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Ocean & Air Freight Shipping to Bangladesh

Get information and quote for FCL, LCL and Air shipping

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Updated on 16 Sep 20219 min read

In 2018, Bangladesh imported $53 billion of goods from all over the world. Cotton, wheat, and sugar were among the commodities most often imported.

With a population of close to 160 million, the country is a key market for all kinds of exporters. If your business is among them, this page is for you. It’s written to make exporting to Bangladesh easier. You’ll find information about ocean and air shipping to Bangladesh, as well as customs clearance and the nation’s major airport and seaport.

What Are Your Options for Shipping Freight to Bangladesh?

You can ship goods to Bangladesh by air or sea. Whichever mode of transport you choose will have advantages and disadvantages. We’ll outline what they are on this page.

Ocean Freight to Bangladesh

Less than Container Load (LCL): This form of international shipping requires goods belonging to multiple owners to share container space. It suits smaller consignments that can’t be sent as air freight.

Full Container Load (FCL): WIth FCL, shippers pay for the rental and transportation of a container for their exclusive use. The container can be wholly or partially filled with goods. FCL is sometimes less expensive—particularly for larger shipments—and often faster than LCL shipping.

Air Freight to Bangladesh

Air freight offers the quickest way to transport goods to Bangladesh. It is, however, the most expensive form of international shipping.

How Much Does it Cost to Ship Cargo to Bangladesh?

Bag of money and graph to represent the cost of Shipa Freight's quotes

Freight forwarders calculate shipping quotes by taking into account the following factors:

The kind of goods that are being shipped

  • The mode of shipping chosen out of air, FCL ocean, or LCL ocean
  • The volume, weight, and size of the consignment
  • How far the freight needs to be transported
  • If a door-to-door, port-to-port, port-to-door, or door-to-port delivery service is needed

The weight of your consignment will affect the shipping rates you pay and could also determine which form of shipping you choose. That’s because goods weighing over 100 kg are expensive to send as air freight, so many businesses choose ocean shipping.

For freight that weighs less than 100 kg, if you ask for both an ocean shipping and air freight quote you’re unlikely to see much difference between the two. In such cases, companies tend to choose the fastest. It’s also worth knowing that freight forwarders don’t quote for consignments that weigh 35 kg or under. International couriers will provide quotes for shipments in this weight bracket.

How Long Does it Take to Ship Cargo to Bangladesh?

Bangladesh lies east of India and south of China. Its coastline is exclusively in the south on the Bay of Bengal. Freight forwarders are likely to direct all ocean shipments into the Port of Chittagong. The length of time your shipment takes to reach the port depends on two factors—your choice of FCL or LCL shipping, and the distance your goods need to travel. You should allow between seven and 51 days for ocean carriers to transport your goods to Bangladesh.

Air freight is much faster. Freight can be shipped aboard passenger or cargo-only services and will almost certainly arrive at Dhaka International Airport. The shipment is likely to take between three and eight days.

How Long Does It Take to Ship Cargo by Sea to Bangladesh?

See the table below for some examples of ocean-freight transit times to Bangladesh from ports around the world:

Country of Origin Port of Origin Destination Port Transit Time LCL Transit Time FCL
Australia Fremantle Chittagong 29 Days
Belgium Antwerp Chittagong 41 Days
China Dalian Chittagong 27 Days
China Huangpu Chittagong 15 Days
China Ningbo Chittagong 26 Days
China Shanghai Chittagong 23 Days
Denmark Aarhus Chittagong 46 Days
France Le Havre Chittagong 37 Days
India Kolkata Chittagong 15 Days
India Cochin Chittagong 21 Days
India Haldia Chittagong 16 Days
India Chennai Chittagong 18 Days
India Mundra Chittagong 19 Days
India Nhava Sheva Chittagong 16 Days 16 Days
India Visakhapatnam Chittagong 18 Days
Indonesia Belawan, Sumatra Chittagong 16 Days
Indonesia Jakarta Chittagong 16 Days 10 Days
Indonesia Semarang Chittagong 21 Days
Indonesia Surabaya Chittagong 12 Days
Italy Naples Chittagong 41 Days
Italy La Spezia Chittagong 36 Days
Malaysia Port Klang Chittagong 8 Days 7 Days
Netherlands Rotterdam Chittagong 40 Days
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Chittagong 25 Days
Singapore Singapore Chittagong 7 Days
Spain Barcelona Chittagong 44 Days
Thailand Bangkok Chittagong 16 Days 18 Days
Thailand Laem Chabang Chittagong 27 Days
UAE Abu Dhabi Chittagong 30 Days 28 Days
UAE Jebel Ali Chittagong 23 Days
United Kingdom Felixstowe Chittagong 48 Days
United Kingdom London Gateway Chittagong 42 Days
USA Atlanta Chittagong 51 Days
USA Houston Chittagong 50 Days 34 Days
USA Miami Chittagong 47 Days
USA New York Chittagong 47 Days
USA Port Everglades Chittagong 51 Days
Vietnam Haiphong Chittagong 13 Days
Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City Chittagong 12 Days

How Long Does It Take to Ship Cargo by Air to Bangladesh?

