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Ocean & Air Freight Shipping to Brazil

Shipa Freight, air cargo and cargo ship for freight to Brazil

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Updated on 28 Nov 202116 min read

Brazil’s top imports include agricultural and industrial machinery, electronics, and vehicles. In fact, manufactured goods account for 85% of the nation’s imports. Your business could already be importing goods into the fifth-largest country in the world. Or you could be seeking to ship commodities to Brazil for the first time.

Either way, this page is for you. It includes information and guidance about ocean and air shipping to Brazil, customs clearance, and Brazilian airports and seaports.

What Are Your Options for Shipping Freight to Brazil?

Flag of Brazil to show Shipa Freight capacity to ship to Brazil

When shipping commercial goods to Brazil you have plenty of airports and seaports to choose from. However, before you decide whether to use ocean or air freight services to transport your goods, it makes sense to consider the plus points and downsides of the different options. We’ll outline some of these pros and cons on this page.

Ocean Freight to Brazil

Less than Container Load (LCL): There’s no need to ship a whole container if you don’t have enough goods to fill it. With LCL shipping, your consignment can share a container with other goods and you’ll only pay for the space you use. It’s ideal for smaller loads that can’t be shipped as air freight.

Full Container Load (FCL): Shippers with large loads or who don’t want their cargo sharing a container can choose FCL. It gives you exclusive use of a container. You can partially or wholly fill the container with your freight. FCL is often quicker than LCL shipping, and typically more economical for large consignments.

Air Freight to Brazil

For sheer speed of delivery, nothing beats air freight. While ocean shipping durations are measured in weeks, air freight completes in a matter of days. It is, however, by far the most expensive way to ship freight to Brazil.

How Much Does it Cost to Ship Cargo to Brazil?

The price of all shipments to Brazil will depend on the following factors:

  • The nature of the goods being shipped
  • The preferred mode of shipping
  • The size, weight, and volume of the freight
  • The distance the goods need to be transported
  • The choice of a door-to-port, port-to-door, port-to-port, or door-to-door delivery

Weight not only affects the shipping rates you’ll pay for your consignment—it can also affect your choice of air or ocean shipping. That’s because goods weighing above 100 kg are usually more cost-effectively shipped as ocean freight.

There’s seldom much difference, though, between air and ocean shipping quotes for goods weighing under 100 kg. As for consignments weighing 35 kg or less, international couriers should be used, as freight forwarders do not handle such light loads.

How Long Does it Take to Ship Cargo to Brazil?

Hourglass and a calendar to represent the transit time of shipments with Shipa Freight

Two key factors will affect the timing of your shipment—the distance from your port of origin to Brazil and your chosen mode of shipping. Air freight is by far the fastest way to ship commodities to Brazil. Aircraft travel at an average speed of 900 kilometers an hour, whereas ocean cargo carriers move at a more leisurely 35 kilometers an hour.

All forms of shipping are subject to processes, procedures, and checks before and after transit. This adds extra time to shipments. So even if flight times to Brazil are only a matter of hours, shipments from most international airports to South America can take between one and 13 days to complete. For ocean shipping, it’s more realistic to expect shipments to take between 12 days (from Europe) and 60 days (from Asia).

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

Below is a huge selection of typical shipment times to ports in Brazil from various ocean freight hubs around the world:

