Asking about shipping costs first

How much does it cost to ship from China to Toronto, Ontario Canada. I do not know which port to use in China. I just want to know how much the total is roughly so I can decide if I should get it or not. Thanks.


You are wise to be thinking about import duties, taxes and costs of shipping before you make a purchase.  Too many new-to-China buyers focus only on product price and then get an ugly surprise when they learn there are applicable taxes are substantial shipping costs which they didn’t plan for in the budget.  Another mistake is to ask the supplier in China to confirm the shipping, taxes and duties in the destination market.  Suppliers may not be knowledgeable about how your government would classify the given product and what taxes apply, let alone current cost of transport.

So I find it best to ask a logistics expert because the cost of moving goods from China to Toronto changes on a daily basis and is highly dependent upon the weight and size of your shipment. You would be wise to develop a working relationship with a freight forwarder or customs broker based at your local port, who has experience dealing with China imports. They also go by the name “3PL” for 3rd party logistics service providers.

These companies are the experts in this area and they make a living arranging shipments. A big part of their job is to stay current on the import taxes and duties and shipping rates.  Not only can they quote on the costs of moving your goods, but they can also confirm if there are any import taxes or duties.

Read the article at to learn how to find a quality 3PL.

Hope these ideas get you pointed in the right direction.

Wishing you successful China sourcing!

Question answered by Mike Bellamy, host of “Ask the Experts” at the China Sourcing Information Center.

Mike Bellamy is an Advisory Board Member & Featured Blogger at the not-for-profit China Sourcing Information Center ( He is also the author of, “The Essential Reference Guide to China Sourcing” ( and founder of PassageMaker Sourcing Solutions ( )

1 Comment

  1. Julien on July 17, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Very interesting answer! Shipping costs are indeed an import factor in the sourcing process and should not be overlooked. I definitely agree that one should take into account shipping costs before purchasing. Furthermore, it is helpful to know about some simple solutions to reduce your shipping costs. Local firms usually can help you handle the shipment process. One of my coworkers actually wrote a great article discussing how to manage shipping costs. Check out the article here!

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