Your supplier may have a choice
Sea freight rates vary from port to port. This can be due to a number of reasons but it’s a good idea to know which port/s your supplier uses so you know the exact sea freight cost. If you’re shipping a pallet of goods from Guangzhou you could save money by importing it from Shenzhen which is less than 100 miles down the road.
Why the difference?
The size of the port is often a factor in the sea freight rate. Shanghai, for example, is the world’s busiest trading port which handles 32 million containers each year and therefore is cheaper than other Chinese ports due to economies of scale. Some ports, such as Zhongshan don’t have services that run directly to the UK so we have to arrange for a ‘feeder’ vessel to Hong Kong where the container is loaded onto the main ship. Along with Geography, these factors can cause the sea freight rates for shipping goods from China to vary quite a bit so it’s always best to check if you have options with your supplier.
When importing goods from India the factor of geography becomes very apparent. The two main ports that are used when importing from India are New Delhi and Mumbai. “But New Delhi is 1000km from the nearest sea” I hear you say. Exactly, and as a result the containers from the New Delhi CFS (Container Freight Station) have a sizable journey before they can be put on the boat and that’s why the freight rate to import goods from New Delhi is often double what it’d be to import goods from Mumbai.
You should bear in mind that these fluctuations should only be minimal in the total shipping cost as on FOB shipping terms all the UK charges will be the same so it may only make a difference of £10-20 per cubic metre but every little helps.
To find out more about the best ports to ship from contact us using our Live Chat system, call 020 3384 0498 or send us your details using the Quick Quote form on the right-hand side of the page.
You may also find this helpful: