What is the best way to ship goods to Sri Lanka ?
Are you about to import (or export) products between Sri Lanka and China? You still have a doubt regarding the regulation or transport method? This is because it is very difficult to find decent information among the ton of online advice that SINO Shipping has done its “country guide”.
SINO Shipping is the partner you need to move your goods from China to Korea, by Air or Sea Freight. We’re able to book space on vessels or planes for every types of goods, even if they are dangerous or perishable.
In a first part we will detail you the customs clearing process, in a second the trade relations between the two countries and finally we will discuss the two existing freight methods.
What is the best method to ship your goods from China to Sri Lanka?
At SINO Shipping, we facilitate your international business, and assist you with tactical and procedural aspects of exporting such as logistics, packing and labeling. Thanks to our know-how and our decade of experience, we will give the best solution for your conveyance for any means of transport.
Let’s see the best transportation methods according to the nature/volume/weight/class of goods
Overview – Ocean cargo from China to Sri Lanka
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is an island country situated in the ocean Indian, precisely in the Bay of Bengal, separated from India by Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar. Its long coastline, measures 1,340 km long, and the country is the 25th largest island of the world.
Thanks to its geographical position in the ocean Indian, Sri Lanka is ideally situated on the sea routes between the Orient and Occident. Regarding to the World Bank, the sea freight reached 8,1 million of container of 20’ in 2015, and the forecast are 10,5 million in 2024.
The strategy of the government was to create the biggest transshipment hub in the region in 2012 at Colombo port.
The major manner of transport of goods are transiting via sea freight, and 70 % of ship traffic from and To Colombo are transshipment cargo.
Historically, the relation of trade between china and Sri Lanka began in 1952 with the Rubber-Rice pact.
Nowadays, the island is part of the Chinese strategy in the Ocean Indian, also called as the Maritime Silk Road or the china’s overall strategy “One Belt, One Road”
Concerning the means of transport by sea, if you are in a hurry to ship your products from China to Sri Lanka, shipping is not relevant.
Ocean freight is optimal for individuals’ customers or smalls enterprises which don’t make the time of transportation a priority. On the other hand, this means of freight is economically interesting. Indeed, the cost and high volume are the principal advantages.
*In short, sea freight is recommended for regular traffic.
Shipping company offering services from China to Sri Lanka ports
Port of Colombo
The port of Colombo is the only one container terminal of the island and the busiest port which represents in average, 5,7 million TEU of containerized cargo. With its 27 piers, the port is a maritime hub in this region.
Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port
The port was opened at the end of 2010 and it is the second biggest port, after Port of Colombo. It has been funded by the EXIM Bank of the People’s Republic of China. It is ideally located, very close to the major international east-west shipping route.
Should I ship by consolidation or full container from China to Sri Lanka?
LCL – Consolidation
LCL (less than container load), Packages are potted (grouped with other customers) in a container. At destination, the container is unbundled by a service provider. All these operations are not without risk for the goods. Packaging and rigorous palletization are essential. There are two types of groupings. The groupage made by the shipping company and the consolidation of freight forwarder made by the provider.
FCL – Full Container
FCL or Full Container Load it is the most used solution. The goods travel alone, in a closed steel box. It is possible to load the cargo in bulk to optimize the full space of the container.
For China, about sea freight, you will find all you need in our guide.
How long does it take to ship from China to Sri Lanka by sea freight?
This table is detailing the usual transit times between China and Sri Lanka:
|Tianjin||18-20 days||18-20 days|
|Dalian||18-20 days||18-20 days|
|Shanghai / Ningbo||16-18 days||16-18 days|
|Guangzhou/Hong Kong||14-16 days||14-16 days|
|Qingdao||17-19 days||17-19 days|
*Please note that those transit times are just indicative timing between China and Sri Lanka
TOP 5 – Shipping line
How much does it cost to ship a container from China to Sri Lanka?
