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Ocean and Air Shipping From the US to Indonesia

Information and quote from the US to Indonesia for LCL, FCL and Air shipping

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The US and Indonesia have kept a close relationship ever since Indonesia gained independence in 1949. As the world’s third-largest democracy and the largest economy in Southeast Asia, Indonesia is a crucial partner in the Indo-Pacific region for the US. It was the United States' 34th largest goods export market in 2018, with exports totaling $10.8 billion.

Maybe your business already contributes to that figure, or you are looking to import from the US to Indonesia for the first time. In either case, you will find vital information on this page that will help you to navigate the traditional complexities of ocean and air freight shipping.

How to Ship Ocean Freight From the US to Indonesia

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

Since Indonesia borders the South China Sea, which has the world’s busiest ocean trade lanes, sea freight is a great option to transport your cargo in a shipping container from the US to Indonesia. And if your consignment is too large to be sent as air freight, then ocean shipping is your only option, really.

When you send your cargo from port to port via ship, you have two alternatives: FCL and LCL. Knowing the difference between the two is critical because your choice will influence the transit time and cost of your shipment. FCL shipping grants exclusive use of a full container from the US to Indonesia. With LCL, on the other hand, your goods will share container space with other shippers’ products.

Let’s examine both options in detail so you can make the right choice.

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

LCL means that goods from various companies are shipped together in the same container on a cargo vessel. This requires the consolidation of the cargo in the port of origin in the United States and their deconsolidation at the port of arrival in Indonesia. Both are essential steps in the process and usually result in LCL shipping taking longer than sending a full container.

Nevertheless, there are many occasions when LCL is the best option for sending freight from the US to Indonesia, especially if:

  • You are shipping smaller consignments of six standard pallets (equivalent to 14 CBM) or less.
  • Sending your freight as air cargo is not a viable option.
  • You don’t mind that your goods will share container space with other shipper’s products.
  • Your goods are not very delicate or perishable.
  • You are not in a hurry to get your cargo from the United States to Indonesia.
    Learn more about Less than Container Load on our dedicated page on LCL shipping.

Full Container Load (FCL) From the US to Indonesia

If you prefer to isolate your goods when sending them in a container from the US to Indonesia, then FCL will probably be your best ocean freight option. It is typically the fastest form of ocean shipping because no consolidation or de-consolidation is required, unlike LCL.

FCL can also be less expensive than LCL, depending on how much cargo you are shipping. If you want to transport more than 14 CBM, which amounts to half of the load capacity of a 20ft container, then FCL is most likely the best choice.

Even if you can’t fill your container to this point, it might still be more economical to book an FCL. Very heavy or delicate cargo especially, is better off in a separate container.
Learn more about Full Container Load on our dedicated page on FCL shipping.

Cargo Ports of Origin in the US

Los Angeles

Port Facts:

  • Largest port in the United States.
  • Covers nearly 70 km of California coastline.
  • Handles one-fifth of all cargo entering the US.
  • Features eight container terminals and more than 80 cranes.

Owned By: City of Los Angeles.

Annual Container Volume: >9 million TEUs.

UN/LOCODE: USLAX.

Long Beach

Port Facts:

  • Situated right alongside the Port of Los Angeles.
  • Second-busiest port in the US for containers.
  • Covers nearly 40 km of waterfront in the city of Long Beach.

Owned By: City of Long Beach.

Annual Container Volume: >8 million TEUs.

UN/LOCODE: USLGB.

Savannah

Port Facts:

  • Located in the state of Georgia, 30 km from the ocean on the Savannah river.
  • Has the largest container terminal in North America.
  • Access to interstate highways makes it the best choice for importers in the East and Midwest.

Owned By: Georgia Ports Authority.

Annual Container Volume: >4 million TEUs.

UN/LOCODE: USSAV.

Seattle

Port Facts:

  • Has one of the largest container terminals on the west coast.
  • Will be redeveloped to increase capacity and provide berths for the world's largest cargo vessels.
  • Best choice for businesses in the Northwest.

Owned By: Northwest Seaport Alliance.

Annual Container Volume: >3.5 million TEUs.

UN/LOCODE: USSEA.

Miami

Port Facts:

  • Located in the Biscayne Bay on Dodge Island.
  • Ninth-largest port in the US for containers and the largest port in Florida.
  • Largest passenger port in the world.

Owned By: Multiple owners.

Annual Container Volume: >1 million TEUs.

UN/LOCODE: USMIA.

