Transport from China - which mode of transport to choose?

Update date:
01 Dec 2023
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Date of publication:
24 Sep 2023
Reading time: 3 minutes

The transport of goods from China to Poland is an important link in the global supply chain. Choosing the right mode of transport is crucial as it affects costs, delivery times and other factors. It is worth considering which mode of transport to choose - sea, rail or air. Below is an analysis of these three options.

Maritime transport:

Maritime transport is the most popular mode of transport from China, mainly because of its competitive prices. Currently, in the current market situation, it is the most cost-effective option. In addition, sea transport is characterised by low restrictions on the type of goods that can be transported, unlike air and rail transport.

The delivery time for a ship from China to Poland varies from 36 to 42 days on average, depending on the route and the number of stops. Please note that this time may increase due to delays, so it is always advisable to check the delivery time with the shipping company over a period of time.

Sea freight prices from China depend on the time period over which you want to transport your cargo. Examples of container transport prices are available in price indexes available online, but these costs are indicative and only include the price of sea freight.It is always advisable to check current prices with the shipping company you are working with. 

In maritime transport, cargo may be shipped under the formula FCL (Full Container Load) or LCL (Less Container Load). FCL means that the entire container is dedicated to one shipper, while LCL is the consolidation of smaller loads from multiple shippers into one container.

It is also useful to understand the differences between INCOTERMS formulas such as FOB, EXW and CIF, which define the responsibility for the delivery and clearance of goods.

Ships from China to Poland usually arrive at the ports of Gdansk or Gdynia. Transport to Hamburg is an option, but may involve higher costs when it comes to getting the cargo to its destination in Poland. The distance from Gdansk or Gdynia will usually be closer than the distance from Hamburg. 

Air transport:

Air transport from China to Poland is the fastest form of cargo transport, but is usually more expensive than sea or rail transport. Air freight costs are based on the weight of the goods and vary depending on the time period.

China has a number of international airports, such as Beijing Airport (PEK), Shanghai-Pudong Airport (PVG) and Hong Kong Airport (HKG), which serve connections to many cities around the world.

Delivery time for air transport is usually between 3 and 7 working days, but additional time for customs clearance must be taken into account. Air transport costs depend on current market rates, which can change frequently.

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Rail transport:

Rail transport from China to Poland has become increasingly popular in recent years, mainly due to competitive prices and relatively short delivery times. This transport is particularly attractive for goods where there is a need for continuous supply.

Delivery times for rail transport are typically between 12 and 20 days, which is much faster than sea transport but slower than air transport.

The final choice of mode of transport depends on many factors, such as the type of goods, budget, delivery time and other circumstances. It is worth consulting a logistics company or transport broker to carefully assess the best option for your cargo. Whatever your choice, there are a number of companies and service providers offering transport services from China to Poland that can help ensure smooth delivery and minimise costs.

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