China to the U.S.

Amazing Facts About the Shipping Process from China to the U.S.

A country is a strong country only when the economy is strong, and connecting business with businesses in other countries around the world is a big step towards strengthening the economy.

Shipping from China to the U.S. is also a great way to transport and exchange goods. This procedure has many advantages. One is to build and maintain good relationships with other countries, and the other is to bring money to the economy and help it grow.

Transportation services are covered by quality experts, and hassle-free transportation from China to the U.S. is also a good reason. This content details the various modes of transport used for shipping from China to the United States.

So read patiently to the end and learn how the economies of these two countries continue to amaze us all.


Shipping Methods from China to The U.S.


Importers busy manufacturing products in China for sale in the United States have a variety of shipping options available, including Express courier shipping, air freight, and sea shipping.

You can even search and see for more information on each of these shipping methods mentioned below.

  • Express delivery from China to the U.S.
  • Air cargo from China to the U.S.
  • Sea Freight from China to the U.S.

China to the U.S.

Regardless of the method used, most importers simply rely on China’s freight carriers to control their shipments. This is significant thanks to mass transit contracts with major airlines and freighters serving China, where reputable freight carriers like ERA Freight help manage complex logistics needs. This is because you can save money as well as time.

This is a serious issue, but there is no universal “best way” to ship from China. The following variables should be considered carefully:

  • Products and Loads-What will be shipped, and how big will it be?
  • Destination-Does it goes to a small office or warehouse?
  • Timing Requirements-Do you need it in the same week, or can you wait? This is an important consideration, especially during vacations in China.
  • Products and Freight: Some cargo, such as aerosol cans and strong magnets, are very difficult to airlift. Other products, such as lithium-ion batteries, can be shipped by air, but they need certain documents that are often difficult for suppliers to provide and can only be shipped using specialized aircraft.

It is often much easier to ship heavy large and DGR goods via China Sea Freight for this clear reason. Some products may be too heavy or too large to be shipped by air and can only be shipped by sea.

It may be better to airlift the goods in some other cases. Products less than one cubic meter are often ideal for air freight transportation. High-value cargo may be safer by air or maybe a requirement of a Chinese freight insurance company.

  • Destination
    End-to-end delivery service from China’s most renowned logistics company can deliver to warehouses, small commercial buildings, and residential areas. However, it can be challenging to transport the container to a poorly equipped location to unload it.

For this reason, it is necessary to consider the final destination and the method of unloading the cargo so that the ideal transportation plan can be defined. Buyers often find it easier to send small quantities of cargo via China Air Freight to the U.S., but when the cargo arrives at a U.S. port, it may benefit from decoupling services.

  • Timing requirements
    If cargo is needed urgently, there is no faster way than transporting it by air. Some sea shipping containers have the potential of reducing the shipping time by shipping to the west coast instead of the east coast and processing the cargo by truck or rail when it arrives in the United States.

If timing is not as important, sea freight to a popular port near your final destination and trucking the final segment may be the most cost-effective option.

Why Timing Requirements Mainly Determine the Best Shipping Method from China to the U.S.?

If timing is a top priority, companies look for all possible options for transporting cargo in the fastest possible way. If a company ships a 40-foot container full of clothing from Shenzhen to New York City, it’s likely to ship at sea, but how much would it cost if it were needed sooner?

Do Chinese Holidays Affect the Shipping Process from China to The United States?

The situation faced by many importers is the delay due to Chinese holidays. Delivery delays are common, especially during Chinese New Year.

China to the U.S.

All major ports in China are open 24/7, but not all local airlines operate on major holidays. Below is a list of major Chinese New Year holidays where delays are not uncommon.

  • Year-end and New Year Holidays-January 1-1
  • Lunar New Year-Late January to Mid-February-6 days
  • Qingming Festival-Early April-1st
  • Worker’s Day – Early May – 3rd
  • Dragon Boat Festival-Late June-3rd
  • Mid-Autumn Festival-Early October-1st
  • Golden Week-Early October-7th
  • China Founding Day-Early October-3rd

It has been stated that around 4,444 Chinese factories began processing Christmas orders, and congestion for some suppliers is increasing day by day, approaching December.

Usually, from the end of November to the beginning of December, companies that don’t plan and do not have enough time to prepare are busy trying to ship their products before it’s too late at the last moment.

This congestion causes significant delays in both air and sea shipping processes from China to the U.S. Delivery terminals and warehouses are often overwhelmed by luggage. Cargo is often temporarily lost or delayed.

Over the past few years, shipments have been delayed by more than three weeks as the world competed to ship final products from China to reach the end of the Christmas shopping season.

