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Ocean & Air Shipping From China to Brazil

Information and quote from China to Brazil for LCL, FCL and Air shipping

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Updated on 11 Feb 202217 min read

China is Brazil’s largest export market, and the dominant flow of goods between the two countries is from west to east. While the Asian giant might be suffering an export deficit in the relationship, China still counts Brazil as its number-one Latin American trading partner.

The close commercial bond between the two countries can only be good news if your supply chain involves shipping freight from China to Brazil. However, it doesn’t necessarily reduce the traditional complexities of global ocean and air freight shipping.

Importing from China to Brazil, in particular, can be time-consuming, and even troublesome if your business is new to the process. We are here to help you out! On this page, you’ll find valuable information about different shipping options, costs, transit times, customs clearance, and ports of export and import.

What Are Your Options for Shipping From China to Brazil?

Freight forwarding expert studying shipping documents, between a Chinese flag to the left and a Brazilian flag to the right

Commercial importers and exporters can choose between ocean and air shipping from China to Brazil. Of course, there are certain benefits and drawbacks to each option, which you’ll find outlined on this page.

Ocean Freight From China to Brazil

Less than Container Load (LCL): The official term for your cargo and the consignments of other shippers traveling together in a shared shipping container is LCL shipping. If you don’t have a lot of freight to move and can’t fill an entire unit, then LCL is likely the most affordable option to send your goods to Brazil.

Full Container Load (FCL): Transporting an entire container from China to Brazil for a flat rate is called FCL shipping. As you can use the container exclusively for your cargo, you can take advantage of the space and move larger, heavier freight at a fixed price.

Air Freight From China to Brazil

If speed is of the essence for your export from China to Brazil, then air freight will likely be the right choice. You need to prepare a sizable budget, though, as flying your cargo can be much more costly than sending them by sea.

How Much Does it Cost to Ship Cargo From China to Brazil?

The final cost of an import from China to Brazil depends on several factors. Your freight forwarder will likely ask for the following details before preparing your quote:

  • The nature of your freight
  • Your preferred mode of transport (FCL, LCL, Air)
  • The weight and dimensions of your goods
  • The origin and destination
  • The type of service (such as Port-to-Port, Door-to-Door)

For shipments weighing up to 100 kilograms, there is little difference in cost between air freight and LCL ocean freight. Above 100 kilograms, the cost difference begins to widen. Although much slower, ocean freight quickly becomes far more economical than shipping by air when higher weights and dimensions are involved.

Remember, too, that if your shipment weighs less than 35 kilograms, you will probably need to use an international courier service, rather than working with a freight forwarder.

How Long Does it Take to Ship Cargo From China to Brazil?

Perhaps you’re wondering just how long your shipments from China to Brazil will be at sea or in the air. Naturally, the transit times will be quite different for air and ocean freight. Typical air-freight transit times are 5 to 12 days, allowing for customs clearance upon export and import, and domestic land transportation.

Shipping with an ocean carrier, of course, takes significantly longer, and you should expect transit durations of anything from four to seven weeks for sea freight from China to Brazil.

If shipping time is a concern, and air freight is not a viable option for your shipments, FCL will usually be the fastest form of ocean transportation. However, if you don't have enough cargo to fill a container, and hence choose LCL shipping, you'll need to account for the slightly longer transit times involved.

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

Here are a few examples of ocean-freight transit times for routes we operate between China and Brazil:

  • Shanghai to Santos or Paranagua – 36 days FCL and LCL
  • Shanghai or Ningbo to Salvador – 36 days FCL
  • Dalian to Santos – 36 days FCL, 48 days LCL
  • Xiamen to Santos – 36 days FCL, 42 days LCL
  • Shenzhen to Santos – 28 days FCL, 35 days LCL
  • Ningbo to Santos – 36 days FCL, 37 days LCL
  • Guangzhou to Santos - 39 days LCL
  • Shantou to Paranagua - 40 days LCL
  • Shenzhen to Paranagua - 36 days LCL
  • Changsha to Santos - 36 days FCL
  • Huangpu to Rio de Janeiro - 30 days FCL
  • Ningbo to Itapoa or Salvador - 36 days FCL
  • Ningbo to Itajai - 46 days FCL
  • Ningbo to Paranagua - 34 days FCL
  • Shanghai to Navegantes - 36 days FCL
  • Qingdao to Santos - 39 days FCL, 42 days LCL
  • Xiamen to Vitoria - 36 days LCL
  • Zhongshan to Santos - 32 days FCL

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

For small shipments, or if your business can stand the extra cost of air freight, you can be assured of fast shipping times from China to Brazil. Cargo that is flown from Shanghai Pudong, for instance, can be cleared through customs in Salvador within a week.

