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FAQ - Low Volume Orders

Can I order various products in small quantities and combine them to make a bigger shipment?

If the products are from one supplier the answer is probably yes.

If the products are from different suppliers the cost of the inland freight in China will probably make the consolidated shipment uneconomical.

Like in western countries inland transportation in China is many times more expensive than sea freight.

What is the minimum quantity in order to place an order?

There is no minimum as such.

There are, however, a number of fixed costs that apply regardless as to whether the shipment is for one piece or for 10,000 pieces:

  • Inland transportation within China (minimum and variable)
  • Export license from China
  • Minimum sea freight charge
  • Destination country port charges
  • Destination country freight forwarder handling charges
  • Destination country inland transportation

In addition many Chinese suppliers have minimum order quantities.

So, while low order quantities are possible, frequently the fixed shipping and handling costs in both China and the destination country make it uneconomical (non-competitive) to purchase low quantities from China. These uneconomical quantities can vary depending on the value of the product. As a general rule a shipment will start becoming economical (competitive) around US$6,000 (UK£4,000).