Are you planning to import (or export) products from China to the USA?

Do you have any questions about the regulation or the mode of transportation?

This is because it is extremely difficult to find useful information.

Our essay will focus on freight forwarding between China and USA, including shipping methods (sea and air freight), rules (customs clearance, forbidden products, required licenses, etc.), and shipping techniques (sea or air freight).

Table of Content

Chapter 1: Shipping from China to the USA: What Methods Can You Use?

Chapter 2: How much does shipping from China to the United States cost?

Chapter 3: Ways to Save Time and Money When Shipping from China to the USA

Chapter 4: How do you choose a freight forwarder when shipping to the United States from China?

Chapter 5: How Are The Duties And Taxes Calculated?

Chapter 6:Frequently Ask Questions About China to the USA

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Shipping from China to the USA: What Methods Can You Use?

shipping from china to usa

1. Ocean Freight FCL

FCL, also known as a complete container load, refers to your items filling the whole container, either 20, 40′, or 20.

 If you’re shipping in an extremely high volume, you’ll save time and cash by shipping FCL.

The pricing for FCL is an uncapped cost regardless of whether your container is full.

2. Ocean Freight LCL

LCL (which is less than a container’s load, which means that your products don’t fill the full container and can be shipped in conjunction with pallets or boxes.

When you send LCL, your items will have to be consolidated at the port of origin and then deconsolidated at the delivery port.

 This is the reason LCL shipping can take several days more than FCL.

3. Air cargo shipping cost from China to the USA per kg

3.Air cargo shipping cost from China to the USA per kg

Air shipping is typically cheaper, but it is slower than shipping via ocean, So the method you select will be based on the weight and size of your cargo and how fast you’ll need it to reach your destination.

4. Ocean, Air, and Express freight transit time from China to the US

How do I know how long it will take to get the goods from China to the US?

The time of your shipment’s delivery is affected by the location, the load’s size, and the time of year.

 It’s not always identical. Based on the conditions of the market, events of nature, or other events, freight deliveries can delay.

4. More on shipping for this route

China, located in Asia, can transport cargo to the US via three different routes; Pacific Lane, Atlantic Lane, and Indian Lane.

Loads are transported to specific areas of the US using each course. West part of Latin America, the East Coast of the US, and North America receive cargo transferred from Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Lanes.

There are various options for shipping to and from China into the USA. If a reputable shipping company is chosen based on requirements and budgetary constraints, a significant amount of money is reduced, beneficial for both the seller and buyer.

The first step to begin the business is to gather more details about the process to make an informed decision.

A few of the most well-known shipping routes include air freight, sea freight, door-to-door, and express shipping.

5. Door to Door from China to the USA

6.Door to Door service

Door-to-door service refers to an immediate transfer of goods from buyer to seller without interruption, also known as entry to port ports to port or house to home.

 This can be accomplished via road, sea, or air with additional guarantees. So, the freight forwarding business transports the container to the customer’s warehouse.

It is essential to consider this buyer who cooperates with several shipping firms; the cost may be lower than working with only one.

Research into various shipping options is essential before choosing the best one.

Chapter 2: How much does shipping from China to the United States cost?

1. Air Freight Costs and Rates from China to the US

At around $3 per kilo, the normal shipping via air is the least expensive choice for shipments between 150 kg and 500 kg.

The smallest shipments of their size could be charged according to the dimensional weight instead of the actual weight.

Airfreight is the most rapid. Express air freight can be a bit more costly.

The cost of cargo varies greatly between freight forwarders. Prices frequently fluctuate, so be sure to shop around.

For larger shipments and pairs of origin/destination, LCL (less than a container load) ocean freight costs could be less than air freight prices – be sure to take a look!

2. Sea Freight Costs and Rates from China to the US


If a cargo weighs greater than 500 kilograms, ocean freight is the most affordable alternative.

Ocean freight is a great way to save money on size (some ships can transport 20000 twenty-foot containers).

Certain freight forwarders offer a premium option that is often called expedited freight.

This costs a bit more than the regular ocean freight. Similar to air freight, the cost of ocean freight differs widely between forwarders and over time, so be sure to look around.

You can start looking for your next purchase using our simple cost calculator for freight.