Most other air freight routes involve slightly longer transit times, such as the following examples:

  • Guangzhou to Sao Paulo - 9 days
  • Guangzhou to Viracopos or Rio De Janeiro - 8 days
  • Zhengzhou to Sao Paulo - 12 days
  • Beijing to Sao Paulo - 11 days
  • Shanghai to Rio de Janeiro - 11 days
  • Shanghai to Salvador - 5 days
  • Shanghai to Sao Paulo - 7 days
  • Shanghai to Viracopos - 9 days
  • Shenzhen to Belo Horizonte - 8 days
  • Shenzhen to Curitiba - 9 days
  • Shenzhen to Sao Paulo - 10 days

Customs Clearance in China and Brazil

Customs stamp resting on a customs invoice document stamped with export customs clearance in red ink as Shipa Freight assist you with customs clearance

Customs clearance can be one of the most complicated elements of ocean and air shipping from China to Brazil. It can be a tough discipline to get your head around and manage—and mistakes can be costly.

A reputable freight forwarder or customs broker will help you to clear your goods. However, there are certain documentation requirements that you will need to meet before your agents can even think about filing customs declarations.

You will need to ensure the following documents are completed accurately and submitted correctly to the customs authorities in China for export clearance. The Brazilian customs service will also require them for the import clearance process:

  1. Commercial Invoice

  2. Packing List

  3. Certificate of Origin

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

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

Except for bills of lading, the documents listed above must be obtained and provided by the shipper (exporter) and the importer of the goods.

In most cases, the supplier must obtain the certificate of origin, packing list, and invoices. Meanwhile, the buyer is responsible for raising and issuing the letter of credit (with the supplier as the beneficiary).

You can find out more about these documents and any others that might be necessary and see examples of them in our handy documents list.

Should You Choose Ocean Freight or Air Freight?

Ocean Freight

Ocean shipping is the most common and least expensive way to import or export from China to Brazil. If you choose this option, your goods will probably be transported in a shipping container from port to port. The only exception is if you are in the business of buying or selling bulk or break-bulk materials. In that case, your cargo might not be suitable for containerized sea freight.

Assuming that's not the case, though, there are two ways to move your commodities in a shipping container from China to Brazil. Your chosen approach will typically come down to the size of your shipment.

The two options are FCL shipping, for larger consignments, and LCL shipping for smaller quantities of goods.

Considerations for LCL Freight Shipping

LCL shipping is typically the most inexpensive and cost-effective way to ship smaller quantities of ocean freight from China to Brazil. It’s a method best suited for shipments requiring fewer than six standard pallets. Shipping LCL does take a little longer than full container loads, though, so that's something to keep in mind if time-saving is essential.

The reason for the longer shipping time is because, with LCL shipping, your goods will be consolidated with those of other shippers to fill up a 20-foot or 40-foot container. The consolidation before shipment, and subsequent deconsolidation afterward, means more steps in the logistics process, which adds to the overall transit time.

Considerations for FCL Freight Shipping

For shipments of more than six pallets, you might find it more beneficial to use FCL shipping services when importing from China to Brazil. FCL can be viable, even if you aren't transporting enough goods to fill a container.

There is a break-even point at which FCL becomes less expensive than LCL shipping. That's because dimensional weight is not used as a basis for full-container shipping fees. Instead, you will be charged a flat rate per container. This break-even point generally occurs at around the six-pallet mark for a 20-foot container, and at around ten pallets for a 40-foot container.

Pricing factors aside, you might also consider FCL if you want your goods in Brazil by a guaranteed date, or to reach their destination as soon as possible. Without the need for consolidation and deconsolidation, FCL shipping can shave a few days off the overall transit time.

Air Freight

Ocean freight is not the only possibility you have for shipping your cargo between China and Brazil. If speed is more important than price, you can opt to fly your goods using airport-to-airport or door-to-door air freight services. Air shipping is best for small shipments that need to be moved rapidly, or for high-value, perishable, or fragile products.

While more costly than sea freight, shipping by air is exponentially faster. If you only have a small number of pallets to ship and need the speed and flexibility advantages of air freight, you can get an online quote right here. It takes just a moment to complete the form at the top of this page.

