International Freight Forwarder and Customs Broker Based in China

Shipping from China to Nigeria | Sea & Air Freight [2023]

Container shipping service from China to Nigeria

What is the cost of shipping a container from China to Nigeria?


Ocean shipping is the cheapest option for importing goods. However, there are many factors to take into account when shipping by sea that will affect the final price. As with other methods of shipping, this includes the volume and amount of goods you are transporting.


Shipping by sea is generally done by container ships. And there are two standard sizes of container used by most shipping companies: 20 feet and 40 feet. The price between China and Nigeria is between $2000 and $4000 respectively, depending on those sizes. Prices can also vary according to the schedule, the port of departure, the time of year and other various factors.


Ports in Nigeria that can be delivered to include Lagos, Onne, Harcourt, and others. For a detailed and more precise description of prices then please get in contact with us.


What kind of things are imported from China to Nigeria?


There are many different items that importing businesses transport from China to Nigeria. Among the most popular are: medical equipment, face masks, respirators, ventilators, construction materials, furniture, solar panels, specialist building materials clothing, electronic goods, auto-mobiles and cars motorcycles, bikes, toys, and agricultural equipment.


Container shipping rates from China to Nigeria : 

The following examples refer to shipping 20 foot and 40 foot containers with FCL- (Full Container Load). This means that the containers are rented solely to one importing company for the duration of the journey and are not shared with other importers.


Port of loading:Container size:Shipping price:
Shanghai to Lagos Nigeria20FT Containerfrom: $2990
Shanghai to Lagos Nigeria40FT Containerfrom: $3500
Shenzhen to Lagos Nigeria40FT Containerfrom: $3650
Ningbo-Zhoushan to Lagos Nigeria40FT Containerfrom: $3990
Guangzhou to Lagos Nigeria40FT Containerfrom: $3600
Qingdao to Lagos Nigeria40FT Containerfrom: $3750
Tianjin to Lagos Nigeria40FT Containerfrom: $4100
Xiamen to Lagos Nigeria40FT Containerfrom: $3500
Dalian to Lagos Nigeria40FT Containerfrom: $3500

China has become a huge production hub for goods in the contemporary world. Countries from across the globe source products from China, both for consumers and for industrial reasons.

The same is true for Nigeria, a West African country with the largest population on the continent of around 200 million people. This means that Nigeria has a huge demand for goods and China seems poised to supply that need.


Table of Contents

This FAQ will give you an overview of everything you need to know to begin your shipping and transportation business.


Or, if you’re already an importer, it will help you get a better grasp of the key issues and details you need to be aware of in order to develop a strategy for keeping costs feasible.


You will be introduced to transcontinental logistics and the work of freight forwarders and logistics companies whose job it is to make your importing run smoothly.

What do I need to consider when Importing goods to Nigeria from China?


Many consumer and industrial goods in Nigeria are imported from outside the country.


There are many options and choices to make when starting an importing business or a business that relies on imports.


The first and most important choice is what you are importing.

Product Research


All successful businesses, no matter where they are in the world, need to be aware of the market they are selling in. If you’re looking to sell your goods then you need to know what you’re selling.

Furthermore, you need to be aware of the level of demand. You may have found a product that you like, but is it sustainable as a business, and are there enough people who want it?


Market research also helps you to understand the demographics of who the buyers are for certain products; when you start an importing business you need to be sure that you can connect to those populations. You also need to consider the variations and modes of the goods you are importing.


If you’re importing bicycles for instance, then you need to consider that bicycles come in many different ranges, brand names and qualities. By doing sufficient market research, you’ll be able to properly assess which type of the chosen good you want to import. This will also help you choose the factory/retailer in China that can best serve your needs too.


Finally, you’ll also need to devise a strategy to sell the product in a time that makes sense for your overheads. You don’t want to import a product that sells too slowly.


Evaluating Nigeria’s Importation process


When you’ve decided on the product you want to import, you’ll need to consider the importation process relevant to Nigeria.

