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Shipping from China to USA | How much does it cost ? [2022]

What is the best way to ship goods from/to United States ?

Are you about to import (or export) products between the United States and China? You still have a doubt regarding the regulation or transport method? This is because it is very difficult to find decent information among the ton of online advice that SINO Shipping has done is “country guide”.
Our article will focus on international logistics between China and the United States: shipping methods (sea or air freight), regulations (customs clearance, prohibited products, licenses required …). Our experience on the Chinese market allows us to give the most reliable and technical answers to your logistics needs. If you still have a doubt after reading this page, feel free to contact our SINO Experts, they are here to follow up on all your needs.
No matter if you are an accomplished exporter/importer, or a novice in the domain, if you’re planning a one-shot import/export in/to United States, or regular business, our team will be dedicated to give you the best!





Remark SINO : Even if we are living in a digital era, paperwork and shipping documents are still mandatory in the world of international shipping. Let’s have a closer look at the shipping documents you need to be in possession of when entering the American territory.

Necessary documents

Bill of Lading

This is the most important shipping document, as it is used to specify the shipping company, the seller, the buyer, the type of cargo, the volume, the incoterm which applies to the shipment, etc.

1 = Shipper
2 = Consignee
3 = Notify party
4 = Vessel No.
5 = Port of loading / discharge
6 = Place of receipt / delivery
7 = Containers No.
8 = Goods description
9 = Net weight
10 = Dimensions / volume

According to the terms of payment agreed between the supplier and the buyer, the bill of lading can serve as a document:

  1. Confirm the release of a letter of credit (L / C)
  2. Or, serves as proof of shipping, which requires the buyer to transfer payment of the balance.

*The second option is common when paying by telegraphic transfer (T / T).

Commercial Invoice

This invoice is used to proceed to customs clearance and calculations of customs duties and other fees like GST.

Packing list

Certificate of Origin / Form A

A document mentioning the origin of the goods. This document can also help to determine customs duties (as some countries benefit from exemptions or preferential duties), but also for statistics and enforcement of embargoes.

Import Licenses

In most cases, there is no need to provide any Import license when importing into the United States.

However, here are some exceptions:

  • Medicines
  • Specific types of chemicals
  • Animals and plants
  • Foodstuff products

SINO Advice : You have a borderline product ? You are not sure if you need an import license or not ? Feel free to contact our SINO Expert to have further information about your shipment and any related requirements.

What duties and taxes will I pay for my goods ?

Remark : That’s a priority to think of when you’re working in International Trade.

United States is aligned with the Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) for imported and exported goods coming from China. Here are some useful tools to calculate the tariff barriers of your products between the two countries.

Here is the composition of an HS Code, you can now see what an HS code is and what does it mean :


SINO Info : You already know the HS Code of your products? You can find the tariff barrier that applies on the official web site. If you want to know what duties and taxes will be charged to your shipment, check the following link: Harmonized Tariff Schedule.

*Importer might have to pay customs duties when importing into the USA, based on the value of the goods.

In the blank box (just below “HTS search”), just type the HS code of your product to get further information about customs regulation. If we continue based on the example of the pineapple, you should see this kind of board:

HTS in USA – Harmonized Tariff Schedule


SINO Info : You still have a doubt on how to use this tool ? Feel free to contact our SINO Experts or check the official guide on this link: Harmonized Tariff Schedule System – External User Guide.

When entering the US territory, the goods are not officially considered as entered as long as they haven’t been permitted by CBP (Customs & Border Protection), and duties haven’t been paid. The products have to be declared within 15 days prior to arrival within the country of before leaving the bonded warehouse. As an importer, you’ll have to declare the transaction value of your products, as well as the country of origin (and other documents: please see below). CBP will then be able to calculate duties.

Some products are subject to tax exemptions. Even though your product is not subject to customs duties, you still have to declare it as mentioned above. Let’s have a closer look at the specific rules that apply for some types of products.

GST on Imports

As you know, the USA is a federal country. This has a strong impact on the import process, as every single state has a total autonomy on sales of goods. Anyway, the levy of Sales Tax is broadly on retailing and supplying the end consumer; all intermediaries are generally not subject to this tax.

SINO Tips : This is why you should let SINO Shipping handle it all and check the updated requirements based on the location you need us to ship.

Why choose us ?

SINO Shipping is all about trust, efficiency and transparency. Our main mission is to provide tailored-made logistic solutions for every single shipment, ensuring full satisfaction of our customers.

