The Ultimate Guide to LED Light Transportation

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LEDs are rapidly replacing traditional lighting like incandescent and fluorescent in many applications. It became a popular choice for homes, businesses, and industries as they are more energy-efficient and longer-lasting than incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. 

In general, LED light manufacturers can ship LED lights via express, air freight, sea freight, railway, and multimodal transport. You should consider several factors in choosing the transportation mode. For instance, the transportation cost, delivery time, destination country, size, and quantity of LED lights.

This guide will share helpful information on how to transport LED lights safely and securely between China and other countries. It can be beneficial if you are planning your business with Chinese LED light manufacturers. Let’s get started!

Types of Transportation for LED Lights

Transporting LED lights from China is often a daunting task for lighting manufacturers. When choosing the right LED light transportation method, it is crucial for LED light manufacturers to consider several factors. 

A LED supplier should consider the cost of transportation in choosing the delivery method. Other factors include the urgency of delivery, the destination country, and the size and quantity of purchased items.

Each type of transport comes with its pros and cons. Having a good knowledge of the different shipping methods allows LED suppliers to save money and time. Here is more information on the major types of shipping options:

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1. Express Mail

Express shipping is generally a door-to-door delivery, equipped with trackable services on the carrier’s website. LED Light suppliers can ship by express mail if the shipment weighs less than 30 kilograms and is not bulky. Still, you should check the announcement of different courier companies for the weight limit of express delivery.

It is the fastest shipping mode and will take anywhere from 3 to 5 days. The delivery time depends on how distant the destination is from the lighting factory. 

But, this is also the most expensive shipping option for LED light suppliers. If your consignment is urgent or time-sensitive, this is the best option. Express mail includes international express mail like DHL, UPS, FedEx, and EMS.

2. Air Freight

A LED manufacturer can use an air freight service to ship a bulky consignment. It will take 5 to 10 business days to deliver the package of up to 250kg in weight, depending on the destination country. It is the second-fastest way for LED manufacturers to ship LED lights. 

Airfreight is classified as express air freight and consolidation air freight. Express air freight will be directly delivered to your door, while consolidation air freight needs to be picked up at the airport.

The risk of damage during air freight is also lower for you since items are less likely to be affected by moisture and humidity. It is beneficial for LED light suppliers to ship fragile products. Less handling of cargo can also help lighting manufacturers minimize the risk of theft. 

But, air freight also has some disadvantages: higher shipping costs! Airfreight is faster than sea freight but more expensive as well. So, LED manufacturers must consider your needs before deciding what type of transportation for your LED lights.

led air freight

3. Sea Freight

If you’re bulk shipping goods from LED manufacturers in China, you’ll likely want to use sea freight. Sea freight is the most economical way for large volume cargo or long-distance transportation. Lighting manufacturers can ship a larger quantity of goods at a lower cost per kilogram. 

Sea freight can be categorized into two types:

  • LCL (Less than Container Load)

LCL requires more handling of your goods as they must be transferred from one container to another during their journey. 

  • FCL (Full Container Load) 

FCL offers more security as it avoids unnecessary handling and transportation within ports.

But as the name implies, FCL will be a good choice only if your lighting factory has a large order to pack the container full of products.

Sea transportation is not recommended for LED light companies who are urgent to receive their goods. It often takes more time for shipment. The transit time is around 15-60 business days, depending on the destination port.


4. Railway Transportation

Rail transport is the most cost-effective way for LED manufacturers to transport a large number of goods to the central Asian countries. It is because the distance from China to these countries is much longer than other destinations by sea or air freight. 

Its biggest advantage is that it has fewer limitations in terms of the weight and dimensions of the cargo. It is also highly efficient, environmentally friendly, saves energy, and does not require a driver. That is why many LED suppliers use rail transport to deliver to Asian countries.

However, railway transportation is the slowest form of transport. It takes approximately 15-30 days to reach its destination. Additionally, it has very limited operation line services compared to other shipping methods. Hence, it is only suitable to be used in certain countries.

5. Multimodal Transportation

Multimodal transportation refers to shipping cargo by two different modes of transport. For example, you ship some cargo by sea freight and deliver them by truck once they arrive at the destination port. The most common combinations used by LED manufacturers are road/rail, road/sea, and rail/sea.

This mode of shipment has many advantages compared with traditional shipping. The idea is to combine the advantages of both means of transport, making the delivery more cost-effective. Lighting manufacturers can save more freight costs while still delivering the goods in a reasonable time frame.

Multimodal transport is best for long-distance shipments with no available services at a seaport or an airport.

business logistics and transportation concept of containers cargo freight ship and cargo plane in shipyard at sunset sky, logistic import export and transport industry background

Potential Risks during Transportation

LED lights like LED grow light, LED light bars, or LED strip lights are susceptible products that comprise glass and other small parts. Lighting factories should always take extra precautions when handling the item to ensure that your delivery arrives safely at its destination. Here are some potential risks that LED light manufacturers should always keep in mind:

1. Static Electricity

Static electricity may cause damage to the LED lights if it is not removed before handling or installation. There will be friction between your fingers and the packaging material during the unpacking process. 

Static charges can build up on the surface of the electronic component or your body. Some currents may discharge into the lights, damaging components or causing fires.

2. Electromagnetic Field

Some LED lights contain capacitors that store electricity and generate an electric field around them. When coming into contact with other electric field sources during transportation, these fields will interfere with the internal circuitry of the light. The electromagnetic interference will cause LED lights to malfunction.

3. Shock and Vibration

LED lights are susceptible to mechanical shock and vibration. It can cause temporary or permanent damage to the sensitive components in the lights. The most common forms of damage caused include broken circuit boards and dislodged components.

