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Ocean & Air Freight Shipping From China to Kuwait [Updated: Jul 2021]

FCL, LCL and Air freight forwarding: information and online quote

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Updated on 04 Jul 202111 min read

Trade between China and Kuwait totaled $18.7 billion in 2018, a figure that made Kuwait the People’s Republic’s fifth-largest trading partner among Arab nations. Both countries are committed to further commercial co-operation. That’s good news if yours is an enterprise already importing from China to Kuwait or planning to do so.

Whatever the reason for your interest in what it takes to export from China to Kuwait, this page aims to inform you. You will discover details about shipping costs and transit times, and there are profiles of the key ports and airports in both nations. Also, the page provides guidance to help you decide between ocean and air shipping from China to Kuwait as the preferred approach for your business and supply chain.

Know Your Options for Shipping Freight From China to Kuwait

Most businesses choose either ocean or air carriers to move their commercial freight from China to Kuwait. The pros and cons of each mode of transportation are covered on this page. Ocean Freight From China to Kuwait

Less than Container Load (LCL): LCL is popular with businesses shipping small consignments of goods for import from China to Kuwait. With LCL ocean shipping, your cargo shares container space with items being shipped to the same destination by other companies. If the volume of your goods is less than 14 cubic meters, LCL is likely to offer the most economical way of shipping a container from China to Kuwait.

Full Container Load (FCL): If your consignment is large enough to occupy at least six standard pallets, FCL may offer the most cost-effective way for you to export from China to Kuwait. Your shipment will have exclusive use of a container—it will not be shipped in the same container as other goods. You’ll pay a flat fee to hire the container and for its carriage to Kuwait.

Air Freight from China to Kuwait

If speed is of the essence and costs less of a concern, air freight is the best option when importing from China to Kuwait. It’s the fastest way to move goods from the People’s Republic to the Middle East, but is significantly more expensive than ocean shipping.

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

Any shipping quote you request will take into account the following:

  • What kind of goods are being shipped
  • How they are being moved to Kuwait (LCL, FCL, or Air)
  • The weight, dimensions, and volume of the consignment
  • Which kind of delivery service has been requested—door-to-door, port-to-port, port-to-door or door-to-port

If you’re unsure whether to opt for air or ocean shipping, you can always ask for a quote for both forms of transportation and compare the two.

Most likely, if your freight weighs under 100kg, there will be little difference between an air cargo and ocean freight quote. If your cargo weighs above 100 kg, it will usually be less costly to ship as ocean freight from China to Kuwait. Please note that for consignments weighing less than 35 kg you should engage an international courier. Freight forwarders do not handle shipments in that weight bracket.

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

Delivery timescales are often the deciding factor when choosing the mode of transportation. For urgent deliveries, air freight allows for pressing deadlines to be met. It’s the fastest way to export from China to Kuwait, taking between one and eight days.

If your consignee can wait, ocean shipping offers a slower but less expensive means of moving goods between the two countries. You should allow between 26 and 38 days for an ocean carrier to transport your shipping container from China to Kuwait.

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

As these transit-time examples show, ocean carriers can get your goods from China to Kuwait in 26 to 38 days:

  • Foshan to Shuwaikh—34 days FCL
  • Huangpu to Shuwaikh—27 days FCL
  • Ningbo to Shuwaikh—31 days FCL
  • Shenzhen to Shuwaikh—36 days FCL
  • Tianjin to Shuwaikh—33 days FCL
  • Xiamen to Kuwait—38 days LCL

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

Below are the air freight transit times from various airports in China to Kuwait International Airport:

  • From Guangzhou or Shanghai Pudong—5 days
  • From Beijing-Capital—6 days
  • From Xiamen—8 days

Customs Clearance in China and Kuwait

Customs clearance is, for many businesses, the most complicated aspect of international shipping. Many choose to engage the services of a freight forwarder to manage the process. A forwarder’s expertise reduces the chance of unnecessary delays affecting a shipment and ensures compliance with international shipping rules and regulations. Specific documents are required by customs teams in China and Kuwait to clear goods at the border. Even when you partner with a forwarder, you will still need to take responsibility for providing information necessary to complete the following compulsory paperwork:

  • A Commercial Invoice
  • A Packing List
  • A Certificate of Origin
  • A Letter of Credit or other payment terms (depends on the contract between the parties involved)
  • An Airway Bill for air shipping or a Bill of Lading for ocean cargo (this will be provided by the freight forwarder or carrier)

We’ve gathered samples of these documents on our document list page so you can take a closer look. Your forwarder may tell you that other paperwork is required with your consignment. For example, a certificate, permit, or license could be mandatory for the type of goods you’re shipping.

