How Do I Get A Freight Price For Importing From China?

We assume you are starting from the point of having sourced your supplier you are happy with what they are selling you and a price has been agreed upon (being a freight company K&L Freight cannot help you with sourcing your products from China or other markets we serve such as India and the USA).

The next step will be to work out all your costs so you will need your freight costs to do this.

How much does freight cost is an easy question, but the reality is that in order to answer we need quite a bit of information, specifically:

  • Collection address
  • Delivery address
  • Number of cartons
  • Sizes of cartons
  • Weight of cartons
  • Commodity
  • Incoterm*

As well as overall size and weight, we are looking to see if anything you are sending is going to be considered as dangerous goods. Plus also any outsize dimensions that may affect our pricing. Generally, any pallet or box that exceeds 120 x 100 centimetres (length x width) may affect pricing as it would become a greater size that fits on a standard pallet.

*An Incoterm is a United Nations-developed set of terms that determines who pays what on an international transaction.  Wikipedia is an excellent Incoterm resource The main terms you are likely to come across are ‘ex-works’ where your supplier gets your order ready and you collect it from their premises, ‘FOB’ where your supplier is responsible for paying for costs up to the port or airport of departure, but not the freight itself) or CFR, this obliges your supplier to arrange and pay for freight to an agreed port or airport at the destination country. This is quite a complicated subject with a number of potential pitfalls so please take advice from K&L Freight if you are at all unsure which one should apply.

What about insurance?

We urge you to insure anything you have sent to you, or you send internationally. K&L Freight can arrange insurance for you, or you may be able to arrange your own policy, especially if you are a regular user of international freight.

Your liability when sending by sea can be for more than just the value of what has been sent under marine law, a principal known as the General Average.  This is a complicated subject but if you want to know more here’s a link regarding this subject

This is not a theoretical risk as General Average was declared for the Ever Green when it became stuck in the Suez Canal.

A last note on marine insurance;  you may be tempted to place this in the hands of your supplier and they may agree to insure for you, but what would happen if example goods you purchased (for example) somehow got damaged in transit, you had paid your supplier ‘up front’ and you find your supplier’s insurance cover has so many restrictive clauses, such as to port only, or a huge excess that in practical terms makes the insurance useless? It is unlikely you would be successful in making a claim from your supplier, or their insurer in their own country using their legal system unless a quality internationally operating insurer has been used.


Who contacts my supplier if I choose to use K&L Freight?

K&L Freight and their partners  take care of all communication regarding freight with your suppliers

How do I know when my shipment is going to arrive?

K&L Freight will keep you fully informed, complete with a scheduled departure date, arrival date, and any changes to timelines as your shipment progresses.

UK customs clearance & paying import Duty & VAT

All K&L Freight prices include clearing through customs. Finding out how much duty & VAT (tax) needs to be paid when importing into the UK is easy –  there is a lot of resource on the website. The first place to look is on the customs tariff,  use this  link:

Paying duty & VAT at import is straightforward. Unless you tell us otherwise, K&L Freight will pay any duty & tax (VAT) due to HM Revenue & Customs for you, as this process is not as straightforward as you may think. K&L Freight will then need paying for any duty & VAT outlaid in order they are placed back in funds

UK delivery.

All K&L freight prices include delivery unless this is specifically excluded from your quotation.  Note that we are a business-to-business freight company that is set up to deal in bulk and so our delivery system is designed to deliver to business addresses during business hours, we expect you to be open on normal working days for the whole business day, normally this is 08:30 – 17:00 hrs. All deliveries will arrive between these times unless you opt for, and pay an additional price for either an AM, PM, or a timed delivery.

The default is that all deliveries are to ‘kerbside’ ie. the driver will arrive at your premises and you unload the vehicle, normally using a forklift truck. A further option is to pay for a tail lift vehicle and the driver will remove your shipment using the tail lift and then a pump truck to remove the goods from the truck. Note that this is not an unloading into your premises service, it’s just not practical for us to do this as all trucks are single crewed and the driver is not insured to provide a removals type service.

If you want a price for importing or more information regarding K&L Freight’s import services please mail us at or give us a call on 01606 272 880.