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Ocean and Air Shipping From India to Brazil

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Exporting or importing from India to Brazil can be a long process. Over 14,500 kilometers separate the two nations—and that’s as the crow flies. There are no direct flights between India and Brazil, and shipping lanes head south across the Indian Ocean, past Mozambique, Madagascar and South Africa before crossing the Atlantic.

But the vast distance doesn’t stop trade between India and Brazil. In 2016, the value of exports and imports between the two reached $5.5 billion per year.

Many freight forwarders can organize every aspect of your export or import from India to Brazil. For example, if you choose a door-to-door service your goods will be:

  • Picked up from your supplier or manufacturer in India
  • Transported by road or rail to your chosen port of origin
  • Shipped by an international carrier via ocean or air to Brazil
  • Taken by road or rail from port in Brazil to your final destination

If you don’t need the full door-to door-service, port-to-port services should be available, along with port to door or door to port options.

Shipping Ocean Freight From India to Brazil

Warehouse operative pushing a trolley stacked with boxes, from the flag of India towards the flag of Brazil

Shipping a container from India to Brazil is a process you should expect to take between 33 and 55 days. The speed of delivery depends on whether you choose to ship your goods as FCL (Full Container Load) or LCL (Less Than Container Load). These are terms we explain in more detail below, but briefly, FCL means you get exclusive use of a container on a shipping vessel. With LCL your goods will share container space with other products.

Your port of departure in India and port of arrival in Brazil will also affect the time it takes for your sea freight to reach its destination. Ocean shipping is a good option for your business if:

  • Your goods aren’t urgently required in Brazil
  • You are shipping a big consignment
  • Your goods aren’t suitable as air freight
  • Your products can survive a long journey and frequent touches by cargo handlers

Different types of containers are available for your goods to be loaded into for the voyage from India to Brazil. Options include:

  • High cube
  • Open top
  • Refrigerated
  • Open side
  • Half-height

Most ocean freight can be transported in a standard container that opens at one end. 20ft containers can carry 10 to 11 standard pallets. 40ft containers have room for up to 21.

Sending a Less-than-Container-Load (LCL) From India to Brazil

Book LCL shipping and a freight forwarder will arrange for your goods to be loaded into a container with other goods before being lifted onto a cargo ship bound for Latin America.

LCL makes sense if you only have a small consignment to ship. The cost of shipping using this method will depend on:

  • The type of goods you’re shipping
  • The volume and dimensions of your shipment
  • The weight of your goods
  • The ports of origin and arrival you choose

The LCL process of filling containers with goods from different shippers is called consolidation and will happen in your chosen port in India. Deconsolidation will occur upon arrival in Brazil. Both are extra logistics procedures that help explain why LCL shipping usually takes longer than FCL.

Full Container Load (FCL) From India to Brazil

Sending ocean freight by FCL does not mean you have to wait until you can fill a container with your goods before shipping. FCL means you hire a container just for your goods. It’s up to you how much you load inside. Your freight forwarder will arrange for your container to be lifted from shore to ship no matter how much is inside.

Obviously, it makes commercial sense to ship a container from India to Brazil that’s as full as possible. Standard 20ft containers hold 10 to 11 standard pallets. Their bigger 40ft counterparts will hold up to 21 standard pallets.

No consolidation or deconsolidation is involved, unlike with LCL, so shipping by FCL is usually faster. And because less handling is involved with FCL, it makes it attractive to businesses with delicate goods to import or export from India to Brazil.

Cargo Ports of Origin in India

Nhava Sheva

Also known as Jawaharlal Nehru or JNPT, this is India’s largest port. Over 50% of the nation’s containerized trade is processed here. In 2019, Nhava Sheva became the first port in India to achieve an annual throughput of over five million TEUs. The presence of five container terminals and excellent road and rail connections from Central and Western India help explain the popularity of the port.

Owned By: Government of India.

Annual Container Volume: >5 million TEUs.



The city of Chennai’s port has two container terminals in which your FCL or LCL goods bound for Brazil can be processed and lifted from shore to ship. Regarded as the gateway to Southern India, the port sits in the Bay of Bengal and is popular with international shippers who have a supply chain link or manufacturing hub in this part of the subcontinent.

Owned By: Chennai Port Trust, Ministry of Shipping.

Annual Container Volume: >1.5 million TEUs.



Situated in Gujarat, India’s westernmost state, Mundra ranks in the world’s top 50 busiest container ports. A privately-owned sea freight facility, Mundra’s four container terminals give you a good port from which to export to Brazil. Especially if your goods originate in North or Northwestern India.

Owned By: Adani Group.

Annual Container Volume: >4 million TEUs.



This port has a lower container throughput than many Indian ports. But as the only sea freight hub in Andhra Pradesh, it’s a useful port of origin for exports or imports from India to Brazil if your goods are produced in this part of India.

Owned By: Visakhapatnam Port Trust.

Annual Container Volume: >350,000 TEUs.



