What does a shipping agent do?

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What does a shipping agent do ?

Now many worldwide purchase friends expand their business, they select the Chinese market to source good quality products . after they finish place order with factories or trade company. normal they trade term with supply via below term: EXW, FOB, CIF. let’s see base on these terms, who will take charge of the shipping charges

first, we check what’s the different incoterms, who will arrange international transport service.

Incotermswho arrange logistics service
EXWEx Works (EXW) is the term used to describe the delivery of goods to an available designation at their place of business, normally in their factory, offices, or warehouse. this term need the buyer to arrange to pick up from factory and international transport, buyers select their own shipping agent to arrange from factory to their home delivery
FOBFree one board, mean before cargo arrival at the ship, the seller arranges local delivery to port, customs clearance till cargo on board, then sea freight, air freight, and buyer country custom clearance and delivery paid by buyers.
CIFCost add insurance and freight all paid by the seller, this term seller will arrange international transport.
DAPDelivered-at-place (DAP) is an international trade term used to describe a deal in which a seller agrees to pay all costs and suffer any potential losses of moving goods sold to a specific location. This term also seller arrange international logistics service to buyer point address

so if the terms are CIF and DAP, the seller will cooperate with the logistics agent to arrange transport service. if FOB or EXW term, the buyer will need sourcing one shipping agent to arrange logistics service.

What is a freight forwarder /shipping agent do?

  1. if your term is EXW, freight forwarder arranges to pick up from seller factory.
  2. one picked, then send to seaport or airport, then start with china custom clearance. custom clearance needs documents including invoice and packing list, customs declaration. some products need commodity inspection,below are Commonly required products for commodity inspection. if the wood package, customs will need fumigate.
    1. 1, clothing category
      1. Woven clothing generally requires commodity inspection, except for baby clothing and sports suits.     
    2. 1) Knitted garments with wool or rabbit hair content exceeding 50% need to be inspected. Generally, inspection is not required.     
    3. 1, shoes
      • 1) Common shoes, such as PU shoes, PVC shoes, plastic shoes, cloth shoes, leather shoes, artificial leather shoes, slippers, etc. all require commodity inspection.     
      • 2) Skates, roller skates, baby shoes, medical shoes do not require commodity inspection.    
    4. 1, lights      
    • 1) Bulbs, lamp tubes, lamp holders, chandeliers, wall lamps, ceiling lamps, table lamps, floor lamps, etc. all require commodity inspection.     
    • 2) Stage lights, street lights, spotlights, night lights, decoration lights, and lights without lighting function do not require commodity inspection.

3. after customs clearance released, cargo can arrange for flight or ship. start transport to nearest seaport or airport of consignee address.

4. when arrival seaport or airport, start to arrange import customs clearance. normally need document is packing list, invoice, some products need CO (certificate of origin), some product need form A and so on. In different countries’ different products request are different.

5. after finish destination custom clearance, then custom can arrange to pick up cargo by local logistics company or self car. they pick up with a bill of lading (B/L)if sea shipping, if air cargo, then pick up with airway bill (AWB)

if FOB term , seller will send cargo to air port or seaport, and arrange custom clearance process in china. so buyer will arrange sea freight/air freight ,destination customs clearance and pick up to home.


so shipping agent can do is pick up , custom clearance , documents, arrange fumigate .

Besides this, we supply additional services, such as support buyers to visit the factory, take photos and videos, once pick cargo, inspect base customer requests; count quantity, and tack pictures. check weight and volume. if send to amazon warehouse, we can support to stick SKU label and amazon label. we can do everything to make sure the product will arrive right address success.

some customers said as convenience,we normally ask the seller to arrange a shipping agent .but we advise you use your own shipping agent.


shipping agent since 2009

All you need to know about freight forwarding

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Shenzhen Honour Ocean Shipping Co., Ltd. is a 13-year-old international logistics service provider based in China with branches in Changsha, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Yiwu, and the United States. Specializing in sea and air freight, express delivery, and DDU/DDP door-to-door services, we offer robust logistics solutions from China to the United States, Europe, Southeast Asia, Africa, the Middle East, South America, and beyond. With warehouses in major Chinese cities, we serve a diverse clientele, including foreign buyers, Chinese export companies, and factories, and can pick up orders from anywhere in China. Our competitive advantage lies in our extensive network, years of expertise, and commitment to prompt and efficient service. We are not only a logistics company but a reliable partner in global trade, addressing the pain points of our clients and ensuring the safe, timely, and cost-effective delivery of their goods.

Top 8 good reasons you must have a shipping agent in China

1. For cost saving .

If you ask the seller to select a shipping agent for you, don‘t directly cooperate with the shipping agent, then you get a second freight quotation. and once you cooperate with the shipping agent, you can get the newest freight quotation, and know the logistics market better. such as sea freight, update normally 1st each month and 15th. twice one month. normally seller sends a freight quotation once you place an order, maybe it will ship after 1 month or two months, if freight decrease, they won’t tell you. but if freight increase, they maybe tell you. if you find one professional agent, they can advise you when the ship, how to arrange can save cost.

cost save

2. Tracking easy-international shipping tracking

you can check with an agent about the newest status of your cargo, they can send you a tracking number and tracking website, you also can check with the agent. you can know about your cargo at any time, don’t need to worry about any risk.

here also send some tracking website for your reference:

Express tracking :

ups international tracking:




air cargo tracking :

fill Air Cargo AWB NO, or you can go to airline website to tracking base AWB number.

sea shipment : fill container number or B/L number for tracking. also can go to the ship company website to check.


3. Communicate convenience

you don’t need to communicate with the seller, the seller asks for status then tell you, you can directly communicate with the shipping agent.

4.Save time and energy

one professional agent can supply one-stop service, we can arrange from any port of China to worldwide. and to many countries, we supply door to door including custom clearance and tax. you don’t need to take any time and energy for international transport, so you have enough time to expand your seller market or sourcing better quality products.

5. Supplier chain stronger.

logistics process is very import at international business, you have own cooperate agent, they can support you much about your business.

for long cooperate VIP customers, we supply 30days of free storage. freight discount and so on. you can with a strong supply chain to win the market.

 sourcing agent service

6. collect service

many customers want to collect samples from many factories, then combine them to one carton ship together save cost. a freight forwarder can collect for you, you just tell supplier lists, we can contact and tell them our warehouse address, then the supplier will send the sample to our warehouse, we combine to one carton ship for you. this can save cost for you, as international freight min order normally 0.5kg or 1 kg. and weightless, unite price higher. there are min order charges. and we also can collect different suppliers’ orders to loading on one container. this for freight forwarder is very easy to finish, but as the buyer not at local city, everything very difficult to handle.

7. additonal value service

we can supply additional value service, such as stick sku label, amazon label , even go to factory to visit for you, take photo and videos. not only your shipping agent but also like your partner at china.


8. professional logistics solution.

one professional freight forwarder will advise you best logistics solution to meet your request. such as some times, my customer want the ship to amazon, if using air freight, freight very high, but if use ship, they are slow. then I advise them to send some cartons by express, about 3-5days arrival, others by fast ship. we supply fast ship, to USA transport time about 9-11days, and very quick. and some customers start a business, there is only about 20kg, they think have to use express or air shipping, but in fact, we can arrange sea DDP to the USA and Europe, min order 21kg. even very small order, we can ship by railway packing to Europe.

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