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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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It’s over 10,500km from Indonesia to Los Angeles on the West Coast of the United States, and over 14,000km to New York on the East Coast. Most commercial flights between Indonesia and the US require at least two stops. No direct flights are in operation.

Ocean shipping trade lanes between the nations are long too, with FCL shipping from Jakarta taking 25 days to reach Los Angeles and 33 days to make New York.

Despite the vast distance, trade between the two nations totaled close to $33 billion in 2018. If your business already contributes to that figure, or you are looking to import or export from Indonesia to the US for the first time, a freight forwarder can reduce the effort in shipping your commercial goods.

Shipping Ocean 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

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

A freight forwarder will arrange many elements of your shipment for you if you give them the details they need. These essential details include:

  • 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 of a container from Indonesia to the US, while with LCL your goods will share container space with other shippers’ products on a cargo ship.

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

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

Sending a Less-than-Container-Load (LCL) From Indonesia to the US

LCL shipping entails goods from various companies being shipped in the same container on cargo vessels. 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 logistical steps in the process and can mean LCL shipping takes longer than FCL.
Learn more about Less than Container Load on our dedicated page on LCL shipping.

Full Container Load (FCL) From Indonesia to the US

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

To make an FCL shipment, you do not have to fill your container. When you hire a container, how much or how little you put in it is up to you.

If the goods you are exporting or 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.
Learn more about Full Container Load on our dedicated page on FCL shipping.

Cargo Ports of Origin in Indonesia


East Java’s premier port (which is also called Tanjung Perak) can only be accessed along the narrow Madura Strait which is 40km long. If your goods originate on other Indonesian islands, Surabaya’s status as a hub for inter-island shipping could make it the easiest port to ship your goods to, ahead of export to the US.

Owned By: PT Pelabuhan Indonesia II.

Annual Container Volume: >3.8 million TEUs.



More than 50% of Indonesia’s ocean freight is handled at the Port of Cabang Tanjung Priok in Jakarta. This huge sea cargo hub has three container terminals and a quayside that stretches for over 16,800 meters. Storage facilities are vast too, with warehouse areas covering 660,000 square meters.

Owned By: PT Pelabuhan Indonesia II.

Annual Container Volume: >8 million TEUs.



The third-largest port in Indonesia serves northern coastal regions of Java. If your supplier or manufacturer is in Demak, Salatiga, Kendal, or a neighboring area, the Port of Semarang will be a local port from which a freight forwarder can arrange shipping to the United States.

Owned By: PT Pelabuhan III Indonesia.

Annual Container Volume: >730,000 TEUs.


Belawan Sumatra

Coffee, tea, and rubber are among the major goods to be handled by freight teams at this seaport in Northwestern Sumatra. It’s Indonesia’s biggest port outside of Java, and a popular port for cruise ships as well as cargo vessels.

Owned By: Pelni.

Annual Container Volume: >400,000 TEUs.


Cargo Ports of Arrival in the US


South Carolina in the Southeastern United States is home to the Port of Charleston. It ranks eighth in the US’s list of cargo ports by value of freight handled, with almost $70 billion of goods processed here annually for import and export. 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: >2.2 million TEUs.


New Orleans

An international shipping gateway to the Southern United States, New Orleans is a hugely valuable cargo hub. Located on the Mississippi River, it generates over $100 million per year. 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.



This river port in Georgia is 30km inland from the south coast of the US. It’s where the biggest container terminal in the US is located. If your imports from Indonesia are bound for destinations in the Midwest or East of the United States, Savannah makes good sense as a port of arrival.

Owned By: Georgia Ports Authority.

Annual Container Volume: >4 million TEUs.



The Port of Houston is one of the biggest in the world, handling almost two-thirds of the US’scontainer cargo. Its facilities stretch for a staggering 80 kilometers and include 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.



Washington State in the Northwestern United States is home to the Port of Tacoma. It joined forces with the neighboring port of Seattle in 2015. Regarded by many as the Gateway to Alaska, if your goods from Indonesia are destined for the most northerly outposts in the US, or other areas in Washington State, discharging your goods in Tacoma/Seattle is a sensible move.

Owned By: Port of Tacoma Commission.

Annual Container Volume: >3.7 million TEUs.


