Transport China with Seacon Logistics

Seacon Logistics is your logistics service provider and central point of contact for transport to and from China. From strategic locations and together with our worldwide network of agents and partners, we quickly, smoothly and cost-effectively take care of your transport. From full loads (FTL), part loads (LTL), pallets, intermodal to special transport

China is the world's second-largest economy after the US, the most populous country in the world and has experienced rapid economic growth in recent years. With high GDP (gross domestic product) growth rates of more than 4% in recent decades, the world's fourth-largest country has evolved from a developing nation into an international trading partner. It is the only country that has shown economic growth during the corona pandemic. 

The country is no longer merely the largest producer of cheaply manufactured industrial products but also extracts and processes raw materials and has gained a foothold in the high-tech segment. China's education system is enabling significant segments of the population to earn a college degree, creating a vast skilled workforce of more than a billion people. It is just one of the positive location factors that attract companies to China. 

China is known as the world's largest exporter. The large production volumes ensure the country has the most significant imports after the US. This is driven by a high demand for oil that domestic oil reserves cannot fully cover. Trade is, therefore, one of China's most important economic pillars. 

Infrastructure is a hugely important factor that has helped the country's economic upswing. The solid infrastructure and the well-functioning logistics are a foundation that makes China an attractive country. The largest project is the New Silk Road (also known as China Rail), which aims to build a transnational trade network across three continents and economic growth for all participating countries (some 60 countries). 

We also use this route at Seacon Logistics. Thanks to the China Rail service, we unburden you in the field of goods and raw materials transport between Europe and Asia. 

This has many advantages because transport by train is faster than sea freight and cheaper than air freight. You also benefit from accurate transit times, a direct connection between Duisburg and Asia, high efficiency, low CO2 emissions and the possibilities of intermodal transport. Our team of experts also ensures smooth customs clearance. 

Trade between the EU and China is vital because the country is the main buyer of German products, and China also exports a lot to Europe. Therefore, China will continue to be an essential place for cheap, fast and forward-looking trade in the future. 

For transport to and from this interesting transport country, it is only logical for you as a company – together with Seacon as your professional partner – to take your logistics to a higher level. On this page, you can read more about our transport solutions for China. 

China's major transport routes and your benefits 

Due to its location, all Chinese transportation routes are crucial for cultivating and maintaining trade relations and partners. Regarding size and throughput volume, China is the leader in all categories. The highly developed infrastructure facilitates intermodal transport. 

The sea route is of great importance to China: seven of the ten largest ports in the world are located in China. It forms the heart of international freight transport by water. The largest port in the world is located in Shanghai. The 3,600-hectare port is a hub for international freight traffic and is suitable for all types of goods and raw materials thanks to its modern facilities. Its location on the Pacific Ocean also makes trade with the US possible. Sea freight is also very important for the European Union; as much as 95% is transported by water. 

China has one of the most modern rail networks, which is extremely fast and efficient thanks to high-speed trains. Rail transport currently represents only a small part of freight traffic. Still, the high investments in the New Silk Road (China Rail) stimulate the expansion of cheap and fast freight trains, which are particularly suitable for bulk goods or raw materials due to their capacity. As China ranks second in most extensive rail networks, the foundations for a future modern, high-speed, automated rail network have already been laid. 

Air freight is an additional factor for efficient and fast logistics in China. The special administrative region of the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong, boasts the world's largest airport by cargo volume, enabling the rapid and safe transportation of perishable goods (such as food or plants). Thanks to its direct location on the sea and the highly developed road network, goods can be transported from the airport directly to China's major economic centres and (tran)shipped by ship to other parts of the world. 

China is far from finished with its efforts to build an intercontinental infrastructure. The New Silk Road is just one of the projects aimed at expanding and modernising the existing infrastructure and logistics. 

