Ocean Freight from Vietnam to US

Our comprehensive guide has all the information you need about Ocean Freight from Vietnam to US. From grasping the logistics and handling documentation to smoothly navigating customs regulations, we’ve got your back.

Efficient and cost-effective shipping is a top priority for businesses aiming to expand their reach. In recent years, ocean freight from Vietnam to the United States has emerged as a prominent route due to Vietnam’s status as a major manufacturing and exporting hub and the United States being one of its largest trading partners. Consequently, there is substantial ocean freight traffic between these two nations. As experts in the field of international logistics and supply chain management, we stand ready to navigate you through this intricate journey.

ocean freight from vietnam to us

The Significance of Ocean Freight from Vietnam to US

A Growing Trade Route

The Vietnam to US ocean freight route has seen substantial growth in recent times. This surge in demand can be attributed to various factors, including Vietnam’s emergence as a major manufacturing hub in Asia and the United States’ unrelenting appetite for imported goods.


Opting for ocean freight is often a more cost-effective choice compared to other modes of transportation, such as air cargo. Businesses can transport large volumes of goods while keeping expenses in check, making it a lucrative option for international trade.

Eco-Friendly Shipping

In an era where environmental consciousness is on the rise, ocean freight stands out as a greener alternative. Cargo ships have made strides in reducing their carbon footprint, making this mode of transportation more environmentally friendly.

Steps in Shipping Goods from Vietnam to the US

1. Understanding the Regulatory Landscape

Navigating Customs and Regulations

The first crucial step in shipping goods from Vietnam to the US is to gain a deep understanding of the regulatory landscape. Both countries have specific customs regulations and trade laws that govern the importation of goods. Familiarize yourself with the Harmonized System (HS) codes, import tariffs, and any applicable trade agreements to ensure compliance.

2. Documentation and Paperwork

Gathering the Necessary Documents

Being well-prepared with these documents on hand is friendly advice for ensuring a successful and compliant international shipping experience. It not only helps in avoiding delays but also ensures legal compliance, contributing to the smooth and friendly movement of your goods across borders.

Here are the following documents you need to ensure:

Commercial Invoice: This comprehensive invoice provides a detailed description, quantity, and value of the goods being shipped. It’s a vital document for customs clearance and accurate record-keeping.

Bill of Lading: This document serves as both a contract of carriage and a friendly receipt for the goods. It is issued by the shipping carrier and acts as evidence of the goods being loaded onto the vessel.

Packing List: The packing list, a friendly document, outlines the contents of each package or container being shipped. It assists in verifying the shipment’s contents and facilitates efficient cargo handling.

Certificate of Origin: This certificate is your friendly proof of the origin of the goods. It may be required for customs purposes and can impact tariff rates and trade agreements.

Importer Security Filing (ISF): If you’re shipping goods to the United States, an ISF is essential, and it’s your friendly duty. It includes required information that must be submitted to US Customs at least 24 hours before the goods are loaded onto a vessel. This filing enhances security measures and ensures friendly compliance with customs regulations.

3. Understanding Shipping Containers

Containerization is at the heart of ocean freight. Understanding the different types and sizes of containers available is essential. Standard containers, high cube containers, and refrigerated containers each serve unique purposes. Picking the right one can significantly impact the safety and condition of your cargo.

But there are two primary types of ocean freight:

Full Container Load (FCL): In this option, you rent an entire container exclusively for your shipment. It proves to be the most cost-effective choice when you need to transport a substantial quantity of goods.

Less than Container Load (LCL): This choice entails your cargo to be consolidated with the shipments of other businesses, optimizing the use of container space. This cost-effective approach allows you to benefit from lower shipping costs since you only pay for the space your goods occupy within the shared container.

Optimizing Transit Times

Direct vs. Transshipment Routes

When strategizing your shipment, you’ll face a decision between direct routes and transshipment routes. Direct routes offer speed but may entail higher costs, whereas transshipment routes involve stops at intermediate ports. Your choice should align with your budget and time constraints.

Transit Time Predictability

Understanding the typical transit times for ocean freight from Vietnam to the US is essential for effective logistics planning. Factors such as weather conditions and port congestion can impact delivery schedules. Working closely with your shipping partner can help mitigate these challenges.

4. Freight Forwarder Selection

Partnering with a Reputable Freight Forwarder

To ensure a smooth shipping process, consider partnering with a reputable freight forwarder experienced in the Vietnam-to-US route. They can provide valuable assistance with customs clearance, shipping logistics, and documentation.

Freight Rates and Charges

Freight rates for ocean shipping can fluctuate due to various factors, including fuel prices and demand. It’s crucial to negotiate competitive rates with your shipping provider and factor in all associated charges, such as terminal handling fees and customs duties.

Balancing Cost and Quality

While cost is a significant consideration, it’s essential to strike a balance between affordability and service quality. Opting for the cheapest option may lead to compromises in terms of cargo safety and transit times.

5. Packaging and Labeling

Properly Packing and Labeling Goods

Ensuring the safe transportation and customs clearance of your goods relies heavily on proper packaging and labeling. Follow these guidelines:

  1. Opt for durable packaging capable of withstanding the challenges of ocean shipping.
  2. Ensure each package is clearly labeled with essential shipping information, including the destination address and contact details.

6. Booking and Tracking

After selecting your preferred shipping method and collaborating with a freight forwarder, book your shipment as the next step. Ensure you have access to real-time tracking capabilities for monitoring your cargo’s journey from Vietnam to the US.

7. Customs Clearance

Navigating US Customs and Border Protection

Customs clearance is a pivotal stage in the shipping process. Work closely with your freight forwarder to ensure all required documentation is submitted accurately and on time. Compliance with customs regulations is critical to avoid delays and penalties.

8. Port of Entry

Arrival at the US Port of Entry

Once your cargo arrives in the US, the journey is not finished. You’ll have to coordinate inland transportation to reach your ultimate destination, which might entail using trucks, railways, or a combination of both, depending on the specific location.

As your cargo also  arrives at the US port of entry, be prepared for inspections and examinations. Timely communication with customs officials and compliance with their instructions is essential.

9. Final Delivery

Reaching Your Destination

After successfully clearing customs, your goods will be ready for final delivery. Work with a reliable local carrier or distribution partner to transport your products to their destination within the US.

Warehousing and Distribution

Efficient warehousing and distribution are critical for ensuring your products reach their intended recipients promptly. Partnering with a logistics company that offers comprehensive supply chain solutions can streamline this process.

10. Compliance and Post-Shipment Evaluation

Ensuring Ongoing Compliance

To ensure a continuous and seamless shipping process over the long term, keep yourself informed about any updates in customs regulations and compliance requirements. Periodically assess the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of your shipping strategy.


Shipping goods from Vietnam to the US involves a series of intricate steps and considerations. By thoroughly understanding the regulatory landscape, meticulously preparing documentation, selecting the right shipping method, and collaborating with experienced partners, you can streamline the process and ensure the timely arrival of your goods. Remember, success in international shipping requires ongoing diligence and a commitment to compliance. By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to navigating the complexities of ocean shipping from Vietnam to the US and expanding your global business operations.

Forceget Digital Forwarding, with its unwavering commitment to efficiency, transparency, and security, stands out as the ideal choice for businesses looking to streamline their ocean shipping operations from Vietnam to the United States. By choosing Forceget, you’re not just selecting a logistics provider; you’re investing in a strategic partnership that will elevate your supply chain to new heights.