International Freight Forwarder and Customs Broker Based in China

Shipping from China to Colombia | Sea & Air Freight Rates

Shipping from China to ColombiaShipping from China to Colombia significantly boosts both economies, with bilateral trade reaching $14.6 billion in 2023. Key sectors like mining, agriculture, and manufacturing benefit, with Colombia exporting oil and coffee and importing electronics and machinery. Platforms like Alibaba simplify international trade, allowing businesses to efficiently source goods and streamline logistics and customs processes. This ease of access enhances trade efficiency and promotes economic integration.


May 2024 Shipping Update: China to Colombia

  • Costs: Minor cost fluctuations persist in the shipping sector. LCL rates are currently between $35-$70 per cubic meter. FCL rates for a 20ft container range from $1,600-$2,800. Express shipping costs remain between $5-$9 per kg, and air freight costs vary between $2.50-$5 per kg.
  • Delivery Times: Ocean freight delivery times continue to be 35-45 days for both LCL and FCL. Air freight ranges between 5-10 days, depending on the cities of origin and destination.
  • Customs: Compliance with both Chinese and Colombian customs regulations remains critical for smooth shipping. Employing a freight forwarder can help streamline the customs clearance process effectively.
  • Global Events: It is important to stay informed on geopolitical shifts and policy changes that may impact shipping conditions.
  • May Advice: Continue to expand transport networks and engage with experts knowledgeable about the Colombian market. Evaluating the advantages of LCL versus FCL shipping options is recommended to optimize shipping strategies.
  • Outlook: The shipping sector between China and Colombia is anticipated to maintain stability, with the possibility of minor adjustments. Keeping updated on trade and policy developments is crucial for managing logistics efficiently.


Freight Shipping Cost from China to Colombia

Overview of Costs by Shipping Mode

Understanding the costs associated with various shipping modes is crucial for efficient logistics. Here’s a detailed look at the average costs:


Shipping ModeCostBest ForDescription
LCL (Less than Container Load)$300 – $400 per cubic meterSmaller shipmentsShared container space
FCL (Full Container Load)$3,000 – $4,000 per 20-foot containerLarge shipmentsExclusive use of a container
Express Shipping$8 – $12 per kilogramUrgent, high-value goodsFastest delivery option
Air Freight$5 – $7 per kilogramMedium-sized, time-sensitive shipmentsBalanced speed and cost

By comparing these options, businesses can choose the most cost-effective mode based on shipment size, weight, and urgency.


Estimating Shipping Costs and Effective Budgeting

Accurately estimating shipping costs is essential for effective budgeting. Businesses should consider factors like fuel surcharges, customs duties, and other fees. Here are practical tips:

  • Use online shipping calculators to get quick cost estimates.
  • For example, air freight from Shanghai to Bogotá might cost around $6 per kilogram, while sea freight might be $1.50 per kilogram but takes longer.
  • Factor in fuel surcharges, which can add 5-10% to the total cost.
  • Include customs duties and taxes, which can vary but typically add 10-20% to the shipment value.

By incorporating these factors into their budgets, shippers can make informed decisions, optimizing their shipping expenses while ensuring timely delivery.


Understanding Import Tax and Duties

Impact of Import Taxes on Overall Shipping Costs

Import taxes and duties significantly affect the overall cost of shipping goods from China to Colombia. Here are the key costs:

  • VAT (Value Added Tax): Typically 19% in Colombia, calculated on the CIF value (cost, insurance, and freight) of the goods.
  • Customs Duties: Vary based on the classification of goods. Rates can range from:
    • 5-10% for electronics
    • 10-15% for textiles
    • 0-20% for other goods

For example, importing $10,000 worth of electronics could incur:

  • CIF Value: $10,000
  • VAT: $1,900 (19% of $10,000)
  • Customs Duty (7% average for electronics): $700
  • Total Import Tax and Duties: $2,600


Navigating Legal Compliance in International Shipping

Ensuring legal compliance when importing goods from China to Colombia involves several critical steps:

  • Classifying Goods: Use accurate Harmonized System (HS) codes to determine the correct duties and taxes.
  • Declaring Value: Provide accurate valuations to avoid fines and delays.
  • Documentation: Prepare essential documents, including:
    • Commercial invoices
    • Packing lists
    • Bills of lading
  • Regulations: Understand Colombian import regulations and comply with all requirements.
  • Customs Clearance: Work with experienced freight forwarders and customs brokers to streamline the process.

