Do you want to ship to Malaysia from the United States or the other way around? Do you need someone to take care of the whole shipping process? Which USA port should you ship to? Should you choose air or sea freight? Which is the most affordable option? What are the norms and restrictions in USA ports? You will find all the answers to these questions in this guide.

Table of Contents

What is the best method of transport between Malaysia and the USA? 

All the methods of transport have their advantages and disadvantages. It all depends on you: your conditions, your time, the type of freight, the destination, your budget, and many other factors that you should take into consideration.

In this guide we will help you with all the pieces of information you need to make a choice, or you can call Docshipper, if this affair seems hard to you, we are here for you !

sea freight malaysia usa

Shipping from Malaysia to the USA

If you don’t have a tight schedule or a big budget, or if your product is large or heavy, sea freight is a great option. It takes 29 days to 47 days to ship from Malaysia/USA to the USA/Malaysia. 

Docshipper can assist you with any type of shipment and, type of container and all the documentation you need according to your budget and time conditions 

DocShipper Alert : Docshipper provides you with the affordable and reliable international shipping service you need: customs clearance 👨‍💼, documentation 📄, international transportation 🚚 and packaging 📦, fill out this form right now! 

The major ports of the USA for shipping

Port of South Louisiana

The Port of South Louisiana stretches for 54 miles along the Mississippi River between New Orleans, Louisiana, and Baton Rouge.

This port is the biggest and most widespread port in the USA and so critical to its economy 

The Port of Houston

The Port of Houston is one of the world's largest ports, serving the Houston metropolitan area in Texas. It had a second rank in terms of the capacity of storage and sixth in terms of twenty-foot equivalent units among all U.S. ports.

It is also the busiest shipping port in the entire country.

The port is a 50-mile-long complex located a few hours' sailing from the Gulf of Mexico.

The port of Houston amounts to 284.9 million MT of cargo movement

Port of New York and New Jersey

The port of New York and New Jersey encloses the entire New York Harbour coastline

It has direct access through the Atlantic, with a 640-mile-long channel surface leading to the complex.

It is known for its massive capacity of storage: 6.7 million twenty-foot equivalent containers were handled in 2017.

This port is one of the largest ports in America and the United States.

The Major Ports of Malaysia for shipping

Port Klang

Port Klang is of the busiest shipping ports in Malaysia and in the world! 

Port Klang, strategically located near Kuala Lumpur, is ideal for sellers looking for international shipping services to/from Kuala Lumpur because it is connected to the South China Sea, Malaysia

If you require heavy equipment shipping assistance from the United States to Malaysia, you will most likely need to ship to Port Klang. 

Port of Penang

Penang, like Port Klang, is the largest and most strategically located port in Southeast Asia. Port Penang is located in the northern part of Peninsular Malaysia and connects to over 200 ports worldwide. We can transport general commercial cargo in containers from the east and west coasts of the United States to the Malaysian port of Penang.

Labuan’s Port

Labuan, is located on the island of Borneo, in the east of Malaysia.

If you want to ship machinery, plastics, engines, or sporting goods from the United States to East Malaysia, Labuan is a good destination to choose.

Pasir Gudang Port

If you want to ship to the southern part of Peninsular Malaysia, the port of Pasir Gudang is your best option. The port is located in the city of Johor Bahru, Malaysia's second-largest city.

The advance of this port is the short distance between Malaysia and Singapore.

DocShipper info :Thanks to our experienced staff and their dedication to ensuring perfectly all aspects of this service. DocShipper Malaysia is your best partner! So don’t miss the chance and fill out this form to benefit from this offer!

Transit time between Malaysia and USA 


Penang Labuan Pasir Gudang

South Louisiana

40 41 38 40


40-58 40 37


New York 25-42  41 38


Should I send my items from Malaysia to the USA in a groupage or a full container?

Containers are the most important component of the entire shipping process

These shipping containers hold a variety of products that must be shipped from one part of the world to another using various types of container ships.

There are 3 types of container ships:

  • The HQ at 40 feet (High Cube, which has a capacity of 76 cubic meters)
  • The forty-foot container (which has a capacity of 67 cubic meters)
  • 20-foot container (which has a capacity of 33 cubic meters)

DocShipper Advice : Docshipper will use their expertise to help you with this delicate decision from the United States to Malaysia, fill this form!