SINO Plus : Reach out to us right now for any request. You will receive the most accurate and promptest answer within 24 hours!

Customs contact in China

Official name: General Administration of Customs of China

Official Website: Chinese Customs Website

Customs contact in USA

Official name: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Official Website: American Customs Website

Customs process



Remark SINO : If you have one of the following item, you should check directly with our SINO Experts. Some of those items are restricted or even totally prohibited, it is important to anticipate such shipment to avoid any problem.

Drug Contraband
Counterfeit Notes

SINO Shipping - Dedicated freight forwarder in USA

Due to our attractive pricing & dedication, many customers trust our services and we thanks them. Stop to overpay the services and save money with our tailored package matching will all type of shipment, from small volume to full container, let us find the best and cost-effective option.



Ocean freight will be the best deal for you if :

  • Your suppliers are located near a major Chinese port
  • Your goods are bigger than 2 CBM
  • You’re not in a hurry to receive them

Remark SINO : SINO Shipping is an experienced China-based international freight forwarder, shipping from any cities in China to anywhere in the world.

*Over the past few years, the United States of America have become one of the key destination we are used to ship to.

We are proud to offer the whole range of ocean freight-related services for your shipments to the USA. In fact, SINO Shipping offer services for FCL (full container load), LCL (less than container load), to any city in the country from one coast to another. We can also use our strong expertise to set up more challenging shipments such as project cargoes, bulk, etc.

Our main strength is our capacity to adapt our flexible offer to any kind of budget and requirement. In fact, whether your just need port-to-port services, door-to-port, or door-to-door, we have a solution for you. You can also store your goods in our warehouses if needed, prior to departure.

Remark SINO : Let us handle the whole process and enjoy a hassle-free shipment!

Main ports in the USA

Los Angeles

The Port of Los Angeles, also known as America’s Port is located around 32kms from Downtown LA. This port accounts for 20% of all cargo entering the country. The port’s largest trading partners are China and Hong Kong.

At SINO Shipping, we know how crucial this port is to get your products delivered to the USA, and this is why we can arrange frequent departures from anywhere in China to the Port of Los Angeles.

Long Beach

Long Beach is the second largest port in the country, just after the adjoining Port of Los Angeles. These two ports put together represent a very important gateway for cargo from all over the world arriving in the country. The main trading partners of this port are also Asia countries.

SINO Advice : We do not only ship to California, obviously. We also ensure frequent traffic to the other largest cities of the country. Whether you need us to arrange a shipment from Shanghai to New York, from Hong Kong to Seattle, or whatever else, your SINO advisor has a solution for you!

Transit time

Ocean freight is by far the slowest option you can choose: you should consider around 30-40 days for a shipment from both countries by sea. This transit times is not only due to the upfront preparation, but also to the fact that shipping lines are now moving way slower in order to be able to save money on fuel. Additionally, keep in mind that many unexpected events can occur: bad weather, port congestions, etc. Anyway, SINO Shipping works only with the best and most reliable shipping lines to ensure a hassle-free process to our customers. 


The port to port transit time will vary according on the distance. Below are some examples:

  • Hong Kong – Los Angeles : 20 days
  • Hong Kong – New York: 32 days
  • Shanghai – Seattle: 29 days
  • Shanghai – Savannah: 30 days

SINO Advice : Sea freight is the most cost-effective option. Let’s have a closer look at how rates are calculated.

Sea freight rates

When shipping from China to the USA by sea, various fees have to be considered. Make sure you understand every step of the logistic process in order to understand your sea freight quotations.


Here are some of the main costs that come with your shipment:

  • Delivery to POL (port of loading) at origin
  • Customs clearance (export)
  • Freight rate
  • Insurance
  • Import customs clearance
  • Customs duties (if any)
  • Delivery to the agreed final location


As mentioned earlier, SINO Shipping is truly committed to provide tailored-made solutions. As the final cost of your shipment depends also on the type of service that you require, we’ll make sure to adapt our offer accordingly.

Once you have contacted us, we’ll get back to you within 24 hours to gather all the information related to your shipping needs. After that, we will provide you with a detailed quotation, whether it is for door-to-door, door-to-port, or port-to-port from China to the USA.

SINO Advice : SINO Shipping handles everything for you, sticking to your budget and expectations!



Air freight will be the most efficient solution if :

  • Your goods are smaller than 2 CBM and 200 kg
  • You’re in a hurry to receive/send the goods

Remark SINO : SINO Shipping is an experienced China-based international freight forwarder, shipping from any cities in China to anywhere in the world.

