Shipping from Australia to USA 1

Shipping from Australia to USA: The Ultimate Guide

This guide explores everything you need to know about shipping from Australia to the USA.

From shipping cost, type of shipping container, express shipping, air freight, labeling to ocean freight – you will find everything about shipping from Australia to the USA right here.

Keep reading to learn more.

Transit Time when Shipping from Australia to the USA

The transit time varies with the shipping method that you employ.

When shipping from Australia to the USA, you can use either air freight or sea freight.

Airfreight involves the use of planes, whereas sea freight is enabled by using ships.

Both these shipping methods are significant when you consider time and money.

When you use air freight, you benefit from faster shipping at a relatively higher cost.

Sea freight costs you much less while it takes a longer time to have received your shipment.

You can pay up to five times less when you use the sea option compared to air freight.

The lower costs in sea freight can be attributed to using a single container to carry multiple loads. You have your cargo bundled up with others whose destination is similar to yours.

However, you will wait longer to receive your shipment from Australia to the USA by sea.

Usually, you find this shipping approach can take several weeks, with some taking as much as six weeks.

The transit time using sea freight is also longer when there are several ports of call along the transit route.

Ports of call are ports between the ports of origin and destination where a ship makes a stop.

Here is a useful tool you can use to estimate transit time: Sea Route.

 Ports com sea routes estimation sea route estimation

When using air freight, a cargo plane is used to ferry your package or load it to an airport.

From here, your shipment is disbursed to your state of residence and eventually collection point.

A cargo flight from Australia will take about two days to reach the USA.

The transit time will increase by a couple of working days, depending on your state of residence and customs clearance.

Nevertheless, a transit time of between five to ten working days suffices when you ship using air freight.

If you have details of the cargo plane, you can use Flightradar24 to track the plane.

Benefits of Air Freight Shipping from Australia to USA

You typically employ Air freight when dealing with valuable cargo with low volume.

Due to the size limitations, you cannot use air freight for large valuable cargo such as industrial machinery.

You find the following advantages in employing air freight from Australia to the USA:

Qantas Cargo Plane

Qantas Cargo Plane

  • You experience shorter transit times when using air freight compared to sea freight.

You have your transit time ranging from as low as three business days to ten business days using air freight.

On the other hand, you can wait up to forty-five days using sea freight to receive your cargo.

  • You find the reliability of using air freight to be high in terms of departure and arrival times.

Airlines are known for working on a precise schedule due to the dynamic and intrinsic nature of airports.

Therefore, using air freight, when provided with an expected time of arrival for your load, you are assured of it.

  • Using air freight is convenient, notwithstanding your location in the USA due to an elaborate air network.

While some states are landlocked without access to the sea, you have well-developed airports in each of them.

Consequently, when you use air freight, you receive your shipment from Australia at any USA location.

  • Airfreight cost surpasses sea freight significantly; however, you incur lower insurance costs with the former.

You have the short transit time to thank for the low insurance cost as it takes only a few days.

  • When you use air freight, you lower the chances of losing your cargo to theft or damage. The safety protocols installed in airports ensure your shipment is in good hands with reduced criminal element exposure.
  • Employing air freight allows you to eliminate the need for using a warehouse and keeping a large stock.

The time taken for inspecting the cargo and clearing it is reduced, allowing for a quick transit time.

  • When you employ air freight to the USA from Australia, you use minimal packaging for your shipment.

Consequently, you achieve some cost savings, unlike with sea freight that has many packaging requirements.

  • You can follow your shipment status when you use air freight to the USA from Australia via provided web applications.

As such, you will know the location of your load at any given time in anticipation of its receipt.

  • Airfreight from Australia to the USA is especially useful when your cargo consists of perishable goods.

Perishable goods are those whose condition and quality deteriorates over time out of environmental concern, such as flowers.

Limitations of Air Freight Shipping from Australia to the USA

While air freight has revolutionized transport and trade over the years, it is still subject to some limitations.

The following pointers highlight the unsuitability of using air freight from Australia to the USA.

Airfreight is Costly

When you use air freight from Australia to the USA, you incur high costs compared to sea freight.

Consequently, you find using air freight only suitable for high-value items with low volumes.

Limited Carrying Capacity

When using air freight for your shipment to the USA, you are limited in the capacity of goods you can carry.

Cargo planes have limited capacities in terms of load and volume compared to ships.

Consequently, you cannot carry very large and heavy cargo on planes when shipping from Australia to the USA.

High-risk Factor

There is an element of risk when using air freight across a distance such as Australia to the USA. A system failure in an airplane can result in a great loss when it happens.

While incidents are a rarity, when they do happen, it comes at great cost.

Dependent on Weather Conditions

Airfreight is subject to the prevailing weather conditions, which can result in a cancellation of a flight.

