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🥇Shipping from China Singapore | Air & Sea Freight [2022]

What is the best way to ship goods from/to Singapore ?

If you got at the point of asking yourself this question, it most likely seems like you are about to set up a shipment from or to Singapore. As we are aware of the lack of relevant information on the internet, the whole SINO Shipping team decided to build up a guide to help you getting it started. We can rely on our long-lasting experience as an international freight forwarder throughout Asia to provide decent and technical information linked to your logistics projects. Air shipment, Ocean Freight, Cross-border trucking services, Customs clearances, storage?

Allow yourself a few minutes to read this guide, and feel free to contact your SINO expert at any time! Whether you are an experienced or a first-time importer/exporter, our team is here to offer tailored-made solutions and assist you throughout the process. In the same way, whether you need a one-time shipment or a regular traffic between China and Singapore, the whole SINO team is committed to provide the best services.


Like any other country, every shipment, whether it is shipped by air, sea or road, has to be cleared by the local customs. This may be the most important step of the whole logistic chain. SINO Shipping provides a full assistance to make sure everything is in full compliance with all the local requirements.

Documents Required for Containerised Cargo:

You have to make sure the import permit you will provide is valid. In any case, we will check it all with you

For containerized cargo, the container number and shipper seal number have to be declared when applying for the customs permit :


  • Importing by sea: You don’t have to provide the customs permit and all the related documents to the checkpoint officers.
  • Importing by air or land: You have to submit the printed copy of the customs permit, and related documents such as commercial invoice, packing list and Bill of Lading/Air Waybill, to the checkpoint officers when cargo verification is proceeded.


Documents Required for Conventional Cargo & Hand-Carried Goods

For conventional cargo and hand-carried goods, you have to present the goods, printed copy of the import permit, and related documents such as invoice, packing list and Bill of Lading/Air Waybill, to the checkpoint officers when proceeding to verification of the cargo.

As well as the majority of countries, you will have to provide the following documents in most cases:

  • Invoice
  • Packing list
  • Leaflet, catalogue or other related documents
  • Insurance certificate, if insured
  • Bill of lading
  • Letter of credit (if used)
  • Permit, licenses/ certificates (if any)
  • Proof of fare payment
  • And much more

This list is not exhaustive. Anyway, we will check it all with you and provide full assistance with the whole import process.


Remark SINO : You don’t have to provide an import license for every product. It will depend on the products you want to import within the Singaporean territory. You can have a look at the customs official website to know whether you should apply for a permit or not.  Here you will find the official website: Singaporean Customs.

What duties and taxes will I pay for my goods?

Remark SINO : That’s a priority to think of when you’re working in International Trade.

All goods imported into Singapore are ruled by the Customs Act, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Act and the Regulation of Imports and Exports Act.


Goods that are subject both to GST and duties are:

  • Intoxicating liquors
  • Tobacco products
  • Motor vehicles
  • Petroleum products

*Ad valorem or specific duty rates can be applied for this kind of products.

Remark SINO : All other goods are not subject to duties, and are subject to GST only. GST in Singapore equals to 7% of the CIF value of your shipment.

GST on Imports

*GST applies for every imported product, whether the importer is GST-registered or not.

Here are some exceptions :

  • Except if the products are investment precious metals;
  • Except if the products are eligible for import relief;
  • Except if the importer is eligible for a GST scheme;
  • Except if the products are imported in a Free Trade Zone, or in a Zero GST Warehouse and do not penetrate into the territory.

Charging GST

Import GST is charged by Singapore Customs. It is charged based on :

  1. CIF value
  2. All duties payable (as assessed by Singapore Customs)
  3. Commission and additional surcharges

Tax exemption in Singapore

Investment precious metals (IPM) and other eligible products being imported to Singapore are not subject to GST, as it is considered as an exempt import. In this way importers don’t have to pay GST when importing. However, if you want to benefit from this exemption, you have to apply for an Exemption Permit.

Here are some useful tools to calculate the tariff barriers of your products between the two countries

To find further information about duties and taxes in ASEAN, please check the official website: ASEAN – CHINA Free trade aera business portal


SINO Tips : The transaction value method is first considered in establishing the customs value, which is the Cost, Insurance, and Freight (CIF) value under International Commercial Terms (incoterms).

Here is the composition of an HS Code, you can now see what an HS code is and what does it mean


You already know the HS Code of your products? You can find the tariff barrier that applies on the official website.

To find further information about duties and taxes in Singapore according to your HS code, please check the official website: Harmonised System (HS) Classification of Goods.

Customs contact in China

Official name: General Administration of Customs of China

Official Website: Chinese Customs Website

Customs contact in Singapore

Official name: Singapore Customs

Official Website: Singapore Customs Website

Customs process




Remark SINO : If you have one of the following item, you should check directly with our SINO Experts. Some of those items are restricted or even totally prohibited, it is important to anticipate such shipment to avoid any problem.

Drug Contraband
Counterfeit Notes

SINO Shipping - Dedicated freight forwarder in Singapore

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.