Country of Origin Port of Origin Destination Port Transit Time LCL Transit Time FCL
China Changsha Santos 36 Days
China Guangzhou Santos 39 Days
China Dalian Santos 48 Days 36 Days
China Huangpu Rio de Janeiro 30 Days
China Ningbo Itajai 46 Days
China Ningbo Salvador 36 Days
China Ningbo Santos 37 Days 36 Days
China Ningbo Itapoa 36 Days
China Ningbo Paranagua 34 Days
China Qingdao Santos 42 Days 39 Days
China Shanghai Navegantes 36 Days
China Shanghai Parangua 36 Days 36 Days
China Shanghai Salvador 36 Days
China Shanghai Santos 36 Days 36 Days
China Shantou Paranagua 40 Days
China Shenzhen Paranagua 36 Days
China Shenzhen Santos 35 Days
China Xiamen Santos 42 Days 36 Days
China Xiamen Vitoria 36 Days
China Zhongshan Santos 32 Days
Germany Hamburg Rio de Janeiro 26 Days 20 Days
Germany Hamburg Santos 24 Days 20 Days
India Kolkata Santos 42 Days
India Cochin Itaguai 56 Days
India Chennai Rio de Janeiro 34 Days 34 Days
India Chennai Santos 55 Days 55 Days
India Mundra Santos 33 Days
India Nhava Sheva Itapoa 37 Days
India Nhava Sheva Manaus 59 Days
India Nhava Sheva Navegantes 34 Days
India Nhava Sheva Rio de Janeiro 29 Days
India Nhava Sheva Rio Grande 45 Days
India Nhava Sheva Santos 40 Days 33 Days
India Nhava Sheva Suape 56 Days
Indonesia Jakarta Itajai 56 Days
Indonesia Jakarta Itapoa 56 Days
Indonesia Jakarta Navegantes 56 Days
Indonesia Jakarta Paranagua 52 Days 56 Days
Indonesia Jakarta Rio de Janeiro 38 Days 56 Days
Indonesia Jakarta Rio Grande 56 Days 56 Days
Indonesia Jakarta Santos 38 Days 56 Days
Indonesia Semarang Itajai 51 Days
Indonesia Surabaya Itajai 56 Days
Indonesia Surabaya Santos 56 Days
Indonesia Surabaya Itapoa 56 Days
Italy Genoa Rio de Janeiro 15 Days
Italy Genoa Santos 17 Days
Italy Genoa Rio Grande 28 Days
Italy La Spezia Santos 36 Days
Italy Venice Santos 38 Days
Mexico Altamira Santos 24 Days
Mexico Altamira Vitoria 32 Days
Spain Barcelona Rio de Janeiro 12 Days 26 Days
Spain Algeciras Itapoa 28 Days
Spain Algeciras Rio Grande 24 Days
Spain Barcelona Santos 23 Days 26 Days
Spain Bilbao Santos 24 Days 22 Days
Spain Valencia Itajai 31 Days 23 Days
Spain Valencia Rio de Janeiro 36 Days 14 Days
Spain Valencia Santos 26 Days 21 Days
Singapore Singapore Santos 21 Days
Thailand Laem Chabang Santos 27 Days
UAE Jebel Ali Rio Grande 48 Days
UAE Jebel Ali Santos 60 Days 35 Days
  USA Chicago Santos 36 Days
  USA Los Angeles Santos 29 Days
USA Miami Paranagua 28 Days
USA Miami Rio de Janeiro 29 Days
USA Miami Santos 33 Days
USA New York Rio de Janeiro 40 Days
USA New York Santos 24 Days
USA San Francisco Rio de Janeiro 42 Days
USA San Francisco Santos 33 Days
Vietnam Haiphong Itapoa 51 Days

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

Here is a selection of typical air shipping times to Brazil from various international airports:

Country of Origin Airport of Origin Destination Airport Transit Time
China Guangzhou Rio de Janeiro 8 Days
China Guangzhou São Paulo Guarulhos 9 Days
China Guangzhou Sao Paulo Viracopos  8 Days
China Zhengzhou São Paulo Guarulhos 12 Days
China Beijing São Paulo Guarulhos 11 Days
China Shanghai Rio de Janeiro 11 Days
China Shanghai Salvador 5 Days
China Shanghai São Paulo Guarulhos 7 Days
China Shanghai Viracopos 9 Days
China Shenzhen Belo Horizonte 8 Days
China Shenzhen Curitiba 9 Days
China Shenzhen São Paulo Guarulhos 10 Days
Germany Dusseldorf São Paulo Guarulhos 8 Days
Germany Frankfurt Rio de Janeiro 8 Days
Germany Frankfurt São Paulo Guarulhos 7 Days
Germany Frankfurt Viracopos 4 Days
Germany Hamburg São Paulo Guarulhos 7 Days
Germany Hamburg Rio de Janeiro 8 Days
Germany Leipzig Rio de Janeiro 4 Days
India Bangalore São Paulo Guarulhos 8 Days
India Mumbai Curitiba 6 Days
India Mumbai  Salvador 7 Days
India Mumbai São Paulo Guarulhos 6 Days
India Cochin São Paulo Guarulhos 8 Days
India Delhi São Paulo Guarulhos 4 Days
India Hyderabad São Paulo Guarulhos 7 Days
India Chennai Rio de Janeiro 7 Days
India Chennai Salvador 7 Days
Indonesia Jakarta Rio de Janeiro 8 Days
Italy Milan Recife 8 Days
Italy Milan Viracopos 4 Days
Spain Barcelona Rio de Janeiro 8 Days
Spain Barcelona São Paulo 8 days
Spain Madrid São Paulo 7 Days
Spain Valencia Rio de Janeiro 8 Days
Thailand Bangkok Viracopos 8 Days
Thailand Bangkok Paranagua 7 Days
Thailand Bangkok Santos 7 Days
Thailand Bangkok São Paulo 7 Days
UAE Dubai São Paulo Guarulhos 4 Days
UAE Dubai Sao Paulo Viracopos 7 Days
USA Boston Sao Paulo Viracopos 5 Days
USA Dallas Fort Worth Curitiba 7 Days
USA Dallas Fort Worth Sao Paulo Viracopos 3 Days
USA Houston São Paulo Guarulhos 8 Days
USA New York Curitiba 7 Days
USA New York  Rio de Janeiro 4 Days
USA New York São Paulo Guarulhos 7 Days
USA New York   Sao Paulo Viracopos 5 Days
USA Los Angeles Rio de Janeiro 5 Days
USA Los Angeles São Paulo Guarulhos 5 Days
USA Miami Porto Alegre 7 Days
USA Miami Rio de Janeiro 5 Days
USA Miami Salvador 5 Days
USA Miami São Paulo Guarulhos 5 Days
USA Miami Sao Paulo Viracopos 5 Days
USA Chicago São Paulo Guarulhos 6 Days
USA San Francisco Salvador 7 Days
USA San Francisco São Paulo Guarulhos 6 Days

Import Customs Clearance in Brazil

Brazil, like many countries, has complex customs clearance rules and regulations. Many shippers decide to employ the services of a freight forwarder to handle the process. It’s a good way to prevent unnecessary delays to shipments and ensure compliance with relevant legislation.

Forwarders still need shippers to submit certain documentation with their consignments. Below, we’ve listed those documents Brazilian customs officials—and those based at your port of origin—will almost certainly want to see:

  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)

For a closer look at those documents, please head over to the documents list page we’ve compiled. You may need to supply additional documents with your consignment, perhaps a permit, license, or certificate. Much depends on the nature of the goods you are shipping.

Ship Ocean Freight to Brazil: FCL or LCL?

Brazil’s vast eastern coastline faces the Atlantic Ocean and is dotted with seaports for you to choose as your port of arrival.

Wherever your port of origin is, your consignment to Brazil is likely to be shipped aboard a cargo vessel inside a 20ft or 40 ft shipping container. 20ft containers have a 33 CBM capacity and measure 5.9 meters long, by 2.35 meters wide and 2.39 meters high. 40ft containers are the same width and height, but are 12.03 meters long and have a 67 CBM capacity.

You can hire either a 20ft or 40ft container exclusively for your goods (FCL shipping) or choose to ship your freight in a shared container (LCL shipping).

To help you decide, we’ve included more information about both forms of ocean shipping below:

Less Than Container Load (LCL) Shipping to Brazil

International shippers tend to favor this option when the consignment they want to ship is:

  • Relatively small
  • Not urgently required in Brazil
  • Able to be shipped in a shared container
  • Not suitable for shipping as air freight

There are a couple of drawbacks to LCL shipping. For example:

  • You cannot choose the type of goods with which your freight will share a container.
  • Time-consuming logistics necessities called consolidation and deconsolidation are required, both of which can cause LCL shipping to take longer than FCL ,which requires no such procedures.

As a result, it could be best to avoid LCL shipping to Brazil if:

  • You cannot afford delays to your shipment
  • Your goods could be damaged by frequent moving and handling
  • Your cargo is fragile, perishable, or high-value
  • Your shipment is large, heavy, and/or awkwardly-shaped

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

Full Container Load (FCL) Shipping to Brazil

If LCL shipping doesn’t suit your needs, it’s likely FCL will, especially if:

  • Your goods must be with your consignee in Brazil by a certain date.
  • Your consignment fills at least half the load-space of a 20ft container.
  • Your freight is delicate or heavy.
  • You don’t want your goods sharing a container with other freight.
  • You want to seal your container at the point of origin, and have it remain sealed throughout the shipping process.

