Sea freight between Vietnam and Hong Kong

Overview - Ocean cargo between Vietnam and Hong Kong

Known as “ The Pearl of Asia”, and after being a former British colony, Hong Kong is a part of but also independent to China since 1997. China agreed to govern Hong Kong under the principe of “One country, two systems”, and this makes a great difference. Hong Kong now operates a semi-autonomous territory, with control over its own trade, taxes, and immigration policies, also has its own currency, legal and parliamentary system. The economy of Hong Kong is built on his banking system and on trade rather than on abundance of natural resources.

The port of Hong Kong (Kwai Tsing Container Port) handled about 90% of the country’s trade by weight. It’s one of the world’s largest trading entities in term of merchandise value with an average trade amounting US$ 950 billion and 16.2 millions TEUs every year. Strategically located in the mainland of China, along the major sea route, the port of Hong Kong is a natural harbour and provides a huge cargo base in a deep-water draught. Kwai Tsing Container Port is owned financed by five private operators.


Shipping company offering services between Vietnam and Hong Kong ports

Here are few examples :

Should I ship by consolidation or full container between Vietnam and Hong Kong?

There are several type of container but 3 sizes are commonly used :

  • Container 20 feet with a capacity of 33 CBM (Cubic Meter)
  • Container 40 feet with a capacity of 67 CBM
  • Container 40 feet HQ with a capacity of 76 CBM


LCL - Less Than Container Load (or consolidation) is usually used to ship small volumes. The container is shared with other shipments that are going to the same port of destination.



FCL - Full Container Load is used to ship large quantities or big volumes. FCL may be cheaper than LCL if your goods exceed a volume of 13/14 CBM. It will also get delivered more quickly. When the container arrives at the port of destination, it is unloaded from the vessel and straight delivered to the consignee at final destination.

How long does it take to ship between Vietnam and Hong Kong by sea freight ?

As the Vietnam and Hong Kong are both located on the seashore of the South China Sea, it makes sense to ship by using sea freight.

Da Nong Saigon Ba Ngoi Cam Pha

Honk Kong


6 Days


6 Days


5 Days


5 Days

Please note that transit times shown are just as indicative information. It does not include handling at both ports, pick up, delivery, and customs clearance process

Special sea freight services 

Reefer container between Vietnam and Hong Kong 

The reefer container is a "thermally insulated" container with a temperature maintaining device. It allows the transport of goods under controlled temperature. So as one can guess, it is often used for food or chemical products.

Docshipper will advise you, if necessary, and then reserve it for you.


Roro/Bulk/OOG between Vietnam and Hong Kong 


A Ro-Ro is a ship used to transport, among other things, vehicles, loaded through one or more ramps. They are also known as Ro-Ro, from the English roll-on/roll-off meaning literally "roll-in, roll-out", to distinguish them from the usual cargo ships where products are loaded vertically by cranes.


Bulk goods are products transported directly into the ship's hold or into the facilities provided for that purpose. A distinction is made in this case between bulk and general cargo. A distinction is made between bulk goods and general cargo: solid bulk goods: ( such as coal, ferrous and non-ferrous ores) bulk liquids: (oil and oil products). Bulk goods are transported by bulk carriers, ships specialized for each type of cargo: ore carriers, coal carriers, etc.)


OOG (Out of Gauge) cargoes are a special category of goods. Because of, for example, dimensions or weight, some goods cannot be loaded in traditional containers. These types of cargoes are usually loaded onto a platform or trailer for transportation.

Air freight between Vietnam and Hong Kong

Overview – Classic air freight 

Hong Kong Airport

The Chek Lap Kok International Airport of Hong Kong (HKG) is the world’s busiest cargo gateway, which is served by almost every international airlines companies.


Airports in Vietnam

Several airports in Vietnam are connected directly to Hong Kong, the two majors hubs are the Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) for Ho Chi Minh city, and Noi Bai International Airport (HAN) for Hanoï.

Which airlines should I choose for a Classic Air freight between Vietnam and Hong Kong ?

  • Vietnam Airlines (in Vietnamese Hãng hàng không Quốc gia Việt Nam) is the national airline of Vietnam. It operates domestic and international flights from its two main hubs at Tan International Airport Sơn Nhất in Ho Chi Minh City and Nội Bài International Airport in Hanoi.
  • Cathay Pacific is the flag carrier of Hong Kong. flies to more than 190 countries worldwild (including Vietnam) using both passengers and cargo services.
  • Hong Kong Airlines operates regional and international flights in Asia and South East Asia.


How much does it cost to ship by classic air freight between Vietnam and Hong Kong?

It is quite difficult to price an air freight, as there are a lot of companies that have flight between Vietnam and Hong Kong, it will mainly depend on airlines traffic and the competitivity of the different companies. However, please feel free to contact our air freight specialist who is working on case per case to provide the best price for you.