Many shippers choose this as an alternative to the nearby Port of Chennai. Kattupalli was built to relieve pressure on its bigger and busier neighbor. The advantages of using this port include its congestion-free approach roads that make getting goods here quick and easy. Self-sealed containers can benefit from direct port entry status which also helps to speed things up.

Owned By: Kattupalli Port Private Ltd.

Annual Container Volume: >345,000 TEUs.


Other Ports of Origin in India:

Here is a selection of other ports in India from which you can ship to Brazil:

  • Tuticorin
  • Pipavav
  • Haldia
  • Hazira
  • Krishnapatnam
  • Kolkata
  • Mormugao

Cargo Ports of Arrival in Brazil


Brazil’s busiest port for containerized goods is also South America’s largest ocean port. Serving the bustling city of Sao Paulo, its sea freight handling facilities are the country’s most modern. Importing from India into this freight hub is extremely popular. So much so that it’s led to road and rail links into the port exceeding their capacity. The port’s owners—the Brazilian government—are taking steps to improve the flow of goods, with several projects in the pipeline.

Owned By: Federal Government of Brazil.

Annual Container Volume: >4 million TEUs.


Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro’s port is better known for cruise ships than container vessels. But it’s still possible to ship goods from India to this huge port. Its biggest pier stretches for nearly 900 meters, and the port occupies a 7km stretch of Eastern Brazilian coastline. Warehouse facilities are huge too, covering an area of over 65,000 square meters.

Owned By: Companhia Docos do Rio de Janeiro.

Annual Container Volume: >380,000 TEUs.



Only one degree south of the Equator, Belem is a tropical river port about 20km north of Belem city center in the State of Pará. It’s a small sea freight facility situated in the delta of the River Amazon, about 130km inland from the Atlantic Ocean.

Owned By: Companhia Docas do Pará-Autoridade Portuária.

Annual Container Volume: Unknown.


Rio Grande du Sol

Rio Grande is a medium-sized river port eight miles from the mouth of the Rio Grande in Southern Brazil. It’s the second-busiest port in Brazil with a Super Porto handling containers from all over the world. The port is well-connected, with excellent road and rail links to destinations across the south of Brazil.

Owned By: Superintendencia Porto de Rio Grande.

Annual Container Volume: >760,000 TEUs.



Vitoria is regarded as the most difficult port in Brazil to access from the sea, with an extremely narrow entrance to the docks. That shouldn’t stop you from requesting a freight forwarder to ship your goods here. It’s the main port serving the State of Espirito Santo in Eastern Brazil, just over 400km north of Rio de Janeiro. If your goods from India are destined for this area of South America, it could save you time and money to get them discharged here.

Owned By: Companhia Docas do Espírito Santo (CODESA).

Annual Container Volume: >192,000 TEUs.


Other Ports of Arrival in Brazil:

You could also choose to discharge your commercial goods from India at these ports:

  • Salvador
  • Suape
  • Navegantes
  • Pecem
  • Paranagua
  • Haguali
  • Itapoa
  • Itajal
  • Manaus

Air Freight From India to Brazil

The quickest way to ship goods between India and Brazil is by air freight. There are no direct flights between the two countries because of the vast distance. But freight forwarders will be able to get your goods on board indirect passenger and cargo flights. Air shipping is a good choice for your consignment if:

  • Your cargo is fragile or perishable—food or flowers for example
  • Your goods are valuable—airline and airport security is strict
  • Your origin and destination locations are nearer airports than seaports
  • You like the idea of paying less insurance for your consignment
  • Your goods can be shipped on just a few pallets
  • Your customers in Brazil are in a hurry to receive your products

Airports of Origin in India


This international airport serves the city of Kochi in India’s State of Kerala. It’s the area’s biggest and busiest airport with a dedicated cargo terminal that occupies 20 hectares. In 2018, the airport was awarded ‘Champion of the Earth’ status by the United Nations in recognition of it being the first airport in the world to be fully solar-powered.

Brazil Airports Served: None.

Cochin to Brazil Cargo-Only Operators: None.



A major airport serving Southern India, Chennai is the nation’s third-busiest air cargo hub. If your business is based in this area of the country, transporting your goods to here from your manufacturing base makes commercial sense. The cargo terminal has specialist facilities for vegetables, fruit, and flowers.

Brazil Airports Served: None.

Chennai to Brazil Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Just ten kilometers from the city of Peelamedu in Tamil Nadu, Coimbatore is India’s 15th-busiest cargo-handling airport and the second-largest in its State. Three foreign and five homegrown carriers serve this single-runway facility.

Brazil Airports Served: None.

Coimbatore to Brazil Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Processing around 900,000 tonnes of air freight annually positions Mumbai as India’s second-busiest airport after Delhi. Close to the West Coast, a large cargo terminal includes facilities for handling perishable goods. So if you are shipping food, plants, flowers or other freight with a short shelf-life, Mumbai airport could be a good option for your business.

Brazil Airports Served: None.

Mumbai to Brazil Cargo-Only Operators: None.



