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Ocean & Air Shipping From Indonesia to the US

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

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Updated on 01 Mar 202215 min read

It’s over 10,500 kilometers from Indonesia to Los Angeles on the West Coast of the United States, and over 14,000 kilometers to New York on the East Coast. Despite the vast distance, trade between the two nations totaled close to $33 billion (USD) in 2018.

If your business already contributes to that figure, or you are looking to export from Indonesia to the US for the first time, this page will simplify shipping your commercial goods.

Here, you can find important information about ocean and air shipping from Indonesia to the US, including different shipping methods, costs, transit times, customs clearance procedures, and ports.

What Are Your Options for Shipping Freight From Indonesia to the US?

Warehouse operative pushing a trolley, stacked with boxes, from the Flag of Indonesia towards the flag of the United States

When you export from Indonesia to the US, you can choose between ocean and air freight. Both alternatives come with certain advantages, and one or two drawbacks. You’ll learn more about those subsequently on this page.

Ocean Freight From Indonesia to the US

Less than Container Load (LCL): LCL is one of the most cost-efficient ways to send smaller consignments to the US. With this mode of transport, your freight travels in a shared container next to the shipments of other businesses. Shippers who don’t want to pay for the transport of an entire container prefer LCL.

Full Container Load (FCL): FCL is great for high-volume, heavy freight as you pay a flat fee for the transportation of an entire container from Indonesia to the US. A major benefit is that your cargo will remain fully sealed off for the entire journey.

Air Freight from Indonesia to the US

An air-freight carrier can bring your freight from Indonesia to the US in the quickest, most flexible way. But, you have to prepare a sizable budget. Air cargo often costs considerably more than sea freight.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship Cargo From Indonesia to the US?

A freight forwarder will give you a quote based on the information you provide about your shipment. Your forwarder is also likely to want to know: Which ports of origin and arrival you want to use.

  • Whether you wish to send your freight as an ocean or air shipment.
  • If you choose ocean shipping, your choice of LCL or FCL.
  • The nature of the goods you want to ship.
  • The volume, weight, and dimensions of your freight.
  • Your delivery preference—it could be door-to-door, door-to-port, port-to-port or port-to-door.

Need help deciding between ocean and air shipping? Choose air shipping for:

  • Goods weighing under 100kg.
  • Consignments urgently required in the United States.
  • Freight that is fragile or perishable.

It’s usually more beneficial to choose ocean freight if your consignment:

  • Is not required urgently in the US.
  • Weighs over 100kg.
  • Cannot be shipped as air cargo.
  • Can endure at least four weeks in transit.

How Long Does It Take To Ship Freight From Indonesia to the US?

Hourglass and a calendar to represent the transit time of shipments with Shipa Freight

With the Pacific Ocean separating Indonesia and the United States, transit times for both air and ocean shipping are lengthy. Eight days is likely to be the quickest time a freight forwarder can deliver a shipment—and that’s by an indirect flight. FCL ocean shipments can be completed in 25 days. You should allow at least 30 days for LCL ocean shipping.

How Long Does It Take To Ship Cargo by Sea From Indonesia to the US?

Here are the estimated journey durations for shipping a container from Indonesia to the US:

  • Jakarta to New York—33 days FCL, 37 days LCL
  • Surabaya to Los Angeles—25 days FCL, 31 days LCL
  • Jakarta to Los Angeles—25 days FCL, 30 days LCL
  • Jakarta to Charleston—36 days FCL, 42 days LCL
  • Jakarta to Miami—71 days LCL
  • Jakarta to Philadelphia—36 days FCL, 36 days LCL
  • Surabaya to Cleveland—36 days FCL, 48 days LCL
  • Semarang to Baltimore—43 days FCL
  • Jakarta to Atlanta—38 days LCL
  • Jakarta to Boston—36 days FCL, 37 days LCL
  • Semarang to Los Angeles—39 days LCL, 28 days FCL
  • Surabaya to Boston—46 days LCL, 36 days FCL
  • Surabaya to Miami—54 days LCL, 44 days FCL
  • Belawan or Jakarta to Baltimore—36 days FCL
  • Jakarta to Houston, Seattle, or Norfolk—36 days FCL
  • Jakarta to Long Beach—32 days FCL
  • Jakarta to Oakland—31 days FCL
  • Semarang to Houston—44 days FCL
  • Semarang to Long Beach—33 days
  • Semarang to Miami—39 days FCL
  • Semarang to Oakland—35 days FCL
  • Semarang or Surabaya to Seattle—36 days
  • Surabaya to Baltimore—36 days

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

The quickest way to ship freight from Indonesia to the US is by air. The average shipping duration from airports in Indonesia to the US is eight days. Routes with this transit time include Jakarta to Los Angeles and Surabaya to Cleveland or Chicago.