Weather conditions such as heavy rainfall or snow, dense fog, and cyclones can disrupt air transport.

When this happens, you wait for much longer to receive your shipment.

Main Air Ports in Australia

Australia’s airport infrastructure is highly developed, with many international airports from whence air freight companies operate.

You can disburse goods to the USA from the following Australian Airports.

  • Sydney Airport in the city of Sydney in New South Wales.
  • Melbourne Airport in Melbourne, Victoria.
  • Adelaide Airport in Adelaide, South Australia.
  • Perth Airport Perth in Western Australia.
  • Brisbane Airport Brisbane in Queensland.

Main Air Ports in the USA

You will find many international airports in the USA across the fifty states. Some of the major airports you find used for air freight are:

  • Memphis International Airport in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in Anchorage, Alaska
  • Louisville International Airport in Louisville, Kentucky
  • O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois
  • Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California
  • Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in Hebron, Kentucky
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Irving, Texas
  • Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport in College Park, Georgia
  • Indianapolis International Airport in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Miami International Airport in Miami, Florida

Sea Freight Shipping from Australia to USA

Sea freight is the shipment of cargo from one point to another across a water body.

When using sea freight, you load your cargo in containers or directly onto ships for transportation.

You use sea freight for the transfer of voluminous and bulky goods between Australia and the USA.

The various seaports in Australia and the USA allow for ships’ docking to load and unload cargo.

COSCO Shipping Lane

COSCO Shipping Lane

Sea Routes from Australia to the USA

A sea route is a path formed on water bodies by traversing ships connecting different seaports.

Sea routes help you to safely navigate the open waters when on a voyage to a destination port.

You note that some sea routes have ports of call, where the ship makes a stopover.

A stopover at a port of call allows you to refuel the vessel, offload cargo, or load more cargo.

Some of the major sea routes from Australia to the USA are:

  • From the port of Sydney, Australia, to the port of Philadelphia on the American East Coast.
  • From the port of Darwin, Australia, to the port of Houston, USA.
  • From the port of Sydney, Australia, to the port of Oakland, California, on the American West Coast.
  • From the port of Adelaide, Australia, to the port of Memphis, USA.
  • From the port of Sydney, Australia, to the port of Vancouver, USA.

 Benefits of using Sea Freight from Australia to the USA

You derive many benefits from using sea freight when conducting shipping from Australia to the USA as follows:

Lower Freight Cost

When you use sea freight, you incur a lower cost in comparison to air freight.

You spend less on sea freight due to its large capacity allowing the carriage of several cargoes on a single haul.

Low Maintenance Cost

Maintaining a water vessel at sea is significantly lower than maintaining an airplane in the air.

Furthermore, given the value and volume of goods, you observe the cost is watered down to insignificant levels.

Convenient for Heavy Cargo

When shipping bulky cargo from Australia to the USA, sea freight offers you the most convenience.

Airplanes have a maximum payload of about a few hundred tons, whereas a ship can carry thousands of tons.

Furthermore, some loads are too large for airplanes to carry, such as heavy industrial machinery and equipment.

You easily move this type of cargo on ships given their large capacities and ability to accommodate voluminous cargo.

Environmentally Friendly

When using sea freight, you contribute to lower carbon emissions given the increased efficiency in combusting fuel.

Additionally, you carry cargo in bulk in a single haul compared to the multiple trips you’d take with other methods.

Increased Safety

When handling sensitive cargo that requires specialized packaging and containments, sea freight offers you the best shipping option.

The containers you use on the vessel are made to make a firm lock on the ship during loading.

Increased Efficiency

The efficiency of sea freight is a factor that makes you spend less on freight charges with this option.

You can package multiple cargoes in a single container, with a ship having the capacity to carry several containers.

Limitations of Sea Freight Shipping from Australia to USA

Using sea freight from Australia to the USA comes attached with several pros.

However, you encounter a few cons with this shipping approach:

It is a Slow Method

Using sea freight from Australia to the USA takes a long time running into several weeks.

Comparatively, air freight from Australia to the USA only takes a couple of days.

Therefore, you cannot use sea freight for highly perishable goods and items with short lead times.

Increased Risk

Sea freight is prone to attack by pirates and other insurgents lurking in the open sea.

While you put in place security measures, you incur a great loss when these measures are compromised.

Moreover, the extended lead time of sea freight between Australia and the USA can be subject to sudden weather changes.

Such changes can result in necessary delays or loss of cargo at sea at worst.


When using sea freight from Australia to the USA, you are pinned to a fixed route and timetable.

Additionally, you cannot monitor the progress of your cargo through tracking.

Requires Secondary Transport

Sea freight from Australia to the USA delivers goods from one Australian port to an American port.

