Australians may trade with Malaysia in a variety of fascinating ways, whether they are importing or exporting products or services. In this guide, you will learn all about freight forwarding services between these two countries. This applies to both air and maritime freight. To guarantee that your items cross the border into another country without any hiccups, we will provide you with further information regarding customs clearance procedures. This article covers all related services, including distribution,warehousing, and packaging.

Table of Contents

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

In this document, we will see how to organize sea and air freight exports from Malaysia to Australia and is here to help you with every step of the process. We will inform you about the different modes of transport that can be used.

Sea freight shipping between Malaysia and Australia

Sea freight is a wonderful alternative if you don't have a tight schedule, a small budget, or if your product is large or heavy and takes between 12 and 25 days to ship from Malaysia to Australia. Docshipper can help you send any size shipment into or out of Australia. Both full container loads (FCLs) and smaller than container loads are covered by our services (LCLs). Hiring entire containers is recommended if you want the procedure to run more quickly so that your cargo is not held up by other shipments.

The main seaports in Malaysia

Port Kelang : On the western coast of the Malaysian Peninsula, near the northernmost point of the Malacca Strait, which connects the nation's capital Kuala Lumpur with the South China Sea, is Klang Port. About 38% of Malaysia's international marine traffic goes through this facility, which is referred to as the country's flagship port. In 2018, this port handled more than 220 million tonnes of cargo.

Port of Tanjung : This port facility is located in the state of Johor in the southern region of Malaysia, near the Pulai River delta. It is a significant container transhipment facility that is connected to Singapore and Indonesia and is near to the Malacca Strait's international shipping lanes. Due to its advantageous geographic position, it handled around 9 million TEU in 2018, making it the 18th busiest container facility in the world.

Port of Johor : At the southernmost point of the Malaysian Peninsula, close to Johor Strait, is where Johor Port is located. Due to its location in the Pasir Gudang industrial district, which is home to vital sectors including engineering, petrochemicals, electrical products, furniture, and packaged food, it serves as a crucial marine gateway for the nation.

The main seaports in Australia

Port Hedland : The Port of Hedland, which is the biggest bulk export terminal in the world and mostly handles shipments of iron ore, is located on Western Australia's northern coast in the Pilbara area. Ammonium, fuel oil, lithium, project cargo, breakbulk materials including cement, Roro, conventional cargo, salt, sulphuric acid, copper, chromite, and cattle are some of the other commodities handled at the port.

Port of Adelaide : Adelaide Port is the major shipping port in South Australia and a significant maritime gateway for the export of cars, cereals, auto parts, ores, concentrates, and wine. It is located only a few kilometers inland from the St. Vincent Gulf in Adelaide City. Additionally, it deals with metals, steel and iron products, containers, mineral sands, and agriculturally based items. Over 1100 ships and more than 110 million tonnes of cargo are handled yearly at Adelaide port.

Port of Brisbane : The third-largest container terminal in Australia is situated in Brisbane, near the mouth of the Brisbane River before it enters the Bay of Moreton. A significant port in Queensland, transporting dairy products, wool, processed meat, sand, sugar, and canned goods to a vast and diversified agricultural region. The port city, which is dominated by industry, contains oil refineries, sawmills, shipyards, rubber manufacturers, etc. It handles the importation of crude oil, gypsum, chemicals, timber, building supplies, and transport equipment.

Transit time between Malaysia and Indonesia ports

Transit time between Malaysia and Indonesia ports

Australia/ Malaysia  Port of Kelang Port of Tanjung  Port of Johor
Port Hedland  18 days 18 days 18 days
Port Adelaide 16 days  17 days  16 days
Port of Brisbane 18 days  20 days 35 days

DocShipper Alert : Do you want any assistance for your shipment between Malaysia and Australia ? Our specialists may provide you with a free estimate here. Contact us.

Please be aware that transit timings do not account for pre-carriage, delivery, or customs processing; they are calculated as an average of days spent on the vessel. In addition, as shipping goods by water is the slowest way, you must plan your departure.

Should I ship my goods as a groupage or full container between Australia and Malaysia ?

The main categories of standard container sizes are as follows. All of them may be used for both personal and professional transportation. We can see that merchants use them most frequently for any kind of solid sample:

  • The 20 FT general with a cubic capacity of 33 m³
  • The 20 FT High Cube with a cubic capacity of 37 m³
  • The 40 FT general with a cubic capacity 67 m³
  • The 40 FT High Cube with a cubic capacity of 76 m³.