For example, incorrect HS classification can result in additional fines or delays. Proper documentation and compliance can significantly reduce the risk of penalties and ensure a smoother import process.


Shipping from China to Colombia Transit Time

Comparison of Transit Times Across Shipping Modes

Comparing transit times for shipping goods from China to Colombia can help businesses choose the most suitable option based on timing requirements and the nature of their goods:


Shipping ModeTransit TimeBest For
Sea Freight (LCL)30-40 daysNon-urgent, large shipments due to lower costs
Sea Freight (FCL)25-35 daysNon-urgent, large shipments due to lower costs
Air Freight5-10 daysMedium-sized, time-sensitive shipments
Express Shipping2-5 daysUrgent and high-value goods

Choosing the best mode depends on factors like urgency, shipment size, and cost considerations.


Factors Affecting Transit Times and Mitigation Strategies

Various factors can affect transit times for shipments from China to Colombia:

  • Weather Conditions: Adverse weather can delay shipping, especially for sea freight.
  • Port Congestion: Busy ports can cause significant delays. Choosing less congested ports can mitigate this.
  • Customs Delays: Incomplete or incorrect documentation can slow down the clearance process. Ensuring all paperwork is accurate and complete helps prevent delays.
  • Efficiency of Logistics Chains: Working with reliable freight forwarders and efficient logistics providers can minimize delays.

Mitigation Strategies:

  • Choose the Right Shipping Mode: Based on the urgency and nature of goods.
  • Work with Reliable Freight Forwarders: They can navigate complexities and streamline the shipping process.
  • Understand Customs Requirements: Proper documentation and compliance with regulations are crucial to avoid delays.
  • Monitor Weather and Port Conditions: Adjust shipping schedules accordingly to mitigate potential delays.

By understanding and addressing these factors, shippers can ensure more timely delivery of their goods.


Door to Door Shipping from China to Colombia

Advantages of Door-to-Door Services

Using door-to-door shipping services for transporting goods from China to Colombia offers several significant benefits. These services provide a seamless shipping experience by managing all aspects of the logistics process, from pickup at the supplier’s location in China to delivery at the doorstep in Colombia. Key advantages include:

  • Simplified Logistics: Door-to-door services handle the entire shipping process, reducing the complexity for the shipper.
  • Reduced Handling: Fewer intermediaries mean less handling of goods, which minimizes the risk of damage.
  • Lower Overall Costs: By bundling services, door-to-door shipping can often reduce total shipping costs compared to managing each step separately.


Choosing the Right Door-to-Door Service

Selecting the right door-to-door service provider is crucial for ensuring a smooth shipping process. Platforms like Alibaba make it easier to find and use these services. When choosing a provider, consider the following factors:

  • Reliability: Look for providers with a proven track record of on-time delivery and customer satisfaction.
  • Cost: Compare quotes to find a provider that offers competitive pricing without sacrificing quality.
  • Service Coverage: Ensure the provider covers both pickup locations in China and delivery destinations in Colombia.
  • Expertise: Choose a provider with expertise in handling customs and regulatory requirements to avoid delays and extra costs.

Leveraging Alibaba’s platform can help businesses find reputable service providers. Alibaba offers reviews, ratings, and detailed profiles of shipping companies, helping businesses make informed decisions. By using these resources, shippers can ensure smooth and efficient delivery of their goods from China to Colombia.


Sea Freight from China to Colombia

Benefits of LCL and FCL Shipping

Using sea freight for transporting goods from China to Colombia offers distinct advantages, particularly through Less than Container Load (LCL) and Full Container Load (FCL) options.


Shipping ModeCostTransit TimeBest For
LCL (Less than Container Load)$300 – $400 per cubic meter30-40 daysSmaller shipments that do not require a full container, allowing cost-sharing among multiple shippers
FCL (Full Container Load)$3,000 – $4,000 per 20-foot container25-35 daysLarger shipments that benefit from a secure and private container, more cost-effective for bulk goods

Sea freight remains the most economical option for transporting large volumes of goods, especially when time sensitivity is not a primary concern.


