all the items into a single container, it is possible to benefit from lower shipping costs and has fewer risks associated with potential damage and delayed arrival times.

Additionally, customs clearance at the destination port is smoother as everything is loaded in advance. This also eliminates any risk of third-party unloading fees or damage which can occur when utilizing multiple containers for an LTL (Less than Load Trucks) shipment. While there may be some additional costs associated with importation (ie: duties, taxes or broker fees), the overall cost savings tend to outweigh the extra expenses.

LCL Shipping from China to South Africa

LCL stands for “less than container load” and describes shipments that are too small for a full-sized shipping container. These smaller shipments are grouped together in one container with the goods from other customers traveling to the same destination.

With its competitive rates, greater speed and flexibility for door-to-door delivery services, comprehensive coverage of over 200 countries worldwide, and its experience in handling different types of commodities — ranging from industrial spares to everyday consumer items —LCL shipping has become an attractive option for those looking to send freight from China to South Africa.

Additional services for shipping from China to South africa

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 worldwide

custom clearance

Customs clearance

We will handle all paperwork and other details for you.

Your Best freight forwarder china to south africa

as top 5 logistics companies from china to south africa

, Our service includes:

1. cheapest air freight from china to south africa;

2. cost of shipping from china to south africa;

3. door to door shipping internationally


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Finding a Reliable Freight Forwarder

When importing from China to South Africa, finding a reliable freight forwarder is critical. That’s because it’s important to have a partner who knows how to handle the complexities of global shipping and trade regulations.

For starters, the freight forwarder can help identify preferred routes for your shipment and determine the most cost-effective option. They should also be able to provide varied shipping methods via ocean or air, depending on timing and budget needs.

The best freight forwarders are those that have extensive experience in south africa shipping from china and can advise you on whether using one mode of transportation over another might save money or reduce timeframes.

Honourocean can supply the services below:

  • Pickup and delivery

  • Warehousing & Distribution

  • Custom clearance (one-day clearance)

  • Cargo insurance

  • Loading supervision

  • Quality inspection

  • Repacking

  • Labeling

  • Contact us now for free shipping quotes, and we’ll take it from there.

What products does South Africa import from China?

South Africa is one of China’s most significant trading partners in Africa, with imports from the People’s Republic forming an important part of the South African economy.

  1. Computers and accessories

  2. Telecom equipment such as mobile phones and tablets.

  3. Machinery used for mining or manufacturing processes

  4. Apparel

  5. Medical product

  6. Luxury items like furniture, decorations, sporting goods

Ali express South Africa:

ali express

Ali express is South Africa’s newest online shopping destination, offering consumers a comprehensive range of products from around the world. With prices that are often lower than those found at local bricks-and-mortar stores, Ali Express provides customers with unbeatable deals across an incredible range of products.

Whether shoppers are looking for electronics, clothing, home décor items, toys or beauty products – they can find it all at Ali Express South Africa. For added convenience, shoppers can shop in their own currency (South African rand) and have their purchases delivered right to their doorstep.

And with round-the-clock customer service available in English and Afrikaans, shoppers can rest assured that any issues will be taken care of quickly and without hassle.

South African custom regulations:

When international shipping to South Africa, it is important to be familiar with the country’s customs regulations. All international shipments must be declared for customs evaluation, which includes an assessment of the shipment and mandatory payment of relevant duties and taxes.

The specific requirements for international shipments vary depending on the nature and value of the goods as well as the country of origin and destination. When sending items from abroad, research will be needed to determine what documentation must accompany your shipment prior to its arrival in South Africa.

Generally speaking, customs officials may require proof of address, purchase invoice, or approved international import permit in order to clear a shipment.

Of course, it is best to remain fully informed about South Africa’s regulations before sending international packages into the country. Keeping up-to-date with local data can help alleviate any potential issues related to international shipments close upon arrival in South Africa.

Import license in South Africa:

import license

If you’re planning to import goods into South Africa, it’s vital to be aware of the rules and regulations that must be observed.

All imports must be approved by South African customs authorities, with an import license obtained from the South African Revenue Service.

An application for an import license needs to include detailed information about the product, such as its destination and intended use. Import licenses are also dependent on trade agreements between South Africa and other countries.


Why do you need an import permit?

