Ocean freight from China to the USA is a common and cost-effective way to transport goods between the two countries. The process involves several key steps and considerations:
Cargo Preparation: Before shipping, you need to ensure your goods are properly packed and labeled. This includes proper packaging, labeling, and documentation. You may also need to comply with specific regulations for certain types of products.
Choose a Shipping Port: China has numerous ports, but the most common ones for international shipping are Shanghai, Shenzhen, Ningbo, and Qingdao. The choice of port may depend on your location in China and your destination in the USA.
Select a Shipping Container: You’ll need to choose the appropriate container size for your cargo. Common options include 20-foot and 40-foot containers. There are also specialized containers for certain types of cargo, such as refrigerated containers for perishable goods.
Booking and Documentation: Once you’ve chosen a shipping method and container, you’ll need to book space on a vessel. You’ll also need to prepare shipping documents, including a bill of lading, commercial invoice, packing list, and any required permits or licenses.
Customs Clearance: Customs clearance is a crucial step in the shipping process. You’ll need to ensure all required customs documentation is in order and that your cargo complies with U.S. customs regulations. Hiring a customs broker can help streamline this process.
Transport to Port: You’ll need to arrange for the transportation of your cargo to the port of departure in China. This can be done by truck, rail, or barge, depending on the location of your cargo.
Shipping Route: There are several shipping routes from China to the USA, with the most common being the Pacific route. The specific route will depend on your destination in the USA.
Transit Time: The transit time for ocean freight from China to the USA can vary widely depending on factors like the shipping route, weather conditions, and the specific port of departure and arrival. It can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a month or more.
Costs: The cost of shipping will depend on factors such as the volume of cargo, container size, shipping route, and any additional services required. It’s important to get quotes from multiple carriers or freight forwarders to compare prices.
Tracking: Many carriers provide tracking services that allow you to monitor the progress of your shipment in real-time.
Receiving Cargo: Once your cargo arrives in the USA, you’ll need to arrange for its transportation from the port to its final destination, whether that’s a warehouse, distribution center, or store.
Shipping containers from China to the US: 5 popular routes
The most popular shipping routs to send containers to the United States from China is from China East Coast (Shanghai) to the US West Coast (California).Here are the top 5 routes to ship containers from China to USA:
From Shanghai port(CHSHA) to Los Angeles port(NSNYC)
From Shenzhen port (CNSHK) to New York port (NSNYC)
From Guangzhou port(CNXSA) to Miami(USMIA)
From Tianjin port(CNTSN) to Houston port(USHOU)
From Xiamen port(CNXMN) to Long Beach port(USLGB).
Please advise your delivery location, Basenton official team will check the nearest seaport and the sea freight cost to you immediately.
The transit time for ocean freight shipments from China to the USA can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the specific ports of departure and arrival, the shipping route taken, weather conditions, and any potential delays. As a general guideline, here are approximate transit times for some common port pairs:
Shanghai to Los Angeles or Long Beach: This is one of the most common routes for shipping goods from China to the West Coast of the USA. Transit times typically range from approximately 12 to 18 days.
Shenzhen to Los Angeles or Long Beach: Similar to Shanghai, shipments from Shenzhen to the West Coast ports in California usually take around 12 to 18 days.
Ningbo to Los Angeles or Long Beach: Transit times from Ningbo to the West Coast ports are in the same range, averaging between 12 to 18 days.
Qingdao to Los Angeles or Long Beach: Qingdao is another major port in China, and shipments to the West Coast ports generally take about 12 to 18 days.
Tianjin to Los Angeles or Long Beach: Tianjin, located in northern China, also offers shipping routes to the West Coast. The transit time is similar, ranging from 12 to 18 days.
Ports on the East Coast: If your cargo is destined for the East Coast of the USA, such as New York or Savannah, the transit times will be longer than those to the West Coast. It can take approximately 25 to 35 days or more, depending on the specific route and port.
