How much will China’s Shipping Cost be in 2022?

How much will China’s Shipping Cost be in 2022?

2022 May 09

The shipping prices in 2020 and 2021 accelerated to the point where production companies closed down or paused their activities. In 2022, there is good news for importers since the shipping rates from China have gone down. The rates started declining in January, and this is set to continue up to the peak seasons of 2022. However, the prices are still higher than they were in 2019.

What is the Sea Freight Cost?

As sea freight is the cheapest means of shipping, it is the most preferred by many importers, especially those with bulky and heavy shipments. For goods that weigh more than 500 kilograms, sea freight is the option to go for. Goods are packed into 20ft or 40ft containers. For dangerous goods, IMDG containers are used whereas for perishable goods, Reefer containers are used.

If you choose sea freight as your shipping mode, your goods will either be in Full Container Load (FCL) or Less Container Load (LCL). FCL is for shipments that are large enough to fill a container, while LCL is for shipments that are not large enough to fill up a container. Their prices definitely differ.

Currently, the sea freight average cost for shipping goods from China to the USA ranges from $2 to $4 per kilogram.

To ship a 20ft container from China to the USA costs $277 while shipping a 40ft container costs $377.

The shipping industry accounts for 90% of the world's trade, and China is the biggest supplier of goods in the world. Shipping prices from China have risen since 2020 due to the health crisis. This has led to an increase in consumer prices and it has slowed national economies, not only in China but all over the world.

Generally, freight prices for containers have gone down by 12%. Importers from the USA have experienced a reduction of the freight rates by 7%. Those in Europe have experienced a 1.5% freight rates reduction. Currently, there is a decrease in demand and sales of goods. Lockdowns in China have contributed to this. Most companies are still closed down hence leading to lower demands and this has contributed to reduced freight rates.

Another factor that has led to shipping prices going down is the high fuel prices. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has made the cost of oil and gases get to new heights. This has increased the prices for trucking, therefore making importers slow down on making demands. Furthermore, the inventories are full at the moment, holding stock worth $658 billion. This has reduced the compulsion on shippers to make more orders.

Factors affecting sea freight prices mode of shipping

  • The container capacity

  • The distance between the port of loading and delivery port

  • The nature and size of goods

  • Oil prices

  • Seasons and holidays

  • Port Congestion

  • Local cost of ports

Ocean Freight Rates Historical Charts for 2021

Will Freight Cost Increase in 2022?

Freight rates will always change due to the unstable shipping market. Right now there is a drop in freight rates, hence it is the best time to import goods from China.

Experts point out that the freight rates will continue dropping by 30% to 40%. However, the freight rates are likely to increase during the peak seasons of 2022. This will be from the month of August to October.

Freight rates will also increase if there is an increase in the demand for goods or if there are container shortages.

Container Shipping Cost from China to the USA in 2022

The USA is a major importer of goods from China. The two countries have good relations in terms of trade. In 2021, China was among the top trading partners for the USA, and it was ranked the biggest source of US imports.

Most importers from the US have popularized container shipping because of its rates and capacity.

For a 20ft container, shipping to the West Coast of the US will cost $8,500 and to the East Coast, it will cost $10,500. For a 40ft container, the freight cost is $15,000 to the West Coast, and to the East Coast, it is $18,000. These are the average rates.

The prices vary depending on where the shipments are to be delivered. They also vary depending on the service you opt for; either door-to-door or port-to-port. Door-to-door service is more expensive but with this service, you will not have to pay for extra costs like a factory-to-port transport fee.

The weight and volume of your shipment also determine the amount you will pay. A kilogram of your shipment will cost an average of $3.

The table below shows the current shipping prices from China to the US for a 20-foot container, according to the TopShipping website.

PORT OF LOADING

PORT OF DELIVERY

COST($)

SHANGHAI

LOS ANGELES

7500

SHENZHEN

MIAMI

8000

GUANGZHOU

SAVANNAH

9800

TIANJIN

HOUSTON

10500

NINGBO

PORT NORFOLK

1100

The table below shows the current shipping prices from China to the USA for a 40ft container.

PORT OF LOADING

PORT OF DELIVERY

COST($)

SHANGHAI

OAKLAND

8500

SHENZHEN

NEW YORK

9500

GUANGZHOU

BALTIMORE

10200

TIANJIN

NEWARK

10800

NINGBO

PORTLAND

9500

Container Shipping Cost from China to Canada in 2022

China is among the top trading partners that Canada has. Currently, the top commodities 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

Importers from Canada have several options for shipping their goods from China. These options include air freight, air express, and ocean/sea freight (FCL OR LCL). Shippers that choose ocean freight will be able to get lower prices and can transport goods that are heavy. Their goods will take longer to be delivered though. The transit time from China to Canada ranges from 20 to 30 days.

Factors affecting container shipping costs from China to Canada

Costs vary depending on whether the service you have chosen is door-to-door or port-to-port. Prices for door-to-door services from China to Canada in 2022 range from $2.25 to $2.6 per kilogram.

