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Ocean and Air Shipping From China to Sweden

Information and quote from China to Sweden for LCL, FCL and Air shipping

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Updated on 16 Feb 202212 min read

China is Sweden's largest trading partner in Asia. Imports from China amounted to USD 7.7 billion in 2017. That’s 5.5% of the total Swedish imports, making China Sweden’s seventh-largest source of imports. If you are planning to export from China to Sweden, then you’re in the right place.

On this page, we’ve gathered crucial information to help you navigate the complexities of international freight logistics. With our guidance, you can engage in more successful ocean and air shipping from China to Sweden.

What Are Your Options for Shipping Freight From China to Sweden?

Flags of China and Sweden to represent Shipa Freight's tradelane for commerical freight from China to Sweden

When importing from China to Sweden, businesses have two basic options: ocean freight and air freight. We’ll explore both of them subsequently on this page.

Ocean Freight From China to Sweden

Less than Container Load (LCL): If hiring a full container for your cargo is not an option for you, then LCL is the way to go. With LCL, you’ll only pay for the space that your freight occupies in a shared container. Often, this is the most affordable option to ship small, light freight in a container from China to Sweden.

Full Container Load (FCL): FCL is right for you, if you need an entire container exclusively for your freight. As you will pay a flat fee for the unit, FCL might come out cheaper than LCL for moving large, heavy goods.

Air Freight From China to Sweden

If you require your goods in Sweden as soon as possible, then air shipping is the right choice. However, be prepared to pay a higher price for the speed and flexibility.

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

Given that the size and nature of shipments can vary, there’s no standard price guide for shipping between China and Sweden. Freight forwarders, like Shipa Freight, will give you a custom quote for your consignment.

The size and weight of your freight will be a factor, but please note that freight forwarders only accept orders for shipments of 35kg and above. If your shipment weighs 35 to 100kg, air freight is likely to be your most cost-effective option. Anything above 100kg will be more economical to send by ocean freight, unless you need the speed of air freight.

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

The inter-continental journey between China and Sweden is a long one, but air freight is considerably quicker than ocean freight. Typically, the air transit time between the two nations is eight days. For ocean freight, you should anticipate a journey time of 35-45 days.

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

Moving your shipping container from China to Sweden will take 5 to 7 weeks with a maritime carrier if you choose FCL or LCL ocean shipping between ports such as:

  • Ningbo and Gothenburg
  • Shanghai and Gothenburg
  • Ningbo and Helsingborg
  • If you’d like some slightly more specific examples, here are a few ocean freight routes from China to Sweden, with their respective scheduled transit times:
  • Fuzhou to Gothenburg - 41 days LCL
  • Ningbo to Gothenburg - 46 days FCL
  • Shanghai to Gothenburg - 46 days FCL
  • Shekou to Gothenburg - 39 days FCL
  • Tianjin to Gothenburg - 48 days FCL

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

Air freight transit times are a fraction of those taken by ocean shipping. Allowing for customs checks and transportation to and from airports, you should expect air freight from China to Sweden to take eight days on the direct flights that operate between the following airports:

  • Shanghai-Pudong and Stockholm-Arlanda, Gothenburg, or Malmo
  • Shenzhen and Malmo
  • Fuzhou and Gothenburg

However, one of the faster trade lanes in our database links China’s Guangzhou Airport with Stockholm Arlanda. Shipments on this route can be ready for onward transportation or for collection at Arlanda in just two days.

Customs Clearance in China and Sweden

Inspector checking containers as Shipa Freight helps with customs clearance

When you import from China to Sweden, passing customs clearance is a necessity. Most businesses don’t want to manage this complex process internally. They rely on the services of an experienced freight forwarder to minimize any risk of issues and delays. Besides, a seasoned partner can guarantee that all formalities will be processed according to the laws and regulations.

Even when hiring a freight forwarder, you are still required to provide the necessary paperwork. The customs authorities in China and Sweden will most likely request the following:

  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)

In some cases, the authorities might ask you to present further documentation, such as licenses, permits, or certificates. Your freight forwarder will inform and guide you. In the meantime, have a look at our documents list where you can learn more about each document type and see some examples.

Should You Choose Ocean Freight or Air Freight?

