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How to Choose a Port for Shipping from China to USA

Freight shipping from China to USA has been a pivotal driver of the global economy, facilitating the exchange of goods between two of the world’s largest trading partners. With the exponential growth of international trade, understanding the process of freight shipping has become essential for businesses seeking to expand their market reach. This article provides a comprehensive guide to freight shipping from China to USA, outlining Shipping Cost from China to USA, How long does it take to ship from China to the USA, What is the Best Way to Ship from China to the United States, Freight Shipping From China to USA cargo port, Important Considerations for Shipping from China to the US, and Freight Forwarders from China to USA.

Freight Shipping From China to USA

How to choose a port for shipping from China to USA

Wondering how long to ship from China to US? You need to know how much cargo, choose FCL or LCL, which port you need to ship from, which port you need to shipping to USA, which shipping carriers you need, Let’s start with major ports in US.

US West Coast ports: Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, San Francisco, Seattle, Tacoma.

US East Coast ports: Portland, New York, Norfolk, Savannah, Charlestown, Baltimore, Houston, Wilmington, New Orleans, Miami, Jacksonville.

Shipping from China to USA, the route to the East Coast and West Coast is different. To the west coast of the United States, shipping is through the Pacific Ocean, it takes about 13-16 days, if the shipper carrier is different, the price is also different, so there are long and short time. To the U.S. East Coast is through the Pacific Ocean, then through the Panama Canal, and finally to the East Coast, the time is about 25-28 days. Can also be shipped to the West Coast, and then through the inland transportation to the East Coast, commonly known as MLB, the time is about 21-23 days, just to be more expensive than the sea.

Let’s take shipping from Shenzhen for example, shipping to US West Coast ports about 14-20 days, and shipping US East Coast ports about 30 days, so you better figure out the specific from the transport to where.

Proximity to the point of origin and destination: Choosing ports that are close to manufacturing centers in China and major distribution hubs in the USA can reduce inland transportation costs and transit times.

Shipping Lines and Services: Check which shipping lines operate in the chosen ports and the frequency and reliability of their services.

Infrastructure and Handling Capacity: Opt for ports with efficient infrastructure and handling capacity to ensure smooth cargo handling and avoid delays.

Customs Clearance Efficiency: Some ports have more streamlined customs clearance procedures, which can expedite the release of cargo.

Selecting the appropriate cargo port is a crucial decision that can impact the overall logistics and cost-effectiveness of freight shipping from China to the USA. Businesses should conduct thorough research and work with experienced freight forwarders to determine the best port options based on their specific shipping requirements.

Shipping from China to US

Top 10 best shipping routes to ship containers from China to USA

At Basenton LOGISTICS China company we offer many options of routes to ship containers to USA from China. The following are the 10 most popular busiest shipping routes to the major container port in USA used by exporters and importers from China.

Origin port in ChinaDestination port in USA
Port of ShanghaiPort of New York
Port of ShenzhenPort of Newark
Port of Ningbo-ZhoushanPort of Baltimore
Port of Hong KongPort of Norfolk
Port of GuangzhouPort of Savannah
Port of QingdaoPort of Miami
Port of TianjinPort of Houston
Port of DalianPort of Los Angeles
Port of XiamenPort of Washington
Port of YingkouPort of Tacoma

Shipping timetable from ports in China to ports in the United States

Sure, here is a table with estimated transit times from major ports in China (Shanghai port, Ningbo, Qingdao, Shenzhen) to various destinations in the United States (West Coast, East Coast, Inland):

Transit Time (Days)ShanghaiNingboQingdaoShenzhen
Los Angeles (West Coast)12-1812-1816-2412-18
Long Beach (West Coast)12-1812-1816-2412-18
Oakland (West Coast)14-2214-2219-2714-22
Seattle (West Coast)15-2315-2320-2815-23
New York/Newark (East Coast)30-3528-3330-3530-35
Norfolk (East Coast)32-3630-3535-4032-36
Charleston (East Coast)35-4035-4040-4535-40
Savannah (East Coast)30-3530-3535-4030-35
Jacksonville (East Coast)35-4035-4040-4535-40
Boston (East Coast)28-3328-3330-3528-33
Baltimore (East Coast)28-3328-3330-3528-33
Philadelphia (East Coast)30-3530-3535-4030-35
Chicago (Inland)22-2822-2826-3222-28
Dallas (Inland)23-2923-2928-3423-29
Atlanta (Inland)28-3328-3333-3828-33
Memphis (Inland)25-3125-3130-3625-31

Please note that these are estimated transit times and may vary due to various factors including weather and customs clearance.