Goods being shipped as FCL cost differently from those that are shipped as LCL. The average cost for LCL shipping from Shanghai costs $679 per CBM.

Also, the distance from the port of loading to the destination port affects the container shipping rates.

Shipping a 20ft container is cheaper compared to shipping a 40ft container. This is due to the fact that a 40ft container has more capacity.

For LCL, shipping from China to Toronto, Canada costs $2-$5 per kilogram. From Ningbo to Toronto, it costs $5-$7 per CBM.

Shipping a 40ft container from either Shanghai, Guangzhou, or Qingdao to Toronto costs $6900.

Top Ports in Canada

  1. Port of Vancouver

  2. Port of Montreal

  3. Port of Prince Rupert

  4. Port of Halifax

  5. Port of Saint John

Container Shipping Cost from China to Europe in 2022

Europe is a big continent with several countries including Italy, the UK, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, and France. Europe imports and also exports goods from China, and this amounts to a high percentage of the total goods it imports and exports. Over the past two years, shipping to Europe increased by 600% due to the coronavirus pandemic. Lockdowns in China affected the prices for transporting goods from China to Europe.

Before shipping goods from China to Europe, importers compare the shipping prices, and that is why most of them choose container shipping. Container shipping is cheaper and flexible. The transit time from China to Europe using sea freight is estimated to be 35 days.

The main ports in Europe are:

  • Port of Hamburg - located in Germany

  • Port of Antwerp - located in Belgium

  • Port of Rotterdam - located in the Netherlands

Some of the factors that affect container shipping rates from China to Europe include:

  1. Shipping mode - either FCL or LCL

  2. The distance from the port of loading to the delivery destination

  3. The weight of goods being shipped

  4. The form of cargo

The following table shows the container shipping prices from China to Europe

PORT OF LOADING

DELIVERY PORT

COST($)

SHANGHAI

SOUTHAMPTON

1141

SHANGHAI

FELIXSTOWE

1193

SHANGHAI

LONDON

1068

NINGBO

SOUTHAMPTON

1135

NINGBO

FELIXSTOWE

1125

NINGBO

LONDON

1099

SHENZHEN

SOUTHAMPTON

1155

SHENZHEN

FELIXSTOWE

1125

SHENZHEN

LONDON

1035

Container Shipping Cost from China to Japan in 2022

Japan is the world's third-largest economy. The economic relations between Japan and China have been maintained over a long period. Japan is China's close neighbor hence shipping goods from China to Japan is easier and faster compared to shipping to other countries. Some of the goods that Japan 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

  • Vehicles

  • Organic Chemicals

Importers from Japan usually opt to ship their goods using ocean freight. This is because of the fact that this method is cheaper, it can deal with heavy goods, and there are fewer restrictions. However, this method is slower compared to others. Other modes of shipping goods from China to Japan include air express, air freight, and railways transportation.

The prices for ocean/sea freight vary depending on factors such as distance between the port of origin and the destination port, cargo dimensions, type of container to be used, the incoterms to be applied, etc. Incoterms are a set of 11 internationally recognized rules which state the responsibilities of suppliers and buyers. When shipping goods from China to Japan, the incoterms that can be applied are FOB and CIF. With FOB, the supplier is accountable for both the cargo and transactions until the goods are loaded onto the ships. With CIF, the supplier is accountable for all that until the goods are delivered to the destination port.

To ship a 20ft container from China to Japan with FOB will cost about $200.

Container shipping cost also varies depending on whether the goods are in FCL or LCL. For LCL, the freight cost is $60 per CBM (167 KGS). For FCL, a 20ft container will cost $200 whereas a 40ft container will cost $300.

Ports in Japan

  • Port of Nagoya

  • Port of Tokyo

  • Port of Yokohama

  • Port of Osaka

How to get the best container shipping rates from China to Japan

To get the best rates when shipping goods from China to Japan:

  • Ensure you use good packaging materials that will not increase the volume of your goods

  • Consult various carriers before shipping

  • Get a reputable freight forwarder to work with you

  • Consider consolidating your goods

Container transit time from China to Japan usually ranges from 5 to 21 days. This is actually slow since Japan is close to China. The reason for this is that ships are generally slower, especially when they are carrying very heavy goods.

When will Shipping Price Go Down

Everyone is yearning for plummeting shipping prices. Despite the fact that prices have gone down, they are still high compared to the period before the Covid-19. The main question importers and exporters are asking is: when will the shipping prices go down?

As it was reported in The New York Times, the prices will start stabilizing during mid-2023. This is because it always takes a range of 12 to 18 months for high container prices to reach consumer prices.

The factors that can result in stabilizing the freight costs include:

  • Increased container capacity

  • Government action

  • Increased vessel capacity

  • Reduced demand

We can only make speculations on the shipping prices going down, but we expect fluctuations due to the capricious nature of the shipping market.