Air Freight from China to US

Here, we give you all the information you need to know about air freight from China to the USA. Between different ways of freight forwarding, air freight is always suitable for those who have lack of time and the cost is not really important to them. Although air freight from China to USA is not cheap, there are some ways to reduce the costs in order to save more money. Not only, we do all the freight forwarding with low fee, but we also provide services which are helpful for both the importer and exporter.

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Air Freight from China to USA - Complete guide​

In the domain of international trade, transportation has emerged as a pivotal factor influencing the movement of goods.

Among the array of transportation modes available, air freight stands out as a preferred choice due to its unmatched speed.

When it comes to shipping commodities from China to the USA, air freight presents a range of distinct advantages over alternative methods.

Air Freight from China to United States
  • Enjoy a five-day shopping window in China with delivery to the US.
  • Ideal for swift city-to-city transfers across countries.
  • Experience fast and reliable service for timely deliveries.
  • Stringent regulations ensure secure handling and storage at airports.
  • Enjoy better accessibility with minimal waiting times.

Its swift delivery times not only ensure that products reach their destination promptly but also serve to minimize lead times, enabling businesses to effortlessly meet tight deadlines with ease.

Moreover, the reliability of air freight services significantly reduces the risk of delays that are inherent in other modes of transportation, thereby enhancing overall supply chain efficiency and ultimately boosting customer satisfaction levels.

Furthermore, air freight boasts enhanced security measures that effectively mitigate the risks associated with theft or damage during the transit of goods.

This aspect is especially critical for handling valuable or sensitive items, where maintaining the integrity of the products is of paramount importance.

Additionally, the inherent flexibility of air freight services allows for the provision of expedited shipping options, thereby empowering businesses to respond swiftly to changing market demands or unexpected circumstances.

This adaptability and agility are particularly advantageous in dynamic industries where the ability to adjust quickly is crucial for maintaining competitiveness in the market landscape.

Air Freight from China to USA Cost (Updated 2024) 

Weight Range (KG)

Service Type

Rate per KG (USD)



Air Freight


Standard air freight rate from China to US.

0.5 – 5.5

Air Express Freight

$4.65 – $17.36

For lightweight packages sent via air express.

6 – 11

Air Express Freight

$9.82 – $15.73

Cost-effective for mid-weight air express shipments.


Air Express Freight


An example package of 20.58KG would cost around $280 total.

21 – 70

Air Express Freight

$7 – $7.8

For heavier shipments over 21KG, with slightly lower rates.

Over 70

Air Express Freight

$6.5 – $7.2

The best rates are reserved for the heaviest shipments.

There are different costs which should be paid for air shipments. Freight forwarders usually get $3 to $6 per kilograms for air freight from China to  the United States. Here are the charges for a 384 kilogram package:

Cheapest Air Freight from China to USA

Standard air freight is considered as the least expensive way of shipping for cargos from 150 to 500 kilograms which is about $3 per kilo. When the shipments are light, their dimensional weight is calculated instead of its actual weight.
It is easily possible to check the cheapest air freight from china to the United States  in Topshipping services as the best reference to find the ideal price. A lot of advertisements are shown in order to be selected by different customers. Therefore, it is not a very hard task to find the least expensive air freight option online and in no time.

How to Calculate the Cost of Air Freight Services from China ?

Air freight services from China present an advantageous option for businesses specializing in lightweight or high-value merchandise, notwithstanding their marginally higher base rates relative to sea transportation.

Despite comprising a mere 5% of import volume, air shipments from China make a significant contribution to the total import value, amounting to 30%. This premium pricing is warranted for goods like luxury electronics, delicate apparel, or vital pharmaceuticals, where the expeditious delivery and secure handling inherent to air transport are indispensable.

Conversely, for heavier or bulkier commodities such as furniture or textiles, air freight often entails exorbitant costs. Ocean freight expenses, predominantly determined by weight, offer a more suitable alternative for such items.

In the deliberation between air and sea freight, careful consideration of cargo dimensions and weight is crucial. Seeking guidance from your freight forwarder can facilitate the identification of the most economical and effective transportation solution tailored to your specific requirements.