How Long Does It Take to Ship from China to The U.S.?

The shipping process from China to the United States generally takes 135 days, depending on the mode of transportation selected and the final destination of the goods in the United States.

Express delivery is the fastest option and takes 2-3 days. Airfreight takes 8-10 days, and sea freight takes  15-25 days.

As a general rule, the following is the number of days it takes to transport cargo from China to the United States using different modes of transportation.

1-5 days-via China Airlines Express

2-15 days – via Air China cargo

More than 15 days – from China sea freight to the west coast

Over 25 Days-Delivery time by air to East Coast via China Sea freight delivery of goods by airmail from China to the United States can take up to 15 days for China Express delivery and up to 2 weeks for air freight.

Sea shipping from China to the United States usually takes about 15 days to the west coast and 25 days to the east coast.

It should be mentioned that coronavirus is still causing delivery delays, unfortunately. It affects shipping to and from China, which can take significantly longer than usual at this time.


How Much Is the Customs Fee for Shipping from China to The United States?

If you are trying to import directly from China to the United States, you will have to pay some customs duty with VAT or value-added tax just before all the goods are released to the destination country.

It is very beneficial to investigate all costs as soon as possible before performing the shipping process from China to the USA. It will help you save from unnecessary surprises.

You need to know about tariffs that are simply being calculated based on the H.S. code. This is an international system that has the potential to classify food for trade. Tariff rates for all products are different, usually 0.12%, and it is clear that they are mainly determined by income and tariffs. Therefore, if the shipment value is $ 10,000, the product must be taxed at 10%. The obligation you have left is $ 1,000. Very easy.

When the goods arrive at their destination (in this case, the United States), customs authorities will ensure that all paperwork for the order has been properly completed at the first inspection.

Then there is a step to simply calculate the amount of the fee that belongs to the payment. Once you have paid, then they will release the items.

China to the U.S.

Customs Clearance Procedures Between China and The U.S.

Import and export customs clearance may seem complicated at times, but it is often the cause.

Still, it is an inevitable aspect of the sea and air transport from China to the U.S. Therefore, it is necessary to prepare all suppliers, recipients, and intermediaries involved in international trade.

The carrier is not responsible for assisting with any customs clearance. However, this will be handled by the freight carrier for a fee. Still, there are some steps your company must take responsibility for.

This includes providing accurate information and documentation that accompanies the cargo. As a general rule, you need to make sure that all exports from China to the United States are accompanied by the following documents, as required by the customs of both countries.

Commercial invoice, packing list, Certificate of origin, Letter of credit or other payment terms, Bill of lading for sea freight, or airline invoice for air freight.


Which One to Choose, Sea Freight or Air Freight?

As long as you can live with the long transit times required for sea freight, this is probably the most practical way to get U.S. freight out of China.

In the sea shipping process, the goods are usually packed in a shipping container with the cargo of another shipper, or they are sealed in a particular unit. In either case, the cargo must be transported via a U.S. port equipped with container handling facilities.

Similarly, you should choose a container port in China as your cargo gateway. Fortunately, there is no shortage of container ports in either of the countries. So it’s easy to find a route to minimize the amount of domestic transportation required.

Carriers can help identify the ports that are closest to the supplier and recipient of the cargo. The company is responsible for some or all of the transportation, depending on the Incoterms applicable to the shipment.

You need to decide whether you want port-to-port, door-to-port, port-to-door, or door-to-door cargo service. Many carriers can choose from all these options for LCL and FCL freight.

China to the U.S.`

Sea Freight Shipping

LCL Ocean Freight may meet your needs when transporting small quantities of cargo that occupy only about half the space of a 20-foot container. LCL shipping can also be used with larger packages if the carrier can integrate it into a 40-foot unit.

However, it is worth weighing the cost against the full load of the 20-foot container. For example, it may be cheaper to ship most of your items as a 20ft FCL and the rest as an LCL.

Before choosing the LCL shipping procedure, it is worth considering the following questions. Is your product suitable for shipping in containers containing cargo from other carriers? Can you probably live longer? Can your shipment withstand the handling associated with LCL transportation? Is the schedule flexible? The arrival times are subject to change without notice.

If you answer “no” to either of the above questions, we recommend that you choose the FCL shipping service even if the goods are not filled in the container.

Air Cargo

Air transportation from China to the U.S. is much faster than sea transportation, but it is also much more expensive. Still, it may be necessary if cargo:

  • It needs to be delivered quickly to the recipient
  • Consists of high-margin products Perishable, fragile, or delicate Occupies only 2 or 3 palettes
  • It is intended to be shipped between a supplier and a recipient located near the airport and far from the port.

