What is FCL container shipping to USA ?
If you shipping from China to USA with a FCL, it means you will have a shipping container allocated exclusively for your consignment and your cargo will not be mixed with other shippers’ cargo . This doesn’t mean you have to fill the container, although the more interior space you use, the more cost-effective it is to ship a full container.
The process of FCL container shipping to USA is simpler than LCL shipping. This is mainly because your freight forwarder does not need to consolidate your shipment with other customers’ consignments before shipping. Likewise, they do not have to arrange for unpacking after arriving at the port of unloading.
The advantages of FCL container shipping to USA
Sealing containers at the factory means less handling and less chance of damage.
The unit price of LCL is high, so for larger shipments, paying the FCL flat fee can save money.
Although air freight from China to USA is the fastest method, it is too expensive. If you have time, you can save a lot of money by choosing FCL sea shipping.
Cost of FCL container shipping to USA
When you ship with FCL, you pay a flat fee, no matter how many are inside.
But once your shipment gets big enough – usually around 13 CBM, depending on your shipment – it becomes well worth paying the flat fee as the cost per unit of LCL is much higher.
Here are some other factors that affect FCL prices:
GRI (General Interest Rate Increase). These are container price increases that operators can implement at the beginning and middle of each month, usually in response to demand. Learn more here.
Prices soar during peak season. Peak season comes when businesses ship in bulk to ensure their supplies are ready for the holiday shopping season. For FCL container shipping to USA, peak season is usually between August and November.
Holiday delays. Shippers from China need to consider the Spring Festival (usually in February) and the fall Golden Week, a week-long holiday that affects demand and prices. Regardless of your origin and destination, be sure to check your local calendar for important holidays.
Additional cost for FCL container shipping to USA
When your container arrives, there will be a period of time, usually four days in the US, where you can wait in port for free. After this time, you will be charged demurrage until you pick up the shipment. Demurrage fees vary by country and can quickly turn into hundreds of dollars in the US. Make sure your freight forwarder clears customs and collects containers from the port in a timely manner.
Likewise, once your cargo is picked up, you have a window of time until the container has to be returned to port, which is usually four days too. After that, detention charges kick in, and like demurrage charges, they can add up quickly.
There are also waiting time charges to consider. Typically, freight companies allow drivers to wait at the warehouse for 1-2 hours to unload your container, and then charge an additional hourly fee.
Port Congestion Surcharge
If you ship to a popular port, you may end up with a congestion surcharge. Check with your freight forwarder when deciding on your destination port.
Time for FCL container shipping to USA
How long does it take to ship a container from China to the US? The average transit time for a container from China to the US is 2 to 6 weeks.
Minimum Shipping Time for FCL container shipping to USA
One of the shortest transit times for containers to the U.S. is the route from Shanghai Container Terminal using CMA CGM Container Service, with an average transit time of 20 days, which is a faster way to ship containers from China to the U.S. The next shortest route is East Overseas, with Qingdao as the loading port, it takes an average of 28 days to reach the west coast of the United States.
Maximum Shipping Time for FCL container shipping to USA
The longest and slowest transit time for a container from China to the U.S. is the Hong Kong to New York route, with an estimated average transit time of 35 to 37 days from port to port. The second-longest route for shipping containers from China to the U.S. is from Guangzhou to Houston, Texas, with an average transit time of 38 to 45 days.