Bulk Wooden Spoons & Forks from China: The Ultimate Guide
Bulk wooden spoons & forks from a reliable supplier will have peace of mind and achieve cost savings. How can I find a wooden cutlery manufacturer and reduce risk?
Disposable wooden spoons and forks market is widespread globally, with 64% of exports coming from China. High quality, affordable prices, flexible orders, and fast delivery constitute the core competitiveness of Chinese wooden cutlery suppliers.
However, importing from China and finding a trustworthy supplier may be challenging. Whether you are a tableware supplier, wholesaler, or catering chain, this article will give you a deeper understanding of how to find a truly reliable supplier.
This guide consists of 8 chapters, click on any section that you interest to get there quickly.
- How to import wooden spoons & forks in China?
- Where to bulk wooden spoons & forks in China?
- How to verify wooden spoons & forks supplier?
- How to check wooden spoons & forks quality?
- Documentation needed when importing wooden spoons from China
- How to ship wooden spoons & forks from China to your local?
- How to customize wooden spoons & forks for your business?
- FAQs about bulk wooden spoons & forks from China
Chapter 1: How to import wooden spoons & forks in China?
If you are going to bulk wooden spoons & forks from China, finding a fork manufacturer that meets food standards will be a challenge.
In China, wood resources are very rich, there are many suppliers of wood products, it is necessary to distinguish which suppliers are truly reliable.
Here are some quick tips to consider when importing wooden spoons & forks in China.
- Understand the problems and risks of buying wooden spoons from China
- Confirm what type of spoons & forks you need to import, birch, pine, or other
- Cooperating with the manufacturers that have been registered with customs.
- Comparing the prices of wooden spoons from different suppliers
- Understand the international transportation
- Place bulk order
Chapter 2: Where to bulk buy wooden spoons & forks in China?
Where is the concentration of wooden spoon manufacturers?
Wooden spoons and disposable wooden tableware (including bamboo tableware) are resource-intensive industries, and their costs are affected by raw materials, labor, and transportation costs.
The closer they are to the source of raw materials, the lower the costs of raw materials and transportation.
In China, bamboo and wood resources are very rich in the following areas:
- Anhui Province
- Zhejiang Province
- Guangzhou Province
- Northeast China
Especially in Anhui Province, the mountains are continuous, there are the famous Dabie Mountains – large number of forests and bamboo forests widely exist.
In Anhui, disposable bamboo & wooden tableware is one of its pillar industries. According to the statistics of the General Administration of Customs of China, Anhui Province will account for more than 40% of the total export value of bamboo/wooden cutlery sets from China in 2021.
How to find wooden spoons & forks manufacturers?
Unfortunately, Chinese factories are not well-known on the Internet due to the following reasons:
- The Internet in China is not connected to the outside world
- Chinese traditional factories don’t pay attention to Internet propaganda
- Few Chinese are fluent in English
But you can still find their clues through the following methods, and then verify them.
In the past 50 years, the exhibition has always brought surprises to Chinese suppliers and buyers from all over the world. Buyers can talk directly with suppliers, view exhibits, etc., and it is not uncommon for a transaction to be made on the day of the exhibition.
The following are several well-known exhibitions in China’s food container industry:
Shanghai World of Packaging – SWOP
Location: Shanghai, China
Official website: swop-online.com/en
China Green Food Exposition (CGFE)
Location: Zhengzhou, China
Official website: greenfoodexpo.com
Eco Expo Asia
Location: Hong Kong Asia World-Expo
Official website: hktdc.com
Canton Fair: China’s largest comprehensive exhibition
Location: Guangzhou, China
Official website: cantonfair.org.cn/en-US
However, in the 20th century, information became more and more developed, and more and more buyers consulted and purchased on the Internet.
In the wake of the 2019 pandemic, China has imposed some of the strictest controls in the world, and exhibitions have also been affected. The Internet has become the most important means for buyers to search for information.
In China, there are many B2B procurement platforms, but in the end, there are only the following ones:
- Made in China
- Global Sources
As the darling of the 20th century, it is also one of the biggest beneficiaries of the information society. As a buyer, you should have heard of Alibaba. Hundreds of thousands of companies buy from Alibaba every year.
But the situation of B2B platforms is not optimistic, all most suppliers are complaining about high capital investment.
A big reason is that Alibaba needs to buy huge traffic from Google. Yes, Alibaba has a lot of organic traffic, but it’s not enough. Because in the past 20 years, China’s small suppliers can only rely on Alibaba, they need more inquiries.
Alibaba’s annual platform fee exceeds 10,000 US dollars, plus advertising costs and a lot of labor, which requires more than 100,000 US dollars. Which increases the cost of suppliers and affects product pricing.