There are many steps that goods have to go through when being imported from another country. Import regulations are the most important as you’ll want to know whether your goods can be imported or not.


All countries have laws that prohibit certain things from being imported. While some restricted items are obvious, such as weapons and narcotics, others vary from country to country and can include surprising things that you wouldn’t always expect to be prohibited. So to prevent any unnecessary shocks, make sure your goods can be imported legally.


Visit the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) website to check with the most up-to-date list.You’ll also need to familiarise yourself with the customs procedures and know which documents you need to have and fill out. This can be an arduous process, but it’s the price of doing business.


However, if you can work with an experienced freight forwarding/logistic agency, then they will be able to guide you through the process and deal with as much of it as possible. It helps to remember that for logistics companies, their success relies on your success, so they are motivated to help you to the fullest extent.


Find a Supplier In China


The next step is to locate the supplier of your goods in China. This can be an exciting process as you’ll be able to explore what’s on offer. When you’re looking, keep in mind prices and what you need to buy in order to make a profit in Nigeria. Take into account both the sales price and the estimated price of shipping.


Remember, in general, heavier things cost more to ship.Keep in mind too that even when you’ve found the right supplier for you, you’ll need to make sure they can supply the goods you need in sufficient quantities. It’s not good having a supplier if they can keep up with your demand.


You may also want to consult with your logistics company. Many of these companies have a deep network of contacts and they may be able to point you in the right direction or even introduce you to trusted suppliers they’ve worked with before.


You can also check some of the most popular online portals for goods from China such as Canton Fair, Alibaba, Hongkong Fair, you talk to suppliers, you’ll need to keep a checklist of all the things that can affect the final price: The price per unit, the factory of origin, relevant customs fees, transportation and logistics costs.


You may also want to ask if there are any discounts available too.When you’re making a sales contract you’ll need to get certain pieces of information from the factory such as Name and address of the manufacturer, Seller’s name and address, business license number, and product specification.


Pick a suitable shipping method


When shipping your goods from China to Nigeria, there are different methods to consider. Overall, you’ll need to take into account time, money and safety.


These three factors are also affected by the type of goods you are importing.In general, the more sturdy or damage-proof goods are safer, whereas with more fragile or perishable goods, you’ll need to consider packaging as well as the time it takes to deliver.

When picking a method, we at Sino Shipping recommend you consider a logistic company such as us. We can advise you on a strategy that works best for your business.


We take care of all the steps along the way and have years of experience in:

  • Transportation and General Logistics
  • Packaging and display Listing
  • Cargo onboarding and offloading
  • Warehousing
  • Product sourcing
  • Shipping cost evaluation

We offer these services to you to make your importing experience as hassle-free as possible and we always aim to offer you the best possible price, as we know that your business margins are vital to your sustainability.

Important Incoterms to bear in mind when shipping items from China to Nigeria


Incoterms refer to the agreements between buyers and sellers related to the transportation process. There are many different calibrations of responsibilities along the way and incoterms mean that both buyer and seller have a clear agreement in place about who is responsible for the goods at a certain step of the journey.


When you’re importing from China to Nigeria, make sure you are fully aware of the incoterms in order to avoid any breaches of contract or disputes with the seller that may arise.


Below are some of the common Incoterms used in trade:




EXW stands for Ex-Works and is a term used in international trade to designate a situation where the buyer is responsible for the cost of transport from a designated location where the seller has made it available.

In terms of shipping from China, EXW means that the buyer is responsible for the shipping costs and transportation from the factory/sales point to the port in China.

This means that you essentially have to cover three steps; from the factory to the port: from the Chinese port to the Nigerian port;from the Nigerian port to your address. In these cases, a Chinese freight forwarding company can help you immensely.




FOB stands for Free on Board and is used to indicate the liability for any goods that are damaged or destroyed during transit. On sites like Alibaba, FOB is the primary mode of shipping, which means that your supplier in Chinese will be responsible for transportation from the factory to the port in China where it will be loaded as cargo.