Less than Container Load (LCL)

LCL is a sea freight shipping method for smaller international importers.

The volume should be between 2 CBM and 12/15 CBM (cubic meters)

LCL shipments are priced in cubic meters based on the amount of space used.

The cost of LCL shipments is prorated based on the volume required and, in most cases, includes a mandatory minimum allotment of 1 cubic meter.

Full Container Load (FCL)

FCL refers to full container load. 

It means cargo loads large enough to fill a 20’ or 40’ shipping container.

Docshipper Tip : Docshipper goes to great lengths to ensure that our solutions provide end-to-end flexibility, credibility, transparency, and ease of operation.

To learn more on the subject, read this guide: FCL and LCL

Specialized maritime transport between Malaysia and the USA

You may need assistance depending on how many items you have and how much of the volume you want to carry. If you are carrying specific items, you should know these tips.

Container reefer

A refrigerated container/reefer, can maintain a constant temperature regardless of the outside environment. It operates by making commands from the boat's deck.


The term "roll-on/roll-off" refers to a type of transport vessel that is specifically designed to transport vehicles like automobiles, trucks, vans, semi-trailers, and railway wagons.

It is the most efficient and secure method of transporting vehicles.

These goods are typically transported from dock to destination in a single unit using specialized containers.


Bulk commodities like coal, minerals, or ores, as well as liquids like coal, are handled directly in the ship.

A container isn't the best option. Bulk transport vessels are an excellent choice.

The movement certificate is proof that allows the shipment of such goods.


Cargoes that are "out of measure or out of standard" are classified as OOG (Out of Gauge).

These items are either too heavy or too large to fit into a container.

Open-top containers are used to ship finished goods that must be handled and loaded by a forklift.

DocShipper Advice : When it comes to international trade to or from Malaysia, the most cost-effective shipping method is ocean freight for long distances and large quantities. You can ask our experts any questions you have. They can answer all of your questions and provide the best solutions to your problems. Please contact us .

What is the price of shipping from Malaysia to the USA?

The cost of shipping goods is influenced by numerous factors.

For example, if you're sending a small or large quantity, you will not use the same type of container.

If the volume is less than 15 cubic meters, choose an LCL (Less Than Container Load) rather than an FCL (Full Container Load).

We would like to remind you that the cost of sea freight is determined by the weight and volume of goods transported.

The formula of calculation is as follows:

  • The weight/volume ratio per tonne must be 1m3.
  • Traditional modes of transportation and consolidation must be well established.
  • Regardless of the unit of measurement, it is always necessary to correlate to the highest value (in volume or mass).

Packaging ensures the protection and safety of your goods from point of departure to point of arrival, so it is critical to ensure that goods are shipped in the best conditions possible.

DocShipper Alert : Docshipper can offer you the packaging service !

If you want to learn more about our packaging services. Contact one of our experts or visit our packing service page.

Added expenses 

Depending on the circumstances, shipping companies may add supplementary costs in addition to the price of shipping.

BAF (Bunker Adjustment Factor)

This cost increase is the result of fluctuations in the price of oil.

Following the first oil embargo in 1973, shipping companies began to use it to meet the demand for new vessels. 

Since then, Carriers have taken the BAF into consideration since then.

CAF (Currency Adjustment Factor) 

These charges reflect changes in the value of the dollar. Because the majority of shipping costs are calculated in US dollars, businesses use this charge as cash flow insurance.

THC (Terminal Handling Charge) 

THC refers to the port's loading and unloading handling fees.

Conventional freight, also known as "non-containerized," can have a variable or fixed cost depending on the type of container used.

The rate is calculated per kilogram and may include additional charges for larger or heavier items.

ORC (Origin Receipt Charge) 

These surcharges are only applicable when leaving Chinese ports. It contributes to the financing of China's ports.

Port blockage

The blockage of a port occurs when there is an imbalance between the number of vessels and the operational capacity of the port.

A ship must wait in one of these ports before unloading its cargo, which can take several days.

