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International shipping guide to Indonesia

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If you have goods or materials that need shipping to Indonesia from the US or other global locations, they will have to go via an ocean or air freight lane, since Indonesia is an island archipelago. However, it is also an emerging e-commerce market with lots of room for growth, which potentially means the volume of imports from around the world will increase substantially over time.

This is a fact recognized by many a shipping company in Indonesia, as well as by all the major global logistics providers and shipping lines.

As a result, there are many options to import to Indonesia from almost any point of origin. Nevertheless, it can never hurt to know about some of the most important air and ocean shipping routes, or to become familiar with some of the shipping and customs standards for Indonesian imports.

That’s why we’ve created this page, to share some information that should be useful if you plan to ship commercial goods to Indonesia—or even if you are already doing so.

Customs Facts to be Aware of When Shipping to Indonesia

Before you can legally ship goods across the Indonesian border, you will need to register as an importer and obtain an NIK or customs identification number. NIKs are issued by the Indonesian Directorate General of Customs and Excise. You will also need an Importer Identification Number or API, as it is otherwise known. In fact, the API is essentially a license to import, so there is no possibility of shipping goods to Indonesia without one.

Customs and Logistics in Indonesia Can be Challenging

After you have registered as an importer and have your NIK and API numbers, you can engage in freight shipping to Indonesia from US or other overseas ports. However, we strongly recommend that you enlist the help of a company specializing in freight forwarding in Indonesia.

As in some other Southeast Asian countries, customs procedures in Indonesia can take a long time to finalize. It can also be difficult to deal with the customs service directly if any problems arise with your shipment’s clearance. When you have the support of a provider familiar with customs and logistics in Indonesia, issues are less likely to arise and will be easier to resolve if they do.

The Indonesian ‘Undername Importer’ Service Concept

If you don’t wish to expend the time and effort required to register as an importer in Indonesia—a process that can take 12 weeks or more—you may be able to use the services of an “undername” importer, which is a company that acts as the importer on your behalf, but maintains its own importation credentials and licenses.

A number of shipping companies in Indonesia provide this service, but as you will be placing all control of your goods into their hands, it is important to exercise due diligence and be sure you are engaging a company that you can trust. Many foreign companies prefer to go through the full process of importer registration, and then partner with a known freight forwarding company for shipping and assistance with customs clearance.

Shipping to Indonesia: Prohibitions and Restrictions

No practical guide on importing to Indonesia would gloss over the fact that it is less straightforward than in many other countries. Aside from lengthy and complex registration and licensing procedures, the Indonesian government places some significantly burdensome restrictions and regulations on importers.

The range of products, goods, and materials that require import licensing (over and above the API license) is substantial, and includes many electronic products, cosmetics, beverages and food products, footwear, toys, household appliances, and textiles. Agricultural products are also heavily regulated.

Furthermore, Indonesia makes use of quantitative restrictions on certain products, including poultry feeds and sugar products. Of course, the good news is that with these rather stringent barriers for importers to overcome, those with the fortitude to navigate the complex landscape stand to enjoy a market in which competitive challenges are fewer than elsewhere.

Ocean Freight Forwarding to Indonesia

In the following sections of this page, you will find some information relating to the trade lanes used by shipping companies in Indonesia and worldwide for importing commercial goods. Let’s begin with ocean shipping to Indonesia, which is the most economical, but also the slowest way of transporting goods internationally.

Although you will find the information here mainly relates to port-to-port shipping, Shipa Freight offers a range of options for transporting your freight, including port-to-door and door-to-door shipping to any location in the Indonesian archipelago.

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5 Top Ocean Freight Trade Lanes to Indonesia

As you will see from the tables in this section, it’s possible to access freight forwarding to Indonesia from many locations around the world, but by far the busiest ocean lanes are those channeling freight from other Asian countries, China in particular.

In fact, many top ocean freight routes to Indonesia connect the archipelago with mainland China, including four of the following five, each of which is a major arterial route for Indonesian imports:

  • Shanghai (China) to Jakarta
  • Shanghai (China)to Surabaya
  • Ningbo (China) to Jakarta
  • Ningbo (China) to Surabaya
  • Singapore to Jakarta

The Long and Short of Ocean Forwarding to Indonesia

It might seem like common sense to assume that shipping to Indonesia from US ports involves the longest transit times, but that’s actually not the case. In fact, the longest routes to Indonesia are those originating in Northern European countries, such as the trade lane connecting Klaipeda in Lithuania with Jakarta, which involves a staggering 50 days of transit time.

The shortest international ocean route to Indonesia meanwhile, is also one of the busiest. Hundreds of ships regularly ply the lane between Singapore and Jakarta, a journey that takes little more than a day for container ships to complete.

List of Ocean Routes for Shipping to Indonesia

From America

Country of Origin Port of Origin Destination Port Duration
Canada Vancouver Jakarta 26 Days
Canada Montreal Jakarta 45 days
United States Atlanta Jakarta 35 Days
United States Baltimore Jakarta 43 Days
United States Boston Jakarta 41 Days
United States Houston Jakarta 45 days
United States Oakland Jakarta 40 Days
United States Miami Surabaya 45 days
United States Miami Jakarta 47 Days
United States Norfolk Surabaya 39 Days
United States Norfolk Jakarta 40 Days
United States Seattle Jakarta 29 Days
United States Seattle Surabaya 31 Days
United States Mobile Jakarta 35 Days
United States Mobile Surabaya 43 Days
United States Los Angeles Jakarta 24 Days
United States Long Beach Jakarta 23 Days
United States Long Beach Surabaya 36 Days
United States Los Angeles Surabaya 35 Days
United States Tacoma Jakarta 30 Days
United States Tacoma Surabaya 32 Days
United States Savannah Jakarta 44 Days
United States Savannah Surabaya 42 Days
United States Charleston Surabaya 46 Days
United States Charleston Jakarta 42Days
United States Port Everglades Jakarta 48 Days
United States Port Everglades Surabaya 46 days

From Europe

Country of Origin Port of Origin Destination Port Duration
Belgium Antwerp Surabaya 39 Days
Belgium Antwerp Jakarta 31 Days
Denmark Aarhus Jakarta 43 Days
Denmark Copenhagen Jakarta 47 Days
Finland Helsinki Jakarta 49 Days
France Fos-sur-Mer Jakarta 35 Days
Germany Bremerhaven Jakarta 33 Days
Germany Bremerhaven Surabaya 36 Days
Germany Hamburg Jakarta 37 Days
Italy Ancona Jakarta 40 Days
Italy Genoa Jakarta 36 Days
Lithuania Klaipeda Jakarta 50 Days
Netherlands Rotterdam Jakarta 39 Days
Norway Oslo Jakarta 49 Days
Poland Gdansk Jakarta 40 Days
Portugal Lisbon Jakarta 43 Days
Russia Arkhangelsk Jakarta 45 Days
Russia Vladivostok Jakarta 22 Days
Slovenia Koper Jakarta 32 Days
Slovenia Koper Surabaya 33 Days
Spain Algeciras Jakarta 36 Days
Spain Barcelona Surabaya 28 Days
Spain Barcelona Jakarta 31 Days
Spain Bilbao Jakarta 45 Days
Spain Valencia Surabaya 32 Days
Spain Valencia Jakarta 31 Days
Sweden Gothenburg Surabaya 40 Days
Sweden Gothenburg Jakarta 34 Days
United Kingdom Belfast Jakarta 45 Days
United Kingdom Grangemouth Jakarta 43 Days
United Kingdom London Gateway Surabaya 32 Days
United Kingdom London Gateway Jakarta 29 Days
United Kingdom Felixstowe Surabaya 32 Days
United Kingdom Felixstowe Jakarta 29 Days
United Kingdom Southampton Surabaya 31 Days
United Kingdom Southampton Jakarta 30 Days

From Africa and the Middle East

Country of Origin Port of Origin Destination Port Duration
Morocco Casablanca Jakarta 40 Days
Saudi Arabia Ad Dammam Jakarta 14 Days
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Jakarta 25 Days
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Surabaya 25 Days
Saudi Arabia Riyadh Jakarta 29 Days
Saudi Arabia Riyadh Surabaya 31 Days
UAE Jebel Ali Jakarta 20 Days
UAE Jebel Ali Surabaya 22 days
UAE Abu Dhabi Jakarta 17 Days

