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How to buy from Alibaba and Ship to South Africa

A growing number of South African individuals and businesses are sourcing goods from Alibaba China and seeking to ship internationally from China to South Africa.

Alibaba is the ideal marketplace for sourcing for manufacturers and suppliers in China. Any product you are looking to source, you'll be able to find it on Alibaba. Not only will you be able to find it on Alibaba, you'll also find that you have a wide range of factories and manufacturers to choose from.

Choosing from a wide range of manufacturers on Alibaba can be tricky. Price should not be the only consideration. Other factors such as quality of the products, service quality, manufacturing times are important as well. Buying from South Africa can also be tricky because many factories and manufacturers do not offer shipping from China to South Africa, either because they do not have access to the channels that do so or because they find shipping to South Africa too tedious and would prefer not to handle it themselves.

Therefore one of the most important things to consider when buying from Alibaba and shipping internationally from China to South Africa is to find a shipping agent that can help receive and consolidate your goods from various supplier(s) in China and then ship together internationally to South Africa.

An established shipping agent in China such as CNXtrans can help you with storing, packing, combining and consolidating your goods and then shipping everything together from China to South Africa either by air or sea freight. Air shipping from China to South Africa is done on a door to door basis. For larger shipments to South Africa that need to be shipped by sea freight, CNXtrans can help you ship to major ports in South Africa such as:

Port of Durban (Durban, South Africa)

The port of Durban has the highest vessel traffic in entire Africa. It also is the largest port facility in South Africa. This harbor was setup in 1824 under the British colonial identity. About 60% of the total shipping revenue of South Africa comes from the Durban Port Facility. The facility occupies Durban Bay, extending over 18.5 sq. km with 8.9 square km of high-tide waterfront. Moreover, this port also handles 60% of the total container cargo shipping load of South Africa.

Port of Richards Bay (The Richards Bay town, South Africa)

The establishment of Richards Bay in 1972 started with the Parliament’s approval for commercial harbor operations. The facility has 2.76 sq. kilometers of land area and 6 berths for sea-going vessels of all sizes. The port facilitates coal cargo operations and is one of the largest African ports to do so. In terms of gross volume, Richards Bay handles 55% of cargo amongst the major ports in South Africa. The facility easily welcomes large vessels with channel draught varying between 17.5 to 19.5 meters.

Port Elizabeth (Geerah, South Africa)

The first mention of Port Elizabeth along the South African sea coast dates back to 1427. However, the British establishment in the 1830s is the beginning of its harbor status. The cargo operations of true commercial value date back to the year 1927. Transnet emerges as the major operator for container terminals in this port facility.

The quay length for the container terminal is approximately 1 km spread across 3 container berths. Moreover, 6 berths for breakbulk handling and 2 for ore bulk are present under Port Elizabeth authority.

Port of Cape Town (Cape Town, South Africa)

The port of Cape Town has a land area of 2.53 sq. km and a waterfront of 9.5 sq. km. Its establishment dates back to 1652 with a big part of the contribution by the Dutch. However, the cargo port facilities date onward to the mid-1800s with the British colonial setup. The establishment has 34 berths, including the repair and smaller boat layovers. 6 container berths serve the large container vessels with sea-going draughts up to 15.9 meters. The harbour also has a waterfall attraction and sees thousands of fishing and pleasure boat calls annually.

Port of Saldanha (Saldanha Bay, South Africa)

The Port of Saldanha, commonly the “Saldanha Bay” is one of the fastest Iron Ore terminals alongside Portland. The terminal exists since 1976 with Iron Ore exports to Asia and the Middle East leading the operations. Its expanse is over an area of 19.3 sq. km with water depth up to 23.7 m far out. Like many other major ports in South Africa, Transnet is the major operator for Saldanha Bay too. The facility is a primary loading point for cape size bulk carriers and VLOC vessels. It operates with 2 Iron Ore and 1 Crude oil berths and 3 berths for MPT. The maximum berth length is 318.5 meters.

Port of Coega (Port Ngqura, South Africa)

The port of Coega is also commonly known by its new name- Port Ngqura. While the Coega facility exists since 1999, Ngqura (new container terminal) dates back to 2002. Ngqura is the newest and deepest terminal for container loading with the highest draft amongst South African ports.

The berth draft is 18 meters for container handling and 16.5 to 18 meters for general cargo. A total of 7 berths operates round the clock for yearly cargo operations. The facility is 20 km from the nearest neighbouring port of Port Elizabeth and compliments Richards Bay too.

Port of East London (East Cape Province, South Africa)

The port of East London is the solo river port amongst the major ports in South Africa. The coastal length of East Cape Province holds this facility at the Buffalo River. Formerly the Buffalo Harbour, this port dates back to 1836 under the colonial British setup for its start. A total of 12 berths (10 operational) for river vessels have alongside drafts between 9.1 to 10.4 meters. It consists of 3 containers, 2 general cargo, 3 ro-ro, 1 liquid, and 1 bulk loading terminal. The largest container berth operates with 90,000 TEU capacity per year.

South Africa's Status as a Major Regional Shipping Hub for Global Trade

South Africa’s geographical location makes it the pivot of global shipping. The Cape of Good Hope and the coastal region marks the approximate centre of Cape size vessel routes. Pairing with its mineral-rich natural inheritance, the country of South Africa has a major shipping role worldwide. The major ports of South Africa have direct sea routes to South America, North America, and Asian ports. This makes South Africa the biggest shipping presence in the African region with almost 2/3rd cargo traffic.

When shipping from China to South Africa by sea freight, CNXtrans will help you with shipping to any major port in South Africa, such as the ones mentioned above. On your end, do ensure that you either have an import license in South Africa or a customs broker in South Africa that can assist you with customs clearance once your goods have arrived in South Africa.

Buying from China and Shipping to South Africa?

How to buy from Alibaba and Ship to South Africa
How to buy from Alibaba and Ship to South Africa


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