Less than Container Load (LCL)

LCL means less than container load. It refers to situations when the cargo has small volume or dimensions that will not take up the entire space of a container. In this case, the shipper can opt for LCL, which combines their shipment with other smaller cargoes. This is also called a consolidated container, where multiple smaller cargoes are combined to be shipped together in the same container. Additionally, it enables you to just pay for the space that you really need, which makes it perfect for little deliveries. Your goods will be stacked with those of another merchant who is traveling in the same direction.
We advise you to employ this tactic if you:

  • You'll make fewer trips overall.
  • You plan to gather a number of packages and distribute them to a number of recipients.
  • A maritime freight will be less expensive than air cargo since your items are heavy rather than bulky.

The most suitable cargoes for this strategy are those that weigh greater than 13/14 m3. The cost will be reduced even if the cargo is only half loaded, since the port will handle it less. This approach is also more secure.

Full Container Load (FCL)

A full container load, or FCL, is when the shipment or cargo fills the whole container. In this instance, the whole contents of the container are the shipper's property, and no other cargo is present in the container's area. To reduce risks and costs, the vessel will be sealed as it leaves the company's premises until it is delivered to the client.
If you plan to buy a lot of goods, it is a great mode of transportation to employ.
As a result, full user FCL will be safer and less expensive for a bigger number, regardless of whether you fill it entirely. Undoubtedly, a full container may benefit from being less expensive than an LCL starting at 15 m³.

For shipments less than 2 m³, air freight is more appealing than ocean freight. Additionally, compared to ocean freight, air freight delivers packages more quickly. Door to door delivery of air freight takes less than a week, but ocean freight takes roughly 40 days (LCL).

Special sea freight between Australia and Malaysia

The quantity of your items and the size of your load all affect the kind of support you'll require. The following details are very important to keep in mind if you are transporting specific things.

Reefer container

A refrigerated container, often known as a reefer, is one that can keep a certain temperature constant no matter the outside temperature. It operates by transmitting its specifications to the ship's bridge.


In order to carry wheeled goods, such as cars, trucks, vans, semi-trailers, or rail line carriages, which are powered by their own tires both inside and outside the ship, roro or roll-on/roll-off ships were created.

The safest and most efficient way to handle and move larger or unique business goods. Deliveries are often transported as a single unit utilizing specialized containers from the dock to the final destination. Since the cargo is continuously kept on the vehicle decks of the Ro-Ro container for the length of the journey, there is less maintenance and no exposure to moisture or temperature.


Bulk supplies are dropped off right into the ship's cargo. As a result, a certification is created locally and made available for common and bulk shipments. Large-scale, freely moving freight. Bulk carriers are ships that are specifically designed to handle each kind of cargo, such as sand, aggregates, grain, and dense goods like minerals.


Freight that is "out of measure or out of standard" is referred to as OOG freight. Open-top containers and flat shelf containers are the two categories into which OOG chambers may be split.
Finished goods that need to be handled and loaded using a forklift are transported in the Open Top Container.
The flat-Rack box is used to carry objects that are cumbersome, heavy, and perhaps wider or taller than usual. For goods that are excessively wide, excessively tall, excessively lengthy, or excessively heavy. This kind of gear works well for things whose size prevents them from fitting into standard chambers.

The experts at DocShipper are available to address any queries you may have about heavy lifting or other sorts of goods. They will respond to all of your inquiries and provide you with the finest alternative available. Get in touch with us for further details.

How much does it cost to ship from Australia to Malaysia?

Given that every cargo is unique, it is hard to provide a precise quote for a shipping from Australia to Malaysia. The weight and volume of your products will determine the cost of your shipping. Ask our specialists for a free estimate if you want to know how much your cargo will cost.

But because the cost of shipping products by sea is determined by their weight and volume, we are able to explain how this is computed.

  • You should be aware that the weight/volume ratio is determined using the following equivalency rule: 1 ton = 1 m³
    In the UP, groupage and conventional transportation are well-established. This measurement equals one of the following:
  • When measured in cubic meters of volume
  • expressed in tons of mass
  • It will always be in the carrier's favor to do the calculation, or correspond to the largest value, regardless of the measuring unit (in volume or in mass).

Here is an illustration: If a cargo weighs 6 tons and has an 8-m3 volume, the price will be 10 UP; if it weighs 10 tons and has a 5-m3 volume, the price will be 9 UP.

Additional charges

Charges assessed by marine transport companies are in addition to the tariff agreed upon by the parties and are dependent upon the circumstances.
The intricacy of the cost of shipping freight by water distinguishes it.

