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International shipping guide from Australia

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When you have freight that needs shipping from Australia to any global location, you’ll find plenty of shipping companies in Australia prepared to help you.

Alternatively, you can choose to work with one of the large global freight forwarders or an online freight company like Shipa Freight. Of all these options, you might find the easiest way to start is with a quick online quote from the Shipa Freight platform. It only takes a moment to get an instant quote.

If the trade lane you require is not in our online database, our team will get right to work to provide you with a customized quote for your shipment of freight from Australia.

While you’re waiting, you might like to scan through the facts and information on this page about some of the practicalities of exporting goods from Australia, the routes available, and the transit times involved.

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International Shipping from Australia: Standards and Procedures

In comparison with many countries, the Australian government is not overly prescriptive about control of exports, but of course, you will still need to submit export declarations before the customs authorities will clear your shipments to leave the port or airport of origin.

Making the Customs Declaration for Exports

It is possible to make a customs declaration using a paper document, but the process is much simpler if you use the ICS, which is Australia’s online solution for customs declarations. Of course, customs declarations of any type are rarely simple, which is why they are best completed and submitted by logistics specialists with knowledge of customs clearance procedures.

Most shipping companies in Australia will be prepared to complete and file your export declarations for you, but you will need to provide them with all the necessary information. At Shipa Freight, our platform’s integrated compliance engine will prompt you to provide all information necessary to fulfill Australian customs requirements.

Just to be clear, if you book your shipments with Shipa Freight, you will not need to complete or file the declaration—we will do that for you.

Customs Client Registration

If you are the owner of the goods to be shipped from Australia, or if your company owns them, you will require either an Australian Business Number (ABN) or a Customs Client Identifier (CCID) number in order to make an export declaration. This is a mandatory requirement, even if you are using Shipa Freight or one of the many shipping companies in Australia to arrange clearance on your behalf.

If you should decide to submit the export declaration yourself, you will find a lot more information about it, along with instructions for completing the ICS forms at the [Australian Bureau of Statistics(https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/66f306f503e529a5ca25697e0017661f/87cc57f9c6ded15eca256b21000001af!OpenDocument) website.

Restrictions on Shipping Freight from Australia

The Australian government places restrictions, similar to those in many other countries, on the export of products and materials that can be used for military purposes. For example, high-performance computers require special permissions to export, unless the exporter can prove that they have a specific, non-military application.

As it’s not necessarily easy to know if your products are subject to dual-use regulation, you can perform a check to see if they appear on the Defence and Strategic Goods List (DSGL). The government provides a tool to help you carry out such a check. The DSGL tool can be found on the website of the Australian Department of Defence website.

Other products that are restricted or regulated for export include Australian wine, which when exported in quantities of over 100 liters, can only be cleared on presentation of an export license, a product registration certificate, and an export permit.

If you are shipping any type of products or materials not mentioned in this section, and you’re unsure if your goods are subject to export restrictions, you should be able to check with the company that will manage your transportation. Most of the better shipping companies in Australia will be pleased to help you comply with any applicable rules and regulations.

Trade Lanes for Ocean Freight from Australia

The following information is intended to familiarize you with some of the main ocean freight routes for shipping from Australia. Although the details you see in this section relate only to port-to-port, shipping legs, Shipa Freight also offers port-to-door and door-to-door shipping services between Australia and any of 100 countries around the world.

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If you will be engaging regularly in international shipping from Australia, it helps to be aware of some of the trade lanes that exist and the transit times they involve. While ocean freight is the slowest form of transportation, it is also the least expensive compared with using air freight or even the services of an international courier in Australia.

Most Popular Ocean Lanes for Shipping from Australia

While shipping from Australia to USA, European, South American, and even African ports is popular, the greatest volumes of freight are moved between Australia and Asia. This will be evident from any study of the most popular ocean freight routes, including the following top-five list we’ve compiled for your interest:

  • Brisbane to Yokohama (Japan)
  • Melbourne to Qingdao (China)
  • Brisbane to Ningbo (China)
  • Brisbane to Shanghai (China)
  • Sydney to Cartagena (Colombia)

Ocean Freight from Australia: The Shortest and Longest Transit Times

With the exception of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, which are close neighbors to Australia, the rest of the world is a long way away, so most ocean freight routes involve considerable time in transit for shippers’ cargo.

The shortest of these lanes link Australia with Southeast Asian countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. One of the fastest routes, with the shortest transit time, connects the Australian port of Adelaide with Singapore, and involves a mere nine days of transit time.

Shipping from Australia can involve some very long transit times, although container vessels can reach ports in the western states of California and Washington in less than three weeks. However, the route from Brisbane to Savannah in Georgia is one of the longest, taking as much as 57 days from port to port.

Route List: Shipping from Australia worldwide destinations

Please note that all transit times shown in the list below are for your interest and general guidance only. They are not guaranteed to be precise, and your freight may be in transit for more or less time than the charts indicate.