Ocean Cargo Port Guide

Cargo Ports of Origin in China


Port Facts:

  • Located on the Minjiang River in the Southeast of China
  • Deep-water, man-made port.
  • Has more than 100 berths.
  • One of the ten busiest container ports in mainland China.
  • Closest port to the Chinese Republic of Taiwan.

Owned By: Fuzhou Port Group Corporation Ltd.

Annual Container Volume: >3 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • World’s biggest inland port, located at the head of the Yangtze Delta.
  • Has existed since the third century AD.
  • High importance in Chinese sea trade.
  • Ranks among the top 100 ports in the world.

Owned By: Nanjing Port (Group) Co Ltd.

Annual Container Volume: >3 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Critical ocean port for exporters in Southern China.
  • Connects shippers via direct routes to Europe, Asia, India, and North and South America.
  • Biggest comprehensive port in the South China region.
  • Serves all localities surrounding the Pearl River Delta.
  • Especially convenient for shippers exporting out of Guangdong Province.

Owned By: Guangzhou Port Group Co.

Annual Container Volume: >15 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Also serves exporters in Guangdong Province.
  • Amalgamation of several public and industrial dock facilities.
  • One of the world’s largest container gateways.
  • Main port area is situated around 40 kilometers from Hong Kong to the north.

Owned By: Shenzhen government.

Annual Container Volume: >25.2 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Most convenient for suppliers or manufacturers in Zhejiang or Jiangsu.
  • Headliner in the container shipping world.
  • One of the busiest ports globally.
  • Home to the biggest automated container terminal anywhere.
  • Comprises a massive complex of shallow and deep water zones.

Owned By: Shanghai International Port Company Ltd.

Annual Container Volume: >40 million TEUs.


Other Ports in China

As well as the five ports described above, Shipa Freight can also dispatch your freight from China via the following container gateways:

  • Tianjin
  • Wuhan
  • Chongqing
  • Lianyungang
  • Qinzhou
  • Shantou
  • Zhuhai
  • Zhongshan
  • Guangzhou
  • Xiamen
  • Qingdao
  • Dalian

Cargo Ports of Arrival in Brazil

Port of Salvador

Port Facts:

  • Located in a sheltered harbor and immune to tidal fluctuations.
  • Has a 700-meter wide anchoring area.
  • Benefits from multiple road and rail connections with Brazil’s interior.

Owned By: Companhia das Docas do Estado da Bahia (CODEBA).

Annual Container Volume: >300,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Located to the south of Recife.
  • Plays a critical role in the economy of Pernambuco State.
  • One of the most vital container gateways in Brazil's Northeast.
  • Can accept vessels of up to 170,000 DWT.
  • Boasts a sophisticated monitoring and laser-enabled docking system.

Owned By: SUAPE - Governor Eraldo Gueiros Industrial Port Complex.

Annual Container Volume: >400,000 TEUs.


Rio Grande Do Sul

Port Facts:

  • Fast-growing seaport in the south of Brazil.
  • Home of Tecon Rio Grande, a leading container terminal in the country.
  • Can handle the largest vessels afloat today.
  • Utilized for imports, with China being just one of the countries served by its inbound trade lanes.

Annual Container Volume: >700,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Largest ocean port in Latin America.
  • Busiest and most modern port in the country for container traffic.
  • Projects are planned to enhance the infrastructure until 2024.
  • Inbound goods throughput has surpassed the optimal capacity of road and rail connections into and out of the port.

Owned By: Federal Government of Brazil.

Annual Container Volume: >4 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Situated to the Southwest of Sao Paulo and close to the city of Curitiba.
  • Third-largest container port in Brazil.
  • Shipa Freight offers LCL and FCL ocean freight services to Paranagua from Shanghai and other ports of origin in China.

Owned By: Administração dos Portos de Paranaguá e Antonina.

Annual Container Volume: >2 million TEUs.


Other Ports in Brazil

If you’d like your freight from China to ship into a port other than one of those outlined above, we can also help you secure space on vessels arriving at the following destinations:

  • Belem
  • Rio De Janeiro
  • Itajai
  • Itapoa
  • Pecem
  • Manaus
  • Vitoria
  • Navegantes
  • Itaguai
  • Belo Horizonte
  • Porto Alegre

Flying Your Freight: Airport Guide

Airports of Origin in China


Airport Facts:

  • Handled more than 1.2 million tonnes of cargo in 2018.
  • Ranks 24th in the line-up of the world’s busiest cargo airports.
  • Ideal for exports manufactured in the Pearl River Delta area.
  • Flights to Brazil won’t be direct.