Customs clearance and tax rates for goods from China to the United States

Customs clearance and tax rates for goods imported from China to the United States are subject to various factors, including the nature of the goods, their value, and the applicable trade agreements or tariffs. Here’s an overview of the key aspects:

Customs Clearance: Customs clearance is the process through which imported goods are allowed to enter the United States legally. Importers are required to provide the necessary documentation and comply with U.S. customs regulations to facilitate this process. Essential steps for customs clearance include submitting a customs declaration (Customs Form 3461) and paying any applicable customs duties and taxes.

Shipping From China To USA

Customs Duties and Tariffs: Customs duties, also known as tariffs, are taxes imposed on imported goods by the U.S. government. The rates of customs duties depend on the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) classification of the goods being imported. The HTS is a standardized system that categorizes products and assigns specific tariff rates to each category. Importers must determine the correct HTS code for their goods to calculate the applicable duty rate accurately.

Section 301 Tariffs: In recent years, the United States has imposed additional tariffs on certain goods from China under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. These tariffs were implemented as a response to concerns over China’s intellectual property practices and trade practices. The affected goods are subject to an additional tariff, which varies depending on the specific product.

Trade Agreements and Preferential Tariff Rates: The United States has various trade agreements with countries worldwide that may affect the tariff rates for certain goods. For example, the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) provides preferential tariff treatment for eligible products imported from developing countries, including some goods from China. Additionally, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and includes provisions that can impact tariff rates for goods originating from China but entering the U.S. via Mexico or Canada.

Value-Added Tax (VAT) and Sales Tax: In addition to customs duties, imported goods may also be subject to Value-Added Tax (VAT) or sales tax upon entry into the United States. The VAT or sales tax rate varies by state, and importers should consider these additional costs when calculating the overall landed cost of goods.

Freight Shipping From China to USA

Shipping Cost from China to USA

Freight rates determine how much it will cost to transport cargo from one point to another. The rate is determined by the type of goods being shipped, the mode of transport, the dimensional weight of the cargo, and the distance to the delivery destination.

This graphic guide to freight rates from China to US leverages advanced data from a variety of real time sources to give you a better understanding of what it costs to get your goods Freight Shipping From China to USA.

How long does it take to ship from China to the US?

Rules of thumbs for lead times (in regular conditions) are 1-2 weeks for regular post, 3 days for air express freight, 8-10 days for air freight, and 30-40 days for ocean freight.

These estimates can be affected by a wide range of circumstances, so it’s worth checking with your logistics provider.

Regular Post

Freight Shipping From China to USA by surface mail takes forever. China Post offers much quicker, cost-effective options in airmail and express mail service (EMS), which are both likely to take between one and two weeks.

US Customs will deprioritize release of parcels if something looks wrong with the paperwork. So, increase your chances of regular post only taking one week, by checking that the supplier gets the paperwork right before sending.

Express Shipping Options

When shipping from China by international courier, allow three days. That includes either picking the parcel up at the Chinese supplier’s door unless the supplier has dropped it off at their depot. If it’s really urgent, there are more expensive premium services which may even be delivered overnight.

Air Freight

Standard air freight between China and the US generally takes around 8-10 days. It’s not that planes are slower; it comes down to the fact that air freight processes are more complicated than for express freight. Express air freight services typically shaves 2-3 days off standard air freight transit times.

Shipping From China To USA

Sea Freight from China to the US

At around 30-40 days for a door to door shipment from China to the USA, sea freight has the longest lead time. That’s because ships move a lot slower than planes.

Beyond additional preparation required, ocean liners have also started to move slower to save fuel (and money). For instance, US Customs requires importers using a single entry bond and travelling by sea freight to also take out an ISF bond.

On top of that, port congestion, customs delays, and bad weather condition affects sea freight more than they do for air freight.

Sea freight offers a premium service if you need your goods to move faster. Depending on shipment requirements, expedited freight might be able to really cut down the transit time. In some instances, it might even be competitive with air freight lead times.

Expedited freight works by streamlining sea freight processes and by only tying in with the faster sea services and premium trucking services. This makes expedited freight a great option when shipping from China.

Ocean Freight from China to the US

Ocean Freight FCL

FCL, or full container load, means your goods fill an entire container, either 20’ or 40’ long. If you are shipping at a high volume, you’ll save time and money by shipping FCL. Pricing for FCL is done as a flat rate, regardless of whether or not your container is completely full.

Learn more about FCL here.

Ocean Freight LCL

LCL, or less than a container load, means your goods do not fill an entire container, and will be shipped along with other boxes or pallets. Note that when you ship LCL, your goods will need to be consolidated at the origin port and deconsolidated at the destination port.

That’s why LCL shipping takes a few days longer than FCL.

Freight Shipping From China to USA

What is the Best Way to Ship from China to the United States?