DDP (Delivery Duty Paid)


DDP Shipping puts full responsibility on the seller to deliver the item all the way to your address. This means the seller is responsible for all logistics of the transportation.




CFR stands for Cost and Freight and this incoterm means the seller takes responsibility for transport to the port and clearing the goods for export from China. When the goods arrive at the destination port, it is up to the buyer to take responsibility for customs clearances and onward delivery.

The difference between CFR and FOB is that with CFR, the cost of shipping from one port to another (i.e. the actual transport on the boat/plane, etc) is paid by the seller, whereas in FOB, the buyer takes responsibility after the exporting customs have been paid.




DDU stands for Delivered Duty Unpaid, and is similar to DDP except that the buyer must pay the costs of import duty tax, while the seller covers all other costs.




CIF stands for Cost, Insurance, and Freight and is paid by the supplier to cover against the risk of damage while the goods are in transit to their destination port, for example from a Chinese factory all the way to the port in Nigeria.

Therefore under a CIF arrangement the buyer is responsible only for transport from the domestic port to the business address. While a CIF arrangement can remove some of the hassle from the shipping process, they can be more expensive than alternatives.Your supplier will likely be using a freight forwarder of their own in these arrangements.

Thus you might want to consider whether it could be a better business strategy to simply invest in your own freight forwarding partner who will take care of the logistics at what will likely be a cheaper price than paying for the CIF arrangement.

Nigeria’s Importing Regulations


When shipping from China to Nigeria shipping, you need to be aware of what can and cannot be sent. Making sure you are aware of this prevents any shocks in the future and it’s better to be safe than sorry.


When it comes to prohibited items you need to consider both the rules of the shipping company and the laws of the countries your goods will be travelling through, especially the ports of departure and arrival. Remember, if you are in doubt about whether your package is safe or legal to ship, then make sure you consult with your logistics company..


It will cost a lot of money in the long run if you organise a shipping strategy only to find out that the item you want to ship is prohibited.Do not try to subvert the rules as all parcels are scanned before shipping and if you are found to be trying to ship prohibited items, the package will be returned to you at your own expense.


Importers to Nigeria must abide the following regulations:


SONCAP Certification


SONCAP stands for the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Programme. This body regulates imports into Nigeria.


Product Certificate issued by Cotecna


This is a certificate of Conformity which is issues to imports by Cotecna. In order to obtain this certificate, you’ll need to first have a Product Certificate.

Product Certificates allow importers to obtain Form M. Form M is used by importers to officially declare their intention to import goods into Nigeria.

There are three types of product certificates:


Unregistered/ Unlicensed products


These certificates are mainly used by importers who do not import too frequently.

Registered products


Frequent imports are required to apply for SONCAP certification under the category of Registered products. This will require some proof that the products are of a certain consistent quality over time.

Licensed Products


For importers who regularly import items into Nigeria and can demonstrate high standards of quality and compliance, this option is allowed.



CCVO stands for Combined Certificate of Value and Origin and allows the Nigerian Customs Service to validate imported cargo coming into the country and affix a duty charge. CCVO is mandatory for any imports at ports.


Custom Duty in Nigeria


Customs duty needs to be paid when importing goods to Nigeria. There will be different costs depending on the items and the quantity. It may help your business to utilise a clearing agent to help facilitate the customs process.

How much is Import duty to Nigeria?


Generally, under Nigerian law, Import tax is currently around 7.5% of the value of the goods being imported.

What is the importation procedure and documentation needed when importing to Nigeria?

Knowing the system and which documents you need is of the highest importance when you’re importing. It can be an arduous process, but it needs to be done, as the stress of trying to compensate for mistakes will be much higher.

Working with a freight forwarder or logistics agency can help take out some of the hassle.