The ports around the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean are the most affected by this issue (Algeria, Libya, etc.).


air freight malaysia usa

Air freight from Malaysia to the USA

When choosing air freight services, it is critical to determine what type of air freight services you require. We will explain the distinction between classic air freight and express air freight in this section.

This mode of transportation allows you to ship your goods worldwide in a short period.

 If your delivery volume is less than 3 m3, we recommend that you deliver it by air.

Express versus regular air freight

Traditional air freight

This type is used by airlines such as British Airways, Air China, Malaysia Airlines, Thai Airways, and Qatar Airways to ensure cargo transport on scheduled flights. They maintain their personal space on planes.

This method is usually less expensive than express air freight (over 75 Kgs). 

The cost of freight will also be determined by the departure and arrival times and distance.

Express air freight

 This type of transport is more expensive because the items are delivered by aircraft designed specifically for air cargo. Then, courier companies (like UPS, FedEx, TNT, and DHL) are in charge of providing door-to-door services

This type is recommended for little quantities (less than 75 kg).


express traditional air freight malaysia Canada

The transit time between Malaysian and USA airports

time transit malaysia usaThe transit time of your shipment will be affected by its location, size, and season. Transit times are not always consistent. Freight shipments may be delayed due to market conditions, natural disasters, and other occurrences.

The transit time of the freight can take varies between 1 - 5 days.

How much does air freight between the USA and Malaysia cost?

Weight and volume are two factors that influence air freight prices.

The cost depends on the nature, type, weight, and size of the goods to be shipped.

This price is determined during the customs inspection.

Remark : Freight services (time of transit, costs, customs regulation…) can vary widely between freight forwarders.

What distinguishes volumetric weight from gross weight?

How do you determine the dimensional weight of your shipment? 

There are two methods for categorizing the billed weight of your freight in order to calculate its density.

This is how air freight rates are determined:

If the dimensional weight exceeds the actual weight of your freight, the cost will be calculated using that weight.

Remark : The load weight can be calculated online.

airfreight volumetric weight formula
airfreight gross weight

DocShipper Alert : Thanks to our expertise, we can offer you very competitive rates for all air cargo services between Malaysia and the USA. We can provide full loading services (customs clearance 👨‍💼, documentation 📄, international shipping 🚚, quality control 🧐 and packaging 📦) to get your goods delivered wherever you want. Just contact us to make this affair happen! 

customs clearance malaysia usa

When travelling from one country to another with personal belongings or merchandise for business use, you must pass through customs and have your items cleared. DocShipper Malaysia can help you with customs clearance, and can guide you through the process: documentation, norms, restrictions…

Your satisfaction is our mission ! 

Process of Customs 

When your goods arrive at the port, customs officials will first ensure that all of your documentation is in order, and then calculate the amount of taxes and duties owed

The merchandise will be released once payment is received.

DocShipper info :

When calculating your obligations, don’t forget to protect yourself in case your inventories are damaged or lost. We can help you with our insurance service ! FREE QUOTE

Before the shipment, your products must be classified and declared to Malaysian authorities. Its mission is to classify your products using the System Source tax code

You can see how your items are classified using the HSS Explorer.

Before you export to the USA, some products require an Export License, which is required for these types of goods: plants, alcohol, cheese, and pets...

Customs value

Customs value is the total value of the merchandise being imported into a country.

Each country has a standard set of rules for establishing the total customs value of goods 

Custom value 

refers to the price of the goods associated with the tariffs of transportation and the USA border. Also known as CIF (Incoterm) value. This is the price you will pay for the products when they arrive at a port of entry into the USA.

The customs value will serve as the foundation for calculating customs duties.

The tax amount

You should pay the estimated duties on imported goods. 

A refund is issued if excess payment is made than what is due.

The tariff classification ruling is an official notice issued by CBP that specifies which HTS code applies to imported goods.

When applying for a tariff classification ruling, CBP demand specific documentation about the products:

  • Global description of the products being imported
  • Component materials of the product
  • The use of the product once it’s imported into the U.S.
  • Design specifications, drawings…
  • Chemical analysis
  • Any special invoicing details
  • the correct HTS code along with evidence


Where do I look up my HS code?

The HTS is a 10-digit description code that is assigned to each product. To make customs clearance easier, you must know the HTS code of the item you are importing.