How a Classic air freight will be calculated?

The Basic rate IATA

The basic rate is a weight band rate, based on the volumetric weight of your shipment. Rapidly declining, with a minimum charge for very small shipments.

For example:

Price per kilo: 6$ - Minimum collection 600 $

Between 1000 and 2500 kgs: 5$/kg

Between 2500 and 3500 kgs: 4$/kg 

More than 3500 kg: 3$/kgs


How to calculate the volumetric weight of your shipment?

Please note that is very important to make the difference between Gross Weight and Volumetric Weight, as it will determine the price of the freight. 

The equivalence rule in air freight is 1t = 6 CBM. The volume must be divided by 6 and compared to the Gross Weight of the goods and choose the higher of the two. To the advantage of the airline company.

Customs clearance in Hong Kong for goods imported from Vietnam 

How much will I pay ? 

Hong Kong is a duty free destination and maintains basically no barriers on trade. It means that Hong Kong does not impose any duties or taxes collecting for general commodities on its territory. Only some specific products are subjected to payment such as alcohol, tobacco, petroleum and chemical products. Most of importations on the territory do not need license as well. Importers should purchase a license only in the case of specific products as mentioned above.

However, it is to be noted that any importer should file an import declaration through the Customs and Excise Department system and provide documents such as: invoice, bill of lading, airway bill, packing list, etc.

For more information please visit the website of Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department.

Import and Export Declaration Charges in Hong Kong

As you will get duties and taxes exemption for most of general products entering Hong Kong's territory, there are still Declaration Charges to take into account for both Import and Export Declarations.

Customs clearance in Vietnam for goods imported from Hong Kong

The ASEAN-Hong Kong China Free Trade Agreement (AHKCTA)

Since June 2019, The ASEAN countries (Association of South East Asian Nations) which of course the Vietnam is a part, signed an agreement with Hong Kong and China.

Vietnam issued Decree No. 07/2020/ND-CP on the special preferential import tariffs for the implementation of the ASEAN-Hong Kong China Free Trade Agreement (AHKFTA).

The reason of this agreement is to increase economic cooperation, reduce taxes, and increase investment between ASEAN markets and Hong Kong.

The preferential import tax rates are applicable under the following conditions:

  • Imported commodities are listed in the special preferential import tariff under the Decree
  • Imported from countries that are part of the AHKFTA
  • Transported directly from the exporting country part of the AHKFTA
  • Provide of the certificate of origin (C/O).

More information about this trade agreement on the official website: ASEAN - Hong Kong, China Free Trade Agreement

Tariffs and Taxes 

Knowing the precise cost and the rate for the importation of your goods is a serious deal. For each member of the World Trade Organization the HS code is used (composed of 6 numbers). This numbers defines the nature of your good (by ID).

Vietnam is aligned with the Harmonized Tariff System (HTS)

Here is the composition of an HS Code, you can now see what an HS code is and what does it mean.

hs code of a pineapple

To find the right HS Code of your product, you can search on any country’s Tariff Database by entering a keyword, just like pineapple.

Once you have the HS Code of your product, it would be interesting for you to know the exact rate for importation of pineapples from Hong Kong to Vietnam.

Go to the the official website : Customs in Vietnam

Reach the Tariff Database page

Let's have a look on the following steps :


Remark DocShipper: Due to the recent Agreement between ASEAN Countries and Hong Kong and China (AHKCTA), the preferential tariff does not appear on the system as it will take effect on 2020.

The result of the search appears at the bottom of the page :

Now you just have to click on the code

Now let's check the rate :

Interpretation of customs tariff in Vietnam

In this picture you can see the rate for the importation of pineapples into Vietnam, you will pay 30% duties and taxes when it come from Hong Kong and China.


Necessary documents 

The Bill of Lading is equivalent to a passport and a boarding card for your shipment. Depending on the method used to transfer your goods, it can be an Airway Bill (for Air Freight) or a Bill of Lading (for Ocean Freight). It is also a document testifying of the legality of the transfer, because it is emitted once the carrier received payment for its services. This document is important for all international transfer of commercial goods.

The following pictures are detailing what information are provided on a Bill of Lading:

example of a Bill of Lading

  • 1 = Shipper
  • 2 = Consignee
  • 3 = Notify party
  • 4 = Vessel No.
  • 5 = Port of loading / discharge
  • 6 = Place of receipt / delivery
  • 7 = Container No.
  • 8 = Goods description
  • 9 = Net weight
  • 10 = Dimensions / volume


The original invoice

The customs will see this like a confirmation that the goods received are the same in the declaration.


The packing list

The packing list is summing up all the items included in your shipment. You should attach the MSDS data sheet and the international code, if you’re importing hazardous or chemical products in Australia.


