It has never been easier to buy from China, and the number of people who choose to do so through eCommerce websites is growing every day.
You can find any product you want at any price you want on the Internet. More importantly, online sales have already surpassed sales in stores.
When you shop online, you don’t have to waste time. It’s quick, easy, and much more convenient because the things you buy will be sent right to your door. There is, however, a very important and crucial part for buyers: the ability to track a package from China to its destination country, to see where it is and how long it will take to get there.
How often has it happened to you or a friend that a package was lost, never arrived at its destination, took a long time to get there, or you had to pay extra taxes on the items that were shipped?
This article will tell you how to track a package from China and which shipping methods Chinese eCommerce stores use the most.
Shipping Methods Used
When you buy something on a Chinese market, it’s important to pick the right shipping method. In fact, there are different shipping times, priorities, and services for each shipping method.
Let’s look at why they matter:
Shipping times vary depending on which shipping method you choose. Generally, the free shipping method is always the one with the slowest delivery.
Standard shipping and express shipping have different priorities. Standard shipping, which is usually free, has a lower priority than express shipping. This means that when there are a lot of packages (like after Christmas or when the post office reopens after Chinese New Year), standard packages will be sent later than express packages.
standard services: What happens if the person isn’t home or if the address can’t be found? Often, standard shipping services don’t offer any kind of guarantee in these cases, and the package is just lost. Express services, on the other hand, usually make two attempts to deliver and give a refund if the package is lost.
So, it is important to choose the best way for us to ship. Let’s find out together which ones are most often used in Chinese markets.
YunTrack/Special Line: Express express mail that gets to Tier one countries in 3–8 business days
DHL offers express shipping with delivery in as few as 3–4 business days, but it is very pricey.
China Post Small Packet is standard mail that takes more than a month to get there.
Singapore Post Air Mail is standard mail that takes more than a month to arrive.
Malaysia Standard mail takes more than a month to arrive.
Hong Kong Post: Standard mail takes more than a month to arrive
China EMS or ePacket: The China Post offers express mail, which is better than regular mail but slower than regular mail. About 15-20 business days for delivery.
Aliexpress standard: Aliexpress’s shipping method that takes about two weeks to get to its destination.
Find out about a package from China
Track a package from China: A matter of Numbers
Let us reassure you that it is possible to track a package from China. You just need to know how shipments from China work and what tools to use. A lot of Chinese suppliers offer “free shipping,” but when they do, they use the cheapest and slowest shipping company they can find.
If you look at a package’s tracking number, it’s easy to figure out what service was used to send it. Most of the time, the tracking number for a package from China starts with a letter, then 9 numbers, then 2 letters. The information from these tracking numbers will tell you when the package will arrive, where it is, and a few other things.
Each shipping company has its own codes. Here is a list of the main ones:
China Post Small Packet shipments show a tracking number with 11 numbers, and the time it takes to ship is between 30 and 40 business days.
China Post Air Mail shipments Tracking starts with RR + 9 + CN, and it takes between 30 and 40 business days to ship.
Singapore Post Air Mail shipments start with RR, then 9 numbers, and SG, and the time it takes to ship is between 30 and 40 business days.
Malaysia Post shipments 11 numbers and the letter MY make up a tracking code. The estimated shipping time is 35–45 business days.
Hong Kong Post shipments Start with RR + 9 + HK, and you’ll get your package in 25–35 business days.
China EMS or ePacket tracking numbers start with RR + 9 + CN or LT + 9 + CN, the estimated delivery time is 7–15 business days.
Special Line shipments’ Special Line is the fastest shipping service, with an estimated delivery time of 5–12 business days. Tracking codes start with YT + 16 numbers.
How to track a package from China: Useful Websites
Once you have your tracking number, you can use one of the sites below to find your package. This paragraph will give you a list of very helpful websites that you can use to track a package from China to the country where it is going. We hope it will help people who buy things online and need to know where their packages from China are:
17track.net is a pretty useful website for tracking packages from China, and it’s available in a lot of different languages. It’s very easy to use—just copy and paste your tracking number onto the homepage and click “Track” to find out where your package is in the shipping process.
sao.cn could be very useful, but… only for people who speak Chinese! This website doesn’t work in English, which is too bad!
China Post is the website you need to use to track a package in China. It is unique in that it lets you sign up for a forum where you can talk to other registered users and ask them questions or make suggestions.
Parcel App is a private, free app that lets you track packages sent out with more than 100 different couriers. This website can also recognize a tracking number and tell you who delivered your package.
There are other good websites, like Singapore Post or Pagetracker, that could help you track a package from China. You might have to wait a few days before the actual shipping, but after that, you’ll be able to find out where the package is even after it has left China.
Last but not least, don’t forget to take care of Customs! Has it ever happened to you that when you got a package, you were also asked for more money? The amount you might have to pay depends on how much the goods you ordered cost in customs fees and duties.
Shipping and Customs
Has it ever happened to you that the courier who brought your package from China asked you for more money?
Did it seem strange to you? It’s not at all. In fact, EU law says that VAT and duties must be paid on all goods bought online from outside the EU. If the seller doesn’t pay these costs, the customer does.
When you buy something online from China, you should find out who is responsible for these costs or if they are already included in the price you pay.
How to track a package if buying in bulk
These days, a lot of business owners buy goods from China through online marketplaces like Aliexpress.
Getting high-quality goods from China
In this case, the first thing to consider is the kind of shipment:
Train Shipping Shipping via Sea Shipping via Truck
Then, on the type of Incoterm the supplier offers and, by extension, on how the shipment can be tracked.
It’s important to always ask your supplier to track your shipment, even if it’s a big one. Each trip has its own.
When you find it, you can put it on 17track.net. Even though it’s harder to track bulk shipments, this service should cover most forwarders who ship from China.
Shipping and Dropshipping
Are you a business owner? Do you use dropshipping? You’ll also have to track your packages from China.
In fact, shipping delays often hurt not only the end customers but also the people who own eCommerce stores.
When dropshipping, you don’t always have control over what happens during shipping, even if you want to give your customers a full and safe service.
Often, a Chinese seller will say they use a certain fast shipping method, like e-Packet, but then use a cheaper one that takes longer.
Checking that the shipping code matches the one you asked for is one way to see how your goods are sent.
In general, though, it’s best to work with certified dropshipping suppliers who can vouch for the shipping method they use.
The Perfect Solution
If you buy products from China for your business, you should definitely work with a dependable and experienced partner.
A partner that gives you a tracking number for every shipment, whether you’re doing dropshipping or wholesale, and figures out all the costs up to the point where the goods are delivered.
There will always be problems. No one can stop hurricanes or sudden snowstorms, and bad weather is the main reason why shipments are late.
But a trustworthy partner can figure out the real shipping times, let you know ahead of time when there are problems, and give you advice on the best shipping methods for your needs.
And when it comes to customs, the goods are often held up because of problems with the paperwork.