To America

Port of Origin Destination Country Destination Port Approximate Duration
Melbourne Canada Vancouver 36 Days
Sydney Canada Vancouver 35 Days
Brisbane Canada Vancouver 30 Days
Fremantle Canada Vancouver 43 Days
Melbourne Colombia Cartagena 28 Days
Melbourne Panama Balboa 22 Days
Sydney Panama Balboa 18 Days
Sydney United States Oakland 49 Days
Melbourne United States Miami 49 Days
Brisbane United States Oakland 48 Days
Melbourne United States Oakland 46 Days
Melbourne United States Norfolk 49 Days
Sydney United States Seattle 35 Days
Melbourne United States Seattle 35 Days
Fremantle United States Seattle 34 Days
Adelaide United States Seattle 46 Days
Melbourne United States Mobile 49 Days
Sydney United States Mobile 55 Days
Melbourne United States Los Angeles 36 Days
Sydney United States Long Beach 37 Days
Brisbane United States Long Beach 27 Days
Adelaide United States Long Beach 41 Days
Sydney United States Los Angeles 37 Days
Melbourne United States Tacoma 38 Days
Sydney United States Tacoma 35 Days
Brisbane United States Tacoma 30 Days
Melbourne United States Savannah 46 Days
Sydney United States Savannah 51 Days
Brisbane United States Savannah 57 Days
Fremantle United States Savannah 42 Days
Melbourne United States Charleston 50 Days
Sydney United States Charleston 53 Days
Melbourne United States Charleston 49 Days

To Europe

Port of Origin Destination Country Destination Port Approximate Duration
Sydney Belgium Antwerp 42 Days
Melbourne Belgium Antwerp 43 Days
Brisbane Belgium Antwerp 47 Days
Adelaide Belgium Antwerp 40 Days
Sydney Germany Bremerhaven 46 Day
Melbourne Germany Bremerhaven 48 Days
Melbourne Slovenia Koper 45 Day
Sydney Slovenia Koper 43 Day
Brisbane Slovenia Koper 47 Day
Fremantle Slovenia Koper 34 Day
Sydney Spain Barcelona 40 Day
Melbourne Spain Barcelona 39 Day
Brisbane Spain Barcelona 47 Day
Melbourne Spain Valencia 40 Day
Sydney Spain Valencia 41 Day
Sydney Sweden Gothenburg 42 Day
Brisbane Sweden Gothenburg 44 Day
Fremantle Sweden Gothenburg 33 Day
Melbourne Sweden Gothenburg 44 Day
Sydney United Kingdom London Gateway 41 Day
Brisbane United Kingdom London Gateway 45 Days
Melbourne United Kingdom London Gateway 41 Days
Fremantle United Kingdom London Gateway 41 Days
Adelaide United Kingdom London Gateway 39 Days
Sydney United Kingdom Felixstowe 41 Days
Melbourne United Kingdom Felixstowe 41 Days
Brisbane United Kingdom Felixstowe 45 Days
Sydney United Kingdom Southampton 41 Days
Brisbane United Kingdom Southampton 45 Days
Melbourne United Kingdom Southampton 41 Days
Fremantle United Kingdom Southampton 31 Days
Adelaide United Kingdom Southampton 39 Days

To Asia

Port of Origin Destination Country Destination Port Approximate Duration
Sydney Bangladesh Chittagong 24 Days
Melbourne Bangladesh Chittagong 21 Days
Brisbane Bangladesh Chittagong 27 Days
Sydney China Qingdao 19 Days
Brisbane China Shanghai 20 Days
Melbourne China Shanghai 25 Days
Adelaide China Shanghai 24 Days
Adelaide China Ningbo 25 Days
Sydney China Xiamen 32 Days
Sydney China Shanghai 27 Days
Melbourne Hong Kong Hong Kong 17 Days
Brisbane Hong Kong Hong Kong 13 Days
Sydney Indonesia Surabaya 21 Days
Melbourne Indonesia Surabaya 19 Days
Fremantle Indonesia Surabaya 11 Days
Adelaide Indonesia Surabaya 16 Days
Adelaide Indonesia Jakarta 13 Days
Sydney Indonesia Jakarta 13 Days
Brisbane Indonesia Jakarta 16 Days
Fremantle Indonesia Jakarta 10 Days
Sydney Japan Yokohama 13 Days
Fremantle Japan Yokohama 25 Days
Adelaide Japan Yokohama 29 Days
Melbourne Japan Yokohama 15 Days
Brisbane Japan Yokohama 10 Days
Sydney Japan Kobe 24 Days
Melbourne Japan Kobe 24 Days
Fremantle Japan Kobe 18 Days
Brisbane Japan Osaka 11 Days
Brisbane Japan Kobe 17 Days
Melbourne Malaysia Port Klang 14 Days
Brisbane Malaysia Port Klang 19 Days
Sydney Malaysia Port Klang 17 Days
Adelaide Malaysia Port Klang 11 Days
Brisbane Malaysia Tanjung Pelepas 26 Days
Fremantle Malaysia Tanjung Pelepas 14 Days
Melbourne Malaysia Tanjung Pelepas 19 Days
Sydney Malaysia Tanjung Pelepas 19 Days
Sydney Philippines Manila 30 Days
Melbourne Philippines Manila 26 Days
Fremantle Philippines Manila 17 Days
Melbourne Singapore Singapore 12 Days
Adelaide Singapore Singapore 9 Days
Fremantle Singapore Singapore 11 Days
Brisbane Singapore Singapore 17 Days
Sydney Singapore Singapore 14 Days
Brisbane South Korea Busan 13 Days

