Transit time and cost are the 2 most important things that people care about when cargos are shipped from China to US. If you want fast shipping, you will have to pay more, and if you are paying less, you will get slower shipping. Anyway, you will get what you are paying for.
How to import products from China without paying too much?
Shipping cost is the most important factor when it comes to shipping from China to US or other countries.
Products in Small Packages
If your products are small, then freight shipping is not the transport method you should choose. It is going to take longer to arrive and cost you a lot more. There are other shipping methods that works perfectly for small packages:
Mail/post is the most economical shipping method for small or light packages. When you are sending shipments from China, China Post offers following services: air mail, air parcel, and EMS or EUB. Topically, the heavier the shipment is, the more it is going to cost you. The normal international post service is much cheaper than courier service, but you will be expecting much longer wait time.
Courier Service/Express Shipping
Usually, courier service (aka express shipping service) is faster and more reliable than post or mail service. Courier service providers such as: TNT,UPS, they charge about 5 US dollars for every kilogram. But you can always get discounted price from international freight forwarders or courier agent.
The price is about 3 USD for every kilogram. If your shipment is between 150 kilograms and 500 kilograms, standard air freight could be the cheapest and the fastest shipping option for you. If your shipment is time sensitive, there is another option for you: express air freight. The price of express air freight is a little higher than standard air freight. But the price changes regularly and might be quite different between freight forwarders. So remember to compare the prices before you use their services.
If you have shipments in large volume or heavy weight (over 500 kilograms), ocean freight could be your best choice. Depends on the volume of your shipment, there are two different shipping options which are LCL (less than container load) and FCL (full container load). Just like air freight, the prices vary between ocean freight forwarders and change regularly.
Is there any chance that Air Freight can be Cheaper Than Ocean?
The answer is YES. Every shipping method has its own price system. Check out the chart below to find out the best shipping methods for you to ship from China to US. The squares highlighted in green means they are the cheapest for each shipment.