How Long Does Shipping Take From China To The US?
Shipping from China to US is increasingly critical to the global economy, with China’s vast export sector driven by the demand for cost-effective, high-quality products making it the top trading nation.
Chinese companies have been using the United States as a strategic hub for shipping goods internationally. For American businesses, understanding how to import from China is becoming essential. Knowledge of China’s trade practices is increasingly important for long-term success.
How Long Does It Take for Sea Freight from China to the US?
Wondering how quickly your goods can travel from China to the US by sea? It’s all about the details: your cargo size, choosing between FCL or LCL, and selecting the right ports and shipping company. For a deep dive on picking the best US port, give our guide a read: How to Choose a Port for Shipping from China to the USA.
Expect different timelines when shipping to the East Coast versus the West Coast. Heading to the West Coast means a Pacific Ocean journey, usually taking 13 to 16 days. It’s important to note that shipping times can vary based on the carrier you choose. If your destination is the East Coast, your cargo will take a Pacific trek, squeeze through the Panama Canal, and then onto the East Coast, typically spanning 25 to 28 days. An alternative is shipping to the West Coast and then moving your items overland to the East Coast, known as the MLB option, clocking in at 21 to 23 days — but it’ll cost a bit more.
Let’s zoom in on Shenzhen as a starting point:
- To the West Coast ports such as Los Angeles, it’s about 14 to 20 days.
- Heading over to the East Coast ports like New York? That’s around 30 days.
Port-to-Port Shipping: China to Los Angeles
- Direct Transit Time: 13 days
- Total Estimated Door-to-Door Transit: 21 to 30 days (including customs clearance, loading, and ISF submission)
Additional Inland U.S. Transit Times from Los Angeles
|San Diego/Oakland/San Francisco
|Austin/Denver/Salt Lake City/Phoenix
Delivery times of cargo shipping from China to the United States may vary, depending on the distance and type of product. It can take several weeks, sometimes up to 35 days, with much of this time spent waiting at the port for clearance.
The cost of global logistics is rising annually in many countries, and the speed and efficiency it provides are often constrained. Implementing automation in warehouses and distribution centers is a key strategy to reduce operational costs.
Through collaboration, the U.S. & China can work to minimize international shipping delays. Steps are being taken to enable quicker and more streamlined shipping processes.
How long does air freight transit take from China to the USA?
Wondering how fast your shipment will fly from China to the USA? Typically, air freight takes 8-10 days. It’s not about the aircraft speed; the overall process is a tad more involved than simple express delivery. For quicker needs, express air services cut down the time to 5-7 days.
Straightforward Air Freight Steps
Here’s the breakdown of what happens after your flight is locked in:
- Goods move from the Chinese supplier to the freight agent’s warehouse, roughly half a day.
- Loading and customs in China usually take 1-2 days.
- The flight itself is a 2-3 day affair.
- Customs clearance in the US might take another 1-2 days.
- Delivery to your door generally accounts for the final 2-3 days.
These are ballpark figures, folks! Real-world stuff like customs hang-ups could push back your timeline.
Average Air Freight Times: China to US AirPorts
Let’s cut to the chase with some average port-to-port times:
- To the West Coast:
- Guangzhou to LA? 5 days.
- Qingdao to Seattle? Also 5 days.
- Shenzhen to Atlanta takes a bit longer, about 6 days.
- To the East Coast:
- Xiamen to Houston? That’s 7 days.
- Shenzhen to Denver? Same, 7 days.
- Wuhan to New York? Count on 8 days.
- Heading to the Midwest?
- Beijing to Chicago is the quickest at 4 days.
Just keep in mind, these are estimates to get you in the ballpark. Your actual shipping time? That can vary.
When planning, consider this a cheat sheet for your air freight from China to the US, and yes, things can move left or right on the calendar.
How long does it take for China Post to deliver to the USA?
Shipping from China with China Post can vary in time. While surface mail takes longer, China Post’s air mail or EMS options speed things up, usually taking 1-2 weeks to reach the US.
Avoiding Delays with US Customs
If there’s a hiccup with the paperwork, US Customs might slow down your parcel’s release. To boost your odds of a smooth, one-week delivery, double-check that your supplier’s documents are in order before dispatching.
Shipping Duration: What to Expect
Different shipping methods lead to different wait times:
- Standard surface mail can be a waiting game, typically over a month.
- EMS is faster, with parcels arriving in 2-3 weeks.
- The e-packet service is wallet-friendly but not swift, often taking 45-60 days to arrive.
Estimated Delivery Times by Service Type
- Ordinary Mail (Untraceable): Total time ranges from 25 to 60 days.
