Ocean & Air Freight Shipping to Vietnam [Updated: Jul 2021]
Get information and quote for FCL, LCL and Air shipping
Vietnam is the 21st-largest export economy in the world and participates in active trade with countries around the world. In 2017, Vietnam’s imports amounted to $204 billion (USD) and originated mainly from China, South Korea, and Japan.
If you are planning to import to Vietnam, then this page is for you. We have gathered vital information to help you ship ocean and air freight to Vietnam with greater ease and success.
You can choose between ocean and air freight for shipping your commercial goods to Vietnam. Each option has certain plus-points and drawbacks, which we will discuss on this page.
Ocean Freight to Vietnam
Less than Container Load (LCL): If you don’t want to hire a whole container to ship your freight to Vietnam, then LCL shipping is for you. Your goods will simply be loaded into a shared container. This is often the most economical way to transport smaller, lighter consignments.
Full Container Load (FCL): FCL requires you to rent and pay shipping for a full container at a flat fee for the entire journey to Vietnam. The main advantage is that your goods remain sealed in the container until they reach their final destination. FCL shipping might be the cheapest option when you are moving large amounts of products.
Air Freight to Vietnam
Even if your cargo can’t be transported on a direct flight to Vietnam, air freight is still the fastest way to ship your goods. However, it is also the most expensive option in most cases.
This will depend on various criteria. Freight forwarders usually provide quotes for ocean and air shipping to Vietnam based on the following factors:
- Nature of goods
- Chosen mode of transport (FCL, LCL, Air)
- Weight of the cargo
- Dimension of the cargo
- Distance between origin and destination
- Type of service (such as Port-to-Port, Door-to-Door)
The weight of your goods is the factor that probably has the largest effect on the price. If your cargo weighs 100 kg or more, sea freight is typically the most cost-effective option. If you are shipping consignments between 35 kg and 100 kg, then you will notice almost no difference between ocean and air shipping rates. You can opt for the faster, more convenient method of transportation.
Cargo lighter than 35 kg won’t be handled by a freight forwarder such as Shipa Freight. You should engage an international courier service to transport these goods instead.
Obviously, the seaport or airport of origin will largely affect your expected shipping times. In general, air shipments from a major international airport anywhere in the world will take between one day and six days to reach Vietnam. Ocean shipping will take longer than that. Your cargo will be at sea for at least four days—and as many as 57 days.
How Long Does It Take to Ship Cargo by Sea to Vietnam?
Below you can see some examples of ocean shipping durations for Vietnam-bound freight from various locations around the world:
|Country of Origin||Port of Origin||Destination Port||Transit Time LCL||Transit Time FCL|
|Australia||Adelaide||Ho Chi Minh City||17 Days|
|Australia||Brisbane||Ho Chi Minh City||24 Days|
|Australia||Melbourne||Ho Chi Minh City||25 Days|
|Australia||Perth||Ho Chi Minh City||19 Days|
|Australia||Sydney||Ho Chi Minh City||24 Days|
|Brazil||Curitiba||Ho Chi Minh City||54 Days|
|Canada||Toronto||Ho Chi Minh City||56 Days|
|Canada||Vancouver||Ho Chi Minh City||28 Days|
|China||Shanghai||Ho Chi Minh City||14 Days||8 Days|
|China||Shanghai||Haiphong||7 Days||13 Days|
|China||Jiangmen||Haiphong||5 Days||7 Days|
|China||Dalian||Ho Chi Minh City||31 Days|
|China||Huangpu||Ho Chi Minh City||16 Days||24 Days|
|China||Zhongshan||Ho Chi Minh City||27 Days|
|China||Guangzhou||Ho Chi Minh City||14 Days|
|China||Shenzhen||Ho Chi Minh City||24 Days|
|France||Le Havre||Ho Chi Minh City||29 Days|
|Finland||Helsinki||Ho Chi Minh City||52 Days|
|India||Kolkata||Ho Chi Minh City||30 Days|
|India||Chennai||Ho Chi Minh City||21 Days|
|India||Mundra||Ho Chi Minh City||17 Days|
|India||Nhava Sheva||Ho Chi Minh City||21 Days||18 Days|
|India||Nhava Sheva||Haiphong||19 Days|
|Indonesia||Jakarta||Haiphong||10 Days||11 Days|
|Indonesia||Jakarta||Ho Chi Minh City||9 Days||17 Days|
|Indonesia||Belawan||Ho Chi Minh City||28 Days|
|Indonesia||Semarang||Ho Chi Minh City||29 Days|
|Indonesia||Surabaya||Ho Chi Minh City||37 Days|
|Italy||Genoa||Ho Chi Minh City||27 Days|
|Japan||Tokyo||Ho Chi Minh City||31 Days|
|South Korea||Incheon||Ho Chi Minh City||21 Days|
|South Korea||Busan||Ho Chi Minh City||31 Days|
|Malaysia||Port Klang||Haiphong||10 Days||8 Days|
|Malaysia||Port Klang||Ho Chi Minh City||9 Days||16 Days|
|New Zealand||Auckland||Haiphong||27 Days|
|Norway||Oslo||Ho Chi Minh City||55 Days|
|Philippines||Manila||Ho Chi Minh City||15 Days||4 Days|
|Singapore||Singapore||Ho Chi Minh City||15 Days|
|Taiwan||Kaohsiung||Ho Chi Minh City||17 Days|
|Thailand||Bangkok||Ho Chi Minh City||8 Days||20 Days|
|Thailand||Laem Chabang||Haiphong||15 Days|
|Thailand||Laem Chabang||Ho Chi Minh City||21 Days|
|UAE||Jebel Ali||Haiphong||21 Days|
|UAE||Jebel Ali||Ho Chi Minh City||19 Days|
|United Kingdom||Felixstowe||Ho Chi Minh City||32 Days|
|USA||New York||Ho Chi Minh City||53 Days|
|USA||Seattle||Da Nang||37 Days|
|USA||Los Angeles||Haiphong||49 Days|
|USA||Long Beach||Ho Chi Minh City||30 Days|
|USA||New York||Haiphong||57 Days|
|USA||New York||Ho Chi Minh City||53 Days|
|USA||San Francisco||Ho Chi Minh City||36 Days|
|USA||Seattle||Da Nang||37 Days|
How Long Does It Take to Ship Cargo by Air to Vietnam?
