Understanding shipping costs from China to the USA is fundamental for any business that relies on products from China. If you're an eCommerce business selling on Amazon, you'll be particularly conscious of the impact on margin.

But whether you're importing only a few boxes from China to the USA or a container load, in this blog, we'll guide you through the considerations you should take when looking at shipping costs from China to the US. 

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A breakdown of all the costs when shipping from China to the US

The first thing to note is that some costs will be outside of your control. Freight forwarding and shipping are global operations. As such, the industry has variable costs. One week's price for freight won't always be the same as the next week's. 

This is because shipping is impacted by global events should as the price of oil or delays within the shipping lines. 

So, firstly, always account for variable costs when it comes to shipping items from China to the US. 

The second thing to note is that when shipping products from China to the US, you'll have different options that will impact the cost. Let's look at those items:

Types of shipping

FOB - Freight on board

FOB is the acronym for 'freight on board'. It is one of the cheaper options for shipping. It means the buyer takes responsibility for the goods at the point of origin. 

After the freight forwarder loads the good onto the ship or aircraft, you are responsible for the goods. It means you need to arrange insurance and collection at the destination port at an additional cost. 

There are variations of FOB, including FOB Destination - meaning you assume responsibility at the point of destination.

CIF - Cost Insurance and Freight

CIF - Cost Insurance and Freight is a more expensive option than FOB. The seller remains responsible for the products until delivery at the destination port.  

As soon as the products pass the port's railing, the responsibility passes to the buyer. It's a more expensive option because of the insurance costs but it is worthwhile should any damage occurs during transit from China to the USA. 

Make sure that if you choose CIF from your shipping agent and they provide all the necessary shipping documents for both China and the USA, along with proof of insurance. 

CFR - Cost and Freight

A cheaper option than CIF is Cost and Freight, sometimes known as C&F. It's the same as CIF but without insurance. 

D2D - Door to Door shipping

D2D known as Door to Door shipping, is the most secure option and can often work out the cheapest. It's useful for eCommerce sellers and those who use Amazon's FBA centres. 

The D2D method means your products are collected at the seller's door and delivered directly to the buyer's door or chosen warehouse. All the documentation required for the Chinese and USA ports is provided. The products are collected at the destination port, loaded onto a vehicle and delivered at the final destination. 

How can door-to-door be cheaper than the rest?

It might be a surprise that this option can work out the cheapest. If you work with a reputable freight forwarder specialising in D2D, they will already have the whole process mapped out. That means they can benefit from economies of scale. 

The cost of booking a freight forwarder at your destination port which will collect your items, handle your paperwork and then deliver it to your destination port will be more expensive than booking a D2D option all the way from China. 

It's especially relevant to Amazon FBA sellers. Having a D2D freight forwarder who can get your items from China to the US, and handle all the customs paperwork and the necessary documentation Amazon requires to deliver them straight to an FBA center is much cheaper than booking each individual step along the journey. 

Calculate shipping costs from China to USA per KG

We mentioned earlier in the blog that shipping rates can vary week by week. But knowing an estimated price right now can still be achieved. 

Our live portal will allow you to enter your product information including size and weight, seller location and FBA destination warehouse. Once you've entered it, our team will provide a cost within 2 hours. To calculate your shipping costs, click here. It's as simple as that. 

How much is shipping from China to the US?

Given that there are so many variables, it's important to get a live price when calculating shipping from China to the US. Prices will changes on a week-by-week basis - so to get the most accurate prices, sign up for our free shipping portal today and our agents will provide you with the best price from China to the USA.