Ship by sea from China to USA is undoubtedly the most popular option. It is no exaggeration to say that even about 90% of the world’s goods are transported by sea.
There are basically two shipping services available for ship by sea from China to USA – LCL or FCL. LCL means less than container load, while FCL means full container load.
FCL shipping basically involves shipping your goods in one or more containers dedicated to your use. Only your goods will be in the container, ensuring that your goods are not disturbed until you open the container yourself.
For LCL shipments, the cargo to be shipped is usually less than what is required to fill one container. If you don’t have enough cargo to fill a container, split the cost and share the container with someone else’s cargo.
Costs involved in ship by sea from China to USA – LCL
The cost of LCL shipping from China to the US is divided into two parts: the first part is ‘Chargeable Volume’, and the second part is ‘Bill of Lading’.
Calculation of cost from “billable volume”
Chargeable volume refers to the volume of the cargo in cubic meters compared to its weight-based volume. The larger of the two will be used to calculate the shipping cost. This ensures that shipments containing bulky or dense items are costed correctly.
Ship by sea from China to USA Surcharge
Additional international shipping charges that may be incurred for LCL shipments include:
Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF) – Cargo Ship Bunker Surcharge
Peak Season Surcharge (PSS) – Increased during peak shipping seasons
General Rate Increase (GRI) – Standard rate increases that occur around the PSS
Currency Adjustment Factor (CAF) – conversion cost for currency conversion
The process of ship by sea from China to USA
Pick up the goods to the warehouse: this is the beginning of the ocean freight capital of the United States. At this stage, your goods will be shipped from the seller’s warehouse to your forwarder’s warehouse.
China’s export customs clearance: Both China and the United States require that export goods must be cleared first. Customs clearance will include providing a detailed cargo declaration along with supporting documentation.
Origin Processing: This phase covers all the activities required to prepare the goods for shipment. The goods will be placed in the transfer area for inspection and confirmation. Once confirmed, the freight forwarder will issue a shipment receipt confirming that they have received the described shipment.
If you choose FCL shipping, the goods will be put in the container.
In the case of LCL, they will be placed in a warehouse waiting to travel to the same port of destination with other cargo in one container. Finally, the container will be trucked to the port of departure for loading.
Ocean Freight: This is the actual movement of goods across oceans. Ship by sea from China to USA may take 15-35 days, depending on the actual situation.
U.S. import customs clearance: After the goods arrive at the U.S. port, wait for import customs clearance. It also involves filling out the necessary forms, declaring the goods and paying the necessary fees.
Destination Handling: This stage includes all activities required to confirm the cargo, check documents including the bill of lading, and transport the container to the freight forwarder’s warehouse. Here, goods are opened, inspected and then sorted for import shipment.
Domestic Shipping: This is the final stage of shipping to the US by sea. At this stage, the shipment is transported inland by train or truck to your final destination in the United States.
A freight forwarder can handle every stage of the process. Or you may decide to make alternative arrangements for certain stages to save costs of ship by sea from China to USA.