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Ocean and Air Shipping from Sweden to the US

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These two countries have cultivated a strong bilateral friendship ever since Sweden was one of the first countries to recognize the independence of the U.S. in 1783. The largest Nordic economy is very export-oriented and an attractive trading partner for the United States.

Today, the US is Sweden’s fifth-largest export market, with 6.4% of all Swedish exports, a value of around $10.7 billion, arriving in the US annually.

If you are planning to export from Sweden to the US, then this page is right for you. We have gathered vital information to help you navigate the complexities of international ocean and air freight logistics. With our guidance, you will be able to engage in more successful ocean and air shipping from Sweden to the US.


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

You have two basic options when importing from Sweden to the US: ocean freight and air freight. Let’s explore both of them.


Ocean Freight From Sweden to the US

Less than Container Load (LCL): LCL is the right choice if you don’t want to hire a full container for your cargo. You can simply pay for your goods to occupy space in a shared container. In many cases, this is the cheapest option for shipping your freight from Sweden to the US.

Full Container Load (FCL): If you do need an entire container for your exclusive use, then FCL is right for you. As you will pay a flat fee for the container, FCL is sometimes less costly than LCL.


Air Freight from Sweden to the US

If you need your goods in the United States as soon as possible, air shipping is the right choice. You have to be prepared to pay a much higher price, though.


How Much Does it Cost to Ship Cargo From Sweden to the US?

The cost of shipping cargo from Sweden to the United States depends on several factors. Freight forwarders typically issue quotes based on the following aspects:

  • Nature of goods
  • Chosen mode of transport (FCL, LCL, Air)
  • Weight of the cargo
  • Dimension of the cargo
  • Distance between origin and destination
  • Type of service (such as Port-to-Port, Door-to-Door)

So, which mode of transport is the most economical for your needs? You can follow this general rule of thumb: the cost of air and ocean freight will roughly be the same when you are shipping consignments of 100 kg or less. If you are planning to move products of 100 kg or more, then ocean shipping is typically less costly than air freight.

Moving small consignments of 35 kg or less? Most freight forwarders, including Shipa Freight, won’t handle such small volumes of cargo. In this case, an international courier service will be the best option for your business.


How Long Does it Take to Ship Cargo From Sweden to the US?

Paper calendar to represent the transit time of shipments with Shipa Freight

It won’t be a surprise to hear that the transit times of ocean and air freight differ significantly. Your cargo can reach the US by air in as little as eight days. The overall transit time includes the actual flight time, customs and security checks as well as loading and unloading.

The transit time for shipping a container from Sweden to the US by sea is much longer and will largely vary by destination port. If you need your goods to reach the East Coast of the United States, then they will arrive quicker than if they are destined for the West Coast. In general, you can expect durations of around 17 days for the entire journey.


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

As an example of how long it takes to ship your freight from Sweden to the United States, the route from Gothenburg to New York involves around 17 days of transit time.


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

Here are a few examples of transit times for typical air freight routes between Sweden and the United States:

  • Stockholm-Arlanda to Los Angeles – 8 days
  • Gothenburg-Landvetter to New York – 8 days
  • Gothenburg-Landvetter to Atlanta – 8 days
  • Malmo-Sturup to New York – 8 days

Customs Clearance in Sweden and the US

When you import from Sweden to the US, customs formalities are a necessity. Most businesses are not comfortable with managing this process internally. They hire the services of a freight forwarder to minimize any risk of hiccups and delays. Besides, an experienced partner can guarantee that everything will be processed according to the prevailing laws and regulations.

Your responsibilities don’t end with engaging a freight forwarder, though. You are still required to provide the necessary documents. The customs authorities in Sweden and the US will most likely request the following:

  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 might be asked to present further documentation, such as licenses, permits, or certificates. If this is the case, your freight forwarder will let you know immediately. We have compiled a documents list where you can learn more about each document type and see some examples.


Should You Choose Ocean Freight or Air Freight?


Ocean Freight

Most consignments will cross the Atlantic Ocean as sea freight on specialized cargo vessels. These carry your products in a shipping container from Sweden to the US. However, if your goods don’t fit into a container, your forwarder or carrier can propose other options, such as break-bulk ocean shipping.

There are two choices for containerized ocean shipping: LCL and FCL. You can book either option as a port-to-port or door-to-door service. The best one for your logistics needs will depend on the weight, volume, and nature of your consignment.


Considerations for LCL Freight Shipping

Under the following circumstances, LCL shipping may be the right mode of transport for your freight:

  • You are transporting small quantities of cargo of 14 CBM or less (around six standard pallets).
  • You don’t require your goods in the United States urgently.
  • You don’t know for sure which container size you need.
  • You don’t mind that your cargo will travel right next to consignments of other shippers.
  • Air freight is currently not a feasible option for you.

Nevertheless, LCL shipping is not the best choice if:

  • Your cargo is very delicate, perishable, or has a high value.
  • Your goods take up a lot of space or are very heavy.
  • Your products must not be moved and handled more than absolutely required.
  • You can’t accept any delays with regard to the delivery date.