Regarding to your requirement, the shipment varies in price: storage, packing services, license agreement… we adjust our proposal to your projected spending.
The cost of operation will be inconstant, related to your needs. For instance, door-to port shipment and port-to-port don’t have the same fare.
Special sea freight services
Reefer container from China to Sri Lanka
Reefer container or refrigerated container is a container capable of maintaining a certain temperature whatever the external conditions.
*At Sino Shipping, we offer temperature-controlled shipments from all mains Chinese ports.
Roro/Bulk/OOG from China to Sri Lanka
For any oversized conveyance, we provide different services such as Roro (Roll on / Roll off) devoted for heavy good vehicles or trailers. Moreover, we offer other service like bulk shipments or OOG (Out of Gauge) for parcel with dimensions exceeding those of the container
Overview – Classic vs Express air freight
We propose 2 method of transport air freight shipping and Express air freight. It will depend on if you are in a hurry or not. Classic may include stopovers whereas “Express air freight”, “as its name indicates, it will send as fast as possible. As you might expect, Express air freight is more expensive due to less transit time.
*if you don’t give priority to the transit time, you can flavor your conveyance with one or several stopovers.
What is the difference between volumetric and gross weight?
As an example, let’s take the following situation:
You need to ship the following parcel: W: 130, H: 88, L, 55, for a total volume of 0.629m3. 0.629 * 167 = 105 kgs. (rounded). The volumetric weight of your parcel is thus 105 kgs. If this weight is higher than the real weight of your shipment, we have to consider this one when quoting for it.
Please, bear in mind that the weight is not the only factor affecting the quotation.
Should I choose a Classic Air freight from China to Sri Lanka?
Which airlines company should you ship with?
FitsAir (formerly known as ExpoAir) is a Sri Lankan airline. The company has cargo flights to several cities in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
China cargo airlines is the cargo subsidiary of China Eastern, and it represents the first all-cargo airline operating dedicated freight services.
How long is the transfer from China to Sri Lanka by air freight?
|Beijing||1-3 days||1-3 days|
|Shanghai||1-3 days||1-3 days|
|Guangzhou||1-3 days||1-3 days|
|Hong Kong||1-3 days||1-3 days|
How much does it cost to ship a parcel from China to Sri Lanka?
Price for Air freight rely on various criteria. Regarding to your requirement, the shipment varies in price: the arrival and departure, the nature of your goods, customs clearance…
Should I choose an Express Air freight from China to Sri Lanka?
Express service – Perfect solution for small package
Express freights are handled by companies such as DHL, UPS or FedEx. These companies manage the entire shipment lifecycle, with door-to-door service. Most of the time, compared to the normal air freight, these shipments are smaller. In average, they don’t exceed 1 cubic meter and 200 kilograms.
How long does it take for a package to be shipped from China to the Sri Lanka?
The transit times will be more or less the same than for classic air freight. The point that will change will definitely be others process. Indeed, international courrier has dedicated customs department due to their volume of parcels. This advantage allows them to clear goods and finalize the shipment very quickly. While the total (all process included) delay by classic air freight is 4/6 days, you can expect to have your parcel delivered from Door to Door within 3 days.
How much an Express service costs from China to Sri Lanka?
We can’t provide prices for Express service as there are so many factors that influences the prices of your shipment: packing, distance from airport (both departure/arrival), any license needed..
Thanks to our partnership with these companies, we have very attractive fares and will select the best courier option according to your needs.
Major airports to ship in Sri Lanka
In addition to the sea freight, Sri Lanka is linked through its airports. The island has 23 airports but only 3 of them are international.
Bandaranaike International Airport, also called Colombo Airport, is the main airport serving Sri Lanka.
This airport was the only international airport of Colombo until 1967, which coincide with the inauguration of Bandaranaike International Airport. This airport handles around 1,256 cargo tonnage in 2016.
Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport
This international airport is located in the South of the island, near Hambantota. It is the second busiest airport of the country. In 2017, the airport handled 69 tons of cargo.
Overview – Door to Door
Door to Door service, also known as house to house service, ensure direct flows of products from the point-of-origin to the point-of-sale. This kind of service is the most convenient means of shipment for the client. Indeed, it has several advantages with a significant saving in time.
However, as you probably know, a door-to-door service will obviously be more expensive than a door-to-airport.
Why door to door service is necessary?
For instance, importer have to pass the customs authority. We can manage this process and prove that all applicable customs duties have been paid. As forwarder, we are able to handle this step among others.
SINO Shipping – Door to Door specialist
Thanks to our know-how and our experience, we’ll provide you the most fitting solution for tour shipment at the best price.
LTL and FTL Trucking
For both countries, China and Sri Lanka, we have at ours’s disposal a fleet of trucks. That’s why, we are able to manage trucking service, LTL as well as FTL.
As container, LTL or less than Truckload, is referred to load stands for less than the capacity of lorries. Naturally, the price will be correlated with the space used.
On the other hand, FTL or Full Truckload shipping refers to when customers has enough goods to fill the truckload. In reality, some clients use it to save time, because the shipment will be delivered faster.
How much duties and taxes will I pay?
Calculate applicable tariff with the HS code
Sri Lanka uses the Harmonized System (HS) of Tariff Nomenclature for traded goods created by the World Customs Organization. It represents a standardized system of names and number for each product used by more than 200 countries in order to facilitate international trade and Customs regulation.
To obtain it, just refer the Tariff Guide, or if you can’t find it, use the Commodity Classification Branch.
The HS code is the identification number attributed to goods through the HTS. Here is all the information contained in a HS code.
Let’s continue with the “pineapple” as an example, it will provide you these rates:
Different taxes existing for your goods
The importer has to declare their conveyance thought a customs House Agent and submit the de Customs Declaration online, also called the Entry. The entry should be submitted two times, after arrival of products and after obtaining the delivery order from the shipping agent.
According to the Sri Lanka Customs, customs charges are the following:
- Take a look to the tariff Guide of the Sri Lanka customs to be aware about the new customs tariff for your products.
- Furthermore, you will be charged of Rs. 250 for the custom declaration and around Rs. 100 for each containerized cargo and 1000 for full container.
The payment can me made online or at the Customs Headquarters Banks by Bank Drafts.
Customs Duties on Motor Vehicles
For customers who want to import a vehicle, several documents are required:
- Customs Goods Declaration
- Commercial Invoice
- Letter of Credit
- Bill of Lading or Air Way Bill (in case of air freight)
- Delivery Order issued by the Shipping Agent
- Value Declaration Form
For your information other documents are required for a used vehicle:
- Export Certificate
- English Translation, if above certificate is not in English language
- Pre-shipment inspection certificate issued by an approved inspection agency
*Taxes will depend on the value of the vehicle. First of all, you have to determine the HS code of your vehicle. As we mentioned before, please refer to the Tariff Guide to find it.
Does Sino Shipping charge duty?
We won’t charge any further shipping costs to our customers. More accurately, you will be asked to pay only customs duties, taxes and others import charges related to customs clearance in your home country, as per local regulation.
Customs contact in China
Customs contact in Sri Lanka
Customs clearance process
First of all, in order to operate as declarant (new customs house agent), you have to provide several documents. Please check this page for all the requirements.
The second step is that you have to register with Sri Lanka Customs. This automation process is called ASICUDA (automated system for customs data). You will find all registration information at this page: Importer registration in Sri Lanka
The importer has to declare their conveyance thought a customs House Agent and submit the de Customs Declaration online, also called the Entry.
The entry should be submitted two times, after arrival of products and after obtaining the delivery order from the shipping agent.
What are the Licenses required (import & export)?
Regarding the Customs Classification Code, as we mentioned above, it will rely on the types of goods and the origin.
