The Postal System in China 8/18/2015BY SBORTO ZHOU 25 COMMENTS Compartir InCompartir China postal system The postal system in China is probably one of the most economical and efficient in the world, in this article I will make a short description of the different needs, shipping possibilities that exist and what advantages disadvantages presents each service. Below I list the different points that I will try. Shipping within China Documents : ordinary mail, express mail, international companies; Packages : China Post, Chinese and foreign private enterprises; Large Volumes : Removal companies . Prohibited Items Shipping outside China Documents : China Post, international companies; Packages: Shipping systems and modalities with China Post and international companies; Large volumes : Modalities and shipping options. Prohibited Items Shipping to China Documents : Ordinary mail, international messaging. Large Packages and Volumes : Prohibited Items, Shipping Modes and Options. Shipping within China The system of shipments within China is extremely complex because of the number of public and private companies that offer this service, in this section I will try to detail the best options for each type of need. Documents For the sending of documents although there is the possibility of sending ordinary mail going to any office of China Post, it is not recommended since it is little used in China and does not offer many guarantees. In my opinion the best option is to use the China Post priority service called EMS , since it is extremely economical (an EMS shipment within China of less than 500g costs 20 Yuan), reliable and efficient. To send documents by EMS you only have to go to the post office and ask for å¿«é€’ (kuaidi), or call (or fill out the form on the internet) so that they come to collect the documents. The big problem I see with EMS is that, as a general rule, its staff do not speak English and you must fill out the shipping documents in Chinese (although the documents are translated into English). The staff at the post office will not help you fill them out for you (they are not authorized) and they have to be filled by hand, meaning that if you do not know how to write Chinese you are going to have a problem. No matter how much you have written the address on your mobile or on a paper no official will write it for you on the form. Another very good option is the private company Shunfeng , which, despite being slightly more expensive than EMS, enjoys an excellent reputation in China, offers part of the service in English and also serves to send documents to some international destinations such as Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, United States, Russia, among others. The other option is to use the international courier services that also operate in China like DHL, FedEx or UPS, as they have English speaking staff and will help you fill out the documentation. Personally I do not recommend it since its prices are extremely high compared to EMS (between 5 and 10 times more). For example sending documents within Beijing with DHL costs just over 100 Yuan. packages To send small packages up to 30 kg the situation is similar to the above, can be sent by China Post, EMS or by international courier services. However, in my opinion it is preferable to use one of the Chinese private companies. In China, online shopping is extremely popular, so many courier companies have been shipping packages from one place to another. These companies are extremely reliable, efficient and inexpensive. Some of the most popular are Shunfeng (é€Ÿ è¿ è¿), Yunda (è¾¾ å¿«é€’ å¿«é€’) and ZTO Express (ä¸ å¿«é€’ å¿«é€’). Sending packages with these companies is relatively simple, since in most big cities you can find hundreds of delivery people waiting in the street to deliver their packages, especially in universities and large housing complexes. You simply give the package and the address to one of those dealers and they will take care of the rest. It is very important to make sure that the packages are well protected against knocks, because normally they are not treated very carefully. However, do not worry too much about it since messengers will help you to pack properly. Remember not to close the packets before delivering them, as they will usually check that they are sent (you can see below that articles that are prohibited to send). As a reference send a package of 20Kg with EMS from Beijing to Shanghai costs around 250 Yuan. Prohibited Items The law states that the following products can not be mailed: Explosive, flammable, erosive, radioactive and toxic articles; Diaries or periodicals, books that are harmful to the interests of the People's Republic of China; Foreign exchange; Articles harmful to public health; Perishable articles; Live animals (unless properly packaged: bees, silkworms and leeches); Items that may put other postal materials or personal safety at risk if they are improperly packaged; Other items not eligible to ship As usual Chinese law has a last paragraph of free interpretation to be able to tighten regulation if necessary at a specific time. Large Volumes To order objects that exceed 30 kg or the standard dimensions of the boxes you will have to hire a removal company as none of the companies mentioned above will accept them. In addition if the number of packages is large (although they do not exceed 30 kg) it is also advisable to hire one of these companies, since the price will be lower and door to door service. I will not mention any particular company, because they vary a lot between cities and in general the prices are similar between them. To give you an idea, send a washing machine, a small electric bicycle and a large box of Beijing to a city located 700 km round the 500 Yuan. Shipping outside China Documentation Like shipments within China, in my opinion the best option is still to use EMS (China Post's priority shipping system) because it is efficient, fast and cheap. You can opt for a conventional shipment, but the transit time will be much longer and with less guarantees of loss, also when it arrives in the destination country will be processed by the national postal system, so it depends a lot on how much you rely on the system National of the country of destination. The last option is to opt for the international messaging systems that despite being much more expensive than EMS offer customer service in English. For certain countries Shunfeng can also be a very good choice. For an approximate idea of â€‹â€‹the prices: To send documents of 200g of Beijing to Madrid costs about 20 Yuan with conventional mail, 220 Yuan with EMS and 375 Yuan with DHL. If we send the same documents from Shanghai to New York it costs about 20 Yuan with conventional mail, 180 Yuan with EMS and between 290 and 400 Yuan with DHL. packages As a general rule to send packages