Australia is currently the tenth largest ecommerce market in the world by revenue. If you haven’t expanded your business into Australia, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to grow sales.
But serving Australian customers as a US-based business can be tricky. 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, and the benefits of partnering with an international fulfillment 3PL like ShipBob.
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.
hey 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.
|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|
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
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.
Customs duty fees can add up to around 5% of the value of the item being imported, and 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.
Expand into Australia with ShipBob
ShipBob is an international 3PL with locations across the globe, including a location in Melbourne, Australia.
It is operated by the same warehouse management system, SLAs, and support team as our US-based locations, to provide the same level of world-class fulfillment, consistency, and transparency across your ecommerce supply chain.
By partnering with ShipBob for international fulfillment, you can sell more across Australia by reducing shipping costs and transit times. Simply bulk ship inventory to our Melbourne-based fulfillment location, and from there, Australian orders can be picked, packed, and shipped domestically.
If you have a strong customer presence in Australia, here are more reasons why you should partner with ShipBob.
Fast, affordable shipping across Australia
When you bulk ship inventory to our Melbourne location, you can easily reduce shipping costs and transit times. With ShipBob, you can choose between standard or expedited shipping options for Australian orders.
The average transit time to all of Australia is 1-7 business days. ShipBob partners with Australia Post for shipments within Australia and will continue to add more carriers and shipping destinations in the future.
Navigating international markets
Each country has its own set of import duties, tariffs, taxes, and rules for international orders. ShipBob’s experts know all the ins and outs of international shipping and can streamline the process for you.
Since we have a location in Melbourne, we make it easy for you to better serve Australian-based customers. You can bulk ship inventory to Melbourne, and from there, Australian orders can be picked, packed, and shipped domestically.
ShipBob will walk you through the process of sending freight to our Australian fulfillment center. We’ll work with your current carrier or freight partners, or you can leverage ShipBob’s relationships with cross-border freight specialists.
Sell more across Australia with ShipBob
Serving Australian-based customers has never been easier. With ShipBob’s fulfillment presence in Australian, partnering with ShipBob can help you expand across Australia with ease.
If you want to learn more about how ShipBob can help you meet customer expectations as your expand internationally, fill out the form below to get the conversation started.
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