4 Main Shipping Methods From China To USA

4 Main Shipping Methods From China To USA

January 10, 2022

4 Main shipping methods from China to USA


Are you new or experienced in shipping from China to USA? It doesn’t matter. If you are planning to start a regular business, you should look for strategic shipping.

Our article will help you to know your options better and make the right choices.

Sea freight

Sea freight is the most popular method for American merchants in international trade. Because it is very cost-effective to carry a large volume of goods. Besides, ships can move any kind of goods and materials such as gases, fuels, machinery, and bulk cargo. Some of the important ports are:

  • Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Qingdao
  • Los Angeles, Houston, and Long Beach

The transit time varies according to the destination. For example, Shanghai to Seattle takes 29 days but Shanghai to Savannah takes 30 days.

Ocean freight may indeed take weeks, but there are several routes that can reduce the time. PIL and EMC have standard prices and transit times. But MOSK, MAERSK, and YML are expensive and secluded routes.

In sea freight, you can use two methods, FCL and LCL. In FCL, you rent or buy a container and put the goods in it. You do not have the right to share space with another customer. So, your cargo should fill 90% of it. Because you pay for a full container. Distance and volume are effective in FCL costs. It is also safer and faster.

In the latter case, you share the space of a container with one or more other customers. So LCL is suitable for smaller goods. It may seem cheaper, often $ 30-$ 40 per cubic meter, but the port additional cost is much higher. Thus, LCL shipping costs depend on the volume and weight of the goods and the port of destination and origin.

Air freight

Air freight is the fastest and safest shipping way from China to USA. It is more expensive than sea freight and is suitable for 150 to 500 kg goods. The main international airports are:

  • Beijing Capital, Chengdu Shuangilu, and Shenzhen Baoan
  • Memphis, Anchorage, Louisville, and Los Angeles

Express shipping

This is the most expensive shipping method from China to USA. Express is a door-to-doorway that delivers the goods to you within 5 to 8 working days. Companies like DHL, UPS, and FedEx do all the paperwork, clearance, and payment. In most cases, the freight rate is only $ 3 per kilo.

Regular post

It is the cheapest air freight that is suitable for goods less than 50 kg. Post has a low charge and about $ 5-$ 8 per package. But the clearance process is longer than express shipping and they do not accept responsibility if the package is lost. China Post offers EUB, Airmail, and Registered mail services.

Shipping costs

A professional freight forwarder company like Topshipping, can give you real and accurate rates. This will prevent additional costs and unexpected surprises in your invoice. Your shipping costs depend on many factors, such as:

Shipping method: sea freight or air freight.

Sea freight costs are calculated based on FCL and LCL shipping. Therefore, FCL costs, distance, and load volume are affected. But the volume, weight, and port of destination and origin play a role in calculating the costs of LCL. Air freight costs are based on chargeable volume.


About 25% of your shipping invoice covers storage costs. About 25% of your shipping invoice includes storage costs. If you are using sea freight, your shipment may be delayed. In shipping from China to USA, your goods definitely need to be stored for several days. As a result, it is important that the warehouse is tailored to the needs of your product.

To calculate warehousing costs, first, measure all the space walls you pay for. Then calculate the number of square feet: (feet deep×feet long). Compute the cost of the services you used in the warehouse, such as rent, facilities, guard, insurance, and special equipment. Now divide the total cost by the number of storage square feet.

Insurance and packaging

Packaging is one of the most important steps of shipping. You need to know the difference between domestic and international shipping and try to make it safe and choose the right packaging.

Because in shipping from China to USA, your goods go through different conditions and must reach you safely. We recommend that you do not skimp on this step. Do not look for cheap prices, look for the most durable and suitable packaging materials.

Insurance that protects you from additional costs and compensation. In sea transport, it is necessary to use the best insurance conditions. Because the risk of damaging the product in this way is higher.

Domestic s

Shipping method Domestic


Ask about the details of your delivery and internal shipping conditions. If you have chosen port-to-port delivery, sometimes road transport may be required from port to destination and goods may not be delivered at port. As a result, you are required to pay for road transport and loading and unloading equipment.

Some other factors are:

  • Delivery: door to door, port to port
  • Customs taxes and duty
  • Fuel
  • Terminal handling
  • Station
  • Loading and unloading equipment
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