An import permit is a legal document that grants permission to bring goods from one country into another. This can be especially important when importing from China to South Africa, since many items are subject to various restrictions. Without the necessary permit, goods may be denied entry or confiscated, resulting in considerable delays and financial losses.

What products need an import license specifically? Unfortunately, there is no single definitive list and it varies depending on the country’s regulations and trade agreements. Generally speaking, items that fall under certain categories require an import license when being shipped from China to South Africa.

If you’re unsure about whether the goods you want to import need an import permit, then please get in contact with us and we’ll be able to advise you on this.

What are the costs and time period for getting an import permit?

When importing from China to South Africa, it is important to consider the cost and time period for obtaining an import permit. Generally speaking, the cost of a basic import permit with smaller additional fees depending on origin and destination countries. When taking into consideration the entire process from application submission to receiving the actual permit, the time frame can range anywhere from three days to up to a week on average.

Import duties in South Africa


Generally speaking, South African customs duties are lower than those in many other countries and often vary from one product to another. The amount of duty depends on a variety of factors, such as the type and value of goods being imported and where it is sourced from. For example, if you import a product from China, you will likely be charged a higher duty rate than if you were importing that same product from an African country.

Shipping agents from China to South Africa

When you are looking for fast and reliable shipping from China to South Africa, it pays to put your trust in an experienced freight agent. They have the knowledge and experience to advise you on the best route for your cargo, meaning goods will be delivered safely and on time. They can arrange pickup from suppliers in China, consolidate goods when needed and then ship them through ocean or air transport – whichever is most suitable for your items based on cost, transit time and volume. Once goods arrive in South Africa, your chosen freight agent will guide them through customs clearance procedures before finally delivering them to the door of their destination.

Of course we would recommend Honourocean Shipping, as we truly believe that our years of experience in the field of international shipping and our expert team of agents can bring you the best possible service with regards to cost and time. Whichever agent you choose, make sure that you agree on a comprehensive and complete list of all costs associated with shipping before you enter into business with them.

China to South Africa shipping

Shipping cargo from China to South Africa is an important part of keeping global supply chains moving. Because of its strategic location at the gateway to both the eastern and southern hemispheres, South Africa has become a hub for international trade.

Shipping from China to South Africa time:

Approximately 25 days

Shipping time from China to South Africa is approximately 25 days by sea freight and approximately 5 days by air freight. Courier service from china to south afria is about 5-7days.

Port of departureDestinationTime
ShanghaiDurban22 days
ShanghaiCape Town27 days
ShenzhenDurban17 days
ShenzhenCape Town22 days
TianjinDurban26 days
TianjinCape Town38 days
QingdaoDurban24 days
QingdaoCape Town26 days
NingboDurban21 days
NingboCape Town24 days
XiamenDurban21 days
XiamenCape Town27 days


How Long Does Sea Freight via Ocean shipping from China to South Africa?

In general, ocean shipping from China to South Africa takes just under a month, at around 20-26 days. This time will be affected by the specific port of origin in China as well as the port of arrival in South Africa.

The time depends on several factors, such as the port of origin and destination, transit time between ports, and physical characteristics like size and weight of cargo; but generally speaking it takes about one month for containers crossing the Indian Ocean.

The timeline begins with the pre-shipment inspection in origin country. Then there’s customs clearance at both ends. Container loading soon follows once approval is granted. On average it takes 2 days for delivery from origin door (Shanghai) to ocean port (Shanghai/Ningbo).

Last but not least there are also incidents causing delays which are outside anyone’s control; like bad weather conditions or strikes at ports.

All put together lead to an approximate duration of four weeks for cargo delivery from China to South Africa by sea freight shipping today.

20 foot container shipping cost from china to south africa:

On average, to get a 20 foot container from Shanghai in China to Durban in South Africa can range between $2,300 and $3,200 USD (based on estimates obtained by Dig deeper analytics), however this cost may be subject to change depending on specific city pairs you choose, size & weight of your load and other factors mentioned above.

You cannot always opt for a full container shipment. The charge for a 20-foot container is around US$1800-1900 from China to South Africa.

Main airports of China

China has some of the world’s busiest and most important seaports, providing access to vast global markets.


Shanghai is one of the most important ports in the world. Shanghai is also one of the busiest ports in the world, especially for container traffic.