Should You Choose Ocean Freight or Air Freight?

Ocean Freight

Moving a shipping container from China to Kuwait is a process for which you should allow at least 26 days. Most commercial sea freight is shipped inside 20ft or 40ft containers that open at one end. Specialist containers are available for goods that require specific conditions to be maintained during transit and in port. Your freight forwarder will advise if your goods will need to ship in such a container.

Forwarders also have a role to play in helping shippers decide which mode of ocean shipping is best for their freight. The information that follows will help you make an informed decision about whether LCL or FCL shipping is best for your business.

Considerations for LCL Freight Shipping

LCL shipping often works out to be the best mode of shipping for consignments that :

  • Occupy six pallets at most
  • Aren’t needed in a hurry by the consignee in Kuwait
  • Are safe to be shipped alongside other products in a container shared among multiple shippers

LCL shipping might not be the best option for consignments that

  • Must arrive in Kuwait by a particular date
  • Are delicate and could be damaged if handled or moved too often
  • Are unsuitable for shipping in the same container as other shippers’ goods
  • Have a short shelf-life and need to arrive in Kuwait as quickly as possible

Considerations for FCL Freight Shipping

If LCL doesn’t meet the needs of your supply chain, importing from China to Kuwait using an FCL service is the alternative option. It’s ideal for consignments that:

  • Must be in Kuwait by a particular date
  • Aren’t suited to sharing a container with other goods
  • Are big enough to fill at least half the capacity of a standard 20ft container

Air Freight

Air shipping is best suited for cargo that:

  • Must arrive in Kuwait as soon as possible
  • Comprises perishable goods that need to be transported quickly
  • Occupies no more than three standard pallets
  • Is safe to ship aboard an aircraft
  • Is high-value and requires the strict security protocols followed by airport operators and airlines

Ocean Cargo Port Guide

Cargo Ports of Origin in China

Shekou

Port Facts:

  • Situated in the Dhawan District of Guangdong Province
  • A good alternative to the nearby port of Shenzhen, which is much busier
  • Infrastructure includes one container terminal

Owned By: China Merchants Shekou Port Service Company Ltd. Annual Container Volume: >46,000 TEUs. UN/LOCODE: CNSHK.

Ningbo-Zhoushan

Port Facts:

  • Located on the coast of the East China Sea across the bay from Shanghai and Jiaxing
  • Port facilities include seven container terminals
  • Ideal port of loading for any supplier based in Zhejiang, China’s fifth-largest export hinterland

*Owned By: *Ningbo Zhoushan Port Company. Annual Container Volume: >26.3 million TEUs. UN/LOCODE: CNNGB.

Qingdao

Port Facts:

  • Situated between the Yangtze River Delta and Bohai Rim
  • A key sea freight hub in Northeast Asia
  • Serves over 700 locations worldwide including Kuwait
  • Likely to be the nearest port for suppliers or manufacturers based in Shandong Province

Owned By: Qingdao Port (Group)Ltd. Annual Container Volume: >18 million TEUs. UN/LOCODE: CNTAO.

Xiamen

Port Facts:

  • Located along the estuary of the Jiulongjiang River in Fujian
  • This deepwater port is home to nine container terminals
  • The port is earmarked to become China’s first ‘fully intelligent’ port

Owned By: Xiamen Port Authority. Annual Container Volume: >10 million TEUs. UN/LOCODE: CNXMN.

Shanghai

Port Facts:

  • The world’s busiest container port is both a deep-sea and river port
  • Serves over 280 international shipping routes
  • Excellent road and railroad connections to the city of Shanghai and its surrounding areas
  • Over 2,000 container ships use the port every month

Owned By: Shanghai International Port Company Ltd. Annual Container Volume: >43.3 million TEUs. UN/LOCODE: CNSHA.

