China is the hub of manufacturers, no matter what type of business or industry you are talking about. According to the 2016-18 report by Statista, 34.7 million companies have been registered in China by 2018. Well, the exclusive labor and suitable conditions for production have certainly made it one of the factory hot-spots in the world.
The exports are made to almost every part of the world including the USA. So, if you are willing to ship low-cost goods from China to the USA, then you certainly want to know everything about shipping from China to USA/US. In this article, you will get the answers to all your queries starting from “How long does it take to ship from China to USA” to documents required and the list continuous. So, before going into the details of shipping, let’s check out the modes.
1. The Options To Execute Shipping from China to USA/US
While considering the shipping options, one should certainly know that sea or air freight is not the only option. They both are certainly quite lucrative options, though, it can depend upon the size of the package you are willing to import.
For small-sized packages, you don’t have to get into the fuss of complicated procedures, documents, and whatnot. Just get a simple post, that costs less and speeds-up the process. Though, if you are going to ship a large number of goods, then you have to check out the given options.
- Post Shipping: As mentioned above, this is an option for small packages. If you are willing to send something to your family abroad, then regular China post shipping service would suffice. Also, for regular post shipping, you can choose options like airmail, air parcel, and China international express.
- Express Shipping: Next you have the option of express shipping, which is available with companies like FedEx, DHL, and UPS. These are the international shipping companies that offer quick mail facilities for your parcels. Though you can’t opt for this option for sending bulk goods, it’s suitable for a small and considerably large package. Not more than 150 kgs can be sent through the express shipping option.
- Air Freight Shipping
Here you go with one of the most beneficial options of shipping. For shipping goods over 150 kgs through a reliable and relatively quick option, air freight is one of the best options. Though it is a bit expensive from the sea freight option, if you are willing to get a quick answer to your query “how long does it take to ship from China to USA?”, air freight is the ultimate answer.
The cost involved for every kilogram is average $3. You can also accelerate the speed of delivery through express air freight, however, it will cost more. The cost will vary from company to company, so it would be beneficial if you look around for options before finalizing.
- Sea Freight Shipping
If you are willing to ship goods in excess quantity like above 500 kgs, sea freight is the best option. Though the time involved in the shipping process is definitely more, still you can save on the cost of shipping.
The cost of shipping from China to USA/US through sea route varies as per the company. The expedited delivery option might help you speed-up the delivery at a little extra cost. Here is something you must know about sea freight.
- FCL & LCL Explained
Considering sea freight, goods are transferred in containers. You will have two options namely, fill a full 20′ or 40′ container also known as FCL, and less-than-container, also known as LCL. Choosing FCL will book a particular container just for you and choosing LCL will help you get your goods shipped with several other shipments packed into one container.
Tracing shipment in LCL is a bit difficult considering the extra physical work during loading and unloading processes. Unlike LCL, FCL takes fewer efforts to get traced as the entire container is booked for one shipment only. Also, the risk of getting delayed and extra documentation can be averted. Here is why FCL is better than LCL,
- The delivery through FCL is faster as compared to LCL. “How long does it take to ship from China to USA?” can be answered easily. The duration is going to be approximately 2 weeks.
- If you consider FCL as an option, then you can mitigate the risks of lost and damaged goods.
- People worried about how much does it take to ship from China to USA via sea can certainly choose FCL as an option. The cost of FCL will be less than the charges one has to pay for the transit.
2. How long does it take to ship from China to USA
Here is another aspect, you must be willing to know. The duration of the transit, be it any mode is of utmost importance. Depending upon your requirement, if it is urgent or cost-based, you can select the mode of transportation. Take a look at the time required for air and sea freight.
- Air Freight: Being one of the fastest modes of travel, air freight takes only a couple of days apart from the paperwork. Overall, you can expect the duration between 5 to 10 days for regular air freight. And for express air transfer, the time will be 2 to 3 days only.
- Sea Freight: For urgent shipments, sea freight is not a good option. For sea freight from China to USA/US, the duration can extend up to even a month. Though, recently, the delays have been reduced to a greater extent. The paperwork, which was one of the main reasons for the delay has been improved, so the delays and other risks are mitigated.
Without delays, the shipping process will require an 18 to 25 days, depending upon the port to port transit time. Although, if there are any delays, then this time can increase up to 30 to 40 days.
3. How much does it take to ship from China to USA
The cost plays a crucial role and hence, knowing which mode requires how much cost is very important. To make your shipping effortless, you need to know the charges on every step of the process. A freight forwarding company will help you note all the details as per the shipping mode you have chosen and your specific shipping requirements. Let’s check out how much does it take to ship from China to USA.