Every day, the port handles about 8,000 vessels and approximately 41 million tons of cargo annually. In addition to trade routes with all continents, Shanghai has direct liner services to more than 500 major ports throughout the globe.


Located on the East China Sea, the port of Ningbo is one of the most important trading ports in the world. Its location at the end of the long Yangtze River makes it an ideal waypoint for merchant ships from Europe, Asia and Africa. The port itself is made up of two parts: a mainland side which handles dry cargo and a tiny island where oil tankers unload their cargo.


As one of the top 10 busiest ports in the world, Shenzhen supports connections to 149 countries and 683 destinations, with most ship traffic going to India, the United States, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore.

The port of Shenzhen is organized around two major container terminals: Yantian International Container Terminals (YICT) and Shekou Container Terminals (SCT).YICT boasts 37 berth routes and the world’s largest docking capacity, while SCT operates 80 dock berths servicing cargo ships of all sizes.


The port stands along the banks of Pearl River Delta, with access to multiple rivers and canals for transportation. It also is home to two terminals – Nansha Outport and Huangpu – making it possible to ship outbound cargo easily.

In recent years, the port has seen its business capabilities expand due to new developments such as advanced container berths, warehousing areas and a massive bridge that links both sides of Pearl River Delta.


Located in Northeast China, the port of Qingdao is a vibrant center of international trade. Sprawling over a total area of 300 square kilometers (115 miles), it is the busiest port in all of northern China.

Shipping containers bring goods ranging from motor vehicles to consumer electronics, while ships sail out loaded with shipments of coal, foodstuffs, and chemicals. The port complex consists of four distinct parts: a passenger pier, two container terminal areas, and a dangerous cargo section for hazardous materials. It also includes dozens upon dozens of infrastructure elements such as gas processing plants and power plants.


The port of Tianjin is a major Chinese seaport located in Northeast China, on the coast of Bohai Sea. It is one of the largest ports in the world with an expansive network of over 120 berths, each dedicated to a specific cargo type ranging from general imports to liquid fuels. It currently has 11 operational container terminals and 4 oil refineries and is connected by railways, highways and international airports.


Located in southern China on the Fujian Strait, Xiamen is an important port city and a vital connection to the East China Sea. As one of five key ports in mainland China, it has been designated as an international trading center for more than 200 countries and regions. The port of Xiamen handles both bulk cargo and container shipments and is equipped with advanced sorting systems for commodities like cotton, yarn, plastics, steel products, vehicles and chemicals.


Located in the south-east corner of Liaoning Province, the port of Dalian is a pivotal hub of logistics and trade between China and the rest of the world. It is one of the few deepwater ports in Northeast Asia capable of handling container ships up to 200,000 deadweight tons (DWT), making it an attractive destination for international vessels. The port spans more than 835 miles along the Liaodong Peninsula and boasts a variety of gateway operations, including bulk cargo transportation, liquid chemical terminals, ro-ro terminals, and passenger transport services.


Main ports of South Africa

South Africa has one of the busiest commercial ports in the world.

Cape Town

The port of Cape Town is widely regarded as one of the best-style ports in all of Southern Africa and is ranked among the top 30 busiest cargo ports in the world. Thanks to its prime position at the heart of Africa’s economy and strategic gateway to connecting nations, Cape Town has become a popular hub for many international businesses that transport products across multiple continents. The port facilities here provide comprehensive services for imported materials.


One of South Africa’s most important harbours, the Port of Durban is a bustling commercial and trading hub located on Africa’s east coast. The port provides vital shipping lanes for goods entering and leaving the continent, with sprawling quays accommodating massive container ships. It also has deep-water berthage points, facilitating the loading and unloading of bulk commodities such as coal, ore, grains, lumber and oil.

Port Elizabeth

The port of Port Elizabeth, located in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province, is a busy and important shipping hub used by ships that traverse the Indian Ocean. Its central location at the mouth of the bay has made it a key point of entry for international cargo vessels. For years, commercial ships have counted on the port to provide reliable services such as mooring facilities, warehouses, repair services and customs inspection points.

Saldanha Bay

Saldanha Bay is one of the largest ports in South Africa and is an important hub of activity for shipping and tourism. Located on the western coast, it provides a deep harbor capable of handling large ships and cargo vessels. Saldanha Bay typically handles raw materials such as coal and iron ore from inland mines.