Other Ports in China

The list below shows other ports in China from which you can ship to Kuwait:

  • Guangzhou
  • Tianjin
  • Shantou
  • Wuhu
  • Qinzhou
  • Zhuhai
  • Zhongshan
  • Lianyungang
  • Shenzhen
  • Wuhan

Cargo Ports of Arrival in Kuwait

Shuwaikh

Port Facts:

  • Also known as Ash-Shuwaikh
  • Situated to the west of Kuwait City on the shores of Kuwait Bay
  • The site covers 320 hectares
  • Infrastructure includes 21 berths for shipping vessels

Owned By: Kuwait Ports Authority. Annual Container Volume: >3 million TEUs. UN/LOCODE: KWSWK

Shuaiba

Port Facts:

  • Situated on the northeastern coast of the Persian Gulf
  • 45 kilometers outside Kuwait City
  • The second-biggest port in Kuwait
  • Infrastructure includes four berths specifically for container vessels
  • Imports include industrial machinery and equipment

Owned By: Kuwait Ports Authority. Annual Container Volume: >1.1 million TEUs. UN/LOCODE: KWSAA.

Flying Your Freight: Airport Guide

Airports of Origin in China

Shanghai Pudong

Airport Facts:

  • The third-busiest air freight facility in the world
  • More than 3.7 million tonnes of goods are processed here annually
  • No direct flights to Kuwait Airport

Serves Kuwait Airport? No. Shanghai to Kuwait Cargo-Only Operators: None. IATA Code: PVG.

Shenzhen

Airport Facts:

  • This airport’s full name is Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport
  • Located in Southern China, close to Hong Kong
  • A good airport of loading if your supply chain begins in areas around the Pearl River Delta

Serves Kuwait Airport? No. Shenzhen to Kuwait Cargo-Only Operators: None. IATA CODE: SZX.

Guangzhou

Airport Facts:

  • China’s 19th-busiest air freight hub
  • Processes over one million tonnes of cargo every year
  • A central airport with good road and railroad links to most areas of the People’s Republic

Serves Kuwait Airport? No. Guangzhou to Kuwait Cargo-Only Operators: None. IATA Code: CAN.

Chongqing

Airport Facts:

  • Ranks as China’s tenth-busiest air cargo facility
  • Situated about 20 kilometers outside of Chongqing
  • An ideal airport for manufacturers or suppliers based in the Yubei District of Western China

Serves Kuwait Airport? No. Chongqing to Kuwait Cargo-Only Operators: None. IATA Code: CKG.

Chengdu

Airport Facts:

  • Also known as Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport
  • Located in Sichuan Province, 16 kilometers outside of Chengdu city
  • Over 600,000 tonnes of air cargo are processed here every year

Serves Kuwait Airport? No. Chengdu to Kuwait Cargo-Only Operators: None. IATA CODE: CTU.

Other Airports in China

In addition to the air cargo gateways outlined above, your goods can be flown to Kuwait from the following Chinese airports:

  • Wuhan
  • Xiamen
  • Shanghai Hongqiao
  • Tianjin
  • Beijing
  • Dalian
  • Zhengzhou
  • Qingdao

Airport of Arrival in Kuwait

Kuwait International

Airport Facts

  • Located in Farwaniya, just over 15 kilometers south of Kuwait City
  • Occupies a 37 square-kilometer site
  • No direct flights from China
  • More than 126,000 tonnes of air cargo are handled here every year

Connected Airports in China: None. China to Kuwait Cargo-Only Operators: None. IATA Code: KWI.

Ocean and Air Shipping From China to Kuwait: Why Shipa Freight?

Shipa Freight takes a digital-first approach to international shipping which makes it easier for businesses large and small to import from China to Kuwait. We take out much of the stress involved in freight shipping by managing the complicated customs clearance process for our customers. Our online platform is designed specifically to simplify supply chains that involve international logistics.

Shipa Freight brings the following benefits to enterprises importing from China to Kuwait:

  • Quick quotes for air and ocean consignments weighing over 35 kg
  • Easy online bookings and payments
  • Live shipment tracking
  • Clearly explained customs requirements and clearance support
  • 24/7 access to a customer support team via email, telephone, or online chat