Container Shipping Rates from China to Canada0 (0)

Container Shipping Rates from China to Canada
0 (0)

May 10, 2022

International shipping is never easy. There are several procedures to follow and many rules and regulations to keep in mind during the shipping process. This can be hectic. China is one of the top suppliers of goods to Canada. The two countries have had great economic relations for quite a long time.

Some of the goods that Canada imports from China include:

  • Electrical and electronic equipment
  • Machinery, nuclear reactors, and boilers
  • Articles of apparel, knit or crocheted
  • Plastics
  • Furniture
  • Optical, photo, technical, and medical apparatus
  • Toys, games, and sports requisite

The government of Canada levies a tax rate of about 4.8% on all goods that are imported to the country. The goods also have to be inspected upon arrival to ensure that they comply with the set rules and regulations. It is very crucial to understand all these rules before making shipment orders.

There are important documents that you should have when shipping goods from China to Canada. Some of these documents include:

  1. Bill of Lading – It shows what you are shipping, where you are shipping from, and where you are shipping to.
  2. Certificate of Origin – It shows where the goods were manufactured or produced.
  3. Custom Invoice – It contains all the paperwork for taxes and tariffs.

When shipping goods from China to Canada, you can either use air express, air freight, or sea freight. Choosing the method of shipping will be based on the weight of your goods, how fast you want your goods to be delivered, what your budget is, and the nature of the goods, among other factors. Ocean/sea freight, also known as container shipping, is a popular method for many shippers.

Why shippers opt for container shipping

Container shipping rates from China to Canada are generally lower compared to other shipping methods.

Containers can carry heavy and bulky shipments. Air express cannot carry goods that weigh more than 150 kilograms, while air freight cannot carry goods more than 500 kilograms.

Ships are more carbon-efficient compared to airplanes, hence they are eco-friendly.

There are fewer restrictions for ocean freight as compared to air modes of shipping.

Disadvantages of container shipping

It will take a long time for your goods to be delivered. Ocean freight transit time from China to Canada ranges from 29 to 35 days.

Top container shipping companies from China to Canada

  • COSCO (China Ocean Shipping Company)
  • APL (America President Lines)
  • Hapag Lloyd
  • Maersk Line
  • OOCL
  • MSC

How much does it cost to ship a container from China to Canada?

There is no specific price for shipping a container as it all depends on several factors. These factors include:

1. Mode of container shipping

There are two ways you can ship your goods; Full Container Load (FCL) and Less Container Load (LCL).

  • FCL – With this mode, you get a whole container only for your goods. You will pay the same price for the container whether it is full or not. There are 20ft containers and also 40ft containers. FCL shipping time from China to Canada is usually 20-30 days. The average cost for this is $765 per container.
  • LCL – If your goods cannot fill a container, they will be consolidated with the goods of other shippers in one container. The shipping time from China to Canada for LCL is 22-33 days. The average price is $706.

2. Incoterms

The level of service you choose will determine your freight rates. Some services might be cheaper but that does not mean that they cover all the costs. Below are some of the common incoterms to know when shipping goods from China to Canada.

  1. FOB – It stands for Free on Board. Under this incoterm, the seller is responsible for all the risks, the cargo, and all transactions until the cargo is delivered to the buyer.
  2. EXW (EX Works) – The buyer decides how long the seller should be responsible for the cargo, by setting a predetermined location for the seller. When the goods arrive at the destination, the seller will be free of responsibility.
  3. CRF – The seller is responsible for organizing the shipping process, paying the freight cost, and delivery of the goods to the buyer.
  4. CIF (Cost, Insurance, Freight) – The seller pays for all the transactions.
  5. DDP (Duty Paid Delivery) – The seller is responsible for the goods and makes all the transactions until the goods are delivered at a predetermined location.
  6. DDU (Delivered Duty Unpaid) – The buyer pays for the import duty and the freight costs.

3. Shipping routes from China to Canada

When shipping a container, there are two routes that can be used. These routes are:

  • The Pacific Route – The ship sails from East of China through the coast of Japan, then it connects to West Canada.
  • The Atlantic Route – The ship sails from the south of China then it connects to the Indian Ocean. It will then sail through the Mediterranean Sea via the Arabian Peninsula to link Europe or it sails through the Cape of Good Hope to the South of Africa. It will connect to the Atlantic Ocean and then arrive in the East of Canada.

4. Shipping season

Timing is very important when it comes to shipping. Freight rates from China to Canada change depending on the seasons. There are high and low seasons, whereby prices are high during the high seasons, and low during the low seasons.

Also, shipping during holidays is expensive. Some of the holidays you should know so as to avoid shipping during those periods include:

  • The Chinese New Year – Usually from late January to early February. It takes three weeks.
  • The Golden Week – October 1st and the week that follows
  • Holiday Shopping Season – For sea freight, it is from July to October, and for air modes, it is from October to December.
  • Dragon Boat Festival – July

5. Fluctuation in fuel prices

An increase in fuel prices increases the container shipping cost from China to Canada. This is because ships use fuel.

6. Method of Delivery

There are ways of delivering goods from China to Canada. They include:

  1. Door-to-door delivery
  2. Port-to-port delivery
  3. Port-to-door delivery
  4. Door-to-port delivery

7. Type of container

If you choose FLC shipping, you can either ship your goods in a 20ft container or in a 40ft container. 40ft containers are more expensive since they have more capacity.

Other types of containers include:

  • OOG containers – They are meant for shipments that are too big or have awkward shapes, there are special containers for them.
  • Reefer containers – These are containers meant for temperature-sensitive and perishable goods. They have special equipment to let the goods be delivered in the same condition they were loaded.
  • RoRo containers – They are used for shipping cargo wheeled cargo like cars.
  • IMDG containers – They are used to ship dangerous and hazardous goods.

