There’s quite a bit to know about shipping from the USA to Brazil, and this guide is a great place to start.
What costs do I need to consider when shipping from the USA to Brazil?
There are a number of expected costs that come with physically transporting goods across international waters. Those costs vary quite a bit, depending on:
- Method of shipment
The good news is that by using our Online Freight Marketplace, you’ll have access to freight rates from around the world, helping you keep costs low whilst remaining efficient.
Less-than-container load (LCL)
LCL shipping can be the most cost-effective option for low-volume shipments. LCL shipments only depart when the container is full, so be prepared to wait as long as it takes for your shipment to arrive.
Full-container load (FCL)
FCL shipping is the first option for high-volume shipments. It is both cost-effective and relatively low-risk, ideal for perishable goods as well as those that need to meet strict delivery times.
Additional cost factors
The operational costs of shipping from the USA to Brazil can be planned well in advance, but you also need to consider:
- Import taxes and duties
- Federal duties
- State-level duties
Your margins are sensitive to unexpected costs, so make sure you’re familiar with the taxes, duties, and any customs-related fees that will arise over the course of the shipping journey.
How long does it take to ship from the USA to Brazil by sea?
The time it takes ocean freight to travel depends a great deal on the ports of origin and destination. When shipping from the USA to Brazil, you can expect shipments to take between 21 to 53 days.
Ocean transit times when shipping from the USA to Brazil:
|Port of Origin||Port of Destination||FCL|
|New York||Santos||21 days|
|Los Angeles||Santos||29 days|
|New York||Santos||24 days|
|Port of Origin||Port of Destination||LCL|
|New York||Santos||29 days|
|Miami||Rio de Janeiro||29 days|
|San Francisco||Santos||33 days|
|New York||Rio de Janeiro||40 days|
|San Francisco ||Rio de Janeiro||42 days|
How long does it take to ship from the USA to Brazil by air?
Shipping goods by air is almost always going to be the quickest option, but there are numerous factors that can extend transport times. Those include:
Air transit times when shipping from the USA to Brazil:
|Airports of Origin||Airports of Arrival||Duration|
|Miami||Rio de Janeiro||7 days|
|Houston||Rio de Janeiro||6 days|
|Charlotte||São Paulo||6 days|
|San Francisco||São Paulo||10 days|
Packing your container for shipment
Cost-effective shipping is about more than rates and fees. Optimising your cargo packing can help you reduce your costs even more, and our Load Calculator ensures that you get the very best value out of every shipment.
Handling customs clearance when shipping from the USA to Brazil
Essential documents to ship from the USA to Brazil
Shipping is inherently global, and that has helped to largely standardise the documentation process. When shipping from the USA to Brazil, you will need:
- Commercial invoice: The invoice must include the tax ID number. This is known as:
CPF (when dealing with an individual)
CNPJ (when dealing with a business)
- Packing list: an itemised list of everything contained within a shipment
- Certificate of origin: Verification of the country of origin
- Letter of credit: a payment guarantee between the buyer and seller
- Bill of lading: The BoL must state the first 4 digits of the NCM number, (Nomenclatura Comum do MERCOSUL), the country’s local classification system
Additional paperwork may be necessary depending on the type of cargo you’re shipping, such as:
Work smarter with Smart Documents
Our Smart Documents tool can help you prepare the essential documents before you ship from the USA to Brazil. We provide document templates that you can customise, complete, sign, save and print from wherever you are. If you’re planning regular shipments, the autofill function can save you time and help you avoid the stress of filling forms.
Common tariffs and import taxes
When importing goods into Brazil, there are a variety of taxes that you will need to know about. The three main taxes include:
- Import Duty
- Industrialised Product Tax
- Merchandise and Service Circulation Tax
There are likely to be several minor fees that you will need to pay as well. SeaRates can help you prepare for every type of fee your particular cargo is likely to incur, allowing you to plan ahead.
Restricted items when shipping from the USA to Brazil
Items requiring additional documentation before importing:
- Fresh fruit
- Dairy products
Brazil also has a strict list of prohibited items. Some of the more unusual items include:
- Postal envelopes
- Gambling devices
- Playing cards
If you’re unsure about shipping particular goods from the USA to Brazil, our team is more than happy to share their expertise.
Do you need cargo insurance?
We encourage our customers to always insure their cargo. That’s because cargo insurance is often the only protection you have when your shipment suffers damage or loss.
SeaRates can help you find the right insurance policy for you. Just like with our Online Freight Marketplace, we can help you get quotes for insurance rates across the market.
What are the biggest shipping hubs in Brazil?
Brazil’s coastline spans over 7,000 kilometres, allowing easy access for cargo shipments.
Volume of cargo handled in selected container ports in Brazil in 2019
Our SeaRates marketplace shows you all the possible trade lanes available within your specified filters. That includes Brazil’s main shipping hubs:
- Santos: The Santos shipping hub is the largest in Latin America and is considered the most popular port in the country. It currently serves over 25 states in Brazil.
- Paranagua: Brazil’s largest port for exporting agricultural products such as soybeans.
- Rio Grande do Sul: One of Brazil’s most developed ports, known for handling large vessels and huge volumes of exports every year.
- Port of Salvador: This port processes many of the country’s major imports, including foods, chemicals and equipment.
- Rio De Janeiro: Brazil’s third busiest port and one of the main hubs for high-value goods such as iron ore, coal and oil.
What are the biggest shipping hubs in the USA?
The US is responsible for 25% of the world's consumption, so it’s no surprise that the country has a vast number of shipping hubs available. The most prominent include:
- Los Angeles: The country’s largest shipping hub covers over 700km of coastline, receiving over 20% of all cargo.
- Long Beach: The US’s second biggest shipping hub generates an import/export value of over $100bn each year. It is also the main trading hub with Asia.
- Savannah: Home to North America’s largest container terminal, Savannah has unrivalled access to interstate highways.
- Oakland: One of the largest west coast hubs for US containerised cargo
- Miami: The largest passenger port in the world and one of the largest commercial ports in the US.
Why shipping from the USA to Brazil is good for your business
The relationship between the USA and Brazil has gone from strength to strength since the 2011 signing of the Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation.
Brazil is known for its stringent shipping laws, which makes doing business there a little more challenging, but getting your head around the legislation is certainly worth it.
In 2018, the commercial relationship between the USA and Brazil reached over $100bn and has shown no signs of slowing down. With a growing market, set to increase 30% by 2024, Brazil is becoming one of the most popular trade destinations for SMEs and global businesses. US exports to Brazil have grown year-on-year too, with the most lucrative industries of 2019 including:
- Mineral fuels, oils, distillation products - $11.72bn
- Aircraft, spacecraft - $6.96bn
- Machinery, nuclear reactors, boilers - $4.88bn
- Electrical, electronic equipment - $3.39bn
United States Exports to Brazil
As South America’s largest and most populous country, Brazil’s economic power and consumer demand make it one of the most popular trade destinations in the Western hemisphere.