Other Ports in the US

Aside from the five container gateways mentioned above, the following ports are suitable for exporting cargo to Indonesia:

  • New York
  • Houston
  • San Francisco
  • Oakland
  • New Orleans
  • Boston
  • Baltimore
  • Atlanta
  • Charleston
  • Norfolk
  • Tacoma
  • Port Everglades
  • Mobile

Cargo Ports of Arrival in Indonesia

Surabaya

Port Facts:

  • Premier port of East Java.
  • Also called Tanjung Perak.
  • Access via the narrow 40 km long Madura Strait.
  • Hub for inter-island shipping within Indonesia.

Owned By: PT Pelabuhan Indonesia II.

Annual Container Volume: >3.8 million TEUs.

UN/LOCODE: IDSUB.

Jakarta

Port Facts:

  • Cabang Tanjung Priok is located close to Indonesia’s capital.
  • Handles more than 50% of Indonesia’s ocean freight.
  • Features three container terminals and a 16,800 meter quayside.
  • Vast storage facilities with 660,000 square meter warehouse areas.

Owned By: PT Pelabuhan Indonesia II.

Annual Container Volume: >8 million TEUs.

UN/LOCODE: IDJKT.

Semarang

Port Facts:

  • Third-largest port in Indonesia.
  • Serves the northern coastal regions of Java.
  • Best choice for importers in Demak, Salatiga, or Kendal.

Owned By: PT Pelabuhan III Indonesia.

Annual Container Volume: >730,000 TEUs.

UN/LOCODE: IDSRG.

Belawan Sumatra

Port Facts:

Main seaport for Northwestern Sumatra. Indonesia’s biggest port outside of Java. Popular port for cruise ships as well as cargo vessels.

Owned By: Pelni.

Annual Container Volume: >400,000 TEUs.

UN/LOCODE: IDBLW.

Air Freight From the US to Indonesia

There are no direct flights between the US and Indonesia, unfortunately. But even if your cargo needs to transit once or twice, it will still reach its destination much quicker with an air carrier than by sea.

Aside from the speed, air shipping your goods is the best choice if:

  • Your cargo is perishable and has a short shelf-life.
  • Your cargo is high-value and requires the highest levels of security.
  • You are sending a small consignment of a few pallets or less.
  • Shipping costs are not your main concern.
  • Supplier and recipient are both located close to an international airport.
    Learn more about Air Freight on our dedicated page by clicking here.

Airports of Origin in the US

Los Angeles

Airport Facts:

  • 10th busiest airport in the world for cargo.
  • Handled more than two million tons of cargo in 2018.
  • Manages around 1,000 cargo flights per day.

Indonesian Airports Served: None.

Los Angeles to Indonesia Cargo-Only Operators: None.

IATA Code: LAX.

Miami

Airport Facts:

15th busiest cargo airport worldwide in 2018. Handles more than two million tons of freight per year. Largest international freight volume of all US airports.

Indonesian Airports Served: None.

Miami to Indonesia Cargo-Only Operators: None.

IATA Code: MIA.

Chicago

Airport Facts:

  • Third-largest airport for cargo in the US.
  • Handled over 1.8 million tons of cargo in 2018.
  • Has a 185,000 square meter freight terminal and two sets of parallel runways.

Indonesian Airports Served: None.

Chicago to Indonesia Cargo-Only Operators: None.

IATA Code: ORD.

New York

Airport Facts:

  • Number one international air freight gateway into the United States.
  • John F. Kennedy airport is located in the district of Queens, New York.
  • About 100 air cargo carriers operate out of JFK.

Indonesian Airports Served: None.

New York to Indonesia Cargo-Only Operators: None.

IATA Code: JFK

Dallas/Fort Worth

Airport Facts:

  • Fourth-busiest airport in the world by aircraft movements.
  • Handles close to 2,000 tons of freight every day.
  • Main hub of American Airlines.

Indonesian Airports Served: None.

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

IATA Code: DFW.

Other Airports in the US

  • Atlanta
  • Charlotte
  • Denver
  • El Paso
  • Houston
  • Philadelphia
  • Seattle
  • Seattle
  • Cleveland
  • Cincinnati
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • Boston
  • Detroit
  • Sacramento

Airports of Arrival in Indonesia

Jakarta

Airport Facts:

  • Officially called Soekarno Hatta International Airport (SHIA for short).
  • Situated about 20 km northwest of central Jakarta.
  • Third runway was opened in 2019.
  • Plans in place to boost the cargo-handling capacity further.

Connected Airports in the US: None.

