Shipping from China to California: Time & Rates 2022

California is home to the busiest cargo port in North America, the Los Angeles port. A very high percentage of goods shipped into the USA are delivered to California before being transported to their destination.

If you’re one of the many importers constantly looking for cost-effective ways to ship goods from China to California, then you’re in the right place.

DFH has provided this article to serve as a comprehensive guide that explains the different procedures to import goods into California and the best shipping methods to use.

Ultimately, every importer would understand how to efficiently ship goods from China to California. Let’s go further quickly.

How to Ship from China to California?

Search for a suitable shipping method.

An importer has to decide the desired shipping method when transporting cargo from China to the US. There are three basic methods to choose from air, express, and Ocean freight. 

You must consider the size and type of products, your shipping budget, and the delivery time frame of your goods before picking a suitable shipping method. Let’s elaborate more on these methods.

  1. Air Freight

Air freight ships cargo using air freight carriers and airliners. California is a very big state in the USA, and it has very standard and well-developed airports that receive millions of tonnes of cargo from China every year.

Air freight is less expensive than express shipping and offers quick delivery of goods.

It is the best shipping option for pricey, time-sensitive cargo from China to the US.

  1. Ocean freight

Sea shipping remains a very popular way to ship goods from China to California because of its adaptability and reliability. 

The biggest disadvantage of sea freight is how long it takes; in contrast to other shipping methods, which deliver goods in days, sea freight may take weeks or months, depending on the type of cargo and the destination port. However, because sea freight is the least expensive shipping option, it is preferred for most importers, especially those shipping bulky goods.

Sea freight operates using containers and can be transported by either FCL(Full Container Load) or LCL (Less than Container load).

In FCL shipping, an importer buys the entire container to ship goods, while in LCL shipping, goods from different importers are mixed in a single container.

  1. Express shipping

Express shipping is the fastest shipping mode from China to California. Courier services like UPS, DHL, and FedEx express offer it. Express shipping is a secure method of delivering goods without stress because couriers are dependable, safe, and provide a door-to-door service. 

The major setback of express freight is its price. While it is very fast, it is also the most expensive shipping method. Therefore, it is not a practical option for heavier goods.

Besides these three basic methods, importers may also choose to combine the shipping methods, e.g., Air freight + Express shipping, Air freight + Truck freight, Sea freight + Express shipping, and Sea freight + Truck freight. These methods are used when necessary to lower shipping costs and deliver goods faster.

Hire a reliable freight forwarder

Navigating the procedures involved with international shipping can be quite challenging and chaotic if you don’t know what you’re doing. The best option for navigating the various complexities of shipping from China to California is to work with a seasoned and reputable freight forwarder. Be specific when requesting a quote, and mention the shipping routes you’re willing to take from China to California.

In addition to assisting you with your export customs clearance, a reliable freight provider will handle the transportation of your inventory from the time it leaves your factory until it reaches its destination, helping you avoid shipping delays.

Usually, it is best to choose a local freight forwarder in China because they understand the shipping terrain and can help monitor your goods with your supplier before they ship cargo. 

If you need our help with your shipments, contact DFH, one of the most trustable freight forwarders in China, to handle this for you.

How to find and select a freight forwarder

Prepare shipping documents

Certain documents are required of you during customs clearance before you can successfully ship your goods. Ensure you have all of these documents ready before shipping. If there’s any document you lack, then contact us. We’ll help you ship in our name.

Arrange to ship

Have your freight forwarder pick up your goods and help you pack them properly to optimize shipping space. They will also help you book a shipping carrier for your goods.

Receive packages

You will be informed when your goods arrive at the destination port. Then they can undergo import clearance and go to the final destination.

How long does shipping from china to California take?

How long does shipping from china to California take?

China to California shipping time depends on certain factors. They include:

  • The shipping method used.

  • The type and size of goods transported.

  • The distance between the loading and unloading port, i.e., port-to-port distance

  • The shipping carrier used.

