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Today, most business people are manufacturing products in China for resale in the United States. When it comes to the shipping part, they have to choose the best shipping method to avoid unnecessary delays and maximize their profits. The main shipping methods include airfreight, express shipping, and sea freight.

Regardless of the shipping method, you select, you will have to hire a freight forwarder in China to manage your shipment. A reliable freight forwarding company such as Huntersourcing will help you navigate the complex logistical requirements and save money. This guide will help you choose the best shipping method when shipping from China to the United States.

What Options are Available for You When Shipping from China to the USA

There is no possibility of importing goods from China to the United States through overland services. Therefore, you only have two options. You can only send your goods as airfreight or ocean freight. Here are the options.

Sea Freight from China to the USA

Sea freight from China to the United States involves more than negotiating the rates and building relationships with the locals. Port familiarity is important when shipping. There are many ports in the United States and China and they vary in locale, type, and size. Here are the ports.

Sea Ports in China

Shenzhen Port

The Port of Shenzhen is situated in Guangdong Province and it connects the southern hinterland of China to other parts of the globe. Also known as the gateway to Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta, this port handled over 23.98 million TEUs in the year 2016. It consists of the western and eastern ports and it spreads out over 260km of Shenzhen’s coastline.

The port receives 560 ships per month and it covers 130 international container routes. Companies like Wal-Mart have established their Asian headquarters here. The city is also home to thousands of electronics manufacturers.

Guangzhou Port

Port of Guangzhou is situated at the mouth of Pearl River in Guangdong Province. It is very close to Macau and Hong Kong and it is the main port in China’s Pearl River Delta. This port mainly handles industrial, manufactured, and agricultural goods. In 2016, the port handled over 17.56 million TEUs.

Cargo from provinces like Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou, Jiangxi, and Guangxi also pass through this port. Furthermore, the port sits at the conflux of the Xijiang, Dongjiang, and Beijing Rivers, which are equipped with expressway, waterway, railway, air services. Guangzhou Port is among the busiest ports in China and it connects over 300 ports in 80 different countries.

Qingdao Port

The port of Qingdao is an international transshipment. This port situated in the Yellow River basin in the eastern part of Shandong Province handled over 17.44 million TEUs in 2016. Qingdao Port has a large terminal apt that handles iron ore and the government is planning to make it the largest terminal in the world for handling iron ore. The port stands as the sixth port in the world when it comes to iron ore cargo handling and its shipping routes connect more than 700 ports.

Shanghai Port

Port of Shanghai handled over 40 million TEUs in 2017, something that helped it cement its spot as the busiest port in the world. Singapore ranked second but it handled 33.7 TEUs.

This port is the Yangtze River Delta gateway. Around 40 years ago, its capacity was below 8,000 TEUs and crossed the 30 million TEUs mark in 2011. Currently, it is the home to the largest automated container terminal in the world.

Ningbo Port

Ningbo Port was the first to handle 1 billion tons of cargo in one year. That is mainly due to its ore-loading berth and crude oil terminal. It also offers a liquid chemical storage space.

The port is located in Zhejiang Province, and it has seen much advancement recently. Originally, it was offering intermodal rail services to hinterlands but it has launched new services with sea-rail transport lines that offer 11 train services to over 36 China’s cities and reaching further to northern Asia, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe.

It also lies at the crossroads of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and Silk Road Economic Belt, meaning that it is among the busiest ports in the country. Further, it has 242 sea routes that connect to more than 600 harbors in the world.

Xiamen Port

Situated in Jiulongjiang River in Fujian Province, Xiamen Port is the closest port to Taiwan. It was the first mainland port to start shipping cargo to Kaohsiung Port of Taiwan. Today, it is still offering cross-strait trade.

This port is spread over 12 areas and stretches around 30 kilometers along the coast. Furthermore, it has both deep-water and river facilities and it serves over 65 routes. It also connects more than 50 countries across the world.

Tianjin Port

Currently, Tianjin stands as the largest seaport in northern China. It serves 11 Northern provinces of China and Mongolia. Formerly known as the Port of Tangu, this port is the primary marine gateway to Beijing. It covers over 100 square kilometers, something that makes it China’s largest man-made seaport and one of the highly connected seaports. It serves as a link between Central, Northeast, and West Asia.