Certificate of Origin

This document is very important if you’re wishing that your import can be treated under any preferential import tariff. It is the only legal document to prove the origin of your goods. Like the Bill of Lading, the Certificate of Origin is a very important document for all international import. The document must be signed by the manufacturer and delivered by a government agency of the country of origin.

Here is what it looks like (for China here):

Chinese Certificate of Origin

If the customs and declaration procedure remain a difficult task, or simply if you are in the lack of time, just send us an email or call us!


Additional services 

Our warehousing and storage services 

Strategically located near the ports of HCMC (Saigon), Haiphong and Quy Nhon. We are therefore able to receive your shipping for as long as you need it, before sending it to Hong Kong (or anywhere else for that matter), or delivering it to Vietnam. If you have a plan to consolidate a full container by several shipments from different suppliers, or conversely you receive a full container and you want to split and supply to multi-destination. We also have the solution for you !

Our packing/unpacking services 


Packing services is very important as it is guaranteeing a perfect load stability during the transport and providing an excellent protection during storage and handling. We will be able to provide such services in both Hong Kong and Vietnam so feel free to contact our experts if you need any packing service.


Packing material 

Carton box

First, the best cartons boxes will be used for your belongings. Second, it will be thick and unfolded (for better protection against potential damage). Our packaging techniques will be adapted according to your goods (their dimensions, their fragility ...).


These mechanical handling techniques will improve ease of use. It will be a much safer way to get your goods into the container. However, if your supplier is not able (if he does not have what it takes) to carry out this operation, we have every pallet size available for you.

Wooden boxes 

Once again, this method aims to facilitate transport by protecting your belongings. The wooden crate is intended for rather bulky objects. There are wooden crates and wooden boxes. The crate will be preferable if you need to have it placed in a certain direction. If this is not the case, you might as well use the box. Don't worry about the size of your belongings. Docshipper and his teams are able to manufacture those that will fit your goods and your needs.


Others: bubble wrap, tape, wrapping paper… 

What we are talking about here will protect your goods by softening their contact with the packing method (wooden crate for example). We use a lot of these materials to guarantee optimal protection for your goods.


Why packing is important for the insurance ? 

Unfortunately, it can happen that your goods may be damaged during transport (whether by sea, land or air). With Docshipper, this happens very rarely because our skills ensure optimal security for your goods. We will act in a professional way, which guarantees you a refund if anything happens.


Freight insurance 

How much does a freight insurance cost ?

The amount of your insurance policy will be based on the value of your goods. As you can see, the higher the value, the more you will pay for the insurance.

In general, the following calculation is made: (freight value + product value) * 2-3%.

So, you can count on this calculation to make yourself an estimation. This rate is variable depending on the nature/category of your goods.


Supplier management in Vietnam 

Control quality in Vietnam 

Our aim is, as mentioned above, to avoid any kind of disturbance during the operation. Thus, we will contact your supplier in order to check your products (their condition and especially their packaging). Letting go of your badly packed goods is to cause you problems and to cause us problems.

We will therefore make sure of a perfect packaging and the state of your products.

Know that by trusting Docshipper, the cargo will be fluid from start to finish. The incoterm can be FOB, CFR or other, whatever happens, the type, dimensions and HS code will be checked by our staff. They have a perfect command of Vietnamese as well as French and English. Documentation, packaging and the rest will be our problem and not yours.


3PL Services in Vietnam 

Order fulfillment/Packing & labelling in Vietnam 

As you should know, the supply chain is complex (especially when it comes to electronics). We will be your right-hand man in Vietnam, taking care of all services (packaging, customer relations, inventory, labelling, fulfilment). These will be our concerns, not yours.


Last mile delivery 

Thanks to our networks and the relationship we entertain with them, we can guarantee you a delivery at your residence in Vietnam/Hong Kong and a professional service.


Shipping personal effects from Vietnam 

Excess baggage 

Are you coming back from your trip busier than expected? Your excess baggage may not be well seen by the airlines. As a result, they have the right to refuse it.

The solution? DocShipper and its express delivery will allow you to receive your excess baggage quickly at home in Hong Kong.

Moving service between Vietnam and Hong Kong 

Do you have problems with packing, storage, wrapping or customs clearance? Let us turn them into OUR problems between Vietnam and Hong Kong. Are you interested in our relocation services ? Have a look on our dedicated page : Moving services


Free regulation advisor

Our experience in this field (especially between Vietnam and Hong Kong) has enabled us to be unstoppable on all administrative matters. Our answers will be efficient and will save you time and money.

What are you waiting for? Please contact us.


DocShipper | Your dedicated freight forwarder in Vietnam !


Due to our attractive pricing, many customers trust our services and we thanks them. Stop overpaying the services and save money with our tailored package matching will all type of shipment, from small volume to full container, let us find the best and cost-effective solution.

Communication is important, which is why we strive to discuss in the most suitable way for you!