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How to Ship From China to the USA: A Comprehensive Guide for 2023

Time: Jun 15,2023 Author: SFC Source: www.sendfromchina.com

The world of ecommerce is a dynamic one. With China's prominence as the world's largest manufacturing hub, one of the most common questions that businesses often ask is "How to ship from China to the USA?"

In this blog post, we'll explore the main methods of shipping, the time taken for goods to reach their destination and the associated costs. So, whether you're a novice in China ecommerce fulfillment or a seasoned player seeking to optimize your operations, this guide will prove beneficial.

1. Main Methods of Shipping From China to USA

When it comes to shipping goods from China to the USA, there are primarily three methods that businesses can consider: ocean freight, air freight, and express shipping.

1.1 Ocean Freight
ship from china to usa

Ocean freight is often the go-to choice for heavy, large, or non-urgent shipments. Using container ships, it's possible to move large quantities of goods across the ocean at a comparatively lower cost. There are two main types of container sizes used: 20-foot and 40-foot containers, with each serving different shipping needs. This method, however, can be time-consuming.

A crucial detail to consider in sea freight is distinguishing between full-container loads (FCL) and less-than-full container loads (LCL). FCL refers to a shipment where your goods exclusively occupy the container. In contrast, LCL implies a shared container space with other parties' goods. It's noteworthy that LCL can potentially lead to shipping delays as it may necessitate waiting for another partner's goods before your shipment can proceed.

Considering the abundance of top-tier seaports dotting China's coastline, opting for sea transportation of goods from China is a highly effective method, particularly if your destination is along the Pacific coast of the US. It's important to remember that ocean freight is also commonly referred to as sea freight.

1.2 Air Freight
ship from china to usa

If speed is a priority, air freight might be the better option. Air freight involves the transportation of goods via cargo aircraft, which is significantly faster than ocean freight. This method is particularly suitable for light, small, and time-sensitive shipments. However, the cost is significantly higher compared to ocean freight.

The distinction between air freight and express shipping essentially lies in the pace of delivery, with the former not being expedited. Both utilize the same transportation methods, but the advantage of air freight is that it doesn't involve any additional cost for expedited service, since there's no urgency. Particularly for shipments weighing between 400 and 1200 lbs, air freight emerges as the most cost-effective choice, offering prices 30% to 40% less than express shipping. It presents an optimal balance of swift delivery and lower costs.

1.3 Express Shipping
ship from china to usa

Express shipping refers to courier services provided by companies such as DHL, UPS, FedEx, etc. These services are designed to be the fastest and most convenient, offering door-to-door shipping and including customs handling. While this method is ideal for small, urgent shipments, it's also the most expensive one.

Typically, reputable companies like DHL, UPS, and FedEx offer express shipping options. They have the most experience with such matters, and they can even fly goods in on a day’s notice. Although, the faster you need the product the more expensive your shipping will be. After all, a lot of preparation goes into getting these goods through the airports. You’ll need to expedite all the relevant customs documents and monitoring procedures in China.

2. How Long Does It Take to Ship From China To USA?

ship from china to usa
The specific shipping time varies considerably depending on the shipping method you choose. To get more shipping time details, click here to talk with SFC logistic experts NOW!

2.1 Shipping Time of Ocean Freight 2023
On average, ocean freight takes about 14 to 20 days to ship from China to the USA. This time is subject to factors like customs clearance, weather conditions, and port congestion.

2.2 Shipping Time of Air Freight 2023
Air freight significantly reduces the shipping time. Typically, it takes approximately 7 to 14 days, including handling and customs clearance. However, delays due to weather conditions and airport capacity can affect this timeline.

2.3 Shipping Time of Express Shipping 2023
Express shipping is the quickest, often delivering shipments from China to the USA within 3 to 7 days. These services include expedited customs clearance, making them an excellent option for time-sensitive shipments.

3. Cost of Shipping From China To USA 2023

The cost of shipping is a critical consideration for businesses, as it directly impacts the bottom line.

3.1 Ocean Freight: Charge by Containers
ship from china to usa

The cost of ocean freight primarily depends on the size of the container. But at SFC, as of June 2023, it starts at 50 RMB/KG. These figures can vary based on factors like the shipping company, seasonality, and route.

3.2 Air Freight: The More You Ship, the Cheaper You Will Get
Air freight costs are calculated based on the weight and volume of the shipment. On average, the cost starts from RMB 56/KG in June 2023. It's worth noting that as the weight of the shipment increases, the cost per kilogram decreases, offering potential savings for larger shipments. Other factors influencing the cost include fuel charges, security charges, and potential surcharges for specific goods.

3.3 Express Shipping: Additional Fees
Express shipping offers the quickest delivery time, but it comes at a premium price. In 2023, the cost averages between RMB 256.2 to RMB 300 per kilogram. The exact price is dependent on the size, weight, and nature of the goods. Moreover, there may be additional charges such as remote area fees, fuel surcharges, customs duty and tax handling fees, all of which need to be taken into account when considering this method.

4. Best Way to Ship From China to USA
Deciding on the best method to ship from China to the USA depends largely on the specific needs and priorities of your business.

4.1 Cost Efficiency
cost efficiency

If cost efficiency is your primary concern and your shipment isn't time-sensitive, ocean freight would be the most viable option. This method is best suited for businesses dealing with large, heavy items and can afford a longer transit time.

4.2 Speed
If speed is the priority, and the shipment is not excessively heavy or large, air freight is a great choice. While it is more expensive than ocean freight, the reduced shipping time could result in lower inventory carrying costs and a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

4.3 Shipping Time
For small, urgent shipments, express shipping is an excellent choice. While it's the most expensive, it offers significant advantages such as faster delivery times and simplified customs procedures. This method is particularly popular among e-commerce businesses that need to quickly send products to individual customers.

4. Get Start with SFC Order Fulfillment Services

Whether you have or do not have a board game fulfillment partner, particularly your board games manufactured in China, you should take SFC into consideration. Click the button below and get help from SFC logistics experts. 

1. Over 17 years 3PL and order fulfillment experience

2. DDP (Delivered Duty Paid) Service

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In conclusion, when it comes to shipping from China to the USA, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. The best shipping method for your business depends on a myriad of factors, including the nature of your goods, your budget, and how quickly you need your items delivered.

As part of your decision-making process, consider all the variables - cost, time, and the reliability of the shipping method. If possible, partner with a 3PL order fulfillment service provider who can offer expert advice and help tailor a shipping solution that fits your business's unique needs.

With the expansion of global trade and the booming China ecommerce fulfillment market, understanding the shipping process from China to the USA is essential. While it might seem overwhelming, with the right knowledge and partners, you can navigate this journey effectively.
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