Selecting a Sea Freight Forwarder and Top Shipping Routes

Choosing the right sea freight forwarder is crucial for ensuring smooth, efficient, and cost-effective shipping. When selecting a forwarder, consider:

  • Industry Reputation: Look for forwarders with positive reviews and a proven track record.
  • Service Offerings: Ensure they provide comprehensive services, including customs handling and documentation.
  • Expertise: Choose forwarders experienced in the China-Colombia trade route.
  • Network of Routes: A forwarder with a robust network can offer better rates and reliability.


Key shipping routes from China to Colombia include:

Shanghai to Cartagena:

  • Cost: FCL approximately $3,200 – $3,800 per 20-foot container.
  • Transit Time: Around 30-35 days.


Shenzhen to Buenaventura:

  • Cost: FCL approximately $3,000 – $3,500 per 20-foot container.
  • Transit Time: Around 28-33 days.


Ningbo to Barranquilla:

  • Cost: FCL approximately $3,100 – $3,600 per 20-foot container.
  • Transit Time: Around 32-37 days.

By understanding these routes and associated costs, businesses can plan more effectively and manage their shipping expenses. Selecting the right forwarder and route helps optimize shipping processes and ensures timely delivery of goods.


Air Freight from China to Colombia


Cost$5 to $7 per kilogram
Transit TimeTypically 5-10 days


Advantages and Considerations of Air Freight

Air freight offers significant advantages for shipping goods from China to Colombia due to its speed and reliability. Typical transit times range from 5-10 days, making it the fastest shipping option available. This speed is crucial for time-sensitive and high-value shipments. For example, electronics, medical supplies, and fashion items often rely on air freight for timely delivery.

However, there are important considerations:

  • Cost: Air freight is significantly more expensive than other modes. Rates typically range from $5 to $7 per kilogram.
  • Weight and Volume: Air freight costs are calculated based on both weight and volume, which can lead to higher expenses for bulkier items.
  • Suitable Goods: Best for urgent, perishable, or high-value items where quick delivery justifies the higher cost.


Choosing the Right Air Freight Forwarder

Selecting an experienced and reliable air freight forwarder is crucial. Here are key criteria to consider:

  • Network Reach: Ensure the forwarder covers major airports in China (e.g., Shanghai Pudong, Beijing Capital) and Colombia (e.g., El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá).
  • Customs Expertise: The forwarder should be proficient in handling customs regulations and documentation to prevent delays. This includes knowledge of Harmonized System (HS) codes and import duties.
  • Competitive Pricing: While air freight is costly, finding a forwarder offering competitive rates is essential. Compare quotes from multiple forwarders to find the best balance between cost and service quality.
  • Transit Times: Confirm the forwarder’s ability to meet your required transit times consistently.

To vet potential forwarders:

  • Customer Reviews: Check reviews on platforms like Trustpilot or industry-specific forums.
  • References: Request references from other companies that have used their services.
  • Customer Service: Evaluate their responsiveness and support capabilities. Reliable communication is key for resolving any issues that may arise during transit.

By choosing the right air freight forwarder, businesses can ensure their logistics needs are met, leading to efficient and cost-effective shipping solutions from China to Colombia.


Express Shipping from China to Colombia

Benefits and Use Cases for Express Shipping

Express shipping offers several advantages for sending goods from China to Colombia. The primary benefit is its speed, with delivery times typically ranging from 2-5 days. This makes it ideal for time-sensitive shipments. Express shipping is also well-suited for high-value products that require fast and secure transportation.

Specific scenarios where express shipping is most suitable include:

  • Urgent Orders: Businesses needing to replenish stock quickly.
  • High-Value Goods: Items like electronics, jewelry, and pharmaceuticals.
  • Time-Sensitive Shipments: Products with a short shelf life or seasonal goods needing timely arrival.

Express shipping services also offer reliability with comprehensive tracking capabilities, allowing shippers to monitor their goods in real-time.


Understanding Costs and Transit Times, Including DDP Options


  • Rates typically range from $8 to $12 per kilogram.
  • Example: Shipping 10 kilograms of electronics might cost approximately $80 to $120, excluding additional charges.


Transit Times:

  • Delivery within 2-5 days.


