The annual traditional hotsale season is coming, the shipping has became slower and more expensive than before, if you are dropshipping wholesale from China you may already felt the shipping rates and product cost changed with even more higher price, the profit margin is lower than before in order to keep competitive price and higher convertion rates. Thus lots of dropshippers and distributors are looking for alternative shipping from China with faster delivery yet cheaper cost on the social media and communities. Why shipping from China so expensive right now? What’s the cheapest way shipping from China? How to ship from China in 5 to 10 days with cheaper price? Of course the answer might be not satisfied as faster delivery and cheaper shipping rates are totally conflict. In this blog ShipAnt will list the main factors affect shipping rates and tips how to reduce shipping cost for packages shipping from China.

5 main factors affect shipping cost for packages shipping from China

There are many factors affect the international shipping cost, for example, the sea shipping cost from China to USa has been increased 5 times in 2021 due to the politics and COVID19 issue affected the supply chain. Here we purely discuss the nature relations among the product category, package weight, volume, delivery time, destination countries and the shipping cost, how the 5 factors affect shipping cost and how to optimize them to save shipping cost for packages shipping from China.

Let’s take a look how the 5 factors affect shipping cost for packages shipping from China and how we optimize them to reduce shipping cost for packages shipping from China.

Product categories

The products shipping from China usually being divided into 3 categories, general goods, sensitive goods and prohibited goods, the 3rd one cannot be shipped from China without official approvement.

Prohibited goods: usually refers to items that are forbidden to import and export, and are also some items that are expressly prohibited from transport by many countries in the world. It includes explosive, flammable, corrosive, toxic, strong acid-base and radioactive dangerous goods; Narcotics and psychotropic substances; animals and plants; white powder; politics related books etc.

Sensitive goods:  sensitive goods generally refer to goods subject to legal inspection. It includes food, drugs, liquids,  cream, batteries, brands, magnets, CD, expensive arts etc.

For sensitive goods dropshipping from China, you can take a look How to ship nail glue essential oil cosmetics from China to USA EU.

General goods: All the goods except sensitive goods and prohibited goods. These goods do not need special supervision, such as export goods clearance form, export license, endangered species permit export certificate, psychotropic drug import (export) permit, legal fishing product customs clearance certificate, tariff quota certificate, 3C certification, etc. Regulatory certificates or approval documents.

Thus, general goods has the cheapest shipping rates when you dropship wholesale from China.


Package Weight

It isnt hard to understand that the more heavier packages the higher shipping rates, which means the shipping cost is proportional with package weight. How to optimize package weight to reduce shipping cost? If you paid attention to the courier service you used before, you will know the courier also divide package weight into different weight segment, we can optimize the weight segment to reduce shipping cost. For example, USPS charges per lbs and divide package weight into different segments, the package weight close to each weight segment are the cheapest. So does the Chinese shipping courier.

When you plan to optimize package weight to ship from China, you can divide the package weight into the following weight segments:

package weight <=0.1kg

0.101kg<package weight<=1kg

1.001kg< package weight <=3 kg

3kg<package weight<=5kg

5.1kg<package weight<=10kg

10kg<package weight<=21kg

21kg<=package weight<=50kg

50kg<package weight<=100kg

Avove 100kg

Of course, the package weight totally depends on your goods weight. Once you found the right weight segment of your packages, it is more easier to find suitable Chinese shipping forwarder to help you ship with cheaper shipping rates.

Package volume

All the courier charge shipping fee based on package weight and volume and choose the bigger one to charge. Thus shipping cost is proportional with package volume weight. When you planning to dropship wholesale from China, it is very important to check the product package volume to estimate shipping cost.

Volume weight formula


Different couriers charges different volume weight, courier service like UPS, DHL FedEx charge the biggest volume length*width*height/5000, air, train and sea shipping usually charge volume length*width*height/6000, post service and small package line usually charge volume weight length*width*height/8000, but it depends on different destination countries.

In addition the the volume weight formula, you may also need to know the courier restrictions on the package size volume:

Small packages line (under 2kg): length<=60cm, length+width+height<=90cm;

UPS DHL FedEx: length<=120cm, length+2*(width+height)<=280cm

Air Sea Train delivery: length<=80cm, length+width+height<=280cm

Of course, different couriers have different volume weight restrictions on the package length, width and height, when you inquire Chinese forwarder shipping rates they will tell you the weight and volume restriction.

How to optimize package volume to reduce shipping cost

There are 3 tips for you to optimize package volume to reduce shipping cost for packages shipping from China.

Tips 1. Compress the product volume. for example, if you need to ship coat, blanket or plush toys which has big volume weight, you can ask the supplier to compress them with air compressor to reduce shipping cost;

Tips 2. Use China post service. As long as the package size under China post EMS ePacket volume restriction, they will charge the package weight only, you can save shipping cost with EMS shipping service;

Tips 3. Apply couriers who has higher volume calculation fomula, for example, couriers calculate volume with 8000, which means smaller volume weight and cheaper shipping cost. If you ship bulk goods via sea or train, you can also find courier who calculate 50% volume weight and 50% weight, in this way you can also reduce shipping cost.

