Shipping Cost From China to USA (Updated May 2024)

When Shipping from China to USAa product manufactured in China ends up in the hands of a customer in the USA. Ever wonder about the journey it takes? It’s not just about distance, but also the cost involved in making this happen. Here’s the deal – shipping costs are a big player in the game of global trade. In this article, we’ll dig into what shapes these costs, look at the latest trends, and point out some need-to-knows for businesses and everyday buyers

Shipping Cost From China to USA

Breaking Down the Elements of China and US Shipping Price:

The shipping cost from China to the USA is influenced by several factors. 

Firstly, the travel distance and path play a significant role; a longer distance generally means higher costs due to fuel, labor, and maintenance. 

Secondly, the chosen transportation medium – air, ocean, or rail freight – also affects the cost. While air freight is quick but costly, ocean freight offers a cost-effective solution for larger shipments, and rail serves as a balanced alternative. 

Thirdly, container selection impacts the cost; options range from standard or high cube containers to specialized units like refrigerated ones. 

Another key factor is the weight and volume of the goods; heavier and bulkier shipments tend to cost more due to increased fuel consumption and space limitations. The chosen shipping Incoterms (International Commercial Terms) also significantly impact cost by determining which party is responsible for various shipping aspects. Finally, consider the customs and dutiesimport duties, taxes, and customs clearance fees vary depending on the type of goods and the existing trade agreements between China and the USA.

5 Key factors determining Shipping Costs From China To US


Weight and volume of the cargo

Shipping rates hinge on the weight and volume of your cargo. Heavier shipments cost more, and for light yet large items, volume is the determining factor. For Air Freight, the greater of the actual weight and the volumetric weight (calculated as Length x Width x Height/6000) is used to calculate the cost. For a comprehensive guide on how to calculate chargeable weight, refer to this detailed resource.

Transit time

The urgency of your shipment significantly affects the cost. Express Air Freight, though priciest, delivers within 1-4 days, while regular Air Freight takes about 7-10 days. Sea Freight, the most economical option, requires 30-40 days for delivery. 


The shipping cost significantly varies with the distance between the loading and delivery points. For example, shipping a container from China to the East Coast of the US can cost approximately 13% more compared to the West Coast, primarily due to the increased distance.

Delivery Service Type

There are four main services – port-to-port, door-to-door, door-to-port, and port-to-door. Express Air Freight offers door-to-door service, while standard Air Freight is typically port-to-port unless you opt for an ‘all-included’ service that covers the entire transportation chain.

Shipping season

Shipping rates fluctuate with the season, peaking during Chinese holidays like the Chinese New Year, Dragon Boat Festival, Qing Ming Festival, Golden Week, and Mid-Autumn Festival. Planning your shipment around these high and low seasons can be cost-effective. 


Shipping container cost China to USA

Our team excels in navigating the complexities of shipping containers from China directly to your door in the U.S., or straight to Amazon’s FBA warehouses. Whether you need an all-inclusive service that covers taxes or prefer to handle them separately, we’ve got you covered. Plus, we’ve got your storage needs sorted with our containerized warehousing solutions before your goods make their journey to the States.

When it comes to Full Container Load (FCL) shipments, pricing is straightforward – it’s per container. So, if you’re sending a container from Shenzhen to a port in the U.S., the cost you’re looking at is for the space between those ports.

For those not filling a whole container, Less Than Container Load (LCL) is your go-to. It’s perfect for smaller shipments, and your freight forwarder will give you a rundown of the costs, which will include their announced rates along with any additional local fees.


Key factors determining Shipping Costs From China To US

Sea freight Cost From China to US


Full Container (FCL) Shipping Cost From China To US (Updated May 2024)

Discover the average costs of shipping a 20 foot (20FT and 40 foot (40FT) Full Container Load (FCL) from various cities in China to the USA

From (China) To (USA) Type of Container Average Ocean Freight Rate
Shanghai Long Beach 20 foot container (20FT) $4,880
Shanghai Long Beach 40 foot container (40FT) $5,920
Shenzhen Long Beach 20 foot container (20FT) $4,980
Shenzhen Long Beach 40 foot container (40FT) $6,180
Ningbo Long Beach 20 foot container (20FT) $5,950
Ningbo Long Beach 40 foot container (40FT) $6,100
Hong Kong Long Beach 20 foot container (20FT) $4,730
Hong Kong Long Beach 40 foot container (40FT) $6,670
Guangzhou USA 20 foot container (20FT) $5,500
Guangzhou USA 40 foot container (40FT) $6,450
Qingdao USA 20 foot container (20FT) check with us
Qingdao USA 40 foot container (40FT) check with us
Tianjin USA 20 foot container (20FT) check with us
Tianjin USA 40 foot container (40FT) check with us
Dalian USA 20 foot container (20FT) check with us
Dalian USA 40 foot container (40FT) check with us
Xiamen USA 20 foot container (20FT) check with us
Xiamen USA 40 foot container (40FT) check with us
Yingkou USA 20 foot container (20FT) check with us
Yingkou USA 40 foot container (40FT) check with us

Less-than-container-load (LCL) Shipping Cost From China To US (Updated May 2024)

For the US West, it starts at $480 for 3-5CBM and decreases to $270 for 10+CBM. In Central America, prices range from $380 to $280, and in the US East, it’s $390 to $290, for the same volume categories respectively.