From Asia and Oceania

Country of Origin Port of Origin Destination Port Duration
Australia Adelaide Jakarta 13 Days
Australia Brisbane Jakarta 15 Days
Australia Fremantle Jakarta 9 Days
Australia Melbourne Jakarta 10 Days
Australia Sydney Jakarta 13 Days
Bangladesh Chittagong Jakarta 10 Days
Bangladesh Chittagong Surabaya 12 Days
China Dalian Jakarta 20 Days
China Dalian Surabaya 27 Days
China Shanghai Jakarta 9 Days
China Shanghai Surabaya 14 Days
China Shanghai Semarang 11 Days
Shanghai Semarang 11 Days China
China Ningbo Surabaya 12 Days
China Nansha Jakarta 7 Days
China Nansha Surabaya 9 Days
China Ningbo Semarang 12 Days
China Ningbo Jakarta 11 Days
China Qingdao Jakarta 13 Days
China Qingdao Surabaya 18 Days
China Qingdao Semarang 17 Days
China Xiamen Jakarta 11 Days
China Guangzhou Jakarta 10 Days
China Xiamen Surabaya 12 Days
China Shenzhen Surabaya 9 Days
China Shenzhen Jakarta 9 Days
China Changsha Jakarta 32 Days
Hong Kong Hong Kong Jakarta 6 Days
Hong Kong Hong Kong Surabaya 10 Days
Hong Kong Hong Kong Semarang 7 Days
India Chennai Jakarta 14 Days
Japan Nagoya Jakarta 10 Days
Japan Nagoya Surabaya 15 Days
Japan Tokyo Surabaya 14 Days
Japan Kobe Surabaya 11 Days
Japan Tokyo Jakarta 12 Days
Japan Kobe Jakarta 9 Days
Japan Yokohama Jakarta 11 Days
Japan Shimizu Surabaya 12 Days
Japan Yokohama Surabaya 14 Days
Malaysia Tanjung Pelepas Jakarta 6 Days
Malaysia Tanjung Pelepas Surabaya 4 Days
Malaysia Tanjung Pelepas Belawan 2 Days
Malaysia Tanjung Pelepas Semarang 6 Days
Malaysia Port Klang Jakarta 4 Days
Malaysia Port Klang Surabaya 6 Days
Malaysia Port Klang Belawan 2 Days
Malaysia Port Klang Semarang 3 Days
Malaysia Penang Surabaya 6 Days
Malaysia Penang Semarang 8 Days
New Zealand Auckland Jakarta 24 Days
Philippines Manila Jakarta 9 Days
Philippines Cebu Jakarta 11 Days
Singapore Singapore Jakarta 1 Day
Singapore Singapore Surabaya 2 Days
Singapore Singapore Belawan 5 Days
Singapore Singapore Semarang 4 Days
South Korea Kwangyang Jakarta 13 Days
South Korea Busan Jakarta 14 Days
South Korea Kwangyang Surabaya 10 Days
South Korea Busan Surabaya 11 Days
Sri Lanka Colombo Jakarta 11 Days
Sri Lanka Colombo Surabaya 11 Days
Taiwan Kaohsiung Surabaya 9 Days
Taiwan Kaohsiung Jakarta 12 Days
Taiwan Taichung Surabaya 7 Days
Taiwan Taipei Surabaya 8 Days
Thailand Laem Chabang Belawan 6 Days
Thailand Laem Chabang Jakarta 5 Days
Vietnam Haiphong Jakarta 9 Days
Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City Jakarta 2 Days

Air Freight Trade Lanes for Shipping to Indonesia

The information presented here relates to some of the main air freight routes serving Indonesia. You may notice that we only cover airport-to-airport shipping legs on this page, but Shipa Freight also provides a full range of solutions for logistics in Indonesia, including port-to-door and door-to-door services to any destination in the archipelago.

Air freight will get your goods to Indonesia much faster than ocean freight service, but is of course, more expensive. If you are just shipping small packages, then a courier service to Indonesia will be your best option. On the other hand, if you need fast shipping for larger quantities of goods, then it makes sense to look for a shipping company in Indonesia or a global freight forwarder that offers air freight services.

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Busiest Routes for Air Freight to Indonesia

In fact, there is one very good reason to use air freight when you need goods forwarding to Indonesia, and it relates to the fact that the country comprises thousands of islands.

Internal logistics in Indonesia can be complicated, especially if you use ocean freight and then need your goods to go to a location far from one of the main ocean ports.