The transit time between China and California is somewhat difficult to predict, whether sea or air freight. However, we can try to provide the typical transit times for each shipping method.

Air freight shipping time from China to California

Air freight usually takes between 5 to 10 days to deliver goods from Chinese cities to California, USA.

Chinese AirportCalifornia AirportTransit time
GuangzhouLos Angeles3-5days
ShenzhenLos Angeles3-5days
ShanghaiLos Angeles4-5days
QingdaoLos Angeles4-6days
NingboLos Angeles4-5days
XiamenLos Angeles4-5days
ChengduLos Angeles4-6days

Ocean freight shipping time from China to California

Chinese AirportCalifornia AirportTransit time
GuangzhouLos Angeles16-22days
ShenzhenLos Angeles16-22days
ShanghaiLos Angeles18-25days
QingdaoLos Angeles20-25days
NingboLos Angeles20-25days
XiamenLos Angeles20-25days
ChengduLos Angeles20-28days
DalianLos Angeles22-28days

Express shipping time from China to California

Express CourierTransit time
UPS Worldwide Express3-4 business days
UPS Worldwide Saver4-7 business days
Fedex International Priority3-4 business days
Fedex international Economical3-7 business days
DHL 3-4 business days

How much is shipping from china to California?

How much is shipping from china to California?

Shipping cost from china to California depends on the shipping method used, the type of goods, and the weight of goods. 

Let’s make a reference table for the current shipping rates from China to California.

Note: The price below for different shipping methods is the price now at the end of 2022. The price should differ from when you need to arrange shipment from China to California. It may much lower than now. So please contact us by send an inquiry directly to get the real-time quotation of shipping from China to California.

Air Freight shipping cost from china to California

Air freight costs depend on the type and weight of goods. These prices are not fixed. It reduces with an increase in cargo weight.

Charge WeightAir freight cost per KG

Sea Freight shipping cost from China to California

Chinese SeaportCalifornia SeaportLCL Cost per CBM20ft FCL cost40ft FCL cost
ShanghaiLos Angeles$90-$19810002500
NingboLos Angeles$80-$1809502400
GuangzhouLos Angeles$80-$1589002350
ShenzhenLos Angeles$85-$1489002350
QingdaoLos Angeles$100-$19810002500
XiamenLos Angeles$88-$1689802450
DalianLos Angeles$98-$19810002500

Express shipping cost from china to California

Express Courier$ Cost per KG$ Cost per KG$ Cost per KG$ Cost per KG
2-10kg10-20.5KG 21-45kg46-100kg
UPS Express$15 -$22$11 -$18$8 - $12$7 - $11
UPS Saver$12- $17$8- $13$6 - $8$5 - $7
Fedex Priority$16- $20$12- $16$8 - $11.5$7 - $10.5
Fedex Economical$12- $16$8- $12$6 - $7.5$6 - $7.5
DHL $16- $21$12- $17$8 - $11 $8 - $11

Documents required for Customs clearing in China and California

Documents required for Customs clearing in China and California

When shipping from China to California, the importer must ensure all required documents are presented. They can be submitted by the importer or freight forwarder. They include:

  • Packing List

  • Commercial Invoice

  • Bill of Lading

  • Arrival Notice

  • Import License

  • Certificates of Origin

  • Single administrative document

Why is DFH the best freight forwarder from China to California?

Why is DFH the best freight forwarder from China to California?

DFH is one of the most reputable China freight forwarders. Selecting freight forwarders with the required experience and knowledge to effectively ship goods from China to California is necessary to save both time and money.

DFH has office locations in many provinces, including Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Jiangxi, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Zhejiang. Regardless of where your supplier’s factory is located in mainland China, we offer free pickup within three hours of pickup authorization.

You can have peace of mind and concentrate on the crucial aspects of managing your company when you use DFH.

We are distinguished from our competitors by virtue of our

  • 24-hour customer service.

