Shipping Indonesia to USA

Importing from Indonesia to USA: The Complete Guide

This guide covers all information you’re looking for about importing from Indonesia to USA.

Whether you want to know how long it takes to import from Indonesia, mode of shipping or cost, you will find everything right here.

Keep reading to learn more.

How Long Does it take when Importing from Indonesia to USA

USA Indonesia Flag

USA-Indonesia Flag

The duration is highly dependent on a few factors like the type of shipping mode you choose.

If you choose to make use of shipping express, it might take one to four days.

However, this kind of method is quite expensive.

If you choose to use air freight shipping, you will receive your goods within eight to seventeen days.

Finally, if you make use of sea freight shipping, it will take fifty-five to fifty-nine days.

The other factor influencing how long it will take to ship from Indonesia to the USA is the shipment size.

Having a large shipment might take longer to get to you compared to shipping a small shipment.

The location significantly affects how long it will take to receive your shipment.

Finally, the season you are shipping your cargo will affect how long you will receive your cargo.

During peak seasons where the ports are quite busy, it might take longer for you to receive your cargo compared to seasons where the ports are relatively slow.

Fastest Mode of Shipping from Indonesia to USA

A few modes of shipping are quite fast when you are shipping from Indonesia to USA.

Read through the list to know which one you can use.

FCL Sea Freight From Indonesia to USA 

FCL, which is simply put as a full container load, means that your cargo will fill up your entire container.

This could be 20′ to 40′ long. It will be of benefit to make use of FCL shipping when shipping your goods at high volume.

This is because it will help you save both time and money.

Note that pricing on FCL is at a flat rate.

Simply you will be obliged to pay the same amount whether your cargo is full or not.

LCL Sea Freight   From Indonesia to USA 

LCL means less than a container load.

While using this mode of shipping, you do not have to fill your entire container.

By using this mode, be sure that the shipping container carries your container along with other pallets or boxes.

While using this method, your goods will have to be consolidated at the initial port and the deconsolidated at the destination port.

In most cases, while using this method, be sure that your goods will take a bit longer to arrive.

Air Freight from Indonesia to USA

Importing by air freight is one of the fastest modes you can use; the only downside is that it is quite expensive.

Express from Indonesia to USA

If you have a small shipment and need it to be delivered quickly, it is ideal that you make use of the express mode of shipping.

Best Time to Import from Indonesia to USA

One factor that you ought to check while importing from Indonesia to USA is the season.

Note that if you wish to get the best rates, you should avoid importing your goods during peak seasons.

During peak seasons, the prices often fluctuate, and you may receive your goods very late.

How Incoterms Affect Cost of Importing from Indonesia to USA

While choosing a freight forwarder, it is imperative to compare their quote.

Note that the prices are highly influenced by the kind of services the freight forwarder offers.

For example, if you are importing your goods from Bandung, Indonesia, to Los Angeles, USA, you will have to have a discussion with your supplier on one particular factor.

Ensure to ask the cost you will incur from shipping your goods from the warehouse in Bandung, since you will have to use an EXW incoterm.

Also, you need to ask the cost you will incur from the port of Bandung as you will be required to use the FOB incoterm.

FOB has low prices; however, this does not mean that your total cost will be low while using FOB.

It will be of help to ask your supplier to brings your cargo to the port as it will help cut down the cost.

Please note that incoterms such as FOB can only be used for sea shipping.

 Incoterms 2020 Risk Transafer

 Incoterms 2020 Risk Transfer

Payable Duties and Taxes to Pay When Importing from Indonesia to USA

While importing your goods from Indonesia to the USA, you will be required to pay customs duties for your goods to be released.

It is imperative to research on the taxes and duties you will pay while shipping from Indonesia to the USA to avoid being caught by surprise.

Depending on the goods you’re importing, it may vary from 0% to 40%.

Even thou there goods you can import without paying duty, on average you will pay about 10.89% duty.

Why You Need Insurance when Importing from Indonesia to USA

It is imperative to have insurance while importing your goods from Indonesia to the USA.

This is because the insurance will come in handy in case your goods get damaged or lost.

You can quickly obtain an insurance cover through a third-party insurance agent or a freight forwarder.

The insurance cost is 0.3% or 0.5% of your total commercial invoice.

The invoice is derived from the amount you paid for the goods you ship.

Required Paperwork When Importing from Indonesia to USA

Here are some of the paperwork you may need while Importing from Indonesia to the USA.