- Air Freight Cost: The cost of regular air freight will be $3 per kg for shipments between 150 to 500 kgs. The light-weight package shipments will be charged based on their size or dimensional weight. For express air-shipping, the cost will be more dependent upon the freight forwarder you choose. The prices keep on changing, so you have to stay updated regularly.
- Sea Freight Cost: For shipments above 500 kgs, sea freight is certainly the most affordable option. The cost of sea freight varies upon freight forwarder. Also, considering FCL, the cost can range between $500 to $1000 per container. The cost can also increase due to expedited freight delivery, which helps you get all the premium services.
4. Documents, Formalities & Paper Work
While shipping, documents play a vital role. One simple error and your shipment can get stuck into the legal complexities. So, if you don’t want to get in the midst of compliance errors, check out the documents, you must know about.
- China’s Export Clearance: In order to begin the process of shipping, you have to pass the export clearance in China. With so many options around, you need to choose the right freight forwarder, who will carry out this entire process efficiently. The customs clearance authority in China is the “Hai Guan”. This authority carries out a regular check on exports and imports. If any errors are found in the documentation, then the authority can put a potential fine on the exporter, which can be over a thousand RMB.
The FOC price will include all the charges of export clearance procedures and documents. If you want to skip the hassle of export clearance, then simply contact a professional freight forwarder. If you are willing to know how much does it take to ship from China to USA for freight forwarder, then the price can range between US$ 100 to US$ 200.
- USA/US Import Clearance: The process of import clearance will begin before your shipment arrives. For shipments above $2,500 will require you to carry out a formal customs declaration and submit the customs bond. For shipments below $2500, an informal customs declaration will also do. In informal customs declaration, manual paperwork is required to be submitted to US Customs and Border Protection agency.
The freight forwarder will help you acquire the customs bond and execute the filing process of your formal declaration. The submission of a declaration for air freight can be done after the flight carrying your goods takes off. Considering the sea freight, a declaration is required to be submitted a couple of days before the arrival of the goods.
Once the declaration has been filed, the CBP will inform you or your freight forwarder about the clearance or required examination at the airport or port. In both situations, you have to pay the customs duties or the taxes at this point.
- Insurance: Insurance is one of the most significant things when it comes to shipping. Be it air or sea freight, the chances of goods getting damaged during transit is always there. The reason behind it can be inaccurate packaging or any other factor of shipping. If you don’t want your money to go in vain, buying insurance on your cargo will be a good option. Different freight forwarders offer distinct insurances, so kindly consult it with your freight forwarding company. Also, insurance claims can be made quite easily, so you don’t have to worry about the loss or damage of goods.
- Documents Required: The documents required for shipping from China to USA/US include, bill of lading, commercial invoice, and packing list along with a certificate of origin. You can get all these documents ready for $40 to $50 from your freight forwarder.
- Bill of Lading: How long does it take to ship from China to USA depends upon the preparation of important documents. The Bill of lading is the document, which consists of various significant details of the shipment. It is a document, that highlights the journey of the freight starting from the origin and ending at its destination. It’s a ticket that is issued to the shipper and describes the path of shipment. It is a significant document, that works as the receipt and ownership proof. Things it mention are,
- Name of the shipper or the consignee.
- Name of the carrier, which has issued the Bill of Lading.
- Name of the origin’s freight forwarder
- Destination of the freight forwarder.
- Name of the payer of the transportation.
- Packing List and Commercial Invoice: A packing list is a document consisting of all the details of the package. It is added to the invoice and highlights packing methods, materials, quantities, and other specific aspects of the cargo. This document is for the importer to verify the shipment after arrival.
The commercial invoice is the document that outlines the contents of the shipment. These include product name, quantity, specification, amount, price, and more such details. It is used at the time of customs clearance while making payments for taxes and duties. Though, it’s not a receipt, yet plays a significant role in the import/export business.
- Certificate of Origin: This is a certificate, that ensures the entire production and processing of a product in a specific country. Also referred to as C/O, it is an important document in the process of shipping.
So that was all about shipping goods from China to the USA. The process of shipping is very tiring and exhausting. You can certainly not leave all your core business activities and just spend hours in completing the legal processes. A reliable freight forwarding company will help you effortlessly carry out the entire process. Also, you will be able to save money on how much does it take to ship from China to USA. So, check out the best options available in the market like China Freight and get hands-on quick, and reliable shipping experience.