Express Air Freight, Regular Air Freight, Door-to-door, Door-to-Airport, … Sticking to your budget and responding to your needs as much as possible are our main concerns.

We are used to arrange air freight shipment from China to the USA for our time-sensitive customers. We can set up an urgent shipment at any time to any destination within the country. This is made possible by the strong long-lasting network we have been able to build up over the years.

When working with SINO Shipping for your air freight shipments, you will benefit from the support of a dedicated team, expert in its domain. We also handle the whole pre-carriage step of the logistic chain mainly by ensuring an amazingly qualitative packing service, to ensure safety to your products. At SINO Shipping, we are updated with the latest logistics logistic technologies. This is why we will provide you with a tracking number, so that you can keep track of your air shipment at every time.

SINO Advice : Hit that contact button right now to receive an air freight quotation in less than 24hours!

Transit time

Express Shipping Options

When using an international courier for your air shipment from China to the USA, you should consider a transit time of three days approximately. This delay comes with the pick-up of the goods, and delivery to the airport of departure. If your shipment is really urgent, we can even set up a priority express shipment, that can be delivered even faster.

Standard Air Freight

Regular air freight between both countries usually takes 8-10 days. Why is there such an important difference between both options?


*When it comes to regular air freight, processes are much more complex as compared to express shipments.

The whole shipping process comes with several mandatory steps:

  • Close a deal with the airline company
  • Book space for you
  • Pick-up of your goods
  • Pre-carriage storage
  • Customs clearance

Remark SINO : The best thing to do is to contact your SINO Shipping advisor. After having clarified your needs, we’ll be able to forecast transit times and all related information.

Main Airports in USA


Memphis International Airport is the largest hub in the country. Daily traffic from China is ensured. This airport was the largest cargo airport in the world for many years. Now it is the second largest after Hong Kong. This is why SINO Shipping is used to ship from Hong Kong to Memphis.


Anchorage is another key air freight hub, located in Alaska. This is the fourth busiest airport in the world for cargo, after Hong Kong, Memphis and Shanghai. Thus, the four largest cargo airports in the world are whether Chinese or American, proof of how key it is for SINO Shipping to set up a regular traffic between both countries.

Additionally, SINO Shipping ensures regula`r departures to any other part of the country, such as Louisville, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Atlanta, etc.

Once your parcel is arrived in the US, our job is still not done in case you need door-to-door services. At this point, we can rely on our strong American network to ensure a prompt and hassle-free delivery to the agreed location (your warehouse, your customer’s facilities, etc.).

Remark SINO : Please contact us now, so that we can figure out together the most-suited logistic solution.


How do we calculate air freight rates ?

Each freight forwarder has its own method and a different pricing strategy. As a rule of thumb, the standard procedure is to use the weight and the volume to calculate the cost.


Actual Weight vs. Volumetric Weight

We have two options when it comes to determine the chargeable weight:

  1. Actual weight is the real weight of your parcel, simple enough!
  2. Volumetric weight is calculated by multiplying the volume (L*W*H) by 167. If the result is higher than the actual weight of your parcel, then we will use the volumetric to quote your air freight service.

What additional charges should I consider ?

Air freight cargo can also come with unexpected additional fees. This is why it is recommended to be prepared and well-aware that additional costs may arise.


Here are three examples:

  • Fuel Surcharge: due to the high volatility of the oil market. This surcharge is made ad hoc to protect carriers, as it is the main part of the expenses for every carrier in the business. This fee will be calculated based on a percentage of the chargeable weight.
  • Airline Terminal Handling Fee: All costs implied when handling the cargo at origin, and destination. This cost will whether be included directly into your quotation, or listed separately, depending on the airline.
  • Container Freight Station: This fee applies in case of storage of your parcel when entering the country. When the customs clearance is done, the cargo can leave the airport CFS warehouse.

SINO Advice : At SINO Shipping, we make sure to quote everything at the same time, so that you can better forecast your expenses.



Road freight will be the most convenient option if :

  • You need a Door to Door service
  • You live far from the airport/port of arrival
  • You’re not in a hurry to receive your goods

Remark SINO : A door to door service is an all-inclusive solution, we can also call it a Premium service.

Door-to-door quotes include the above, as well as: 

  • Customs clearance fees. If customs require a further inspection of your cargo, additional fees may be charged.
  • Trucking fees
  • Cargo insurance(this is a must have. Don’t ship your products without getting them covered!).