- Registered Mail (Traceable): Look at 14 to 35 days from start to finish.
- EUB (E-packet, Traceable): This one will take 14 to 28 days overall.
- EMS (Express Mail Service, Traceable): The quickest, at 7 to 15 days.
Here’s how it breaks down:
|Seller’s Storage Time
|Shipping to the USA
|Local Transit Time
Remember, once in the US, USPS takes over. So your package’s journey ends with them.
How long does express shipping from China to the USA take?
When you’re in a rush to receive packages from China, express shipping is the go-to method. This premium service can significantly cut down delivery times, usually enabling shipments to arrive within 2-5 days depending on the express courier and service selected.
Your Express Shipping Options Summarized
Here’s a snapshot of the available express shipping services, their relative costs, and expected delivery timeframes:
|Reliable and fast for urgent needs
|Saves money, slightly slower
|Costs more, equally quick
|Good value, reliable delivery
|Affordable, minor risk of delays
|China Post EMS
|Quicker than regular China Post
Selecting Your Express Service
- FedEx: Top pick for urgent deliveries, with a choice of fast or more economical services.
- UPS: Ideal for shipments that must arrive quickly, albeit pricier.
- DHL: A smart pick for those balancing cost and speed.
- SF-Express: Newer, cost-effective, but prepare for possible delays.
- China Post EMS: Not the fastest express option, yet more reliable than standard mail.
For the fastest delivery, go with FedEx IP or UPS — you’ll get your package in just 2-3 days. If there’s a bit more time on your hands, FedEx IE or DHL offer a solid mix of affordability and speed, with delivery within 3-5 days.
Remember, express shipping is quick but can be pricey. Always weigh the urgency against your budget to make the best choice.
Why is shipping from China taking longer than it used to?
The term ‘China’ does not just refer to one but multiple countries when discussing shipping and logistics; it is an umbrella for the entire region. With the rising number of online shoppers and companies that need to send goods abroad, China is facing an overload of packages being delivered.
The international shipping process has been hindered by the large amount of traffic travelling through customs, leading to delays in imports & exports. This has affected movement of goods between countries and caused a slowdown in the delivery of these shipments.
To stay competitive, some companies have opted to use overseas shipping services. This approach allows them to avoid delays & save time & money, and increases the likelihood of receiving their products on schedule.
What is the Shipping Process from China to the USA
Step 1: Choose a Local Chinese Freight Forwarder
Initiate your shipping by reaching out to a freight forwarder. Opting for one based in China is usually better. They’re on the ground and can handle the complex parts of shipping from the source.
Why Opt for a Local Freight Forwarder in China? Explore this further.
Step 2: Discuss Details and Receive Freight Plans and Estimates
Share the specifics of your freight, and the forwarder will provide you with tailored solutions and pricing.
Step 3: Link Your Supplier with Your Freight Forwarder
Once your supplier and forwarder are connected, the forwarder will take over the shipping process.
Step 4: Consider Cargo Insurance (It’s Optional)
Think about securing your shipment with insurance for added peace of mind.
Step 5: Take Care of Customs Clearance
You can manage customs yourself or choose a forwarder that offers door-to-door shipping services, which includes handling customs for you.
Super International Shipping excels in express delivery, offering an all-encompassing service that encompasses cross-border shipping, express logistics, e-commerce, warehousing, aviation, financial services, and more, for a seamless shipping experience from China to the USA.
How long does USA Customs take to clear packages from China?
If you’re shipping products from China, you may be wondering how long US customs will take to clear your parcel. It can take up to five or six weeks for the procedure to be completed.
The duration of US customs processing of a package varies based on its contents. If items requiring licenses are not present, the process can be completed in as little as two weeks. Nonetheless, if the items in the package necessitate a license or permit that you don’t hold, this process can be quite lengthy – ranging from half a year up to five years.
As it is developing all the time, it can alter depending on both countries’ requirements. As a result, parcels submitted to US customs can take anywhere between five days and six weeks to process, depending on the individual case.
Super International Shipping offers an extensive and complete freight forwarding service to help customers move their goods from China to the US. We offer a comprehensive range of sea freight and air freight services to our commercial and individual clients, including less-than-container-load (LCL) and full-container-load (FCL) along with all kinds of airfreight from China to USA. Our breakbulk team can help manage exports that are ‘ex-works’, where goods are shipped from the seller’s premises, and ‘FOB’ (Free on Board), which involves goods being shipped and loaded on board a vessel. We also offer air freight services for any shipment, regardless of size or urgency, with door-to-door delivery. If required, we can even arrange a full charter of an aircraft.