outside of China I recommend using China Post which offers the following shipping methods: AIR (å‡½ä»¶ èµ„ èµ„) : Packages are transported by air, is the fastest method (it takes about 7-15 days to reach destination), but also the most expensive. SAL (Surface Air Lifted, æ°´é™†è·¯ å‡½ä»¶ èµ„ èµ„) : This is a combined system, that is to say that terrestrial or maritime means are used within countries, but aviation between countries. This is a good system as it is fast (15-20 days) and more economical than air. SURFACE (é™† å‡½ä»¶ èµ„ èµ„) : The package is transported by land and sea only. This is the cheapest method, but also the slowest (40 - 70 days). Although generally you have to be very careful to protect well what you put inside the packages, in this system is of special importance: The packages will suffer heavy blows, high pressures, humidity and even can be attacked by the rats. Regarding the different services offered by China Post: China Post Mail : It is the most economical and also the slowest system. It is suitable for large packages (maximum 30 kg) or small (maximum 2 kg and high, width or length can not exceed 60 cm and 90 cm). It is recognized because its tracking numbers begin with the letter R, P or V, for small packets and C for large packets. This option for AIR can take between 5-20 days, for SAL about one month and for SURFACE about 2 months EUB : This is the priority system for small packages and it is recognized because the tracking number starts with the letter L or A. Packages usually reach their destination between 7 and 10 working days. EMS : It is also a priority system but allows larger packages. The limit varies between 20 and 40kg depending on the country of destination. This system is identified by its tracking number that begins with E. Although its price is considerably higher than the China Post Mail, it only takes about 7 working days to reach destination. Because EMS does not cover all countries, there is a hybrid EMS-TNT system called China International Express which is virtually the same as EMS but is identified by its tracking number which instead of starting with E does by CT. If your intention is to send a large number of packages I recommend the options that I propose in the next section (large volumes). Although I recommend China Post Mail in its different versions, you can always turn to EMS, Shunfeng, TNT, DHL, Fedex or UPS if the package is required to arrive in the shortest possible time, obviously the prices with these systems skyrocket a bit. As an example you can consult the following table to know the approximate prices of each service (in Yuan). EUROPE 1KG * USA 1KG * EUROPE 20KG USA 20KG China Post (SURFACE) 48 48 350 - 650 480 China Post Mail (SAL) 80-90 90 950-1050 1.100 China Post Mail (Air) 80-90 90 1,500 - 1,700 2,000 EUB 100 85 - 105 Do not Do not EMS 275 255 3,200 3.100 DHL 430 ** 500 *** 4,500 ** 4.500 *** * Small package: Height, width and length less than 60 cm and the sum of the three less than 90 cm. ** Approximate estimate Beijing-Rome *** Calculation approximate Shanghai-New York Large Volumes When it is decided to send large objects, heavy objects or large quantities of packages can not or does not make sense to send them with the above mentioned methods and a specialized transport company must be hired. Although it can be ordered by weight, the most normal thing is to do it by volume. In this case the price is not linear if not to be charged proportionally, ie to more volume cheaper the cubic meter leaves. Normally the minimum volume is about three cubic meters. The shipping methods are the same as in the previous section, ie AIR, SAL and SURFACE. To give you an idea to send three cubic meters of China to Europe by SURFACE costs about 6,000 Yuan and five cubic meters 7,000 Yuan. Obviously if you manage to fill a container the price per cubic meter will also be much lower. Please note that this does not include customs and unloading rates in the destination country. Prohibited Items Although the list may vary by destination country, these are items that can not be shipped from China: Weapons, imitation weapons (toys, etc.), and military explosives; National currency (in cash, etc.); Articles that are state secrets or harmful to China's politics, culture and morals; All kinds of powerful poisons such as thallium and cyanide; Hazardous chemicals, biochemical items, infectious or explosive elements (fireworks, gas, gasoline, alcohol, sulfuric acid, paint, etc.) or powder; Addictive narcotics, psychotropic substances; Foods that are harmful to human and animal health or from infected areas. Polluting wastes such as medical waste, chemical waste, industry waste and so on; Valuable antiques; Earth, animal corpses, pathogens (including viruses, poisonous seeds) and other poisonous creatures. Also keep in mind that there are a number of articles that may require special permits, such as food. Shipping to China This section is going to be treated very generally, as it will depend a lot on the country of origin of the shipment. Documentation To send documentation to China normally with a certified conventional mail should be worth. However, if the shipment is made to a particular address, I would recommend sending via courier. In China many addresses do not have well-equipped mailboxes and the package or notification can easily be mislaid. In the same way it is advisable to use express or courier services if the documentation is urgent. Packages and Large Volumes The shipping regulations and the suitability of a shipping system or another will vary greatly depending on the country of origin, in general and to avoid costs for small shipments I recommend the conventional postal system, but always certified, as Chinese customs may Be complicated and retain packages for long times which if not certified can easily be lost. For larger shipments I recommend using the services of specialized companies that have experience with Chinese customs. As a general rule, the following shipping methods are available: Aerial : Packages are transported by air, is the fastest method, but also the most expensive. SAL (Surface Air Lifted) : This is a combined system, that is to say that terrestrial or maritime means are used within the countries but aerial between the countries. This is a good system as it is faster and cheaper than the air. You can check here if the country of origin of the shipment has this system and who offers it. SURFACE : The package is transported by terrestrial and marine means exclusively. This is the cheapest method, but also the slowest (it can take months). Be sure to protect packs well against shock, high pressure, humidity and even rodents. Items prohibited from being sent to China are the same items that can not be shipped from China (see previous section). 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