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Ocean & Air Shipping From China to Finland

Get information and quote for FCL, LCL and Air shipping

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Updated on 16 Feb 202212 min read

Finland has long been an important Nordic trading partner for China, with the two nations enjoying strong economic relations. You could be in the Far East looking to export from China to Finland, or somewhere in Northern Europe seeking to arrange an import from the Orient.

In any scenario, this page outlines the crucial information about ocean and air shipping from China to Finland. You’ll find details about the different shipping options, costs, transit times, customs clearance procedures, and ports for import and export right here.

What Are Your Options for Shipping From China to Finland?

Freight forwarding expert leaning on a stack of cartons between the Chinese flag on the left and Finland’s flag on the right

When you import from China to Finland, you can choose between air or sea freight. Each mode of transport comes with certain benefits and drawbacks. You’ll find out more about those in the following sections.

Ocean Freight From China to Finland

Less than Container Load (LCL): If your goods are stuffed and transported in a shipping container from China to Finland together with the consignments of other shippers, then this is called LCL freight. It’s one of the most affordable options to transport small amounts of cargo. The benefit is that you don’t have to pay for the use and shipping of an entire container.

Full Container Load (FCL): You can also hire and transport a full container from China to Finland. This is called FCL shipping. Most businesses opt for this mode of transport when moving larger, heavier freight or when they want their cargo sealed off in a separate unit for the whole journey.

Air Freight From China to Finland

Air freight is the fastest mode of transport from China to Finland. However, in most cases, it is also much costlier than sea freight.

How Much Does it Cost to Ship Cargo From China to Finland?

A freight forwarder will provide you with a bespoke quote upon receipt of your shipment details. The price you are quoted will be affected by various factors. The nature of the goods you wish to ship will have an impact, as some goods require more care and attention than others.

Also door-to-door, door-to-port, port-to-door, and port-to-port services are priced differently, depending on the distances involved. The weight, dimensions, and volume of your consignment will also affect the cost, as will your choice of air freight, or ocean shipping by FCL or LCL service.

Should you need help deciding between air and sea freight, as a rough guide, if your shipment weighs under 100kg, air freight will probably work out as economical as ocean freight. Shipping goods above this weight by air usually makes financial sense only if your goods are urgently required in Finland. If time is on your side, ocean shipping is likely to be the most cost-effective choice.

Most freight forwarders, Shipa Freight included, do not deal with shipments weighing less than 35kg.

How Long Does it Take to Ship Cargo From China to Finland?

Mechanical chronometer to represent the transit time of shipments with Shipa Freight

Knowing how long it takes to ship goods from China to Finland will help you plan business strategies and manage client expectations. Both ocean and air shipments will take significantly longer than the actual journey time and are subject to variables too numerous to list here.

Shipping with an air freight carrier will typically take between five and eight days to ship, while you should allow between 38 and 46 days for your LCL or FCL ocean freight to arrive.

How Long Does It Take to Ship Cargo by Sea From China to Finland?

Ocean trade lanes from China to Finland head west from the People’s Republic and circumnavigate much of Europe to reach the Nordic nation. Estimated shipping times for FCL and LCL ocean freight from China to Finland are as follows:

  • Shanghai to Helsinki – 46 days FCL, 38 days LCL
  • Shenzhen to Helsinki – 43 days FCL and LCL
  • Xiamen to Helsinki – 46 days FCL, 42 days LCL
  • Shekou to Helsinki - 43 days FCL

How Long Does It Take to Ship Cargo by Air From China to Finland?

Air freight is considerably faster than ocean shipping. You should allow the following times for your consignment to reach Helsinki when shipped from the following airports in China:

  • Shanghai-Pudong – 8 days
  • Shenzhen – 5 days
  • Xiamen – 5 days

Customs Clearance in China and Finland

Your shipment of commercial goods will need to comply with local and international rules and regulations to be cleared for export in China and entry into Finland. This sometimes complicated procedure requires the presence of correct documentation with your shipment, and is something a freight forwarder can help you with.