However, when you are located inland, you need road or rail networks to deliver your good.

Main Sea Ports in Australia

A seaport is a facility located on a sea coast where ships berth to load or unload cargo or passengers.

Australia is an island continent with a long coastline you find populated by well-developed seaports.

Some of the major seaports in Australia are as follows:

i. Port of Brisbane

The Port of Brisbane is the third busiest in Australia and largest in Queensland.

About three thousand ships move through this port annually, with cargo amounting to over twenty-eight million tons.

Furthermore, the Port of Brisbane has a high maritime security ranking at level one.

Additionally, you find the Port of Brisbane pits much focus on ecological and environmental awareness.

ii. Port of Sydney

The Port of Sydney was first constructed on the Sydney Harbor before being expanded to accommodate more vessels.

Consequently, the port extended to Botany Bay, which is why you also know it as the Port of Botany.

You find the Port of Sydney at number two on the list of the largest ports in Australia. Millions of tons of cargo and thousands of ship traffic through the Port of Sydney every year.

iii. Port of Fremantle

The Port of Fremantle is the busiest on the Western coast of Australia, with thousands of employees.

Every year, cargo totaling over 35 million tons is handled in this port, making it busy twenty-four hours a day.

iv. Port of Melbourne

The Port of Melbourne is of great importance to Australia, handling over two million total equivalent units of cargo annually.

Of all major ports in the southern hemisphere handling containers, the Port of Melbourne is the fourth largest.

v. Port of Hedland

The Port of Hedland is located in Western Australia and is the largest container port in the country.

Cargo amounting to over four hundred million tons is handled at this port annually.

You find modern technological aspects incorporated in this port in terms of handling cargo and determining weather conditions.

Also, the Port of Hedland has a high maritime security rating of level one.

vi. Port of Darwin

The Port of Darwin is privately owned by Landbridge, which is a Chinese company.

Cargo totaling over four million tons is handled annually in this port, most of it originating from or going to Asia.

vii. Port of Adelaide

The Port of Adelaide is situated in Southern Australia, where it is the largest and most important.

You find this port to have, mixed cargo amounting to over a hundred million tons annually.

viii. Port of Newcastle

Located in New South Wales, the Port of Newcastle is the largest on Australia’s east coast.

You find this port is suitably positioned along the Pacific sea routes with a cargo haul of over 160 million tons.

Ports in Australia

Ports in Australia

Main Sea Ports in the USA

The United States of America has a long coastline extending along both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

You find major ports along the East Coast, the West Coast, and the South coast that traffic thousands of ships annually.

Some of the major seaports in the USA are:

i. Port of Los Angeles

Located on the West Coast in California, the Port of Los Angeles is one of the USA’s largest.

It is constructed in the San Pedro Bay and handles most of the cargo off the American Pacific.

The Port of Los Angeles occupies a vast landmass exceeding 7000 acres with a waterfront over forty miles long.

Cargo handled in the Port of Los Angeles exceeds four million total equivalent units (TEUs) annually.

ii. Port of Long Beach

The Port of Long Beach is also in California, Western USA, and is one of the busiest in the Northern hemisphere.

The Port of Long Beach handles container cargo over four million TEUs every year.

iii. Port of New York and New Jersey

The Port of New York and New Jersey is the busiest on the Eastern seaboard of the USA.

It comes third nationally handling diverse cargo, including bulk and break-bulk.

The Port of New York and New Jersey serves one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world.

Over four and a half million TEUs are handled at this port annually.

iv. Port of Savannah

You find this port in Georgia along the Atlantic with a large count of import distribution points.

The Port of Savannah is also the largest facility with a single terminal for handling containers.

v. Port of Seattle-Tacoma

The Port of Seattle-Tacoma was born out of the Port of Seattle and the Port of Tacoma.

These ports are located in Washington State and handle cargo of over two million TEUs every year.

vi. Port of Virginia

The Port of Virginia is strategically located on the Eastern Coast with a short lead time before entering the open sea.

It is among the busiest with good access to railway infrastructure, allowing for cargo transfer via train.

vii. Port of Houston

The Port of Houston borders the Gulf coast and is located in Texas, south of the USA.

The Port of Houston extends over twenty miles and handles the most foreign cargo in the USA.

The Port of Houston’s location close to the Gulf of Mexico makes it a popular port of call.

The Port of Houston is fitted with modern cranes and technological systems to aid in handling containers.

viii. Port of Charleston

You find five task-specific terminals on the Port of Charleston in South Carolina.

The port handles both containers and motor vehicle cargo with an annual volume of over one million TEUs.

ix. Port of Oakland

The Port of Oakland is widely used for handling containerized cargo amounting to over a million and a half TEUs.

