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Ocean & Air Freight Shipping From India to Vietnam

FCL, LCL and Air freight forwarding: information and online quote

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Updated on 09 Feb 202214 min read

Meat, fish, steel, and pharmaceutical products are the key items that businesses export from India to Vietnam. In 2019-20, bilateral trade between the two countries reached $12.34 billion.

Your business could have been importing from India to Vietnam for years, or you might be a new shipper, eager to understand requirements for shipping goods between the two nations.

In both cases, you should find the information on this page useful, with content that includes:

  • Profiles of the key ports and airports in both countries
  • Examples of transit times for ocean and air shipping from India to Vietnam
  • Guidance about customs clearance
  • Information about the costs of shipping freight

What Are Your Options for Shipping Freight From India to Vietnam?

Although it’s possible to ship freight from India to Vietnam using overland transportation, it’s a 5,300 km journey by road from central India to Vietnam. Many borders must be crossed, adding complexity to the already complicated customs clearance process.

That’s why many businesses choose to transport their goods in a shipping container from India to Vietnam or fly them using air cargo carrier services. Let’s take a closer look at both ocean and air shipping from India to Vietnam to help you decide which is best for your supply chain.

Ocean Freight From India to Vietnam

Less than Container Load (LCL): LCL shipping entails your goods sharing a container with other products making the same journey from India to Vietnam aboard a cargo vessel. Your freight will be consolidated with others in your chosen port of loading in India. Deconsolidation will occur in Vietnam. Both these logistics necessities help explain why LCL shipping usually takes longer than FCL.

Full Container Load (FCL): FCL shipping allows shippers to pay a flat fee to hire a container and have it shipped from India to Vietnam. The container will be for your goods only and you can choose to stuff it with as few or as many items as you want. You can also seal your container before transporting it to your chosen port of origin in India. It will remain unopened until arrival at its final destination unless customs officers decide to inspect your goods in port.

Air Freight from India to Vietnam

Air freight from India to Vietnam is significantly quicker than ocean shipping, with consignments typically taking two to eight days to reach their destination. It should be noted that air freight is far more expensive than shipping by sea, especially for consignments weighing 100kg or more.

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

Determining the cost of a shipment from India to Vietnam requires the following aspects of the consignment to be considered:

  • The weight, dimensions, and volume
  • The chosen mode of transportation—ocean or air
  • The type of goods to be shipped
  • The preferred delivery service, be it door-to-door, door-to-port, port-to-port, or port-to-door

It’s worth knowing that goods weighing less than 100 kilograms can often be just as economical to fly as to ship by ocean carrier.

Goods weighing over 100 kilograms are expensive to transport as air freight, so unless consignees in Vietnam urgently require the goods, ocean shipping will probably be more cost-effective.

Shipa Freight, like most freight forwarders, does not process shipments that weigh less than 35 kilograms. International couriers will provide quotes for such loads.

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

Shipping air freight from India to Vietnam typically takes between two and eight days. Ocean freight can take as few as 18 days and as many as 30 days to ship from India to destinations in Vietnam.

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

Below, we have included a few examples of typical transportation times for shipping a container from India to Vietnam:

  • Nhava Sheva to Ho Chi Minh City—18 days FCL, 21 days LCL
  • Nhava Sheva to Haiphong—19 days FCL
  • Kolkata to Haiphong—25 days FCL
  • Kolkata to Ho Chi Minh City—30 days FCL
  • Krishnapatnam or Mundra to Haiphong—24 days FCL
  • Chennai to Haiphong—22 days FCL
  • Chennai to Ho Chi Minh City—21 days FCL
  • Mundra to Ho Chi Minh City—17 days FCL

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

Two to eight days is the average time taken for consignments to be shipped by air carriers from India to Vietnam. That’s certainly the case for goods being air shipped from Chennai to Hanoi. Air freight shipments from Delhi to Ho Chi Minh City are usually completed in three days.