The process for exporting is almost the same as importing, but If you want to know more about how to start an export, we suggest taking a look at the FAQ guide, made by the customs service of Sri Lanka.
The Bill of Lading or Airway bill (BL)
The Bill of lading represents the basic contact between importer and shipper which authorizes the shipping company to transport products to the buyer’s destination and also serve as the importer’s receipt and proof of title for purchase of the products.
Here we’re detailing you how is built a BL:
1 = Shipper
2 = Consignee
3 = Notify party
4 = Vessel No.
5 = Port of loading / discharge
6 = Place of receipt / delivery
7 = Containers No.
8 = Goods description
9 = Net weight
10 = Dimensions / volume
A packing list
This document is essential for the customs and should detail the HS code (Harmonized System of Tariff Nomenclature)
A Certificate of Origin (CO)
This document is the official document, given by the government, also called as “birth certificate” of the goods, showing country where the product originated.
A commercial invoice
The commercial invoice is the actual demand for payment issued by the exported when a sale is concluded.
It is the document which protects the imported goods against damage, loss and sometimes delay.
Shipper’s export/import declaration
This document refers to the contact information of the exporter and buyer, which contains a full description, declared value, and destination of the products being shipped.
Regarding the World Bank, China is the number one ranking to which Sri Lanka imported goods in 2016, for a total of US$4,271 million.
In 2018, Sri Lanka is determined to make a free trade agreement with China. This discussion started in 2012, and so far, it is the sixth round of negotiation.
In short, business between China and Sri Lanka is rising year by year. Moreover, this agreement, would be very welcomed for importer/exporter because it will facilitate trade between China and Sri Lanka, and will reduce duties and taxes.
Additional shipping services
Our warehousing services
Storage service in China
Thanks to our network, we have warehouses in all major cities of the country.
Storage service in Sri Lanka
We can put into storage your products both North and South of the island.
Our packing/unpacking services
The cheaper option makes by the simplest packing materials.
Benefits of Palletized goods are tremendous, for instance they reduce risk of temperature abuse for fruits or vegetables or increase maneuverability of transport tools. Furthermore, there are different kinds of pallets.
The crate in wood, is a large container used to convey heavy items. the material guarantee security and protection for your goods, and wooden crates can be manufactured locally.
On the other hand, you can opt for wooden boxes which are smaller than wooden crates. They can be used to carry perishable products for example.
Others: bubble wrap, tape, wrapping paper…
According to your requirements and your products, we will provide the perfect packing with the aim to transport them under the best conditions.
Why packing is important for the insurance?
As you probably aware, the freight insurance is a document used to cover against risks during the transportation. Regarding to your international commercial agreement, you can know what is covered by it. SINO shipping highly recommends ensuring your load, whatever it is.
How much does a freight insurance cost?
According to the value of your load, take precaution to protect your goods against risks. We advise you to find a happy medium in terms of expenses that you want to devote for it.
Supplier management in China
Control quality in China
In order to avoid any issue during the freight, we check all the process in accordance with the international trading standards. Our aim is to ensure that everything goes as planned. We start close relationship with your supplier to retain your load secure.
Relationship with supplier
3PL Services in China
Order fulfillment/Packing & labelling in China
At Sino Shipping, we manage order fulfillment for e-commerce. In this process, we handle all the steps from receiving, until delivering orders to the clients.
Last mile delivery
Shipping personal effects from China
We propose service for excess baggage by air freight at a reasonable price within a short period of time.
Moving service from China to Sri Lanka
We offer relocation service for customers with our dedicated department: SINO-Relocation
Free regulation advisor
Bear in mind that you will need a lot of documentation for your shipment. Feel free to get in touch with us, at SINO-shipping we deal with all the documents, refers to the official forms and others paperwork required for shipping and customs services.