Ocean Freight

There are two ways to move your goods along the ocean shipping routes that connect the Far East with Scandinavia. If you have a large load to ship from China to Sweden, an FCL service will see your cargo loaded into a 20 or 40ft container. For smaller LCL shipments, your sea freight will share container space with other businesses shipping goods.

Freight forwarders, like Shipa Freight, can load your international shipment into a container at a number of ports in China, ready for the long journey to one of Sweden’s four main ports. You can choose your ideal port of origin and arrival, and select from our door-to-door, port-to-port, door-to-port or port-to-door services.

Considerations for LCL Freight Shipping

When you choose LCL shipping for ocean freight from China to Sweden, your freight will share container space with cargo from other companies. As a result, LCL typically takes longer than FCL. Your goods will be stored in a consolidation warehouse in China until departure, and be held in a de-consolidation warehouse in Sweden before discharge and delivery to your chosen destination.

Considerations for FCL Freight Shipping

FCL means you get one or more 20ft or 40ft containers exclusively for your shipment. So, if your cargo is large enough, FCL is worth considering as it’s the quickest way to send ocean freight from China to Sweden. Cargo handlers will seal your container in your Chinese port of choice and, unless customs officials decide otherwise, it will remain sealed until arrival at your chosen destination in Sweden.

Air Freight

When ocean freight timings can’t meet the urgency of your business needs, turn to air freight. It’s significantly faster.

Direct flights to Sweden take-off from Shanghai-Pudong, Shenzhen and Fuzhou. As with ocean shipping services, you can choose port-to-port, port-to-door, door-to-port or door-to-door to meet the needs of your business.

We recommend you consider air shipping not only because of the quicker transit time, but also when:

  • Your cargo is perishable.
  • You want the highest levels of security in transit.
  • Your pick-up and drop-off points are nearer to airports than seaports.
  • You want to pay less insurance for your consignment.
  • Your goods can be shipped on a small number of pallets.

Ocean Cargo Port Guide

Cargo Ports of Origin in China


Port Facts:

  • Largest port in northern China, and also the world’s ninth-largest container gateway.
  • Good option if your goods for export to Sweden originate in the Chinese capital, Beijing.
  • Over 115 container routes connect with the port.

Owned By: Tianjin Port Group Ltd.

Annual Container Volume: >16 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Rated the world’s best-connected port in 2019.
  • The world’s largest port, with regular shipments to Sweden.
  • Offers fast connections from the city that shares its name, as well as other locations in Zhejiang and Jiangsu.

Owned By: Shanghai International Port Company Ltd.

Annual Container Volume: >40 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Known as ‘The Gateway To The Pacific”.
  • China’s second-largest container shipment hub.
  • Most northerly ice-free port in the country.

Owned By: Dalian Port Group Company Ltd.

Annual Container Volume: >9 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Offers an ultra-efficient vessel loading processes, thanks to advanced technological facilities.
  • Has five terminals.
  • Attractive alternative to the nearby Port of Shanghai.

Owned By: Ningbo-Zhousan Port Company Ltd.

Annual Container Volume: >26 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Boasts nine container terminals
  • A world top-ten container port.
  • Can handle sixth-generation container vessels.
  • Is a stop-off port for trade routes serving over 50 countries, including Sweden.

Owned By: Xiamen Port Authority.

Annual Container Volume: >10 million TEUs.


Other Ports in China

In addition to these ports, there are several more gateways in China from where your consignment to Sweden can begin its journey. They include:

  • Nansha
  • Wuhan
  • Zhuhai
  • Dalian
  • Shenzhen
  • Changsha
  • Chongqing
  • Lianyungang
  • Qinzhou
  • Qingdao
  • Zhongshan
  • Guangzhou
  • Fuzhou
  • Shantou
  • Nanjing

Cargo Ports of Arrival in Sweden


Port Facts:

  • One of Sweden’s most popular ports and its second-biggest.
  • Located in the Oresund Strait.
  • An important shipping and logistics hub.
  • Offers excellent road and rail links.

Owned By: Helsingborg Hamn AB.

Annual Container Volume: >280,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • The Nordic region’s largest port, serving Norway as well as Sweden.
  • Primary imports handled at this combined coastal and river port are food and textiles.
  • Has specialist container terminals where your consignment from China will be discharged.
  • Can accommodate the largest shipping vessels.

