Shipping agent in China

Top 7 Good Reasons you must have a shipping agent in China.

When you are sourcing from China it is really beneficial to have your own shipping agent working for you in China. Stating the painfully obvious importing from China is a 2-way street, goods are exported from China and then imported to say Australia and the USA. Surely then it makes sense to have a shipping agent in Australia or America too I hear you ask? Yes, absolutely and really the search for a shipping agent in China should start at home. What you really need is a shipping agent (also commonly known as a freight forwarder) located at the port where you will do most of your importing from China through. So if you are near Melbourne or Los Angeles or shipping to both then that's the place to look for your agent.

Here are a few basic questions and ideas to get you started that you can ask prospective shipping agents about.

- Where do you have representative offices or partners in China?

- How long have you been working with same?

- Like anything ask for some reference clients.

- Does the agent handle air, ocean and road freight?

- Does the agent have less that container load shipping (LCL) services weekly from major ports?

- Does the agent have your suppliers nearest port well serviced in China?

You should note that the majority will claim to have excellent coverage over the major China ports so do try to learn a little about how long they have been operating those lines with special attention of course on the port/s that you intend shipping out of most frequently. All that griling aside your shipping agent is a key player in your team and should end up a trusted partner making a really positive impact to your business. We have put together a tidy list of the Top 7 good reasons why you must have your own shipping agent for China. Top 7 Good Reasons you must have a shipping agent for China.

1. Cost Control

The alternative to not having your own shipping agent in China is allowing your supplier to provide this service which gives you no control over the process and will leave you open to inflated charges along the line most likely at the destination port. 

2. Transparency

Working with your local partner and their Chinese operations gives you a clear view into the process. You learn quickly that there is nothing to be scared about and your understanding will help make the process smoother.

3. Communications

Being able to communicate quickly and clearly on matters concerning your valuable shipments is important. Having responsive partners on the end of the phone and on top of email and paperwork flow is super important. You would be shocked to reaslise how many emails are exchanged on one shipment. I will run a test someday!

4. Relationships

Building a healthy business relationship with your shipping agent in Australia/USA/anywhere is a very positive thing. Like any long term relationship, you could avail of some discounts over time but also having trust and reliability with someone who is essentially handling part of your livelihood is not to be underestimated. There are often win-win situations and introductions that can arise.

5. Time Saving

You will save a lot of time, effort, and stress by allowing professional people take care of your shipments. Having yourself get very hands on in the process is not an efficient use of your time. Let everyone stick to their strengths. 

6. Customs Clearance

Your agent can make the arrange customs clearance quickly and also pay import duties and GST/VAT on your behalf. Following that clearance process, they will arrange delivery right to your door.

7. Supporting Local Companies

Even though you are sourcing from China, you still have an opportunity to support the local economy by giving the logistics work to a local shipping agent employing people at home.

That's our 7, feel free to comment if you have different reasons or ideas. 


Scott Summers

A shipping agent is cool I admit but for me it is unnecessary.For one if you are within the rules and regulations is there even a need for this?

Maklein Cruz

Those are reasonable to consider to have a shipping agent in China. But how would you know if that shipping agent is reliable? Would like to know about it.

Arcie Canedo

My mom is trying to get into buying and selling. I'll recommend this article for her. Thanks!

Lovely Marfil

I'm a bit hesitant about Transparency on business deals done in China. I feel that there's a lot of under the table transaction to make the deal works. I wonder if this is true.

Joyce Baumann

Great informative article! It does make sense to have an expert shipping agent in China with all 7 good reason in my mind prior to even starting any importation. I imagine the possibility of miscommunication and language barrier too. That would be a disaster! Any business wouldn't want to deal with the mess so avoid miscommunication/misunderstanding by getting experienced shipping agents there.

Oscar Diaz

Since I am located in South America, it is very important to know what are the up-to-date options we have to send our shipments in the most professional and secure way. Thank you very much for this information.

Oscar Diaz

Since I am located in South America, it is very important to know what are the up-to-date options we have to send our shipments in the most professional and secure way. Thank you very much for this information.

Tom Esthber

It is all about who you know and the relationships you make right? Thanks for the info.

Odim David

Are you saying that a shipping agent should exist in the China end and another in your country's end? If that is so, China must be a unique country. I think looking for a shipping agent that has offices in your home country and operates from China would be ideal for imports. Just my two cents.

Angelo Bugay

This is very informative! Very well said, the Top 7 Good reasons will really help entrepreneurs to have a prosperous business. Thanks for sharing this.

Ana Lopez

My biggest concern in importing directly from China has always been communication - I personally have already had quite a few issues out of misunderstandings. Your Reason number 7 has definitely given me something to consider. I think I will immediately look for some local shipping agent that can help me out.

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