See the table below for some typical air freight shipping durations from international airports to Bangladesh:

Country of Origin Airport of Origin Destination Airport Transit Time
Belgium Brussels   Dhaka 7 Days
China Qingdao   Dhaka 6 Days
Germany Frankfurt   Dhaka 6  Days
China Hong Kong   Dhaka 5 Days
India Mumbai   Dhaka 4 Days
India Kolkata   Dhaka 4 Days
Indonesia Jakarta   Dhaka 4 Days
Indonesia Surabaya   Dhaka 5 Days
Netherlands Amsterdam Dhaka 5 Days
Singapore Singapore   Dhaka 6 Days
South Korea  Seoul   Dhaka 4 Days
UAE Abu Dhabi   Dhaka 4 Days
UAE Dubai   Dhaka 4 Days
USA Atlanta   Dhaka 5 Days

Import Customs Clearance in Bangladesh

All exports to Bangladesh will be subject to customs clearance rules and regulations. These can be so complex that many businesses prefer to let freight forwarders deal with them. Unless your company has expert knowledge in the area, it could be worth hiring a forwarder to handle your customs clearance procedures. A forwarder’s expertise will help you avoid unnecessary delays to shipments and ensure compliance with regulations.

Customs officials at your port of origin and in Bangladesh will expect certain documentation to accompany your consignment. The paperwork they will almost certainly insist on includes:

  1. A Commercial Invoice

  2. A Packing List

  3. A Certificate of Origin

  4. A Letter of Credit or other payment terms (depends on the contract between the parties involved)

  5. A Bill of Lading for ocean freight or Airway Bill for air freight (Shipa Freight will provide this for you)

Even if you hire a freight forwarder, they will still require you to fill in and submit the above documents. Customs authorities may also require you to submit additional documentation—perhaps a permit, license, or certificate.

Should you wish to examine the five documents we’ve outlined above more closely, you can do so by visiting our documents list page.

Ship Ocean Freight to Bangladesh: FCL or LCL?

Chittagong will almost certainly be the port of arrival for your consignment to Bangladesh, as that location is where over 90% of the nation’s freight is processed.

The majority of containerized goods arrive inside 20ft or 40ft shipping containers aboard a cargo vessel. 20ft containers have a 33 cubic meter capacity and 40ft containers a 67 cubic meter capacity. Your consignment could require a specialist container—perhaps one with ventilation or refrigeration. Your forwarder will advise you and outline your options when it comes to choosing between FCL or LCL shipping. The upsides and downsides of both types of international shipping are outlined below:

Less Than Container Load (LCL) Shipping to Bangladesh

LCL is shipping in which your freight shares container space with other goods. It’s a wise choice if:

  • You have a consignment that’s not large enough to fill a container
  • You only want to pay for the container space you use
  • You’re content with your goods being shipped alongside other freight in the same container
  • Your goods are not required urgently in Bangladesh
  • Your shipment is too large or heavy to be sent as air freight

While LCL often proves the most cost-effective form of ocean shipping for smaller consignments, it does have some drawbacks. You cannot choose which goods your cargo shares a container with, and the essential logistics of consolidation and deconsolidation are required, both of which can extend transit times.

Bearing this in mind, some companies choose to avoid LCL shipping to Bangladesh if:

  • They want their ocean freight to arrive as soon as possible and/or on a defined date
  • They are worried about their goods being damaged by frequent moving and handling
  • Their consignments are fragile, high-value, or perishable
  • The shipments are big, heavy, and/or comprise awkwardly-shaped freight

Learn more about Less than Container Load on our dedicated page on LCL shipping.

Full Container Load (FCL) Shipping to Bangladesh

FCL shipping requires businesses to rent a container exclusively for their goods. It’s often a good choice for shippers who:

  • Want their consignment to arrive in Bangladesh by a certain date
  • Have a shipment large enough to occupy at least half the capacity of a 20ft shipping container
  • Need to ship delicate or heavy goods that aren’t suited to sharing a container
  • Want their container sealed, and for it to remain so until received by the consignee

Learn more about Full Container Load on our dedicated page on FCL shipping.

Cargo Port of Arrival in Bangladesh


Port Facts:

  • Located on the banks of the Karnaphuli River
  • Its seven container terminals are mostly operated by private companies
  • Over 90% of Bangladesh's exports and imports are processed here
  • The port is highly-congested

Owned By: Government of Bangladesh.

Annual Container Volume: >2.8 million TEUs.


Air Shipping for Your Freight to Bangladesh

Shippers often choose air shipping as their preferred mode of transporting goods to Bangladesh when:

  • Their cargo is fragile or has a short shelf-life
  • They want to pay a lower insurance premium than they would for ocean shipping
  • The consignee in Bangladesh needs the cargo urgently
  • They only have a small consignment to ship
  • Their goods are high-value and hence require levels of security such as those provided in the air transport industry

Learn more about Air Freight on our dedicated page by clicking here.

Airport of Arrival in Bangladesh

@Dhaka (IATA Code: DAC)

Airport Facts:

  • Also known as Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport
  • The biggest international airport in Bangladesh
  • Nearly 520,000 tonnes of freight were processed here in 2019
  • Infrastructure includes two cargo terminals

Ocean and Air Shipping to Bangladesh: Why Choose Shipa Freight?

Shipa Freight’s digital-only approach to international shipping makes it easier for all kinds of businesses to export to Bangladesh. Our innovative website gives companies a way to get quick shipping quotes based on real-time rates.

Registering to use the site is easy, as is booking and paying for shipping to Bangladesh. We accept payment by credit card, debit card or wire transfer, and you can track all your shipments to Bangladesh via your smart devices.

If you need more reasons to choose Shipa Freight to manage your next shipment to Bangladesh, we’ve included some below:

  • You get 24/7 access to our friendly team of customer service agents.
  • You can leave the complexities of customs clearance to us.
  • We’ll show you the documents that must accompany your export to Bangladesh.
  • There’s no need to worry about whether your consignment complies with shipping rules—we’ll make sure it does.

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