What is the Shipping Route from China to the US?

What is the Shipping Route from China to the US?

2022 May 28

Shipping from China to the USA gives shippers several options, from the shipping methods, how fast they want the goods to be delivered, and how much they want to pay for the freight. Shippers also have the freedom to choose shipping routes. Several carriers are using different routes. So, if a Shipper wants their goods to be shipped using a specific route, they can choose the carrier that uses that route. Shipping routes are generally the paths that ships take when moving from one country or continent to another. It may involve crossing several waterways.

In this guide, we will let you know everything about the shipping routes from China to the United States.

What is the Shipping Route from China to the US?

There are several shipping routes from China to the US. The factors that determine the shipping route to be taken from China to the US are:

1. Shipping Method 

The shipping methods from China to the US are Air Express, Air Freight, and Ocean Freight. Therefore, there are air routes for Air Express and Air Freight and sea routes for Ocean Freight.

2. Shipping Destination

When shipping from China to the USA, the shipping vessels do not lead to the same destination. The United States is a big country with several airports and ports. So, the goods will always be delivered to the port specified by the shipper. There may be different shipping routes depending on the location of the destination port. 

3. Shipping carrier

There are several carriers when shipping from China to the US. These carriers may not use the same shipping route. When choosing a carrier, you may consider inquiring about the shipping routes they use.

The fact that there are several shipping routes indicates that the shipping route taken from China to the US affects some shipping aspects. This is because different shipping routes have different distances. These aspects include:

  • Transit time. The shipping route that covers more distance will definitely take more time to reach the destination.
  • Shipping cost. The more the covered distance, the more it will cost to ship from China to the US.

The Route from China to the United States

1. Air Route

Currently, there are more than 61 non-stop air routes from China to the USA. 

Below are major airlines and the non-stop routes they operate on.

1.1) Air China

  • Beijing to San Francisco
  • Beijing to Los Angeles
  • Beijing to New York
  • Beijing to Houston
  • Beijing to Honolulu
  • Beijing to Washington
  • Beijing to Newark
  • Shanghai to San Jose
  • Shanghai to Los Angeles

1.2) China Eastern

  • Shanghai to Seattle
  • Shanghai to Chicago
  • Shanghai to San Francisco
  • Shanghai to New York 
  • Shanghai to Honolulu
  • Nanjing to Los Angeles 
  • Qingdao to San Francisco

1.3) China Southern

  • Guangzhou to Los Angeles
  • Guangzhou to New York
  • Guangzhou to San Francisco
  • Wuhan to San Francisco
  • Shenyang to Los Angeles
  • Wuhan to New York

1.4) Hainan Airlines

  • Beijing to Seattle
  • Beijing to Chicago
  • Beijing to Boston
  • Beijing to San Jose
  • Beijing to Las Vegas
  • Shanghai to Boston
  • Shanghai to Seattle
  • Changsha to Los Angeles
  • Chengdu to Los Angeles
  • Chengdu to New York
  • Chongqing to Los Angeles
  • Chongqing to New York

1.5) Sichuan Airlines

  • Hangzhou to Los Angeles
  • Jinan to Los Angeles

1.6) Xiamen Airlines

  • Shenzhen to Seattle 
  • Fuzhou to New York
  • Xiamen to Qingdao to Los Angeles

1.7) United Airlines

  • Beijing to San Francisco
  • Beijing to Chicago
  • Beijing to Washington
  • Beijing to Newark
  • Shanghai to San Francisco
  • Shanghai to Chicago
  • Shanghai to Los Angeles
  • Shanghai to Newark
  • Chengdu to San Francisco
  • Xian to San Francisco
  • Hangzhou to San Francisco

1.8) Continental Airlines

  • Beijing to Newark
  • Shanghai to Newark

1.9) Northwest Airlines

  • Beijing to Detroit
  • Shanghai to Detroit

1.10) Delta Airlines

  • Shanghai to Atlanta
  • Shanghai to Detroit
  • Shanghai to Seattle
  • Shanghai to Los Angeles
  • Beijing to Seattle
  • Beijing to Detroit

1.11) American Airlines

  • Shanghai to Chicago
  • Beijing to Chicago
  • Shanghai to Los Angeles
  • Shanghai to Dallas
  • Beijing to Dallas
  • Beijing to Los Angeles

1.12) Hawaiian Airlines

  • Beijing to Honolulu
  • Closest US Port to China

Some of the US ports that are closest to China are:

  • Port of Tacoma
  • Port of Seattle
  • Port of Los Angeles
  • Port of Oakland
  • Port of Vancouver, USA
  • Port of Houston
  • Port of New York

2. Ground Route

Apparently, there is no ground route for shipping from China to the US. Ground routes involve the use of roads and railways. However, shipping to the US can only be done via air or the sea.