Air freight can sometimes reduce land-transport distances by getting your shipments closer to their final destination. For this reason, it’s also worth exploring multimodal shipping, perhaps using ocean freight to get your shipment to one of the major Asian freight hubs, then switching to a low-cost air freight service for the final transportation leg to Indonesia, which is only a short flight away.

In fact, the busiest air freight routes to Indonesia are those originating in two of the key freight centers in Asia—Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. For that reason, you should have little trouble finding a flight for your goods after they arrive in one of these hubs by ocean service.

All of our top five high-volume air freight lanes to Indonesia begin in either Singapore or Kuala Lumpur. This includes the following:

  • Singapore(Singapore) to Jakarta
  • Kuala Lumpur(Malaysia) to Jakarta
  • Singapore(Singapore) to Denpasar
  • Kuala Lumpur(Malaysia) to Denpasar
  • Kuala Lumpur(Malaysia) to Surabaya

Longest and Shortest Air Freight Lanes to Indonesia

As already mentioned, the route from Singapore to Jakarta is one of the busiest for carrying air freight to Indonesia. It also happens to be the shortest international route for freight forwarding to Indonesia, with a transit time of just 2 hours.

The longest air freight transit-time for shipping to Indonesia is 14 hours. That’s the time in flight for cargo shipped from London Heathrow in the United Kingdom, to Jakarta. The transit time from Amsterdam to Jakarta is also 14 hours.

Air Freight: Routes for Shipping to Indonesia

From Europe

Country of Origin Airport of Origin Destination Airport Duration(Approx.)
Netherlands Amsterdam Jakarta 14 Hours
United Kingdom London Heathrow Jakarta 14 Hours

From Asia/Oceania

Country of Origin Airport of Origin Destination Airport Duration(Approx.)
Australia Sydney Jakarta 7 Hours
Australia Brisbane Denpasar 6 Hours
Australia Sydney Denpasar 6 Hours
Australia Melbourne Denpasar 6 Hours
China Guangzhou Jakarta 5 Hours
China Wuhan Denpasar 6 Hours
China Xiamen Jakarta 5 Hours
China Xiamen Denpasar 5 Hours
China Beijing Jakarta 6 Hours
China Beijing Denpasar 7 Hours
China Shenzhen Jakarta 5 Hours
China Shanghai Jakarta 5 Hours
China Shanghai Denpasar 6 Hours
Hong Kong Hong Kong Jakarta 5 Hours
Hong Kong Hong Kong Denpasar 5 Hours
Hong Kong Hong Kong Surabaya 4 Hours
Malaysia Penang Jakarta 2 Hours
Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Surabaya 3 Hours
Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Denpasar 3 Hours
Philippines Manila Jakarta 4 Hours
Philippines Manila Denpasar 4 Hours
South Korea Seoul Jakarta 6 Hours
South Korea Seoul Denpasar 7 Hours
Singapore Singapore Jakarta 2 Hours
Singapore Singapore Surabaya 2 Hours
Singapore Singapore Denpasar 3 Hours
Thailand Bangkok Denpasar 4 Hours
Thailand Bangkok Jakarta 3 Hours
Taiwan Taipei Jakarta 5 Hours

From Africa and the Middle East

Country of Origin Airport of Origin Destination Airport Duration(Approx.)
Oman Muscat Jakarta 8 Hours
Qatar Doha Jakarta 9 Hours
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Jakarta 10 Hours
Turkey Istanbul Jakarta 11 Hours
United Arab Emirates Dubai Jakarta 8 Hours
United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi Jakarta 8 Hours

We’re Not a Shipping Company in Indonesia - We’re Everywhere

When you need freight shipping to Indonesia from the US, or from any location requiring air or ocean freight, you have the option to look for a shipping company in Indonesia, or to choose an international freight forwarder.

Alternatively, you could book your shipments with Shipa Freight, and have the best of both worlds. Our platform makes it easy for you to send freight anywhere.

Meanwhile, our parent company, Agility Logistics, has divisions in Indonesia and around 100 other countries worldwide, so we offer the convenience of online freight quotes, booking, tracking, and payment, with the local knowledge and resources to get your shipments smoothly across borders and on to their final destinations.

Better still, there is no complex process required for you to start getting quotes and making bookings. In fact, you can use our platform right now to get your first quote for shipping to Indonesia.

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

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