White-hot competition places too much burden on suppliers. This is the dilemma facing all B2B platforms. It is also reduced the superiority of Chinese suppliers. It forced the supplier to find other ways to present themselves, as has Ecoure.
Google is the best choice have been verified, after all, Alibaba also pays millions of dollars to buy traffic from Google
- The cost of Google advertising is much lower than that of Alibaba.
- Google’s review of information content is very strict, and false advertisements will be rejected
- Low-quality suppliers won’t be favored by Google
It is worth mentioning that, unlike other wooden cutlery suppliers, Ecoure hardly does PPC, but adopts the method of content output to show its strength. Which has advantages and disadvantages:
- The buyer can’t find us quickly
- We cannot influence buyer decisions through advertising
- It takes time to accumulate credit
- We insist on the output of professional content to help buyers solve problems
- Highlight our professional image
- Reduce costs and increase competitiveness
You’ll find more wooden spoon suppliers on Google. Of course, truly high-quality suppliers also need to be verified.
Next, we will go to this step.
Chapter 3: How to verify wooden spoon suppliers?
We have known that there are many disposable wooden tableware manufacturers in China, but most of them are not qualified for export.
China’s 1.4 billion population is a very important reason. China is a country that advocates food. Restaurants, hotels, and fast-food restaurants can be found everywhere. China’s market is big enough.
Therefore, there are not too many reliable wooden spoon suppliers with rich export experience, and you need to distinguish them carefully.
- Check if the supplier can issue a guarantee
- Check the supplier export trade operator for the record, the following figure
- If possible, can the supplier produce customer payment bills, customs records, and bills of lading?
- Check if the factory is in an industrial cluster: Anhui, Zhejiang, Guangdong, etc
- Ask the supplier if they can provide sample wooden spoons & forks.
- Check the supplier office website
Google advertising is becoming more and more popular in China, just one web page with advertising may be shown in front of you, you should carefully consider.
Open the supplier’s official website, a truly reliable supplier always shows their professionalism.
In addition, experienced buyers can tell in conversation whether the wholesale supplier is reliable and worth placing an order with. These lessons can’t be learned in a day, but we can start by asking some questions.
Here are the questions you can ask when looking for potential wooden cutlery suppliers in China:
- When was your company registered, what is the scope of business, and when did you produce wooden spoons & forks? Please provide the business registration certificate
- Where is your production address
- How do you produce wooden spoons & forks and do you disinfect it?
- How do you conduct the quality inspection?
- Does it support customization? We want to print private color boxes, and hot stamp LOGO on cutlery handle
- Which material are your wooden spoons & forks made from? (Birch? Pine or other?)
- What certificates can you provide?
- Do you have a trade certificate?
There is no doubt that price is the first thing to consider, and a profitable business can survive.
However, you cannot simply choose a supplier who offers the lowest price. It may be a price trap.
- Maybe their production quality is not as good as average
- Using thinner material
- The actual product size may be smaller
- Raw material is recycled wood
In international trade, the common quotations for formal orders are EXW, FOB, CIF, DDU, and DDP.
EXW: Ex-works price. Supplier quotes include product cost only. Under the same conditions, this offer is the lowest
FOB: Free on board. Supplier quotation includes product cost, freight from factory to port of origin, customs declaration fee, document fee, etc. In a nutshell, all the costs before your cargo come on board. FOB price is higher than EXW.
CIF: Free at destination port. Supplier quotes include the cost of the product and all charges for shipping to your destination port. But you still have to pay customs duties, destination port, and shipping fees from the port to your warehouse. This offer is higher than EXW & FOB.
DDU: Delivered Duty Unpaid. The quotation includes all charges for the product to your warehouse, except for customs duties.
DDP: Delivered Duty Pay. The quotation includes all charges for the product to your warehouse, plus customs duties.
There are other trade terms like FCA, but these five terms are the most commonly used.
Be sure to pay attention! Responsibilities and risks corresponding to different incoterms are also completely different, which is one of the reasons why incoterms are so important.
Below is the sheet:
Experienced suppliers will indicate the quotation on what terms they are quoting on, and their costs will obviously be quite different.
Good communication is as important as product quality and price.
We interviewed our colleague William, who spent two years as a buyer for a Fortune 500 company, he ranks communication as the most important factor in deciding whether to cooperate.
Here’s why he sums it up:
- Dealing with suppliers who are not good at communicating is a nightmare. You have to repeat and repeat, then they may understand what you mean.
- Their email can’t convey the meaning accurately. This may result in your ideas not being well understood, a waste of time, or an order not being fulfilled as required.