  • An extensive history of providing shipping services from China to California

  • Affordable insurance premiums

  • Free repackaging and packaging

  • Free-of-charge warehousing

  • Reputable logistics knowledge

  • A well-established customs brokers and forwarding network in California

  • Unbeatably affordable shipping fees.

  • Free services for high-quality inspection

You can call us or inquire directly to request a quote on DFH. We’ll help with shipping arrangements and pick up your products immediately, guaranteeing prompt and secure delivery!

Tips to save time and shipping costs from China to California

Tips to save time and shipping costs from China to California

Here are some ways to reduce freight costs and save time from China to California:

  • Use a local freight forwarder.

  • Try to optimize container space by packing goods tightly to save container shipping costs.

  • Make reservations as far as possible to save money and ease any potential stress from delays.

  • Use multimodal or combined shipping methods to save time and cost.

  • Get cheaper shipping rates by shipping during less busy periods and off-peak seasons.

  • Have all required documentation prepared for quick customs clearance.

  • Plan ahead to cover customs taxes and levies.

  • Check different suppliers and freight forwarders for quotes before selecting one.

  • Be aware of your Incoterms and suitable shipping methods to avoid unforeseen costs.

  • Get insurance for all your shipments.


How much does shipping from China to California cost?

The cost of shipping from China to California depends on the method of shipping chosen, the type and weight of the goods being shipped, and the loading port in China.

Please check the reference tables we have given in the article above to have an idea about the average price. You can also contact us to get a quick quote for your shipments.

How long is shipping from China to California?

The shipping time from China to California largely depends on the shipping method used. California is a city on the west coast of the USA. Hence it has faster shipping times compared to other states.

Express shipping is the fastest option, taking about 2-3 working days. Air freight takes about 5 to 10 days from China to California, and Sea freight takes 18 to 30 days.

How to begin to cooperate with DFH? Do I need to open an account?

You do not need to create or open an account to cooperate with us. Simply contact us, and we’ll reply within 2 mins!

How to get exact shipping costs from China to California?

Are you ready to get the exact costs for shipping? Then ask for a quote, and we will reply in minutes.

How to track my parcel from China to California?

You can easily track your cargo while it is in transit by visiting our website or contacting us to inquire about the status of your shipment.  

To assist importers in tracking the progress of their shipments during shipping, we provide a tracking number for every item shipped with DFH.

We will inform you of your cargo’s current location, condition, and estimated arrival date. There is no need to worry when shipping with us. Your goods are in safe hands.

Do I need to buy cargo insurance for my shipment from China to California?

While it is not compulsory, it is always a great idea to buy Cargo insurance when shipping expensive items like electronics, phones, and other high-value items from China to California. Contact DFH to get excellent insurance premiums.

Must I do the customs clearance for my shipment? Can you help me to do the customs?

Yes, it is compulsory to do customs clearance in every international shipping. If you do not know much about it, do not worry. With our strong network of customs brokers in China and the USA, we can help you handle export and import clearance to ensure your goods are released swiftly. 

If you ship using DDP or express shipping, your clearance costs are already factored into the total commercial invoice.

How much should I pay for the import duties?

Goods shipped from China to the US are taxed based on their HS code. The CIF value (Cost, Insurance, and Freight) determines your pay for a particular good. It is calculated by adding the cost of the goods with the insurance and the freight shipping costs.

Different types of goods are taxed with different percentages. For example, electronic goods shipped into California from China are taxed at a 6% duty, while fashion items and fabrics are taxed at a 27% import duty. 

You will be charged a 5% customs duty on the CIF value plus transport and insurance costs if your shipment’s weight is less than 10 kilograms per cubic meter. Check with your freight forwarder to know the current import duties in the USA before shipping.

We can help you sort out all taxes and duties so you enjoy a seamless shipping process.


We believe this article has clarified the processes involved in shipping from China to California. If you need any further information, kindly contact us here. We will reply within minutes!

DFH Global Logistics - China

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