How can I avoid high shipping costs when purchasing from 1688 suppliers?

It is true that you can source merchandise and inventory at very low prices on 1688, but one of the problems many businesses face is shipping exports from China, which many Alibaba sellers charge very high freight rates for.

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Avoiding high shipping costs when purchasing from 1688 suppliers requires careful planning, negotiation, and consideration of various factors. Here are several strategies to help you minimize shipping costs:

  1. Consolidate Shipments: Whenever possible, consolidate multiple orders into a single shipment. By combining orders from multiple suppliers into one shipment, you can reduce the number of individual packages and lower overall shipping costs. Coordinate with your suppliers to arrange consolidated shipments, taking advantage of bulk discounts and volume pricing.
  2. Choose Economical Shipping Methods: Consider opting for slower but more economical shipping methods, such as sea freight or standard air freight, instead of express shipping services. While these options may have longer transit times, they typically offer lower shipping rates, making them more cost-effective for larger shipments.
  3. Negotiate Shipping Rates: Negotiate shipping rates with your suppliers or use a freight forwarder to negotiate on your behalf. Discuss various shipping options, carriers, and routes to find the most cost-effective solution for your shipment. Suppliers may be willing to offer discounts on shipping rates, especially for large or regular orders.
  4. Optimize Packaging and Weight: Minimize packaging size and weight to reduce shipping costs. Request that suppliers use lightweight packaging materials and avoid excessive padding or unnecessary packaging. Optimize product packaging to maximize space utilization within shipping containers or packages, reducing the overall weight and volume of the shipment.
  5. Utilize Freight Consolidators: Consider using freight consolidators or shipping agents to consolidate shipments from multiple suppliers. Freight consolidators specialize in combining smaller shipments into larger, more cost-effective loads for transportation. They can negotiate better rates with carriers and optimize logistics to reduce shipping costs.
  6. Explore Alternative Shipping Routes: Research alternative shipping routes or transportation modes to find cheaper shipping options. Compare shipping rates for different routes, carriers, and transit times to identify the most cost-effective solution for your shipment. Consider transshipping through intermediate ports or using rail or trucking services for inland transportation to save on shipping costs.
  7. Plan Ahead and Order in Bulk: Plan your orders in advance and order in bulk to take advantage of lower shipping rates for larger volumes. By consolidating orders and ordering in bulk, you can spread out shipping costs over a larger number of products, reducing the per-unit shipping cost. Coordinate with suppliers to schedule regular shipments or batch orders to maximize cost savings.
  8. Consider Incoterms: Familiarize yourself with International Commercial Terms (Incoterms) and choose terms that allocate shipping costs in a cost-effective manner. Negotiate with suppliers to select Incoterms that minimize shipping costs for your specific situation, whether it’s Ex Works (EXW), Free on Board (FOB), or Cost, Insurance, and Freight (CIF).

By implementing these strategies and taking a proactive approach to managing shipping costs, you can effectively reduce the expense of purchasing from 1688 suppliers. Remember to communicate openly with suppliers, explore various shipping options, and utilize negotiation strategies to secure the best shipping price for your goods. If you do not speak Chinese, it is most convenient to choose a freight forwarder, choose TWINSWIN we will solve all the problems for you.

Compare 1688 Shipping Methods

Shipping MethodProsConsPort to PortDoor to DoorPrice
ExpressFastest SafetyDoor to door service High costLimitation on product category and cbm2-5 days$5-$15
Air FreightFast delivery20% cheaper than courierExtensive global reachIncreased goods safetyHigh costLimitation on size and weightWeather cause delays1-5 days4-11 days$4-$8
Sea Freight(LCL)Cheap costNo limit on the size and weightEco-friendlyTime consumingServer delay during peak season14-42 days19-47 days$2-$2.5
Sea Freight(FCL)14-42 days22-50 days$3,000-5,000
Rail ShippingFast than sea shippingLarge transport capacityCost 10-30% higher than sea freightLimited operating linesLess flexibility15-18 days20-30 days

Whether you need to consolidate, repack, or ship from China via the most economical shipping route such as ocean freight, TWINSWIN can help you do it all. Let your factories, manufacturers and suppliers send your goods from Alibaba and other platforms to TWINSWIN warehouses in China, and we’ll help you consolidate, repack and ship internationally via the most economical routes.

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