What factors are related to air freight costs from China to Us

When considering air freight from China to the United States , several factors impact the pricing of air cargo, providing opportunities for cost management:


Increased demand for specialized shipping services can raise air freight costs.

Containers (ULD):

Utilizing specific containers to protect goods can result in higher prices.


The labor force involved in handling goods and paperwork can influence overall costs.


Expedited delivery options come at a premium, reflecting higher costs for quicker service.

Economic Conditions:

Favorable economic conditions may lead to increased air freight costs.

Regional Factors:

External factors like strikes, conflicts, or terrorism can affect demand and pricing.

Operating Expenses:

Rising fuel costs, tariffs, landing fees, and security measures can escalate air freight expenses.

Temperature-Sensitive Cargo:

Transporting goods requiring precise temperature control typically involves higher costs.

Weight and Volume: The size and weight of cargo significantly impact pricing in air freight services.

Optimizing these factors can help manage the cost of air freight while ensuring efficient transportation from China to the USA.

Freight rates from Shenzhen, Guangdong to Los Angeles, CA

Freight rates denote the expenses associated with transporting goods from Shenzhen, Guangdong to Los Angeles, CA. Several factors impact these rates, encompassing the selected mode of transport, the weight and dimensions of the items, fuel costs, transport capacity, seasonal variations, shipping routes, and more.

Depending on your choice of air freight, ocean freight, or alternative transportation methods, various freight quotes are accessible. Freightos presents a user-friendly platform to aid you in discovering the most competitive freight prices for shipments originating from Shenzhen, Guangdong to Los Angeles, CA.

Peruse below for instant access to real-time freight quotes tailored to your specific requirements and preferences for shipments along this route.





Flight Schedule


West of US(8.9)





Transit time 7-10days

Middle of US(5.6.7)





Transit time 7-10days

East of US(





Transit time 7-10days

Air Freight from China to USA Cost

Air Freight Price Table per KG

Air Freight Price Table per KG

This shipping way has a mixture of base and variable costs which are $200 and $3, respectively. Different weights have different costs for air freight from China to the United States which are as the following:

Air Freight from China to USA Time

Standard air freight from China to the USA typically takes around 8 to 10 days due to its intricate process. Conversely, express air freight can be as quick as 2 or 3 days. The stringent regulations associated with air cargo contribute to the complexity and duration of this process. Importers who have comprehensive knowledge of shipment details and precise timeframes can effectively plan to ensure timely receipt of goods.

The standard delivery timeframe encompasses working days and is independent of the receipt date, weekends, and holidays. Actual delivery dates are contingent upon the destination zip code, with longer distances, customs clearance, and flight delays extending the delivery timeline. Complete declaration documents, free from customs detainment risks, further contribute to transit time.

When importers declare goods, an additional one or two days are typically required. If goods are declared from China, an extra 2 to 4 days may be added. To mitigate risks, incomplete documents, including inaccurate shipper details or falsely declared values, should be rectified accurately.

Different airlines, for air freight from China to the United States , provide a variety of services based on the destination and the conditions which the importer or supplier are looking for. The table below compares some airfreight services from different cities in China to different airports in the US [13].

Departure Airport

Destination Airport

Transit Time

FOB Price

Minimum Order

Beijing, Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen


1 day

$2.1 – 4.7 /KG

100 KG



1 – 4 days per route

$4.2 – 4.8 /KG

45 KG



7 days

$1 – 6 /KG

1 KG



3 – 4 days per route

$4.2 – 4.8 /KG

45 KG



3 – 4 days per route

$4.2 – 4.8 /KG

45 KG

Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou


3 days

1 piece



3 – 4 days per route

$4.2 – 4.8 /KG

45 KG


San Francisco

1 – 4 days

$1 – 10 /KG

1 KG



3 – 4 days per route

$4.2 – 4.8 /KG

45 KG



3 – 4 days per route

$4.2 – 4.8 /KG

45 KG



3 – 4 days per route

$4.2 – 4.8 /KG

45 KG



4 hours

$3.85 – 4.5 /KG

45 KG

Air Freight Process 

One of the key points regarding to air freight from China to the United States  is to counsel with the customs broker or freight forwarder to avoid any financial penalties or problems. There are important steps while importing goods from China:

Air Freight Process

The importer or freight forwarder is responsible for assembling the shipment, which involves collecting, preparing, and packing goods. Upon packing and labeling, all security and transportation documents are prepared to ensure readiness for transport (RFT).

