Ocean and Air Shipping from Norway to the US [Updated: Nov 2021]
FCL, LCL and Air shipping comprehensive guide and instant online quote
Norway exported $6.7 billion in goods to the US in 2018. Your company’s supply chain may well have contributed to that bilateral trade figure. Or you could be a start-up seeking information about the logistics of importing from Norway to the US.
Either way, this page, packed with international shipping information and guidance, is for you.
You must choose between ocean and air shipping if you want to export from Norway to the US. Each has some advantages and disadvantages, which we’ll outline on this page.
Ocean Freight From Norway to the US
Less than Container Load (LCL): LCL entails shipping your goods in a container that’s shared with products belonging to other shippers. If your consignment isn’t particularly large (up to six pallets’ worth) and air freight isn’t feasible, this could be your best option.
Full Container Load (FCL): With FCL shipping, companies pay a flat fee to hire a container for their exclusive use. They can fill or part-fill the container with their goods. It’s often faster and less expensive than LCL, especially for larger consignments.
Air Freight from Norway to the US
Air shipping is the fastest way to move commodities for import from Norway to the US. It’s also considerably more expensive than ocean shipping.
A freight forwarder will take into account various aspects of your shipment when calculating a quote. The factors they’ll consider include:
- How much your consignment weighs
- The size and volume of your shipment
- The type of goods you’re shipping
- Your choice of air or ocean shipping
- The distance your goods need to be transported
- Whether you want a door-to-port, port-to-port, port-to-door or door-to-door delivery
Weight and cost are inextricably linked and can be the deciding factor when choosing between air or ocean freight. Consignments weighing 100 kg or above are usually most economical to ship as ocean freight, since air shipping is expensive for such goods.
Freight weighing between 35 kg and 99 kg will cost about the same to ship by air or ocean carrier. So it’s usually a case of choosing the quicker option. For consignments weighing 35 kg and less, international couriers should be used as freight forwarders don’t usually quote for such light shipments.
The vast majority of freight from Norway to the US will ship from either the seaport or airport in the Norwegian capital of Oslo. It’s just under 6000 km from there to New York on the United States’ eastern seaboard. And it’s over 8,500 km to Los Angeles on the West Coast.
Air freight is the fastest way to cover that vast distance. Forwarders will usually be able to arrange for shipments to anywhere in the United States to complete in five to eight days.
The duration of ocean shipping is measured in weeks rather than days, so if your order is urgent or your consignment perishable, air freight will be your best option.
How Long Does It Take to Ship Cargo by Sea From Norway to the US?
To give you an idea of how long it takes to ship ocean freight from Norway to the US, we’ve included some examples below, all of which are for routes departing from Oslo:
- To Los Angeles – 30 days FCL
- To Miami – 46 days FCL
- To Boston – 51 days FCL
- To Philadelphia – 22 days FCL
- To Long Beach – 54 days FCL
- To Chicago – 46 days FCL
How Long Does It Take to Ship Cargo by Air From Norway to the US?
It takes a few days to ship air freight from Norway to the US, because your goods will spend some time in processing at the airports of loading and discharge. They will need to undergo export and import customs clearance, and time is also consumed by the consolidation process at the airport of loading.
You should expect total transit times of between five and eight days for air freight from Oslo to Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Chicago, and most other US international airports.
Customs clearance is a vital aspect of international shipping that many businesses choose to leave to experts. And with good reason. It’s rife with complexity that only experienced freight forwarders can navigate with ease.
Trusting your customs clearance to experts will reduce the chances of delays to your consignment. And it helps ensure that whatever you choose to export from Norway to the US complies with local and international shipping rules and regulations.
Even when using a freight forwarder, there will still be tasks for you to carry out, regardless of whether you are the supplier or recipient of an international goods shipment. The most notable of these obligations is the completion of specific documents to accompany your goods. Customs officers in Norway and the United States will almost certainly want to see the following:
- A commercial invoice
- A packing list
- A certificate of origin
- A letter of credit or other payment terms (depends on the contract between the parties involved)
- A bill of lading for ocean freight or Airway Bill for air freight (Shipa Freight will provide this for you)
Licenses, certificates, or permits could also be required. Your forwarder will let you know. Should you wish to see samples of the above documents, you needn’t search far. We have collated examples of each on this documents list page.
