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The Cheapest Ways to Mail to China (With Chart)

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Are you hoping to mail a package to China but worried about the cost? It can oftentimes be pretty expensive to mail packages across the globe.

The cheapest way to mail to China from the US is through SF Express Economy Express. However, this shipping company has a delivery time of about 10-12 days. If one wants their package to be delivered a little faster, they should consider using DHL Express Worldwide, which offers 4-8 day shipping.

There are many different ways to save money when sending a package. Let’s dive into the cheapest ways to mail a package and the different costs of mailing packages to china.

Cheapest ways to mail to China

The price of shipping to China varies from the weight of a package to how far one is from China. Let’s go over how much different sizes of packages would cost when being mailed from the US.

Tiny Package (0.5 lbs)USPS – First Class International- $24UPS Worldwide Expedited- $60UPS Worldwide Saver- $66USPS- Priority Mail International- $79
Thin Package (1 lbs)USPS – First Class International- $37UPS Worldwide Expedited- $60UPS Worldwide Saver- $66USPS- Priority Mail International- $79
Small Box (5 lbs)UPS Worldwide Expedited- $65UPS Worldwide Saver- $77USPS- Priority Mail International- $102USPS- Priority Mail Express International- $129
Large Box
(9 lbs)
UPS Worldwide Expedited- $87UPS Worldwide Saver- $95USPS- Priority Mail International- $133USPS- Priority Mail Express International- $163
Moving Box
(Up to 55 lbs)
UPS Worldwide Expedited- $306UPS Worldwide Saver- $373
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Cost of mailing to China from different countries

Now that we know the cost of mailing to China from the US, let’s go over how much it costs to mail from other countries. Because the price varies by the weight of the package, we are only going to go over how much it cost to mail a 5 lb box to China.

CountryCost (5 lbs box)
GermanyUPS Worldwide Saver – $345
BrazilUPS Worldwide Expedited- $392
CanadaUPS Worldwide Expedited- $345
AustraliaUPS Worldwide Expedited- $376
United StatesUPS Worldwide Expedited- $65

It’s significantly cheaper to mail something from the United States to China compared to the other countries on this graph.

Ways to save money on a package

The following list will show some general ideas on how to prevent expensive shipping costs and how to save as much money as possible.

Reduce the weight of your package- From the chart above, it shows that the heavier the package gets, the more expensive it is. If you’re shipping a large number of items, consider using lightweight packing material. If you’re shipping a heavier item, check to see the rates that are available if you want to use carrier-provided flat-rate packaging. Flat rate packaging offers the same no matter how heavy your package might be.

Use flat rate shipping- When possible it’s always a good idea to use flat rate shipping. The shipping costs are at a single rate regardless of the weight, shape, or size of the item you are trying to send.

Know when rates change- Rates change all the time, so when sending a package, make sure to be knowledgeable about shipping costs. New prices are implemented every year in January, and can also occur anytime during the year

Illustration of several packages flying through the sky with wings

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Why shipping has become so expensive

COVID-19- The main reason why shipping has become even more expensive over the past couple of years is COVID-19. The pandemic has destroyed the global supply chain since 2020.

Increased Consumer Demand- Since the pandemic, consumers have decided to use the eCommerce marketplace to purchase a variety of items. Many different products have been in such high demand that the costs have gone up exponentially. The more shipped products, the more costs are associated with their shipment. Because there is a rise in demand, this forces companies to charge more for a product to offset shipping prices.

Shipping Container Storage- There were about 180 million shipping containers globally in January 2021. During this time, Chinese companies have produced only 2-3 weeks’ worth of supply because there were significant numbers of cancellations for new container orders. The market prices for new containers in China have risen to $3500 per cost-equivalent unit. This amount is basically double what it was at the beginning of 2020.

Suez Canal Event- A shipping vessel called the Ever Given got stuck in the Suez Canal which blocked the entire waterway for about a week. An estimated 12% of global trade is transported through this canal. This incident cost $2.2 billion to $3.9 billion in international trade. This happened about a year ago but still has its effects on shipping costs today. Ships that were supposed to make deliveries were delayed and because of this, freight rates became high.

Booming Commodities- A commodity is a raw material that is traded nationally or internationally. We are facing a rise in commodities at this time. Since limited quantities are shipped to the same buyer, shipping prices have increased.

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Things to consider

Of course, it’s important to understand the cost of mailing to China, but what many people overlook are the few things that are prohibited to ship to China. Some of the items that are prohibited include:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Beef or any beef products originating from the US
  • Any perishable food
  • Any non-perishable food that contains liquid
  • Parts, machinery, electronics

If the contents of your package are fragile, let the courier know. However, this may add additional charges.

There are a few more things to consider when mailing a package. These few things are:

  • package weight
  • package dimensions
  • delivery time-frame

The lower the weight and dimensions, the more likely it is to get cheap shipping costs. If the package is irregularly shaped, that would present more fees, making the package more expensive. Shipping time varies from different couriers and services, but if you really want the cheapest way to mail to China, you have to be okay with your package taking a while to arrive.

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