Upon arrival, the package is stored in the warehouse until delivery. Goods are then picked up based on the order and Proof of Acceptance (POA). Subsequently, they undergo inspection and arrangement for suitable flight dates, with a thorough check for labeling errors and preparation of customs documents.

Following consolidation according to regulations, a master Air WayBill (AWB) is issued, and all goods are transferred to the airport. Following prior reservations, goods are readied for storage, with incoming and administrative checks performed.

ULDs are prepared based on specific instructions, followed by security checks, loading, and preparation for the flight. Shipments undergo scrutiny against documents and are then dispatched to the warehouse via trucks.

Upon receipt, shipments are inspected for damages before being deemed ready for delivery.

Main Airports in China

Airports are really important for air freight from China to the United States . As an important country in Asia to transfer goods, China is very famous with its airports around the world. Here is the list of five main airports in China based on their cargo shipping:

  • Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG): it is one of the fast growing locations for cargos with about 4 million metric tons in a year which makes this airport a really popular and busy one around the world.
  • Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK): it is located near Shunyi District and transfers a big number of cargos and passengers. This airport is the busiest airport in Asia by passenger.
  • Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN): this new airport serves a large number of airlines and is five times bigger than its previous building.
  • Shenzhen Baoan International Airport (SZX): this airport is located near Shezhen and Guangdong. So it is easy to travel to different cities in China on rail, road, air and sea.
  • Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (CTU): it is situated 10 miles away from downtown Chengdu and it is important for the western part of China.

Main Airports in USA

Finding the main and busy airports is not a very hard job because they are usually located near large and populated cities but there are some other factors; such as, workforce, geography, technology and infrastructure. Five famous airports in air freight from China to the  are listed below:

  • Memphis International Airport (MEM): it is specifically about cargo. As FedEx’s SuperHub is located in this city, a big number of packages should be transferred per hour which leads to about 400 flights every day.
  • Louisville International Airport (SDF): as UPS’ Worldport is located in this city, about 400000 packages should be transferred hourly to different domestic destination. The airport is near the highway and railroad which makes it more accessible.
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX): Los Angeles, as a metropolitan city, has an important international airport. It is located in the center of some big cities in the US; such as, Ontario and San Diego which can be accessible by railroads and land roads.
  • Miami International Airport (MIA): it is the capital of Latin American cargos both for import and export. Its advantage over other airports is its innovation in eliminating paperwork and install different internet-based real-time cargo tracker.
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD): 25 percent of cargos arrived to this airport are from China while it is about 13 hours from Shanghai to Chicago by plane. Its Midwest location makes this city a great place for Asian freight.

Cheapest Air freight from China to USA

Finding the cheapest Air Freight  from China to USA depends on various factors such as the weight and size of the package, the urgency of delivery, and the specific route. However, here are some general tips to help you find affordable Air shipping options:

  • Compare Shipping Rates: Contact multiple shipping carriers and freight forwarders to compare their rates. Some popular options for shipping from China to US including DHL, FedEx, UPS.
  • Consolidate Shipments: If you have multiple items to ship, consolidating them into one shipment can often result in lower overall shipping costs compared to sending multiple smaller packages.
  • Choose Economy or Standard Shipping: Most carriers offer different service levels with varying transit times and costs. Economy or standard shipping options are usually cheaper but may take longer to deliver compared to express or expedited services.
  • Negotiate Rates: If you frequently ship goods, you may be able to negotiate better rates with carriers or freight forwarders based on your shipping volume.
  • Utilize Discounts and Promotions: Keep an eye out for any discounts or promotions offered by shipping carriers or freight forwarders, as these can help reduce your shipping costs.
  • Consider Alternative Routes: Sometimes, shipping to a different destination within the USA or using alternative airports for arrival can result in lower shipping costs.
  • Package Optimization: Ensure that your packages are packed efficiently to minimize dimensional weight charges. Use appropriately sized packaging and avoid excess packaging materials.
  • Track Exchange Rates: Fluctuations in currency exchange rates can impact shipping costs. Monitor exchange rates and consider timing your shipments to take advantage of favorable rates.

By implementing these strategies and thoroughly researching your options, you can find the cheapest air freight from China to the US for your specific needs.

There are a lot of points regarding to air freight from China to the United States  which are mentioned:

Numerous factors regarding air freight from China to the USA are outlined:

1. Target Customer: Recognizing the diverse needs of customers, including small to medium-sized businesses, is crucial for suppliers to offer cost-effective shipping solutions.

2. Minimum Cargo Weight: Cargo weight varies from 1 kilogram to over a hundred kilograms, depending on the destination. Typically, the minimum weight for most US destinations from China is around 45 kg. Shipping cargos exceeding 100 kg ensures more competitive and reasonable costs at the international level.

3. Volumetric Weight: For air shipments, volumetric weight is calculated using the formula: length (cm) * height (cm) * width (cm) divided by 5000.

4. Insurance: Cargo insurance is essential to cover losses or damages. Compensation is based on the weight of the cargo, not its value.

5. Necessary Documents: Essential documents for air freight from China to the USA include the Air WayBill (AWB), which serves as a title document for the goods, commercial invoice detailing the conditions of sale, packing list listing package contents, and customs clearance authorization, granting authorization to an agent.

Air Freight Process

How Long Does it Take to Air Freight from China to USA?

A cursory glance at the air freight process from China to the USA suggests that finding a freight forwarder to handle the necessary paperwork is the best course of action.
He or she is responsible for gathering all items from supplier(s) in China, packing, and labeling them.
Following that, he or she gets ready all the necessary paperwork and drives them to the airport.
Sometimes loading every item onto the plane takes several days. In order to transport products from the airport or warehouse to the United States, all expenses must be covered.
Many businesses assert that they can get goods from China to the US via air in three days, however this isn’t always the case.

How to Apply for Shipping Order? (in Topshipping)

When considering air freight from China to the USA, selecting a reputable agent is crucial for a smooth shipping process.

Topshipping, an air freight forwarding company based in Shenzhen, offers comprehensive logistics services for cargo shipments to the USA. With a focus on customer satisfaction, they provide a range of customer services to meet various needs.

Keeping abreast of changing country regulations is essential for any shipping company. Topshipping ensures they stay updated with all regulatory changes to facilitate seamless shipping processes.

As an importer, conducting thorough research to find a reputable company with reasonable fees is imperative. If you choose Topshipping, simply visit their website to access their services.

You can request a quote by filling out a form with details such as departure and destination locations, personal information, product type and name, and preferred shipping method. Alternatively, you can send them a message with any inquiries you may have.

Upon receiving your inquiry, Topshipping will promptly provide a comprehensive response or quote, along with suggested steps to proceed. They offer a variety of customizable options to suit your specific shipping needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

The cost of air freight from China to the USA varies depending on factors such as the weight and dimensions of the shipment, the chosen airline or freight forwarder, the urgency of delivery, and any additional services required. Generally, air freight is more expensive than sea freight but offers much faster delivery times. For a specific quote, it’s best to contact airlines or freight forwarders directly or use online platforms that provide shipping quotes based on your requirements.

“Standard air freight from China to the US usually takes about 8-10 days. The process isn’t slower because of airplanes; it’s due to the more complex procedures involved in air freight. Express air freight services usually cut 2-3 days from standard transit times.”

The most common shipping route from China to the USA is the trans-Pacific route. This route involves vessels departing from major Chinese ports such as Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Ningbo and crossing the Pacific Ocean to reach ports on the west coast of the United States, such as Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Seattle. These ports serve as crucial entry points for goods imported from China into the USA, facilitating a significant portion of the bilateral trade between the two countries

China retains its “transitional” status according to the UPU, granting it lower postage rates for mailing to developed nations like the US. Consequently, sending mail from China to the US is cheaper than equivalent domestic deliveries handled by the US postal service.

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