 It’ll give you immediate shipping estimates for ocean and air. Each shipping option includes its own set of variable and base costs.

 Modifications with the lowest base cost are more affordable for smaller shipments.

Those with lower weight-related variable costs are more affordable for larger loads, even though they start with a large base price.

3. Other Important Costs from China to the USA

If it’s not feasible to utilize FedEx to transfer products, sellers need to locate an express agency that offers discounts and transport to the USA.

Also, aside from the time of the year and the quantity of space left in an airplane and the discount offered by the seller, which is paid in advance, could affect the delivery price.

Shipping prices vary dependent on the chosen method; however, for air freight, it is equal to the cost of logistics for logistics in China, China export cost and shipping costs between China towards the US, American customs clearance, and logistics cost in the USA.

Alongside the earlier shipping prices from China into the US, additional charges are connected to the sample shipping quotation. Examples:

  • CFS costs: $69.30
  • Origin documentation fee: $30
  • En fee exempt fee: $30
  • Re-weighting and Sending cost (LCL) $15
  • Customs clearance fees for export are $23
  • Freight: $277.20
  • Cargo insurance: $63.15
  • Other charges at the destination: $590.62

4. Cheapest Shipping from China to the USA

aOcean Freight Shipping Cost

Less is paid if the time frame isn’t considered an issue. In addition, buyers who purchase lots of items will receive better rates for freight when compared to those who buy smaller items.

FCL container sea freight is the most affordable shipping method that connects China to the USA; however, Express air cargo is the highest priced one.

Due to the unpredictable discount and the fact that FedEx airplanes have a lot of space, it could be less expensive than air shipping.

The standard mail system in China offers a range of choices, such as Air Mail/ SAL or Surface Mail for small parcels; Air Parcel, SA for large packages and big packages.

Also, the EMS along with EUB priority methods for properties. Although shipping costs are low, it is subject to the long waiting time.

5. Shipping Rates from China to the USA

Rates for freight differ between forwarders and cost changes over time.

Importers usually want to determine the most reasonable price to move cargoes across the country or internationally.

All information must be clarified to avoid unpredictability if long-distance shipping is considered.

Not just a few agents can help importers find the most favorable price, and several websites provide information regarding the cargo and provide estimates of the shipping cost.

The information provided is regarding locations of departure and arrival and the kind of materials that are to be shipped, and some information regarding payment options.

Once you’ve entered all of this information on the site, the shipping cost is calculated and then announced.

6. How Long Does It Take To Ship From China To The USA?

Who decides Shipping Incoterms Rules

Typically sending goods into the United States from China will take between 1-35 days, based on the type of transport selected and the destination of the merchandise inside the United States.

Shipping via express is usually the most efficient alternative, taking between 1 and 5 days.

 Airfreight is anywhere between 2-15 days, while sea freight can take anywhere between 15-25plus days.

As a rule of thumb, here is the average number of days required to transport the cargo of China in the US using various methods of transport.

    • 1-5 Days – via China Air Express
    • 2-15 Days -via China Air Freight
    • 15+ Days – via China Sea Freight to the West Coast
    • 25+ Days – via China Sea Freight to the East Coast

· Sea Freight Time

Sea freight isn’t nearly as difficult as many believe. After comparing prices as well as bargaining, the vessel must be booked 15 days in advance.

 after which the customs declaration is completed in China, and it’ll be a matter of time for the ship to be in the US around 30 or 40 days later.

 to move items to the warehouse at the most reasonable cost. Additionally, the period for each region of America differs from receiving cargo.

For instance, the shipping process to and from China into China East Coast takes 23 to 25 days. It takes 13 to 15 days to ship to the West Coast.

Shipping your products to China in the US via air can take between 1 and 5 days using China Express Shipping and up to 2 weeks with Air Freight.

 For more information, take a look at our comprehensive article about Express Shipping from China to the US and Air Freight from China to the US.

· Air Freight Time

If time limitations are important for air services paying attention to a few factors can be helpful.

A 10 to 15-day booking in advance is essential to move the merchandise promptly and offers a greater chance to identify the most reliable air flight agent.

In addition, since there aren’t any scheduled flights every day for all regions of the US, The best option is to plan with the flight agent.

