Given each country's distinct criteria and regulations, navigating the import process between China and Indonesia can be difficult. We provide step-by-step information on shipping methods, rules, and considerations for importing between these two nations in this thorough guide.

Whether you are a startup, a major corporation, a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME), or an individual looking to import, our guide will provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions and effectively import items from China to Indonesia.

Trade between the two : China and Indonesia in brief

China's rising economic capability and competitive advantages, such as low-cost labor and high-quality products, have elevated the country to the status of a global economic superpower rivaling the United States. Its dominance is visible in a variety of areas where it has a strong presence, and its products are utilized by 9 out of every 10 businesses globally. China's economic success has also resulted in expanded trade partnerships with a number of countries, including Indonesia.

As a growing economy, Indonesia has established itself as one of Southeast Asia's largest. Despite obstacles such as the Asian financial crisis in 1997 and the 2004 tsunami, Indonesia has a solid economy based on exports, particularly in the automotive, food processing, and equipment sectors, as well as tourism, which generates foreign currency. As a result, commerce between China and Indonesia has been steadily increasing, with the China-ASEAN Free Commerce Agreement set to increase bilateral trade to $100 billion between 2021 and 2022.

What are the various modes of transportation available between China and Indonesia?

For delivering goods between China and Indonesia, numerous types of transportation are available. These are some examples:

- Sea Freight: One of the most prevalent forms of transit between the two countries is by sea freight. Sea freight has the advantage of being inexpensive and capable of handling big amounts of goods.

- Air Freight: While more expensive than sea freight, air freight provides faster travel times and more consistent delivery schedules, making it a popular choice for time-sensitive items.

- Road Freight: While not a common mode of transport for commodities between China and Indonesia, road freight is nonetheless employed in some situations, particularly for cross-border shipments between neighboring Chinese and Indonesian provinces.


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Sea Freight from China to Indonesia

When it comes to shipping goods between countries, many businesses favor sea freight because to its low cost and capacity to convey big amounts of commodities. As the sea freight industry has grown significantly in recent years, this is especially true for businesses that import or export goods between China and Indonesia. While sea freight has many advantages, it also has some complexities, such as navigating various regulations and ensuring timely delivery of goods.

sea freight china indonesia

Overview - Ocean shipping from China to Indonesia 

International shipping plays a crucial role in facilitating trade between China and Indonesia. Chinese ports, such as Shanghai, Ningbo, and Shenzhen, serve as major hubs for shipping goods to Indonesia, with Indonesian ports, including Tanjung Priok and Tanjung Perak, being popular destinations for Chinese cargo.

The trade volume between China and Indonesia has been steadily growing, reaching nearly $114 billion in 2021. However, challenges such as port congestion, transit delays, and tariff fluctuations pose obstacles to smooth trade operations, necessitating innovative logistics solutions.

Efforts are being made to enhance connectivity, trade facilitation, and sustainability in the shipping industry between China and Indonesia. Initiatives like the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA) are being pursued to strengthen trade relations and promote economic cooperation.

DocShipper Alert : Do you intend to ship products from China via sea? DocShipper handles all procedures with the various partners in the logistics chain, whether it's a groupage shipment or a whole container. DocShipper makes importing and exporting easier by providing a single point of contact, personal service, peace of mind, and knowledge. Any question? Make sure to contact us for a free quote !

Transit time between China and Indonesia

The average sea freight shipping time from China to Indonesia is between 6 and 20 days. And this will vary based on a number of things, including customs requirements and the distance between ports. In addition to other considerations.

  Tanjung Priok Tanjung Perak  Belawan
Shangaï 12 10 12
Shenzhen 6 8 10
Ningbo 12 14 20


How to choose container types for China-Indonesia shipping?

There are various sorts of containers, but the three most prevalent sizes are:

  • 20 ft Equivalent Unit (TEU): A standard container with dimensions of 20 feet in length, 8 feet in width, and 8.5 feet in height, with a capacity of approximately 1,172 cubic feet or 33.18 cubic meters.
  • 40 ft Equivalent Unit (FEU): A standard container with dimensions of 40 feet in length, 8 feet in width, and 8.5 feet in height, commonly abbreviated as "40 ft" or "40', with a capacity of approximately 2,390 cubic feet or 67.67 cubic meters.
  • 40 ft High Cube (HQ) container: Similar to the FEU container, but with an additional height of 1 foot, making it 9.5 feet in height. It has an increased capacity of approximately 2,694 cubic feet or 76.3 cubic meters.

