3 Methods For Shipping Goods From China To USA,And Accurate Calculation Formula Here!-Xiongda

The logistics of shipping goods from China to USA is an important part of imports.

Nowadays,many importers buy from wholesale sites,like Alibaba,Global Sources, and Made in China.

Generally,their suppliers will arrange the transportation for them.Some with import experience may have their trust freight forwarders and will arrange shipments by themselves.But for newbies,shipping may be tormenting,especially when you need to compare different shipping methods and relevant costs.

So,in this article,I will share 3 major methods for shipping goods from China to USA and their estimated costs.After reading it,you can arrange transportation with ease,whether you are using the supplier’s forwarder or your own.Anyway,this is a good guide.

shipping goods from China to USA
shipping goods from China to USA

First of all, let me introduce to you the 3 methods for shipping goods from China to USA!

shipping goods from China to USA by express delivery

Air express is the fastest shipping method when using shipping companies like FedEx, UPS, and DHL. Express is very cost-effective if you are shipping goods with a gross weight of less than 200 kg and a volume of less than or equal to 1 cubic meter. Courier services will usually charge you based on weight or volume, whichever is higher.

Depending on the value of the goods you intend to import, US Customs may still apply; however, the process is less complicated than air freight. You can also avoid asking for a quote.

Express shipping is also useful for small shipments that you may order to determine the viability of a product or its needs before placing a bulk order with a supplier.

shipping goods from China to USA by air freight

There are generally two ways for China to fly to the United States, one is a direct flight and the other is a transfer flight. A non-stop flight refers to a direct flight to the United States after taking off from the origin, without stopping or transferring. A transfer is a kind of flight that only needs to stop at a certain country or region, pick up goods or guests, or change planes and then fly to the United States.

The direct flight time from China to the United States is generally 13 to 14 hours. Because the links of American air transportation are more complicated than passenger transportation, it is related to customs declaration, security inspection, customs clearance, and other links. It takes 2-3 days to pick up the goods from China to Los Angeles. And the transfer will be several days slower. For example, from China to Hong Kong to the United States, it takes about 7-9 days.

shipping goods from China to USA
shipping goods from China to USA

The operation process of shipping goods from China to USA by air freight:

Domestic collection – domestic customs declaration – China and Hong Kong transportation – domestic customs – Hong Kong customs – Hong Kong customs clearance – Hong Kong airport warehousing – plane board – boarding – US airport – US customs clearance – pickup – delivery.

shipping goods from China to USA by sea freight

If shipping goods from China to USA is more than 2 CBM (cubic meters), you should consider sea freight from China to USA. Though it is the most complex shipping method, you don’t need to worry as this guide will make the process simple and clear for you.

Less Than Container Load (LCL) and Full Container Load (FCL)

The cargo shipped by sea freight is carried in containers. There are two types, LCL and FLC.

If the quantity of your goods is small and its volume is less than 15 CBM, the freight forwarder will help you ship your goods by LCL. It implies you have to share a container with other importers because your cargo load is less than a container size.

shipping goods from China to USA
shipping goods from China to USA


LCL uses CBM (Cubic Meter) as the unit to calculate the freight. For example, if your product is 12 CBM, then the shipping fee = the price per CBM * 12CBM.


FCL is when your cargo is enough to fill one or more containers. In this case, the freight is calculated on the quantity of the whole container. For example, if your goods can fill 2 containers, then the shipping fee = the price of a full container * 2. Generally, it will be cheaper than LCL.

The cost of shipping goods from China to USA by sea:

What is the all-inclusive cost of shipping goods from China to USA by sea?

Just like air freight, I’ll also give you an all-inclusive price, and you can compare prices and roughly calculate shipping. This fee includes home delivery but does not include local logistics costs in China.

For bulk shipments, ie LCL, I will provide prices for West, Central, and East US. But for the FCL price, I can only provide the cost to the port of Los Angeles, because the cost to different ports in the United States varies greatly. Moreover, the United States has more than 100 ports. The table below will give you an overview of container freight rates based on cargo CBM.

shipping goods from China to USA
shipping goods from China to USA

The cost breakdown Of shipping goods from China to USA by sea

Again, I will explain the composition of sea freight under FOB and EXW terms, as they are the most common. Nearly 90% of the trade is done under these two terms. Take Alibaba for example, suppliers on it usually offer you FOB and EXW prices.

The FOB price includes the cost of the product and the local cost in China, so your supplier will help you ship your goods directly to the port of shipment. After that, the part of sea freight you need to pay will be:

Shipping cost=Cost for sea freight from a Chinese port to USA port +American customs clearance cost + Local logistics cost in the USA

The EXW price is just the product cost, which means your supplier won’t help you ship the goods to the port of the shipment. In this case, the part of sea freight you need to pay will be:

Shipping cost = Local logistics cost in China + China export cost + Cost for sea freight from a Chinese port toUSA port +American customs clearance cost + Local logistics costs in the USA

To explain everything about the price of the sea freight process, I’ll divide the sea freight process into three steps and show the cost of each step.

shipping goods from China to USA
shipping goods from China to USA

The cost of shipping goods from China to USA by air:

The cost of shipping goods from China to USA by air is composed of three sections: the cost of the port of departure, the cost of the transportation section, and the cost of the port of destination.

Port of departure fee: delivery fee, port of departure operation fee, customs declaration fee, inspection fee, etc., mainly some costs that will be incurred at the port of departure. In addition to these fees there are:

1.Fuel surcharge (depending on the airport, the destination price is different, it used to be 3.6, and the highest last year was 4.8. This price is adjusted by the airport)

2.Security check fee, airport operation fee, terminal fee (1.72/catties), and air waybill fee.

shipping goods from China to USA
shipping goods from China to USA

The above is the composition of the accounting expenses of many airlines, mainly Hong Kong Airport. Because Hong Kong is a super-large free trade port, and Hong Kong Airport is the largest airport in the world, it has fewer restrictions, a wide range, and many cargo aircraft.

There are currently 78 airlines. With more than 100 daily flights, it can be preferred if space and service are guaranteed. However, the cost is generally about 2 yuan higher than domestic!

The formula for calculating the volumetric weight of air transportation and express delivery is: length CM * width CM * height CM / 6000. If the calculated volumetric weight (KG) is greater than the actual weight, it will be charged according to the volumetric weight. US FBA air freight cost calculation: volumetric weight (kg) = length (CM) X width (CM) X height (CM) / 6000; volumetric weight (kg) = cargo volume (CBM) X 167 kg.

If you had other questions in mind,please contact us!s,and I will endeavor to respond. 

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