Customs Clearance Procedures in India and Vietnam

Shippers often hire a freight forwarder to manage the customs clearance process, as it’s rife with complexity. Unless your enterprise has shipping experts within its ranks, you should consider doing likewise. A good forwarder will ensure your consignment isn’t delayed unnecessarily due to failure to comply with customs clearance requirements in India and Vietnam.

Even when you hire a forwarder, you will still need to play your part in the customs clearance process. You’ll need to complete and submit several essential documents with your consignment. These are almost certain to include:

  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. Airway Bill for air shipping, or a Bill of Lading for ocean cargo (Shipa Freight provides these documents for its customers)

Our document list page features examples of the above documents so you can take a closer look at them and see the kind of information required to complete them. Other documents may need to be submitted with your shipment, such as a permit, certificate, or license. Much depends on the nature of the goods you are shipping from India to Vietnam. Your forwarder will advise.

Should You Choose Ocean Freight or Air Freight?

Ocean Freight

Cargo vessels travel at an average speed of 35 km/h, which helps explain why sea freight from India to Vietnam takes a long time to ship—typically between 18 and 30 days. If your goods can survive that length of time in transit and your consignee in Vietnam can wait that long for the cargo, ocean shipping is a good option.

Your cargo is likely to ship aboard an ocean vessel inside a 20ft or 40ft shipping container that opens at one end. That’s unless your goods require a specialist container such as:

  • Tank containers for gases and liquids
  • Open top containers for freight that’s extra-long or tall
  • Half-height containers for smaller amounts of bulky cargo
  • Flatbacks for consignments that are extremely heavy or awkwardly shaped
  • Containers with refrigeration facilities for cargo that needs temperature control
  • Ventilated containers for freight that needs air circulation during transit

You will also need to decide between LCL and FCL when shipping goods in a container from India to Vietnam. The information about both types of service is provided below to help you choose the best option for your business:

Considerations for LCL Freight Shipping

Less-Than-Container-Load shipping usually offers the most cost-effective way to transport a shipping container from India to Vietnam if:

  • Your consignment is no bigger than 14 cubic meters
  • The consignee in Vietnam isn’t in a hurry to receive the goods
  • Your freight can be transported in a shared container alongside other goods from other shippers
  • Air freight is out of the question
  • You appreciate that the logistics of consolidation and deconsolidation could cause your shipment to take longer than an
  • FCL shipment between the same ports in India and Vietnam

You may be better off avoiding LCL shipping if:

  • Your goods are fragile or perishable and could be damaged if handled too often
  • Your goods aren’t suited to share a shipping container with other goods
  • Your goods won’t arrive in Vietnam in good condition after 18 to 30 days in transit
  • The consignee in Vietnam needs the goods by a particular date

Considerations for FCL Freight Shipping

If LCL shipping doesn’t meet the needs of your supply chain, another way to ship goods for import from India to Vietnam is FCL. It’s likely to be your best option if you want:

  • Less moving and handling of your goods
  • No consolidation or deconsolidation steps in the port of origin and port of arrival
  • A faster and more predictable shipping time (in most cases)
  • The option to load and seal your container in India and unload it in Vietnam
  • To ship freight consignments occupying more than half the capacity of a 20ft shipping container

Air Freight

Air shipping offers the fastest way to move commercial freight from India to Vietnam. It could be your best option if:

  • You have an urgent delivery deadline to meet
  • Your consignment will occupy no more than a few standard pallets
  • You want to pay less insurance for your consignment than if you shipped it by ocean carrier
  • Your goods are perishable and need to get to Vietnam quickly
  • Your cargo is high-value, requiring the high levels of security provided by airlines and airport operators

Ocean Cargo Port Guide

Cargo Ports of Origin in India


Port Facts:

  • A large international port located in the Bay of Bengal in Southeast India
  • Used to be called Madras Port
  • India’s second-biggest port for containerized shipping
  • Is geographically closer to Vietnam than many other ports in India
  • Infrastructure includes three docks and 24 berths

Owned By: Chennai Port Trust, Ministry of Shipping. Annual Container Volume: >1.5 million TEUs. UN/LOCODE: INMAA.