Other Factors: It’s important to note that factors like weather, vessel schedules, congestion at ports, and the choice of shipping service (direct or transshipment) can all impact transit times. Additionally, the type of cargo (containerized or bulk) and the shipping line you choose can also affect the duration of the journey.
The cost of ocean freight from China to USA can vary significantly based on several factors. These factors include the type of cargo, the shipping route, the specific ports of departure and arrival, the container size, the shipping line or carrier chosen, and any additional services required. Additionally, market conditions, such as fuel prices and demand for shipping services, can impact freight rates.
Here are some example for a rough idea of the sear shipping cost in June-2022(for general cargo):
1x20GP from Shanghai port to LA port: USD6000/20GP, USD7500/40GP、40HQ，before the COVID-19, it is just around USD2300/20GP.
LCL charge from Shanghai port to LA port: USD60/CBM. Before the COVID-19, around USD30/CBM.
1X20GP from Shanghai port to New York port：USD6800/20GP, USD9500/40GP、40HQ. Before the COVID-19, around USD3000/20GP.
LCL charge from Shanghai port to New York port: USD70/CBM. Before the COVID-19, around USD40/CBM.
Shanghai local charge for FCL: USD280/20GP, USD420/40GP、40HQ.
Shanghai local charge for LCL: USD75/CBM.
There are many factors affecting freight cost, the weather/epidemic/holiday/port congestion/strike/Off-season and peak season prices can also vary widely. Before the Christmas holiday, it is a peak season, the freight cost will be a peak while after China new year holiday, most of the factory are in holiday for about 15-30days, there is a low season since there is no much cargo in the market. If you want to know the current rate, Please feel free to contact Basenton and we will answer you immediately.
The cheapest way to sea freight from China to USA
Finding the cheapest way to ship ocean freight from China to the USA involves several strategies and considerations. While cost savings are important, it’s crucial to balance them with other factors such as transit time, reliability, and the specific needs of your cargo. Here are some ways to potentially reduce ocean freight costs:
Choose the Right Container Size: Opt for the smallest container size that accommodates your cargo. Smaller containers are generally cheaper to ship than larger ones.
Consider Less-than-Container Load (LCL): If your cargo volume doesn’t fill an entire container, LCL shipping allows you to share container space with other shippers, reducing costs. However, LCL may have longer transit times due to consolidation and deconsolidation.
Use Non-Premium Services: Consider standard shipping services instead of premium or expedited options, as they tend to be more cost-effective.
Plan Shipments Well in Advance: Booking your shipment well in advance can help you secure lower rates and avoid rush fees.
Flexible Shipping Dates: If your schedule allows, choose flexible shipping dates. Rates can vary depending on demand, so being open to different departure times may lead to lower costs.
Select Less Common Ports: While major ports like Los Angeles and Long Beach on the U.S. West Coast are popular, shipping to less crowded or alternative ports can sometimes result in cost savings.
Consolidation Services: Some freight forwarders offer consolidation services in China, where they combine shipments from multiple suppliers into a single container. This can help reduce costs.
Optimize Packaging: Efficient packaging that maximizes cargo space and minimizes weight can lead to cost savings. Avoid unnecessary packaging materials.
Leverage Long-Term Contracts: If you have a consistent shipping volume, consider negotiating long-term contracts with carriers or freight forwarders. These contracts can often secure more favorable rates.
Consider Intermodal Transport: Depending on your cargo’s final destination within the USA, intermodal transport (combination of ocean and rail or truck) can sometimes be cost-effective.
Stay Informed About Regulations: Familiarize yourself with trade regulations, tariffs, and customs procedures to avoid unexpected costs and delays.
Cargo Insurance: While not directly related to shipping costs, investing in cargo insurance can protect your goods and potentially save you money in the event of unforeseen incidents.
The cheapest way to ocean freight from China to USA, striking a balance between cost savings and ensuring safe and timely delivery of cargo is critical. Working with a Basenton international shipping professional can help you navigate the complexities of the shipping process while maximizing cost efficiency. Additionally, keeping abreast of market conditions and industry trends facilitates cost-effective shipping decisions.