There are several moving parts to consider when having your manufacturer ship your import from China goods via sea. Whether you have brought a new product idea to life and are beginning the import process or have decided to buy wholesale goods from China, the following elements need to come together:
1. A ship needs to be going from a port near your factory to a port near you.
2. At the receiving port the customs duties, fees, and documents related to your goods need to be cleared (Covered in detail in Step 9: Compliance -Customs and Regulations- of How To Import Kit).
3. At the receiving port, someone needs to unload your goods from the ship. At many ports, there are very strict union rules regulating who can unload what goods, how much they are paid, and so on.
4. Now, someone needs to move your goods from the port’s storage site and unloading dock to a final destination. To accomplish this, someone must arrange for ground transportation to take these goods to your office, rented out warehouse space, or home in a timely manner. Otherwise, the port will charge fees for prolonged use of their space.
Cargo ships charge for space via the container. It is doubtful that you will be ordering entire containers worth of product at once in the beginning, so you need to find a way to pay for just the space you need. The companies that actually own and operate cargo ships do not deal with anything other than moving containers. This is again where a freight forwarder will come in. They will consolidate several batches of goods from different customers that originate and end in the same locations, and ensure these all fill one container.
More in depth details on figuring out how to handle the shipping and logistics of importing from China, and every other part in the import from China process can be found in How To Import Kit.