Freight forwarder China to USA

On this page we are talking about freight forwarder from China to USA. Nowadays by more developments in technology and high need of people to a variety of goods, transportation is increased around the world. It facilitates the shipment from China to the USA; however, it has its own regulations and difficulties. A good freight forwarder can be helpful in this field to reduce time and cost, and accelerate the shipping process to have the best result.


sea freight

Sea Freight

When time is not a factor and costs are your primary concern, try Topshippings sea freight services. Our company offers consolidated and full containers shipments.

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Air Freight

The fastest shipping services are available from Topshipping. Our air freight options include standard, economy, and expedited.

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Cargo Insurance

All carriers must carry a minimum amount of insurance. This is vital to provide you peace of mind. Topshipping gives full coverage for all consignments.

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Lower your costs

Choosing the best mode of transportation for your company will help you to save money.

Stress-free shipping

We have a professional team for providing you precise cargo and logical solutions in your budget.

Cargo Consolidation

Collecting goods from different suppliers in China and consolidating them into one single shipment, in order to save your time and costs, is our responsibility.

ocean freight rates 

Time guarantee

Freight forwarder from China to USA: The transportation flight and operation process using DHL express delivery is controlled between 1-3 days from receipt of goods to flight to the United States (except in special cases). After arriving in the United States, it is dispatched by the US Postal Service. The difference between transportation time and commercial express delivery time is not big. The sino-us special is a line for you to change the location of the goods, to achieve the US domestic delivery service.

Shipping instructions

It is strictly forbidden to deliver air-banned products: such as powder, liquid, drugs, firearms, flammable and explosive materials, and prohibited goods from the US local customs, etc., can deliver electronic products and supporting battery products, and do not accept imitation cards. If there are more than 2 items on the same ticket, the forecast must be filled in by branch. The same declared value is also to be filled in with the same name. The total value of the goods of the same batch in the same batch cannot be filled in.

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Freight forwarder china to USA

Loss or damage caused by the inherent defects or essential components of the deposit; or the customs and customs clearance delay caused by the destination customs authority due to the suspected illegality of the shipment

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Freight Forwarder from China to USA – Step by step guide

Freight Forwarder from China to USA – Step by step guide

A freight forwarder is an agent or a company that transfers goods from the origin country to the destination country safely and timely.

In order to clarify this process, let’s give an example: an importer wants to buy bags from China and transfer them to the US. The freight forwarder arranges to transfer bags from the manufacturer to the container in a cargo ship which moves to the US and provides all documents. Then, the container will be emptied in the US and bags are transferred to the exact address which the importer provided.

All tasks related to warehousing, trucking, booking container, preparing for shipment, exporting, bargaining for costs and all other related things are on the shoulder of the freight forwarder who ships different materials from China to the USA.

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determine the characteristics of a good

Importer’s purpose and shipping requirements determine the characteristics of a good freight forwarder agent. It means if a person is a wholesaler and intends to transfer a huge number of items, the best agent is someone who can offer different rates and provide customs clearance plus all other necessary documents. The service, which a person who regularly buys things online from China needs, can be; such as, sourcing, purchasing, labeling, consolidation, quality control, customs clearance services, warehousing and low shipping rates which can be provided by a professional agent with a reasonable cost.

There are some factors to select the most suitable freight forwarder which can be considered before many decisions:

  • Acceptable level of English: as Chinese freight forwarders are not really good at English, sometimes misunderstandings happen which prevent a better business communication.
  • Offering a variety of shipping options: due to importers’ different needs, the size of shipment and the type of goods, the freight forwarder should offer different options to suit every importer’s needs.
  • Giving a warehousing service: it is sometimes needed to consolidate goods from several suppliers all over China before transferring to the US. Therefore, it is vital to ask for the warehousing service, if not, it costs much.

Don't miss this guide: Shipping from China to USA : Cost and Timetable to US

How Long Freight Forwarder from China to USA

How Long Freight Forwarder from China to USA

To follow the business interactions and to avoid more costs, the freight forwarder can improve shipping but there are some situations whether a freight forwarder is needed or not:

  • Do the business alone without a freight forwarder: if the importer is not amateur in shipping and experienced enough, it is better to do shipping alone. It is False because the importer cannot do all things online and needs someone to follow all steps.
  • Ask supplier’s freight forwarder to arrange the whole shipping: suppliers are not freight experts to do all shipment and they only think of getting their own money and they do not pay attention to quality.
  • Ask supplier’s freight forwarder to arrange the shipment to the US: suppliers usually offer this option to those importers who are not professional in order to take a lot of money.
  • Ask a freight forwarder to arrange the shipment from the factory to departure port: it is safer and cheaper than all other previous options because an international freight forwarder can facilitate the process and take less money.

After deciding to select a freight forwarder, which needs time to compare different services which he or she provides, the importer gives all details of the shipment to the forwarder based on the requirements.

More attention should be paid to experience, digital solutions, customer service and reliable partner network for selecting a freight forwarder.

