How Long Does Shipping Take From America To The UK?

How long does shipping take from America to the UK?

Shipping goods across the Atlantic from America to the UK is a crucial part of international trade and logistics.

With globalisation increasing the demand for imported products, understanding the timelines and factors involved in international shipping is essential for both businesses and consumers.

Our experts have delved into the specifics of how long shipping typically takes from America to the UK, and explore related concerns such as shipping delays from China and customs clearance times.

Last updated: July 2024

America Freight Forwarding and Shipping

Freight forwarding and shipping are integral components of global commerce, allowing for the efficient movement of goods across borders. The United States, with its vast manufacturing sector and robust economy, is a major player in the international shipping arena. In 2020, the United States exported goods worth over $1.4 trillion, a significant portion of which was destined for Europe, including the UK.

The shipping process involves several key stages: collection, transit, customs clearance, and final delivery. Freight forwarders play a vital role in managing these stages, ensuring that goods move smoothly from the point of origin to their final destination. The choice of shipping method—whether by sea or air—greatly influences the overall transit time and cost.

How long does it take to ship from America to the UK by sea?

Shipping goods by sea is a common and cost-effective method for large shipments. The average transit time for sea freight from America to the UK typically ranges from 20 to 30 days. This duration can vary based on several factors, including the port of origin, the destination port, the specific shipping route, and any potential delays en route.

Port of Origin and Destination: Major ports on the East Coast of the United States, such as New York or Charleston, generally have shorter transit times compared to ports on the West Coast, such as Los Angeles or Seattle. This is due to the closer proximity to Europe.

Shipping Route: Direct shipping routes between major ports tend to be faster compared to routes that require multiple stops or transhipments.

Customs and Clearance: The time taken for customs clearance at both the departure and arrival ports can also impact the overall shipping duration.

While sea freight is slower compared to air freight, it is significantly cheaper, making it a preferred choice for bulk shipments and non-urgent deliveries.

Why is shipping from America taking so long?

Shipping delays from America have become increasingly common, and several key factors contribute to these extended timelines:

Pandemic-Related Disruptions: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread disruptions to global supply chains, including port closures, reduced workforce availability, and diminished shipping capacities.

Increased Demand: The surge in e-commerce and the heightened demand for goods from the United States have strained shipping lines and port facilities, leading to congestion and delays.

Container Shortages: A global shortage of shipping containers has compounded delays, as containers often remain stuck at ports or in transit for longer periods.

Shipping Route Bottlenecks: Key shipping routes, such as those passing through the Panama Canal, have experienced bottlenecks, further delaying the movement of goods.

These challenges have collectively resulted in longer shipping times from America, impacting both businesses and consumers worldwide.

How long do UK customs take to clear packages from America?

The customs clearance process is a vital step in the importation of goods, involving the inspection and approval of items entering a country. On average, UK customs take between 1 to 3 days to clear packages from America. However, this timeframe can vary depending on several factors:

Type of Goods: Certain items may require more thorough inspections, which can prolong the clearance process.

Documentation: Complete and accurate documentation can expedite the customs process. Any discrepancies or missing information can lead to delays.

Customs Duty and VAT: If duties or VAT need to be paid, the processing time for these payments can affect the overall clearance duration.

Customs Backlog: High import volumes can lead to backlogs at customs, resulting in longer processing times.

To minimise delays, it is essential to ensure that all necessary documentation is properly prepared and that any applicable duties and taxes are promptly paid.

America Freight Forwarding: KG Logistics

KG Logistics offer a comprehensive America freight forwarding service to to help our clients import and export from the USA.

Our sea and air freight services include: part load (LCL), full load (FCL) and all air freight for both commercial and general public clients. Our specialised break bulk team can arrange both ex works and FOB shipments for all larger out of gauge cargo.

We can arrange any type of air freight shipping on a door to door basis, whether your shipment is of utmost urgency or it requires a full charter of an aircraft.

Get a quotation to start your journey towards better logistics!