Owned By: City of Gothenburg.

Annual Container Volume: >860,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Able to accommodate vessels over 500ft long.
  • Has several freight handling ports.
  • Main container gateway boasts an average container handling time of eight minutes.
  • Can also handle bulk cargo.
  • A brand new container terminal opened here in May 2020.

Owned By: City of Stockholm.

Annual Container Volume: >57,400 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Consignment from China will be discharged at the Pampus terminal.
  • Frequent rail services and direct road routes serving Sweden’s hinterland.
  • Specializes in handling consumer goods bound for the region’s many warehouses and distribution centers.

Owned By: Norrkopings Hamn Och Stuveri AB.

Annual Container Volume: >132,000 TEUs.


Flying Your Freight: Airport Guide

###Airports of Origin in China


Airport Facts:

  • Only airports in Memphis and Hong Kong handle more air freight annually than Shanghai.
  • 3.7 million tonnes of cargo were handled by freight teams in 2018.
  • Your consignment can be flown directly to Stockholm in as little as eight days.

Swedish Airports Served: Stockholm-Arlanda.

Shanghai-Pudong to Sweden Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Has recently opened a second runway and new terminal.
  • With direct flights to Malmo-Sturup, it’s a good take-off point for your shipment to Sweden.
  • Ideal for any supplier based in the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone.

Swedish Airports Served: Malmo-Sturup.

Shenzhen to Sweden Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Located in Fujian Province.
  • Relatively new airport (opened in 1997) serving the region.
  • Already ranks in the world’s top-30 busiest cargo hubs.
  • Has been cleared for further expansion during the next decade.

Swedish Airports Served: Gothenburg.

Fuzhou to Sweden Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Other Airports in China

As an international freight forwarder, Shipa Freight is able to book your consignment to Sweden on flights from these airports in China, some of which offer indirect flights only: Guangzhou, Chengdu, Beijing, Qingdao, Wuhan, Xiamen, Zhengzhou and Shanghai Hongqiao

Airports of Arrival in Sweden


Airport Facts:

  • Located 37 kilometers north of the Swedish capital.
  • Largest of the city’s two airports.
  • Home to Cargo City, with a number of international airlines operating cargo flights.
  • Only airport in Sweden with direct flights from Shanghai.

Connected Airports in China: Shanghai-Pudong.

China to Stockholm-Arlanda Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Sweden’s second-largest airport.
  • An important freight hub in the Nordic region.
  • Located only 20 kilometers outside the city center.
  • Once your air freight is discharged, it’s quick and easy to transport it into Gothenburg and beyond.

Connected Airports in China: Fuzhou.

China to Gothenburg Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Sweden’s fourth-busiest airport.
  • Situated 28 kilometers east of Malmo city.
  • Has two cargo terminals ready to receive your shipment from China via a direct flight from Shenzhen.

Connected Airports in China: Shenzhen.

China to Malmo-Sturup Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Other Airports in Sweden

There are two other airports in Sweden at which Shipa Freight can discharge your cargo from China: Jonkoping and Norrkoping.

Why Ship From China to Sweden With Shipa Freight?

With a reliable partner, you can import from China to Sweden safely and in time. With Shipa Freight, you are in the experienced hands of a digital-first, online-only enterprise at the forefront of freight forwarding. We can satisfy all of your logistics needs – whether you prefer air or ocean freight.

Our goal is to simplify your supply chain with our state-of-the-art online portal. It allows you to manage your full shipment process in one place. No need to coordinate multiple agencies any longer.

Your benefits when you ship with us:

  • Get quotes online in an instant.
  • Book directly online without losing time.
  • Prepare the right shipping documentation with our help.
  • No stress with customs complexities – let us handle it.
  • All your imports and exports on one single online platform.
  • Get 24/7 support from our friendly customer service team.
  • Always be in compliance with international shipping rules and regulations.

Know Your Shipping Terminology

Building an understanding of the language of shipping can help you communicate more effectively with shipping experts. That’s why we’re defining some of the confusing jargon in common usage. You’ll find two industry-specific terms below, and there are more on our other country-to-country pages.

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