An example

For example, experience can help offer better solutions in different situations. Digital solutions are needed to communicate with others’ experience and be connected with the globe. Customer service can improve the quality of shipment when it is respectful and punctual. It is important to have professional relationships in business to be successful all over the world for saving time and cost and facilitating the process.

Generally, remember that a freight forwarder who is not really professional in his or her job, can make serious problems because the attention to shipping requirements is ignored which sometimes costs a lot of money. By selecting a reliable and honest freight forwarder, it is possible to work with each other for a long time and further shipments that benefit both of them.

Ocean Freight Timetable

When the cargo is over 200 kilograms, ocean freight is the best option in order to save money. Depending on the exact weight of cargo, a Full Container Load (FCL) or a Less than Container Load (LCL) is selected. This service is available for all important ports around the world but if a city is far from a port, the goods should be transferred from the port to the destination by some other transportation methods. If the importer hesitates to choose a FCL or LCL, it is more reasonable to get a FCL because it takes less time and cost. It makes more sense when a half of FCL is going to be filled, prefer it to a LCL because in LCL, the freight forwarder packs and unpacks the items from different people with each other which sometimes make trouble.

A popular website to estimate the amount of transit and freight time is:

estimated time periods from Shanghai

Generally, there are some estimated time periods from Shanghai in China to two important ports of the US but route and some other factors such as loading and unloading time can change them:

  • Shanghai to Los Angeles: 18 days
  • Shanghai to New York: 35 days

When the goods are near the destination port, the freight forwarder calls the importer and informs the exact location at the port where he or she can receive the cargo or the nearest (30 miles away) warehouse or the doorstep. If the importer does not get the cargo during five free days of storage, it will charge him or her per day. When the goods are arrived to the destination, the importer should pay all the remained costs such as paying the supplier, the freight forwarder and the customs. After confirmation of related organizations, cargo is released and the importer can receive it.

Air Freight Timetable

There are different companies in China which transfer a variety of things to the US by air. This service is suitable for goods from the lightest to the heaviest weight. S rules regarding to air are very strict, the demands should be analyzed and the items will be insured. Air freight has several advantages like its fast, safe and fluid delivery which takes from 3 to 6 days to transfer goods from China to the US. This service has some steps to be considered:

  • Picking the goods up at the supplier’s address
  • Picking and transferring goods to the nearest international port
  • Providing customs declaration
  • Air freight
  • Following custom clearance
  • Delivery to destination address

Freight forwarder or importer from China to USA can reserve the shipment to save the costs while supplier charges more money. There are also some limitations provided by the International Air Transport Association to transfer some goods such as lithium batteries, so make sure that the items are properly marked and labeled with needed documents.

Air cargo industry is really popular as a facilitator of trading and it is increasing annually. There are two airlines which provide this service; integrated express carrier which sell required space to importers and freight forwarders, and cargo and passenger combination airlines which change the capacity of passengers and goods based on the needs or number of goods.

Don't miss this guide: Air Freight from China to USA - Complete guide

services for freight forwarders

Some services which airlines provide for importers and freight forwarders include consultation, reservation, pickup, receiving, packaging, sort, load, transportation, dispatch and tracking. Air freight is a complicated process in comparison to passenger transport because air cargo transport needs more workforce and different strategies. It also has a mixture of weight and volume with a variety of services. In an air freight service, a freight forwarder needs to check for capacity booking in different airlines, then he or she should supply and load goods with correct labels and markings. Some points related to the relationship between freight forwarders and airlines are as the following:

  • The majority of airline capacity is sold to freight forwarders annually or every season in order to share the benefits of transport.
  • A dominant airline uses dynamic pricing and the other airlines should follow it which makes trouble for freight forwarders.
  • Different routes have imbalanced capacity supply which shows more intention to book airlines for hot-selling cargo routes because of different locations of cities and countries, and unidirectional air cargo flow.

Express Timetable

This service which is also known as courier or a door to door service gets the goods from pickup address by truck and delivers it to the destination address.

It is responsible for the whole process and fees. It is suitable when a small sample or original documents are transferred. It has some advantages; firstly, it does not cost a lot of money. Secondly, hand delivery will be completed in a week, while it is need to find the best method based on the size and weight of your goods. There are four top couriers in the world including FedEx, UPS, DHL and TNT which offer fast and trustworthy deliveries.

One of the most popular express services is DHL. It has obvious transit times but some factors; such as, real pickup time, requested service, features of shipment way and typical clearance requirement affect the final transit time and DHL is not responsible for this change. When a price is quoted in this service, some costs like duties, taxes and customs charges are ignored and the quote is just an estimate based on the mentioned information. Also, additional transit days may be probable when the Last Pickup is after the Latest Pickup because pickup is possible up to Last Pickup for Day.