Air Freight cost From China to US (Updated May 2024)

Weight Range (KG) Service Type Rate per KG (USD) Note
Standard Air Freight $3.3 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.
20.58 Air Express Freight $14.61 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.

Air Freight Rates From China to US Per KG (updated May 2024)

If you’re looking to send a shipment by standard air freight priced around $3.5 per kilo, it’s an affordable way to get your goods where they need to go.

Air Express Freight Rates per KG from China to US for under 21kgs (updated May 2024)

For items weighing 0.5-5.5KG, the cost is $4.65 – $17.36 per kg, and for those between 6-11KG, it’s $8.82-$14.73 per kg. So if you have a 20.58kg package, you’ll pay around $280. Simple and clear!

Air Express Freight Costs per KG from China to US for over 21kgs (updated May 2024)

For shipments over 21KG, the rates adjust accordingly. For cargo weight between 21KG-70KG, the rate ranges from $7-$7.5 and for anything over 70KG, you’re looking at a rate of $6.3-$7. It’s all about the weight with freight. 

ePacket and China Post per kgs from China to US

For ePacket and China Post services from China to the US, there’s a fixed fee of $2.17 per package. The charge per weight is $0.01 per gram, starting from a weight of 50g. The maximum weight limit for these services is 2000g.

What are the additional Costs in China and USA Shipping

What are the additional Costs in China and USA Shipping

When calculating total shipping costs, don’t forget to account for additional costs. These include:

  • Port Charges, which cover the use of port facilities, handling, and administration.
  • Customs Fees and Duties, which vary based on the type of goods and their value.
  • Inland Transportation, which covers the cost of moving goods to and from the ports.
  • Insurance to protect against damage, loss, or theft during transportation.
  • Documentation Fees for processing and handling the required shipping documents.
  • Destination Charges at the US port for unloading, handling, and other services.
  • Container Type and Special Requirements, such as refrigerated containers, which can come with additional costs.

Market Dynamics:

Keep in mind that shipping costs can be influenced by various market factors, including global economic conditions, trade imbalances, fuel prices, and geopolitical events. These dynamics can lead to fluctuations in shipping rates over time.

For the most accurate and up-to-date information on shipping costs from China to US ports and port charges, contact Super International Shipping. Our freight forwarding experts can provide a custom quote based on your specific shipping needs and the latest shipping costs.

Key Observations on 2024 Market Trends in China-USA Shipping From Super International Shipping Team

  • Staggering Cost Increases for Container Shipping: From January to March, shipping costs for 20-foot and 40-foot/40HQ containers traveling from Shanghai to Long Beach, CA, have skyrocketed, showing a growth of over 37% to 42% in just two months.
  • Uniform Hike Across Container Sizes: The similar upward trend observed for both 20-foot and larger 40-foot/40HQ containers indicates that the cost surge transcends container size and mirrors wider market forces affecting the shipping sector.
  • Widespread Industry Impact Anticipated: The first quarter’s steep climb in shipping fees is poised to trigger a domino effect across multiple sectors, potentially escalating product prices and altering global trade patterns. Entities dependent on trans-Pacific supply lines should brace for these escalating expenditures by integrating them into their budgetary strategies and exploring countermeasures to soften the blow.

    Choosing the Right Freight Forwarder from China to the USA

    Selecting the appropriate freight forwarder is crucial for efficient and cost-effective shipping from China to the USA.  Here are key considerations to guide your choice:

    Choosing a Reputable Freight Forwarder

    Hiring a freight forwarder can significantly simplify your shipping process. They can navigate through common issues, manage all organizing aspects, and fix problems as they come up. However, before you enlist their services, there’s a crucial step you shouldn’t skip. It’s essential to understand incoterms before you seal any deals with your suppliers.

    Many importers commit to incoterms without fully recognizing the risks involved. While some might not encounter immediate issues, misunderstanding these terms can lead to major problems that could devastate your profit margins.

    Shipping Documents

    Employing a freight forwarder doesn’t mean you can ignore the details of shipping. Although they handle the complexities, it’s wise to familiarize yourself with the essential freight documents involved. Being proactive about understanding these forms can prevent future complications.

    Always take the time to double-check that all your paperwork and the details in bill of lading or Airway bill are complete and correct before proceeding. These extra moments are invaluable. Additionally, keep a reference for freight charges nearby. This ensures you’re not blindly agreeing to any unexpected fees or surcharges.


    Correct Packing is important for freight cost saving

    For those considering regular shipments, it’s crucial to discuss packaging options with your supplier. Selecting the right packaging can significantly reduce your freight costs. This conversation can lead to more efficient shipping solutions and substantial savings.


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