What is the best option for shipping from China to Indonesia - FCL or LCL?

There is now two methods of transportation :

Special sea freight between China and Indonesia

Reefer container

These reefer holders are intended for the transportation of perishable products or synthetic compounds that require a specified temperature. There are reefer holders of various sizes available, all of which are outfitted with the best equipment for controlling temperature and moisture levels.


Items that are OOG (Out of Gauge) surpass normal container restrictions (items such as large machinery, construction materials, wind turbine blades, boats and yachts…). They necessitate the use of specialized containers such as open-top or flat rack containers. For missed slots, shipping companies may levy an OOG cost. This form of shipping equipment reduces time and allows for the shipment of non-standard commodities.


Bulk transportation refers to the shipment of goods in large quantities, typically carried in the hold of a ship. Bulk freight and general freight differ in their storage methods, as bulk freight involves transporting bulk solids and liquids such as coal, oil, minerals, etc. These types of vessels are commonly referred to as bulk carriers.


RoRo (Roll-on/Roll-off) transport is a mode of transportation in which wheeled goods, such as cars, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, trailers, and train cars, are loaded onto specialized vessels via ramps or platforms, allowing vehicles and machinery to be driven or dragged on and off for transit. This shipping method is well-known for its effectiveness in loading and unloading freight, making it suited for big amounts of cargo. RoRo transport is commonly utilized in international trade to carry automobiles and machinery.


DocShipper Alert : In case you require transportation of exceptionally large objects, such as a boat, feel free to get in touch with us as we have the capability to offer you a solution for any type of cargo.

How much does the ocean freight cost between China and Indonesia?

The average cost of shipping a 20-foot container (FCL) from China to Indonesia ranges from $500 to $1,500, while the cost of a 40-foot container (FCL) can range from $800 to $2,500. The cost of shipping a Less than Container Load (LCL) shipment can vary depending on the volume and weight of the cargo. Please note that these are approximate estimates, and the actual cost may vary based on the specific details of your shipment.


How is the freight cost between China and Indonesia calculated?

The weight/volume ratio, or volumetric weight, is the most used method to calculate sea freight costs between China and Indonesia. It determines the chargeable weight of a shipment, used by carriers to calculate costs.

The formula for calculating volumetric weight involves multiplying the length, width, and height of the shipment, then dividing by a volumetric weight factor. The resulting volumetric weight is compared to the actual weight, and the higher is used as the chargeable weight for shipping costs.

For example, if you have a shipment from China to Indonesia with a physical weight of 500 kg but a volume of 2 cubic meters, and the volumetric weight factor is 5000 cubic centimeters per kg, you can calculate the volumetric weight as follows:

Volumetric weight (kg) = Volume (m3) / Volumetric weight factor (m3/kg)

Volumetric weight (kg) = 2 m3 / 5000 m3/kg = 0.4 kg

In this case, the volumetric weight of 0.4 kg is higher than the actual weight of 0.5 kg. Therefore, the shipping costs would be based on the volumetric weight of 0.4 kg, as it would be considered the chargeable weight for the shipment.

Using the weight/volume ratio allows for accurate calculation of shipping costs based on space occupied, ensuring efficient utilization of cargo space and appropriate charges for larger but lighter shipments, reflecting actual space occupied in the shipping vessel.

Info DocShipper: Volumetric and gross weight 

There is a difference between what is called the volumetric weight and the gross weight, the first is based on the volume and the second on the weight (on scale) of the cargo. To this, we must also retain the following proportion: 1 m3 is equal to 167 Kgs (200 kgs for expeditions in "Express"). Finally, the transporter will consider the most important value between the volumetric weight and the gross weight.

DocShipper Advice : As you can see, there are a variety of elements that influence delivery costs. Fill out our online form to speak with one of our experts right now. For more information about this kind of transportation, see our website devoted to marine freight: Sea freight


Air Freight from China to Indonesia

When it comes to shipping goods between nations quickly and efficiently, many businesses prefer air freight. This is especially true for businesses that import or export goods between China and Indonesia, as the air freight industry has grown significantly in recent years. However, while air freight has numerous advantages, it also has its share of complexities, ranging from customs regulations to documentation requirements.

