Shipping from the UK to the US

In 2021, the UK exported around 15% of its total exports to the US. That makes the United States its leading export partner. The United Kingdom exports mainly chemicals (£54 billion) and machinery (£119 billion). This article presents essential information about shipping from the UK to the US.

Shipping from the UK to the US

Ocean freight from the UK to the US

Ocean shipping is the most popular shipping method. The ocean freight is relatively low compared to other means of transport; however, you must bear in mind the long transit time. Therefore, ocean freight is the best option for shipping goods that do not have a short expiry date and an immediate deadline.

Transit time for a full container from the United Kingdom to the United States is around four weeks. If the container is partly loaded, the shipping takes about six weeks.

For a 20ft container, the freight is usually anywhere from £1,700 to £2,200. For 40ft container, it is £1,900-£2,400. The quote depends on the place of destination.

Main sea container ports in the United Kingdom:

  • Port of Felixstowe
  • Port of Southampton
  • Port of London
  • Port of Immingham
  • Port of Liverpool
UK seaports

Main cargo ports in the United States:

  • Port of Houston
  • Port of South Louisiana
  • Port of Corpus Christi
  • Port of Beaumont
  • Port of New Orleans
  • Port of Long Beach
US seaports

Airfreight from the UK to the US

Another way of shipping goods is airfreight. Due to higher rates, airfreight is usually the best choice when the delivery time is less flexible. For example, when the goods have a shorter expiry date, they need to be stored in a freezer, or there is an immediate deadline. Besides pricing, you also need to consider the space. Due to many safety measures, the weight and size of shipment are limited, so there are more restrictions imposed on the shipment you need to adhere to.

When the shipment’s weight is up to 45 kg, the rate per kg is around $30. For shipments weighing 45-100 kg, the rate per kg is about $15.

Airfreight from the UK to the US takes 1-5 days.

Main cargo airports in the United Kingdom:

  • London Heathrow (LHR)
  • East Midlands International Airport (EMA)
  • Manchester Airport (MAN)
  • Stansted Airport (STN)
UK airports

Main cargo airports in the United States:

  • Memphis International Airport (MEM)
  • Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC)
  • Louisville International Airport (SDF)
  • Miami International Airport (MIA)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
US airports

Shipping from the United Kingdom to the United States – freight rates

The freight rate is based on many factors, like the shipping method. The easiest way to check how much the shipping will cost is to get in touch with the potential freight forwarders who will give quotes based on the shipment’s size and type. is a great website that allows you to quickly check freight rates for your shipping without making any calls or writing tons of emails.

Just fill in the forms on and get free quotes!


  • The main market for UK exports is currently the US.
  • Ocean transportation is the most popular method of shipping goods between those two countries, with relatively low rates.
  • Keep in mind the shipped type of products when choosing the suitable shipment method.
  • Airfreight is the fastest; however, the rates are the highest, and requirements for shipment size are strict.
  • Get the best free quotes on ShipHub from multiple freight forwarders.
Request free quote for shipping

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