- After-sales difficulties, you may need to spend a lot of energy arguing with them to solve difficult after-sales problems.
As a procurement professional, William gives the following characteristics of a well-communicated supplier:
Feature 1. Suppliers always understand your needs
This means that the supplier will try to deliver the results you need without duplicating your requirements too much.
For example, you are trying to wholesale wooden spoons & forks from China and ask the supplier to send 100 boxes of disposable wooden cutlery to the port of Los Angeles. However, they just sent a company introduction and a quotation with another customer’s name! How do you feel?
Feature 2: The supplier is professional enough in the industry
What size of wooden cutlery is the most popular? What combination is the best sale? Which packaging is best for your brand? Which shipping method should I choose? Do you have FBA shipping experience?
They always come up with the best solution.
Feature 3: Rich transportation experience
International trade is definitely not just chat or payment.
We are conducting serious business activity. A supplier who can book, ship, declare, transport safely, and notify arrivals in a timely manner can save you 50% of your time and 5% or more of your money.
Get a sample
In addition to the price, the quality of the samples directly determines the follow-up cooperation.
You can’t fully trust a supplier you’ve never met, so samples are always necessary.
Fortunately, this is not a hassle, due to the characteristics of the product, disposable tableware is not heavy, whether bagasse plate, or disposable fork, knife, spoon.
4 steps to get samples:
1. Contact the supplier
3. Get samples
Note that Ecoure will provide free products, you just need to pay a little shipping charge. Disposable tableware is light enough that shipping costs won’t break your budget.
4.1 If you have a DHL account, please provide us with the information, without any payment, you will receive the sample within 7 days
4.2 We have competitive shipping partners, usually the sample shipping cost is under $30.
Chapter 4: How to check disposabel wooden cutlery quality?
The inspection process for any regular wooden cutlery item should be as follows:
1. Check the appearance of the disposable wooden cutlery
You need to check the surface and sides of the disposable wooden cutlery. Make sure it’s not damaged or dirty.
2. Check the length, width, thickness
Different suppliers produce wooden forks of different specifications. Although the length of the wooden fork is 140mm, 160mm, and 185mm by default, not every supplier will provide a wooden fork with a fully qualified thickness and width.
You should make sure that these disposable wooden custlery are fully suitable for everyday use so that it doesn’t affect sales.
3. Check strength and gram weight
Wooden forks and knives need to be strong enough to cut or fork the steak without breaking. Usually, the weight of a 160mm wooden fork should not be less than 1.8mm, otherwise, it will be difficult to use, and attract complaints from customers.
4. Check the raw materials
The wrong product is the most painful thing in the purchasing process because you have paid time and money, but you can’t get the goods you want.
Bamboo forks are also popular and available from many suppliers. But when you only want to bulk wooden forks, but receive a batch of bamboo forks, you can imagine your frustration, and it is difficult for you to recover the loss.
5. Check the quantity
Usually, disposable wooden forks and cutlery sets are purchased in large quantities, such as a 40-foot container that can hold more than 800,000 individually packaged 160mm cutlery sets.
It is not excluded that some careless suppliers drop a carton when packing. You need to have the supplier provide a complete sales invoice and packing list in case you need it.
6. Third-party testing
You always need to double-check the quality of the bulk order product before shipping. But the cost of a long trip to China is really high.
Well, you can use the services of a professional inspection agency like SGS, Lloyds, etc. and they will inspect product material and quality. And provide inspection report proof. Of course, these come at a cost.
Ecoure has a very strict order traceability system, from communication, collection, production, shipment, transportation, and after-sales.
We are happy to provide this data along with a production inspection report of your order if you need it.
Chapter 5: Documentation needed when importing wooden spoons & forks from China
Different countries require different certificates for food contact products, but not all of them are mandatory.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) restricts the content of indirect food additives in food contact materials (FCM), including wooden kitchenware.
FDA issued Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations to regulate the amount of hazardous substances contained in FCMs.
21 CFR is revised annually by the FDA to ensure that it covers recently identified relevant hazardous ingredients in consumer products
21 CFR requires that kitchen utensils be designed so that food stored or in contact with the utensils is not susceptible to contamination by the external environment. Also, kitchen utensils should be made of non-toxic materials.
According to 21 CFR, wooden kitchen utensils are subject to substances such as heavy metals, chemicals such as bisphenol A, etc. If your wooden kitchen utensils contain excessive amounts of restricted substances, it is not legal to import them into the United States.
Natural materials such as wood or bamboo should not contain excessive amounts of restricted heavy metals or chemicals.