Because SINO Shipping cares about the goods you need to ship, we also provide freight insurance services. In fact, the insurance rate is calculated as follow: 1% of the declared value of the goods.

In this way, you get the value of your cargo covered in case of any damage. You should not risk shipping your products without insurance, as it can come with important additional costs for you or your business in case of unexpected event.

SINO Shipping can become your long-term partner for your shipments to the USA. If you need to set up a regular traffic from China to Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, or wherever else in the country, we’ll make sure to offer the best rates. In fact, when settling a frequent traffic, it’s way easier for us to negotiate better rates with the largest shipping lines

Shipping high technology products from China to USA

Prepare your Commercial Invoice correctly

A Commercial Invoice Form determines the true value of the imported goods, for assessment of duties and taxes. It must include the buyer and seller, the date and terms of sale, quantity, weight and/or volume, type of packaging, description of goods, unit value and total value, besides insurance, shipping and other charges.

Make sure invoices and packing slip match up

This is a good safeguard against shipping incorrect cargo. Make sure to inform transportation companies about what they are shipping and to enable the importer and others involved to check what has been shipped against the invoice.

Use the Harmonized System to assign codes for each part

Use the Harmonized System to assign codes for each part Each part has a 6 to 10 digit harmonized code which classifies your goods for global trade. The HS can be obtained from the manufacturer or at Here.

Mark your goods with country of origin

Make sure you do this unless the goods being imported are exempt. To confirm if they are, refer to the “Marking of Country of Origin on U.S. Imports” on the Customs and Border Protection’s website Here.

Obtain permits

Permits may be required by customs for specific technology parts, and vary by commodity and country you are exporting or importing to. Permits can take 7 to 10 days to acquire, depending on the country where the part was manufactured. Your logistics provider should be able to assist you with this process.

File an EEI (formerly Shipper’s Export Declaration) when required

Work with a one-stop-shop logistics provider The former SED is now called the EEI (Electronic Export Information) form and is filed electronically with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection for shipments that exceed $2,500 in value or require an export license. File Here.

Work with a one-stop-shop logistics provider

Knowledgeable logistics companies help with customs clearance by taking on power of attorney, coordinating with the importer of record and handling duties and taxes.



SINO Shipping, we understand perfectly the needs of our customers and establish a win-win collaboration with them.

“respect is earned. honesty is appreciated. trust is gained. loyalty is returned.”



Make a request and you will be contacted within 24 hours maximum


We guarantee very competitive price, ask us and compare !

Dedicated customs service

Do not hesitate to contact us for customs or administratives information

Multilingual team

We speak English, French and Chinese to avoid any communication issues

Tailored service

Small or big shipment, we can manage every request


We ensure and secure all our shipments, safety is our priority !

Recurrent questions regarding the shipping from China to the USA

LCL: 70 USD /cbm FCL: 1300 USD /20’: 1500 /40’ Express shipping door to door (10kg): 450 USD

Average transit time by sea: 30 days Average transit time by airfreight: 8 days (daily direct flight) Express shipping door to door (10kg): 3 days

There are only 2 options, by sea or by air, it depends on how big the volume and the weight are, and then you will decide which shipping methods is more adequate. You must calculate the ration time/cost.

When entering the US territory, the goods are not officially considered as entered as long as they haven’t been permitted by CBP (Customs & Border Protection), and duties haven’t been paid. The products have to be declared within 15 days prior to arrival within the country of before leaving the bonded warehouse. As an importer, you’ll have to declare the transaction value of your products, as well as the country of origin (and other documents: please see below). CBP will then be able to calculate duties.

No, they don’t immediately open your package without any reason. … They will only instantly check what’s inside of your package if: Your package has been damaged when it reached the Customs office or desk. The damages can include broken seals or plastic or any cover of your package.

When you make a shipping request, you’ll have to declare the value of your shipment. The value you enter on your request form is the value that will be declared at customs, so it is important that you declare accurately. If you declare too high a value, you may be assessed more taxes than you want to pay! If you declare too low a value, your declared value may be considered unreasonable and adjusted upward.

-Negotiate with multiple carriers -Get suppliers to use your shipping account number -Use packaging provided by your carrier -Consider a regional carrier -Use online shipping -Invest in prepaid shipping -Buy insurance from a third party -Factor in all shipping fees before billing customers -Consider hybrid services -Ask about association discounts

Interested in our logistics services? Need further assistance & dedicated information?

Our SINO experts answer within 48h !