Customs duties and import taxes are determined by two factors:

  •     Country of import and product,
  •     Product (as defined by the HS code).

Asking the vendor is the most effective and secure option.

Remark : goods which are valued below $2,500 are eligible for “informal customs entry

hs code malaysia usa
hs code malaysia usa

Calculate customs duties with the HS Code

After knowing the rate of customs charges and taxes imposed on your product, you can now calculate customs duties.

In the USA, there is no GST or VAT. Instead, each state has its own sales tax, so it varies from one state to another.

The seller only notices the sales tax when he sells his goods. Unlike VAT and GST, sales tax is only levied on retail transactions, so you will not have to pay it to customs when importing goods. Furthermore, the purchase of goods for subsequent transformation or resale is exempt from sales tax

Only the final consumer will be required to pay this tax, which is levied based on the type of goods purchased and the state of purchase. This tax does not apply to all intermediaries.

A wide range of essential products like agricultural and medical machinery are generally exempt from sales tax in the majority of states.

This map show you the average sales tax rates for each state:

You can determine which rates are imposed on the items you're aiming to sell on this site: Sales taxes in the US.

sales tax us

DocShipper Advice : If you want to know about the methods of payments accepted in the USA and its classification, read this article : How to pay taxes in the USA ?

Docshipper does it impose any obligations?

The only expenses required are those related to the creation of the regulatory document. DocShipper will be in charge of customs affairs, we will give you all the necessary paperwork needed. 

The customs fees will be collected by the government.

Customs contact

What paperwork is necessary for shipping goods between Malaysia and the USA?

There is the documentation needed for your customs process:

  • Packing list
  • Commercial Invoice
  • Certification of origin

Certificate of origin Malaysia

  • Letter of credit
  • Dangerous Goods Forms
  • Export Permit (if required)
  • Transportation contract (HBL (House Bill of Lading)

Bill of lading-DocShipper

DocShipper Alert : If you want to know about prohibitions and restrictions in the USA, read this forbidden and prohibited products in the USA

Additional services from DocShipper

storage warehousing

Storing and warehousing

If you have an emergency, an unexpected situation, or anything else that may prevent your relocation or your importation. Our warehousing service may help you to get out of this. 

Check out our specialized page : Warehousing 





Packaging services in Malaysia and the US

Packaging is crucial in any logistics activity, it optimizes the security of merchandise. So investors should ensure the best quality of this service for a better shipping experience.

Boxes are the most popular type of packing. 

If you're on a tight budget, pack wisely. Choose strong packaging for valuable and long-lasting items.

Docshipper Malaysia can serve you with all of your packing requirements. Our technical experts can pack anything you need. 

More information can be found on our specialized page: Packing services.

cargo insuranceCargo Insurance 

The cost of insurance is affected by many factors :

  • the type of vehicle being insured, 
  • the product's concept, 
  • the insurance provider… 

To minimize any risks, the pronounced value can be increased by up to 20% regardless of the equipment. 

The advocate mentions the merchandise’s value in addition to the primary transportation expenses.

Check out our specialized page: Insurance services


Moving services

Are you interested in visiting the USA/Malaysia? When you want to relocate to another country, you certainly need to bring your personal furniture, bags, or souvenirs. Whether you are in Vietnam, Portugal, the USA… or anywhere else in the world, our professionals handle all the requirements needed to ensure that everything arrives in perfect condition at your new home.

Check out our specialized page: moving services

DocShipper Advise : We help you with the entire sourcing process so don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

  • Having trouble finding the appropriate product? Enjoy our sourcing services, we directly find the right suppliers for you!
  • You don't trust your supplier? Ask our experts to do quality control to guarantee the condition of your goods!
  • Do you need help with the logistics? Our international freight department supports you with door to door services!
  • You don't want to handle distribution? Our 3PL department will handle the storage, order fulfillment, and last-mile delivery!


DocShipper | Your dedicated freight forwarder in Malaysia !


Due to our attractive pricing, many customers trust our services and we thanks them. Stop overpaying the services and save money with our tailored package matching will all type of shipment, from small volume to full container, let us find the best and cost-effective solution.

Communication is important, which is why we strive to discuss in the most suitable way for you!