Ocean freight will be the best deal for you if :

  • Your suppliers are located near a major Chinese port
  • Your goods are bigger than 2 CBM
  • You’re not in a hurry to receive them

Remark SINO : If you need to import some goods from China to Singapore for your business activity, SINO Shipping is proud to provide a full range of tailored services, suited to all kind of budgets.

Sea freight to Singapore is an ideal solution for the biggest economic powers in the world, as it is one of the biggest hubs in South-East Asia. A good reason for choosing Singapore for your shipment is the value of its imports, which equals to more than 300 billion dollars.

Electronics, machinery, medicines, chemical and oil products; foodstuff and all kinds of consumer goods are the biggest parts of the foreign exchanges of this tiny country.

If you want to have a strong presence in South-East Asia, Singapore will be a key step for you to grow your business there.

SINO Plus : We can become your close partner for your import needs from China to Singapore, as we are able to provide a complete range of services, to ensure a hassle-free transportation of your goods. What makes us so special is our capacity to adapt our offer to all kind of needs, expectations, and budget.

We are one of the main providers of sea freight services from China to Singapore, as we understood immediately the importance of a strong presence there. We manage all necessary steps: from the packing, to the delivery and unloading, including all intermediary steps.

At SINO Shipping, we can take of your shipment from the very beginning, which means from any city in China, such as – Guangzhou, Tianjin, Dalian, Shenzhen, Ningbo, Shanghai, Xiamen, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, and much more, to Singapore.

In order to provide the highest quality services, we developed a strong network at destination, in Singapore, to make sure we can handle every kind of requests, as efficiently as possible.

*We are honored to provide such services to our customers. When you choose SINO Shipping, you are choosing the peace of mind for your shipment: easy, reliable, efficien

Port of Singapore

The port of Singapore is undoubtedly the largest port in the world in terms of traffic. When mentioning “Port of Singapore”, we’re in fact talking about all the porting amenities provided by the Singaporean government to international and domestics vessels.


Moreover, the port is considered as the most engaged port as regards transshipment activities. What does it mean?

Transshipment activities are all the actions undertaken before the cargoes can be shipped to their final destination. This is what makes this port so credible and internationally recognized as one of the best in the world

SINO Plus : This is why it is essential to ensure a regular traffic to this port, which is one of the biggest logistics hub in South-East Asia. At SINO Shipping, we understood pretty early what was at stakes, and this is why we provide regular departures from anywhere in China to this huge port.

Hong Kong / Shenzhen 8 – 10 days
Tianjin 11 – 12 days
Ningbo 9 – 11 days
Shanghai 11 – 13 days
Guangzhou 8 – 10 days

*As regards shipping times from China to Singapore, you should consider around 8-13 days, according to the city of departure in China.

SINO Advice : Sea freight is not the fastest option, but it is definitely the cheapest freight mode available on the market. Let’s see together how we calculate rates

Sea freight rates

When deciding which option you should consider, the first to look at is whether you need to ship quickly, or at the lowest cost. If you need a quick delivery to Singapore, sea freight is definitely not the best option.

Remark SINO : However, if you want to minimize cost, sea freight offers the most cost-effective logistic solution.

Why sea freight?

*Sea freight offers two main advantages: shipping high volumes, at a low cost. This can be really interesting for regular traffics made up of high amounts of products between China and Singapore.


At SINO Shipping, we can provide a solution for every kind of volumes: FCL, LCL, Bulk cargo, etc.

The cost of your shipment will depend on the services you need us to provide. Our main goal is to adapt our offer to your budget. Do you need a port-to-port shipment? No problem, your SINO advisor will provide a quotation based on the CFR Incoterm.

Do you need a door-to-port shipment? Door-to-door? SINO Shipping offers all kind of shipments, DAP, DAT, and so on, to make sure every request can be treated in the most accurate way. When contacting your SINO advisor, please make sure to clarify under which conditions you want your goods to be shipped.

Interested in our logistics services? Need further assistance & dedicated information?

Our SINO experts answer within 48h !



Air freight will be the most efficient solution if :

  • Your goods are smaller than 2 CBM and 200 kg
  • You’re in a hurry to receive/send the goods

Remark SINO : Naturally, if your need to get your goods delivered as fast as possible, air freight is the best option for you.

Remark SINO : The top 1 cargo market for Changi Airport is China, followed by Hong Kong.

As it goes for our ocean freight service, we can provide door to door services, or door-to-airport… it’s up to you and your budget! We offer high quality services for your air shipments from China to Singapore, putting a particular emphasis on the packing process. In fact, packaging might be one of the most important steps when shipping by air internationally, so that airlines accept your parcels

SINO Plus : Do you need us to arrange an urgent air shipment to Singapore? We have a solution for you. Do you need us to set up regular air traffic to Singapore? We still have a solution for you. We are committed to honor any request, any expectation, and ensure full satisfaction of our customers.

We are aware of how important of times and delays are essential for some shipments, and we always put all our efforts in offering the most cost-effective solution to make it as fast and efficient as possible for your business. Relying on our strong expertise and network, our SINO staff is particularly good at negotiating special rates with the largest airlines. In a few words, we offer: quickness, reliability, and cost-effectiveness !