Also, remember that there is a 3- to 5-day storage free of items in the warehouse of the flight agent.

freight charges overview

Third, the delivery time is approximately 7-12 days, but this can be delayed due to various factors, such as delays in the declaration of customs in China which can affect the overall time.

For packages that weigh less than 200 kilograms, it’s best to talk to the agent for the flight to figure out ways to cut down on the price.

 If you choose air freight for sending your goods to China towards the USA, You can deliver your items out of the factories to your storage or where you would like to have them delivered in just a few days.

As of now, just 5percent of the world’s cargo is shipped via air freight, but it is responsible for 30 percent of the value.

It means more valuable products are transported via air freight. If your product is valuable or the delivery time is crucial for the company, then shipping via air freight is the best choice.

The issue with air freight that you must be aware of is significantly more costly. However, the speed at that your cargo will reach the USA could be more important.

Some sellers, particularly new Amazon sellers, use one method to have only a tiny portion of their goods, for example, 5-10 percent shipped via air freight, while the rest is shipped via sea.

This way, they will be able to have a tiny amount in their stores while the other products are being transported.

· Other Routes Timetable

In addition to air and sea freights, there are alternatives to transport products in China into the US according to their duration.

Express courier is among the methods. It depends on the type of company; it can take anywhere from 30-60 days to transport the package from China to the USA; however, it comes with certain dimensions and weight limitations.

· Fastest Shipping from China to the US

It usually depends on the volume and weight of the items. If it weighs less than 100 kg, express shipping is the fastest option; however, air freight may be the best option for packages that exceed this weight.

Shipping between China into the US and shipping via air is the most efficient method of transporting enormous amounts of merchandise in the shortest period.

 Another option that is very affordable and speedy is called a packet. It has an estimated delivery time of 7 to 15 days. It cost only $2.

In the end, taking into consideration all of these aspects are essential, but if the greater focus is given to completing clearing paperwork properly to have all the necessary documents for the destination.

Being aware of the holidays in China, or engaging a knowledgeable agent or company to aid in receiving items earlier.

Chapter 3: Ways to Save Time and Money When Shipping from China to the USA

Save Time

1. Choose the Right Logistic Partner

Numerous sources claim to be experts in logistics or experienced trade professionals worldwide; however, it’s not always the case. It is essential to select skilled companies with established track records.

To ensure that shipments are on time, items need to be packed, finished, loaded, and delivered within the stipulated time.

 The company responsible for these operations at the Chinese end should be able to perform these tasks efficiently.

Using reputable suppliers and companies can give you the highest possibility of delivering your product on time.

2. Organize all Relevant Documents

Clearance is often the most common cause of delays when shipping goods to and from China to the USA.

To ensure that you have a smooth clearance of customs, organizing all the necessary documents and paperwork is essential.

Important documents include the Bill of Lading, ISF (International Security Filing), the Certificate of Origins, Commercial Invoice, and a Packing List. A simple error in your documentation could result in your possessions being held upon arrival.

This could result in a substantial amount of dollars. Suppliers are accountable for the bulk of the paperwork, so selecting the best supplier and company is crucial.

Be sure that all the documents to be shipped are prepared before the package arrives.

A single of the essential copies you require is ISF, the International Security. Remember that shippers can make an application for the ISF even when they don’t have all the information about a shipment.

This is usually done before the time the cargo is placed on the vessel. You can adjust the ISF before your shipment reaches its destination port.

You may be penalized if your package is delivered without an ISF or contains incorrect information.

 The fine could go up to $5,000. Other documents needed to pass your shipment cleared by customs include:

      • Entry or Immediate Delivery Form
      • Bill of Lading
      • Certificate of Origins Commercial Invoice
      • Packing List

If you plan to ship your cargo by sea and ship it via sea freight, you must be prepared with enough time to complete all the required documents.

3. It’s All About the Timing

In certain seasons during the season, imports into China cost more. When the holidays are in full swing, there’s an insufficient supply of workers, making it delayed and higher costs for shipping.

Be aware of Chinese holidays and schedule your deliveries around these holidays. This will save your company lots of time and cost.

When you have more experience in imports from China, at certain times is more expensive to ship to China into America.