Facilitate the shipment process

A freight forwarder can facilitate the shipment process by following these steps to transfer goods from China to the US:

  • Giving a quote for shipment
  • Completing and submitting the booking form
  • Working with the supplier and checking information
  • Transferring goods to warehouse to be ready for shipment
  • Confirming information, cost and weight
  • Transferring goods to express shipment based on the requirements
  • Doing all other necessary things to deliver goods to the destination on time and on budget

Express transport provides a rapid and efficient way to fulfill expectations when there is a tight deadline to deliver goods from China to the US. Some advantages of this service which helps people or companies find a suitable way to ship are as the following:

  • Fast speed of delivery (about 5 to 7 days)
  • Punctual and reliable goods delivery
  • Real-time tracking system
  • Quick clearance
  • Reasonable tariff for some destinations

Freight Forwarder Cost from China to USA

Freight Forwarder Cost from China to USA

If the ocean freight costs need to be considered, there are some fixed fees [5]:

  • Dock fees: from $50 to $100
  • Freight forwarder fee: from $75 to $200
  • Security fee on FCL: from $50 to $100
  • Customs clearance fee (tax and duty included): from $100 to $200
  • Truck transportation fee (from destination port to delivery address): more than $200

Whether you have a big or a small company, reducing costs can be very important especially in international shipping. When the price is high, it means the importer is not able to provide delivery in a cost-effective way to his or her customers.

Some main points

There are some main points which can be helpful for both importer and freight forwarder from China to USA:

  • Plan in advance: when there is a tight deadline, the charge will be increased and the importer needs to pay more money but if it is planned sooner, there is no need to pay a lot of money and it may be possible to get a discount. Also, when the importer plans sooner, he or she has enough time to select the best transportation way or even hire a freight forwarder if he or she does not have one to do it.
  • Find appropriate shipping way: there are several ways to transfer goods, depending on type of goods, which can help reduce the costs if they are selected correctly. Moreover, if FCL is chosen, more money is saved in comparison to LCL.
  • Find a local transport company: a freight forwarder can surely arrange all related points to transportation which is much cheaper because few freight forwarders are inclined to work with a local Chinese transportation company due to their cheaper costs and local information. Freight forwarders work with importers who have big or small cargos, so do not hesitate to contact them and get a reasonable service.
  • Pack and insure cargos properly: when the goods are not packed well or they do not have cargo insurance, they will be damaged during transportation process and charge a lot of money. So, freight forwarder is responsible for protecting, packing and insuring goods to reduce the cost

Factors Influencing Sea Freight Costs

By the advent of technology and availability of the Internet, importers prefer to order their items online from the origin country and transfer them to the destination country. One of the ways that can transfer goods is via sea which is cheaper but slower than other transportation methods. There are some factors which affect sea freight costs:

  1. Weight of the cargo: it is important because the goods are classified and sorted in containers based on this factor.
  2. Density of the cargo: it is calculated by dividing weight of the cargo with per cubic feet. Then, the freight class of the cargo is determined to be placed in the container.
  3. Distance between the departure and destination locations: it is obvious that the more the distance, the more will be the shipping cost. So the exact geographical location is very important because some shipping carriers do not cover some locations.
  4. Classification of the freight: it is defined as a combination of weight, density, handling and liability of the cargo. So the freight costs will be decreased if the freight class is on lower end and when the cargo is on higher freight class, it means it has higher shipping rate. The reason is that; about items with lower density, transfer needs more attention to avoid damage and they are more vulnerable.

Five other influencing factors

  1. Shipping method: considering sea freight as a popular method, it has the lowest price and the slowest speed. Therefore, additional costs should be regarded when a faster service is needed.
  2. Price of fuel: it is sometimes probable to have an increase in the price of fuel, so the shipping carriers decide how to add this cost to the list of shipping charges.
  3. Tariff or negotiated rates: it is better to have a freight forwarder in this case to negotiate a cheaper price because the shipping carriers usually offer up to 25% discount when there is a multiple shipment which is suggested by a freight forwarder or a third-party logistics.
  4. General Rate Increase (GRI): it is a factor which indicates a rise in sea freight prices by the shipping lines themselves. This rate is used once when the year is stable but it can be increased based on the changes.
  5. Time of the year: the prices can be increased in peak seasons which sometimes affect the type of goods which are transferred. So, it is needed to pay attention both to the holidays of China and USA, and seasons when a product is more popular or less.

Freight Forwarder Companies

Freight Forwarder Companies

As international shipping is a complex process, some people prefer to hire an agent in China to do all related issues while others tend to work with a third-party logistics service which helps not waste time and money by providing and shipping products to destination before being really qualified and knowing a lot about every step of shipment. There are some qualities which are important in a freight forwarder who is responsible for shipping from China, as a country with high trading, and the USA:

  • Related experience: a freight forwarder must have some years of experience in this field in order to be dealt with different and complex issues.
  • Accreditation: it is a good indicator of high level of standards which shows a good and useful relationship with other companies in this field.
  • An extensive network: the carriers and agents are the best introductions of every service which help the freight forwarder be able to select a more suitable option which fits the importer’s requirement.
  • Wrap-around services: the freight forwarder should be knowledgeable and updated in offering different services to have an easier and smoother business.
  • Excellent customer care: it means if there is a problem during shipping process, the freight forwarder who pays more attention to solve it and find a better solution is more successful to increase the communication level between companies and customers.

All in all, people who are naive in shipping should work with a company in order to know the ropes of this process before anything else.

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