Changi Airport- Singapore

Changi Airport is one of the main hubs in South-East Asia as regards cargo traffic. It has been ranked as the world’s best airport over the past few years, thanks to its modern infrastructures. It is located at the eastern part of Singapore.

All the shipments we handle from China to Singapore are headed to this airport, as all the major airlines operate there (Singapore Airlines, Singapore Airlines Cargo, Jetstar Asia Airways, etc.)

*SINO Shipping can schedule departures in a very short amount of time to Changi Airport, as we are used to arrange air cargo shipments there. Do you need to ship Air Cargo from China to Singapore? Contact us now to figure out together the best logistic option.

Remark SINO : As an example, a flight from Shanghai to Singapore takes approximately 3 hours. But, this is not the only thing that has to be taken into consideration. An air shipment is made up of several logistic steps, that can cause unexpected delays or troubles.

Anyway, keep in mind that the following steps have to be followed when shipping by air :

  • Step 1 – Gathering details about the shipment: type of cargo, weight, destination, service required…
  • Step 2 – Sino Shipping closes shipment with the airline company
  • Step 3 – Storage at warehouses prior to departure
  • Step 4 – Flight duration
  • Step 5 – Customs clearance
  • Step 6 – Cargo arrival and delivery services (if required)

*Considering only flight duration would thus be a huge mistake.

Remark SINO : When shipping through SINO Shipping, you will benefit from our tracking service. Through a unique tracking number, you can follow your air shipment from beginning to end.



Road freight will be the most convenient option if :

  • Your supplier islocated in the south of China
  • You need to deliver Thailand and/or Malaysia on the way
  • You’re not in a hurry to receive your goods

Remark SINO : Road freight can be used, but only based on very particular parameters. Let us explain you why.

Remark SINO : Road freight can be used, but only based on very particular parameters. Let us explain you why


When driving from China to Singapore, our drivers will have to go through Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and Malaysia before reaching Singapore. If you are based too far away from the Vietnamese border, the best options remain whether air freight or ocean freight, depending on your budget.

We provide all kind of services related to cross border trucking :

  • Customs clearance and paperwork assistance
  • Transparency of processes and routes
  • Door-to-door services with constant tracking of your shipment
  • Professional drivers
  • Customer service
  • Duty and taxes forecast
  • We provide all the requested licenses if required

*We are used to handle this kind of road freight shipment in South-East Asia, especially between China and Singapore.

Transit Times

Here are some examples of transit times between China and Singapore. As you can see, this freight mode is rather faster than sea freight:

  • Hong Kong – Singapore: 3-4 days
  • Guangzhou – Singapore: 3-4 days

Remark SINO : If you need to ship from cities like Nantong or Shanghai, road freight is not recommended. In fact, in this case ocean freight remains the best option.

As you can understand, providing precise transit times when it comes to road freight is not easy. Many unexpected may occur: heavy traffic, bad weather, etc. In any case, your personal SINO advisor will ensure a permanent follow up on the status of your shipment, so that you never lose track of it. SINO Shipping is all about transparency, efficiency and reliability.

Road Freight Rates

Various factors are taken into consideration when calculating the rates for road freight, such as the distance to be covered (diesel), the type of product that has to be shipped, the potential surcharges, etc.

Due to the numerous factors that need to be considered, we kindly any interested customer to reach out to a SINO advisor, so that we can figure out together what is the most cost-effective route, what kind of truck has to be used, etc. Once we have all the information, we’ll be able to provide you with a detailed quotation.

In general, this freight mode is a good option to counterbalance the traditional air and sea freight modes. If the distance and the type of cargo are compatible with this kind of shipment, this can be a very good option for your business.

Recurrent questions regarding the shipping from China to Singapore

LCL: 100 USD /cbm FCL: 100 USD /20’: 150 /40’ Express shipping door to door (10kg): 300 USD

Average transit time by sea: 10 days Average transit time by airfreight: 3 days (daily direct flight) Express shipping door to door (10kg): 2 days

There are only 2 options, by sea or by air, it depends on how big the volume and the weight are, and then you will decide which shipping methods is more adequate. You must calculate the ration time/cost.

All goods imported into Singapore are usually subject to GST whether they are dutiable or not. GST is determined on the value of the CIF plus the duty due (if any) at the point of importation. The current rate of GST is 7%.

No, they don’t immediately open your package without any reason. … They will only instantly check what’s inside of your package if: Your package has been damaged when it reached the Customs office or desk. The damages can include broken seals or plastic or any cover of your package.

When you make a shipping request, you’ll have to declare the value of your shipment. The value you enter on your request form is the value that will be declared at customs, so it is important that you declare accurately. If you declare too high a value, you may be assessed more taxes than you want to pay! If you declare too low a value, your declared value may be considered unreasonable and adjusted upward.

-Negotiate with multiple carriers -Get suppliers to use your shipping account number -Use packaging provided by your carrier -Consider a regional carrier -Use online shipping -Invest in prepaid shipping -Buy insurance from a third party -Factor in all shipping fees before billing customers -Consider hybrid services -Ask about association discounts

Interested in our logistics services? Need further assistance & dedicated information?

Our SINO experts answer within 48h !

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