While that’s a great question, there is no universal “best way” to Freight Shipping From China to USA. 

When planning a shipment, you’ll carefully want to consider the following variables:

     · Product and Load – what is being shipped, what are its dimensions, and how much does it weigh?

     · Destination – which country am I shipping to, and what routes are available? 

     · Timing Requirements – do you need your items yesterday, in a few days, or can you wait several weeks?

     · Depending on your answers to these questions, one or more of the following shipping methods should be considered, including

     · Air Express

     · Air Freight

     · Sea Freight

Regardless of which method you ultimately choose, the best way to ship from China to the US will always be by contacting a China freight forwarder, and there are several reasons for that.

First and foremost, a freight forwarder based in China, like Basenton Logistics, will have rates far lower than what a US or international freight forwarder can typically offer. And that’s because our rates have been negotiated for the Chinese market, and not the United States. 

Likewise, due to the high volume of shipments the leading freight forwarders book with their respective carriers, they also have better rates than if you tried to contact a carrier directly to manage your one shipment. All of these savings are then passed on to you.

Freight Shipping From China to USA cargo port

Freight Shipping From China to USA involves the movement of cargo through various ports, both in China and the USA. The choice of ports can significantly impact the efficiency and cost of the shipping process. Below are some of the major cargo ports commonly used for freight shipping between China and the USA:

Chinese Ports: a) Shanghai Port: Located in Shanghai, it is the busiest container port in China and one of the largest in the world. It offers extensive connections to various US ports. b) Shenzhen Port: Situated in Guangdong province, Shenzhen is a major gateway for cargo destined for the USA. c) Ningbo Port: Located in Zhejiang province, Ningbo handles a substantial volume of exports to the USA. d) Qingdao Port: Situated in Shandong province, Qingdao is an important port for shipping goods to the USA, especially for northern Chinese manufacturers.

US Ports: a) Los Angeles Port: Located in California, the Port of Los Angeles is the busiest container port in the USA and a major gateway for goods from China. b) Long Beach Port: Adjacent to the Port of Los Angeles, the Port of Long Beach is another crucial entry point for Chinese imports. c) New York/New Jersey Port: Located on the East Coast, this port complex is a key destination for goods entering the USA from China. d) Savannah Port: Situated in Georgia, the Port of Savannah serves as an important gateway for cargo shipments from China to the southeastern USA.

Important Considerations for Shipping from China to the US

     · Importers Freight Shipping From China to USA can use express, air freight or sea freight.

     · Which method you use will depend on the type of cargo and load, your timing requirements and budget.

     · With dozens of airports and ports with service from China, US importers have great flexibility. Make sure you contact a freight forwarder to understand all your options and to maximize your savings.

     · A freight forwarder based in China like Basenton Logistics have negotiated rates unavailable to US or international forwarders, and we pass those savings on to you.

     · It’s important you understand your incoterms with your supplier, as this will affect both the final cost and any logistics you may be responsible for. If you’re unsure, get a quote and we can help you figure it out.

     · Don’t forget to protect your investment with freight insurance and work with a customs broker to ensure your goods leave China and enter the US without issue. Basenton Logistics offers these services if you need them.

     · Many freight forwarders took advantage of the supply chain crisis and were caught price-gouging their customers.

     · When shipping rates cooled down in 2022, and space became readily available,  the freight forwarders who were taking advantage of their customers began to experience a mass customer exodus.  This caused some freight forwarders to go bankrupt which left their customer’s shipments stranded. 

     · It is vital to understand how your freight forwarders business is doing. For example, despite the economic downturn, Guided Import’s volume has grown by 300% during the second half of 2022 and we’re consistently growing our team. While some of the world’s largest freight forwarders have been going through a series of mass layoffs.

     · As the economy remains questionable, it is important to recognize, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If one freight forwarder offers a rate that is substantially lower than the competition, and they can’t provide a legitimate reason as to why, there is a greater chance that they may be trying to take advantage of you. 

     · As ocean rates maintain an all-time low, steamship lines will consistently cancel sailings with little to no warning, in an effort to match demand. This will increase the chance of delays.

Freight Shipping From China to USA

Freight Forwarders from China to USA

Basenton freight forwarders play a vital role in facilitating the smooth movement of goods from China to the United States, acting as intermediaries between shippers and carriers, handling the logistics, documentation and customs procedures involved in international shipments. When selecting a Basenton freight forwarder for shipping goods Freight Shipping From China to USA, factors such as specific shipping requirements, freight forwarder expertise, network coverage, and a track record of reliable and efficient service must be considered, with Basenton’s experienced and reputable freight forwarders Collaboration can significantly simplify the shipping process and ensure successful and timely delivery of goods to the United States.

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