China to the U.S.

Ports in China

Some of the ports of origin in China are stated below such as:

Cargo Ports of Arrival in The U.S.

Around one-fifth of all cargo entering the United States arrives via the Port of Los Angeles. The USA’s premier trade gateway, with the nation’s highest throughput in tonnage and value.

It is the largest port in the USA, covering nearly 70 kilometers of California coastline. Some of the facilities include eight container terminals and more than 80 cranes.

More businesses have their cargo arrive via Los Angeles than any other U.S. port. The hotel is located in San Pedro Bay near Long Beach Harbor. Since 2000, it has been ranked as the number one container port in the United States.

Door-to-Door (DDP) service from China to the U.S.

For both Airfreight service and Sea freight from China to the U.S., we also offer Door-to-Door service, In this method, we arrange with the supplier and get the goods directly from the Seller and handle the process up to the customer’s doorstep in the destination country.

Our Door-to-Door (DDP) Service provides inland transportation, customs process in both origin and destination and also freight and makes it hassle-free for Importersm especially the ones that do not want to get involved with customs and its process.

China to the U.S.

How does Door-to-Door service work?

In DDP method, usually, the freight forwarders consolidate goods from many customers and send them all together, the goods are gathered in the forwarder’s warehouse and then sent to the port and also customs process, and as of this usually the goods consolidated need to have the same nature, they can be normal, DGR, battery included, etc.

The goods are sent and released from customs under the forwarder’s name, therefore, shipment tracking, especially with the sea method, can be a bit troublesome and forwarders offer their own tracking number updated by their agent.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the Door-to-Door (DDP) method?

DDP has more advantages than disadvantages, as we mentioned before, trouble-free shipping without the worry of inland transportation and customs headaches is very convenient for Importers, but like all methods, it also has its own disadvantages for Importers.

As we mentioned forwarders consolidate goods from many customers, therefore this method can have a longer transit time in both Air and Sea methods, but because of its popularity, the difference is not much and it’s worth the wait.

Many believe because all the steps are covered in this method then it should be much more expensive, but the truth is, even though it might sound expensive, when you compare it with other methods it can even be cheaper ?, you might ask why here is the answer.

Again the point is in the consolidation of the goods, in this way the total weight and volume are much bigger than each customer’s original weight, and as you know the bigger and heavier the goods, the less the price, so each customer pays less for each kg/CBM of their goods and when you add inland transportation and customs cost, I can assure you that sometimes the final price is even better than normal Airfreight or LCL Sea freight.

Door-to-Door (DDP) service is our specialty in ERA, we offer easy, reliable, and affordable shipping service to importers that need to ship from China. contact us now for your free quote.

Why Choose ERA Freight for Shipping from China to the U.S.?

ERA Freight can simplify your process for exporting your cargo from China to the U.S. In addition to the benefits of online quotes, reservations, payments, and freight tracking, it provides a high-20-global transport ice resource.

Our platform takes control at your fingertips if you need a hassle-free self-service management tool. If a human expert needs advice, guidance, or assistance, our experts are available 24/7 by email, online chat, or phone.

China to the U.S.

Customs clearance is easy. It moves cargo most economically and efficiently, but it also helps you comply with customs regulations. If you want to know essential customs information at a glance, you can find it on the China and U.S. pages of the International Shipping Guide.

When you book a shipment on our platform, you will be asked to enter all the information required to clear the shipment at Customs. If you have any questions about customs clearance or need additional information, our agents will guide you according to the cargo and its characteristics.


Additional Facts About the China Port

There is no doubt that China could own 7 of the ten most significant and busiest ports globally. It is the perfect option to meet the high demands with a large population and high imports and exports.

China has about 34 major ports and about 2000 small ports. Without all these ports, China would not have been able to develop at speed, and it is currently developing.

The most famous ports in China are the Shanghai Port, Shenzhen Port, Ningbo Port, and finally Guangzhou, which is the last port in China. Located in the Pearl River Delta, it trades with 80 countries worldwide. There are 4500 berths and 2400 anchor points.

Were you aware of all these about Chinese ports?


In conclusion, it is always better to search for reliable rates for shipping from China to the U.S. The process is not easy. It is accurate and requires a lot of research and manual work to make the process successful.

Most importantly, you can save a lot of unnecessary costs on shipping from China to the U.S. On the other hand, you can also find a low-cost carrier that successfully delivers the goods to your destination.

If you need any help with shipping from China to the U.S. don’t forget that ERA freight offers, easy, reliable, and affordable service, we can export to the U.S. by air, sea, and DDP way for both methods; contact us now and get your free quote.

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