For instance, it could be more costly shipping during holidays because there is a shortage of workers to work at that time.

4. Effectively package

Choose the best time for your delivery and save a lot of cash. While suppliers manage most packaging for products, getting involved during the manufacturing process can be advantageous.

 Effective packaging can save you money on materials, provide more room for cargo, and help protect your goods from damage.

 Contact your supplier to inquire about how the efficiency of your packaging could be increased.

In the case of ocean shipping, space is the biggest factor, and therefore, optimizing your packaging to save space is a must.

This is a little difficult to achieve as you aren’t the person who is packaging, but you could inquire with your supplier if there’s an alternative to how your items could be packaged in a way that is more efficient and save how much space will be required.

But it is even more important to ensure that your goods are packed in a manner that it is not damaged during transport.

5. Wherever possible, choose FCL

What is FCL

A full load of cargo is a great option for many reasons. It’s less expensive, faster, and less likely to damage your items.

When you can, your company should choose FCL instead of LCL shipping. It’s also important to consider the dimensions of the container you’re transporting.

Containers of 40′ are typically cheaper than smaller ones when they’re not overcapacity.

6. Use a Freight Forwarder

If you’re not an expert in international shipping, hiring freight forwarding services is highly recommended.

A freight forwarder is an educated and experienced professional who will help find effective and efficient solutions to shipping your items to and from China into America and the USA.

A freight forwarder could save you a lot of time dealing with customs and paperwork requirements.

For your shipping guides, your freight forwarder can use their contacts and expertise to save you money by getting the most competitive deals and finding alternative shipping routes in case of severe weather.

Chapter 4: How do you choose a freight forwarder when shipping to the United States from China?


1. Size Does Not Matter

The size and scope of the business are not a factor in how well your package will be handled.

If you’re searching for freight forwarders, you should find one that can meet all your requirements for the supply chain.

2. Go For Experience and Stability

They are two essential aspects of a reliable and trustworthy freight forwarder. It is vital to ensure you use a forwarder with at least five years of experience in the shipping industry.

This can assure you that the company’s integrity and ability to manage your package with care.

Choose a firm with the appropriate skills and the resources to handle and transport your goods.

3. Infrastructure

The company must be able to accomplish this with maximum effectiveness. Communicating well isn’t enough when shipping goods from China to the US. It must be flawless.

4. Excellent Communication

The shipping process, details, and rules are often very complex. Therefore, you require an organization that can explain everything with the utmost clarity.

As I mentioned, great communication is essential to succeed in this field. Also, make sure both you and your freight forwarder are reading from the same document.

5. Product Knowledge

You’ll want to work with a freight forwarder familiar with the product you’re sending. This is especially critical if you’re transporting items with unique shipping requirements.

Your Chinese supplier can assist you in finding the finest forwarder for this.

Consider if you need a dependable freight forwarding firm in China to send to the United States. We will handle your deliveries most efficiently and cost-effectively feasible.

Chapter 5: How Are The Duties And Taxes Calculated?


1. Classification of Goods

To first identify a shipment’s import duty, you need to determine its classification number for the product.

The harmonized code of the particular product (6-10 digits). It is important to note that goods cannot be shipped without this number being registered on important shipping documents.

While searching for the HS number for a product can assist you in the next step, which is to identify the tax and duties.

2. Customs Value Declaration

While searching for the HS number for a product can assist you in the next step, which is to identify the tax and duties.

 In this case, customs officials in the US apply the value declared for the shipment and the product’s description.

 Please be aware: The majority of Chinese suppliers operate on FOB terms. This is why the value of customs for imports into America US is calculated on what is known as FOB.

Therefore, it is essential to ensure that the value of customs is true. To verify this number, verify that it is in line with the amount on the commercial invoice.

3. Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF)

Merchandise Processing Fee

There is also the price of merchandise processing (MPF); it is a small amount that is often not noticed by the vast majority of importers. However, it applies to all imports in the United States.

MPF costs are calculated based on the amount of the order. In this instance, items of less than $200 will be charged at $3, $5, or $9 per delivery.

 Orders worth more than $200 will incur a cost of 0.3464 percent of the item’s value. CBP demands that MPF’s maximum fee cannot exceed $485 or be less than $425. As I mentioned, the merchandise processing fees are tinny.

