Importing from China or India to sell at Christmas

17th May 2018

Importing from China or India (or other areas in Asia) to sell at Christmas

Our shopping habits have changed in recent years, and there is evidence that shoppers begin to think about Christmas as early as August. Even if customers do not place orders until the 2nd half of the year, there is work to be done before that in making them aware of products and brands, building trust before they spend their cash. It makes sense to have your products redy as early as possible.

As a business importing goods from China, India or the rest of Asia, when is the best time to order your stock? Placing an order in May or June may sound ludicrous, but when you factor in these time constraints, getting organised now is a very good idea!

Finding a supplier

Unless you’ve already found your supplier (on sites such as Alibaba) you may take time to find the right one for you or your product. This research needs to be thorough and it can take time to build a relationship and communicate with the organisation. A negotiation process needs to start with your chosen supplier, discussing prices, quantities and terms of shipment.

Once your order is placed it may take several weeks for goods to be ready, not accounting for any

production delays.

Transit times from Asia

There is typically a transit time from most Asian port to UK ports of around 4-5 weeks. This does not account for any delays during transit.

Calculating the time it takes to import from Asia

This sounds a bit like a school maths problem, but stick with us!

So if it take you 1-2 weeks to find a supplier, then another 1-2 weeks to negotiate product spec, prices and quantity of order. 
Time taken will be roughly:

  • 4-6 weeks for production

  • 4-5 weeks to receive your order

It could well be around 3 months before you physically see your order.

The conclusion? May or June is the perfect time to begin thinking about importing in time for Christmas!


As an experienced freight forwarder, we can ensure the shipping process is one that meets your

requirements whether that is quickest transit time or most economical method to try and keep

overall cost of product down.

Whether your shipping LCL or FCL. High value or low value goods we can offer you our expert

knowledge on the best method of shipment for your goods.