The BRC Standard is a certification scheme accredited by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). This certification is an internationally recognized mark of food safety and quality. This is a voluntary but beneficial certification
Food Safety System Certification (FSSC) 22000
This is a recognized standard against which food safety management systems can be audited and certified.
FSSC 22000 is globally recognized by GFSI and other food safety programs such as BRC or IFS. This certificate is not mandatory but is welcome.
Customs clearance information
After you have selected a supplier, place an order and the goods have been shipped to your designated location.
How to pick up the goods? You need to show all documents that prove you are the owner of the cargo.
Samples can be delivered directly to your warehouse by the courier. The courier company will send samples for door to door with 7 days.
When you purchase a batch of wooden spoons & forks, it may be a formal order, usually by air and sea to the designated port, then you need to provide the following documents:
- Sales Contract
- commercial invoice
- Packing List
- bill of lading
- Some countries require a certificate of origin
According to the negotiation between you and the supplier, the bill of lading is divided into the delivery of the Telex Release, and the original bill of lading.
Telex release: provide the electronic version of the bill of lading to pick up your goods.
Original bill of lading: usually, it is suitable for large orders or special requests. The original bill of lading will be generated about a week after the boat set sail. The supplier will immediately send the original document to you by courier.
What is the HS code of the wooden spoons & forks?
You also need to pay customs duties, the above HS code comes in handy, the tax rate is based on the HS code you used.
Wooden spoons & forks belong to wooden tableware, HS code 4419, the latter digits vary from different Countries. You can check your local Customs website/system.
Chapter 6: How to ship wooden spoons & forks from China to your local?
As mentioned above, depending on the weight of the order goods can be shipped using express, air, or sea. European customers may also use rail.
If you have no international shipping experience, you can refer to the solution here:
Usually express is suitable for samples and small orders. Samples absolutely choose express!
However, for small wholesalers, this is an awkward range. The cost of 80kg cargo can take away your profits.
Express shipping from China to North America and Western Europe is about $7 per kilo, and to Australia and New Zealand is about $9 per kilo, cheaper to Asian countries, and more expensive to Africa, South America, and other regions.
It can be seen that the express fee of 80 kilograms should not be underestimated, and the destination port fee for air or sea transportation is also very expensive. But overall, express delivery is more cost-effective.
Please note: The long-term cooperation between Chinese suppliers and express delivery often leads to lower shipping costs
Air freight is indeed a better option.
Air freight has a much faster speed than sea freight and a cheaper price than express
However, the service of air freight is really not as good as express, and air freight needs to provide documents to clear customs.
More than 2CBM less than 20 squares
LCL (Less than Container Load) is the best option at this time
Shipping by sea is the most common way of international transactions because it has the lowest cost and, of course, the slowest and most cumbersome.
Fortunately, most suppliers will provide shipping services, and buyers with decades of experience may have their own shipping agents.
In any case, please pay attention to the port of destination fee! Don’t be fooled by cheap offers.
Please ask the supplier to show the details of the port of destination charges.
As you can see, shipping costs are only a small fraction of the total. Most of the additional costs are incurred at the port of destination, the import process, and ground transportation to your warehouse.
When your goods arrive at the port, you need to pick up the goods within the specified time limit, otherwise there will be additional stacking charges.
Usually, the stack-free period is 3 days or a week.
And, when more than 20 squares, you should choose FCL shipping. Because the LCL fee plus the destination port is almost equal to the transportation cost of a 20-foot container
Another thing to note:
The other goods in the same container are inspected by Customs and violate the regulations. Unfortunately, you will be implicated. Ranging from delays in receipt of goods and incurring costs, even inability to clear customs. Therefore, a stable and safe freight forwarder is also very important.
FCL (Full Container Load) is the safest and most reliable shipping method. The entire container is your cargo, don’t worry about losing it. And avoids the worst possible scenario in the aforementioned LCL.
How long does it take to arrive by sea?
West Coast of USA: 25-35 days
East Coast of USA: 35-45 days
Australia: 25-35 days
UK: 35-40 days
Europe: about 40 days
South Asia: 10-15 days
Other areas: about 40 days
FCL rail transport
For shipping to European countries, it takes 30-50 days to arrive by sea and a very long time.
It only takes less than a week for air and air freight, but the cost is 5-8 times that of sea freight.
So, rail freight comes with a good balance between transit time and cost. Rail shipping is ideal for countries in Eastern Europe and Western Asia far away from the seaport.
Rail shipping cost is about 2 times that of sea freight, and the time is 15-20 days.
The biggest disadvantage of rail freight is the limited number of countries that can be reached along the China-Europe railway line.