When importing from China to Finland, the following will be required:

  1. Commercial Invoice

  2. Packing List

  3. Certificate of Origin

  4. Letter of Credit or other payment terms (depends on the contract between the parties involved)

  5. Bill of Lading for ocean freight or Airway Bill for air freight (Shipa Freight will provide this for you)

Should you wish to see examples of these documents and/or would like to find out more about each of them, we’ve saved you even more time by compiling information about them all on this shipping and customs documents page.

Should You Choose Ocean Freight or Air Freight?

Ocean Freight

An experienced freight forwarder can help you calculate the best way to ship your sea freight from China to a Finnish port. In most cases, you can leave things like deciding the best type of container to use or how many containers you need to the experts. They can also clear-up any confusion you might have about the difference between LCL and FCL ocean shipping.

Below, you’ll find more detailed information about when to use LCL or FCL shipping.

Considerations for LCL Freight Shipping

Smaller shipments from China to Finland are usually best sent by LCL, which stands for less-than-container-load. If you don’t have enough goods to fill a whole container and don’t mind if your cargo shares container space with products from other shippers, LCL will be ideal for you.

When sending goods by shipping container from China to Finland using LCL, it’s important to remember that they will undergo a lot of handling, as there will be a consolidation phase in China and deconsolidation on arrival at your destination in Finland.

Considerations for FCL Freight Shipping

It’s easy to see why there’s confusion about FCL shipping. Although it stands for full-container-load, there is no obligation upon you to fill a container with goods. Of course, it makes commercial sense when shipping a 20-foot or 40-foot container from China to Finland, to use as much of the available space as possible.

Typically, a 20ft container will hold up to 11 standard pallets, while a 40ft container holds up to 21 pallets. Your freight can also be packed on slightly smaller Euro pallets, skids, or even travel loose in its container.

Paying for exclusive use of a container means there’s no consolidation and deconsolidation, so less handling, less chance of delays and less risk of damage to your consignment.

Air Freight

If your need for speed is greater than concerns over costs, air shipping from China to Finland is for you. A freight forwarder can get your cargo loaded onto pallets and secured in the hold of a direct or indirect flight from China to Helsinki Airport in Finland.

Fragile and perishable goods such as food, plants, and flowers are sure to benefit from the quick shipping times when you send them by air freight from China to Finland—but there are other benefits to be gained from choosing air freight over ocean shipping. They include:

  • Higher levels of security
  • Less handling of your goods
  • A cheaper insurance premium for your consignment
  • More cost-effectiveness for smaller shipments

Ocean Cargo Port Guide

Cargo Ports of Origin in China


Port Facts:

  • Every top-20 shipping company in the world has trade lanes that call this port.
  • The port has nine container terminals.
  • Facilities here are a match for any you’ll find elsewhere in China.
  • There’s room for sixth-generation container vessels to dock and unload along its extensive quayside.

Owned By: Xiamen Port Authority.

Annual Container Volume: >10 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Gateway for over 130 global container shipping lanes.
  • One of the world’s top-five ports for container traffic.
  • Located in proximity to Hong Kong’s Kowloon peninsula.
  • Handled close to 28 million TEUs in 2018.

Owned By: Multiple owners.

Annual Container Volume: >27 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Home to the world’s biggest automated container terminal.
  • Vast port featuring shallow and deep water zones.
  • Perfect gateway for suppliers manufacturing in one of the many factories across Zhejiang and Jiangsu.

Owned By: Shanghai International Port Company Ltd.

Annual Container Volume: >40 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Located in the Pearl River Delta with access to the South China sea.
  • Vital export gateway used by manufacturers across Guangdong Province.
  • Ideal for any supplier in the city of Guangzhou, around the river delta, or along the South China Sea coastal region.

Owned By: Guangzhou Port Group Company.

Annual Container Volume: >15 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Best for suppliers or manufacturers based in Northern China.
  • China’s most northerly ice-free port.
  • Has the largest multi-purpose cargo facility in Northeastern China.

Owned By: Dalian Port Corp Ltd.

Annual Container Volume: >9.7 million TEUs.


Other Ports in China

Shipa Freight can also dispatch your goods to Finland from any of these other container ports in China:

  • Tianjin
  • Wuhan
  • Chongqing
  • Shantou
  • Lianyungang
  • Qinzhou
  • Zhuhai
  • Zhongshan
  • Ningbo-Zhoushan
  • Guangzhou
  • Qingdao
  • Wuhu

Cargo Ports of Arrival in Finland

Helsinki Helsingfors

Port Facts:

  • Finland’s leading port for foreign trade.
  • Specializes in the import of consumer goods.
  • Situated on the shores of the Gulf of Finland in the Baltic Sea.
  • Handles over half of Finland’s imports.