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

Cargo Ports of Arrival in Brazil


Port Facts:

  • Privately-owned port covering an area of 400,000 square meters
  • Includes automated cold storage for 16,000 pallets
  • Quay stretches for 900 meters
  • Excellent road and rail links to inland Brazil via the BR-101 and BR-470 highways

Owned By: Portonave S/A.

Annual Container Volume: >1.5 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Located in Southeastern Brazil in the State of Parana
  • Brazil’s third-largest port for containerized goods
  • Situated on Paranagua Bay at the base of the Serra do Mar, just 29 kilometers from the Atlantic

Owned By: Administração dos Portos de Paranaguá e Antonina.

Annual Container Volume: >752,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Situated in Ipojuca
  • Located within 800 km of seven of Northeastern Brazil’s state capitals
  • Linked to more than 160 ports around the world
  • Handles the largest volume of containerized goods in Northern Brazil
  • Processes over five million tonnes of freight annually

Owned By: Governor Eraldo Gueiros Industrial Port Complex.

Annual Container Volume: >400,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Situated on the Rio Negro in Manaus, 1,450 km inland
  • The port is the key cargo hub for the Amazon region
  • Many mobile phone companies have manufacturing hubs near the port

Owned By: Federal Government of Brazil.

Annual Container Volume: >350,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Ranked as Brazil’s seventh-biggest seaport
  • Effective road, rail, and air connections to locations inland
  • Situated in All Saints Bay at the peninsula separating the Atlantic Ocean from Todos os Santos Bay

Owned By: Companhia das Docas do Estado da Bahia.

Annual Container Volume: >301,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Main port serving the Eastern Brazilian state of Espirito Santo
  • Located just over 400 kilometers north of Rio de Janeiro
  • Offers easy access to a population of over 1.6 million in Gloria, Bento Ferreira and other districts

Owned By: Companhia Docas do Espírito Santo.

Annual Container Volume: >220,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Located one degree south of the Equator
  • A small tropical river port 20 kilometers north of the city of Belem
  • 130 km inland from the Atlantic Ocean

Owned By: Companhia Docas do Pará-Autoridade Portuária.

Annual Container Volume: Unknown.



Port Facts:

  • A major port in Ceara State
  • Located in Sao Goncalodo Amarante
  • Occupies a 13,337-hectare site

Owned By: Companhia de Integração Portuária.

Annual Container Volume: >213,000 TEUs.


Rio Grande du Sol

Port Facts:

  • Medium-sized river port in Southern Brazil close to the mouth of the Rio Grande
  • Brazil’s second-busiest port
  • Located close to the border with Uruguay
  • Easily accessed from the Atlantic Ocean
  • Infrastructure includes a Super Porto for handling containers

Owned By: Superintendencia Porto de Rio Grande.

Annual Container Volume: >760,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Important seaport in Santa Carina, Southern Brazil
  • Container terminal has four berths
  • Can handle cargo vessels with capacities of up to 9,000 TEUs
  • Excellent facilities for handling temperature-sensitive sea freight

Owned By: Federal Government of Brazil.

Annual Container Volume: >196,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • One of Brazil’s newest ports
  • Brazil’s fifth-busiest container facility
  • Earmarked for expansion that will double its container-handling capacity to one million TEUs

Owned By: Itapoa Terminais Portuarios S.A.

Annual Container Volume: >600,000 TEUs.


Rio de Janeiro

Port Facts:

  • Brazil’s third-busiest sea freight facility
  • Mainly a cruise shipping port that handles a small volume of containers
  • The port is 7 kilometers long with a 900-meter pier
  • Storage facilities occupy a 65,000 square meter site

Owned By: Companhia Docas do Rio de Janeiro.

Annual Container Volume: >380,000 TEUs.


