Shipping Products from Australia to the USA: A Comprehensive Guide

Shipping products from Australia to the USA is a difficult task. Many considerations need to be made before shipping. The first consideration is whether you want to ship your goods by air or sea. If you choose air, you will have to deal with customs and arrange to deliver your goods on arrival in the US. If you choose to ship to the USA by sea, then you will have to find a company that has access to both Australian and American ports, as well as one that can offer competitive shipping rates for your items.

If you are looking for quotes on shipping products from Australia to the USA, then it would be best if you could provide specifics about the type of items being shipped so we can provide an accurate quote.


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This article will tell you how to ship internationally and discuss some of the problems you might encounter.


Understanding Shipping Costs from Australia to the USA: What Do You Need to Consider?

Shipping costs may differ significantly depending on several factors, including the volume, weight, and dimensions of the package(s) being shipped, the goods of the package(s), and the mode of transportation. It's also vital to consider the shipment's insurance and the time of year.

SeaRates can help calculate the shipping costs for shipping from Australia to the USA, but as a general rule:

  • Air freight is typically more expensive than sea freight (although it can be cheaper to send small packages via plane). Australian companies that ship large products such as trampolines to the USA, like Vuly Play, prefer sea freight as it allows for bulk freight discounts.
  •  Shipping expensive goods with a high insurance premium will increase shipping costs.
  • If you can’t fill a shipping container with your goods, LCL shipping (less than container load) is a cheaper shipping method than FCL shipping (full container load).

Considering all of these variables can be overwhelming. SeaRates’ Logistics Explorer can help you figure out the best freight rates; to see your options, all you need to know is your ports of origin and destination, when you plan to ship your cargo and what type of shipment you’re sending.

In general, the cheapest option for shipping from Australia to the United States is to contact a trusted Australian freight forwarding company to quote FCL shipping across the ocean outside the peak season.


Individual solutions for shipping from Australia to the USA

With your cargo planning in mind, SeaRates can provide you with a new digital freight solution that provides planning certainty for your shipments. By filling out this simple online form, you will provide us with all the necessary information and receive your individual quote from our expert team in a short time.

This will significantly decrease your turnaround time and improve the quotation process.

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How long does it take to move cargo from Australia to the USA?

Door-to-door cargo shipping from Australia to the USA could take up to 58 days, depending on your chosen port of origin and destination, the products shipped, and the method of transportation.

Air freight shipping is the fastest transportation method, with cargo taking between 1 and 5 days to reach its destination port in the USA.

Ocean freight shipping takes longer. It can take up to 41 days for goods to reach their US destination port from Australia.

In addition, FCL shipping is faster than LCL shipping because of the logistics involved in loading and unloading the goods at either end of the journey.

Using SeaRates Distances & Time, you can determine how long it will take to ship your cargo from Australia to the USA using a variety of shipping options.


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Sea, Air freight time from Australia to the USA

Port to port
Door to door
18-36 days
25-45 days
22-41 days
30-58 days
Air cargo
1-5 days
4-13 days

When is the best time to ship from Australia to the USA?

Both air and sea freight rates, especially for FCL shipping, are affected by seasonal factors.

The main peak season to consider when shipping from Australia to the USA is mid-August to mid-October, ahead of the holiday shopping season. During peak times, prices increase because demand is high and container space is low. Therefore, shipping freight away from the peak season is cheaper.

The time of month you choose to transport goods can also affect the price.

Booking a shipment in the last two weeks of the month can be cheaper because carriers are trying to fill spots on vessels. The beginning of the month can be a more expensive time, as carriers can levy General Rate Increases on cargo spots.

Generally, the cheapest shipping costs come from booking early.

What are the rates for shipping from Australia to the USA?

As shipping rates vary significantly, the SeaRates Logistics Explorer can help you find a quote that suits your needs.

After adding in the basic details, such as the destination and date of shipment, the marketplace will allow you to compare various freight journeys, allowing you to view the details of how your shipment will be processed and the transit duration. The marketplace also provides a cost breakdown for each leg of the journey to help you control your budget and spending.

You can request a more tailored quote. This more detailed process asks specific questions about your shipment, such as its commodity type, HS Code, and weight. SeaRates will then contact you directly with some options.

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Key considerations for container packing: What to keep in mind?

Taking a practical approach to your container packaging requirements when shipping cargo is vital. You will need to consider your shipment’s weight, dimensions, and packaging material.

While there is a lot to think about, SeaRates’ Load Calculator can help you understand what your shipment will look like and the space it will need.

The Load Calculator will ask you a series of questions about your shipment, including what equipment you will need to ship, your cargo dimensions, and what shipping method you will use.

The calculator will finally produce an image of what your cargo will look like in your chosen container and the total volume and weight it will achieve.

Essential shipping documents for Australia to USA shipments: What's required?

Correctly packaged and labeled cargo is essential for a smooth journey from Australia through the customs clearance process in the USA. Having the necessary documents, such as an importation permit for certain goods, a commercial invoice, and a packing list.

The shipping documents you need when shipping to the USA include:

  • Commercial Invoice
  • Packing List
  • Bill of lading
  • Certificate of origin
  • Letter of Credit or other payment terms

You may also need a special shipping permit if you’re shipping certain goods, like hazardous materials.

Cargo insurance: Is it worth the investment?

We encourage our customers to always insure their cargo. Cargo insurance is often your only protection if your shipment is damaged or lost.

You can find cargo insurance through the freight forwarding community or a third-party insurance agent. SeaRates can also help you find the right insurance policy for you.

Insurance costs are typically in the region of 0.3% to 0.5% of your Commercial Invoice value.


What are the major shipping ports in Australia?

Your factory, supplier, or freight forwarder will likely be happy to offer advice on which port is right for you. Certain ports may prove better for you based on their location, customs processes, and goods handling volumes, or perhaps your factory has a special agreement with a particular port. 


Major ocean cargo ports in Australia include: 

  • Sydney
  • Melbourne
  • Brisbane
  • Fremantle
  • Hedland
  • Dampier
  • Wellington
  • Darwin
  • Adelaide
  • Newcastle


Major air cargo ports in Australia include: 

  • Adelaide
  • Brisbane
  • Cairns
  • Darwin
  • Hobart
  • Melbourne
  • Perth
  • Sydney


What are the major shipping ports in the USA?


Major ocean cargo ports in the USA include:

  • Louisiana
  • Houston
  • New York and New Jersey
  • Port Newark
  • Beaumont
  • Long Beach
  • Hampton Roads
  • New Orleans
  • Corpus Christi
  • Greater Baton Rouge
  • Los Angeles


Major air cargo ports in the USA include:

  • Chicago O’Hare
  • New York, JFK
  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Philadelphia

Is it time to find an easy route from Australia to the USA?

Shipping to a new destination can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be.

The SeaRates platform ensures you secure the most convenient route at the best price. We aim to help you navigate the complexities of the market so that you can concentrate on growing your business.


Lilia Khovrak is a professional content manager from Odessa, Ukraine. Loves life by the sea. Dreams to see Paris and eat a croissant on the thresholds of Notre Dame de Paris. Hates to read meaningless articles.