Shipping Cost from China to the USA 2020
In our previous article, we have guided you through the entire process of product importation from China to the USA. Now, we would like to get you a detailed guide about the Shipping Cost from China to the USA. This guide will help you determine the best option with regard to the available shipping methods to receive your products. We will cover everything that you need to know about the process and costs, so let us go!
Cheapest Shipping Options from China to the USA
The first thing to consider before ordering your products from China is what are your choices when it comes to shipping. Do not worry; we will give you a comprehensive guide on everything that you need to know about the shipping options you have.
Air Freight Costs and Rates from China to the US
Airfreight is another popular shipping method for importation. If you want to receive your imported products in just three days, this should be your choice. There is also another type of air freight called Express Air Freight Shipping, which we will discuss later. Here are some of the advantages of using this mode of transportation:
Advantages of Air Freight:
- The fastest shipping methods you can find
- Customers are able to ship their goods for almost anywhere
- Airfreight shipments are secured
- Airfreight shipments reduce the cost for packaging, warehousing, and insurance
- Has reliable arrival and departure time
If your products weigh between 150 to 500 kgs, air freight should be your top choice. When it comes to air freight cost, you should take note of the volumetric weight (also known as the dimensional weight) or actual weight. Depending on which is more expensive, that is the rate of your shipping.
During the regular season, air freights usually cost between $2.50 to $5.00 per kilogram. This still depends on the type of cargo that you are shipping, and the availability of space on the plane. Aside from the rate stated above, you can also encounter additional air freight costs like:
- Airport transfers
- Fuel surcharges
- Security surcharges
- Container freight station/terminal handling charges
Express Air Freight Shipping
We are all knowledgeable about the most popular Express Shipping Companies in the US. Aside from being a more accessible mode of transportation compared to sea and air freight that we are going to discuss later, Express Shipping is also the fastest.
Advantages of Express Shipping:
- There is no need to worry about customs clearance
- There are no differences in shipping costs on any part of the US
- Suitable for online sellers who needs to restock urgently
Now, among the famous couriers, FedEx, UPS, and DHL, we will be giving you the costs and extra things you need to know about each company.
Customs Clearance Process
As you can see, you can rely on FedEx and UPS more based on its efficiency and affordability. But before we go through a detailed list of the costs, one thing that you need to remember is that Express Shipping is quite unstable for its costs, and it can even change every week.
These shipping costs can skyrocket high a month before Thanksgiving and Christmas, so you have to ensure that your items are fully restocked before these occasions come.
Express Shipping Costs from China to the USA
Before anything else, regardless of the courier company, you have to expect that the shipping costs of Express Shipping are generally higher. These companies differ on discounts, and this can be based on the frequency of shipping of your supplier or freight forwarder.
The impact of the season also affects the price of the shipping, just like we have mentioned earlier. No worries, the list that you are about to see are the usual shipping costs per company, and you can always reach out to them or top your supplier (if they will be handling the shipping) anytime.
There are two shipping methods in FedEx: The International Priority (IP) and International Economy (IE) delivery. If you are in a rush, you should choose IP since it has a faster shipping time of 2 days rather than the four days delivery of IE.
FedEX IE (<21kg)
FedEX IP (<21kg)
FedEx IP (>21 kg)
FedEx IE (>21 kg)
$7 to 7.5
$6.5 to $6.7
$6.3 to $7
$6 to $6.5
DHL Shipping Cost
0.5 to 20.5 kg
For example, 99.2kgs, DHL charges 100kgs.
Next 0.5 kg
21 to 30 kg
30 to 50 kg
51 to 69 kg
70 to 100 kg
101 to 200 kg
201 to 300 kg
301 to 500 kg
Sea Freight Costs and Rates from China to the US
If you are not aware of it, sea freights usually take 30 to 40 days to transport your goods from China to the USA. If you are a businessman who is not currently in a hurry to receive your products, this can be your option. This shipping method is also best when your cargo is more than 500 kgs. Here are some of the factors that can affect the cost of your sea freight shipping method:
- Shipment Weight
- Shipping Time
- Location and Destination of the Package
Less Than Container Load (LCL) vs. Full Container Load (FCL)
You should also know that the sea freight shipping method uses containers to load the cargo that you have imported. This is also one of the main factors when it comes to shipping cost. There are two types of container loads: Less Than Container Load (LCL) and Full Container Load (FCL).
If the quantity of your products is less than 15cbm, your freight forwarder will ship your cargo by LCL. This means that you are sharing a container with other importers, and your cargo load is less than a container.
FCL, by its name, implies that your cargo has fully consumed the space of the container. With this type of load, the freight cost is calculated based on the whole container. It is generally cheaper than that of LCL. The container model is also divided into three types:
Full Container Load
*1 CBM = 1 Cubic Meter
All-Included Sea Freight Cost to the US
This table below will give you a hint about the cost per CBM and container shipping rates:
US West ($)
Central America ($)
US East ($)
Here is a list of the actual cost for shipping to Los Angeles and New York:
Bulk Cargo（Less Than Container Load）
Full Container Load （FCL）20” GP
Full Container Load （FCL）40” HQ
Ningbo – New York
Ningbo – Los Angeles
Now, here is the in-depth basis of the cost depending on who will be shouldering the shipping:
- Free on Board (FOB)
With FOB, your supplier will be the one to ship your goods directly to the port of shipment. That means that the shipping cost will be:
Shipping Cost = Cost of Sea Freight from a port in China to a port in the USA + American customs clearance cost + Local logistics cost in the USA
- Ex Works (EXW)
With EXW, you, the buyer, would be the one responsible for the whole shipment from door to door and this is what it entails:
Shipping cost = Local logistics cost in China + China export cost + Cost for sea freight from a Chinese port to America port +American customs clearance cost + Local logistics require in the USA
Learn more buying tips: