Shipping from China to USA: Methods & Cost 2022

Table of Contents

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China and USA are separated by thousands of kilometers, and China to the USA can only be transported by sea and air. Sea shipping is divided into FCL and LCL. Air shipping is divided into cargo airlines and Express.

By Sea

Sea shipping occupies more than 80% of the total logistics traffic between China and USA, including FCL and LCL.

Most of the goods shipping from China to the USA are dependent on the sea to complete.

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The advantage is a large capacity, which can transport more than 5,000 containers of cargo at one time, cheap freight, and low transportation costs, so cannot be replaced by air shipping.

1) What are the shipping companies between China and USA?

  • APL
  • EMC
  • PIL
  • OOCL
  • ONE
  • MSK
  • MSC
  • HPL
  • HMM
  • CMA
  • ZIM

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From capacity, COSCO/ MSC/ MSK are undoubtedly the largest of the top three shipping companies. From service, MATSON shipping service is the best.

Whether it is the time spent on shipping from China to USA, or customs clearance and unloading speed after the goods arrived at the USA port, MATSON has an advantage over other shipping companies.

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ZIM’s express shipping service launched in the past few years around the U.S. cross-border e-commerce has been increasingly recognized in the market, and the volume of shipments received has been steadily increasing.

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2) Sea freight inquiry and tracking

a, By visiting the above shipping company’s website, you can check and track when the container is scheduled, the deadline for customs clearance, the sailing time, the name of the ship, the estimated time of arrival at the destination port, etc.

b, LCL cargo inquiry and tracking need to consult the LCL company, because usually the bill of lading does not show the container number, seal number, shipping company, so can only contact the booking agent to check the cargo information.

3) Sea Shipping Process from China to USA

China exports by sea to the USA and the USA imports by sea to China are the same process that all aspects of shipping must go through.

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Sea freight inquiry

Consulting how much sea freight cost is needed to transport the corresponding goods from China to the USA.

Ship booking

Ask shipping international freight forwarders, shipping companies, U.S. line sea freight consolidation companies to book the ship.

Cargo pick-up

Pick up the cargo into the warehouse or container deliver it to the factory after loading, back to the dock, fumigation, and disinfection, weighing.

Export customs declaration

Declare the export of goods to the Chinese customs by the shipping agency or customs broker.

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Bill of lading information

Provide accurate sea shipping bill of lading information.

U.S. Customs information declaration

ISF and AMS information declaration, the U.S. line unique declaration documents. Without U.S. shipping experience is recommended to consult a professional U.S. line shipping forwarder.

Ship to the USA

Shipping on the sea.

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U.S. import customs clearance

Usually, the consignee is entrusted to a local shipping forwarder or customs.

The consignee is entrusted to the U.S. local shipping forwarder or customs clearance company to provide services.

Pick up

Pick up the container from the terminal and deliver it to the warehouse or the LCL agent will pick up the goods back to the warehouse.

China to the USA sea shipping is completed.

4) How long to ship from China to USA by sea?

It is divided into sea time and door-to-door, including pick up and delivery, customs clearance time.

The port-to-port shipping time refers to the time between the day of departure and the arrival of the ship at the port of destination.

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It does not include the delayed unloading time due to the peak season or workers’ strike, the impact of the epidemic, import customs clearance, and other reasons.

The time for shipping from China to USA door to door includes the pick-up time in China, export declaration, waiting for a ship, shipping time, U.S. customs clearance, pick up, and delivery of a series of work.

Theoretically, if everything goes well, the time from China to the USA door to door is 25~40 days.

5) Main sea ports in China

  • Shenzhen
  • Guangzhou
  • Xiamen
  • Ningbo
  • Shanghai
  • Qingdao
  • Tianjin
  • Dalian
  • Lianyun

6) Main sea ports in USA

  • Boston
  • Cleveland
  • Detroit
  • Seattle
  • Chicago
  • Oakland
  • San Francisco
  • Miami
  • Dallas
  • Houston
  • Los Angeles
  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Newark

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7) Sea shipping cost from China to USA

From China to the USA, the shipping cost of a container will not be the same for different shipping companies, every week, from port to port, for different cargo, and for different weights.


FCL, or full container load, means your goods fill an entire container, either 20’ or 40’ long. If you are shipping at a high volume, you’ll save time and money by shipping FCL. Pricing for FCL is done at a flat rate, regardless of whether or not your container is completely full.

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LCL, or less than a container load, means your goods do not fill a full container and will be shipped along with other buyers. Note that when you ship LCL, your goods will need to be consolidated at the departure port and deconsolidated at the destination port.

That’s why LCL shipping takes a few days longer than FCL.

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By Air

Air shipping is the second-largest logistics way from China to the USA, and the volume has grown significantly each year.

It is growing much faster than sea shipping, especially since the onset of the new coronavirus in 2019.

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1) What are the cargo airlines from China to USA?

  • CZ – China Southern Airlines Cargo
  • CA – China International Cargo Airlines
  • MU – Eastern Airlines Logistics
  • O3 – SF Airlines
  • 5Y – Atlas Air Cargo
  • 6R – Alliance Mexicana Airlines
  • AA – American Airlines
  • DL – American Delta Airlines UA United Airlines
  • 5X – UPS Airways
  • AM – Mexicana Airlines
  • CI – China Airlines
  • MF – China Xiamen Airlines
  • TK – Turkish Airlines
  • EK – Emirates Airline
  • OZ – Asiana Airlines
  • BR – EVA Air
  • CX – Cathay Pacific Airways
  • KZ – Japan Cargo Airlines
  • PO – Polar Cargo
  • NH – All Nippon Airways

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More than 20 cargo carriers offer services for air shipping from China to the USA, and also from the USA to China.

Air cargo inquiry and tracking can be done on the official websites of these airlines by entering the bill of lading numbers.

A more accurate way is to consult the air freight forwarder or agency of the airline at the airport of destination.

2) Main cargo airports in China

  • NKG – Nanjing Lukou International Airport
  • FOC – Fuzhou Changle International Airport
  • HGH – Hangzhou Xiaoshan Airport
  • XMN – Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport
  • YNT – Yantai Penglai International Airport
  • XIY – Xi’an Xianyang International Airport
  • CAN – Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport
  • CSX – Changsha Huanghua International Airport
  • TAO – Qingdao Liuting International Airport
  • WUH – Wuhan Tianhe International Airport
  • CTU – Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport
  • CKG – Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport
  • SZX – Shenzhen Baoan International Airport
  • PVG – Shanghai Pudong International Airport
  • CGO – Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport
  • PEK – Beijing Capital International Airport

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3) Main cargo airports in USA

  • WAS/IAD – Washington (Capital)
  • BOS – Boston
  • ORD – Chicago
  • CVG – Cincinnati
  • DEN – Denver
  • DFW – Dallas
  • DTW – Detroit
  • ELP – El Paso
  • EWR – Newark
  • EVV – Evansville
  • FLL – Fort Lauderdale
  • FNT – Flint
  • GRR – Grand Rapids Valley
  • HOU – Houston
  • HSV – Huntsville
  • HNL – Honolulu
  • ICT – Wichita
  • ILM – Wilmington
  • IND – Indianapolis
  • JAN – Jackson
  • JAX – Jacksonville
  • LAS – Las Vegas
  • LAX – Los Angeles
  • Lexington – LEX
  • LIT – Little Rock
  • LNK – Lincoln
  • LRD – Laredo
  • MCI – Kansas City
  • MCO – Orlando
  • MEM – Memphis
  • MFE – McAllen
  • MIA – Miami
  • MKC – Kansas
  • MSP – Minneapolis
  • MSY – New Orleans
  • JFK – New York
  • LGB – Long Beach
  • ORF – Norfolk
  • ORL – Orlando
  • PDX – Portland
  • PHA – Philadelphia
  • PIT – Pittsburgh
  • SAN – San Diego
  • SAT – San Antonio
  • SAV – Savannah
  • SEA – Seattle
  • SFO – San Francisco
  • SLC – Salt Lake City
  • TPA – Tampa
  • TUS – Tucson
  • TYS – Northwell

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4) Air freight fee from China to USA

Air freight from China to USA, formula = chargeable weight * air freight unit price = kg * RMB/kg = lbs * USD/lb.

The weight of air freight charged depends on the volume weight and the actual gross weight of the goods, the two weights correspond, which is heavier, the airline will use it to charge the air freight.

Airfreight volume weight calculation formula: 1 cubic meter = 167 kg; or each package (length * width * height) / 6000 = chargeable weight (kg as unit).

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5) How long to ship from China to USA by air?

It is divided into the airport to airport air time, and door to door air time. There is only one day to fly from China’s large airports to large airports in the USA such as PVG – LAX, CAN -ORD, PVG – JFK, CSX – ORD, PEK – LAX.

And it takes 2~3 days to fly from China to small airports in the USA such as Atlanta, El Paso, Philadelphia, etc.

By Express

Air Express is a more expensive way to ship from China to the USA, but it has the advantage of a very fast time.

1) What are the Express companies from China to USA?

The main Express companies are:

  • DHL
  • FedEx
  • UPS
  • TNT
  • EMS

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These are local Express in China, they also provide air service to the USA.

  • SF International Express
  • Yuan Tong International Express
  • Yunda International Express
  • Shenyang International Express
  • Deppon International Express
  • Jingdong International Express
  • CaiBird Logistics
  • Crossover Logistics

2) How long to ship from China to USA by Express?

Usually, it takes 3-5 days to arrive in working days, but there are also next-day services, you should communicate with the Express company before sending.

3) Express cost from China to USA

Different Express companies charge different rates, but they are roughly the same. Here are how much they charge per kilogram from China to the USA right now.


31-4934.4 /kg
50-6934.4 /kg
70-9934.3 /kg
100-19934.3 /kg
200-29934.3 /kg
300-49934.3 /kg
500+34.2 /kg


25-4440.3 /kg
45-7439.3 /kg
75-10138.5 /kg
102-29937.3 /kg
300-49935.9 /kg
500-99934.9 /kg
1000+34.7 /kg


0.5-1061.2% off
10.5-2161.2% off
22-4561.2% off
46-7161.2% off
72-10161.2% off
102-10461.2% off
105-30161.2% off
302-50161.2% off
502-100161.2% off
1002-199961.2% off


21-4435 /kg
45+33 /kg


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