The list includes but not limited to:

  • Packaging list
  • Insurance certificate
  • Certificate of origin
  • Letter of credit
  • Commercial invoice
  • Bill of loading or air waybill
  • Material safety data sheet
  • Shipper’s letter of instruction
  • Import/export license

 Import documents

Import documents

Custom Clearance When Importing from Indonesia to USA

It is relatively easy to get customs clearance while importing from Indonesia to the USA.

Here is the process involved for your goods to be cleared by the customs duty.

They include:

  1. Once your goods arrive in customs, the officer will prompt you to show them all your paperwork.
  2. While providing the documents, ensure that you offer the official commercial invoice.
  3. The invoice contains the receiver’s and shipper’s contact information, shipment details, description of the goods, and their value.
  4. The following step is the officer will check to see if your shipment requires you to pay any taxes or custom duties.
  5. What you end up paying is influenced by the country’s law and the value of your goods.
  6. Customs officials will request you to pay the customs duties or taxes if they

have not been paid for

  1. Once the official confirms that the customs duties and taxes have been paid,

your goods will be released.

How to Reduce Cost of Importing from Indonesia to USA

One method that will help reduce the cost of importing from Indonesia to the USA is by choosing sea importing as your mode of shipping.

However, while choosing this method, it is ideal to book in advance to help you get affordable rates.

Not only does booking early cut costs, but it helps to reduce experiencing any delays.

Products to Import from Indonesia to USA

The good thing about importing from Indonesia to the USA is that you can import just right about anything.

You can import cosmetics, clothes, toys, laptops, woven apparel, rubber, minerals, waxes, footwear, machinery, furniture and food products, amongst others.

It is ideal to go through the list of what is allowed in the USA for you to avoid having to ship in restricted goods.

Available Options to Use When Shipping from Indonesia to USA

There are two main available options you can use when importing from Indonesia to the USA.

They include importing by sea or air.

How Ocean Freight from Indonesia to USA Works

While using this method, your freight will go across the Pacific Ocean for it to get to the USA.

It is ideal to make use of sea shipping if your goods are quite heavy.

While using this method, you need to give your freight forwarder information like;

  • The name of the port of origin from Indonesia
  • The name of the port of arrival in the USA
  • Whether you need to choose FCL or LCL

FCL offers you exclusive power over your container.

However, LCL, you will be required to share your containers.

While choosing the shipping containers, you must understand there are different kinds of units.

They include:

  • Insulated units
  • Open tops units
  • Refrigerated units
  • Ventilated units
  • Half-height units

How Air Freight from Indonesia to USA Work

In most cases, while using air as your shipping mode, the freight forwarder uses indirect flights.

At the moment, there is no direct flight from Indonesia to USA.

Still, there is nothing to worry about since your cargo will be handled safely.

It is for this reason that we recommend the use of professional freight forwarders.

Regardless of the flight being an indirect one, it is quite faster compared to using sea shipping.

Here are some of the reasons that support the need to use air freight mode.

  • It is best to make use of air freight if your goods are quite perishable.
  • If you need the best security for your goods, ensure that you use air freight.
  • Suppose you are sending small shipments that do not require a lot of space, then it is best to use air freight.
  • If you do not want to be involved in handling your freight, then it is best to use air freight.

Airports to Use in Importing from Indonesia to USA

The main air ports you can use are Soekarno Hatta International Airport and Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport.

Courier Services from Indonesia to USA

Courier services help in transporting goods or documents for individuals or institutions.

There are different courier services you can use they include:

Standard Delivery Service

This kind of standard courier shipping service has set guideline rules.

If you are a business that relies on courier services, then you ought to use a standard delivery service.

Your goods’ weights ought not to surpass 50kg for you not to incur an extra cost.

It takes two to three days for the goods to get to you.

Also, this kind of courier service is quite affordable.

This is a perfect option for businesses who urgently need their goods.

You need to ensure that the deliveries are local for the package to get to you.

 Shipping Services

In most cases, courier services operate between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm.

However, some services do not abide by these rules.

Hence if you need your goods overnight, then you need to choose a courier service that operates overnight.

If your goods have a risk of expiring mid transport, then it is best to use this option.

Rush and On-demand deliveries- This kind of courier service offers a fast delivery service compared to the same-day delivery service.

In most cases, it takes four hours for you to receive your goods.

Parcel Services- Parcels are often small in size. In most cases, parcel services follow the same day delivery rule.

However, this rule is dependents on the kind of good being delivered.

Luggage delivery service- This kind of service helps your luggage to be delivered to where you are going.

It is a good option if you want your luggage not to damage the journey.

Some of the popular courier services that you can make use of while shipping from Indonesia to the USA include:





EMS international



Note that these options operate worldwide.

Recommended Packaging and Importing from Indonesia to USA

While packing, it is imperative to ensure that you use the right material.

