Shipping to Kenya From the US
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Sometimes the goods you want to buy may not be available at the local Kenyan stores. So, you look for ways to import it from countries like the USA. Overseas retailers are also keen to tap into this trend.
Luckily, as the world becomes more ecommerce-friendly, it is possible to get overseas orders delivered affordably to Kenya in just a few days.
Read on as this blog post helps you understand how to easily ship items such as fashion, electronics, and personal care from the USA to Kenya.
This guide provides information on how to ship a package from the US to Kenya, plus tips on how ecommerce brands can better plan international shipping logistics with ShipBob.
Cost & delivery speeds for shipping to Kenya from the US
When retailers or individuals seek out ways to get merchandise delivered to Kenya, they are most conscious of the delivery speeds and costs.
To help you decide which courier offers the best value for money, here is a look at the most popular services available:
Note: We calculated the following rates using each courier’s pricing calculators for a consistent example of a 2.2 lbs package in January 2022. Exact prices are subject to change. These are general options for consumers’ shipping orders.
ShipBob’s exact rates for customers will vary as we charge an all-in “total fulfilment cost“ that includes picking, packing, and shipping, among other factors.
To know what ShipBob offers when shipping to other countries like Kenya, please request a quote here.
|USPS||Priority Mail Express International||$89.75||3-5 business days|
|USPS||Priority Mail International||$68.95||11-21 business days|
|UPS||Worldwide Saver||$279.41||3-4 business days|
|UPS||Worldwide Expedited||$170.17||2-5 business days|
|DHL||One-Time Shipment||$135.52||6-10 business days|
|FedEx||International Priority||$205.78||1-3 business days|
|FedEx||International Economy||$197.73||2-5 business days|
*It is important to mention that USPS offers flat-rate shipping to Kenya range from $40.15 to $111.35 for delivery within 6 to 10 days.
How to choose a shipping courier
Every ecommerce business has unique shipping needs. Some like to promise next-day delivery, while others prioritise eco-friendly shipping practices. Some businesses are also keen to keep fulfilment costs low and pass on the savings to their customers.
So there is no one-size-fits-all option when it comes to choosing a courier.
To help you make this shortlisting process a little easier, here are the pros and cons of the top four couriers:
Shipping to Kenya from the US with USPS
Over 46% of the world’s mail is sent by the USPS. That’s the sort of trust that the courier inspires for domestic and international shipping. However, though it’s the most cost-effective courier, USPS lacks sophisticated order tracking for international shipments.
But no matter how heavy or large the package, USPS offers the best rates to ship orders to Kenya.
When to use USPS to ship from the US to Kenya
If you want to keep your shipping costs low then USPS offers some of the most affordable rates in the business. When shipping heavy goods to Kenya, you can use its flat-rate shipping option.
Additionally, what is great about this courier is that it does not levy any extra fees or surcharges.
Shipping to Kenya from the US with UPS
United Postal Service (UPS) is touted to be one of the world’s largest shipping couriers. Founded in 1907, This Fortune 500 company employs 495,000+ staff members and delivers parcels to 220+ countries.
UPS’s 24/7 international customer helpline, free customs support, and timely delivery are all reasons to trust it with your shipments to Kenya.
When to use UPS to ship from the US to Kenya
This Atlanta-based courier is great for retailers that are particular about accurate last mile tracking and reliable order delivery. Notably, it has a significant US-wide presence. On the flip side, it does charge a lot more in shipping fees than other established players.
Shipping to Kenya from the US with FedEx
FedEx offers a wide footprint across the US. Of the 220 countries it ships to internationally, Kenya is also one. It is well-known as one of the first couriers to offer overnight delivery options.
There are helpful options provided by FedEx such as the International Shipping Assist tool, which simplifies shipping needs for businesses that engage regularly.
When to use FedEx to ship from the US to Kenya
If you need to send orders in bulk to Kenya, with FedEx’s bulk shipping option you can avail great discounts. Also enjoy customer care support and accurate shipment tracking with this courier.
Shipping to Kenya from the US with DHL
DHL is an international shipping company, headquartered in Germany. It is a very reliable courier that is driven to reduce carbon emissions in shipping operations.
This German courier is also committed to green logistics and is environmentally conscious.
When to use DHL to ship from the US to Kenya
Enjoy super-fast and reliable international order fulfilment, shipment insurance, and door-to-door parcel delivery with DHL.
However, DHL’s on-time shipping services tend to be a lot more expensive than that of competition.
Duties & taxes when shipping to Kenya from the US
All imported goods attract a VAT of 16%. Also, typically, you are required to pay an import duty ranging between 0% and 25%.