8. Distance from the port of origin to the destination port

This is actually one of the top factors affecting container shipping rates from China to Canada. Rates will be lower for shorter distances, and higher for longer distances. So, shipping costs will vary from port to port.

The top ports in China include:

  • Shanghai Port of China
  • Guangzhou Port of China
  • Ningbo Port of China
  • Xiamen Port of China
  • Qingdao Port of China
  • Shenzhen Port of China

The top ports in Canada include:

  • Port of Vancouver
  • Port of Montreal
  • Port of Prince Rupert
  • Port of Halifax
  • Port of Saint John
  • Port of Winnipeg
  • Port of Toronto

The following table shows some of the rates for shipping containers from China to Canada.






























How much does it cost to ship a 20ft container from China to Canada?

A 20ft container is a type of dry container that is commonly used by shippers. It can be used to carry almost any dry cargo in boxes, pallets, and barrels.

It has a volume of 33 cubic meters, with a usable space of about 26 cubic meters and can accommodate 10 pallets.

the dimensions of a 20ft container

Internal length

5.9m / 19.4ft

Internal Width

2.35m / 7.8ft

Internal Height

2.39m / 7.9ft

The advantages of using a 20ft container to ship goods from China to Canada are:

  1. They are easy to stack on the ship
  2. They are cheaper to ship.

A 20ft container can carry goods worth $2055.

The container shipping cost for a 20ft container from Xin gang Port of China to Port of Winnipeg, Canada, costs $1101.

The container shipping cost for a 20ft container from Qingdao Port of China to Port of Vancouver, Canada, costs $864.

From Tianjin Port of China to Port of Vancouver, Canada, the shipping cost for a 20ft container is $910.

From Dalian Port of China to Port of Winnipeg, Canada, the shipping cost for a 20ft container is $3126.

How much does it cost to ship a 40ft container from China to Canada?

A 40ft container has a volume of 67 cubic meters, with a usable space of 56 cubic meters. It can accommodate 20 pallets. The space for a 40ft container is double that of a 20ft container.

Dimensions for a 40ft container

Internal length

12.03m / 39.5ft

Internal Width

2.4m / 7.9ft

Internal Height

2.4m / 7.9ft

A 40ft container can be used to carry cargo worth $2992.

To ship goods from China to Canada, the container rates will be high during peak seasons and low during low seasons. Also, the distance between the port of loading and the port of delivery determines the rates.

To ship a 40ft container to the Port of Vancouver, Canada, from Ningbo port of China will cost $1223

To ship a 40ft container to Port of Toronto, Canada from Shanghai Port of China will cost $2799.

The cost for shipping a 40ft container from Shanghai Port of China to Port of Montreal, Canada is $2599.

The cost for shipping a 40ft container from Shenzhen Port of China to Port of Toronto, Canada is $2599.

What is the cheapest way to ship from China to Canada?

The cheapest way for shipping goods from China to Canada is by using sea freight. Sea freight has more affordable shipping rates compared to air freight and air express shipping modes.

Here are some tips you should put into consideration if you want cheaper shipping rates from China to Canada.

1. Get a freight forwarder

Having a freight forwarder means that you have someone that understands the shipping process better than you do. The freight forwarder will help you with the negotiation of freight rates. Other roles of a freight forwarder include:

  1. Helping you understand all the shipping procedures
  2. Getting all the required documents in time
  3. Making payments
  4. Maintaining records
  5. Scheduling cargo pick-up and dropping
  6. Booking the warehouse for your goods
  7. Conducting cargo insurance

2. Choose the right shipping methods

If there is no urgency in getting the goods, then sea freight is the best option because of its low shipping rates. Use air shipping modes only when it is necessary.

Use air express when you have goods that weigh less than 150kgs, and air freight when you have goods that weigh less than 500kgs. For heavy goods use sea freight.

If you are using sea freight, LCL is the best option for goods that are not large enough. LCL rates are lower than FCL rates.

3. Packaging optimization

Using some packaging materials can make your shipment bulkier and heavier. It is therefore advisable to use the right materials.

Shipping goods from China to Canada can be stressful, especially when you don’t have a freight forwarder. It is advisable to look for a reputable, experienced, and trusted company like TopShipping, in order to have an easy time when shipping.


Container Shipping Rates FAQ's

Canada imports various goods from China, including electrical and electronic equipment, machinery, apparel, plastics, furniture, and more.

Important documents for shipping include the Bill of Lading, Certificate of Origin, and Custom Invoice.

Container shipping offers lower rates, can handle heavy and bulky shipments, is more eco-friendly than air transport, and has fewer restrictions compared to air modes.

Some top container shipping companies include COSCO, APL, Hapag Lloyd, Maersk Line, OOCL, and MSC.

The cost varies based on factors such as the mode of shipping (FCL or LCL), Incoterms chosen, shipping routes, shipping season, fuel prices, and distance between ports.

The cost for a 20ft container ranges from $706 to $1,101, while a 40ft container costs between $1,223 and $2,799, depending on specific ports and other factors.

The cheapest method is usually sea freight, which offers more affordable rates compared to air freight and air express.

Tips for cheaper rates include working with a freight forwarder, choosing the right shipping method, optimizing packaging, and considering low seasons for shipping.

Freight forwarders have expertise in the shipping process, can negotiate better rates, handle documentation and payments, and ensure a smoother shipping experience.

Top ports in China include Shanghai, Guangzhou, Ningbo, Xiamen, Qingdao, and Shenzhen. In Canada, top ports include Vancouver, Montreal, Prince Rupert, Halifax, Saint John, Winnipeg, and Toronto.

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