Freight Forwarder – China to UK

It’s so important to have a clear understanding of the process when importing your goods from China to the UK. Let’s run through the process.

Get your business ready for import

Before you do anything, you will need to get your business ready to import. To do this, you will need an EORI number that starts with GB in order to import goods into England, Wales or Scotland. You’ll need a new one if you have an EORI that does not start with GB. If you move goods to or from Northern Ireland you may need one that starts with XI.

Get an EORI number

You will also need to check that the business sending you the goods can export to the UK. They may need to make an export declaration in their country or may need certain licences or certificates to do so.

Find out the commodity codes for your goods

You’ll need to include the commodity code on your import declaration. This will determine the rate of duty you need to pay and if you need an import licence. 

Find the right commodity code for your goods

Work out the value of your goods

When you make your import declaration, you’ll need to include the value of your goods. This helps you to work out how much duty and VAT you’ll need to pay. It is the importer’s responsibility to ensure that the freight forwarder has the correct information in order to customs clear the goods on behalf of the importer. Failure to provide accurate information can lead to HMRC investigating and delivering significant fines.

Work out the value of your goods for customs

Ensure you have Marine Insurance

Marine Insurance is really important. Do you insure your home, your car, your holiday? The answer is clearly ‘yes’, so why wouldn’t you insure your goods? Without insurance, a carrier’s shipping line liability is limited in accordance with their terms and conditions. 

You can take out your own business marine insurance cover or purchase cover via your freight forwarder. Pinnacle can provide marine insurance upon request. 

How best to ship your goods from China to UK

Sea freight is the most popular go-to method of importing goods from China to the UK. This is the most cost-effective mode of transport for such long distance, however, the transit time taken to move the cargo by sea is longer than air freight. On average, shipping time can vary from 25 days to 45 days. 

Air freight is a good alternative to sea freight when shipping from China to UK. It is sometimes referred to as ‘frustrated sea freight’ when employed due to the transit time for sea freight being too long. Air freight is commonly used when moving urgently required or sensitive, high-value items. Air freight is a faster and more secure way of moving cargo. Pinnacle offer a dedicated air and sea freight departments and online tracking to manage your shipments from origin to destination. 

Best Freight Forwarder from China to UK

All freight forwarders will offer sea, air and road freight services. Some freight forwarders businesses will predominate in EU / UK trade, US / UK trade or others. In the majority of cases, many UK freight forwarders’ major trade lane will be the China to UK import market, due to the scale of it. 

When looking for the right freight forwarder partner, for your China imports, find one who is adept in shipping from China to the UK. Pinnacle have been successfully managing shipments for many years via our long-term and well-established Chinese partner, who owns and operates 17 offices across China. 

If you’re ready to make your first shipment from China to the UK, follow the suggestions above and employ a credible and suitable freight forwarder like Pinnacle, who will guide you through each step to make your shipments successful.

Pinnacle have many years of experience and expertise in shipping from China to the UK and our team are available to provide personalised guidance and assistance. Contact Pinnacle today and speak to one of our global logistics experts for information, pricing and advice for your unique requirements.  +44 (0)845 6216 111 /

Freight Forwarder – China to UK

Shipment Tracking

Using WebTracker you can track your consignments whenever you need to, 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. The system tracks your consignments at every stage of the journey, from pickup to delivery.

Start using Shipment Tracking