More than 10 years of expertise in Asia, enables us to deliver tailor-made freight solutions at hyper competitive prices. Do not hesitate to contact our dedicated staff for more information about your transfer, we’re always happy to serve and spread knowledge!
Paper Work During Shipping from China to Sri Lanka
Pay attention to get accurate paperwork and shipping documentation. we remind you that several documents are required at your border country such as Bill of Lading for the carrier, Packing List, Commercial Invoice, and other optional documents for the Customs. All these documents are used in every kind of import.
Do I need a license to import goods from China to Sri Lanka?
For more than 400 goods and regarding the Harmonized Tariff System, importers need license to import products.
Do I need a customs broker in Sri Lanka?
Yes, obviously, you need a customs broker in Sri Lanka.
How Can Air Freight Be Cheaper Than Ocean Freight?
In some cases, air freight is less expensive than sea freight. In average, if your load has a volume less than 1CBM and weight less than 100kgs, Air freight should be cheaper.
Do I need to pay insurance for my goods from China?
We strongly advise customers to pay insurance whatever it is. It is not mandatory, it’s at your own risk.
How do I reduce custom duty while importing goods to from China to Sri Lanka?
We urge you to declare the right value of your shipment, don’t try to underestimate it.
Do I need to pay any duties and taxes in China?
No, importers or exporters don’t have to pay any taxes and duties in China.
How do I locate the import tariff for my product?
Please refer to tariff guide of the customs according to your product.
EXW, FOB, or CIF?
EXW or Ex works means that buyer has to support all the process from the original seller’s warehouse until the delivery address.
FOB or Free On Board, the seller support all the risks until loading products on board of the ship or the plane.
CIF or Cost, Insurance and Freight refers to the term that seller handle for the transport to buyer’s chosen port of destination. The seller takes on responsibility, risks, costs, and pay for insurance.
What method of payment is recommended for imports from China to Sri Lanka?
Most of the time, payments are made by the Telegraphic Transfer (T/T) which is the standard bank transaction, letter of credit (L/C), Alibaba trade assurance or even by PayPal payments.
Goods have arrived at my port in the Sri lanka, how do I get them delivered to the final destination?
Regarding to your agreement, if you use CIF or CFR, you can hire a local agent. On the other hand, if you opted for DAT/DAP with us, we can handle the conveyance to the place of delivery.
Sino Door to Door services from China to Sri Lanka– What we need to know to provide you a quote?
You need to provide us the exact address of departure and arrival.
how can I ensure that I have selected the correct site/supplier/factory to shop on?
First of all, check the website of suppliers/factories, to find further information about them such as physical address or their policies.
Then, you can research them on Alibaba, Global Sources, Hong Kong Trade Development Council. You will find references, feedbacks of former customers…
I have bought many different items of goods from cities around China, could you gather together to send me?
Yes, we can assemble several shipments in our warehouses. Please keep in touch with us for consolidation services.
What will you do next for customer services once I paid the cost?
We handle all the process until the place of delivery. Your satisfaction is essential for us that’s why we attach great importance to our services.
What if I'm not familiar with some shipping terms? Especially short forms.
Please feel free to reach us by mail or phone, our expert will reply within 48 hours.
Obviously, we never disclose confidential information about our customers.
Can I change my shipping address after its been shipped?
Yes, you have just to inform us about the change.
At SINO-Shipping, our experience in every stage of the supply chain is an important asset.
We are leveraging our expertise in the field to offer and develop services which are tailored to suit our customers’ requirements and always adaptable according to their specific needs.
Why choose us ?
SINO Shipping, we understand perfectly the needs of our customers and establish a win-win collaboration with them.
“respect is earned. honesty is appreciated. trust is gained. loyalty is returned.”
SINO Shipping - Dedicated freight forwarder in China
Due to our attractive pricing & dedication, many customers trust our services and we thanks them. Stop to overpay the services and save money with our tailored package matching will all type of shipment, from small volume to full container, let us find the best and cost-effective option.
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