Here are a few more examples of transit times for air freight from Indonesia to the United States:

  • Jakarta to Atlanta, New York, Miami, or Denver—6 days
  • Jakarta to San Francisco, Philadelphia, Baltimore or Dallas—7 days
  • Jakarta to Boston—5 days
  • Denpasar to Atlanta—5 days
  • Denpasar to Miami, Boston or Houston—6 days
  • Denpasar to Los Angeles—7 days
  • Denpasar to New York—3 days
  • Surabaya to Baltimore or Philadelphia—7 days
  • Surabaya to Houston—4 days
  • Surabaya to Los Angeles or New York—6 days

Customs Clearance in Indonesia and the US

Getting customs clearance right can be one of the most frustrating aspects of air and ocean shipping from Indonesia to the US. To help out, we’ve listed the documents necessary to clear export customs checks in Indonesia and for your goods to be cleared into the US. They are:

  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)

You can see examples of these documents on a page that we’ve compiled, which you can find right here.

Should You Choose Ocean Freight or Air Freight?

Ocean Freight

You will need to ship your freight across the Pacific Ocean if you wish to import from Indonesia to the US. If your goods are too large to be sent by air, ocean shipping will be your only option.

A freight forwarder will arrange many elements of your shipment for you if you provide the necessary details. Essential information includes:

  • The name of your port of origin in Indonesia
  • Your chosen port of arrival in the United States
  • Whether you want to ship your goods FCL or LCL

Knowing the difference between FCL and LCL shipping is important, not least because there is a difference between the duration and cost of each type of shipment. FCL shipping gives you exclusive use and transportation of a container from Indonesia to the US, while with LCL, your goods will share container space with other shippers’ products.

Whether you opt for LCL or FCL, there are different types of containers you can choose for your sea freight. These include units that are:

  • Refrigerated
  • Insulated
  • Half-height
  • Open top
  • Ventilated

Considerations for LCL Freight Shipping

LCL shipping entails goods from various business customers being shipped in one container on a cargo vessel. LCL shipping is often used by shippers:

  • With smaller consignments to send
  • Sending freight that isn’t suitable to be transported as air cargo
  • Who don’t mind their goods sharing container space with other goods
  • Who aren’t in a hurry to get their goods to the United States

LCL requires the consolidation of goods in the port of origin in Indonesia and their deconsolidation in the port of arrival in the United States. Both are essential logistics steps in the process and can mean LCL shipping takes longer than FCL.

Considerations for FCL Freight Shipping

If you want exclusive use and transportation of a shipping container from Indonesia to the US, sending your goods by FCL service will give you precisely that. It’s usually the fastest form of ocean shipping as, unlike LCL, no consolidation or deconsolidation is required.

To make an FCL shipment, you do not have to fill your container. When you hire a container, the quantity of goods that you put in it is up to you, as long as you don’t exceed the unit’s capacity.

If the goods you are importing from Indonesia to the US will occupy up to ten standard pallets, a 20-foot container will be sufficient. If you have 10-21 standard pallets to send, you will need a 40ft container.

Air Freight

Freight forwarders will use indirect flights for air shipping from Indonesia to the US. It’s over 10,000 kilometers to the US West Coast and over 14,000 kilometers to the East Coast from Indonesia. That’s too far for direct flights. Despite this, most air cargo can be shipped to an airport in the United States in eight days, which is far quicker than ocean shipping.

Aside from the speed, sending your goods as air freight is recommended if:

  • Your cargo has a short shelf-life.
  • You want the highest levels of security for your goods.
  • You’re sending a relatively small consignment that doesn’t occupy many pallets.
  • You want less handling of your freight than is necessary for ocean shipping.

Ocean Cargo Port Guide

Cargo Ports of Origin in Indonesia


Port Facts:

  • East Java’s premier port, also called Tanjung Perak.
  • Hub for inter-island shipping.
  • Can only be accessed along the narrow Madura Strait, which is 40 kilometers long.

Owned By: PT Pelabuhan Indonesia II.

Annual Container Volume: >3.8 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Handles more than 50% of Indonesia’s ocean freight.
  • Known as the Port of Cabang Tanjung Priok.
  • Has three container terminals.
  • The quayside stretches for over 16,800 meters.
  • Storage facilities cover 660,000 square meters.

Owned By: PT Pelabuhan Indonesia II.

Annual Container Volume: >8 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Third-largest port in Indonesia.
  • Serves the northern coastal regions of Java.
  • Perfect departure port for goods from any supplier or manufacturer in Demak, Salatiga, Kendal, or neighboring areas.

Owned By: PT Pelabuhan III Indonesia.

Annual Container Volume: >730,000 TEUs.


Belawan Sumatra

Port Facts:

  • Known as a port for shipping coffee, tea, and rubber.
  • Located in Northwestern Sumatra.
  • Indonesia’s biggest port outside of Java.

Owned By: Pelni.

Annual Container Volume: >400,000 TEUs.


Cargo Ports of Arrival in the US


Port Facts:

  • Located in the state of South Carolina.
  • Ranks eighth in the US’s list of cargo ports by value of freight handled.
  • Handled 2.4 million TEUs in 2019.
  • The Wando Welch and North Charleston terminals are specifically for containerized goods.
  • A third container facility is opening in 2021, which will increase the port’s capacity by 50%.

Owned By: South Carolina Ports Authority.

