How to Handling Shipping from China to Nigeria

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How to handle shipping from China to Nigeria


Shipping from China is a common activity of most importers in Africa, America and Europe. China has been one fast moving economy in the world that makes products available at cheaper rates. Shipping from China is made easy simply because of availability of products and freight forwarders that are ready to assist in shipping the goods at affordable prices.


In this article, I will tips on how to make shipping from China to Nigeria a good experience as an importer. We will go through this journey together, I believe after you are done with reading this information, you will have more knowledge about ordering for your goods and shipping them with ease to Nigeria.


I will shed more light on the following


  • How to source and buy goods from China
  • How to ship goods from China to Nigeria
  • The cost of shipping from China to Nigeria


How to source and buy goods from China


Sourcing for the cheap and hot selling products in China is the first process in shipping from China. As any importer and business person, you need to know which products are on high demand by buyers. This will give you any insight of what to purchase from manufacturers or the suppliers.


First of all, you need to know and understand how china market supply china works because this will give you tips on how to relate with the suppliers and manufacturers. As importer of goods from China you need to be sensitive to China market in terms of exchange rate and the supply-demand structures.


There are the things you have do when buying for products in China


  1. Do background research on the suppliers in China
  2. Be sure of the languages the supplier can speak
  3. The currency the suppliers use in business transactions
  4. The reviews from previous buyers of the products from the Chinese supplier
  5. Request for samples before you order for large quantities purchase from the supplier


Where to buy goods from Chinese Suppliers

Buying from Chinese is another challenge many importers face while shipping from China. I will take my time to give you advice and links to where to buy from China. We may decide to buy on Chinese online market or contact the suppliers on email or phone (Whatsapp or Wechat). When you buying from local suppliers make sure you verify the supplier companies capacities to supply the quality of the goods you need.


Online Chinese Markets for importers


The above links are popular online marketplaces you can place orders. Some are written in Chinese language. The beauty of these marketplaces is that they have ecommerce security and term verifying the supplier and you have the control on your activities. Your money is safe. You can get return of your money if the suppliers send wrong products and report to the admin of the marketplaces. Please, do not send money to buyers out the marketplace platform because some suppliers may be fraudulent and the marketplace will not be able to attend to such claims when you report.


You will need the following information we buying from Chinese marketplaces:

  • Chinese Address ( you can contact Distinctcushy Freight to assist on this)
  • Chinese Phone number ( We will give you our partner phone number in China)
  • Payment solutions (We may assist in payment but we will be liable in case there is any form of fraud with the transactions from the suppliers. You need to be sure of the supplier before you proceed with settling the bills)


How to ship goods from China to Nigeria


Shipping from China to Nigeria is simple and easy only if you have an agent (Freight Forwarder) that understands how to handle all aspect of shipping. Shipping can be either through sea freight (Full container or less Container Load) or air freight (Normal cargo or express). We will examine all the possibilities. The shipping mode depends on the importers and time delivery of the goods to Nigeria.


Basic shipping processes from China to Nigeria;


Packaging: When freight forwarders in China use wrong packing for shipment to Nigeria. It can cost the importers a lot in Nigeria when they processing customs clearing at ports. When you want import to Nigeria from China, Freight Forwarders need to wrap each carton with yellow sack.


Every country that imports to Nigeria has their packaging type and color of sack. If a freight Forwarder use only brown carton to send goods to Nigeria through airport, the airline and cargo handling company in Lagos, Abuja or Portharcourt will deliver it at carton warehouse (General goods, USA goods, UK goods and Canada consignments) instead of China warehouse.


Some items need to be palletized to make moving of the goods easy at warehouse or with the shipping company. Some pallets may be wooden, wooden casing or plastics.


Labeling: This is very important in shipping. Labeling assists in easy identification of goods. It can be two categories:


Handling of the goods – some goods are fragile, corrosive and Hazardous. There must be tag for this. To suggest to anybody (whether airline, shipping line or the carrier at warehouse) how to handle it when moving the cartons or the pallet.


Identifying the right importers: Some shipment are form of groupage (that is importers’ goods are packed together) when shipping them from country of origin. Shipper has label each carton or pallet to make distribution of the goods to each importer easy when it is ready for delivery in Nigeria.


Customs Declarations on Shipping Documents: Wrong declaration on Bill of lading or airway-bill is a principal criminal offense with customs service. It means you want to deceive and cheat the Federal Government of Nigeria on the taxes and excise duties you ought to pay. Such mistakes can cost the importers a lot.




These are possible results of wrong declaration on shipping documents:

  • Seizure of the goods
  • Incur demurrage (Extra storage charges at port) because of the delay on customs clearing process.
  • Payment of penalties that importer may not plan for.
  • Damage of the goods if the goods are perishable, fragile (When moving around without proper handling precautions)



Cost of shipping from China to Nigeria

I will take my time to explain to you on how to calculate the shipping cost from China to Nigeria.


For Air Freight: The charges depend on the weight of the shipment.

                     Air Consolidated Shipping: This is the type of goods in which many importers deliver their goods a particular freight forwarder in China. the company ships the goods in bulk to Nigeria. The goods are usually in tons and the charges of shipping and customs clearance are shared by the importers. When one importer has one carton and others have 50 cartons, they will pay the same price for shipping per kilogram (KG). The difference will be in the number of cartons and the weight they weigh.


Example: Let’s assume company XYZ charge importer as follows:

For Shipping Fee = $4 per kg

For Clearance = #150 per kg


Customer A has 5 cartons and the total weight is 700kg


Customer A will pay the following

For Shipping Fee = $4 x 700kg = $ 2,800

               For Clearance = #150 x 700kg   = # 105,000

The above payment will be paid to the agent or representative of the freight forwarder in Nigeria.


                    Air Stand-alone Shipping:  This is when importer sends his goods alone to Nigeria through airport with Master Airway Bill. The importer will bear the shipping and customs clearance cost. The importer may pay for volumetric weight (space the shipment occupies in the aircraft) instead of actual weight of the goods.




Sea Freight – The charges on the depends on whether it is full container or less container load


Less Container Load- The freight will charge importer base on the the Cubic meter (Length x Width x height in meter) of the goods.

Less Container load can be grouped into two for shipping from China.

  • Grouped Sea Cargo LCL – When freight forwarder loads different importers goods on a single container. The importer will not collect House Bill of lading (HBL). The freight forwarder will bear the risks, cost of shipping and customs clearance in Nigeria.


                   The cost of shipping and clearing at charged per CBM


  • Stand-Alone Sea Cargo LCL -  The importer will give the goods to a freight forwarder in China. A container will contain different importers goods with different House Bill of lading document to each importer. The importer will bear the risks, cost of shipping and each importer goods in the container will pay import duties depending on the cost of the goods and the HS code percentage of the goods.

Full Container Load – The importer pays for the shipping cost of the container. He bears the local charges at port with full payment of all the import duties and levies if it applies.


In conclusion, shipping from China to Nigeria is very easy but you need professional guide of a shipping expert who will take you through the all processes. Distinctcushy Freight experts are in China and Nigeria to assist you and making your shipping experience from China a wonderful one and making sure you do not run into loss of goods or money.

Follow Michael Adewale:

International Freight Forwarder, Shipping Consultant and Customs Clearing Agent

He is Chief Executive Officer at Distinctcushy Global Freight Forwarding Company Limited, an International Freight forwarding company and Customs Clearing Broker in Lagos, Nigeria. He loves integrity and value honesty with importers and Exporters in Nigeria and abroad.

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