Here are some of the category-specific customs duty rates that you should be aware of:
|Custom Duty %||Description|
|25%||Health and beauty|
|25%||Dry food and supplements|
Note: The tax-free threshold as decreed by Kenya’s customs authority is $0.
Kenya customs information
You need a clearing agent to help you clear goods at the border, with the Customs and Border Control Department (CBCD), on your behalf.
There are a lot of clearance documents, such as bill of lading, import declaration form, pro forma invoice, and an ISM (when applicable), that you must have ready to ensure that your imports don’t get stuck at customs.
To know more about how to ship goods into Kenya, here is a link to the country’s official customs department’s website.
Prohibited items when shipping to Kenya
Kenya has a list of goods that are prohibited from being imported into the country. The reason for such restrictions can range from national safety and security, protectionist measures to trade embargos.
To avoid costly delays and returns of orders or fines, before shipping your orders, be sure to review this list.
Items you can’t ship to Kenya from the US
|Coins, banknotes, paper money, traveler’s checks|
|Platinum, gold, or silver (manufactured or not), precious stones, and jewelry|
|Firearms and articles resembling deadly weapons|
|Indecent of obscene materials|
|Bedding and other similar items|
|All textiles and fabrics|
What ecommerce businesses need to know about shipping to Kenya
Here are some important considerations to keep in mind when shipping from the US to Kenya.
1. Take steps to tackle online fraud and build trust with shoppers
Kenya’s Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) receives an overwhelming number of reports of online fraud, which leaves the country’s people wary of ecommerce transactions.
To reduce their feelings of mistrust, you must build a highly encrypted and secure website, process payments via reliable payment partners, and maintain the privacy of shoppers’ data.
2. Offer multiple means of payment
Customers are opting for cash on delivery less than usual, but it still retains the position of most popular means of ecommerce payment in Kenya.
Meanwhile, usage of e-wallets, bank transfers, and direct debit have grown between 2017 and 2022. To make the payment process convenient, be sure to offer all these options (along with card payment) to Kenyan customers on your ecommerce portal.
3. Harness social media to engage customers
About 20.2% of Kenya’s population are on social media.
If you want to capture the interest of this segment of the population, then it is important to build a strong, engaging, and localised social media presence.
4. Use ShipBob’s 3PL services
Apart from managing the product, marketing, and sales, you also have quite the responsibility of ensuring that orders reach your customers in Kenya on time. That’s a lot of work.
Luckily, there are 3PL companies like ShipBob that can partner with you to manage the order fulfilment workflow for you, end to end.
Partner with ShipBob, an international 3PL
ShipBob makes it to reach customers across the world with a remarkable brand experience.
Selling internationally can be challenging, time-consuming, and costly. But with ShipBob, you’re given everything you need to serve customers across the globe while saving time on logistics.
We not only take care of picking, packing, and shipping your orders to Kenya, we also offer upfront fulfilment costs that include customs, duties, and additional taxes.
By partnering with ShipBob, you eliminate the need to manage retail fulfilment, logistics operations, and hire labour.
Working with ShipBob can actually turn logistics and warehousing into a revenue driver because you can increase sales and offer the shipping options, transit times, and delivery speeds that customers want.
The best part about partnering with ShipBob is you get time back to focus on more strategic initiatives, such as customer service and marketing.
“There’s a pair of Ombraz on every continent, so international shipping is very important to us — not only in terms of costs but also the customer experience. When I found out ShipBob was expanding, I knew we wanted to expand our physical footprint with them. This would offer us the ability to reduce taxes and tariffs that come with international shipping.
The process of getting inventory sent to ShipBob’s fulfilment centre location was very streamlined. ShipBob has helped us extensively throughout the process and we look forward to accelerating our growth outside of North America.”
Nikolai Paloni, Co-Founder of Ombraz Sunglasses
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Shipping to Kenya FAQs
Here are answers to the top questions about shipping from the United States to Kenya.
What’s the cheapest way to ship to Kenya from the US?
USPS Priority Mail International offers some of the cheapest services to ship your orders from the US to Kenya.
What’s the cheapest way to ship large packages to Kenya from the US?
Lage and heavy orders are most affordably shipped from the US to Kenya with USPS’ fixed-rate services. This ensures that no matter what the weight of the order, the shipping tariff remains the same for parcels of certain dimensions.
What’s the fastest way to ship a package to Kenya from the US?
USPS GXG Envelopes and FedEx International Priority are two options that ensure that your goods reach Kenya in 1 to 3 business days.
Do I have to pay customs duties and fees when shipping to Kenya from the US?
Goods imported into Kenya attract a VAT of 16% and an import duty ranging between 0% and 25%.
What’s the easiest way to ship something to Kenya from the US?
In terms of parcel drop-offs, the most convenient courier is USPS. And in terms of the reliability of tracking and customer care, the best options are UPS and FedEx.