US to Jakarta Cargo-Only Operators: None.

IATA Code: CGK.

Denpasar Bali

Airport Facts:

Ngurah Rai International Airport is located 13 km south of the city of Denpasar. Second-busiest airport in Indonesia. Can accommodate wide-body aircrafts. Ideal for buyers near Jimbaran, Kuta, or a neighboring area.

Connected Airports in the US: None.

US to Denpasar Cargo-Only Operators: None.

IATA Code: DPS.

Surabaya

Airport Facts:

  • Juanda International Airport is located 12 km from Surabaya in Eastern Java.
  • Indonesia’s third-busiest airport.
  • Two-story freight terminal processes around 120,000 tons of air cargo annually.

Connected Airports in the US: None.

US to Surabaya Cargo-Only Operators: None.

IATA Code: SUB.

Customs Clearance Procedures in the US and Indonesia

Customs stamp of wood and rubber, resting on a customs invoice document stamped with export customs clearance in red ink

When you export from the US to Indonesia, customs clearance will always be part of the process. It is wise to engage an experienced freight forwarder or agent for this task because you want to be certain that everything is done as per existing laws and regulations. Mistakes can be costly!

First, you will need to submit the necessary documentation. Usually, customs authorities request the following documents:

  • Commercial Invoice
  • Packing List
  • Certificate of Origin
  • Letter of Credit or other payment terms (depends on the contract between the parties involved)
  • Bill of Lading for ocean freight or Airway Bill for air freight (provided by a freight forwarder, like Shipa Freight)

Except for the Bill of Lading or Airway Bill, all of the mentioned documents should be provided by the exporter (shipper) and the importer of the goods. We have compiled a handy documents list if you would like to learn more and see concrete examples.

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

With the Pacific Ocean separating the United States and Indonesia, transit times for both air and ocean shipping are lengthy. It is over 10,500 km from Los Angeles on the West Coast and over 14,000 km from New York on the East Coast to Indonesia. No direct flights are currently in operation, and most commercial flights require at least two stops between the two countries.

Five days is usually the quickest a freight forwarder could deliver a shipment via air from the US to Indonesia. Although the total flight time is just a few hours, keep in mind that your cargo has to undergo customs and security checks, as well as loading and unloading. FCL and LCL ocean shipping are considerably slower. Transit times range from 31 to 56 days.

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

Here are a few examples of transit times for routes that Shipa Freight operates between the US and Indonesia:

  • Atlanta to Jakarta – 31 days FCL
  • Charleston to Jakarta – 43 days FCL
  • Houston to Jakarta – 45 days FCL
  • Los Angeles to Jakarta – 33 days FCL
  • Long Beach to Jakarta – 35 days FCL
  • New York to Semarang – 45 days LCL
  • San Francisco to Surabaya – 56 days LCL

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

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

  • Dallas/Fort Worth to Jakarta – 6 days
  • New York to Jakarta – 5 days
  • Los Angeles to Jakarta – 5 days
  • Miami to Jakarta – 7 days
  • Chicago to Jakarta – 5 days
  • Miami to Surabaya – 5 days
  • Los Angeles to Denpasar – 5 days

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

Freight forwarders will give you a quote based on several factors, such as the following:

  • Nature of goods
  • Chosen mode of transport (FCL, LCL, Air)
  • Weight of the cargo
  • Dimension of the cargo
  • Distance between origin and destination
  • Delivery terms

Up to a certain weight, there is little difference between the cost of air freight and LCL ocean freight. If you are shipping 100 kg or less, you can simply opt for the quicker option. For consignments above 100 kg, though, ocean freight is typically less expensive than flying your goods.

If you have light cargo of 35 kg or less, we would advise you to engage an international courier service instead of a freight forwarder. Shipa Freight doesn’t ship cargo in this weight bracket.

Why Ship From the US to Indonesia With Shipa Freight?

Shipa Freight makes importing from the US to Indonesia easier than ever – no matter your preferred mode of transport. With our online platform, businesses of all sizes can now manage their entire shipment process and supply chain conveniently in one place. No one has to coordinate multiple agencies anymore to satisfy logistics needs.

The Shipa Freight benefits in a nutshell are:

  • Instant online quotes.
  • Time-saving online booking.
  • Transparent shipping documentation.
  • One platform to manage all imports and exports.
  • 24/7 customer service.
  • Guaranteed compliance with shipping rules and regulations.
  • Assistance with export and import customs clearance

Curious to try it out? Simply fill out the form at the top of this page to get started. It’s easy and fast!

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

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