The Port of Oakland has three terminals dedicated to containers with easy access to railway infrastructure.

x. Port of Miami

The Port of Miami is located in Florida, Southern USA, to handle almost a million TEUs annually.

You find this port has a deep channel that can accommodate the largest marine vessels and equipment.

Sea Ports in USA

Sea Ports in the USA

Types of Containers to use when Shipping from Australia to the USA

Shipping containers are the standard unit on which sea freight is built on allowing for the efficient movement of cargo.

You can use different containers for your shipping needs depending on the nature of your transporting goods.

Some of the containers you use for sea freight include:

Types of shipping container

 Types of shipping container

Dry Van/Standard Shipping Containers

The dry van containers are metal boxes fabricated from aluminum or steel you use for boxed or palletized dry goods.

Standard containers are widely used and possess a strong build allowing you to load up to an eight-count stack.

You find these containers with standard dimensions usually 2.40 m wide and a height of 7 feet and 10 inches.

You have two container length options, with one at twenty feet and the other at forty feet.

The dry van container is watertight with the top, bottom, and all but one side fixed, making their mobility flexible.

A door is furnished on this side, allowing you to load and unload cargo easily.

Flat Rack Container

The flat rack container is a standard container without the top and a side wall pairing.

The other side wall pairing is collapsible, allowing you a flat rack design to hold wider cargo.

You use the flat rack container to ferry goods such as motor vehicles, boats, and voluminous equipment.

Platform Container

A platform container is a special container that only consists of a raised platform without a roof and sides.

You use this kind of container to transport cargo with height and width dimensions unsuitable for a standard container.

Tank Container

You find this container type consists of a tank furnished within it for the transportation of non-toxic fluids.

You can use varying capacities of these containers ranging from ten thousand to over twenty thousand liters.

You observe the construction of this container to involve materials impervious to corrosion and durable steel.

With these features, the tank offers an extended service life while ensuring the fluid cargo is safely handled.

Open Top Container

An open container has fixed sides except for the top part that is left open.

You instead use a cover made from canvas material, for instance, to shroud the cargo.

An open-top container makes the loading and unloading process of voluminous and irregularly shaped cargo easy.

You can easily employ a crane or crab on an open-top container by removing the cover.

Ventilated Container

A ventilated container is furnished with ventilation systems built in the container walls to regulate the internal container atmosphere.

You use these containers to avert moisture accumulation when transporting cargo susceptible to condensation levels without affecting space concerns.

Tunnel Container

With the tunnel container, you have the walls along the width removed to present a tunnel-like structure.

You find this design useful when you need quicker cargo loading and unloading.

Open Side Container

The open side containers have doors that allow you to get the sides wide open.

You find these containers useful in holding cargo in a wide configuration.

Double Doors Container

These container units are similar to standard containers but with two doors rather than one.

Having a double door design simplifies the loading and unloading process.

Refrigerated/ Reefer Containers

The refrigerated container has a cooling system that keeps the temperature within the container at low levels.

You use these containers to ferry cargo consisting of perishable items such as vegetables to preserve their freshness.

Insulated Containers

The insulated container is useful when you need to keep the loaded cargo at the desired temperature.

You can use bubble wrap for your cargo or dry ice to provide an insulating cover.

You typically employ this container type when transporting packaged foods or biochemical and pharmaceutical products sensitive to temperature changes.

Half-height Containers

Half-height containers are furnished similarly to the standard containers but half the height.

These containers are steel-based, allowing you to transport materials requiring an easy load and unload process such as coal.

Car Carriers

Car carriers are containers specifically designed for the transport of motor vehicles.

You can collapse the container walls to provide a suitable fit for the car without damaging them.

Intermediate Bulk Shift Containers

You use these containers for intermediate shipping, which involves delivery to a secondary destination for additional packing before eventual delivery.

You can transact in large material quantities with intermediate bulk shift containers.

Prohibited Goods when Shipping from Australia to USA

The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) enforces other agencies’ laws for good entering the US.

Some of these agencies include the Food and Drug Agency, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

You note these agencies dictate what is to be allowed into the United States from Australia, for instance.

The CBP ensures goods that can negatively affect Americans’ health and well-being are not allowed.

Furthermore, substances that can interfere with the country’s flora and fauna are detained at the entry points.

Prohibited goods are those rendered illegal by the law of the land, and possessing amounts to a criminal offense.

Some of the items prohibited from shipping from Australia to the USA are:

  • Drug paraphernalia that has not been prescribed.
  • Endangered animal species and their derivative products such as tusks from the African elephant and white rhino.
  • Vehicles with no safety features.
  • Products containing fur from dogs or cats.

Restricted Imports to the USA from Australia

You sometimes have goods or products that seem safe for use but with the potential to cause harm.

