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Ocean and Air Freight Shipping From China to Indonesia

FCL, LCL and Air shipping comprehensive guide and instant online quote

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Updated on 04 Jul 202115 min read

China is Indonesia’s biggest trade partner. The southeast Asian country imports all kinds of Chinese goods, chiefly food and beverages, via air and ocean freight trade lanes.

The distances traveled by exports from China to Indonesia along those trade lanes varies immensely. For instance, it’s 5,200km from Beijing Airport to Jakarta Airport. But it’s only 3,290km from the port of Shenzhen in Southern China to Jakarta.

If you’re looking to import from China to Indonesia you’re in the right place. This page is written to help make shipping between the two nations easier and more successful for all kinds of businesses. Below you’ll find handy information about ocean and air shipping from China to Indonesia. There is also guidance on securing customs clearance and profiles of key airports and seaports.

Know Your Options for Shipping Freight From China to Indonesia

Flags of China and Indonesia to show Shipa Freight capacity to ship from China to Indonesia

As the two countries are separated by an expanse of sea, your choice of transportation is simple enough. You only have to choose between ocean and air shipping from China to Indonesia.

This page gives you plenty of information about both modes of transportation—including the good points and the possible drawbacks—so you can decide which best meets your shipping needs.

Ocean Freight From China to Indonesia

Less than Container Load (LCL): LCL ocean shipping requires your cargo to share container space with freight from other companies importing from China to Indonesia. LCL is popular with businesses that have smaller consignments to send—goods totaling less than the 33 cubic meter capacity of the smallest containers.

Full Container Load (FCL): FCL shipping means you have a container exclusively for your freight. It could work out as your most cost-effective option if your consignment is big enough to fill at least six standard pallets in a 20ft container, or 12 in a 40ft container.

Air Freight from China to Indonesia

The fastest way to move freight from China to Indonesia is as air freight. A carrier will ship your cargo in the hold of a passenger plane or freighter aircraft bound for Indonesia. Air shipping is typically more expensive than ocean shipping—and in some cases, it’s a lot more expensive.

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

Freight forwarders will require information about your shipping to calculate a bespoke quote for your consignment. The details they’ll need include:

  • The nature of your goods
  • Your choice of ocean or air freight
  • The weight, volume, and size of your consignment
  • Your preferred method of delivery. You can choose between door-to-door, port-to-port, port-to-door, or door-to-port.

If your goods weigh under 100 kg, sending them as air cargo can be just as economical as using an ocean carrier—and it will be quicker. Consignments weighing over 100 kg that aren’t urgently required in Indonesia will generally be more economical to ship by ocean.

Shipa Freight does not provide quotes for consignments weighing under 35kg.

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

Delivery deadlines are likely to influence your choice of air or ocean freight whenever you export from China to Indonesia. Air shipping is the fastest, with shipments completed in as few as four days, but it can be costly.

For businesses with a limited budget, less pressing delivery deadlines, or consignments that are too big to fly, ocean freight is the answer. You should allow between nine and 31 days for your goods to be shipped in a container vessel.

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

As the examples here show, ocean shipping between China and Indonesia takes between nine and 31 days:

  • Shanghai to Jakarta – 17 days FCL, 13 days LCL
  • Qingdao to Jakarta – 19 days FCL, 17 days LCL
  • Ningbo to Jakarta – 20 days FCL, 14 days LCL
  • Huangpu to Jakarta – 13 days FCL, 19 days LCL
  • Tianjin to Jakarta – 19 days FCL, 18 days LCL
  • Shanghai to Belawan Sumatra – 27 days FCL, 19 days LCL
  • Shanghai to Surabaya – 14 days FCL, 18 days LCL
  • Xiamen to Jakarta– 15 days FCL, 20 days LCL
  • Shenzhen to Jakarta – 31 days FCL, 15 days LCL
  • Nansha to Jakarta – 17 days LCL
  • Shanghai to Semarang - 25 days LCL
  • Qingdao to Belawan Sumatra - 25 days FCL, 14 days LCL
  • Tianjin to Surabaya - 16 days LCL
  • Dalian to Jakarta - 16 days FCL
  • Lianyungang to Belawan Sumatra, Surabaya, or Jakarta - 31 days FCL
  • Ningbo to Belawan Sumatra - 22 days FCL
  • Ningbo to Surabaya - 21 days FCL
  • Ningbo to Semarang - 12 days FCL
  • Qingdao to Surabaya - 31 days FCL
  • Shanghai to Semarang - 14 days FCL
  • Shekou to Belawan Sumatra - 9 days FCL
  • Shekou to Jakarta or Surabaya - 12 days FCL
  • Shekou to Surabaya - 11 days FCL
  • Tianjin to Semarang - 20 days FCL
  • Xiamen to Surabaya - 10 days FCL
  • Zhongshan to Belawan Sumatra - 13 days FCL
  • Zhongshan to Jakarta - 18 days FCL
  • Zhuhai to Surabaya - 13 days FCL

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

Although flights between the two countries take a matter of hours, the logistics of importing from China to Indonesia using air freight requires additional time. Therefore, you should expect your air-freight shipments to take between four and nine days, as this table shows:

  • Beijing to Jakarta – 4 days
  • Qingdao or Xiamen to Jakarta – 5 days
  • Beijing or Qingdao to Surabaya – 5 days
  • Shenzhen or Guangzhou to Jakarta – 8 days
  • Guangzhou to Surabaya - 9 days
  • Chengdu to Denpasar Bali - 8 days
  • Shanghai to Denpasar Bali - 4 days
  • Shanghai to Jakarta or Surabaya - 6 days
  • Shenzhen to Denpasar Bali - 9 days
  • Shenzhen to Surabaya - 8 days

Customs Clearance in China and Indonesia

The sheer amount of rules, regulations, codes, and paperwork required can make international shipping a baffling business. Many companies choose to hire a freight forwarder to manage the customs clearance process on their behalf. It’s something your business should consider doing, as these shipping experts can ensure your consignment complies with shipping rules and regulations, and unnecessary delays can be avoided.

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

Even with a forwarder to help you, your business will still need to take the responsibility to complete and submit various forms that must accompany your shipment. The requirements will almost certainly include:

  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. An Airway Bill for air cargo or a Bill of Lading for ocean freight (you can leave this to Shipa Freight)

We’ve collected samples of the above paperwork on this document list page for your closer inspection. The list above is not exhaustive, and it could be that you will need to provide additional documents, such as a permit, certificate, or license. The exact requirements will depend on the nature of the goods you’re shipping.

Should You Choose Ocean Freight or Air Freight?

Ocean Freight

Most commercial goods will ship on a cargo vessel in a standard container from China to Indonesia. These containers are either 20 ft or 40 ft long and open at one end. The shorter container can hold 10 to 11 standard pallets, with the 40 ft version having room for up to 21.

Your freight forwarder will advise if your consignment requires a different type of container, such as a half-height, open-top, or flat-rack.

Your sea freight can be sent from a port in China to a destination in Indonesia by FCL or LCL. These ocean shippingmethods are explained in some detail below. Whichever one you choose, and whatever ports you decide to ship from and to, your freight forwarder can help you work out precisely what you need.

Considerations for LCL Freight Shipping

LCL ocean shipping often works out the best option for consignments that:

  • Occupy no more than six standard pallets
  • Are not urgently required in Indonesia
  • Are safe to ship in a shared container

It should also be noted that LCL ocean shipping requires extra logistics processes, known as consolidation and deconsolidation. Both have the potential to add extra time to the transportation of your shipping container from China to Indonesia.

