Import a container from China (Alibaba)

Yes, the import is a gold mine when done right. And it’s fun. Real trading.


If you buy a whole container (which is often the most affordable option), you can buy the freight to the port by the manufacturer. You want to ask for sea freight named CIF. Like CIF Gothenburg, or CIF Stockholm. This means that they will arrange everything with the freight to the port in Sweden (or your location). beware of the FOB. Ex. FOB Shanghai, etc. FOB means that the goods are delivered to the dock in the port they enter. FOB Shanghai means that your container is delivered to the dock in Shanghai where you then have to arrange the rest your self. Very doable, but often a bit more expensive. If you buy with FOB companies like DHL can arrange for the container to get from the port in China (or where ever) to your warehouse.

Once in port, the goods must clear customs. It helps to have a port agent. Port Agent’s are specified in your Bill of Lading. Papers like the Bill of Lading, Invoice and Packing List will be sent to you from the manufacturer that sent the goods within two weeks after they left his factory. The papers are used to declare the goods. The port agent helps you with this.

As for freight from the port, you can if you have good contacts in the haulage industry, ask for help or request port agent to help with transportation. You then get a truck that transports the container to where you want the goods delivered. Then you have to unload them. Your goods can come on pallets. Then it might be a good idea to get hold of a farmer or so who can come and help you with loader or forklift. Alternatively, you can call in some friends to help out. The truck then takes the container with them to the port again.

If you are importing to Sweden, you can find your duties HERE

Costs for Port Agent and declaring the goods usually ends up around 3 000 SEK. Check with a hauling company tor freight costs to your warehouse.

As for PAYMENTS, here are some tips:

Check that it is a solid producer. Preferbly a Gold Supplier. Check their reviews. Read comments. Make sure they have been members of Alibaba for at least 1 year.

When you receive the invoice, ensure that the manufacturer’s name on Alibaba matches the name on the invoice. Do not pay by Western Union. You may require the supplier to send a paper bill stamped with the company’s official stamp and signed by its President (Legal Representative). Corporate stamp should match its English name (see or its Chinese name (see the supplier’s “business license”.

Check the company’s registered capital. You can find the “Registered Capital” on Alibaba. They should have at least 100 thousand RMB. Beware if you get an email that says that the supplier have a new email, or if they send “updates” on the invoice. It is usually spam.

Then there is the quality of the products. Since you you are not at the factory and can see that everything is made as desired and loaded safely and properly, it is important you deal with a proper company.

To increase security, find an established company with good grades and many good comments. It often pays of to pay a little more for a little better quality. You want to sell good stuff that works so you maintain a good reputation and actually provide value to the market!

And that’s pretty much it. Hope it helps!