4. Harbor Maintenance Fees (HMF)

The maintenance cost for the harbor is yet another cost you’ll need to pay to sell your items inside the US. This might sound funny, but it’s ok!

The CBP requires that you share in the costs of maintaining terminals for container ships in the US when you import via sea.

So, if you’re shipping via ocean to the US, you’ll need to add an HMF fee on top of the sum you pay customs.

 Maintenance fees for harbors are an average of 0.125 percent of the total value of cargo.

Be aware that the goods transported by shipping by sea areas are subject to HMF and MPF.

5. Other Taxes

The tax you have to cover is the tax on federal excise, which is only charged for specific items such as fuel, alcohol drinks, tobacco products, etc.

Don’t fret about this if you’re looking to import products for consumption. Taxes on excise and levies in the federal government don’t apply to imports for consumer use from China.

These steps aid customs officials in determining the amount of import duty due for your products.

After the valuation has been completed, you’re ready to play with whatever method. It could be done through wire transfer, cheque, or credit card.

With the help of a payment receipt, you can clear the customs process and then get possession of your shipment.

Chapter 6:Frequently Ask Questions About China to USA


1. How Do I Track A Package From China In The US?

In the past, it took 6-8 months to deliver packages from China to the USA; however, it’s now around the same as 15 to 16 days.

The most noticeable difference is the kind of materials. When general items like clothing and books are sent, it usually takes approximately 3 to 6 days; however, it could take longer for delicate items such as food, drugs, and cosmetics.

There isn’t a set procedure for shipping From China to the USA as it differs based on the weight of the package.

 Therefore, timing estimation is not simple because of delays in the departure time or other factors.

In general, Express shipping for single packages is the most efficient method. Airfreight shipping for less than ten tonnes is an efficient method.

FCL shipping by sea, which is used to transport more than 10 tons, has the longest period to be transported.

2. Who is responsible for delivering China Post packages in the United States?

USPS tracks China Post Register Airmail, EMS, ePacket, and Sea/Air combined parcels sent by China in the direction of the USA.

However, USPS cannot monitor China Post Ordinary Small Packet and China Post Direct Xpress Mail Parcel regardless of whether the parcel’s destination is the USA.

3. How do I get a shipping quote from China to the United States?

Most firms have an online system to calculate shipping costs and quotes since every product has a predictable price, typically stated on an individual Cubic Meter (CBM) per-CBM basis.

To avoid the risk of unexpected costs, it is advised to inquire for a total under the Delivered Location (DAP) (also known as delivery duty Unpaid (DDU) cost by the weight and quantity of the goods, their destinations and departure points, as well as the final delivery address.

If the product is manufactured and packaged in the final shipping cost, it is to be determined, meaning you will be able to receive an estimate.

For an accurate quotation price, you need to have specific information from a Chinese supplier is required:

      • Name and quantity of commodity and the HS code
      • Estimation of time to ship
      • Delivery address
      • Weight, volume, and transfer method
      • Trade mode
      • Delivery method To port or door

4. How Much Does Shipping From China To The United States Cost?

If the shipping cost between China and the USA is considered, FCL sea freight and Express air freight are among the most economical and cost-effective methods.

Costs for sea freight are calculated according to the cargo volume; the volume and weight are considered when it comes to air-based freights.

 So, shipping costs will vary based on the weight or volume of the cargo and the chosen method.

The type and value of the goods and the destination of the goods are crucial to determining the price.

The importer must be aware of limited ports, airports, or ports in the US which require additional paperwork that can lead to delays.

 Knowing enough about these issues will help determine the shipping cost precisely and precisely.


If you’re shipping via sea or air freight or sea freight, you can send your goods from China to America.

 It can appear confusing, and there are plenty of details you have to know that were not included in this article.

This article should give you an idea of how you can ensure that your items are shipped securely and efficiently in the best way you possibly can.

We hope you will get helpful information and tips for how you can cut down on shipping costs and select the best shipping method for your products from this article.

If you’re still unsure or have questions, leave a short message below.

Please feel at ease to CONTACT US to find out the most current freight rates or assist you in sourcing and shipping your products.