BAF : Bunker Adjustment Factor

This tariff supplement reflects changes in the price of crude oil. After the first oil crisis in 1973, shipping companies started to use it due to the consumption of modern ships. Since then, it has stayed on the schedule.

CAF : Currency Adjustment Factor

Transporters charge a supplement to NVOCC, freight forwarders and expediters known as the factor of exchange adjustment in order to compensate for any present or future changes in currency fluctuations that may influence freight prices. To put it plainly, they are a mechanism for carriers to mitigate their risks associated with changes in exchange rates.

THC : Terminal Handling Charge

The handling costs at the port of loading and unloading are represented by THC. If the cargo is conventional (also known as "non-containerized"), the price may be variable or fixed depending on the kind of container being used. In the latter scenario, the tariff is calculated per tonne and may include additional fees (for "excessive" size or weight).

Port congestion

The mismatch between a port's operating capabilities and the number of ships is what causes port congestion. Before it can discharge its cargo, a ship must wait at one of these ports, often for many days. To make up for this "loss of income," corporations impose a premium.

There was significant port congestion in Sydney Harbor as a result of many reasons. Operational expenses will significantly rise as a result of this circumstance.

Air freight shipping between Australia and Malaysia

The fastest mode of transportation for sending products between Australia and Malaysia is by air , with travel durations ranging from one to five days.

The different types of freight

The quickest method to get products to their destination is through air freight; moving an item from Australia to Malaysia may just take a few days. The most dependable method of delivery is air freight, which is utilized to convey both light and precious things as well as everyday commodities like clothes, electronics, and anything else that might degrade at sea. Due to a lower danger of damage, packing and pickup are less costly than for marine shipments.
There are two distinct forms of transportation available:

  • Conventional air freight : Aboard regularly scheduled flights run by carriers like British Airways, Air China, Thai Airways, and Qatar Airways, which make use of the space on commercial airplanes, products are delivered in this fashion.
  • Express air freight : Items are transported using special air freight planes under this second, more costly alternative. The task of providing door-to-door services, such as picking up the things from the airline and delivering them to the customer, is then carried out by organizations referred to as "courier firms." They consist of UPS, FedEx, TNT, and DHL. This method of supplying goods to clients also allows for the delivery of those goods anywhere in the globe.

two distinct forms of transportation

What are the advantages of air freight ?

There are many different modes of transportation, and each has benefits and drawbacks of its own. You may already be aware that high-value, low-volume commodities are commonly transported by air. What additional (common) justifications exist for carrying products by air, though?

The quickest method of shipping

Without a question, air freight is a superior option than sea freight or land transportation for urgent shipments of products.

Very trustworthy arrival and departure timings

As airlines often manage their schedules properly, flight arrival and departure timings are quite predictable. Since there are often departures every hour, even missing a flight does not result in a significant delay.

Deliver your goods in almost any location

Numerous airlines offer a wide range of locations that nearly completely round the globe. This essentially implies that you may ship your goods to any location.

Low insurance costs for substantial savings

The freight insurance premium is cheaper for air freight because of its rapid transit time. Even though air freight might be pricey, doing this results in insurance cost savings.

High degree of security and little danger of damage and theft

Air shipping has the benefit of high levels of security, since airport security inspections on goods are carefully controlled. Strict airport security measures also lessen the possibility of cargo theft and damage.

Few things in stock and fewer storage needs

You don't need to keep things in stock because of the quicker transit times of air freight, which reduces the need for regional warehouses. Since the majority of products are processed in a matter of hours, customs clearance, cargo inspection, and handlers are more effective.

Less packaging required

As an example, air shipments often need less packing than ocean shipping. As a result, you may provide extra packaging services for less money and effort.

Track the progress of your shipment

Many businesses provide the option of monitoring your items through a web tool, allowing you to keep track of their progress from departure to arrival and be regularly updated.

How much does sea freight cost between Australia and Malaysia ?

The weight-to-size ratio of the products, which is computed by dividing the chargeable weight by the price per kilogram, also affects the cost of air freight.

Although the IATA tax is fundamentally required, there could be size restrictions. It is a territorial tax that differs from one nation to another and has a quick weight loss. For small shipments, there is a base fee.

Air freight is often less expensive per kilogram than delivery services, despite having higher base pricing. The largest gross tonnage (based on the scale) and cubic load (taking into account all factors) will be used to determine the cost of air freight for both artwork and express couriers.

How to calculate the volumetric weight of your shipment ?