Tianjin Port is among the earliest foreign trading ports of China and its roots can be traced back to the Han Dynasty. Today, this port connects more than 160 regions and over 300 ports in the world.


This port was once the largest in the world but it has been reporting weaker traffic recently. Analysts believe that it might lose its position in the list of the five leading ports in the world if the trend persists. The port handled over 20 million TEUs in 2016.

Main Sea Port in the USA

Long Beach Port

The Long Beach Port is around 30 kilometers from Los Angeles Port. This port began its operations in 1911 and today it is among the leading gateways for North American and Asia. Even more, the port was among the first ports in the United States to adopt eco-friendly policies to minimize its effects on the environment. It occupies 3200 acres and handles over 78.2 million metric revenue tons per year. It also employs over 370,000 people directly and indirectly.

New York Port

The New York Port is the biggest on East Coast. It encompasses waterways in the New York and New Jersey Estuary and has two foreign-trade zones. It handles 7.4 million TEUs container volumes. The annual cargo tonnage stands at 74 million metric revenue tons. It connects the United States to India, China, and Germany.

Los Angeles Port

Los Angeles Port is also known as America’s Port and it stands at the largest seaport in North America. This port lies on 7500 acres and it handles over 20 percent of the cargo incoming to the USA. In 2019, its container volume was over 9.3 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in the year 2019. That was a 5.5 increase from the 8.8 million TEUs in 2018. The port connects the United States to Hong Kong, China, South Korea, and Japan. It employs over 1.6 million individuals both directly and indirectly.

Oakland Port

The first container ships terminals were built in this port. Situated on the Pacific Coast, the Port of Oakland is among the West Coast gateways. It handles over 99 percent of the containerized goods that pass through Northern California. It receives over 1775 vessels per year and handles 2.5 million TEUs. It connects the United States to Asia.

Houston Port

The Port of Houston is the busiest in the United States, considering the foreign waterborne tonnage. The 50-mile-long port has more than 200 private and public terminals. Port of Houston is the largest port on Gulf Coast and handles 50 percent of the region’s project cargo. NeoPanamax expansion is among its focus areas. It receives over 8200 vessels 247 million metric revenue tons per year. Its annual cargo stands at 1.6 million TEUs and its main petroleum and petroleum products. Further, the port employs 3.2 million people directly and indirectl

Tacoma Port

The Port of Tacoma is the third-largest port in terms of cargo handling in the United States. The port handled around $9.7 billion of business in the year 2017 and modernized its Terminal 5 in 2019. It handles 3.7 million TEUs per year and employs 151,400 people directly and indirectly. The port mainly handles grains, oilseeds, computers, and machinery.

Newark Port

Port Newark has four container terminals and it handled over 6.5 million TEUs and over 600,000 automobiles in 2016. Also known as Port Elizabeth, Port Newark serves the Port of New York and New Jersey. It serves as the principal container facility for goods leaving and entering the New York Metropolitan Area. Around 80-85 percent of cargo from this port goes onto trucks.

Air Freight from China to the USA

Airfreight Bases in China


Also known as Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, Guangzhou is the primary airport in Guangzhou city. It is situated around 28 north of Guangzhou city. It is the hub for 9 Air, China Southern Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, FedEx Express, Hainan Airlines, and Shenzhen Airlines. It handled over 73 million in 2019 and over 1.8 million tons of cargo.


Shenzhen International Airport is among the largest cargo airports in Southern China. Opened in 1991, this airport handles over 1 million tons of cargo each year. The logistics center at this airport covers around 115,000 square meters of area and offers international logistics distribution, customs storage, customs services, and door-to-door deliveries. The airport serves 39 cargo routes and connects 33 destinations. The forwarding companies in this airport include China Airlines Cargo, UPS Airlines, China Cargo Airlines, and FedEx Express.


Shanghai Pudong International Airport is the second largest airport in China but it ranks third in the list of the largest cargo ports. The airport handles more than 3.1 tons of cargo each year. The forwarding companies to expect in the airport include FedEx Express, DHL Aviation, Lufthansa Cargo, Air China Cargo, and UPS Airlines.


The main airport in Ningbo is Ningbo Lishe International Airport. The airport is around 14 km from Ningbo City center and handles both international and domestic flights. Zhoushan Putuoshan Airport is the other important airport and it is located 105km south of Ningbo.


Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport stands as the tenth busiest airport in China. The airport is situated around 27km from Hangzhou, China. It has three terminals and two runways. In 2015, it received 25.6 million passengers. It also received 500,000 tons of cargo and 260,000 aircraft movements in the year.


Wuhan Tianhe International Airport was launched in 1995 and it is located 26km from Wuhan City. The airport handled over 24.5 million passengers in 2018 and 320,000 tons in 2013. It has two terminals – Terminal 2 and Terminal 3.


Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport situated around 16km southwest of Chengdu City obtained an international status in 1993. It offers services to over 49 international and 92 domestic destinations. The airport receives 50 million passengers and 550,000 tons of cargo per year.


Xian Airport is situated around 25 kilometers northwest of downtown Xi’an and around 13 kilometers from Xianyang city center. It is the hub for China Eastern Airlines, Air Chang’an, Okay Airways, Joy Air, Hainan Airlines, Tianjin Airlines, and Shenzhen Airlines. It received over 44 million passengers in 2018.


Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport is the main airport serving Zhengzhou city. It is located 37 kilometers southeast of Zhengzhou and it was started in 1997. According to 2018 statistics, it is the 12th busiest airport in China in terms of passenger traffic and seventh in terms of cargo traffic.


Beijing Capital Airport is one of the two international airports in Beijing. However, it is the busiest and receives over 100.98 million people per year. In 2018, the airport handled 2 million tons of cargo. The other airport in Beijing is Beijing Nanyuan Airport. This airport handles 49 aircraft and over 170 flights per day. It handles 45 million passengers per year.


The main airport in Tianjin is Tianjin Binhai International Airport. This airport, located in Dongli District, Tianjin, is among the main cargo centers in China. It received over 12 million passengers in 2016 and handled 500,000 tons of cargo. It is home to 9 Air, Aero Mongolia, Air China, Air Macau, and Chengdu Airlines.

Main Airport in the USA

New York

The J.F Kennedy International Airport, also known as the Queens, New York is the largest of three main international airports in the New York metropolitan airport system. It is situated 16 miles from midtown Manhattan and it is the third busiest freight gateway to the US and the first to international airfreight. The airlines that have operations in the airport are around 100 and they include Air China, Asian, Cargolux, Eva, Nippon, Cathay Pacific, DHL, FedEx, and UPS.


Memphis International Airport is the busiest airport in the world in terms of cargo. In 2015, it handled 4.29 million tons of cargo. It boasts road, rail, river, and runway that allows easier movement of cargo to and from this airport.


Atlanta International Airport is situated in Georgia, Atlanta USA and it is the busiest airport in the world. It is also the major southern hub for the United States. Most international and connecting flights go through this airport before leaving for the final destinations. The airport is the main gateway for international flights to and from Asian countries.

Los Angeles

The Los Angeles International Airport is the primary airport serving Los Angeles and California. Los Angeles Airport is a leading airport in both cargo and passenger traffic. It was the sixth airport in the list of the busiest airports in 2010 and the fourth in 2017. It is situated 18 miles from downtown Los Angeles.


Airlines serving the Chicago International Airport are China Airlines, China Southern, and China Cargo. Other airlines are Cargolux, Air China, QANTAS, Eva Air, and Yangtze River Express. The airlines offer services to both importers and exporters.


Louisville International Airport situated in Kentucky is among the busiest and most popular airports in the United States. In 2015, this airport handled over 5 billion pounds of cargo in the mail and freight. The cargo tonnage in the year stood at 2.3 million tons. Further, it is the largest fully automated cargo handling facility in the globe and features an IT customs system that facilitates faster clearing and distribution of cargo.


The Miami International Airport is among the busiest airports in the world. It handles most of the United States’ international freights from all over the world. Actually, the number of cargo carriers that operate freights between Miami airport and airports in other parts of the world are 90. They include FedEx Express, Asiana Airlines, Cargolux, and China airlines.


Owned and operated by the Indianapolis Airport Authority, the Indianapolis International Airport is home to FedEx. It occupies 3116 ha of land and it is the largest airport in Indiana.


This airport lies between Fort Worth and the city of Dallas. It stands as the busiest flight terminal in Dallas and the fourth busiest airport in the world in terms of flight vehicle activities. It also boasts the largest aviation terminal in the USA.

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