Air Freight from Australia

The following information covers some of the main air freight routes from Australia. Although you will only find airport-to-airport shipping details here, Shipa Freight provides a full range of transportation services, including port-to-door and door-to-door shipment from Australia to destinations in 100 countries.

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Air freight is a fast, but typically costly way of shipping from Australia to any global location. However, if your shipments are time critical, there is certainly no better way to ship them than by air.

The economy of air freight will depend upon the size of your shipments. If your shipments are small, perhaps comprising single orders for direct dispatch to customers, you may be better off trying a courier in Australia, to see if this might be a less expensive method than air freight for shipping your goods to overseas destinations.

However, if you should decide that air freight is the right solution, the following information about routes and transit times may be useful.

Most Popular Routes for Air Freight from Australia

The most popular air freight lanes for Australian shippers are the ones connecting them with customers elsewhere in the ASEAN region. Five of the busiest routes are…

  • Sydney to Auckland ( New Zealand)
  • Melbourne to Auckland ( New Zealand)
  • Melbourne to Singapore
  • Sydney to Singapore
  • Brisbane to Christchurch (New Zealand)

Longest and Shortest Transit Times: Air Freight from Australia

Some of the longest transit times from Australia for air freight are associated with routes to the United States. While air-freight shipping is infinitely faster than ocean freight, some routes involve transit times that are quite excessive by air transportation standards. The route from Sydney to Houston in Texas is one of the longest, taking 17 hours in total.

The shortest routes of course, are between Australia and New Zealand. Cargo flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and other Australian airports, to Auckland, Christchurch, or Wellington in New Zealand, involve transit times of around three hours.

Air Freight Routes for International Shipping from Australia

Please note that all transit times shown in the list below are for your interest and general guidance. They show flight durations for direct routes only, and your freight may be in transit for more or less time than the charts indicate.

To the Americas

Airport of Origin Destination Country Destination Airport Approximate Duration
Sydney Canada Vancouver 14 Hours
Brisbane Canada Vancouver 13 Hours
Melbourne United States Los Angeles 15 Hours
Sydney United States Los Angeles 14 Hours
Brisbane United States Los Angeles 14 Hours
Sydney United States San Francisco 13 Hours
Sydney United States Dallas 16Hours
Sydney United States Houston 17 Hours

To Asia/ Oceania

Airport of Origin Destination Country Destination Airport Approximate Duration
Sydney China Beijing 12 Hours
Melbourne China Beijing 11 Hours
Sydney China Shanghai 11 Hours
Melbourne China Shanghai 10 Hours
Sydney China Chongqing 10 Hours
Sydney Japan Tokyo 9 Hours
Brisbane Hong Kong Hong Kong 8 Hours
Sydney Hong Kong Hong Kong 9 Hours
Melbourne Hong Kong Hong Kong 9 Hours
Sydney New Zealand Auckland 3 Hours
Melbourne New Zealand Auckland 4 Hours
Brisbane New Zealand Christchurch 3 Hours
Sydney New Zealand Christchurch 3 hours
Adelaide New Zealand Auckland 4 Hours
Sydney New Zealand Wellington 3 Hours
Brisbane New Zealand Wellington 3 Hours
Melbourne New Zealand Wellington 3 Hours
Perth Singapore Singapore 5 hours
Sydney Singapore Singapore 8 Hours
Melbourne Singapore Singapore 8 Hours
Adelaide Singapore Singapore 7 Hours
Sydney Singapore Singapore 8 Hours
Sydney Seoul South Korea 10 Hours
Brisbane Seoul South Korea 10 Hours
Sydney Taiwan Taipei 9 Hours
Brisbane Taiwan Taipei 9 Hours
Sydney Thailand Bangkok 9 Hours

Shipa Freight from Australia: When Your Freight Won’t Wait

It can be difficult to know which approach is best for shipping goods from Australia to anywhere around the world, especially when time is of the essence. After all, a courier in Australia will enable you to dispatch shipments quickly and easily, but only if those shipments are very small.

On the other hand, it can take days or even weeks to receive quotes for air or ocean freight from shipping companies in Australia.

Shipa Freight offers you the best of both worlds. We have the logistics resources and network to manage shipments of any size, yet our industry-leading digital platform gives you the speed you need, by providing you with fast quotes and enabling you to book, pay, and track your freight online.

If you don’t want to wait any longer to get your freight shipped from Australia, visit our home page to get started now.

“With Shipa Freight, I could do everything from quotation to booking with just a click”.

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