These products are restricted by the Customs and Border Protection Agencies of Australia and the USA to regulate their entry/exit.

A restricted good isn’t necessarily harmful but requires you to have a unique permit from a relevant authority to ship it.

You can ship a restricted good from Australia to the USA if given the appropriate authority’s the green light.

Some of the items restricted when shipping from Australia to the USA are:

Select Motor Vehicles

Motor vehicles that do not meet the emission standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

You will need an exemption certificate from EPA to allow your vehicle entry into the USA from Australia.

Biological Substances

Biological substances such as culture and specimen intended for use in research or medicinal purpose are restricted.

However, a permit from the agricultural department or center for Disease Control and Prevention allows you to ship your item.

Firearms and Ammunitions

The ATF restricts shipping firearms from Australia to the USA, a bureau overseeing Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. You can, however, ship a firearm through a licensed dealer.

Fish and Wildlife

Some fish and animals, including their products and by-products, are subjected to restrictions preventing their import from Australia to the USA.

You need permits from responsible departments such as the Fish and Wildlife Service to exempt you from the restrictions.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are restricted to prevent an outbreak of pests and diseases, resulting in colossal losses.

The Department of Agriculture places restrictions on these depending on the place of origin, which determines its makeup.

Trademarked and Copyrighted Items

Restrictions are put in place for articles that impinge on copyrights and registered trademarks.

Such items can bear cunning similarity to genuine items or even employ gray market trademark use.

However, an exemption is set for such items when kept for personal use and not intended for commercial purposes.

You can, however, ship genuine items with registered trademarks and copyrights.

​​​​​​​Dangerous Goods Shipping from Australia to USA

Dangerous goods classification

Dangerous goods classification

Dangerous goods are articles that can prove harmful, requiring you to package them before shipping from Australia to the USA especially.

By specially packaging these items, you present them in a safer state for shipping purposes.

There are many dangerous goods such as lithium batteries, which you find in many modern electronic devices.

Lithium batteries are used in mobile phones, laptops, calculators, cameras, and remotely controlled vehicles.

Other dangerous goods include.

  • Explosive articles such as fireworks.
  • Flammable and inflammable compounds such as aerosols, compressed oxygen, paints, and matches.
  • Corrosive substances and elements can combust spontaneously, such as phosphorus.
  • Toxic compounds and those that oxidize easily like pesticides and fertilizer.
  • Radioactive material such as smoke detectors.

When shipping dangerous goods from Australia to the USA, you need to ensure the following:

  • You have to declare you have dangerous goods indicating what it is.
  • You need to package the dangerous goods in compliance with IATA’s Dangerous Goods Regulations.
  • Correctly and clearly label the dangerous goods.
  • Provide the required documentation indication the state of origin, in this case, Australia, to the destination, USA.

Courier Services to use when Shipping from Australia to USA

Courier services are entities that ensure your item is safely shipped from the point of purchase to your location.

When shipping from Australia to the USA, there are many courier services you can consider.

Australia Post

The Australia Post is a government-owned entity that offers postal services within and outside Australia.

You can use Australia Post to send your shipment to the USA, where it will transfer to a domestic partner.


Sendle is an Australian B registered corporation that prides itself as a total carbon neutral delivery service.

When you ship a package to the USA via Sendle, you are charged a fixed cost regardless of location.


DHL is an international brand that offers courier services to over two hundred and forty destinations worldwide, including the USA.

You can expect a delivery time of at most six days when you use DHL’s air freight service.


FedEx is an international organization that boasts as the largest global cargo airline company.

FedEx allows you to ship up to a thousand kilos in cargo while offering you faster delivery times.

Pack and Send

Pack and Send offers you a wide range of services alongside freight, such as e-commerce, logistics, moving, and removals.

You find Pack and Send popular as a courier provider for online marketplaces such as eBay.


DwarkACourier is an online portal you use to book parcels for delivery across different destinations such as the USA.

You have your shipment packaged for you and documentation made for your delivery.


Freightos is a shipping company that offers you both sea and air freight to the USA.

When using Freightos, you can get a quote from them based on your package’s weight and volume.


CouriersPlease is a subsidiary of Singapore Post with a global reach of over 220 destinations.

Among these destinations in the USA where you can give your goods shipped from various locations in Australia.

Ship to Anywhere

With Ship to Anywhere’s international reach, you can send your package to the USA from Australia.

You find this courier is well integrated with online commerce and offers your package tracking at any given time.

Seven Seas Worldwide

Seven Seas Worldwide has depots across the USA from where your shipment can be delivered for collection from Australia.

When you ship your package to the USA with Seven Seas, you benefit from insurance and applicable tax refunds.


Aramex is a logistics company with a global footprint that began operations in Australia in 2016, taking over Fastway Couriers.