Annual Container Volume: >2.4 million TEUs.


New Orleans

Port Facts:

  • International shipping gateway to the Southern United States.
  • Generates over $100 million per year.
  • Located on the Mississippi River.
  • Six cranes line the quayside ready to lift containerized goods from ship to shore.

Owned By: The Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans.

Annual Container Volume: >500,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • A river port in Georgia.
  • Located 30 kilometers inland from the south coast of the US.
  • Boasts the biggest container terminal in the US.
  • Ideal for discharging freight bound for any destination in the Midwest or Eastern United States.

Owned By: Georgia Ports Authority.

Annual Container Volume: >4 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • One of the biggest ports in the world.
  • Handles almost two-thirds of the US’s container cargo.
  • Its facilities stretch for a staggering 80 kilometers.
  • Has two container terminals.
  • 15% of the goods processed come from Indonesia and other nations in Asia and the Pacific Rim.

Owned By: Port of Houston Authority.

Annual Container Volume: >2.7 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Located in Washington State in the Northwestern United States.
  • Joined forces with the neighboring port of Seattle in 2015.
  • Regarded by many as the Gateway to Alaska.

Owned By: Port of Tacoma Commission.

Annual Container Volume: >3.7 million TEUs.


Other Ports in the United States

In addition to the gateways covered above, you can ship your exports from Indonesia to the following ports in the United States:

  • Atlanta
  • New York
  • Miami
  • Mobile
  • San Francisco
  • Norfolk
  • Boston
  • Oakland
  • Baltimore
  • Los Angeles
  • Port Everglades

Flying Your Freight: Airport Guide

Airports of Origin in Indonesia


Airport Facts:

  • Known as Soekarno Hatta International Airport (SHIA for short).
  • Situated about 20 kilometers northwest of central Jakarta.
  • A third runway opened in 2019, and plans are in place to boost cargo-handling capacity further.
  • The freight terminal will be relocated to a different part of the airport by 2025.

US Airports Served: None.

Jakarta to the US Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Only 12 kilometers from Surabaya in Eastern Java.
  • Ranks as Indonesia’s third-busiest air facility.
  • Has one runway and a two-story freight terminal.
  • Processes around 120,000 tonnes of air cargo annually.

US Airports Served: None.

Surabaya to the US Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Denpasar Bali

Airport Facts:

  • Located 13 kilometers south of the city of Denpasar.
  • Indonesia’s second-busiest airport.
  • Able to accommodate wide-body aircraft.
  • Ideal airport of origin if the final link in your supply chain is in or near Jimbaran, Kuta, or a neighboring area.

US Airports Served: None.

Denpasar to the US Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Airports of Arrival in the US

Dallas/Fort Worth

Airport Facts:

  • Located halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth.
  • This facility handles over 910,000 tonnes annually.
  • Contributes $20 billion (USD) to the local economy.
  • International cargo accounts for 45% of all freight processed here.

Connected Airports in Indonesia: None.

Indonesia to Dallas/Fort Worth Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Serves Colorado and the Western United States.
  • This is a huge air freight facility.
  • Cargo processed regularly exceeds 230,000 tonnes per year.

Connected Airports in Indonesia: None.

Indonesia to Denver Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Handled over 500,000 tonnes of air cargo in 2018.
  • Accounts for 20% of international trade in the state of Texas.
  • There is a seaport and airport in Houston, giving international shippers a choice of ways to get their goods here.

Connected Airports in Indonesia: None.

Indonesia to Houston Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Located in the Northwest of the US.
  • Just 23 kilometers south of Downtown Seattle.
  • Over 430,000 tonnes of air freight is handled here each year.

Connected Airports in Indonesia: None.

Indonesia to Seattle-Tacoma Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • A combined civil and military air facility.
  • Regarded as a major gateway to the Caribbean.
  • Located just eight kilometers from uptown Charlotte.
  • The area is known as the fourth-largest manufacturing hub in the United States.

Connected Airports in Indonesia: None.

Indonesia to Charlotte Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Other Airports in the US

With Shipa Freight, you can also choose to send air cargo from Indonesia via these airports in the US:

  • Chicago
  • New York
  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Philadelphia
  • Miami
  • Cleveland
  • Los Angeles
  • Cincinnati
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • Detroit
  • Sacramento
  • El Paso

Why Ship From Indonesia to the US With Shipa Freight?

Shipa Freight is taking international shipping logistics into the 21st Century. Our online-only platform is democratizing the export and import of goods all over the world. It means all businesses, no matter their size, can more easily access international freight carrier services. With Shipa Freight, you can:

  • Get quick quotes online.
  • Make online bookings and payments.
  • Track every stage of your shipment on one platform.
  • Rid yourself of customs complexities—because we’ll handle them for you.
  • Access customs clearance advice, information, and expertise.
  • Call, email, or chat with our customer service team 24/7.
  • Always be in compliance with shipping rules and regulations.

Know Your Shipping Terminology

To help you build your understanding of the language of shipping, we’ve explained the meaning of two potentially confusing terms used in the industry. You’ll find those explanations below:

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