Shipping a container from Norway to the US is a long process. The cargo vessels that transport containers move at an average of 35 km per hour. And with nearly 6,000km of ocean between Oslo and the US eastern seaboard, it’s a port to port journey measured in weeks, not days.
Most goods can be shipped safely in a 20ft or 40ft container. Your sea freight may require a specialist container, such as one with refrigeration, ventilation, or different dimensions. Your forwarder will help you choose the best option.
You’ll have another choice to make, and that’s whether to opt for FCL or LCL ocean shipping. The following information will help you decide:
Considerations for LCL Freight Shipping
Opting for less-than-container-load (LCL) shipping could be best for you if:
- Your freight can be safely shipped in a shared container
- Your consignment will fill a maximum of six standard pallets
- Your shipment is 14 CBM or under
- There’s no urgent rush for your goods to reach the United States
- Air freight is not something you can consider
LCL shipping might not be your best option if:
- You are shipping very heavy or extremely large goods
- Your cargo is perishable, high-value or delicate
- You don’t want your goods to be handled or moved more frequently than is necessary
- You don’t want any delays causing you to miss your delivery date
Considerations for FCL Freight Shipping
Full Container Load (FCL) shipping could be your best option if:
- Your freight needs to reach your consignee in the US by a specified date
- Your goods cannot be shipped alongside other products in a shared container
- Your cargo is more than 14 CBM
- Your consignment is very heavy or extremely fragile
- You want your container sealed, and to remain so until arrival at its destination in the US. (Please note that customs officers can open your container to inspect its contents if they wish).
Air shipping is an option many businesses choose when:
- Their goods are urgently required in the United States
- Their cargo is delicate or perishable—plants, food, or flowers for example
- Valuable freight needs the protection offered by stringent airline and airport security measures
- Their consignment is light and small—maybe two or three pallets at most
Learn more about Air Freight on our dedicated page by clicking here.
Cargo Port of Origin in Norway
- A key shipping hub not just for Norway, but for the whole of Scandinavia.
- The port has over 2,600 square meters of storage space and a 665-meter quay.
- Emission and noise-reducing K-technology make the port one of the world’s most eco-friendly.
- Ideal for supply chains involving the movement of goods from Ulleval, Bjerke, or Lambertseter.
Owned By: Oslo Ports Authority.
Annual Container Volume: >260,000 million TEUs.
Cargo Ports of Arrival in the US
- Located in San Pedro Bay.
- Dubbed ‘America’s Port’.
- It sets global standards for sustainability, security, and social responsibility.
- The port has eight container terminals and over 80 cranes.
Owned By: City of Los Angeles.
Annual Container Volume: >9 million TEUs.
- Situated in Commencement Bay, Washington State.
- Merged with the Port of Seattle in 2015.
- A key international trade hub in the Pacific Northwest.
- Also regarded as the Gateway to Alaska.
Owned By: Port of Tacoma Commission.
Annual Container Volume: >2.1 million TEUs.
- The largest containerized goods port in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Ocean freight traffic increased by 11% in 2019.
- Features two container terminals—Barbours Cut and Bayport.
- Over 70% of ocean cargo moving through the Gulf of Mexico is handled here.
Owned By: Port of Houston Authority.
Annual Container Volume: >2.9 million TEUs.
- Located 65 km northeast of Washington D.C.
- Easy access for suppliers in Baltimore, a city that’s home to several Fortune 1000 companies.
- 39.5 million tonnes of cargo was handled here in 2019.
Owned By: Maryland Port Administration.
Annual Container Volume: >1 million TEUs.
- One of Florida’s leading ocean cargo facilities.
- Ranked the 12th-busiest container port in the United States.
- Linked to more than 150 ports in 70 countries.
- Close to the Atlantic shipping lane.
Owned By: Broward County, Florida.
Annual Container Volume: >1 million TEUs.