The examples below show the transit times for air shipments to Vietnam from major international airports:
|Country of Origin||Airport of Origin||Destination Airport||Transit Time|
|Australia||Brisbane||Ho Chi Minh City||8 Days|
|Australia||Sydney||Ho Chi Minh City||3 Days|
|Australia||Perth||Ho Chi Minh City||3 Days|
|Australia||Melbourne||Ho Chi Minh City||3 Days|
|China||Guangzhou||Ho Chi Minh City||7 Days|
|China||Shanghai||Ho Chi Minh City||4 Days|
|China||Shenzhen||Ho Chi Minh City||8 Days|
|Germany||Hamburg||Ho Chi Minh City||4 Days|
|Germany||Berlin||Ho Chi Minh City||5 Days|
|India||Delhi||Ho Chi Minh City||3 Days|
|Indonesia||Jakarta||Ho Chi Minh City||4 Days|
|Malaysia||Kuala Lumpur||Ho Chi Minh City||3 Days|
|Netherlands||Amsterdam||Ho Chi Minh City||5 Days|
|New Zealand||Auckland||Hanoi||4 Days|
|New Zealand||Auckland||Ho Chi Minh City||4 Days|
|Singapore||Singapore||Ho Chi Minh City||3 Days|
|Switzerland||Zurich||Ho Chi Minh City||5 Days|
|Switzerland||Basel||Ho Chi Minh City||8 Days|
|Switzerland||Geneva||Ho Chi Minh City||8 Days|
|United Kingdom||London||Hanoi||3 Days|
|United Kingdom||Glasgow||Hanoi||3 Days|
|United Kingdom||London||Ho Chi Minh City||3 Days|
|USA||Dallas||Ho Chi Minh City||5 Days|
|USA||Los Angeles||Hanoi||5 Days|
|USA||Houston||Ho Chi Minh City||5 Days|
|USA||New York||Hanoi||7 Days|
|USA||New York||Ho Chi Minh City||6 Days|
|USA||Chicago||Ho Chi Minh City||7 Days|
|USA||San Francisco||Hanoi||5 Days|
|USA||Los Angeles||Ho Chi Minh City||8 Days|
|USA||San Francisco||Ho Chi Minh City||5 Days|
To receive the import clearance in Vietnam, you have to follow customs regulations. These can be complex, so many businesses decide to hire an experienced freight forwarder for this task. When you engage an expert, you can avoid unnecessary delays and ensure that your freight complies with Vietnamese customs rules.
Even when using a freight forwarder, you still have to prepare and submit certain paperwork. Vietnamese customs officials will most likely ask for the following documents:
- Commercial Invoice
- Packing List
- Certificate of Origin
- Letter of Credit or other payment terms (depends on the contract between the parties involved)
- Bill of Lading for ocean freight or Airway Bill for air freight (Shipa Freight will provide this for you)
Other documents, such as certificates, permits, and licenses, might also be required to finalize customs clearance. Your freight forwarder can advise you on the precise requirements.
If you are keen on learning more about these documents and seeing some examples, take a look at our documents list.
When you choose ocean shipping, your goods will be loaded aboard a cargo vessel inside a standard 20ft or 40ft container. There are also options for cargo that doesn’t fit inside a standard container. Your freight forwarder or carrier can recommend specialized containers or break-bulk shipping options.
There are two ways to ship your freight in a container to Vietnam: FCL and LCL. Both options are bookable as port-to-port or door-to-door services. The best one for your logistics needs will depend on the weight, volume, and nature of your goods.
Less Than Container Load (LCL) Shipping to Vietnam
This mode of transport is likely to be best for you if:
- You are shipping relatively small consignments.
