How to Navigate Shipping from China to California: A Comprehensive Guide

Shipping from china to california can be a complex process, but with the right preparation and understanding, it can be done efficiently and effectively. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the various steps involved in shipping from China to California, including how to choose the right shipping method, how to prepare your shipment, and what to expect during the customs clearance process.

Shipping from china to california
Shipping from china to california

The first step in shipping from China to California is to choose the right shipping method. There are several options available, including air freight, ocean freight, and express courier services. The choice of shipping method will depend on factors such as the size of your shipment, the urgency of your delivery, and the cost.

Options For Shipping From China To California


ocean shipping is the cheapest way to ship from China to the Miami.

It usually provides a lot of flexibility in shipping different types of products.

This is especially true for buyers who ship large quantities of goods.

Despite its slow speed, sea shipping is still the most popular shipping method for U.S. importers.

Our experienced freight professionals will help you determine the best option for your shipping needs based on the size and weight of your load and your delivery service:


Best for loading up to 20m³ and over 500kg (approx), your cargo will be combined with other cargo in one container, meaning you won’t have to wait for a full container. However, LCLs typically take 5-7 days to arrive at the port of delivery, and they tend to clear customs more frequently due to split/merge requirements.

If you plan to export a shipment weighing less than 35kg, you may not find a carrier to handle it. It is impossible to ship such a small amount with freight logs. Instead, contact an international courier company that will ship your shipment by air at affordable rates.

Ocean freight will be the best deal for you if :

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


Your shipment will be shipped in standard 20 or 40 foot containers.

Shipping costs are also affected by your choice of door-to-door, port-to-door, door-to-port or port-to-port delivery service.

Many other factors will affect your final cost and delivery time, including duties and taxes, insurance, etc., but the biggest factor is the origin and destination of the shipment, which will determine the port of loading and unloading.

Still, there are some general guidelines to help you compare the costs of different shipping methods.

For example, if you can fill a container, the FCL service will save you the most on shipping as the cost per unit is lower than LCL. This is because LCL shipping is calculated using the dimensional weight formula. In contrast, FCL is a flat rate per container.

Major Port Of California

  1. Port of Los Angeles, California——With a throughput of more than 9.2 million TEUs in 2020, the Port of Los Angeles (POLA), also known as the Port of America, has been the busiest port in the United States for 20 consecutive years, with a throughput of 9,213,395 TEUs in 2020 and 25 Freight terminals that handle 20 percent of U.S. imports.

The port is located in San Pedro Bay, California, USA, with an area of more than 30 square kilometers and a coastline of about 70,000 meters.

The Port of Los Angeles is the 19th busiest container port in the world, and the 10th busiest in the world when data is combined with the neighboring Port of Long Beach (POLB).

  1. Port of Long Beach, California——With a throughput of more than 8.1 million TEUs in 2020, the Port of Long Beach (POLB) is the main trans-Pacific gateway of the United States, the second largest container port in the United States, and the 21st largest container port in the world. In 2020, it handled 8,113,315TEU container cargo, with an estimated annual trade volume of US$170 billion.

Located in Long Beach, POLB covers an area of 13 square kilometers and has a coastline of 40 kilometers. It has 22 marine terminals, 6 of which handle container ships, and serves 175 routes around the world, connecting with 217 seaports around the world.


If you don’t want to wait weeks for your shipment to cross the ocean from China to the US, air freight can reduce the transit time to a few days, although the shipping costs are much higher.

Air freight is only economical if the package is not too large and most importantly not too heavy. Cost is based on a combination of volume (dimensions) and weight (volumetric weight).

Shipping less than 0.5m3 or less than 150kg may be worth air freight, but depending on the value, security requirements, type of cargo (perishable or sensitive) or urgency, you may need a larger air parcel despite the cost. In general, if air freight costs less than 20% of your total freight value, this may be a viable option.

FBAFO can provide competitive ocean or air freight quotations and can get all the relevant resources needed for air or ocean freight.


Courier services involve the transfer of messages, packages and mail from one destination to another. While this service is a bit expensive, it offers importers a number of advantages. These include: Speed, Security, Tracking Services, and Specialization.

If you are importing Shipping from china to miami, express shipping is best only if your shipment is small and you value fast shipping. Note that China has established standard shipping services.

These include China Post offering security, tracking services, and affordable prices. China Post takes at least 7 business days to deliver packages being sent from china

On the other hand, China Post takes 10-20 days for delivery.Compared to express delivery, it is a bit slower.

Express shipping companies like FedExUPS, and DHL offer faster shipping. Their average shipping time is only 5-8 days.

You can look for a Chinese freight forwarder to serve you as they can offer express shipping with discounts

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