For you to be sure that the box will last you long, it is best to use a new box.

This will help reduce the chances of it tearing while being shipped.

Note that there are different types of containers you can use while packing.

Hence you need to understand the different types of containers as they serve different needs.

Only use packing tape as it will help hold up the box.

Make use of bubble wrap or foam peanuts as it will help ensure that your belongings do not break or shift.

Make sure that you make use of the right size box.

It is advisable to use a box more extensive than your goods and then fill up the box with bubble wrap.

Always wrap it tightly.

 Packagin before shipping

Packaging before shipping

Labeling Requirements When Importing from Indonesia to USA

Your packing is likely to go through different parties while shipping.

This is why it is vital to ensure that you label your packaging well.

Here are some of the requirements you ought to follow while labeling your shipment;

  • Port and country of origin and the speculated destination.
  • Shipping mark- this will help identify your cargo.
  • Weight of your shipment- it ought to be in kilograms and pounds.
  • Number of items in the packaging and their sizes should be in centimeters and inches.
  • Include universal pictorial symbols- this will act as guidance on how to handle the item.

Note that if you are dealing with fragile items, you ought to pay keen attention to your labeling.

For example, it will be of use, including cautionary instructions both in English and other languages.

Also, if you are dealing with perishable goods, it is best that you include that in your labels.

The label should have clearly stated instructions on the temperature and the humidity limits that need to be followed.

Finally, if you are shipping dangerous goods such as those that might pose a danger to the environment or health.

 Packaging and labeling dangerous goods for shipping

Packaging and labelling dangerous goods for shipping

 Then you ought to clearly list how you wish the carrier to handle goods to avoid accidents.

How to Track Cargo from Indonesia to USA

It can be quite frustrating waiting for your package to get to you in the USA.

In most cases, you will end up guessing when the shipment will get to you; it is best to track them.

You can use various ways when you wish to track your cargo from Indonesia to the USA.

The best part, most shipping companies always provide accurate ways to track your cargo.

Here are some reliable methods you can use:

 Sample shipping time estimate

Sample shipping time estimate

· Up- close Monitoring

There are few shipments that are quite valuable and may need utter supervision.

If this is the case, then you might need up-close monitoring.

If you have the time and resources, you can easily hitch a ride on the container

The comfort level on the container ship is relatively low.

This, however, does   not mean that the rates on the ship are cheap.

The downside of using this tracking method is that it is quite a time consuming and very expensive.

· GPS Asset Tracking

You can attach a GPS tracking device before the journey starts.

This kind of tracking helps you to have a live update of where your cargo is.

One disadvantage of using this method is that you cannot protect the tracking device’s antenna from being hit over.

Also, if the shipment delays, the tracking device’s battery is at risk of running low.

· Live Satellite Imagery

If you have knowledge of the container ship carrying your cargo, then you can easily use satellite imagery to track your shipment.

Also, if there is bad weather, it might be hard for you to track the ship.

Finally, if your ship changes course, you may have no clue on how to track it.

In conclusion, this method is quite unreliable.

· Container Tracking Service

Every container has its own international shipping container standard information.

Hence most container tracking services tend to make use of this information while tracking the cargo.

The downside is that this method does not involve a live update.

Hence you will remain in the dark before the container gets through another terminal.

Automatic Identification System Vessel Tracking

This kind of tracking has small transponders that are in the container.

How it works is that the tracking vessels broadcast the location. Different receivers collect this information.

The good thing about using this method is that it offers a near-real-time view of what is happening.

All you need while using this method is the name of the container ship or your IMO number.

In most cases, most of these automatic identification system vessel tracking systems offer you an estimated arrival time.

Also, the service offers essential information, like if there is a diversion or terminal issues.

How to Find the Right Forwarder When Importing from Indonesia to USA

In most cases, while shipping, most shippers find it hard to follow up with the logistics behind shipping.

Most people find this process tedious to follow up; this is where a forwarder comes in to help ease the shipping process.

This is why it is vital to choose the right forwarder.

Here are some of the Tips you need to Follow while Choosing Forwarder:

Ensure that the Forwarder has a Good Reputation – A forwarder’s reputation is what makes the client deem them trustworthy or not.

Only use a forwarder who is a WCA approved member.

Also, you could ask them for references.

A reputable forwarder will not hesitate to offer you the contacts.

You can research financial statements online to help you know more about the forwarder.

Look for a freight forwarder with the right experience – You need to assess if the    forwarder has the right knowledge on how to ship goods from Indonesia to the USA.

Confirm that the freight forwarder has a good network– a forwarder with the right network will facilitate the shipping process’s success.

