Container to China shipping lanes are among the busiest in the world. As the world's exporter of goods of all descriptions, international container shipping is the lifeline of that nation's economy. Officials and business people in that country are very aware of the importance of container freight and Chinese container ports are among the largest and most efficiently run in the world. A container to China or from that country rarely goes astray.
It is likely that a container to China will have been made in China as well. These steel or aluminum units are the heart of the container freight industry. They are also largely responsible for China's phenomenal economic growth over the past several decades, being what has made it possible for China's exports to travel cheaply and in such huge quantities.
The secret to the success of container freight is in standardization. Every container must be built to an exact size. Called TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units), they must be stackable and transportable on standard sized truck and train beds. This is based on the concept of "intermodalism," whereby a single container can be seamlessly moved from one mode of transport to another. This dramatically cuts down on handling costs, which have always made up the bulk of shipping costs.
Standardization also allows a container to China to be tracked and processed without mishap. Every port in every destination in the world operates by the same set of rules and uses standard handling equipment. Thus, a container freight cargo that is lifted off of a truck or train by crane and stacked onto a vessel in a New York harbor can be removed by a similar crane in Shanghai and onto a truck or train for further transport there. Except for the distinctive ethnic appearance of the dock workers and the foreign language they speak, the two container ports may be virtually identical in every way.
The documentation for each container to China is handled through several different sources, aside from the shipper (the owner of the goods). It begins with the container freight company. Container shipping companies are responsible for making the arrangements for transport. They choose the liner company and the vessel according to cost and availability. Once the container is on board, the ship's captain has a copy of the manifest data. The manifest data is the complete information about the container to China. A copy of this vitally important information is also sent to officials at the destination port and customs.
A few days before arriving at the port, the ship's captain notifies the authorities there and gets permission to dock. After the container to China ship is offloaded, workers scramble to process every container according to its needs. Some containers are opened by customs inspectors while others are housed in warehouses for later delivery. Other containers are opened and portions of their contents distributed to their various owners.
In a nutshell, that is how a container to China gets there. Because it is such a standardized and mechanized process, mistakes are rare, even though millions of containers are shipped every year.
There are 10 Container Ports in China: Port of Anqing, Port of Bayuquan, Port of Beihai, Port of Beijiao, Port of Bengbu, Port of Buji, Port of Changsha, Port of Changshu, Port of Changzhou, Port of Chengdu