Bearing this in mind, it might be worth avoiding LCL shipping if:

  • You have an inflexible delivery deadline
  • There’s a risk of damage to your freight if it’s moved too often
  • Your shipment is large, or for some other reason unsuited to sharing a container
  • The quality of your goods is likely to diminish during a long ocean voyage due to their fragile or perishable nature

Considerations for FCL Freight Shipping

If the prospect of LCL shipping raises concerns, Importing from China to Indonesia using an FCL service could be better for your business, particularly if:

  • Your consignment needs to be in Indonesia by a specified date
  • Your goods are too large or heavy to safely share a container with other goods
  • The supplier can load and seal the container in China and the recipient in Indonesia can unload it
  • The consignment is large enough to fill at least half the capacity of a 20ft shipping container

Air Freight

The fastest way to move freight from China to Indonesia is with air shipping. A carrier will transport your cargo in the hold of a passenger plane or freighter aircraft bound for Indonesia. Usually, businesses choose to send their products by air freight if:

  • They are urgently required in Indonesia
  • They are fragile and will benefit from minimal handling
  • Their consignment fills no more than two to four standard pallets
  • Their consignment is valuable and they want the peace of mind provided by stringent airport and airline security protocols

Ocean Cargo Port Guide

Cargo Ports of Origin in China


Port Facts

  • One of China’s smaller container hubs
  • A good choice if your supply chain requires the movement of goods from Anhui Province
  • Located in an area of China known for rice trading
  • Manufacturing businesses are setting up in the area, increasing the popularity of export services from the port

Owned By: Wuhu Port Authority.

Annual Container Volume: >500,000 TEUs.



Port Facts

  • A world top-ten cargo handling hub
  • Facilities include nine container terminals that process over ten million TEUs annually
  • Consignments are shipped to more than 50 nations around the world, including Indonesia

Owned By: Xiamen Port Authority.

Annual Container Volume: >10 million TEUs.



Port Facts

  • Serves the Shandong Province area of China’s industrial heartland
  • Used by container vessels from over 700 locations around the world

Owned By: Qingdao Port (Group)Ltd.

Annual Container Volume: >18 million TEUs.



Port Facts

  • Retained its status as the world’s biggest container port in 2019
  • Benefits from high-quality road and rail links into the seaport from the surrounding area
  • Houses advanced freight handling technology
  • Located close to the bustling metropolis of Shanghai

Owned By: Shanghai International Port Company Ltd.

Annual Container Volume: >40 million TEUs.



Port Facts

  • Located in the Dawan District, Guangdong Province
  • Used by many freight forwarders as an alternative to the nearby (and busier) port of Shenzhen
  • One container terminal processes all freight, including goods bound for Indonesia

Owned By: China Merchants Shekou Port Service Company Ltd.

Annual Container Volume: >46,000 TEUs.


Other Ports in China

The list below shows other ports in China from where shipments to Indonesia can originate:

  • Tianjin
  • Wuhan
  • Ningbo-Zhoushan
  • Qinzhou
  • Zhuhai
  • Zhongshan
  • Shantou
  • Shenzhen
  • Lianyungang
  • Guangzhou
  • Dalian

Cargo Ports of Arrival in Indonesia


Port Facts

  • The port is also called Tanjung Perak
  • It’s accessed via the Madura Strait, a very narrow 40 kilometer-long channel
  • Regarded as the main hub for inter-island shipping in Indonesia

Owned By: PT Pelabuhan Indonesia II.

Annual Container Volume: >3.8 million TEUs.



Port Facts

  • More than half of Indonesia’s container goods are handled here
  • The seaport is also called Cabang Tanjung Priok
  • There are three container terminals
  • Infrastructure includes 600,000 square meters of storage space

Owned By: PT Pelabuhan Indonesia II.

Annual Container Volume: >8 million TEUs.



Port Facts

  • Indonesia’s third-largest port
  • Located on the central northern coastal region of Java island
  • A good choice if your goods are required in northern coastal regions of Java, or the cities of Kendal, Salatiga, or Demak

Owned By: PT Pelabuhan III Indonesia.

Annual Container Volume: >730,000 TEUs.


Belawan Sumatra

Port Facts

  • Indonesia’s busiest container port outside of Java
  • Located in Northwestern Sumatra
  • Rubber, coffee beans, and tea leaves are among the products most frequently shipped from here

Owned By: Pelni.

Annual Container Volume: >400,000 TEUs.