Ensure that the freight forwarder has transparent pricing– it can be quite frustrating having to pay unforeseen rates.

Hence it will be of help to use a transparent forwarder who gives accurate quotes.

Confirm that the forwarder has cargo insurance– If you wish to have peace of mind while shipping your goods, it’s best to have cargo insurance.

Hence it is ideal that you ensure that the forwarder offers the insurance policy.

Make sure that you choose a forwarder that offers the services you need.

How LCL Import from Indonesia to USA Work?

LCL is a type of shipping where the goods are loaded into a shared container while transiting.

Less than container load is a cheaper option to use while shipping from Indonesia to the USA.

This is because you only pay for the space that you need.

 How LCL Shipping works

This kind of shipping is particularly helpful to first-time importers or for small businesses.

Also, if you are shipping a small number of goods, then it is best to use LCL.

Normally, the LCL provider will contact your supplier in order for the team to have a better overview of the goods.

Once this is done, the team assesses the readiness of the goods as it will help decide which container to use.

The goods are later transported to the port of origin, which is Indonesia.

The warehouse takes the responsibility of packing the goods into a shared container.

Once everything is parked, the containers are sealed and later shipped to the USA.

Once the goods get to the USA, they are transported to a local warehouse.

In the warehouse, everything is unpacked.

Once the customs official releases everything, the official will ensure that the goods are delivered to you.

The downside of using LCL is that the goods may take longer before they arrive.

Hence if you need the goods early, it is best that you use FCL.

Restricted and Prohibited Imports from Indonesia to USA

It is good to understand that the carrier often dictates what is restricted and prohibited in the country.

Hence you may find particular imports are allowed by certain carriers while others do not.

With this list in this article, it will only highlight some of the

imports that are restricted and prohibited internationally.

The list is not limited to:

  • Ozone-depleting substances
  • Dangerous materials like acids, viruses, Mercury, bacteria, weapons, and ammunition
  • Fireworks
  • Psychotropic substances
  • Any recorded media that does not have an approved accreditation by the Board of Film Censorship
  • Knives (there is an exemption to cutlery knives)
  • Precious stones
  • Materials that have adverse effects on people’s health

Here is a list of all Restricted and Prohibited Imports in USA.

Common Risks and Challenges When Importing from Indonesia to USA

There are a few risks you are likely to face while importing from Indonesia to the USA. Here are some of them:

  1. You may lose your goods while in transit- It is relatively easy to lose track of your goods.

Just like any transportation mode, while shipping your goods, you are at risk of losing them.

This might generate significant losses, especially if you do not have insurance.

  1. While importing the goods from Indonesia to the USA, you will incur importer costs as an importer.
  2. You may encounter some problems with the supplier as they may fail to supply your goods.
  3. While importing, there are chances where there may be delays or hold-ups at the port.

If you are shipping perishable goods encountering delays will affect your business.

  1. While importing, you may incur currency fluctuations. This may significantly affect the total cost you had anticipated to pay.
  2. While importing, you may be required to store goods in a warehouse before delivering them to you.

This kind of charge maybe unexpected.

Importing Perishable Goods from Indonesia to USA

There are few steps you can use while shipping perishable goods from Indonesia to the USA. Here are some of them:

1) Know the type of perishable goods you want to import from Indonesia to USA. This will help you to determine suitable shipping conditions for your goods.

2) Choose reefer container – With reefer container, you can control all the environmental conditions. It will ensure your perishable goods arrive in the USA while still in good condition.

 Reefer shipping container

Reefer shipping container

3) Consider any special packaging – Ensure you consult with relevant authorities to ensure the perishable goods have appropriate packaging.

Note that the kind of packaging you choose is influenced by the number of items you may need to ship.

Also, the duration you wish the goods to get to you will influence your packaging solution.

4) Temperature control measure- When shipping perishable goods, you need to be keen on the temperature.

This is because if there is no control of temperature, it may affect how long the perishable goods may last.

One method that is used to maintain cold temperatures is the gel packs.

Gel packs tend to last longer compared to using dry ice.

Also, it is relatively easy to adjust the gel packs.

Note that if you intend to ship your perishable goods by air, ensure that you avoid using dry ice.

This is because dry ice is poisonous when on transit by air.

When dry ice is on air, it produces carbon dioxide, increasing the shipping container’s pressure.

Lastly make sure that you have an insurance cover on the perishable goods as it will cushion the pain of losing them in case of an accident.

In case you have any question regarding importing from Indonesia to USA, BanSar team is here to help.

Contact us today for all your freight forwarding needs from Indonesia to USA.

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