When shipping from China to the USA, cost and speed are equally important. You should also understand some key details and differences between different modes. As of my last update in September 2021, the cheapest shipping option from China to the US is typically ocean freight, especially for larger and less time-sensitive shipments. Here are some key points to consider for cost-effective shipping:
Regular mailing of small package samples may be cost-effective. In addition, just starting importers may consider adopting this model, which is to mail directly from the factory to customers – basically direct shipment.
This process can be established quickly to avoid paying storage costs in advance. But from a cost perspective, when sales start to pick up, you need to rethink your strategy.
Express Shipping from China to the United States
FedEx and UPS, the two major express companies in the United States, are also popular choices for express delivery in China and the United States. The same is true of other major international express companies such as DHL and TNT.
As with email, the process is simple: it is usually simple to find prices online, and no formal quotation is required. Like other modes, most express companies provide air express services. If the value of the goods exceeds $800, US Customs will apply, but customs clearance is much simpler than air or sea transportation.
Importers who plan to purchase a large amount of inventory and use sea or air transportation should still arrange express trial run before signing large contracts with suppliers. In this way, the water quality is tested through product sales. It also helps to estimate profitability: the cost of this shipment is the upper limit of continuous freight.
FCL and LCL transportation from China to the United States
Shipping usually refers to containers. However, if you do not have enough materials to fill a 20 foot or 40 foot container full container (FCL), in general, it is worthwhile to load one less container (LCL).
LCL is used to combine multiple batches of goods and package them in one container. This means that freight forwarders need to do more work, not just integrate various goods into a container before the main transportation, and unload the goods at the other end of the physical work. It is more difficult to track one of the many goods in a container than to track a full container. Of course, there is additional paperwork and more risk of delay.
For larger LCL shipments, it is often more meaningful to upgrade to a 20ft container and ship it full container. The critical point is usually about 15m3. FCL has three advantages over LCL: The delivery time of FCL is shorter than LCL. For China and the United States, LCL usually takes an additional one to two weeks.
The FCL is less likely to be damaged, misaligned, or lost.
FCL costs less. For the average shipment volume, the main transportation cost is usually twice the FCL cost per cubic meter.
Full Transportation Modes from China to the USA, choosing the appropriate transportation mode depends on factors such as the type of goods, volume, urgency, budget, and the final destination within the USA. Freight forwarders and logistics experts can help businesses select the most suitable mode based on their specific requirements and offer guidance throughout the shipping process.
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