3. Sea Route

There are 3 common sea routes from China to the US. These sea routes are:

  • The Pacific route
  • The Indian Ocean route
  • The Atlantic route

3.1) The Pacific route

With this shipping route, the ships will begin their journey from the south of East China. They will then go into the North Pacific Ocean by moving northwards through the Sea of Japan via Okhotsk. From the North Pacific Ocean, the ships can reach the West Coast of the US and also west Latin America. This is the most popular route when shipping from China to the United States. Ships heading to Australia, New Zealand, and western Canada also use this route.

3.2) The Indian Ocean route

When shipping goods from China to North America, this is the route that ships use. The ships sail from China to the Cape of Good Hope. Other places that the Indian Ocean route leads to include East Africa, Western Europe, and the Persian Gulf.

3.3) The Atlantic route

With this route, the ships from China move towards the south. They will then sail through the Indian Ocean and the Cape of Good Hope. From there, the ships can head to their destinations. The Atlantic route leads to the East Coast of the United States, Western Europe, the Mediterranean Sea, the Gulf, and the Suez Canal.

Other sea routes include:

  • Maersk Transpacific 7 (TP7) - This route leads to Savannah, Miami, and Charleston. Ships take about 41 days to reach the US.
  • CMA CGM Manhattan Bridge - This route leads to New York, Savannah, Miami, and Norfolk, USA. The transit time is 35 days.
  • China Shipping AAE2 - It leads to Houston, Jacksonville, Miami, and Mobile. The transit time is 34 days.
  • MSC America Westbound - It leads to Savannah, Newark, Charleston, and Miami. The transit time is 42 days.
  • Evergreen/MOL AUE3 - It leads to Savannah, Jacksonville, and Charleston. The transit time is 38 days.

China to USA Sea Route Distance

The sea route distance from China to the US is 13,134 kilometers. Depending on the location of the port of loading in China and the final destination in the US, distances vary.

The table below shows the variation in the distance concerning the location of ports of loading and the final destination.

  

PORT OF LOADING PORT OF DELIVERY DISTANCE (nm)
SHENZHEN LOS ANGELES 18427
NINGBO LOS ANGELES 19213
GUANGZHOU LOS ANGELES 18435
HONG KONG LOS ANGELES 18407
QINGDAO LOS ANGELES 15621
QINGDAO HOUSTON 16256
QINGDAO NEW YORK 14201
QINGDAO LOUISIANA 15502
QINGDAO BEAUMONT 16154
NINGBO BEAUMONT 15750
SHANGHAI BEAUMONT 15801
SHENZHEN BEAUMONT 14962
GUANGZHOU BEAUMONT 14976
QINGDAO BEAUMONT 16154
QINGDAO NEW YORK 14204
GUANGZHOU NEW YORK 13028
SHENZHEN NEW YORK 13020
SHANGHAI NEW YORK 13861
NINGBO NEW YORK 13809
NINGBO HOUSTON 15853
SHENZHEN HOUSTON 15067
SHANGHAI HOUSTON 15790
QINGDAO HOUSTON 16256
GUANGZHOU HOUSTON 15076

FAQ

Q) How long does it take a cargo ship to travel from China to the USA?

It will depend on where the cargo ship is headed. If it is headed to the West Coast of the US, it will take about two to four weeks. If it is headed to the East Coast of the US, it takes about three to five weeks. More distance is covered when shipping from China to the East Coast, hence the difference.

Q) What shipping route is used to the East Coast?

A) The pacific route.

Q) Do ships from China use the Suez Canal?

A) Yes. With the Atlantic route, the ships will sail through the Suez Canal when heading to Europe.

Q) What routes do ships take?

A) When traveling from China to the USA, ships can take either the Pacific route, the Atlantic route, or the Indian Ocean route.

Q) What are the factors affecting shipping?

A) Shipping is affected by factors such as distance, seasons, speed, and the weight of the goods, density of the goods, fuel costs, and currency.

Q) How long does shipping from China to the US take currently?

A) Transit time from China to the US ranges from 1 to 35 days. It all depends on the shipping method and the shipping costs. However, you can experience delays when you ship goods during the holiday season or when there is port congestion and container shortages.

Conclusion

From the above information, it is clear that there are several shipping routes from China to the USA. Having knowledge on the shipping routes is not only important to the carriers and freight forwarders, but also to the importers.