Port Facts:

  • Ranks in the world’s top-50 list of largest container ports
  • A privately-owned shipping hub
  • Four container terminals process freight at the port
  • Located in Gujarat, making it ideal for any supplier based in the Northwest of India and the India/Pakistan border region

Owned By: Adani Group. Annual Container Volume: >4 million TEUs. UN/LOCODE: INMUN.

Nhava Sheva

Port Facts:

  • Situated in the northwestern corner of India
  • Geographically, the port is as far away from Vietnam as an Indian port can get
  • Set a record for annual freight throughput in India in 2019 by exceeding five million TEUs
  • The port’s five container terminals handle around half of India’s containerized goods

Owned By: Government of India. Annual Container Volume: >5 million TEUs. UN/LOCODE: INNSA.


Port Facts:

  • Located in the India/Bangladesh border region
  • An inland port more than 200 kilometers from the Bay of Bengal
  • Ranked as India’s third-busiest containerized freight port in 2018-2019
  • Facilities include 86 wharves and 28 berths for shipping vessels

Owned By: Kolkata Port Trust, Ministry of Shipping. Annual Container Volume: >825,000 TEUs. UN/LOCODE: INCCU.


Port Facts:

  • Located in South Gujarat to the north of Mumbai in Northwest India
  • A privately-owned deepwater port that can handle multiple types of cargo
  • Congestion-free approach roads to the container terminal
  • Ideal port of loading for suppliers based in Bharuch, Kosamba, Karjan, and other locations in Northwestern India

Owned By: Adani Group. Annual Container Volume: >300,000 TEUs. UN/LOCODE: INHZA.

Other Ports of Origin in India

In addition to the ports mentioned above, you can arrange ocean shipments to Vietnam from the following Indian ports:

  • Pipavav
  • Kattupalli
  • Tuticorin
  • Haldia
  • Ahmedabad
  • Krishnapatnam
  • Mormugao
  • Visakhapatnam

Cargo Ports of Arrival in Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City

Port Facts:

  • Located on the Saigon River
  • Also called Saigon Port
  • The largest network of ports in Vietnam
  • Ranks as the 25th-busiest port in the world for containerized goods

Owned By: Saigon Newport Company. Annual Container Volume: >6 million TEUs. UN/LOCODE: VNSGN.

Qui Nhon

Port Facts:

  • Located in Bình Định Province
  • Offers more than ten direct shipping routes to international ports
  • Ideal port of unloading for goods destined for Laos, Cambodia, Gia Lai Province, and locations in the central highlands of Vietnam

Owned By: Quy Nhon Port Joint Stock Company. Annual Container Volume: >130,000 TEUs. UN/LOCODE: VNUIH.

Vung Tau

Port Facts:

Situated in the Bà Rịa–Vũng Tàu Province Located about 50 kilometers outside of Ho Chi Minh City Serves locations in Southeastern Vietnam A network of ports that includes Cai Mep, Ben Dam, Phu My, and Dinh River.

Owned By: Vung Tau Commercial Port J.S Co. Annual Container Volume: >3 million TEUs. UN/LOCODE: VNVUT.

Da Nang

Port Facts:

  • A central Vietnam port situated on the Han River
  • Easily accessed from the South India Sea
  • Infrastructure includes two terminals and a warehouse for freight

Owned By: Danang Port. Annual Container Volume: >600,000 TEUs. UN/LOCODE: VNDAD.


Port Facts:

  • North Vietnam’s main port for container goods
  • Originally a small river port that has recently opened a deepwater port
  • Can now accommodate larger shipping vessels

Owned By: Hai Phong Port Joint Stock Company. Annual Container Volume: >1.15 million TEUs. UN/LOCODE: VNHPH.

