How Long Does Shipping Take from China to the UK?

Shipping Time from China to the UK

China shipping is becoming a vital part of the global economy and shipping industry. Being one of the world’s largest shipping industries, it is also the most competitive and challenging market to enter. China’s economy has been growing steadily for decades, so the country has a very large and diverse export market that is heavily driven by consumers looking for more affordable items with better quality products to improve their standard of living. This has resulted in China becoming the prime country for trade. 

At the same time, the UK has been a major shipping destination for Chinese companies to export their goods to Europe, North America and other parts of Asia. As China takes on more of an economic role in global trade, it is important that British companies understand how to deal with imports from China’s market.

Last Updated: February 2023

How long does it take to ship from China to the UK by sea?

Depending on the distance and type of product, shipping from China to the UK can take up to six weeks (or 42 days). However, most of this time is spent waiting at the port for the package. For most countries, the costs associated with international logistics are rising every year with minimal returns in terms of efficiency or speed. The best way to reduce these costs is through automation in warehouses and distribution centres. This can help with the increase in wait time for shipping between countries, and it appears that the UK and China are working together to make their shipping methods more effective. 

Why is shipping from China taking so long?

When it comes to shipping, China is not just one country–it’s an entire region that includes multiple countries. As more consumers shop online and more companies need to ship goods internationally, China is getting overwhelmed with the number of packages coming in. This has slowed down international shipping because they are unable to handle all of the traffic coming through their borders, which causes delays in the arrival and export of shipments to and from other countries as well.

One solution that some companies have used is outsourcing their shipping needs overseas. This saves businesses time and money by avoiding delays and having a better chance of getting their product by the desired date.

How long do UK customs take to clear packages from China?

If you’re planning to order products from China, you might be wondering how long is it going to take for UK customs to clear your package. It takes up to five to six weeks for the process.

The time that UK customs takes varies depending on what’s inside the package. For example, if there are no items requiring a license, the process can take as little as two weeks. However, if there are items in the package requiring a license or a permit that you don’t have, they might take anywhere from six months to five years. This process is always changing to fit the needs of both countries. Due to this, UK customs may be able to process packages between five days or six weeks, however, this heavily depends on circumstances. 

KG Logistics offers a comprehensive import freight forwarding service to help clients import from China to the UK. Our sea and air freight services include part load (LCL), full load (FCL) and all air freight for both commercial and general public clients. Our specialised breakbulk team can arrange both ex-works and FOB shipments for all larger out-of-gauge cargo. We can arrange any type of air freight shipping on a door-to-door basis, whether your shipment is of utmost urgency or it requires a full charter of an aircraft.

Contact us for more information.