DDP (Delivered Duty Paid):

  • The seller covers all shipping charges, duties, and taxes.
  • Simplifies customs clearance and ensures faster delivery.
  • Reduces delays caused by customs issues.

For instance, a business shipping high-value goods might use DDP to avoid unexpected customs charges and ensure smooth delivery. This method provides a hassle-free experience for the buyer, who receives the goods without additional payments upon arrival.

By understanding the costs and transit times associated with express shipping, and leveraging options like DDP, businesses can optimize their shipping processes and ensure timely delivery from China to Colombia.


Key Ports in China and Colombia for Shipping

Major Chinese Ports for Exports to Colombia

When shipping goods from China to Colombia, choosing the right port can significantly impact the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the shipment. Here are the most important ports in China for exporting to Colombia:

  • Shanghai Port: The world’s busiest container port, Shanghai offers extensive facilities and services for handling a wide variety of cargo types. Its strategic location and state-of-the-art infrastructure make it a key hub for global trade, providing cost-effective and efficient shipping solutions.
  • Shenzhen Port: Known for its proximity to major manufacturing centers, Shenzhen is another crucial port for exports. It has a robust logistics network and offers competitive shipping rates. The port’s efficiency is bolstered by advanced technology and streamlined processes, making it ideal for fast turnaround times.
  • Guangzhou Port: As one of the largest ports in southern China, Guangzhou is essential for exports due to its comprehensive facilities and extensive shipping routes. It supports various cargo types, from bulk commodities to specialized goods, ensuring flexibility for businesses.

These ports play a significant role in global trade dynamics, contributing to the smooth and cost-effective export of goods from China to Colombia.


Major Colombian Ports for Imports from China

For goods arriving from China, selecting the appropriate entry point in Colombia is crucial for efficient distribution. The key ports include:

  • Cartagena Port: As Colombia’s busiest port, Cartagena handles a significant portion of the country’s imports. It offers modern facilities and a well-developed logistics infrastructure. The port’s efficiency in customs clearance processes ensures that goods move swiftly through to their final destinations.
  • Buenaventura Port: Located on the Pacific coast, Buenaventura is critical for imports from Asia. It is equipped with extensive warehousing and distribution facilities, making it an important hub for handling a diverse range of cargo types. The port’s strategic position allows for effective distribution throughout Colombia.
  • Barranquilla Port: Situated on the Caribbean coast, Barranquilla serves as a major entry point for imports. It provides excellent logistics services and has a strong focus on maintaining efficient customs processes. The port’s connectivity to Colombia’s interior regions supports seamless national distribution.

Understanding the capabilities and logistics infrastructure of these Colombian ports helps shippers plan the final leg of their shipment’s journey. The choice of port can significantly impact shipping time and overall costs, ensuring that goods are delivered efficiently and effectively.


Freight Forwarders from China to Colombia

Role of Freight Forwarders in the Shipping Process

Freight forwarders play a critical role in facilitating international shipping from China to Colombia. They act as intermediaries between shippers and transportation services, managing the logistics of shipping goods across international borders. Key services provided by freight forwarders include:

  • Documentation Handling: Freight forwarders ensure that all necessary documents, such as bills of lading, commercial invoices, and packing lists, are correctly prepared and submitted.
  • Customs Clearance: They handle the complexities of customs procedures, ensuring compliance with both Chinese and Colombian regulations to avoid delays and penalties.
  • Cargo Tracking: By providing real-time tracking capabilities, freight forwarders allow shippers to monitor the status of their shipments throughout the transit process.

These services contribute to streamlining the shipping process, making it more efficient and less stressful for businesses.


Selecting the Right Freight Forwarder for Your Needs

Choosing the right freight forwarder is crucial for ensuring a smooth and efficient shipping process. Here are some tips on what factors to consider:

  • Experience with the China-Colombia Trade Route: Look for forwarders with extensive experience and expertise in managing shipments between China and Colombia. This ensures they are familiar with the specific challenges and regulations of this route.
  • Network and Partnerships: A strong network of partners and relationships with shipping lines, customs brokers, and local logistics providers can enhance the efficiency of the shipping process.
  • Service Offerings: Evaluate the range of services offered by the forwarder, including documentation handling, customs clearance, cargo tracking, and insurance options.
  • Customer Service Reputation: Check reviews and testimonials from other businesses to gauge the forwarder’s reliability and customer service quality.

