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Ocean and Air Shipping from India to Bangladesh

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

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Updated on 04 Jul 202111 min read

India and Bangladesh are neighbors in South Asia and exchanged goods worth $9.85 billion (USD) in 2019. The two nations have recently implemented new initiatives to improve trade facilitation at their borders.

Nevertheless, importing from India to Bangladesh is still a complicated process, especially for novice shippers. Luckily, this page offers advice and guidance so you can engage in ocean and air shipping from India to Bangladesh more easily and cost-effectively.

What Are Your Options for Shipping From India to Bangladesh?

You can send your freight from India to Bangladesh via land, air, and sea. We will focus on explaining ocean and air shipping on this page.

Ocean Freight From India to Bangladesh

Less than Container Load (LCL): Choosing LCL shipping means that your goods have to share space in a container with the consignments of other shippers. This is ideal when you are shipping small quantities of cargo and don’t want to hire a whole container for yourself. Consequently, LCL is often the most cost-effective way to import from India to Bangladesh for smaller consignments.

Full Container Load (FCL): With FCL shipping, you pay for the use and transportation of a shipping container from India to Bangladesh at a flat rate. If you want to transport large shipments, this mode of transport is usually less expensive than LCL.

Air Freight From India to Bangladesh

Flying your goods from India to Bangladesh is quick and provides you with extra flexibility. However, you will also need to pay a higher price for this convenience.

How Much Does it Cost to Ship Cargo From India to Bangladesh?

The ultimate cost of air freight, or shipping a container from India to Bangladesh by sea, depends on several factors. Generally, a freight forwarder will consider the following aspects when calculating your quote:

  • 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 will have a large impact on your final cost. Here’s a general rule of thumb: If you are shipping freight weighing less than 100 kg, the price for air freight and ocean freight will probably be similar. However, if your cargo weighs more than 100 kg, ocean freight will likely be the least expensive mode of transport.

What about very light cargo? If you are moving 35 kg or less, most freight forwarders, including Shipa Freight, won’t handle your shipment. An international courier service can complete the job instead.

How Long Does it Take to Ship Cargo From India to Bangladesh?

Mechanical chronometer to represent the transit time of shipments with Shipa Freight

The transit times for ocean and air freight can vary significantly. Air freight is typically the fastest with transit times of just a couple of days. The time required for a shipping container to reach Bangladesh will largely depend on the port of origin in India. If your freight originates on India’s east coast, then it can arrive in Bangladesh much quicker than if it is coming from the west coast. Generally, you can plan on transit times anywhere between 15 and 21 days.

How Long Does It Take to Ship Cargo by Sea From India to Bangladesh?

Here are a few examples of transit times for a shipping container from India to Bangladesh:

  • Kolkata to Chittagong – 15 days FCL
  • Cochin to Chittagong – 21 days FCL
  • Haldia to Chittagong – 16 days FCL
  • Chennai to Chittagong – 18 days FCL
  • Mundra to Chittagong – 19 days FCL
  • Nhava Sheva to Chittagong – 16 days FCL, 16 days LCL
  • Visakhapatnam to Chittagong – 18 days FCL

How Long Does It Take to Ship Cargo by Air From India to Bangladesh?

The main air freight routes go from India’s many international airports, such as Delhi or Mumbai, to Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka. Your cargo will take around four days to be available in Dhaka, for example, if sent from Mumbai or Kolkata, and between five and eight days from other Indian airports. The shipping duration includes time for customs and security checks, as well as loading and unloading.

Customs Clearance in India and Bangladesh

There is no way around customs clearance when you export from India to Bangladesh. It is wise to let an experienced freight forwarder or agent handle this complex task to minimize any risk of delays and problems. Mistakes in the paperwork can be costly, so you want to be absolutely sure that all formalities are completed according to the existing laws and regulations.

Engaging a freight forwarder doesn’t release you from all responsibilities, though. You are still accountable for submitting the required documentation. As a minimum, the customs authorities in India and Bangladesh will want to see the following documents:

  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)

In certain cases, customs officials demand further documents such as licenses, permits, or certificates. If this happens, your freight forwarder will let you know straight away.

We have compiled a handy list, with examples, for anyone who wants to learn more about the different types of documents.

Should You Choose Ocean Freight or Air Freight?

Ocean Freight

Plenty of commercial goods are moved regularly via sea to Bangladesh. Most consignments travel the distance across the Bay of Bengal in shipping containers on specialized cargo vessels.

However, there are also options for sea freight that doesn’t fit into a container. Ask your carrier or freight forwarder about break-bulk shipping.

When it comes to containerized ocean shipping, there are two alternatives to choose from: LCL and FCL. Either option is available as a port-to-port or door-to-door service. Let’s look at which option might be best for your logistics needs.

Considerations for LCL Freight Shipping

LCL is best for:

  • Shipments of 14 CBM or less (around six standard pallets).
  • Goods that are not required urgently in Bangladesh.
  • Freight that won’t be impacted by sharing container space with other shippers’ consignments.

However, LCL is likely not the right choice for:

  • Delicate, perishable, or high-value goods.
  • Freight that is easily damaged by additional handling and movements.
  • Cargo that needs to reach Bangladesh by a certain date without delays.
  • Very large and/or heavy consignments.