Nevertheless, here is a brief overview of the steps you need to take:
  • Check the import policy to make sure that the goods you want to import are allowed by law or need to be licensed, etc.
  • You will need to secure a foreign trade sanction. This will involve forwarding payment to the bank of the seller. You can complete this process in conjunction with your bank and the Central bank of Nigeria.
  • Complete and send an import request to the seller, informing them of your intention to buy the goods. This form needs to include all the details about what you want to buy, including the price, the quantity and the specific models/quality/range, etc. Your form needs to be clear enough so the seller knows exactly what to ship to you.
  • After the terms of payment are agreed between you and the seller, you need to receive a letter of credit from your bank. This letter should be forwarded to the seller.
  • Agree on a financial package and strategy for the transportation with the seller. This means agreeing on the relevant incoterms so you can be clear who is taking responsibility for each part of the journey.
  • When the cargo is loaded on the transporting carrier, you will receive a shipment advice notification which will tell you the details of the transportation such as the cargo number, the bill of lading, the name of the carrier, the date and any other relevant information.
  • When the goods are on the move, the seller/exporter in China will consult with their bank and send them the important documents such as the invoice, bill of lading, insurance certificate, etc. These will be transmitted to you after the bill of exchange is received.
  • When the cargo arrives in Nigeria, you will generally be notified of its arrival by customs.Your cargo will be inspected by the customs agents. At this time your clearing agent will work with the customs agents to make sure your goods pass through.
  • Finally you will be expected to pay a duty by the customs team. And once this is paid the goods will be released to you or your agent.

What Goods should I import from China to Nigeria?


There are many options for the type of goods you import into Nigeria from China. However, while your choice is almost limitless, you will need to assess whether there is a market for the goods and whether it is economically feasible to ship.

While China is able to manufacture goods at low prices, you still need to make sure that there is a willing and sustainable market in Nigeria to purchase those goods.


Popular and Trending Products to import from China to Nigeria


Some of the most popular and hot items to import from China to Nigeria are shoes, clothes, electronics, mobile phones of all types, cars and motorbikes, furniture, certain pharmaceutical products, and building materials.

The main Types of Shipping from China to Nigeria


When importing from China to Nigeria one of the key choices to make regarding logistics is the mode of transport.

How to Ship goods from China to Nigeria


The two main ways of shipping goods from China to Nigeria are via Sea Freight or Air Freight. Each of these methods brings its own advantages and disadvantages.


When transporting goods by sea, your cargo is normally transporting in metal shipping containers. Goods transported by air generally use containers of different sizes, as cargo planes tend to have less capacity that ocean shipping.


It probably won’t surprise you to learn that air freight is the quickest option for transportation, however, speed comes with a price and air freight can be costly. With sea freight, the time it takes to deliver can be longer, but the price according to the weight of your goods will generally be a lot cheaper than air freight.


When picking a method, we at Sino Shipping recommend you consider a logistic company such as us.

We can advise you on a strategy that works best for your business.

We take care of all the steps along the way and have years of experience in:

  • Transportation and General Logistics
  • Packaging and display Listing
  • Cargo onboarding and offloading
  • Warehousing
  • Product sourcing
  • Shipping cost evaluation

We offer these services to you to make your importing experience as hassle-free as possible and we always aim to offer you the best possible price, as we know that your business margins are vital to your sustainability.

FCL or LCL Containers?


You can transport your goods by both FCL and LCL shipping. There are many factors you need to consider when shipping from China to Nigeria.


A standard 40 foot container can accommodate 22 standard pallets, with a 20 foot container holding 10 pallets. If you’re shipping large volumes and can fill a container, it makes sense to choose FCL (Full Container Load). The other advantage of Full Container Load is that your items are kept separate from other importers.


On the other hand, LCL (Less than a Container Load) refers to shipping where your goods share space within a container with other goods. If you’re okay with that, then LCL shipping (also known as groupage) offers a more economical way to ship smaller quantities that make up less than half of the volume of a full container.

Door to Door Shipping


Door to Door Shipping means that your goods will be delivered all the way from the factory/retail outlet in China to your address in Nigeria. This method involves a lot less hassle for you, but may be more expensive.

How much does it cost to ship via container from China to Nigeria?