To evaluate a forwarder’s ability to handle the complexities of international shipping:

  • Request References: Ask for references from other companies that have used their services.
  • Check Certifications: Ensure the forwarder has relevant certifications, such as IATA (International Air Transport Association) or FIATA (International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations) membership.
  • Assess Communication: Test their responsiveness and willingness to answer questions and provide detailed information.

By carefully selecting the right freight forwarder, businesses can ensure their logistics needs are met efficiently, leading to a smooth and cost-effective transit of goods from China to Colombia.


How to Ship from China to Colombia: A Step-by-Step Guide

Preparing Your Shipment: Documentation, Packaging, and Labeling

Proper preparation is crucial for ensuring smooth shipping from China to Colombia. Here are the key steps:



  • Commercial Invoices: Detail the value, quantity, and description of the goods.
  • Packing Lists: Provide an itemized list of all goods in the shipment.
  • Bills of Lading: Serve as a receipt for the cargo and a contract between the shipper and carrier.
  • Certificates of Origin: Verify where the goods were manufactured.



  • Use sturdy materials to protect goods during transit.
  • Cushion fragile items with bubble wrap or foam.
  • Ensure proper sealing to prevent damage from moisture and handling.



  • Clearly label packages with the destination address, shipper’s information, and handling instructions.
  • Include barcodes for easy tracking.
  • Ensure labels meet both Chinese and Colombian regulations.


Navigating Customs and Tracking Your Shipment

Navigating the customs process is essential for avoiding delays and extra costs. Here’s how to ensure smooth customs clearance and keep track of your shipment:


Customs Clearance:

  • Harmonized System (HS) Codes: Use correct HS codes for your goods to determine applicable duties and taxes.
  • Duties and Taxes: Ensure all import duties and taxes are accurately assessed and paid. In Colombia, VAT is typically 19% on the CIF value.
  • Compliance: Follow both Chinese export regulations and Colombian import requirements to avoid penalties and delays.


Tracking Your Shipment:

  • Utilize tools provided by freight forwarders, shipping lines, or express courier services to monitor your shipment’s progress.
  • Real-time tracking: Many services offer real-time tracking updates, allowing you to anticipate and manage any delays.
  • Communication: Maintain regular communication with your freight forwarder to receive updates and ensure timely delivery.

By following these steps, businesses can avoid common pitfalls and ensure their goods are ready for smooth clearance and transport from China to Colombia. Proper documentation, packaging, and labeling, along with effective customs navigation and tracking, are key to a successful shipping process.


Alibaba and Shipping: Streamlining the Process

Leveraging Alibaba for Efficient LCL, FCL, and Door-to-Door Shipping

Businesses can use Alibaba to streamline their shipping and logistics operations. Alibaba facilitates access to LCL (Less than Container Load), FCL (Full Container Load), and door-to-door shipping options, catering to businesses of all sizes.

  • LCL Shipping: Ideal for smaller shipments, LCL allows businesses to share container space, reducing costs. Alibaba connects shippers with reliable LCL service providers, ensuring efficient and cost-effective shipping.
  • FCL Shipping: Best for larger shipments, FCL provides exclusive use of a container. Businesses can find competitive FCL rates on Alibaba, simplifying the logistics process.
  • Door-to-Door Shipping: Alibaba offers comprehensive door-to-door shipping services, handling everything from pickup at the supplier’s location in China to delivery at the destination in Colombia. This service reduces handling and potential delays.

To navigate Alibaba’s platform effectively:

  • Search for Verified Suppliers: Look for suppliers with high ratings and verified status.
  • Compare Quotes: Request and compare quotes from multiple shipping partners to find the best rates.
  • Check Reviews: Read reviews and feedback from other businesses to gauge the reliability of suppliers and shipping partners.