4. Moisture

Moisture is a destructive factor for LED lights during storage and transportation. When LED lights are exposed to moisture, they can be damaged by corrosion, aging of metal surfaces, or leakage, which will affect their performance even if they are waterproof.

5. Rough Handling or Falls

The LED lights may get damaged due to impacts from other packages or dropped from a height during transit. It will significantly reduce the luminous efficacy of an LED light if the semiconductor diode at its core gets damaged due to impact.

6. Exposure to Direct Sunlight

When exposed to strong or direct sunlight, the heat could melt the plastic components of the LED light bulb. The lights may also burn out or crack, resulting in damage to the product. It will drastically reduce the lifespan of LED lights.

7. Exposure to Extreme Temperatures

If LED lights are exposed to extremely high or low temperatures, there will be a failure of the LED lights’ performance. Heat build-up can cause malfunctions or even short out the LEDs. There is also a possibility that the LED lights would freeze at cold temperatures.

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Measures to Ensure Safe Delivery

The risks during transportation may seem intimidating for LED light manufacturers at first. But with the proper methods, LED suppliers can mitigate these risks, and the product can reach its destination safely without damage. Let’s discover further the measures that LED suppliers can take to ensure safety during shipping:

1. Packaging Boxes

Inappropriate packaging materials will increase the possibility of damage in transit. LED suppliers should package all LED lights in corrugated cardboard boxes or heavy-duty carton boxes. 

LED manufacturers should use a custom box made to the exact dimensions of the LED lights. LED suppliers can also reinforce the boxes with corner protectors, bubble wrap, and air-cell protective material for better protection. 

You may also want to reinforce the package using heavy-duty strapping tape or stretch wrap. Place them securely in their custom-designed wooden crates to limit shock and vibration during transit.

2. Packaging Tips

If your transport your goods by sea, use plastic wraps around your package. It helps prevent any kinds of moisture that may damage your LED products. 

LED light manufacturers should also stick necessary labels such as “FRAGILE” or “THIS SIDE UP” on the package. It will give more protection to the goods from any damage during transportation. 

You can also use plastic dividers or cardboard to separate multiple packages when shipped at one time to prevent collision during transportation.

3. Packaging Materials

Due to their brittle nature, it is essential to use adequate padding in the box before shipping LED lights. Lighting factories can use several materials to avoid collision and hold LED lights firmly in place during transit. For instance, foam paddings, bubble wrap, and air pillows. 

Make sure that there are no gaps between the LEDs inside the parcel. Otherwise, it could allow them to move around freely during transportation and cause damage. LED suppliers should also use anti-static packaging materials for storage and transportation.

In general, lights containing glass like LED tube lights need to be protected carefully to avoid damage during transportation.

4. Transportation, Storage, and Handling Test

The best way to reduce damage is to carry out proper quality control tests before transportation, like a shock test or a drop test.

To simulate the condition experienced in transit, the lighting factory can arrange a shock test on the package. The package will be subjected to a test at different vibrating frequencies for 5-10 minutes to check its durability.

 LED light manufacturers should also carry out a drop test. It determines if the packages can survive from a drop of 1-1.5m height to the concrete floor. It has become common practice within the electronics industry as an indicator of product robustness concerning handling during shipping and distribution.

Important Tips to Take Note In Shipping LED Lights

Shipping LED lights is a tricky yet profitable business for LED suppliers. To ensure the delivery of goods with high quality and low loss rate, here are some essential tips when shipping LED lights:

1. Track the Performance Record

LED suppliers should evaluate the shipping company’s performance record before placing an order. Make sure that they have professionally trained and certified drivers to ensure the safe delivery of your packages. 

If it is your first time ordering LED lights from a China LED supplier, you should know how to import LED strips from China so you don’t get scammed or cheated. 

2. Look for a Reliable Company

You should find reliable LED manufacturers and shipping companies with good tracking service. It should allow customers to know precisely when it will deliver the goods. Customers should also be able to check the exact price they need to pay, including all costs and any hidden expenses. 

Besides, a good shipping company should quickly respond to customers’ emails or inquiries.

3. Conduct Test Orders

Your LED light manufacturer should conduct trial runs or test orders with a new shipping partner. It determines if the packages can be delivered without damage and minimize loss. You should also ensure that the LED lights you ordered are certified products to know their safety and performance.

4. Prepare Your Budget

Consider the custom duties and import taxes when shipping your LED products. You should also include the insurance and possible loss due to spoilt goods. It is vital to budget accordingly for each shipped item in your country.

5. Test the Product Functionality

LED manufacturers should also arrange a test for the LED products before shipment. Inspection before dispatch help ensure that all the products are in perfect working order. 

Make sure that you can turn on all the LED lights before shipping. You may also ask the LED supplier to record videos as evidence in case of disputes.

6. Check for Damages

Remember to check for possible damages when you receive the products. You should always take a picture of each package as proof of its condition before opening it. If there is any broken or lost product, you should inform the LED supplier immediately.

7. Insure your LED Lights

Consider purchasing adequate insurance for your international shipment. It is crucial as the LED lights will most likely pass through many hands before reaching their destination. Insurance will cover your goods against loss, damage, or theft.


Shipping your LED lights to the destination on time and at a reasonable cost is crucial. You can choose different modes of transportation based on your need. It is crucial to discuss your needs with the LED light manufacturers beforehand to communicate your budget and schedule. You must also take precautionary steps for several potential risks in shipping your LED lights. 

Darkless LED has been the leading expert in the LED lighting industry for over 20 years. Our clients are satisfied with our massive shipping experience catering to all their needs. We’ve also helped save much money on damage-related expenses in the long run!

If you are looking for an effective transportation solution for your LED products, get in touch with us today.

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No.111,Baiyun Road, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou City, Guangdong, China.

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