If you’re shipping via LCL container, then carriers charge around $185 per cubic meter at minimum. For FCL shipping, a 20 foot container can cost somewhere between $2000-3000 and a 40 foot container could be $5000. You will also need to take into account the cartage cost of getting your container from the port to the warehouse which could be around $500. Keep in mind that charges for containers may vary according to seasonal peaks and troughs. shipping-from-china-to-nigeria

How long will it take to ship from China to Nigeria?


With air freight, your goods can arrive in Nigeria within 7 days. When it comes to Sea freight, the time spent in transit could be 45 days. However, times vary according to port of departure and arrival. Below is a delivery timetable with estimated times according to the ports of origin and destination.

Port of OriginPort of DestinationDelivery Timeframe
Shenzhen Sea PortApapa Port, Lagos31 days
Shanghai Sea PortApapa Port, Lagos33 days
Guangzhou Sea PortApapa Port, Lagos31 days
Ningbo Sea PortApapa Port, Lagos32 days
Tianjin Sea PortApapa Port, Lagos41 days
Qingdao Sea PortApapa Port, Lagos37 days
Dalian Sea PortApapa Port, Lagos42 days
Xiamen Sea PortApapa Port, Lagos30 days
All Chinese airportsMurtala Muhammed Airport Lagos5-7 days
All Chinese airportsNnamdi Azikiwe Airport Abuja5-7 days

Which seaports ship from China to Nigeria?

  • Guanzhou
  • Shanghai
  • Xiamen
  • Shenzhen
  • Ningbo
  • Qingdao
  • Tianjin

Which Seaports in Nigeria receive cargo from China?

  • Lagos Port Complex
  • Onne Port
  • Tin Can Island Port
  • Calabar Port
  • Rivers Port Complex

Air Freight From China to Nigeria


Air Freight is the fastest way of getting your goods from China to Nigeria. Costs vary immensely according to the carrier, but your cheapest option could be as little as just over $5 per KG.


Main Airports in China

  • Beijing
  • Shenzhen
  • Guangzhou
  • Chengdu
  • Shanghai
  • Hangzhou
  • Xi’an

Main Airports in Nigeria

  • Murtala Muhammed airport
  • Aminu Kano airport
  • Nnamdi Azikiwe airport
  • Kaduna International airport
  • Akanu ibidem airport
  • Kaduna International airport

Express Delivery

If you’re looking for the absolute quickest way of getting your goods to Nigeria, then express delivery could be right for you. This method of transport is organised by courier companies such as DHL, FMS, and FedEx.

The price is higher than regular freight, but if you need something rapidly it may work out as economically feasible for your business. The cost of express delivery will vary according to the company, but if you consult with us at Sino Shipping, we’ll be able to offer you a service in choosing the best option for your needs.


Shipping Companies that ship from China to Nigeria

At Sino Shipping we have years of experience and vast networks in global cargo logistics that enable us to offer our clients the best service. We work with a wide variety of shipping companies and our network and experience means we can help get you the best price and transit priority.


Some of the major shipping companies that ship from China to Nigeria are Cosco, China Shipping, American President Lines, China Airlines, Evergreen Shipping company, Air China Cargo, Cathay Pacific Airlines, and Lufthansa Airlines


What are the Shipping routes from China to Nigeria?

Ocean freight generally takes a standard route from China to Nigeria, this route is as follow:

  • The Yellow Sea – East China Sea – Hangzhou Bay – Philippine Sea – South China Sea – Indian Ocean – South Atlantic Ocean – North Atlantic Ocean – Gulf of Guinea – Bight of Benin Bay – Port of Lagos, Apapa Nigeria (final destination).

Shipping from China to Lagos, Nigeria.

Most cargo coming into Nigeria is delivered to ports in Lagos, from where it will be transported into the country’s interior.


We are the Best Shipping Agent from China to Nigeria

Sino Shipping has been involved in global trade logistics for many years and with extensive networks between China and Nigeria, we can offer you the best service when it comes to price and priority.