Other Ports in the US
Shipa Freight also uses the following container gateways for exports from Norway:
- New York
- San Francisco
- New Orleans
- Long Beach
Airport of Origin in Norway
- Situated 35 km northeast of Oslo.
- Also known as Oslo Gardermoen Airport.
- The second-busiest airport in the Nordics.
- Direct cargo-only flights operate to New York JFK.
- Infrastructure includes a 21,000 square meter cargo-handling facility.
- A high-speed railway connects the port to the city center.
US Airports Served: New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami.
Norway to the US Cargo-Only Operators: Cargolux.
IATA CODE: OSL.
Airports of Arrival in the US
- The fifteenth-busiest air freight facility in the world.
- Seven cargo-handling companies have hubs here.
- Handles the biggest volume of global freight among all airports in the United States.
- Over 80 airlines provide services to more than 160 cities on four continents.
Direct Flights from Oslo: Yes.
Norway to Miami Cargo-Only Operators: None.
IATA Code: MIA.
New York JFK
- This airport handles the highest volume of freight entering the US.
- Over 1.2 million tonnes of air cargo were handled here in 2018.
- A brand new state-of-the-art animal handling terminal called The Ark is under construction.
Direct Flights from Oslo Airport: Yes.
Norway to New York JFK Cargo-Only Operators: Cargolux.
IATA Code: JFK.
- Over 1,000 cargo-carrying flights land daily (they’re mostly passenger services).
- The airport serves Southern California, which ranks as the world’s 11th-biggest economy.
- Over two million tonnes of air cargo were processed here in 2018.
Direct Flights from Oslo Airport: Yes.
Norway to Los Angeles Cargo-Only Operators: None.
IATA Code: LAX.
- Located near San Bruno and Millbrae, 21 km south of downtown San Francisco.
- A major gateway to Asia and Europe.
- Facilities include four terminals and four runways.
- One of the first airports in the world to implement a Fly Quiet program.
Direct Flights from Oslo Airport: Yes.
Norway to San Francisco Cargo-Only Operators: None.
IATA Code: SFO.
- The third-biggest air cargo facility in the United States.
- Served by more than 25 global cargo carriers.
- Nearly two million tonnes of air freight is processed here every year.
- A new cargo terminal in the northeast airfield has expanded freight handling capacity by 50%.
Direct Flights from Oslo Airport: No.
Norway to Chicago O’Hare Cargo-Only Operators: None.
IATA Code: ORD.
Other Airports in the US
In addition to the five airports mentioned above, Shipa Freight can arrange for goods from Norway to be flown to the following airports:
- Dallas/Fort Worth
- El Paso
- San Diego
- Cincinnati -Boston -Detroit
Shipa Freight is a digitally-focused freight forwarder that’s bringing much-needed simplicity to international ocean and air shipping from Norway to the US. We are experts at coordinating air and ocean shipments, and offer door-to-port, port-to-door, door-to-door and port-to-port deliveries.
We’ll get your products across the Atlantic as an LCL consignment. Alternatively, if you have enough goods to move, we’ll send them in a shipping container from Norway to the US as an FCL consignment.
Our platform gives businesses full visibility of all their shipping activity in one place. And our technology allows tracking of goods from source to consignee via smartphones, tablets, desktop computers, and laptops.
Here are some other benefits Shipa Freight brings to international shipping:
- Quick registration.
- Fast quotes and easy comparisons.
- Book online and pay with a credit or debit card, or by wire transfer.
- Enjoy 24/7 support from an expert customer service team.
- Receive guidance regarding the shipping documents you need to prepare.
- Leave the complexity of customs and shipping regulations compliance to us.
- What Are the Options for Shipping Freight From Norway to the US?
- How Much Does it Cost to Ship Cargo From Norway to the US?
- How Long Does it Take to Ship Cargo From Norway to the US?
- Customs Clearance in Norway and the US
- Should You Choose Ocean Freight or Air Freight?
- Ocean Cargo Port Guide
- Flying Your Freight: Airport Guide
- Why Ship From Norway to the US With Shipa Freight?