2015 saw Delhi eclipse Mumbai as India’s busiest cargo airport. Annual throughout now exceeds one million tonnes. The air cargo teams are well-versed in swiftly processing and loading goods onto flights to destinations all over the world, including Brazil.

Brazil Airports Served: None.

Delhi to Brazil Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Other Airports of Origin in India:

Shipa Freight will also be able to arrange for your goods bound for Brazil to depart from these ports in India:

  • Bangalore
  • Hyderabad
  • Ahmedabad
  • Kolkata

Airports of Arrival in Brazil


Located close to the city of Campinas, this port’s proximity to Sao Paulo often sees this airport regarded as a Sao Paulo airport. It’s Brazil’s second-busiest for cargo throughput with freight processed in a 77,000 square meter handling area. Extensive refrigerated storage areas can receive perishables off indirect flights from India, and store them until they are cleared for onward transit into Brazil.

Connected Airports in India: None.

India to Viracopos Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Rio de Janeiro

Only Sao Paulo handles more air freight in Brazil than this airport. It boasts Brazil’s longest runway and one of Latin America’s busiest logistics terminals. Cargo handling services are provided by some of the biggest names in the industry. The absence of direct flights from Brazil to India means your air freight will be routed here via indirect services from a range of Indian airports.

Connected Airports in India: None.

India to Rio de Janeiro Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Port Alegre

For goods destined for Southern Brazil, getting your freight forwarder to arrange indirect flights from India into Port Alegre could pay dividends. It’s one of the smaller air freight hubs in Brazil, handling about 30,000 tonnes per year. Nevertheless, it’s conveniently located to ensure the fast movement of goods into the States of Grande Do Sul and Catarina.

Connected Airports in India: None.

India to Port Alegre Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Ranked third-busiest in Brazil for air freight handling, Manaus has three cargo terminals, one dedicated to imports. The airport handles over 12,000 tonnes of air freight every month.

Connected Airports in India: None.

India to Manaus Cargo-Only Operators: None.



The airport’s official name is a long one—Salvador-Deputado Luís Eduardo Magalhães International Airport. And the journey to get your goods here from India is a long one too. No direct flights operate from India to Brazil, so if you choose this as your port of arrival, your freight forwarder will seek to find the quickest and best value-for-money way to fly your goods from India.

Connected Airports in India: None.

India to Salvador Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Other Airports of Arrival in Brazil:

Additionally, Shipa Freight can arrange for your goods to be shipped to these ports in Brazil:

  • Recife
  • Belo Horizonte
  • Curitiba
  • São Paulo Guarulhos

Customs Clearance Procedures in India and Brazil

Customs stamp of wood and rubber, resting on a customs invoice document stamped with export customs clearance in red ink

Every consignment, no matter how big or small, needs to be accompanied by the correct paperwork to pass customs checks in India and Brazil. Whatever the nature of your shipment, you will need to complete the following:

  • A letter of credit
  • A commercial invoice and a tax invoice
  • A packing list and certificate of origin
  • A bill of lading

You can discover more details about each of these here.

How Long Does It Take To Ship Freight From India to Brazil?

Over 14,500km separates India from Brazil. So shipping goods between the two is a long haul by air and sea. Air shipping is significantly quicker and you should allow at least eight days for air cargo from India to reach Brazil. Ocean shipping will take at least 33 days by FCL and can take up to 55 by LCL. Your choice of origin and destination ports will affect timings.

How Long Does It Take To Ship Cargo by Ocean From India to Brazil?

With the Indian and Atlantic Oceans to traverse at an average speed of 35km per hour, a cargo vessel’s journey from South Asia to South America is a lengthy one. You should allow at least five weeks for a freight forwarder to send a shipping container from India to Brazil. Journey duration will depend on your choice of ports and whether you choose LCL and FCL as these examples show:

  • Nhava Sheva to Santos—33 days FCL, 40 days LCL
  • Chennai to Santos—55 days FCL, 55 days LCL
  • Mundra to Santos—33 days FCL
  • Chennai to Rio de Janeiro—34 days FCL, 34 days LCL

How Much Does It Cost to Ship Cargo From India to Brazil?

When calculating a quote for shipping from India to Brazil, the following variables will need to be taken into account:

  • The volume, weight, and dimensions of the shipment
  • The chosen mode of transportation—by air or sea
  • Whether a port-to-port, door-to-door, door-to-port or port-to-door service is preferred

Generally, goods weighing under 100kg can be nearly as cost-effective to send by air freight as they are ocean shipping. Consignments over 100kg are expensive to send as air cargo and for many shippers, ocean carriers offer a more cost-effective proposition.

Why Choose Shipa Freight For Shipping Cargo From India to Brazil?

Shipa Freight is a new, digitally-advanced freight forwarder that’s ready to give you a competitive quote for your import or export from India to Brazil. Backed by the shipping and logistics experts at parent company Agility Logistics, Shipa Freight is a supplier of comprehensive international shipping services.

These include 24/7 advice and information on all aspects of commercial goods shipping, including customs clearance. Booking and paying online for exporting and importing is easy. And with Shipa Freight you can track every stage of your shipment from your smart device.

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

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