It is a fact: buying from China has never been so easy and the number of people choosing to buy Chinese products through eCommerce websites is increasing every day.
The web allows you to find any product that your heart desires at any price you want, but more importantly, online sales have already surpassed the sales in physical stores.
When you buy online you don’t waste time, it’s quick, simple and much more comfortable, since the products you purchase will be delivered directly to your doorstep. There is, however, a very important and critical aspect for buyers, which is the possibility to track a package from China to its destination Country, to follow its movements and to estimate its delivery times.
How often it happened to you, or to a friend of yours, that a package was lost, that it has never reached its destination, that it arrived with a huge delay or that you had to pay additional taxes on the shipped products?
This article will help you understand which are the most used shipping methods by Chinese eCommerce and how to track a package from China.
Shipping Methods Used
When buying a product on a Chinese marketplace, it is important to choose the shipping method well. In fact, different shipping methods have different shipping times, different priorities and different services.
Let’s see why they are important:
- shipping times: depending on the method chosen, the timing obviously changes, normally the method offered for free is always the one with the slowest delivery.
- different priorities: standard shipping (usually those offered for free) have a lower priority than express shipping. This means that especially in times of congestion (after Christmas or when reopening after Chinese New Year) express shipments will be shipped earlier, while standard shipments will be delayed.
- standard services: what happens if the person is not at home or if the address is not found, often the standard shipping services do not offer any kind of guarantee in these cases and the package is simply lost, while the express services normally offer two attempts to deliver and refund in case of loss.
It is therefore important to choose the best shipping method for us. Let’s see together which are the main ones generally used by Chinese marketplaces.
- YunTrack / Special Line: Express express mail with shipments to Tier one countries in 3-8 business days
- DHL: express delivery with delivery even in 3-4 working days but quite expensive
- China Post Small Packet: standard mail with delivery in over one month
- Singapore Post Air Mail: Standard mail with delivery in over a month
- Malaysia Post: standard mail with delivery in over a month
- Hong Kong Post: Standard post with delivery in over a month
- China EMS or ePacket: China postal service offer express mail, better than standard service but slower than standard postal service.Deliveries in about 15-20 business days
- Aliexpress standard: Aliexpress shipping method with delivery in approximately two working weeks.
Track a package from China: A matter of Numbers
Let us reassure you that it is very possible to track a package from China, however, you have to understand how shipments from China work and what tools to use. Quite often Chinese suppliers offer “free shipping” options, however, in these cases they ship the goods with the cheapest and slowest providers they can find.
You can easily understand the service used to ship a package by simply looking at its tracking number. Usually, the tracking number for packages from China starts with: alphabetical character + 9 numbers + 2 alphabetical characters. The information provided by these tracking numbers will show you the timings, the location of the package and some other additional info.
Each company uses different codes, here’s a list of the primary shipping providers:
- China Post Small Packet shipments present a tracking number composed by 11 numbers and its shipping time is between 30 and 40 business days.
- China Post Air Mail shipments trackings start with RR + 9 numbers + CN and shipping time is between 30 and 40 business days.
- Singapore Post Air Mail shipments start with RR followed by 9 numbers + SG, shipping time between 30 and 40 business days.
- Malaysia Post shipments tracking codes are composed of 11 numbers + the letters MY, estimated shipping time of 35/45 business days.
- Hong Kong Post shipments start with RR + 9 numbers + HK, delivery in 25/35 business days.
- China EMS or ePacket tracking numbers start with RR + 9 numbers + CN or with LT + 9 numbers + CN, delivery time estimated in 7/15 business days
- Special Line shipments’ tracking codes start with YT + 16 numbers, Special Line is the fastest shipping service available with an estimated delivery time of 5-12 business days.
Need Further details? Check these 2 guides|
How to track a package from China: Useful Websites
Once you have found, your tracking code, you can locate your package using one of the websites below. This paragraph will provide you with a list of very useful websites that will help you to track a package from China to its destination Country. We hope that it will be useful to people who buy products online and need to track a package from China:
- 17track.net: is a pretty handy portal to track packages from China and it is translated in quite a few languages! It is very easy to use, you simply copy-past your tracking number on the homepage and click on “track” to find the progress of the shipping of your package.