Owned By: City of Helsinki.

Annual Container Volume: >509,000 TEUs.


Uleaborg (Oulu)

Port Facts:

  • Formed by three separate harbors in the mouth of the Oulujoki River.
  • Handles container freight from all over the world in its Oritikan docks complex.
  • Largest port in Bothnian Bay.
  • Serves as a major logistics center with onward sea, rail, and road routes.

Owned By: City of Oulu.

Annual Container Volume: >51,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Created by the merger of the ports of Hamina and Kotka in 2011.
  • Finland’s most prolific port for container throughput.
  • Mussalo container terminal is the biggest in Finland, with a capacity of 1.5 million TEUs per year.
  • Located on the Northern shores of the Gulf of Finland.

Owned By: HaminaKotka Satama Oy.

Annual Container Volume: >55,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Ideal for buyers in Western Finland.
  • Biggest container port on the Finnish West Coast.
  • Processed almost a quarter of a million TEUs in 2017.
  • Houses an impressive container terminal, storage facilities, and a new harbor road.

Owned By: Port of Rauma.

Annual Container Volume: >278,000 TEUs.


Flying Your Freight: Airport Guide

Airports of Origin in China

Beijing Capital

Airport Facts:

  • Offers plenty of road and rail links to the airport from all parts of China.
  • Processes over 2 million tonnes of cargo annually.

Finland Airports Served: Helsinki.

Beijing to Finland Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Serves the capital of Jiangsu Province.
  • Has a 34,000 square-meter cargo center.
  • Expressways and speedy rail links connect the airport with regions close to the Yangtze River Delta and Nanjing City.

Finland Airports Served: Helsinki.

Nanjing to Finland Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Shanghai Pudong

Airport Facts:

  • Only Hong Kong and Memphis out-perform Shanghai in terms of cargo throughput.
  • World’s number three airport for air freight volume.
  • 3.7 million tonnes of air cargo passed through its freight terminals in 2017.

Finland Airports Served: Helsinki.

Shanghai to Finland Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • China’s third-busiest cargo airport.
  • Ranks in the world’s top 20.
  • Cargo throughput reached 1.8 million tonnes in 2018.

Finland Airports Served: Helsinki.

Guangzhou to Finland Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • A new terminal and runway were added recently, expanding the air cargo processing capacity.
  • Located on the east bank of the Pearl River.
  • Hub for many cargo airlines.

Finland Airports Served: None.

Shenzhen to Finland Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Other Airports in China

In addition to those airports of origin detailed above, there are other airports in China from which Shipa Freight can arrange to fly your consignment to Finland:

  • Qingdao
  • Wuhan
  • Xiamen
  • Chengdu
  • Zhengzhou
  • Shanghai Hongqiao

Airport of Arrival in Finland


Airport Facts:

  • Finland’s major international airport.
  • Located to the north of the city center.
  • Cargo facilities dominate the Southeastern area of the airport.
  • State-of-the-art cargo hub specializes in storing and processing high volumes of temperature-sensitive cargo.

Connected Airports in China: Beijing-Capital, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Shanghai-Pudong.

China to Helsinki Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Why Ship From China to Finland With Shipa Freight?

Shipping your freight from China to Finland is easier than you might think with Shipa Freight. You can rely on us to move your air and ocean freight on time and in the most cost-efficient manner. What’s more, you can also speed up your supply chain by managing your full shipping process with our state-of-the-art online platform.

Benefit from these advantages when you ship with us:

  • Quick and easy-to-understand online quotes.
  • Fast online booking and payments.
  • One reliable platform to manage your imports and exports.
  • Customs clearance done for you.
  • Transparent shipping documents.
  • Helpful customer service, available 24/7.
  • Full compliance with international shipping rules and regulations.

Know Your Shipping Terminology

Shipping experts often use terminology and jargon that can confuse those new to international trade practices. So, to help build your understanding of these terms, we’ve provided definitions of a couple of terms in common usage below:

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