- You don’t need the cargo in Vietnam urgently.
- Your goods can be shipped alongside the cargo of other businesses in a shared container.
- Your freight is too big, or unsuitable to send as air freight.
Although LCL is often the most economical way to ship to Vietnam, it does have its downsides. As your freight will be sharing container space with others, all cargo needs to be consolidated at the port of origin.
Subsequently, the container needs to be deconsolidated at the port of arrival in Vietnam. These are essential steps in the process, which can result in slightly longer transit times compared to FCL shipping.
We recommend that you avoid LCL shipping to Vietnam if:
- Your products are fragile, perishable, or of high value.
- Excessive movement and handling might damage your goods.
- You need the cargo in Vietnam at a certain date and can’t accept any delays.
- Your freight is very large and/or extremely heavy.
Learn more about Less than Container Load on our dedicated page on LCL shipping.
Full Container Load (FCL) Shipping to Vietnam
FCL can be the right shipping option for you if:
- Your goods are needed in Vietnam by a specified date.
- Your cargo occupies at least half the capacity of a standard 20ft container (14CBM) or more.
- Your freight is delicate or very heavy.
- You prefer that your products remain sealed in a container until they reach the consignee.
Learn more about Full Container Load on our dedicated page on FCL shipping.
Cargo Ports of Arrival in Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City
- Also known as Saigon Port.
- A buzzing network of ports situated on the Saigon river.
- Largest container port in the country and the 25th-busiest worldwide.
- Most important import and export hub for Vietnam’s main economic center.
Owned By: Saigon Newport Company.
Annual Container Volume: >6 million TEUs.
- Situated in the Bà Rịa–Vũng Tàu Province in the Southeast of the country.
- Comprises several ports, including Cai Mep, Phu My, Dinh river, and Ben Dam.
- Solid alternative to Ho Chi Minh City’s busy port.
Owned By: Vung Tau Commercial Port J.S Co.
Annual Container Volume: >3 million TEUs.
- Serves central Vietnam, as well as parts of Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos.
- Located on the Han River facing the South China Sea.
- Facilities include two terminals and a freight warehouse.
Owned By: Danang Port.
Annual Container Volume: >600,000 TEUs.
- Main port for importers in northern Vietnam.
- Located close to Haiphong City.
- Established in 1876.
- Expansion to a deep-water port completed to accommodate larger vessels.
Owned By: Hai Phong Port Joint Stock Company.
Annual Container Volume: >1.15 million TEUs.
- Located in Vietnam’s Bình Định Province.
- Best for importers in Vietnam’s central highlands and parts of Cambodia and Laos.
- Offers more than ten direct routes to international ports.
Owned By: Quy Nhon Port Joint Stock Company.
Annual Container Volume: >130,000 TEUs.
If speed is of the essence, then air shipping might be the best option for you. Flying your goods to Vietnam is faster and more flexible than ocean shipping. However, it is also much more expensive than sending them via sea. That’s why most shippers choose air freight only for small quantities of goods.
- You should consider air freight if any of the following apply:
- Your products have a short shelf-life.
- You need your goods to reach Vietnam urgently.
- You are only shipping a small consignment of two to three pallets.
- The recipient in Vietnam is located conveniently close to an international airport.
- Your cargo is very valuable and requires the highest levels of security.
Learn more about Air Freight on our dedicated page by clicking here.
Airports of Arrival in Vietnam
Hanoi (IATA Code: HAN)
- Officially called Noi Bai International Airport.
- Largest in Vietnam for total capacity.
- Located 45 km to the northeast of Vietnam’s capital.
- Handled over 700,000 tonnes of freight in 2017.
Ho Chi Minh City (IATA Code: SGN)
- Busiest airport in the country.
- Located six kilometers north of downtown Ho Chi Minh City.
- Processed more than 550,000 tonnes of cargo in 2017.
- A new airport with a designated cargo terminal is being planned.
We are a digital-first logistics service provider at the cutting edge of freight forwarding. With our state-of-the-art online platform, shipping cargo to Vietnam by air or sea becomes easy for businesses of all sizes. You can simply manage your entire shipping process in one place and significantly speed up your supply chain.
Benefit from the following advantages when you ship your cargo to Vietnam with us:
- Fast and easy-to-understand online quotes and booking process.
- All of your imports and exports in one place.
- Friendly customer support that’s available 24/7 via phone, email, and online chat.
- A simple, transparent approach to shipping documentation.
- Customs complexity simplified and taken care of.
- Full compliance with international shipping rules and regulations.
- What Are Your Options for Shipping Freight to Vietnam?
- How Much Does it Cost to Ship Cargo to Vietnam?
- How Long Does it Take to Ship Cargo to Vietnam?
- Import Customs Clearance in Vietnam
- Ship Ocean Freight to Vietnam: FCL or LCL?
- Air Shipping for Your Freight to Vietnam
- Ocean and Air Shipping to Vietnam: Why Choose Shipa Freight?
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