Learn more about Less than Container Load on our dedicated page on LCL shipping.


Considerations for FCL Freight Shipping

FCL shipping might be your best option if:

  • You need your cargo to reach the US by a certain date.
  • You prefer that your freight is sealed in a container until it arrives at the destination.
  • Your goods are very heavy.
  • Your products are delicate and should not be moved during transport.
  • You have a larger consignment of at least 14 CBM (around half the load capacity of a 20ft container).

On the other hand, FCL might not be the best choice for you if:

  • Your buyer or supplier can’t accommodate full containers at their facilities.
  • Your freight needs to move as soon as possible, but you don’t have sufficient cargo to justify paying for an entire container.

Learn more about Full Container Load on our dedicated page on FCL shipping.


Air Freight

Sending your freight by air is best for you if:

  • You are shipping perishable goods with a limited shelf-life.
  • Your cargo needs to reach the United States very urgently.
  • Speed outweighs the costs.
  • Your goods are high-value and require maximum levels of security.
  • You have only a little freight to move, say, three or four pallets at most..
  • The shipper and recipient are both located conveniently close to an international airport.

However, air shipping might not be right for you if:

  • Your freight is bulky or has an awkward shape.
  • You need to keep shipping costs as low as possible.

Ocean Cargo Port Guide


Cargo Ports of Origin in Sweden


Gothenburg

Port Facts:

  • Largest port in the Nordic region, serving Sweden as well as Norway.
  • Almost 30% of all Swedish foreign trade passes through this port.
  • Offers 130 direct services to destinations worldwide.
  • Has the capacity to accommodate the largest shipping vessels.

Owned By: City of Gothenburg.

Annual Container Volume: >860,000 TEUs.

UN/LOCODE: SEGOT.


Helsingborg

Port Facts:

Sweden’s second-biggest seaport and an important shipping and logistics hub. Located in the Oresund Strait. Excellent road and rail links to the rest of the country.

Owned By: Helsingborg Hamn AB.

Annual Container Volume: >280,000 TEUs.

UN/LOCODE: SEHEL.


Norrkoping

Port Facts:

  • Located on the Baltic Sea coast, about 130 km south of Stockholm.
  • Main container gateway is called the Pampus terminal.
  • Full service port, equipped to handle all kinds of cargo.
  • Close connection to two motorways, a main railway and an international airport.

Owned By: Norrkopings Hamn Och Stuveri AB.

Annual Container Volume: >132,000 TEUs.

UN/LOCODE: SENRK.


Stockholm

Port Facts:

  • 10 million metric tons of goods pass through this port annually.
  • Able to accommodate vessels over 500ft long.
  • Boasts an average container handling time of eight minutes.
  • The new Stockholm Norvik deep seaport will open in May 2020.

Owned By: City of Stockholm.

Annual Container Volume: >57,400 TEUs.

UN/LOCODE: SESTO.


Cargo Ports of Arrival in the US


New York

Port Facts:

  • Officially called the Port of New York and New Jersey.
  • Third-busiest port in the country and number 20 in world rankings.
  • Largest sea freight port on the East Coast of the US.
  • Facilities include four container terminals.

Owned By: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Annual Container Volume: >3.2 million TEUs.

UN/LOCODE: USNYC.


Houston

Port Facts:

  • One of the biggest ports in the world.
  • Handles almost two-thirds of the US’ container cargo.
  • Facilities stretch over 80 km and include two container terminals.

Owned By: Port of Houston Authority.

Annual Container Volume: >2.7 million TEUs.

UN/LOCODE: USHOU.


Charleston

Port Facts:

  • Located in South Carolina in the southeastern US.
  • Handles $70 billion worth of goods annually.
  • Has two terminals, Wando Welch and North Charleston, specifically for containerized goods.
  • A third container facility will open in 2021, increasing the port’s capacity by 50%.

Owned By: South Carolina Ports Authority.

Annual Container Volume: >2.2 million TEUs.

UN/LOCODE: USCHS.


Port Everglades

Port Facts:

  • Tenth-busiest container port in the United States, located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
  • Over 20 container shipping lines operate here.
  • Offers direct access to Florida’s interstate network.

Owned By: Broward County, Florida.

Annual Container Volume: >1 million TEUs.

UN/LOCODE: USPEF.


San Francisco

Port Facts:

  • Re-opened its quays to cargo traffic in 2016, reviving the Southern Waterfront cargo terminal.
  • Has five deep water berths.
  • Features a dedicated foreign trade zone, cold storage, and over 500,000 square meters of covered storage space.

Owned By: San Francisco Port Commission.

Annual Container Volume: Unknown.

UN/LOCODE: USSFO.