Considerations for FCL Freight Shipping

FCL can be the right option for:

  • Shippers who need certainty with regard to the delivery date.
  • Cargo that should remain fully sealed in a container until it reaches the final recipient.
  • Shipments of 14 CBM (around half the load capacity of a 20ft container) or more.
  • Delicate or heavy freight.

Air Freight

Air shipping is right for:

  • Cargo that has to reach Bangladesh as soon as possible.
  • Shippers who value speed more than cost.
  • Products with a short shelf-life.
  • High-value goods that require the highest levels of security.
  • Small, light consignments of two to three pallets or less.
  • Suppliers and buyers who are both located close to an international airport.

Ocean Cargo Port Guide

Cargo Ports of Origin in India


Port Facts:

  • Among the 50 busiest container gateways worldwide.
  • India’s largest privately-owned cargo port.
  • Located in the state of Gujarat in western India.
  • Home to four container terminals and nine berths.
  • Extensive connections via rail, road, airport and cross country pipelines.

Owned By: Adani Group.

Annual Container Volume: >4 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • River port, located 203 km inland from the Bay of Bengal, close to Bangladesh.
  • Third-busiest port in the country for container traffic in 2018 and 2019.
  • Ideal for any supplier in Jamshedpur, Kolkata, or Bhadrak.
  • Facilities include 86 wharves and 28 berths.

Owned By: Kolkata Port Trust, Ministry of Shipping.

Annual Container Volume: >825,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Privately-owned deepwater seaport.
  • Offers an alternative to Mumbai’s busy Nhava Sheva port.
  • Good road and railroad network from Surat, Karjan, Kosamba, and Bharuch.

Owned By: Adani Group.

Annual Container Volume: >300,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • First privately-owned port in India.
  • Serves cities such as Surat and Rajkot in the state of Gujarat in Northwest India .
  • Infrastructure includes two berths and eight cranes for loading and unloading container vessels.

Owned By: A.P. Moller Maersk Group.

Annual Container Volume: >880,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Only sea freight hub in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Second-largest port in the country by volume of cargo handled.
  • Located on India’s east coast midway between Chennai and Kolkata.
  • Has 24 berths in three harbors.

Owned By: Visakhapatnam Port Trust.

Annual Container Volume: >350,000 TEUs.


Other Ports in India

In addition to the container gateways mentioned above, you can import from India to Bangladesh from any of the following seaports:

  • Ahmedabad
  • Kattupalli
  • Haldia
  • Nhava Sheva
  • Krishnapatnam
  • Tuticorin
  • Mormugao
  • Chennai

Cargo Ports of Arrival in Bangladesh


Port Facts:

  • Handles 90% of Bangladesh's exports and imports.
  • Busiest seaport on the coastline of the Bay of Bengal.
  • Ranked 71st-busiest port in the world in 2017.
  • Facilities include 14 container berths in addition to several other berths and various privately-run container terminals.

Owned By: Government of Bangladesh.

Annual Container Volume: >2.8 million TEUs.


Flying Your Freight: Airport Guide

Airports of Origin in India


Airport Facts:

  • Primary airport for the cities of Pune, Nashik, and Mumbai.
  • India’s second-busiest airport for cargo traffic.
  • Facilities include dedicated perishable and fragile goods stations.
  • Handles up to 900,000 tonnes of air cargo annually.

Bangladeshi Airports Served: None.

Mumbai to Bangladesh Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Known as Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport.
  • Located in northwest India close to the border with Pakistan.
  • Facilities include a dedicated cargo terminal.

Bangladeshi Airports Served: None.

Ahmedabad to Bangladesh Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Officially named Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport.
  • Situated in Dum Dum, 17 km from Kolkata’s city center in the state of West Bengal.
  • Largest air cargo facility in India’s northeast.

Bangladeshi Airports Served: None.

Kolkata to Bangladesh Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Main airport of the city of Kochi in the state of Kerala.
  • Features a 20-hectare cargo terminal.
  • First airport to be fully solar-powered.

Bangladeshi Airports Served: None.

Cochin to Bangladesh Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Located ten kilometers from the city of Peelamedu in Tamil Nadu.
  • India’s 15th-busiest airport for cargo and the second-largest in its state.
  • The airport is connected with 12 domestic and three international destinations.
  • Has a single runway.

Bangladeshi Airports Served: None.

Coimbatore to Bangladesh Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Other Airports in India

In addition to the airports mentioned above, cargo bound for Bangladesh can also be flown from the following airports in India:

  • Bangalore
  • Hyderabad
  • Delhi
  • Chennai

Airports of Arrival in Bangladesh


Airport Facts:

  • Largest international airport in Bangladesh.
  • Handled 517,940 tonnes of cargo in 2019.
  • Hub of national flag carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines.
  • Known as Shahjalal International Airport

Connected Airports in India: None.

India to Dhaka Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Why Ship From India to Bangladesh With Shipa Freight?

When you transport your freight with Shipa Freight, a digital-first, online-only business, you will be at the forefront of freight forwarding. We will take care of your international ocean and air shipping needs, ensuring that your cargo arrives safely and on time. Our cutting-edge online platform allows you to manage your shipments in one place, simplifying your supply chain.

Here are your benefits when you ship with us:

  • Obtaining and comparing quotes online is easy and fast.
  • Placing your booking online is done in an instant.
  • The shipping documentation process is straightforward and transparent.
  • Customs complexities will be taken care of for you.
  • Our friendly customer service team is available 24/7.
  • Compliance with shipping rules and regulations is guaranteed.

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