As a logistics company assisting businesses across the world, we recognise that we share a mutual interest in the success of our clients and thus we endeavour to provide a service that can enable their business to thrive and flourish.


We can help you with:

  • Transportation and General Logistics
  • Packaging and display Listing
  • Cargo onboarding and offloading
  • Warehousing
  • Product sourcing
  • Shipping cost evaluation


We offer these services to you to make your importing experience as hassle-free as possible and we always aim to offer you the best possible price, as we know that your business margins are vital to your sustainability.



What kind of importing business from China to Nigeria can make money?


There are many options for importing goods to Nigeria. If you can think of it, you can probably import it. The important thing is to make sure that there is a willing market for it in Nigeria.


How do I import goods from China to Nigeria online?


Websites/platforms such as Alibaba have made importing from China easier. Within Alibaba and other such sites there is a large directory of Chinese retailers, factories and suppliers of goods. It pays to research and see what is available.


How do I start and import business from China to Nigeria


To start an import business, you need to

  • Research the market you are selling in.
  • Become familiar with Nigerian importing law and regulations.
  • Search the retailing market for the best supplier for the goods you want to import.
  • Analyse the cost of importing, including not only the price, but the cost of transportation, import duty, etc.
  • Select a freight forwarding/logistic company such as Sino Shipping who will be able to handle all the logistical needs for communication and transport.
  • Arrange payment for goods and shipping.


Package Shipping from China to Nigeria | Air & Sea Freight Shipping Cost


Shipping Services to Nigeria from CHINA


We can pick up your goods from the factory if you need this service.


Our prices are :

Air freight: $7 per KG

LCL Shipping (Groupage) $480 per CBM.

FCL Shipping (full container load) $8000 for 20 foot container, $14,000 for 40 foot container.

Sino Shipping is a trusted and experienced freight forwarder between China and Nigeria.

Importable Goods from China to Nigeria


There are many different items that importing businesses transport from China to Nigeria.

Among the most popular are: medical equipment, face masks, respirators, ventilators, construction materials, furniture, solar panels, specialist building materials clothing, electronic goods, auto-mobiles and cars motorcycles, bikes, toys, and agricultural equipment.

Air Consolidation Delivery Service


This service is a cost-effective and cheap way to send packages from China to Nigeria.


Our rate cover the cost of the shipping as well as the costs associated with handling and clearing.


Air freight from China to Nigeria costs around $7 per KG and Clearing in Lagos costs around N500 per KG.


Costs for Sea Freight – Ocean freight cost to Nigeria from China


Cost of shipping a 20ft container (FCL): $8,000.

Cost of shipping a 40ft Container (FCL): from $14,000.

LCL/Groupage cost is around $480 per CBM and this price covers shipping and clearing in Nigeria

Shipping time from China to Nigeria- Package transit time:


  • Consolidated Air freight: 15-18 days transit time.
  • Direct cargo plane to Lagos airport: 2 – 3 days transit time
  • Sea freight to Tincan / Apapa port (via containers): 35-45 days.
  • Discounted Express Shipping: 3 – 5 days.
  • Groupage / LCL sea freight ocean shipping from China: 60-80 days

Ex-work service:

We will pick up your goods from your suppliers in China and handle the documentation, charges at the port, and delivery onto the ship or airline.


China to Nigeria Door to door service


With a door-to-door service, your goods will be in our hands from the factory/retailer in China all the way to your address in Nigeria. We offer a reliable service, taking care of your goods all along the journey and allowing you the time to focus on your business’s core functions.


Shipping From China to any Nigerian Cities


We at Sino Shipping can deliver to all major Nigerian cities such as Lagos, Ondo, Abuja, Aba, Ibadan, Delta, Port Harcourt, Onisha, Edo, Oyo, Ilorin, Enugu, Kano, Kaduna Calabar, Ile Ife, Ogbomosho, Bayelsa etc.


We are also able to facilitate the process of getting your goods onto ships leaving ports in China such as Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Beijing, Chongqing, Suzhou, Wuhan, Chengdu, Hangzhou.