The maximum difference between the gross weight of the items in tonnes and the volume in m3 divided by six is the taxable weight :

The following is a quick approach to determining the taxable weight:

  • Your volume in m³ is divided by 6.
  • The result will be the taxable weight if it exceeds the gross weight in tonnes.

If not, your gross weight will be the taxable weight.


Your items are 18 m³ in volume and 2 tonnes in weight.

  • 18 / 6 = 3 : divide your volume by 6.
  • As a consequence, the taxable weight of your items is 3 tonnes since the result, 3, is more than the gross weight in tonnes (2).
    The taxable weight is 4 tonnes if your items weigh 4 tonnes rather than 2.

Docshipper Tip : For further details and exact costs about the air freight procedure, get in touch with our air freight specialists right now!


calculate gross weight airfreight shipments

Docshipper Tip : You may get in touch with one of our experts if you're interested in this kind of transportation.

DocShipper recommendations

The airway will be the speediest option you have, but it can also be the least expensive! Do not be afraid to get in touch with our experts to learn more about your options and costs for various solutions. For prompt advice from our professionals, use our online form.


Customs clearance in Australia for items imported from Malaysia

As soon as a product enters or leaves the country's customs domain, whether it is being imported, exported, or in transit, it must be reported to the customs officials. Customs clearance is the term for this procedure. Therefore, the declarant or owner of the items will not be permitted to retrieve his goods until he or she has met his duties or finished the various formalities, whether in regard to control, taxes, or formalities.
Additionally, all shipments of goods—whether they are being sent for import, export, or just plain transit—must be disclosed to customs, given a permit, and in compliance with all rules.

What are the taxes and charges on customs ?

It's important to keep in mind that the customs duty level is often considered to be $1,000 USD. In reality, customs tariffs are applied to the bulk of imported commodities entering Australia without taking agricultural items into consideration. The actual amount of this tax varies depending on the kind of products, however it is equal to 5% of the items' worth when translated to Australian dollars.

  • Automobile, textile, and footwear products are subject to the highest customs duties.
  • On the other hand, Australia has reached a number of commercial agreements with other nations. In accordance with these agreements, Australia may have agreed to provide some or all of these countries' domestically produced goods at preferential rates. The Australia New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement, often known as ANZCERTA or accord CER, is one of the most comprehensive bilateral free-trade agreements that is currently in existence.

How can I find my HS code ?

The Harmonized Customs System is used in Australia. Asking your vendor is the most secure and effective course of action.

Visit this website to find the HS code if he is unable to supply it.

It is quite easy to use. Enter your search word in the search area to get the results. Take "pineapple" as an example once again.

How to get HS code

HS code-based customs duty calculation

Are you aware of your HS code? It's time to find out how much tax will be due on your shipment right now. Here are a few easy steps:

Go to the website for Australian customs first :

 Australian Border Force 

current tariff classification

Then click on Schedule 9 which is related to Malaysian products:

schedule 9

You will then find the current tariff :

current tariff

How to estimate taxes and customs duties ?

  • Based on the value of the item being carried, customs fees are calculated ad valorem (FOB).
  • The entire value of the imported item must be added to the consumption tax (if applicable) + environmental protection rate (if applicable) + tax rate in order to determine the amount of the customs duty.
  • The entire cost of the imported product plus the import tax) x the VAT rate are used to determine the VAT.
  • The value of the product is simply multiplied by the appropriate SCT rate to determine the special consumption tax.
  • Simply multiply the number of taxable commodities by the EPR rate to get the environmental protection tax.
  • Last but not least, to figure out all the taxes associated with importing goods into Australia, just add up the import tax, VAT, TCS, and EPT (if applicable)

Does Docshipper charge duty ?

We won't accept money as part of your regular commitments. We will return the information that Australia's Customs has supplied in order to prove this to you. Only the costs involved in producing a regulatory information document are eligible for an indulgence. DocShipper will be in charge of obtaining these customs leniency costs, since we will be producing the required paperwork for you. The fees associated with customs will be collected by the government.

Docshipper Tip : DocShipper can take care of all the administrative procedures required to clear your goods through customs. Contact us now and tell us about your needs.

DocShipper Advice : We can provide custom freight solutions at costs that are more than competitive because of our more than ten years of experience working on the Asian continent. Please don't hesitate to get in touch with our committed professionals if you want more details about your transfer. We are always delighted to help and share our expertise, and we reply within 24 hours! Contact us.

Our additional services

DocShipper info: Do you like our article today? For your business interest, you may like the following useful articles :

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!


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