Delivery time

The shipping cost is also proportional with delivery time. The faster delivery the more expensive shipping rates. people who inquiry for fastest yet cheapest courier for packages shipping from China are totally waste time as it goes against the rule. The delivery time affected by the shipping demand and processing effeciency in the supply chain. For example, now there are hundreds of ships crowed on the sea near LA port, the delivery time delayed heavily due to the port processing effeciency is slow, meanwhile, the hotsale season have high shipping demand.

How to optimize delivery time to reduce shipping cost for packages shipping from China?

If you are dropshipping wholesale from China, there are 2 tips to help you optimize the delivery time to reduce shipping cost.

Tips 1. Offer free and paid shipping. It can be seen as a marketing strategy to dropship from China. List the delivery time for both free and paid shipping on the store, people choose different shipping might have different expectation on the delivery time, for example, free shipping takes 10 to 20 days for packages shipping from China to USA. Paid shipping take 4 to 7 days shipping from China. In this way you can satisfy clients while reduce shipping cost;

Tips 2. Keep contact with Chinese freight shipping agent tightly. If you need to ship from China frequently it is necessary to keep your eyes on the delivery time and adjust the shipping methods for the packages have high timeliness based on the shipping agent information.

Destination countries

Unlike package weight, volume and delivery time, the destination countries shipping cost not fully based on distance but market competition and destination countries custom policy as well as the politic environment. For example, Indonesia and India near from China but the shipping cost is higher than packages shipping from China to UK and west EU countries due to the customs are extremely hard for goods import. Not to mention the shipping rates for packages shipping from China to countrie have war risks.

Here comes another question frequently asked by many dropshippers, should I dropship in USA or worldwide countries? Which is more profitable? No matter dropship in EU USA or worldwide countries, the shipping cost is always the biggest concern.

When you dropship wholesale from China, we suggest you focus on the top50 countries or top30 countries only as those countries have mature shipping couriers with cheaper or affordable shipping cost and delivery time.

Why Shipping from China so expensive right now?

The main reason shipping rates from China much more higher than 2019 is the shipping supply and demand arent balance. Let’s take USA and EU for example, the airline shipping from China to USA reduced at least 90% compared to 2019 due to the COVID19 and politics issues, while the goods need to ship from China to USA increased, thus the shipping rates increased heavily. Another reason is the port in long beach and LA are heavily crowded. According to stats, the everage container unloading time is 17 to 20 days, during the holiday season it takes even longer time and there are hundreds of ships line up for unload. Thus the shipping rates compared to 2019 increased around 2 to 3 times.

What’s the cheapest way shipping from China?

After introduced the 5 main factors affect the package shipping rates let’s came back to the most concern topic by dropshipper and wholesaler, what’s the cheapest way shipping from China? From the above explanation you may understand the shipping cost mainly depend on the product name, weight, volume, delivery time and destination countries, firstly you need to know the those information then you can inquire Chinese shipping agent based on the requirements, It is more easier to find the cheapest way for packages shipping from China.

For example, What’s the cheapest way for 0.4kg clothing shipping from China to USA? If you ship via dhl fedex, it is fast but shipping rates very high, if you ship via China post air mail, it is cheap enough but it takes 1 to 2 months and unstable. How to balance the cost and delivery time for packages shipping from China? You can choose small package line which is the cheapest way for 0.4kg clothing ship from China to USA as it has similar shipping rates to ePacket while it takes 7 to 15 days delivery, faster and more stable than China Post.

What’s the cheapest way to ship 50kg toys from China to UK? There are 4 ways available for 50 kg packages shipping from China to UK, they are air delivery, DHL Fedex UPS, train delivery and sea delivery. You need to concern about the tax and delivery time. The fastest and most expensive way is courier service, the slowest way is sea shipping, the cheapest and best way is train delivery if you do not have restriction on delivery time.

Each package has different goods, weight, volume and different shipping requirements, it cannot be generally say which is the cheapest way shipping from China, but you can select the best way based on the goods, weight, volume and delivery time shipping from China.

How to reduce shipping cost dropship from China?

The main way dropship from China is the small package air delivery, China post air mail, epacket, Aliexpress standard shipping etc. The product value mostly between $10 to $100. The shipping cost is continually increase from Spetember, the shipping cost and deliery time is the biggest concern for dropshippers. How to reduce shipping cost dropship from China? There are few tips for your as a reference.

Tips 1. Select light weight volume with higher price products for dropshipping. When you dropship from China, the main cost is the product and shipping, sometimes the shipping cost is more than 50% of the total cost, to reduce shipping cost, you may need to select light weight volume goods with higher value, in this case you have enough profit margin;

Tips 2. Apply consolidate service. If you have multiple items from different suppliers, you can apply Chinese dropshipping agent like ShipAnt to help you consolidate multiple items into one package to reduce shipping cost.

Tips 3. Upsell & cross sell. When you lunch promotion on the store, you may know the shipping cost difference between single products and multiple products, then apply upsell & cross sell to reduce shipping cost.

Tips 4. Apply China post service or small package line for goods with light weight but big volume. For example, you are dropship plush toys or pillows from China to USA, it is very light weight but have big volume, usually more than 2kg, you can compress and ship via epacket or compress it to ship via small package line length*width*height/8000, the shipping cost will be cheaper.

In this way, you can reduce shipping cost dropship from China. There are many different situations to ship from China as each one might have different shipping requirements, once you know the 5 important factors that affect the shipping cost, you will know how to find the cheapest way to ship packages from China to reduce shipping cost.