Flying Your Freight: Airport Guide

Airports of Origin in India


Airport Facts:

  • The busiest air freight hub in India
  • Situated 16 kilometers outside of New Delhi city center
  • Also regarded as South Asia’s largest cargo gateway
  • The airport occupies a site of over 2,000 hectares
  • Facilities include a state-of-the-art logistics center, two integrated freight terminals, and cutting edge temperature-controlled storage facilities

Vietnam Airports Served: Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City. Delhi to Vietnam Cargo-Only Operators: Korean Air Cargo, Spicexpress, Turkish Airlines Cargo. IATA Code: DEL.


Airport Facts:

  • The airport’s full name is Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport
  • Situated in Dum Dum, West Bengal
  • The home of the largest air freight center in Northeastern India

Vietnam Airports Served: Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City. Kolkata to Vietnam Cargo-Only Operators: None. IATA Code: CCU.


Airport Facts:

  • Situated in Tirusulam, 21 kilometers outside of Chennai city center
  • India’s third-largest airport for freight capacity
  • All types of air cargo are handled here, including perishables such as fruit, plants, and flowers

Vietnam Airports Served: None. Chennai to Vietnam Cargo-Only Operators: None. IATA Code: MAA.


Airport Facts:

  • The official name is Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport
  • Situated close to the border with Pakistan
  • Easily accessed from Gujarat and other towns and cities in Northwestern India
  • Cargo destined for Vietnam will be shipped aboard indirect flights

Vietnam Airports Served: None. Ahmedabad to Vietnam Cargo-Only Operators: None. IATA Code: AMD.


Airport Facts:

  • The biggest airport in Western India
  • About 900,000 tonnes of air cargo is processed here every year
  • The air freight terminal features facilities for processing perishables ready for export to Vietnam
  • Ideal airport of origin if your suppliers or manufacturers are based in Mumbai, Nashik, Pune, or elsewhere in Western India,

Vietnam Airports Served: Ho Chi Minh City. Mumbai to Vietnam Cargo-Only Operators: None. IATA Code: BOM.

Other airports in India from which you can arrange for your goods to be shipped to Vietnam are Hyderabad, Cochin, Coimbatore, and Bangalore.

Airports of Arrival in Vietnam


Airport Facts:

  • Known locally as Noi Bai International Airport
  • The largest airport in Vietnam
  • Situated 35 kilometers outside of Downtown Hanoi in Northeastern Vietnam
  • Features two runways, the longest being 3,800m

Connected Airports in India: Kolkata, Delhi. India to Hanoi Cargo-Only Operators: Korean Air Cargo, Turkish Airlines Cargo, Spicexpress. IATA Code: HAN.

Ho Chi Minh City

Airport Facts:

  • Also known as Tan Son Nhat International Airport
  • Vietnam’s busiest airport
  • Situated six kilometers north of Ho Chi Minh City
  • A new airport is planned for the city and will have a dedicated freight terminal

Connected Airports in India: Kolkata, Mumbai. India to Ho Chi Minh City Cargo-Only Operators: None. IATA Code: SGN.

Why Ship From India to Vietnam With Shipa Freight?

Shipa Freight’s digital-first approach helps businesses benefit from easier international shipping. Our accessible online platform has innovative features that speed up the process of getting quotes when importing from India to Vietnam. Online bookings and payments are two further advantages Shipa Freight brings to businesses.

Enterprises based all over the world trust us to safely transport their cargo from India to Vietnam by ocean or air, without hassle and with the following benefits:

  • Easy shipment tracking
  • Access to our customs clearance expertise
  • Support services provided by international shipping experts
  • 24/7 customer service via online chat, email, or telephone

Know Your Shipping Terminology

Even if you’re new to shipping, you’ve likely already encountered some words or phrases that have left you confused. Understanding what they mean will help you communicate your needs to experts more easily. That’s why we’re featuring definitions of some potentially confusing terms at the end of each of our country-to-country pages. This page’s terms are defined below:

Act of God

Bill of lading

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