Richards Bay

The port of Richards Bay in South Africa is an essential gateway to the Indian Ocean, connecting global trade and providing an anchorage for commercial vessels. The port boasts two terminals, one for commercial vessels and one specifically built for ore carriers. It handles over 209 million tons of cargo each year, making it the biggest bulk handling port in Africa and one of the largest liquid bulk ports in the world.

Provide competitive shipping freight from any city in China to Ghana.

The best freight forwarders will be able to consult with you to find a strategy that makes sense for your business needs. They bring not only a wealth of experience but valuable networks that can lead to savings on both.

Air freight from China to South Africa

Air freight cost from China to South Africa can vary depending on several factors.

One of the most important considerations is how much space will be needed for the shipment. A full aircraft cargo hold could be required, or a single pallet may suffice.

The type of aircraft used can also affect the cost, as well as any special requirements such as climate-controlled storage or hazardous materials handling.

Airfreight companies must also take into account the distance and number of stops necessary to reach their destination.

Main airports in China

China is a vast country with some of the busiest airports in the world.


Standing at the forefront of international air freight and cargo shipping, Beijing’s Capital Airport has become one of the busiest airports in the world. The airport has ten cargo piers, 5 international airspace gates, and five international designated routes, making it a major international airport for many carriers across Asia. Not only does it offer exceptional amenities and services, such as advanced loading systems; but also a host of value added services such as customs clearance and affordable third-party logistics resources.


Shanghai Airport is one of the largest and busiest airports in the world, with a thriving cargo terminal that is responsible for handling ship goods from around the globe. The airport has direct flights to cities across Asia, Europe, Australia, India and North America, making it an ideal hub for those who wish to ship their items quickly and cost-effectively. Furthermore, via its various partners’ networks, Shanghai Airport offers air freight services to major gateway cities in South Africa, ensuring secure delivery of goods anywhere in the country.


Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport has become a major shipping hub in South China.

The airport serves as an international gateway for air cargo shipping, and its extensive shipping infrastructure makes it an ideal choice for business and leisure travelers alike.

From express mail services to partner shipping companies, commercial freight, medical shipping, and even personal packages, Guangzhou has something for everyone.


Chengdu Airport offers a wide range of shipping services for passengers. From light shipping needs – such as documents and letters – to big shipments – like furniture and cargo – the airport ensure that deliveries are secure, on-time, and cost-effective.

Moreover, shipping packages from Chengdu Airport means that you don’t need to worry about storing your valuables throughout your travels; they’ll be shipped securely upon arrival.

Whether you’re shipping small packages or large bulk items, Chengdu Airport has got you covered. Additionally, numerous shipping services provide convenient door-to-door delivery services.

Main airports in South Africa

South Africa has a number of main airports, allowing shipping of air cargo from all over the world.


Home to many important businesses and industries, it is no surprise that the city boasts three major airports: OR Tambo International Airport, Lanseria Airport, and Rand Airport. OR Tambo is the primary hub for travelers coming both locally and abroad, while Lanseria serves mainly domestic flights. Rand Airport, on the other hand, specializes in shipping goods as well as recreational flying activities such as skydiving and sightseeing flights.

Cape Town

Next to the shores along Table Bay are two major airports – one at Dumatalsport and another at Cape Town International Airport – that can help get products into the hands of customers with speed and accuracy.

These airports bring together cargo handlers, shipping companies and airlines that cooperate to ensure shipping times can be shortened and customs clearance is simple.

With cargo-only planes scheduled multiple times a week as well as dedicated cargo terminals, freight ships have access to hassle-free shipping in Cape Town.


Durban is a bustling city in South Africa, and its airports are one of the busiest shipping hubs in the world. The city is served by King Shaka International Airport, La Mercy Airport and Virginia Airport.

Located near the port of Durban, King Shaka International is the largest airport in the region, handling millions of passengers each year as they travel around the globe.

La Mercy Airport is well known for shipping goods to nearby countries utilizing cargo services, and Virginia Airport offers many flights to destinations inside and outside of South Africa.


Bloemfontein is home to no fewer than three airports, each with its own unique characteristics.

First, there’s the Johannesburg International Airport (JIA), rightly considered one of the busiest in South Africa. This bustling hub is suited to international shipping, tourist activity and business travel alike.