Other Destination Ports in the United States

In addition to the gateways covered above, Shipa Freight coordinates imports and exports from Indonesia to the US at these other ports:

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

Air Freight From Indonesia to the US

Freight forwarders will use indirect flights for air shipping from Indonesia to the US. It’s over 10,000km to the US West Coast and over 14,000km to the East Coast from Indonesia, too far for direct flights. Despite this, most air cargo can be shipped to an airport in the United States in eight days, 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 cargo
  • You’re sending a relatively small consignment that doesn’t occupy many pallets
  • You want less handling of your goods than ocean shipping

Airports of Origin in Indonesia


Soekarno Hatta International Airport (SHIA for short) is situated about 20km northwest of central Jakarta. A third runway opened in 2019, and plans are in place to boost cargo-handling capacity further. This will be achieved by relocating the freight terminal to a different part of the airport by 2025.

US Airports Served: None.

Jakarta to the US Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Juanda International Airport is only 12km from Surabaya in Eastern Java. This air facility ranks as Indonesia’s third-busiest. There is just one runway and a two-story freight terminal that processes around 120,000 tonnes of air cargo annually.

US Airports Served: None.

Surabaya to the US Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Denpasar Bali

13km south of the city of Denpasar, Ngurah Rai International Airport is Indonesia’s second-busiest airport. Able to accommodate wide-body aircraft, this cargo hub is an 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

This airport is located almost halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth, hence the shared name. Air cargo is essential to the North Texas economy, and this facility handles over 910,000 tonnes annually, contributing $20 billion 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.



If your goods from Indonesia are required in Denver or other locations in Colorado or the Western United States, Denver International is a good destination airport. Cargo processed at the huge air freight facility regularly exceeds 230,000 tonnes per year.

Connected Airports in Indonesia: None.

Indonesia to Denver Cargo-Only Operators: None.



There is a seaport and airport in Houston, giving international shippers a choice of ways to get their goods here. Sending your goods from Indonesia by air to Houston Airport is by far the quickest method, taking eight days on average. Goods will be processed in an airport that handled over 500,000 tonnes of air cargo in 2018, accounting for 20% of international trade in the state of Texas.

Connected Airports in Indonesia: None.

Indonesia to Houston Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Freight forwarders will ship your goods from Indonesia to this airport in the Northwest of the US by indirect services. It’s a trans-Pacific journey terminating at an air facility that’s 23km 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.



This airport’s full name is Charlotte Douglas International Airport. It’s a combined civil and military air facility and regarded as a major gateway to the Caribbean. It’s located just 8km from uptown Charlotte in an area that’s the fourth-largest manufacturing hub in the United States. The air cargo center is adjacent to the airport’s four runways and is used by several freight forwarders as an airport of arrival for shipments from all over the world, including Indonesia.

Connected Airports in Indonesia: None.

Indonesia to Charlotte Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Other Arrival Airports in the US

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

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

Customs Clearance Procedures in Indonesia and the US

Getting the right customs clearance paperwork can be one of the most frustrating aspects of international shipping. To help out, Shipa Freight has listed the documents you’ll require to clear customs in Indonesia and 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.

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

Sand timer with blue sand, next to and slightly in front of a desk calendar on a desktop

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 Ocean 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 FCL
  • 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

How Long Does It Take to Ship Air Freight 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 New York
  • Jakarta to Los Angeles
  • Jakarta to Miami
  • Jakarta to Philadelphia
  • Surabaya to Cleveland
  • Surabaya to Los Angeles

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

Freight forwarders will give you a quote based on the information you give them about your shipping. They are likely to want to know: Which ports of origin and arrival you want to use

  • Your preference of ocean or air shipping
  • 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 shipping if your goods:

  • Aren’t required urgently in the US
  • Weigh over 100kg
  • Cannot be shipped as air cargo
  • Can endure at least five weeks in transit

Why Choose Shipa Freight For Cargo From Indonesia to the US?

Shipa Freight is taking international shipping 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
  • Make online bookings and payments
  • Track every stage of your shipment
  • Choose from port-to-port, door-to-door, port-to-door and door-to-port deliveries
  • Access customs clearance advice, information, and expertise
  • Call our customer service team 24/7.
  • Access the global logistics network and shipping assets of our parent company, Agility Logistics

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

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