Importing from Asia - Manage your costs

17th March 2021

Global Shipping Costs

The impact of the covid pandemic, a shortage of shipping containers and congestion at UK ports have had a negative impact on shipping costs over the last four months. Add the effects of Brexit, and a huge surge in online shopping, and you have a perfect storm which has led to spiraling shipping costs. There was hope in the industry that Chinese New Year, when the annual slowdown over the holiday period provides time for companies to catch up with backlogs, would help to bring costs under control again. It is true that the holiday did see rates decreasing, but not at the speed we would’ve liked.


How to manage your shipping costs from Asia

Although rates have decreased over the last month, they are still higher than normal, so how do you keep the cost of your shipments at a more manageable level?  Here are some of our suggestions for keeping the costs down when importing goods from Asia. 


FCL - Full Container Costs 

Rates for shipping FCL or full container load remain high, but we have seen them decrease in the last month. If you require a full container, your options here are to pay the full price or wait a few more weeks, as they should decrease further as congestion eases. Or, if your goods are less than 25 cubic metres, you could consider sharing a container and ship by LCL.

Full explanation of FCL and LCL


LCL - Less than Container Load

LCL or Less than Container Load is where your goods share a container on your shipment. It inevitably increases the shipment time by approximately 5-10 days but is considerably cheaper as you are charged by the volume your goods occupy. For FCL you are charged a flat rate for your container.


Rail Freight

We have imported goods from China to the UK by rail. Goods went by rail to Belgian, then were shipped to the UK where they were sent to their destination via road freight. The whole process took approximately 18 days and was considerably cheaper than by sea.


Importing from Asia - Creative Solutions

Our role is to come up with creative solutions for our clients and work closely with them to meet their particular cost and time requirements. We understand that each customer and shipment is unique and requires a unique approach. 

New to importing? Find out more about your options