Aramex prides itself in the use of technologies and innovativeness and can ship cargo to the USA from Australia.


TNT is an international company with a wide delivery network and can ship your product to the USA from Australia.

You can ship up to a thousand kilograms with TNT for a 2.4m L, 1.2m W, and 1.5m H package.


Startrack is a subsidiary of Australia Post with the largest domestic delivery network.

StarTrack can ship your item to the USA via sea or air freight while allowing you to track and trace your package.

Amount of Duty when Shipping from Australia to USA

Duty is a fee you get charged by the revenue authority at a border point when importing or exporting an item.

When shipping from Australia to the USA, you will be charged duty for certain value items at the entry point.

Usually, when making online purchases, you can ship in tax-free items whose value is less than 1,000 USD.

However, values above this figure attract a duty charge expressed as a percentage.

Furthermore, you are liable to an extra customs clearance process when your shipped item’s value exceeds 2,500 USD.

How Drop Shipping from Australia to USA Works

How Drop Shipping from USA Works

How Drop Shipping Works

Dropshipping is a concept that allows a retailer to sell items without having them in stock.

When you purchase from a retailer, your order is forwarded to a third party who meets the order.

Usually, you find this third party is a manufacturer or supplier of the item you purchased with an inventory.

The third-party can handle the shipping directly, or contract a courier to provide the service.

When in the USA, you can have your item drop-shipped from Australia.

You visit a retailer’s platform where you select the desired product for purchase.

Upon making a purchase, your order is forwarded to a drop shipping partner in Australia who meets your order.

The dropshipping agent handles your purchase with packaging highlighting the retailer’s brand before delivering it to your location.

Dropshipping lowers the cost of business since a retailer does not invest capital in stock.

Additionally, you find this approach ensures you have no issues with overstocking, eliminating loss in stock.

However, when you use drop shipping, you have no control over the quality of your products.

Furthermore, you are liable to the buyer’s protest in case the dropshipping agent fails to deliver.

How Door to Door Shipping from Australia to USA Works

Door to door shipping allows you to receive your shipment at your door from the point of origin.

With door to door shipping, you provide a physical address to which your package is delivered.

You observe that door to door shipping can involve all three delivery modes via sea, air, and land.

You contact a reliable courier or agent to make arrangements on how to receive your shipment.

The cost of your shipment is determined, bearing in mind factors such as the size and destination.

Thereafter, the logistics are determined to ensure the shipment reaches you at your desired location.

Usually, road freight is employed at the shipment’s last leg to deliver the package to your door.

A delivery serviceperson is usually present to ensure you sign in confirmation of receipt of shipment.

Cost of Shipping from Australia to USA

The cost of shipping from Australia to the USA varies from one courier to another.

However, all couriers typically consider certain standard factors to determine the shipping price.

These factors include:

Size and Weight

You find different delivery service provides offering different classifications concerning the size of a package.

You find many couriers offer from differently sized envelopes for documents to boxes for larger items and packages.

Shipping agents can also determine their prices based on the weight of your shipment.

Usually, prices will be provided for weights up to a certain limit.

A unique measure referred to as dimensional weight is also employed to determine the shipping price by couriers.

The dimensional weight is a measure of volume relative to the weight of a shipment.

When your shipment’s standard weight is less than its dimensional weight, you are billed as per the dimensional weight.

Shipping Distance

Shipping price is also determined by travel distance, where prices are offered according to the geographical location.

You will incur lower prices when shipping domestically than shipping internationally, such as from Australia to the USA.

Delivery Times

Different delivery times are offered by carriers based on factors such as distance and destination.

You find carriers provide standard deliveries that take up to seven business days, deliveries that are time-specific and express deliveries.


A surcharge is an additional cost added to the base price, usually attributed to a defining factor.

Additional costs are bound to apply when your shipment needs more documentation or investment in time and effort.

Some common surcharges you can incur are as follows:

Fuel Surcharge

You find this to be the most common surcharge frequently adjusted and presented as a percentage of the shipping cost.

The fuel surcharge is due to the fluctuations of crude oil prices at the international market.

Oversized or Odd-sized Packages Surcharge

Where your shipment does not conform to the carrier’s standard packaging, you can incur an extra charge.

For instance, many carriers have rectangular boxes, and having a shipment in the shape of a pyramid poses a packaging challenge.

Remote Delivery Surcharge

You may be located in an area out of the usual reach of a delivery carrier.

In this case, you are charged an extra amount to have your package delivered to your location.

Dangerous Goods Surcharge

A dangerous good is one that has the potential to cause inadvertent harm to persons or property.

You incur an additional charge when having a dangerous good shipped to cover the risk of harm.

Correction of Particulars

When you need to make corrections to particulars regarding your shipment, such as an address, you pay extra.