- sao.cn: could be very helpful but…only for Chinese-speaking people! Unfortunately, this website does not work in English!
- China Post: is the website you need to track a package on Chinese soil, its peculiarity is that it allows you to sign up to a forum to ask questions and suggestions to other registered users.
- Parcel App: it is a private and free app that allows you to track packaging shipped out with more than 100 different couriers. This website can also recognize a tracking number and give you the name of the courier used for your delivery.
There are other good websites that could help you to track a package from China, like Singapore Post or Pagetracker; however, you might need to wait for a few days before the actual shipping, after that it will be possible to find out the next stages of the shipment even after it has left China.
Last but not least, be sure not to forget about the Customs! Has it ever happened to you that when you receive a package you will be also requested additional money to be paid? The amount you might pay depends on the customs costs and duties imposed on the ordered products.
Watch the video below
Shipping and Customs
Has it ever happened to you that the courier asked you for additional money upon delivery of your package from China?
Did it seem strange to you? It really isn’t. In fact, according to EU law, all goods purchased online from outside must pay VAT and duties like normal goods, so if the seller does not bear these costs, they fall on the customer.
When buying from China online, it is good to make sure who has to pay these costs or rather whether they are already calculated in the price you are paying at the time of purchase or not.
How to track a package if buying in bulk
Nowadays, there are a lot of entrepreneurs who buy products from China through online platforms such as Aliexpress.
In this case, the choice falls first of all on the type of shipment:
- Aerial Shipping
- Train Shipping
- Shipping via Sea
- Shipping via Truck
Then, on the type of Incoterm offered by the supplier and therefore on the tracking of the shipment.
Important: always request tracking from your supplier even for bulk shipments. Each expedition has one.
Once found, you can enter it on the 17track.net While bulk shipments are more difficult to track, this service should cover the majority of forwarders shipping from China.
Shipping and Dropshipping
Are you an entrepreneur and do you shop in dropshipping? You will certainly need to track your parcels from China too.
In fact, delays in shipments often damage not only final customers, but also eCommerce owners
While trying to provide a complete and safe service to your customers, when it comes to dropshipping you often have no way of controlling what happens during shipping.
What often happens is that a Chinese supplier claims to use a certain type of fast shipping (e.g. e-Packet), but then uses a cheaper and slower one.
One way to check how your goods are shipped is to check that the shipping code matches the one requested.
In general, however, it is good practice to rely on certified dropshipping suppliers, able to certify the shipping method used.
The Perfect Solution
Surely, if you buy products from China for your business it would be good to rely on a reliable and professional partner.
A partner like Yakkyofy who guarantees a tracking code for each shipment in both dropshipping and wholesale and who takes care of calculating all the costs up to the delivery of the goods.
Of course there can always be some problems, no one can control hurricanes or sudden snowstorms – the weather is a major cause of delay in shipments.
However, a reliable partner is able to professionally calculate actual shipping times, warn you in advance when there are problems and advise you on the best shipping methods for your needs.
And as far as customs are concerned, the goods are often stopped also due to documentation problems. You may have bought products that cannot enter the Italian territory.
The only way to be sure that your goods arrive is to rely on a company that takes care not only of logistics, but also of sourcing and that checks in advance all the documentation necessary for entry into Europe.
Rely on Yakkyofy, we are the first partner in Italy for the import of products from China both wholesale and dropshipping.
Thanks to our software, all order management operations are fast and automated and thanks to our team in China, we are able to buy products directly from Chinese factories and test their quality.
With us you can not only be sure that the shipment reflects what you paid for, but you can have more stable and regular timing.
With Yakkyofy you will also receive information on the status of your shipment directly within our dashboard, without having to pay for additional services.
In short, with Yakkyofy you can buy products from China, organize and track their shipments in a clear and safe way!