About the sea cost
Ocean freight costs are affected by a variety of factors, such as seasons, routes, destinations, and pandemics. Even unexpected events, such as canal blockage time in 2021, saw freight rates soar.
Therefore, we can’t simply list the cost, but you can check and compare through some shipping agency websites, such as: Freightos
Disclaimer: We are not responsible for any activities on Freightos, they are only agents and not shipping companies.
Shanghai, Ningbo, or Guangzhou?
It is an obligation as an experienced supplier to make this point. Sea costs from different ports to different countries are absolutely worlds apart!
United States: Shanghai port, followed by Ningbo port. The two ports have the shortest straight-line distance to the United States.
Especially for wooden cutlery manufacturers, most of them are located in Zhejiang and Anhui, the factory is the closest to Shanghai and Ningbo, which also cut down the inland shipping cost. cut down the inland shipping cost.
Australia: Clearly Guangzhou Port is the best fit
Europe: A reminder must be here. If you are an importer in Europe, the sea freight for the origin port of Shanghai is more than that of Guangzhou port!
Asia: Usually shipped from Guangzhou or Shenzhen port
Based on the raw material base, Ecoure has three factories located in Anhui, Zhejiang, and Guangzhou, the following are our regular delivery options.
Chapter 7: How to customize woodens fork for your business?
Brands are very important in business. It identifies your target audience; creates your value proposition; defines your mission; defines your brand personality; builds brand equity.
For Chinese suppliers, customization is simple. China has the most complete supply chain in the world, raw material-transportation-production-printing-packaging-transportation.
Ecoure has machines such as baling machines, printing machines, hot stamping machines, etc., which can easily complete the customized tasks you entrust.
You just need to confirm:
- Your logo
- Your thoughts: printing position, size, text
- Printing method:
- The outer packaging is printed with ink
- You can also choose to hot stamp your LOGO on the handle of wooden spoons & forks, which is very good, isn’t it?
Chapter 8: FAQs about bulk wooden spoons & forks from China
Why do some suppliers provide Hong Kong bank account?
Hong Kong is an inseparable part of China!
However, Hong Kong and mainland China have completely different policies and financial approaches. For example, it is faster to receive money, and it is more convenient to exchange dollars.
Hong Kong accounts also have shortcomings. Once sensitive remittances are involved, they are easy to be banned and subject to bank control.
Both trading companies and manufacturers may offer Hong Kong accounts as subsidiaries of mainland companies. But trading companies prefer Hong Kong accounts, while some producers with limited information do not.
Ecoure will never use Hong Kong accounts for bulk orders, we only provide mainland US dollar accounts / Euro accounts for large purchases.
For samples and small express orders, a Hong Kong account may be provided for convenience.
What is the lead time?
Samples can reach your warehouse in almost 7 days.
For formal orders, it usually takes 30 days for production scheduling + 3 days for inland shipping + 35 days for ocean shipping.
What are solutions for defective products?
For defective products, qualified suppliers usually have two ways to make up:
- Refund the corresponding amount
- The accounting amount is deducted from the next order
How do I make payment?
1. Wire transfer, also known as T/T, bank transfer,
You need to visit your bank or visit their website to arrange payment. Delivery takes 1 to 7 business days, depending on the country and sending bank.
Transfer fees vary from $20 to $50 per payment, no matter how much you send.
Letter of Credit (L/C) is not suitable for most people who are new to the import and export business.
You do not need to pay the supplier up front, your bank guarantees that the supplier will receive payment once the goods are shipped or arrive at the port of destination.
This payment method solves the problem of trust between buyers and sellers and can also help the buyer relieve cash flow pressure because he does not need to pay any money to get the supplier to start production.
3. Online or third-party payment software
Such as Paypal, Western Union.
This is an effective way to keep the transaction safe, however, it requires a fee of around 4%, which is really high, and the profits of Chinese suppliers are usually only around 5%.
The vast majority of Chinese suppliers do not accept PayPal payments because they are afraid that buyers will be deceived, such as requesting a refund after receiving the goods.
Ecoure is happy to provide free products(3-10 PCS), just there may be a small shipping fee associated with the courier. You can pay for sample order via Paypal, it is convenient for buyers to quickly check product quality.
I am a novice, can you help me?
Inexperienced importers can start with small orders and are based on CIF terms. At this point, you only need to do 4 things:
- Place a small order to this wooden cutlery supplier
- Wait for the delivery notice, and get the clearance documents provided by the supplier as above
- You will be notified once the ship is approaching port. You have to provide documents to the shipping company and pay the port of destination fee and tax
- The customs clearance company at the port of destination will provide truck service and deliver it to your warehouse, of course, this is paid