Flying Your Freight: Airport Guide

Airports of Origin in China


Airport Facts

  • Full name is Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport
  • A former military airfield in Sichuan Province, north of Shuangdu District
  • Situated 16 kilometers southwest of the city of Chengdu
  • Infrastructure includes two runways
  • Processed over 600,000 tonnes of air cargo in 2018

Indonesia Airports Served: Jakarta, Denpasar Bali.

Chengdu to Indonesia Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Shanghai Pudong

Airport Facts

  • It is the world’s third-busiest air cargo hub
  • Processes over 3.7 million tonnes of freight per year

Indonesia Airports Served: Jakarta, Denpasar Bali.

Shanghai to Indonesia Cargo-Only Operators: None



Airport Facts

  • Serves the Yubei District in West China
  • Located 19 kilometers north of Chongqing City
  • Ranks as China’s tenth-busiest air cargo hub
  • Popular with multinational IT companies who ship goods overseas
  • A fourth terminal is due to open within the next decade

Indonesia Airports Served: Denpasar Bali.

Chongqing to Indonesia Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts

  • Located in the geographical center of China’s air network
  • Is also known as Guangzhou Baiyun Airport
  • Is the world’s 19th-busiest air freight hub
  • Is China’s third-busiest air cargo facility
  • Has the capacity to process 1 million tonnes of freight, which is due to increase to 2.5 million during 2020

Indonesia Airports Served: Jakarta, Denpasar Bali.

Guangzhou to Indonesia Cargo-Only Operators: FedEx Express.



Airport Facts

  • Formally called Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport
  • Located on the eastern banks of the Pearl River close to Fuyong and Huangtian
  • Ideal airport if your manufacturers or suppliers are located in the Special Economic Zone
  • Easy to access if your goods originate in Hong Kong or regions around the Pearl River Delta

Indonesia Airports Served: Jakarta, Denpasar Bali.

Shenzhen to Indonesia Cargo-Only Operators: Cardig Air.


Other Airports in China

Additionally, your goods can be flown to Indonesia from the following airports in China:

  • Qingdao
  • Wuhan
  • Xiamen
  • Dalian
  • Tianjin
  • Beijing
  • Zhengzhou
  • Shanghai Hongqiao

Airports of Arrival in Indonesia


Airport Facts

  • Known as SHIA for short (it stands for Soekarno Hatta International Airport)
  • 20 kilometers northwest of Jakarta
  • Home to three runways, the latest of which opened in 2019

Connected Airports in China: Beijing-Capital, Shenzhen, Shanghai-Pudong, Guangzhou, Fuzhou, Xiamen.

China to Jakarta Cargo-Only Operators: Cardig Air, FedEx Express.



Airport Facts

  • Located just 12 kilometers from Surabaya City in East Java
  • Indonesia’s third-busiest air cargo hub
  • A single-runway facility that handles 120,000 tonnes of freight every year

Connected Airports in China: None.

China to Surabaya Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Denpasar Bali

Airport Facts

  • It’s also known as Ngurah Rai International Airport
  • Located in one of the world’s top tourist destinations
  • It’s Indonesia’s second-busiest airport—only Jakarta is busier
  • It’s close to Kuta and Jimbaran

Connected Airports in China: Beijing-Capital, Guangzhou, Shanghai-Pudong, Xiamen, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Tianjin (charter), Wuhan (charter), Chongqing (charter), Fuzhou (charter), Nanjing (charter), Zhengzhou (charter).

China to Denpasar Bali Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Ocean and Air Shipping From China to Indonesia: Why Shipa Freight?

Shipa Freight takes a digital-first approach to international shipping that’s making it easier for all kinds of businesses to import from China to Indonesia. By managing the customs clearance process for our customers and giving them access to an innovative online platform we’re taking the hassle and worry out of shipping.

Choosing Shipa Freight when importing from China to Indonesia brings the following benefits:

Quick online quotes Simple online bookings and payments Clarity on customs clearance from shipping experts A 24/7 customer support service available by email, phone, or online chat A choice of door-to-door, door-to-port, port-to-port or port-to-door delivery

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