Your delivery provider then initiates the changes on your behalf.

Taxes and Duties

When shipping items to the USA from Australia, you can pay taxes and duties at the point of entry.

These charges are usually included by a carrier when calculating the shipping price.

You might have to pay different duties and taxes on your shipment, depending on the classification provided by the CBP.

How to Reduce Cost of Shipping from Australia to USA

You can reduce the cost you incur for shipping from Australia to the USA by applying the following:

Reducing your Package Size and Weight

Your shipment’s size and weight will influence the shipping price when not using a flat-rate shipping option.

You need to ensure the packaging of your item is of adequate size and negligible weight.

Using an overly big package box influences your dimensional weight resulting in a larger bill.

You can also purchase your scale to help you determine your package’s weight and predict the shipping price.

Use Discounted Shipping Supplies

Several carriers offer you supplies for packagings, such as envelopes and boxes, at great discounts when you purchase in bulk.

While it seems capital intensive initially, the cost per shipment is greatly reduced, allowing you cost savings.

Get Shipping Rates at Discount.

When you make frequent shipments into the US from Australia, you can leverage your volume for discounted rates.

Typically, when you ship in numbers, chances are you get offered reasonable rates and discounts.

Be on the Lookout for Shipping Offers

Now and then, shipping carriers will provide promotional offers for shipment into the US from Australia.

Keep an eye for these offers on the online marketplaces you have a presence and visit the carriers’ pages.

Use Third Parties for Insurance

When handling large volumes of shipment into the US from Australia, you are offered insurance cover.

Usually, shipping carriers charge a premium over the standard shipping price based on your total package count.

However, where you have to take insurance for your shipment, go with third party providers.

These insurers offer you a cheaper premium compared to what you get when you use the carriers.

Use Prepaid Approach

With a prepaid approach, you pay in advance for shipments you are yet to organize.

You find this approach saves you time and money as activating a shipment is quicker.

Many carriers will offer you a great discount when you use the prepaid option.

However, you need to have the basic aspects of your shipments, such as size and weight, at hand for effectiveness.

Replace Boxes with Mailers

When making shipments of non-delicate items, you better use envelopes and paper bags rather than boxes.

For instance, when you package clothing items in a mailer envelope, it makes a smaller package than boxing it.

Use Hybrid Services

Hybrid shipping service will work alongside another carrier service to complete the delivery of your shipment.

When making shipments, you will almost always have to pick your shipment from the carrier’s nearest office.

However, hybrid services will ensure you get your shipment at your location by utilizing the partner carrier’s wider network or reach.

Customs Clearance Process when Shipping from Australia to USA

Clearing customs when shipping from Australia to the USA is a process that involves two main activities as follows:

  • You provide paperwork for your shipment during customs clearance.
  • You pay customs duty and other accompanying fees where applicable.

When shipping into the USA, clearing customs involves the Customs and Border Protection unit.

The clearing process depends on the nature of the item shipped, with factors such as volume and value important.

When shipping from Australia to the USA, your item is held until its paperwork is processed and any outstanding duty paid.

Where necessary, you attach other documentation regarding the shipped item, such as its safety.

Furthermore, you will be exempted from customs clearance when shipping under the de minimis level.

When shipping from Australia, items intended for personal use whose value is less than 800 USD don’t need clearance.

The paperwork for customs clearance is usually a commercial invoice for your item(s) and a customs form describing your shipment.

However, depending on the nature of your shipment, you may require other documentation.

These documents include:

  • Special permits or licenses such as a certificate from the FDA for particular drugs and food substances.
  • A packing list indicating the contents of a shipment.
  • A cargo control document that especially identifies a shipment allowing tracking by customs.

Duty on your shipment is determined by the HS Code that is product-specific and the country of origin.

The amount of duty you pay is expressed as a percentage, usually between 0 and 20%.

Upon completing your paperwork, you submit it to officials at the customs office for approval.

Once you pay the duties due, you are allowed to take your shipment.

HS Code

HS Code

Goods to Import from Australia to USA

Australia and the USA enjoy a decent trade partnership cemented with bilateral agreements.

You can ship to the USA different product categories from Australia as follows:

  • Pharmaceutical products
  • Medical devices and optical instruments
  • Animal products such as dairy, red meats, and fish.
  • Sugarcane and raw beet
  • Drinks like wine and beer

How to Label Goods when Shipping from Australia to USA

 Labelling before shipping

 Labeling before shipping

Labeling is an important process when shipping as it highlights several important aspects related to your shipment.

A shipment is handled by different people who benefit from the information on the labels.

Labeling provides the many different parties handling your package directions on how to handle the package.

Additionally, labeling prevents loss of your cargo while adhering to set shipping guidelines preventing violations and penalties.

