Importing from China to the UK during the Covid 19 pandemic

20th May 2020

Towards the end of April, China opened up its border checkpoints on air, sea and land for the transportation of goods. Things are moving again, but there are some additional restrictions and checks in place because of the pandemic. 


At T.Ward we have seen an increase in enquiries about importing from China to the UK, and we are managing the transportation of goods by sea and air. There are a number of issues to consider if you are importing goods at the moment.


Transportation times


The pandemic has affected businesses of all shapes and sizes around the world - everyone from SMEs to the giant Chinese marketplace Alibaba. There may be issues with the actual production time of your goods.


- There are increased customs checks at border points

- There are additional restrictions on some goods.

- Many companies worldwide are dealing with fewer staff and supply chain issues themselves, so production times can be lengthier.


Official government advice and updates can be found at:


Changing demands for goods


As many consumers are now at home more, online sales of some goods have soared. As online shopping has increased, the supply chains around the world have struggled to adjust as companies are hit with the changing demands. 


Some goods have been in extremely high demand - e.g. hand sanitiser, masks, PPE, household cleaning products, fitness equipment. Others have seen demand slump.


What you can do


When importing from China, it is best to be prepared, so your business can cope with the changes:


- Allow longer lead times for products

- Be flexible

- Communicate with your supply base and producer

- If you can, consider ordering in larger quantities than usual


Air freight - due to reduced global capacity of available air freight space but higher demand air freight rates are currently very high but we are always happy to offer comparative rates of same.


As ever, if you have any queries or wish to discuss your options with us, please get in touch. We are happy to help guide you in these challenging times.