How much does it cost to air freight from China?

Air freight is the fastest and most reliable way to move products internationally. It cuts the freight from China to US, which is within 20 – 33 days or more to just 3 days. That’s why several eCommerce sellers use it for importing from China.

Air freight can be categorized into international air freight and express air freight. Express air freight is usually used for shipping smaller shipments (less than one cubic meter and 200 kilograms). Also, the entire shipping process in express air freight, from shipping to delivery, is usually managed by one company (like FedEx, UPS, and DHL).

On the other hand, international air freight can be used for shipping larger items, and its shipment involves several carriers. For instance, Anatov 225, the largest cargo aircraft, can hold an entire train. This makes the most suitable option for freight delicate and time-sensitive shipments like electronics, glasses, pharmaceutical products, animals, and more.

Your shipment weight and volume determine air freight shipping cost and prices. Air carriers often charge by either the actual weight or the dimensional weight (also referred to as volumetric weight) depending on the costlier.

The simplest formula for calculating dimensional weight is the item volume in cubic meters multiplied by 167. For instance, if you package with the following measurements: W: 20cm, H: 20cm, and L: 20cm. Your volume will be 0.008(i.e., products of all sizes divided by 1 million). When you multiply this by 167, you get 1.33 kg, which is your dimensional weight.

So, if the product’s dimensional weight exceeds the actual weight, then the chargeable weight will be the dimensional weight, and if the actual weight exceeds the volumetric or dimensional weight, then the product’s actual weight be its chargeable weight.

Therefore, air freight cost from China to USA is usually between $8 – $12 per Kg depending on the kind of cargo you are shipping and available space. The cost has risen to this current rate because of the disruption of the ocean freight and increase in consumer demand caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The high demand for consumer products puts a lot of pressure on air freight because shippers who usually use sea freight now turn to air freight as an alternative. But covid-19 restriction has reduced shipment space on airplanes, and pharmaceutical products are prioritized for the limited space.

Apart from the air freight rate stated above, the entire cost of air freight also includes some extra charges. Examples of these charges are fuel surcharge, security surcharge, terminal handling charges, airport transfer charges, custom brokerage charges, pick up and delivery charges, cargo charges, and accessorial charges.

Ultimately, the price of air freight from China was not this expensive, the several shipping challenges brought about by the covid-19 pandemic made the cost of air freight and other shipping mode increased rapidly and could continue to increase if appropriate steps are not taken to address the situation.