Other Ports in the US

In addition to the five container gateways mentioned above, the following ports are suitable for importing cargo into the US from Sweden:

  • Los Angeles
  • Savannah
  • Seattle
  • Oakland
  • New Orleans
  • Boston
  • Baltimore -Atlanta -Long Beach
  • Norfolk
  • Tacoma
  • Miami
  • Mobile

Flying Your Freight: Airport Guide


Airports of Origin in Sweden


Stockholm-Arlanda

Airport Facts:

  • Largest airport in Sweden and third-largest in the Nordic countries.
  • Located 37 km north of the Swedish capital.
  • 81 airlines fly to 181 destinations around the globe.
  • Southern section is home to a dedicated freight terminal called Cargo City.

US Airports Served: Miami, New York, Chicago.

Stockholm to the US Cargo-Only Operators: None.

IATA Code: ARN.


Gothenburg-Landvetter

Airport Facts:

  • Second-largest airport in Sweden and an important freight hub.
  • Located only 20 km outside the city center of Gothenburg.
  • Offers around 90 direct routes to 20 countries on three continents.

US Airports Served: None.

Gothenburg to the US Cargo-Only Operators: None.

IATA Code: GOT.


Malmo-Sturup

Airport Facts:

  • Sweden’s fourth-busiest airport.
  • Located 28 km east of Malmo city in the heart of the growing Oresund region.
  • Offers services to more than 40 destinations.
  • Features two cargo terminals.

US Airports Served: None.

Malmo to the US Cargo-Only Operators: None.

IATA Code: MMX.


Jonkoping

Airport Facts:

  • Small airport located in the middle of southern Sweden.
  • Operates a freight terminal.
  • Handles freight flights at night time all year round.

US Airports Served: None.

Jonkoping to the US Cargo-Only Operators: None.

IATA Code: JKG.


Norrkoping

Airport Facts:

  • Oldest airport for commercial air traffic in Sweden.
  • Located only 10 minutes of travel time from the city of Norrkoping.
  • Offers seasonal scheduled and charter flights as well as cargo flights.

US Airports Served: None.

Norrkoping to the US Cargo-Only Operators: None.

IATA Code: NRK.


Airports of Arrival in the US


Charlotte

Airport Facts:

  • Combined civil and military air facility.
  • Located just 8 km from uptown Charlotte in North Carolina.
  • Serves the fourth-largest manufacturing hub in the United States.
  • Has a dedicated air cargo center adjacent to the airport’s four runways.

Connected Airports in Sweden: None.

Sweden to Charlotte Cargo-Only Operators: None.

IATA Code: CLT.


Philadelphia

Airport Facts:

  • Located only 11 km from downtown Philadelphia.
  • 20th-busiest airport in the US.
  • Ideal for recipients on the east coast of the United States.

Connected Airports in Sweden: None.

Sweden to Philadelphia Cargo-Only Operators: None.

IATA Code: PHL.


Houston

Airport Facts:

  • 43rd busiest airport worldwide.
  • Among the ten busiest airports in North America.
  • Handled over 500,000 tonnes of air cargo in 2018.
  • Accounts for 20% of international trade in the state of Texas.

Connected Airports in Sweden: None.

Sweden to Houston Cargo-Only Operators: None.

IATA Code: IAH.


Seattle-Tacoma

Airport Facts:

  • Also referred to as Sea-Tac.
  • Located between the cities of Seattle and Tacoma in the state of Washington.
  • Largest airport in the Pacific Northwest region of North America.
  • Handles over 430,000 tonnes of air freight every year.

Connected Airports in Sweden: None.

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

IATA Code: SEA.


Denver

Airport Facts:

  • Largest airport in North America by total land area and second-largest worldwide.
  • Serves Colorado and the western United States.
  • Processes more than 230,000 tonnes of air freight per year.

Connected Airports in Sweden: None.

Sweden to Denver Cargo-Only Operators: None.

IATA Code: DEN.


Other Airports in the US

Apart from the five air freight gateways mentioned above, you can also fly your goods from Sweden to the following airports in the US:

  • Dallas/Fort Worth
  • Los Angeles
  • Atlanta
  • El Paso
  • New York
  • Chicago
  • Miami
  • Cleveland
  • Cincinnati
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • Boston
  • Detroit
  • Sacramento

Why Ship From Sweden to the US With Shipa Freight?

A reliable partner can help you ship your goods safely and in time from Sweden to the United States. When you choose Shipa Freight, you are in the experienced hands of a digital-first, online-only enterprise at the forefront of freight forwarding. Whether you prefer air or sea freight, we can satisfy all of your global shipping needs.

Our goal is to simplify your supply chain. With our state-of-the-art online portal, you can now manage your complete shipment process in one place. No need to coordinate multiple agencies any longer.

These are your advantages when you ship with us:

  • Instantly obtain and compare quotes online.
  • Book directly online without losing time.
  • Easily prepare the right shipping documentation.
  • Never deal with customs complexities again – let us handle it.
  • Manage all imports and exports on one single online platform.
  • Receive support from our friendly customer service representatives 24/7.
  • Be assured of compliance with international shipping rules and regulations.

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

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