Santos (São Paulo)

Port Facts:

  • The biggest port in Latin America
  • Brazil’s most technologically advanced ocean cargo hub
  • Serves the city of Sao Paulo
  • Linked to over 600 ports in 25 countries
  • Projects to improve the rail and road routes serving the port are underway

Owned By: Federal Government of Brazil.

Annual Container Volume: >4 million TEUs.


Air Shipping for Your Freight to Brazil

Your business should consider shipping goods to Brazil as air freight if any of the following apply:

  • They have a short shelf-life and won’t survive weeks at sea
  • They are urgently required in Brazil
  • Your consignment is small—two to three pallets at most
  • You’re shipping high-value goods that require tight security
  • Your recipient in Brazil is located close to an international airport

Airports of Arrival in Brazil

Rio de Janeiro (IATA Code: GIG)

Airport Facts:

  • Officially called Antonio Carlos Jobim/Galeão International Airport
  • Infrastructure includes the longest runway in Brazil
  • GIG is one of the largest logistics terminals in Latin America
  • Ideal for imports heading to consignees in Mage, Marica, and Copacabana

Sao Paulo Viracopos (IATA Code: VCP)

Airport Facts:

  • Also known as São Paulo Campinas Airport
  • Located 100 kilometers north of downtown Sao Paulo
  • Ranks as Brazil’s second-busiest air cargo facility
  • The freight terminal occupies a 77,000 square meter site
  • Perfect for routing goods to the hinterland via express lanes for courier traffic

Belo Horizonte (IATA Code: CNF)

Airport Facts:

  • Also called Tancredo Neves International Airport
  • Located in Confins, Minas Gerais
  • Belo Horizonte is Latin America’s fifth-largest industrial base
  • Infrastructure includes a 3,000 meter-long runway
  • Offers easy access to 50% of Brazil’s population
  • Suitable airport of arrival for freight destined for Patrocinio, Jacarepagua, Caxambu, and Uba

Manaus (IATA Code: MAO)

Airport Facts:

  • Officially known as Eduardo Gomes International Airport
  • Forms the main gateway to the Amazon region
  • Boasts three cargo terminals
  • Over 175,000 tonnes of air freight are handled here every year
  • Easy to reach 10% of the Brazilian population from the airport

São Paulo Guarulhos (IATA Code: GRU)

Airport Facts:

  • Sometimes called Cumbica Airport
  • Located 20 kilometers from Sao Paulo city center
  • South America’s biggest air-cargo logistics facility
  • Connected to 34 countries
  • Over 720 passenger and cargo flights daily
  • Freight facilities cover a 97,000 square meter area

Curitiba (IATA Code: CWB)

Airport Facts:

  • Located in the South East of Brazil
  • Officially called Afonso Pena International Airport
  • Runway was lengthened and cargo terminal upgraded in 2008
  • Direct cargo-only services from airports in Germany, Italy and the Netherlands

Salvador (IATA Code: SSA)

Airport Facts:

  • Also known as Salvador-Deputado Luis Eduardo Magalhães International Airport
  • Located 24 kilometers outside the city of Salvador
  • Some facilities are shared with the Brazilan Airforce

Porto Alegre (IATA Code: POA)

Airport Facts:

  • Located in southern Brazil
  • Also known as Salgado Filho International Airport
  • Occupies a 3.8 million square meter site
  • Infrastructure includes two terminals and cold storage facilities
  • Ideal airport of arrival for goods headed to the states of Grande Do Sul and Santa Catarina

Recife (IATA Code: REC)

Airport Facts:

  • Located 14 kilometers outside of downtown Recife
  • Full name is Guararapes-Gilberto Freyre International Airport
  • Provides fast access to the Pernambuco area of Brazil with its population of over four million people

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

Shipa Freight’s digital-only focus brings ease and simplicity to international shipping. Our innovative website allows businesses of all sizes to access leading ocean cargo carriers and air freight companies.

Using our online platform, shippers can quickly request and receive quotes and then compare prices. Bookings and payments can be made online using a card or wire transfer, and all shipments can be tracked and managed via our website.

Other benefits of choosing Shipa Freight include:

  • 24/7 access to a friendly team of customer service agents
  • We’ll handle the complexities of customs compliance so you don’t have to
  • We ensure your shipment complies with all applicable regulations
  • We make sure the right documents accompany your consignment

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