When labeling goods for shipping from Australia to the USA, ensure you capture the following information:

  • The country and port names for both the origin and destination.
  • A mark for shipping that helps to identify your cargo.
  • The weight of your shipment in kilograms and pounds.
  • The total item count in a package and dimensions provided in inches and centimeters.
  • A pictogram showing how the cargo is to be handled. For instance, you can label dangerous goods as “Fragile” or “Do not Stack”.

Documents you need when Shipping from Australia to USA

When shipping products from Australia to the USA, you need certain paperwork to clear with customs.

Having the required documents ensures your shipment is handled and released quickly, avoiding unnecessary loss of time and money.

The following documents are important when shipping to the USA:

Customs Invoice

A US customs invoice is a document the Customs and Border Protection issue you upon clearance.

You present the invoice with your shipment indicating the contents and the duty amount charged.

Inward Cargo Manifest

An inward cargo manifest is a list describing a particular cargo’s contents entering the country of destination.

An inward cargo manifest helps customs to countercheck a cargo’s contents.

Bill of Lading

A bill of lading is a document provided by a carrier identifying a shipment’s content and destination when shipping.

You can use the bill as a receipt upon delivery with the carrier and buyer as signatories.

Commercial Invoice

A commercial invoice indicates a shipment’s particulars and their respective value, which influences the duty payable.

The invoice shows you the buyer and seller information, including the terms of purchase.

Packing List

The packing list is usually bundled together with the commercial invoice identifying all the items in your shipment.

The packing list provides details of each item, such as the respective size and weight, and is useful during an inspection.

Incoterms to use when Shipping from Australia to USA

Incoterms is a contraction of International Commercial Terms, which are terms developed to assist communication between commercially transacting buyers and sellers.

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) determines and publishes these terms with revisions every decade.

Incoterms highlight the responsibilities and commercial obligations for both the buyer and seller.

Consequently, when you use incoterms, whoever bears the shipping costs and risk during the transportation is clarified.

An incoterm defines the following responsibilities:

  • The intended destination of a shipment.
  • The shipping cost and who bears the cost between the buyer and seller.
  • The cost of insurance is paid by either the buyer or seller.
  • The person who’s responsible for clearance with customs between the seller and buyer.

The following are the incoterms currently used when shipping from Australia to the USA:

EXW (Ex Works)

You use this incoterm when a buyer takes the responsibility and risk of shipping by acquiring items from the seller’s premise.

FCA (Free Carrier)

FCA subjects the onus of documentation, shipping, and customs clearance to the seller until the shipment is transferred to a carrier.

An exception is provided when the carrier is a forwarder and receives the shipment in the seller’s country.

Consequently, the risk and other shipping costs transfer to the buyer up until they are delivered.

FAS (Free Alongside Ship)

With this incoterm, the seller handles the shipment’s associated costs in the country of origin until the exit point.

From this point, the responsibility shifts to the buyer, who is considered to take possession of the cargo.

FOB (Free On Board)

The seller is burdened with meeting the shipping cost and risk up until the cargo is loaded.

The buyer is not obligated at any point of the shipping process when still within the country of origin.

CPT (Carriage Paid To)

CPT bestows the responsibility of paying a shipment’s carriage costs until the port of exit to the seller.

Alternately, the buyer bears the risk associated with the shipment from the point of departure.

CIP (Carriage and Insurance Paid To)

The seller is responsible for the carriage and insurance cost of the shipment during freight to the destination country.

However, once the shipment reaches the entry port and is received by the carrier, the buyer assumes the risk.

CFR (Cost and Freight)

Here, the seller meets the cost of shipping the product to the exporting country’s port of exit.

When the cargo is loaded to the transportation medium destined for the destination country, the liability switches to the buyer.

CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight)

The seller handles the cost of carriage, insurance, and freight until they arrive at the buyer’s entry port.

DAT (Delivered at Terminal)

The shipping costs (carriage, insurance, freight) are met by the seller until the unloading of the goods at the destination country.

Thereafter, the buyer takes up responsibility till eventual delivery.

DAP (Delivered At Place)

The DAP incoterm relegates all responsibility regarding a shipment to the seller until it is delivered at the buyer’s desired location.

However, the buyer is solely responsible for clearance with customs.

DDP (Delivered Duty Paid)

The DDP term confers the seller with the ultimate responsibility of meeting all costs and charges associated with a shipment.

Responsibility extends from the point of purchase to delivery to the buyer, whose only responsibility is to confirm receipt.

With our ever growing network, BanSar can facilitate the entire process of shipping from Australia to USA.

Whether you need warehousing, loading, packaging or customs clearance, BanSar will arrange together with our partners.

Contact us today for more inquiry on shipping from Australia to USA.

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