Panorama of Shanghai with the extensive road network in the foreground | Transport China | Seacon Logistics
Container terminal in Shanghai port | Transport China | Seacon Logistics

Important cities for freight transportation in China 

In order to understand the distribution of freight traffic concentration in China, it is necessary to explain the so-called 'special economic zones'. These Chinese areas enjoy certain advantages that enable them to flourish economically. Unlike the rest of China, not communist but capitalist economic concepts are pursued, as a result of which many international companies have established themselves in these zones (due to, among other things, tax benefits, free movement of goods and subsidies in the form of widespread joint ventures). Freight traffic is concentrated precisely in these zones. 

The largest port in the world, Shanghai is undoubtedly the most critical transhipment centre. This city also has a special economic zone, namely the Pudong district. The port is also part of this district. This has fueled economic growth, making Shanghai the international centre of goods, technology and industry. 

The situation is similar in the port of Shenzhen, which is particularly important for Hong Kong. This port was established when the special economic zone was introduced. Thanks to steadily increasing freight traffic and its proximity to Hong Kong, the port of Shenzhen has become one of China's most important centres for cargo handling. 

Hong Kong International Airport is the largest in the world by cargo volume and is thus of particular international importance for air cargo traffic. Thanks to the modern facilities, the favourable connections with the neighbouring regions and the port of Shenzhen, the logistics network in this region of China is particularly suitable for intermodal transport. The same conditions also apply to the Shanghai region. There is also an internationally important cargo airport, which enables fast and efficient transport thanks to its proximity to the port. 

Transport solutions from Seacon Logistics

We offer different types of transport to and from China. Whether it concerns general cargo, less-than-truckload or full-truckload shipping, air freight, sea freight or freight transport – we will ensure that your goods arrive at their destination safely and on time. Below you will find our transport solutions to and from China:

  • Groupage transport to China 
  • Pallet shipment
  • Partial loads (LTL / LCL)
  • Full loads (FCL / FTL)
  • Rail transport
  • Deliveries in the city centre
  • Delivery with tailboard
  • Express delivery to China
Beijing skyline including the China Zun skyscraper | Transport China | Seacon Logistics

Groupage China - LCL and LTL

The term LTL (Less Than Truck Load) is used in freight transport to indicate that only part of the available cargo space of the truck is filled. In the logistics industry, it is therefore common to combine several partial loads at one loading point or to add a partial load. In short, groupage or LTL is therefore the merging of several smaller loads into one larger load. This optimises the use of the freight container during road freight.

The abbreviation LCL stands for Less than Container Load and in sea freight refers to shipments that do not fill an entire container and are combined with other general cargo in a consolidated container. LCL transport mainly offers price advantages and some benefits in practical handling and stowage. For general cargo, only proportionate transport costs are incurred for the use of the container volume.

Full loads China - FCL or FTL

The abbreviation FCL (Full Container Load) is used in sea freight for full container loads. Unlike LCL: a load that only partially fills a container. With FCL loads, the container is loaded by a shipper and unloaded at the destination by a consignee.

With an FTL delivery (Full Truck Load), the shipment fills the entire available cargo space. The truck transports this shipment to its destination without reloading. This is for one recipient. This completely utilises the truck’s transport capacity. 

Fast delivery is the main advantage of FTL. This is because there is no need for transhipment or extra route planning to different recipients. The truck drives directly to one destination. It is the most effective method of transporting goods by road to a final destination. 


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Loading special transport onto a truck. | Seacon Logistics

Special transport China

In our wide range of transport services, we also offer special transport to and from China. This is the worldwide transport of long, high and heavy goods that do not fit in a container or truck. We believe it is important to comply with all international regulations and guidelines in this type of transport. Especially when transporting dangerous goods, regardless of whether they are transported to or from China to abroad. Below you will find an overview of all goods that Seacon Logistics transports: 

  • Long goods
  • Dangerous goods (ADR)
  • Boxes (KTN)
  • Boxes (BOX)
  • Bundles
  • Heavy load
  • Pallets (PLT)
  • Gitter boxes (GIBO)
  • Barrels (FSS)
  • Other loose goods

Transport options China: to and from Asia, America, Europe and Africa

At Seacon Logistics we understand that, in addition to the quality of your products, fast shipping and associated satisfied customers are of great importance. That is why we facilitate the worldwide transport of your goods in all aspects. Goods transport within Europe is usually handled via road freight, but for shipments to and from Asia, America and Africa, we of course also have sea freight and air freight at your disposal.

