China and the US are constantly racing for the title of the biggest economy in the world. It is not surprising that despite the rivalry, both China and the US are suitable trading partners. In 2020, China was the US’s 3rd largest goods export market, worth $124.5 billion. The top export categories from the US to China are electrical machinery, mineral fuels, and optical and medical instruments. Chinese importers are also interested in agricultural products such as soybeans, pork products, cotton, corn, and coarse grains. If you are interested in exporting to the Chinese market, this article discusses the shipping methods from the US to China, their prices, and the pros and cons.
Shipping from the US to China – ways of transportation
Sea freight from the US to China
As we already know, sea transport is not only the cheapest but also the best if you want to transport a large number of goods, as in airfreight the quantity and weight of your goods are limited. It depends on what product you want to transport, but remember that sea transport takes way longer than air transport. If you are planning to transport products with a short expiry date, consider air transport. It is hard to say how long your goods will be delivered as everything depends on the transit time, but it usually takes 26 to 46 days.
When it comes to container shipping, there are two options: FCL and LCL. FCL (Full Container Load) means that only one person uses the whole container. LCL (Less Container Load) means that one container is shared by many importers/exporters. FCL is usually cheaper than LCL, but it also depends on the number of your goods; the more you order, the cheaper it will be.
Main cargo ports in China:
Main cargo ports in the US:
- Los Angeles
- Long Beach
Airfreight from the US to China
If you want to transport short-expiry products, the best way is to use air transport. It is more expensive than the sea freight, but the shipping takes only 3 to 8 days. Airfreight is usually used for transporting a small number of goods since the limit is three pallets.
As mentioned before, the US exports many agricultural products to China, most of which would be transported by air transport, as their expiry date is short. As air freight is the safest option, you can use it for valuable products such as jewelry, medical goods, or vehicles.
Main cargo airport in China:
- Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG)
- Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK)
- Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN)
- Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport (SZX)
Main cargo ports in the US:
- Memphis International Airport (MEM)
- Louisville International Airport (SDF)
- Miami International Airport (MIA)
- Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
Shipping cost from the US to China
You should choose wisely your shipping method. Try to compare a few offers from different forwarders. You can easily do it on ShipHub, where you can find reliable freight forwarders. Just visit the website and fill out the form as shown below. Remember that the price differs depending on the shipping method, type of goods, and weight.
Shipping from the US to China – Summary
- China’s the 3rd largest export destination for the US as it is one of the most significant trade countries.
- The US mainly exports goods such as electrical machinery, mineral fuels, optical and medical instruments, but also agricultural products such as soybeans, pork products, cotton, corn, and coarse grains.
- You can use sea freight or airfreight for your transport as there is no rail link between the US and China.
- Sea freight is cheaper than airfreight, but air transport is faster and more secure. Sea freight offers two types of containers – FCL and LCL.
- Before making the final decision, check ShipHub.co where you can compare offers from various freight forwarders.