Just south of Johannesburg lies Bram Fischer International Airport (BFI), which boasts a major freight terminal – making it ideal for shipping goods within the country and further afield.

Finally, Bloemfontein itself is served by JBM Cillié Aerodrome – a small airport tucked away on the eastern edge of town which provides convenient access points to nearby areas.

How many days does it take for express freight to be transported from China to South Africa?

When it comes to time-critical freight delivery, express cargo transport from China to South Africa is often the best choice. In general, it typically takes five to seven days for your items to make their journey across the sea.

The exact travel time depends on a number of factors such as the size and weight of the goods you’re shipping and how many packages are in transit at the same time. Your chosen courier’s timetable also plays an important role in determining transit times.


Shipping from china to south africa DHL

With DHL Express, exporters and buyers can send items quickly and securely in as little as one to three days.

In particular, their air express services operate Monday through Saturday with specific carriers dedicated solely for cargo shipping from china to south africa dhl allowing them to provide accurate delivery times upon request.

Most importantly, all package contents are scanned and palletized for ensuring safety when being shipped internationally by DHL’s trained personnel who can answer all queries.


Shipping from china to south africa FedEx

For those looking to move goods from China to South Africa, FedEx offers a comprehensive range of options that ensures efficient and safe deliveries.

Whether it’s a few boxes of clothing or a full container-load of electronics, FedEx has services and solutions tailored to the needs of both businesses and individuals alike.

Its Express Freight service is ideal for large shipments, providing door-to-door delivery within just two to three days.

Shipping from china to south africa UPS

Shipping from China to South Africa via UPS offers a convenient and cost- effective way for businesses to move products around the world.

The process is quick and efficient, with shipments usually taking 1-3 business days rather than weeks or months, allowing companies to get their products to market in no time at all.

Shipping from china to south africa TNT

When it comes to shipping packages from China to South Africa, dependability is key. That’s why so many people turn to TNT for their shipping needs.

With TNT, packages will be delivered quickly and on-time – the average arrival time for a package going from China to South Africa takes only 4 days.

Shipping from china to south africa EMS

Shipping from China to South Africa via EMS (Esteemed Mail Services) is an increasingly popular transportation route for those looking for an economical and reliable way to get their projects delivered to their destination in South Africa.

Depending on the specific situation, delivery times can range from three days up to around ten days.

Door to door shipping service from China to South Africa

door to door

Door to door service from China to South Africa is an efficient and affordable way to transport goods across the world at an affordable cost.

Companies like FedEx, UPS, and DHL can provide fast and reliable services on a global scale.

Customers have the ability to not just book their own shipment online but also track their shipments right up until delivery takes place. Furthermore, customers can avail of additional insurance coverage for shipments as well as customs clearance services so that their goods arrive safely in South Africa.

Custom clearance South Africa

Before a shipment can pass through customs, all the paperwork must be correctly filled out, goods must be accurately valued and the necessary customs fees determined and paid.

Additionally, traders are often required to submit additional documents such as certificates of origin, legal product documentation and lab reports or health certificates. For those unfamiliar with the process, customs clearance in South Africa can seem overwhelming, however it is possible to make the experience easier by engaging a professional who understands all that needs to be done.

The key to successful custom clearance is being prepared – understanding the necessary paperwork you need and ensuring you meet all requirements before beginning the process will help ensure a smoother shipping experience from start to finish!​

Documents required for shipping from China to South Africa

  • Bill of lading.

  • Packing list.

  • Commercial invoice.

  • Import Permit.

  • Customs Import Declaration.

  • Certificate of Origin.

  • Certificate of product registration.

  • Any other document required from any government department or agency for a special type of goods that we have discussed above.

Cheapest shipping from China to South Africa

The cheapest shipping from China to South Africa is the sea freight shipping. A product that can cost you $1000 by air freight will cost you $195 by sea freight.

Depending on the nature of the goods being shipped, it may be possible to opt for standard mail instead of a parcel delivery service; however, if time is a factor then express delivery might be necessary.

Also, using airmail instead of sea freight can help to bring down costs and speed up arrival times.

Ultimately, with a bit of research you should be able to uncover some great deals on international shipping from China to South Africa.

This will allow you to get your cargo quickly and safely without breaking the bank in the process.

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