Brazil Airports Served: None.

Shenzhen to Brazil Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Third-busiest airport in China and the 17th busiest globally.
  • Some 1.8 million tonnes of cargo passed through the freight terminal in 2018.
  • No direct flights available from Guangzhou to Brazilian airports.

Brazil Airports Served: None.

Guangzhou to Brazil Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Serves the Chinese province of Hubei for more than 25 years.
  • Situated 26 kilometers from Wuhan City.
  • Busiest airport in Central China.
  • No direct connections to South America.

Brazil Airports Served: None

Wuhan to Brazil Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Fourth-busiest cargo airport in China.
  • Serves a vital role as a hub for exports from the country’s western regions.
  • Can be used for exporting to Brazil, though there are currently no direct flights to South America.

Brazil Airports Served: None.

Chengdu to Brazil Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Shanghai Pudong

Airport Facts:

  • One of the world’s highest-throughput cargo airports.
  • 3.7 million tonnes of cargo passed through its freight terminals in 2018.
  • Air Cargo World bestowed its Air Cargo Excellence Diamond Award upon the facility, naming it the world’s top cargo airport in 2019.

Brazil Airports Served: None.

Shanghai to Brazil Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Other Airports in China

In addition to Shanghai Pudong, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Wuhan, and Shenzhen, Shipa Freight can route your air freight (via indirect flights) to Brazil from the following Chinese airports:

  • Qingdao
  • Xiamen
  • Beijing
  • Zhengzhou
  • Shanghai Hongqiao

Airports of Arrival in Brazil

Rio De Janeiro

Airport Facts:

  • Serves the city from which it takes its name, along with surrounding localities.
  • Second-busiest airport in Brazil.
  • Gateway for air freight imports from countries all over the world.

Connected Airports in China: None.

China to Rio De Janeiro Cargo-Only Operators: None.


São Paulo

Airport Facts:

  • Brazil’s busiest airport for international cargo.
  • Most likely arrival point for your China to Brazil air-freight shipments.
  • Shipa Freight offers door-to-door or airport-to-airport shipping for Chinese exports, with indirect flights from several airports in China.

Connected Airports in China: None.

China to Sao Paulo Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Situated just outside the city of Campinas, not far from Sao Paulo.
  • Sometimes known as Sao Paulo/Campinas Airport.
  • Second-busiest cargo airport in Brazil after Sao Paulo Guarulhos.
  • Boasts a cargo handling area of 77,000 square meters.
  • Specialist freight facilities include 1,480 cubic meters of refrigerated storage.

Connected Airports in China: None.

China to Viracopos Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Third-busiest of Brazil’s airports for cargo movements.
  • Operates three freight terminals, one of which is exclusively for imports.
  • Can handle up to 12,000 tonnes of cargo per month.

Connected Airports in China: None.

China to Manaus Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Porto Alegre

Airport Facts:

  • Most favorable airport for Brazil’s southernmost states.
  • Handles only around 30,000 tonnes of freight per year.
  • A practical gateway for imports into the States of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande Do Sul.

Connected Airports in China: None.

China to Porto Alegre Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Other Airports in Brazil

Shipa Freight operates air-freight services from China to four more Brazilian airports in addition to those mentioned above. We can help you fly your freight into Recife, Salvador, Belo Horizonte, and Curitiba.

Why Ship From China to Brazil With Shipa Freight?

Importing from China to Brazil is now easier than ever with Shipa Freight. We can move your ocean and air shipments on time and in the most affordable way. Our state-of-the-art online platform will enable you to accelerate your supply chain by managing your entire shipment process in one place. There’s no need to coordinate multiple agencies anymore.

These are your advantages when you ship with us:

  • Online quotes: Quick and easy to obtain and compare.
  • Online booking and payment process: Fast and straightforward.
  • One platform: Manage your imports and exports in one place.
  • Customs clearance: Fully taken care of for you.
  • Shipping documentation: You will always know what to prepare.
  • Customer service: Available 24/7 via phone, email, and chat for you.
  • Compliance: Always in line with international shipping rules and regulations.

Know Your Shipping Terminology

The shipping industry is rife with terms and baffling jargon that can confuse you if you’re not familiar with them. To help build your understanding of these terms, we’ve explained a couple below:

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