From our locations at strategically located terminals, we supply all major consumer markets. By outsourcing your transport to and from China to Seacon Logistics, you benefit from the advantage that you do not have to worry about complicated coordination across different continents and time zones. With us, you are guaranteed – partly thanks to the excellent cooperation with our partner network – a fast, efficient and well-organised shipment. 

Container terminal from above, showing a container ship loading sea freight and moving trucks (road transport). | Seacon Logistics

Transit and delivery times for transport to China

To satisfy you and meet all your requirements, reliability and speed are paramount at Seacon Logistics. That is why we work closely with a worldwide partner network and can plan, execute and organise your transport efficiently. 

It is also possible to send express shipments, we arrange this in collaboration with our network. Fast transport services and our in-house customs clearance ensure that your transport from China arrives at your customer faster than usual. 

For daily updated information and reliable transport planning, please contact us directly. Our specialists are always ready to help you. 

Customs: the correct import and export documents

Our focus is always on the entire logistics chain. To serve you even better, our in-house customs department takes care of the necessary import and export documents and transport certificates. Our Compliance Desk checks whether your goods comply with all guidelines and sanction regulations at the place of destination. This way you will not be faced with unpleasant surprises and you can concentrate on your core business. Thanks to our status as Authorised Economic Operator (previously AEO-certified) and 'preferred supplier', we can minimise delays. An important advantage for you as a customer.

Want to know more about how we unburden you in terms of customs and customs declarations? 

More about customs

Incoterms®: Protect your international trade with China

As a global logistics chain director, Seacon Logistics deals a lot with Incoterms®. Although we are not involved in the commercial agreements between buyer and seller, we are often consulted about the dangers and consequences of the various Incoterms® before a transaction is concluded. In practice, many companies still underestimate the risks.

To ensure that contractual formulas in the trade of goods are interpreted equally by buyer and seller, we have created a white paper and an infographic. 

View our Incoterms® page

Important additional information: Public holidays, driving bans and local details

As the most populous country in the world, China has to deal with extreme air pollution and road congestion. Customs regulations inside and outside the Special Economic Zones must also be observed. In the following overview, you can read which details you will have to deal with: 

  • Currency: In China, two types of currency are used for payment and trading. The onshore renminbi is used to pay in mainland China and is seen as the national currency, while the offshore renminbi is traded freely on world markets. Notably, both currencies have the same counter value within China but different exchange rates. 
  • Traffic: In China, traffic drives on the right. Tolls must be paid on many highways. 
  • Smog: Smog (an extreme form of air pollution) can be observed on some days, possibly leading to local driving bans. 
  • Customs: Import and export duties can vary significantly by region. Especially between provinces and special economic zones, it is essential to pay attention to the specifics. Seacon is happy to unburden you in this matter. 

The strength of Seacon: logistics at its heart since 1985

Since the establishment of Seacon Logistics, we have been building our organisation as a leading logistics chain director. Today, Seacon Logistics has over 700 employees at various strategic locations throughout Europe. Yet the origins of the family business can still be felt in our organisation. And that is precisely where our strength lies. Logistic services from the heart, that's what we are all about!

With a strong we-feeling, we take on logistical challenges and work together to serve you as our customer in the best possible way. With innovative and efficient solutions, we take your logistics to a new level. Transparent communication, personal approach and entrepreneurship are the basis of our customers' trust. 

Are you interested in a transport solution to a country other than China? Then take a look at one of our many other partner countries:

Would you like to receive a quote or do you have other questions?

Then please do not hesitate to contact us. We know the logistical challenges of our customers and have been optimising their logistics chains for decades. No distance is too far or challenge too great. Are you ready to take your logistics chain to the next level? Then be sure to get in touch with us.

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