There’s a high chance that the goods around you — including your computer screen or smartphone from which you are reading this article! — were transported by ocean freight. Approximately 80% of the world’s goods are transported by sea. In 2021, around 11 billion tons of goods were transported via ocean freight. This makes it an important transportation mode for cargo worldwide.

If you want to move your freight around the world, you will probably ship it by ocean transport. Here, we look at typical sea freight transit times when shipping globally, including times for common departure and arrival points.

What does sea freight transit time mean?

The transit time of sea freight describes the time needed for a shipment to be delivered once it is picked up from its point of departure. It shows the time spent moving goods from one point to the other. The exact time is mainly measured in hours and days.

How long are sea freight transit times?

There are multiple factors to consider when measuring the transit time of sea freight:

  • The time spent on water and the time shipments take from door-to-door are different. When shipping sea freight worldwide, there are a lot of steps the goods go through before they reach the vessel and when they leave the vessel — for example, shipping documentation, customs clearance processes, or loading and unloading goods.
  • Transit times for sea freight also depend on the origin and destination of the cargo because the geography of your freight affects the transit times.

Overall, sea freight shipping can range from 20-45 days. In peak seasons, this process can take longer than initially expected.

For detailed shipping information in your region, please take a look at our local information.

Sea freight transit times from China to Australia

Typically, it can take between 25 and 35 days to ship cargo from China to Australia. However, these ocean freight shipping times may increase depending on the time of year. For example, during Chinese New Year, holidays can impact port processing and, in turn, freight transportation.

Sea freight transit times from the USA to Singapore

The average sea freight transit time for shipping goods from the USA to Singapore is 15 to 25 days. However, you should factor in container shipping times of anywhere between 27 to 46 days depending on the time of year, amount of cargo, and specific processing requirements for your freight.

Container ship transit times from China to Europe

Plan for transit times between 30 and 45 days when shipping goods from China to Europe. This is because the typical route for container shipping from China to Europe is long — and goes through the South China Sea, Indian Ocean, Malacca Strait, and Suez Canal until it reaches its destination.

Sea freight transit times from China to the UK

Ocean freight transit times from China to the UK typically take between 35 and 45 days. This time can vary depending on the point of origin and the exact destination port. It can also be extended if shipping door-to-door instead of port-to-port.

Container ship transit times from the UK to Australia

Ocean freight transit times from the UK to Australia vary depending on the arrival port in Australia. It typically takes between 30 and 40 days for your goods to arrive in Australia.

Note: These are estimates and the actual transit time may vary. It’s essential to check with your shipping provider and consider any potential delays or additional factors that could affect the shipping process. 

How to ship sea freight worldwide?

There are multiple sea freight companies shipping sea freight globally.

At Maersk, we offer ocean freight, inland transportation, customs clearance, and other freight services. They are all included as part of our integrated supply chain and logistics solutions, allowing us to add various transport options to your supply chain whenever necessary.

Register for a free account and discover schedules and prices. Get started now and explore your options to ship sea freight worldwide.

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