Tips for Reducing Costs and Enhancing Efficiency through Alibaba

Businesses can employ several strategies to minimize shipping costs and enhance efficiency when using Alibaba:

  • Select the Right Shipping Mode: Depending on the size and urgency of the shipment, choose between LCL, FCL, or air freight. For instance, LCL is cost-effective for small shipments, while FCL is better for bulk goods.
  • Negotiate Better Rates: Don’t hesitate to negotiate with suppliers and freight forwarders listed on Alibaba. Often, you can secure better rates through direct communication.
  • Leverage Alibaba’s Logistics Solutions: Use Alibaba’s logistics services for improved shipment tracking and management. Alibaba’s platform offers tools to track shipments in real-time, ensuring you stay updated on your cargo’s status.
  • Understand Alibaba’s Ecosystem: Utilize Alibaba Trade Assurance to ensure secure transactions. Trade Assurance protects payments and provides dispute resolution, offering peace of mind when dealing with international suppliers.

By following these tips, businesses can optimize their shipping processes, reduce costs, and ensure timely delivery of goods. Alibaba’s comprehensive platform and services make it easier for businesses to manage their logistics efficiently.


FAQ: Shipping from China to Colombia

What are the main shipping options from China to Colombia?

The main shipping options include LCL (Less than Container Load), which is ideal for smaller shipments and costs approximately $300 - $400 per cubic meter with a transit time of 30-40 days. FCL (Full Container Load) is suitable for larger shipments, costing around $3,000 - $4,000 per 20-foot container with a transit time of 25-35 days. Air freight is best for urgent and high-value goods, costing $5 - $7 per kilogram with a transit time of 5-10 days. Express shipping is the fastest option for urgent shipments, costing $8 - $12 per kilogram with a transit time of 2-5 days.

How do I choose the right shipping mode?

Choose LCL for smaller, non-urgent shipments. Opt for FCL for bulk shipments requiring secure and private containers. Use air freight for medium-sized, time-sensitive shipments. Express shipping is ideal for urgent and high-value goods that need quick delivery.

What documents are required for shipping from China to Colombia?

The required documents include a commercial invoice, packing list, bill of lading, certificate of origin, and customs declaration.

How do import taxes and duties affect shipping costs?

VAT in Colombia is typically 19% on the CIF value (cost, insurance, and freight) of the goods. Customs duties vary based on the classification of goods, usually ranging from 0% to 20%.

How can I track my shipment from China to Colombia?

You can use tracking tools provided by freight forwarders, shipping lines, or express courier services. Real-time tracking updates allow you to monitor your shipment’s progress and anticipate any potential delays.

What are the key ports in China for exports to Colombia?

Key ports in China for exports to Colombia include Shanghai Port, the world’s busiest container port with extensive facilities; Shenzhen Port, known for its proximity to major manufacturing centers and robust logistics network; and Guangzhou Port, which offers comprehensive facilities and extensive shipping routes.

What are the major Colombian ports for imports from China?

Major Colombian ports for imports from China include Cartagena Port, Colombia’s busiest port with modern facilities; Buenaventura Port, a key Pacific coast port with extensive warehousing and distribution facilities; and Barranquilla Port, a major Caribbean port with excellent logistics services.

How can I reduce shipping costs when using Alibaba?

You can reduce shipping costs by selecting the right shipping mode depending on shipment size and urgency, negotiating rates directly with suppliers and freight forwarders, leveraging Alibaba’s logistics solutions for improved shipment tracking and management, and using Alibaba Trade Assurance to ensure secure transactions and protect payments.

What should I consider when choosing a freight forwarder?

When choosing a freight forwarder, consider their experience with the China-Colombia trade route, their network and partnerships, service offerings, customer service reputation, references, and certifications.

What is Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) shipping?

DDP shipping means the seller assumes responsibility for all shipping charges, duties, and taxes. This simplifies customs clearance and ensures faster delivery, providing a hassle-free experience for the buyer.

How can Alibaba streamline my shipping process?

Alibaba can streamline your shipping process by facilitating access to various shipping options such as LCL, FCL, and door-to-door services tailored to business needs. It offers verified suppliers and partners, competitive quotes, and real-time tracking and management tools to monitor and manage shipments efficiently.


About SINO

SINO Shipping is a trusted international freight forwarder with over 35 years of experience, offering a full range of logistics and transport services. With a strong presence in China and a commitment to efficiency, reliability, and customer satisfaction, SINO Shipping ensures stress-free and cost-effective logistics solutions for businesses worldwide.