How to Ship from the USA to Australia

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Australia is currently the tenth largest ecommerce market in the world by revenue. If you aren’t already offering and shipping your products to Australian customers, you’re missing out on increased opportunities.

How do you prepare for shipping to Australia? Since Australia is a remote country, air and sea shipments are going to take some time. With more rules and regulations in place than many other countries, shipping to Australia from the US can be time-consuming, error-prone, and costly — especially if your ecommerce business is small to mid-sized. 

In this guide to shipping from the US to Australia, you’ll learn about your delivery options, rules and regulations, common transit times, and other ways to help you expand your ecommerce business in Australia.

The 4 best US carriers who ship to Australia

There are dozens of carriers that can ship to Australia from the US. We recommend working with the big four carriers: USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL. They’re reliable and can get your packages delivered to Australia within a few days. They have partnerships with many companies that can help reduce shipping costs and they have resources in place to help you with customs, taxes, freight, and other paperwork. Below we break down the price and shipping speeds for these four carriers when shipping a package to Australia.

Note: Prices are calculated for a 2 kg package in January 2020. Prices are subject to change.

Service Price Delivery Time
USPS Priority Mail Express International  ~$47 3-5 business days
USPS Priority Mail International ~$33 6-10 business days
USPS First-Class International Service ~$15 11-20 business days
UPS Worldwide Expedited ~$72 2-5 business days
UPS Worldwide Saver ~$63 6-10 business days
FedEx International Priority ~$71 3-5 business days
FedEx International Economy  ~$64 6-10 business days
DHL International Express ~$65 3-6 business days 

1. USPS

USPS is a great option if quick delivery times aren’t a huge priority, and you want the cheapest shipping option. Unlike the other carriers, you will only have to pay a flat rate depending on the USPS mail type and package weight. Package dropoff is simple because you can drop off packages at your mailbox or visit a local post office.

One major drawback to using USPS for Australian shipping is that the packages are transferred to Australia Post (the national Australian mailing service) once they arrive in Australia. This means the order tracking number provided by USPS will no longer work and you must wait for a new tracking number. This also adds on a few extra delivery days due to the transfer process.

USPS international options

  • Priority Mail Express International 
  • Priority Mail International
  • First-Class International Service

Read more: USPS Australia Country Conditions

When you should ship with USPS

  • You want the lowest cost 
  • Having the quickest delivery time isn’t a priority

2. UPS and FedEx

UPS and FedEx are good options for shipping to Australia because they can get your packages delivered quickly and reliably. With guaranteed delivery times, you can rest easy knowing your packages should get delivered on time and customers will be happy too.

Unlike USPS, packages are tracked from pickup to delivery through the UPS and FedEx tracking systems. You don’t have to worry about any packages being transferred to Australia Post because they are in the possession of UPS or FedEx the entire time and don’t have to change custody.

Take note that UPS and FedEx can be more expensive options if you’re sending packages that are over 10 pounds.  

UPS and FedEx international options

  • UPS Worldwide Expedited
  • UPS Worldwide Saver
  • FedEx International Priority
  • FedEx International Economy 

When you should ship with UPS and FedEx

  • You want package tracking
  • You want quicker delivery and are willing to pay a higher price than USPS

3. DHL

DHL is the leading carrier for international shipping and a great option for shipping to Australia. They have competitive rates compared to UPS or FedEx while offering the same delivery timeframes. If you want to ship to Australia, consider DHL as one of your first options when checking shipping prices.

Depending on what packages or products you’re shipping, there might be extra fees, so keep that in mind when considering DHL.

When you should ship with DHL

  • You want tracking
  • You want quicker delivery

Common customs fees and taxes

The Australia–United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) is similar to NAFTA, meaning the US and Australia have a free trade agreement that allows for easy trade between the two countries. 

This means you won’t be subject to high customs and tariffs when compared to other international countries. Tariffs can change occasionally, but for the most part, shipping to Australia for your US-based business won’t break the bank. 

Customs duty fee

Customs duty fees can add up to around 5% of the value of the item being imported.

Handling fees

Handling fees may also impact the final customs burden. 

Shipping to Australia requires patience

Australia is a remote country that has no land borders with other countries. Because of this, all packages have to be sent via air or sea shipping and this can take time. On average, package deliveries to Australia from the USA can take anywhere from 7-10 days if you aren’t using expedited shipping options.

It’s important to communicate these long transit times to Australian customers so they know that they might have to wait a little longer than usual.

Long shipping times

Shipping to Australia from the USA can take up to a few weeks depending on the class of shipment. Because all packages are shipped via air or sea, there can be additional delays due to weather and natural disasters.

Customs and handling time

Customs and handling time can also take up to a few weeks, so make sure you ship with more than enough leeway time. Make sure you understand any tariff codes before you send a package to Australia so your shipment has the proper documentation and doesn’t get held up at customs. 

Ship to Australia with an experienced 3PL

Do you want to ship your ecommerce orders to Australia from the US but don’t know how to get started? Great news! You can start shipping to Australia by working with a 3PL, like ShipBob. 

ShipBob is used by growing ecommerce businesses to expand their business into Australia. With ShipBob, we store your ecommerce inventory in any of our fulfillment locations, fulfill all orders, give you the best technology, offer bulk shipping discounts, and connect you with other international and other ecommerce partners so you can grow your business.

By using ShipBob for international fulfillment and shipping to Australia, you won’t have to worry about order fulfillment, warehouse management, and more. ShipBob handles all of that for you, so you can focus on other areas of your business like expanding and driving revenue.  

Here’s why you should let ShipBob improve your fulfillment strategy and handle your shipping to Australia:

Outsource shipping to Australian customers

Even with AUSFTA, learning the customs procedures for shipping to Australia takes a lot of time. A few simple mistakes could lead to many orders having delivery issues, which will cost you money and decreased customer satisfaction.

ShipBob provides discounted rates and a variety of shipping services for shipping to Australia. We ship orders out from the US (and beyond) to locations in Australia, all while providing order updates and tracking numbers. You can track every single order from the ShipBob dashboard to keep an eye on all of your packages. 

Save time and money

By partnering with ShipBob, you don’t need to manage warehouses, logistics operations, or hire and train staff labor. Working with ShipBob turns logistics and warehousing into a revenue driver because you can increase sales through attractive shipping options that customers want, while providing you with the data you need to improve transit times, save money, and understand customer behavior. ShipBob makes it happen. 

Work with shipping and fulfillment experts

International ecommerce can be complicated, and shipping to Australia is no exception. Becoming an expert in every aspect of ecommerce warehousing and logistics and hiring the right team can take a lot of time and resources. 

That’s why companies partner with ShipBob. We’re staffed with logistics professionals who are knowledgeable and up-to-date with the latest industry trends and complexities, and also become very familiar with your brand. By working with ShipBob as your logistics team, you get years of experience with a team that knows how to ship your packages to Australia. 

Conclusion

Shipping to Australia from the US doesn’t have to be hard. Working with a 3PL can make the process significantly easier. At ShipBob, we’ve helped many ecommerce businesses expand their business into Australia to help grow their businesses. 

If you want to learn more about how ShipBob can help with shipping your orders to Australia, fill out the form below and discover how ecommerce merchants are partnering with ShipBob to expand their business into Australia.

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