What are the different types of airfreight?

There are two main types of air freight services available: 

  • Conventional air cargo: Utilizes space on conventional airlines (such as Air France, Air China…) and cargo carriers for larger quantities of goods. Ideal for non-time-sensitive shipments following regular airfreight schedules.
  • Express air freight: Relies on courier companies like DHL, FedEx, TNT, UPS, and others for smaller shipments, typically parcels or packages. Designed for expedited delivery of time-sensitive items such as documents, perishable goods, or high-value items. Offers faster transit times, tracking, insurance, and priority handling.

What are the main airports in Indonesia?

Main airports in Indonesia

Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK): Situated in the capital city of Jakarta, Soekarno-Hatta International Airport processes more than 1.5 million tons of cargo each year, making it the busiest air cargo hub in Indonesia. Its advanced cargo facilities and handling capabilities serve as a crucial gateway for the transportation of goods, both domestically and internationally.

Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS): Nestled on the picturesque island of Bali, Ngurah Rai International Airport handles over 200,000 tons of cargo annually. Its dedicated cargo facilities cater to a diverse range of goods, including perishables, textiles, and handicrafts, which are major exports from the island.

Juanda International Airport (SUB): Situated in Surabaya, Indonesia's second-largest city, Juanda International Airport handles over 150,000 tons of cargo annually. Equipped with modern cargo facilities, it expertly handles various types of goods, including textiles, automotive parts, and electronics.

Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport (UPG): Located in the bustling city of Makassar, Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport handles over 100,000 tons of cargo annually. Its dedicated cargo facilities adeptly handle a wide array of goods, including seafood, fruits, and other agricultural products that are major exports from the region.

Transit time between China and Indonesia airports

Airfreight is an effective mode of transportation for companies who need their items delivered quickly and reliably. Air freight can offer much faster transportation times than marine freight, which might take several weeks or even months to reach its destination. Shipping by air from China to Indonesia, for example, can take as little as 2 to 5 days.


How much does air freight transport between China and Indonesia cost?

The average air freight transit cost for a 100 kg shipment between China and Indonesia can range from $3 to $8 per kg, for a total shipment cost of $300 to $800. This is only an estimate; the final cost will depend on the criteria indicated as well as the exact requirements of the shipment. Air shipping costs between China and Indonesia are are normally determined based on the greater of the shipment's weight or volume. The chargeable weight is often estimated by comparing the actual weight of the cargo to the dimensional weight, which is calculated using the shipment's length, breadth, and height. If the dimensional weight is more than the actual weight, the chargeable weight, also known as volumetric weight, is calculated. 

The air freight charges may also depend on other factors, such as : 

  • the origin and destination of the shipment 
  • the type of goods being shipped
  • the level of service required. 
  • on the airline or freight forwarder used for the shipment. 

For example, express air freight services that offer faster transit times and additional features such as tracking and insurance may be more expensive than standard air freight services. It is important to compare rates and services to find the best option for the specific shipment.


How do you calculate the volumetric weight of your shipment?

The volumetric weight of the package is an important component to consider when estimating the cost of air freight. This is because airlines charge for air freight depending on the larger of the actual weight or the volumetric weight. The volumetric weight is determined rather than the actual weight of the cargo.

To calculate the volumetric weight, you first need to calculate the volume of the shipment by multiplying the length, width, and height of the shipment, measured in centimeters or inches. Once you have the volume, you need to convert it to weight using the air cubic conversion factor, which is a number that varies depending on the unit of measurement used for the shipment's dimensions.

For shipments measured in cubic centimeters, the air cubic conversion factor is typically 6,000, while for shipments measured in cubic inches, the air cubic conversion factor is typically 167.

Calculating the volumetric weight is an important consideration when it comes to air freight, as it can impact the cost of the shipment. If the volumetric weight of the shipment is greater than the actual weight, the airline will charge based on the volumetric weight.

Door to door services between China and Indonesia 

Door-to-door delivery between China and Indonesia is a convenient and cost-effective logistics option that allows shipments to be picked up at the origin and delivered directly to the destination. This solution eliminates the need for various intermediaries, resulting in a more smooth transit experience. The logistics provider handles all parts of the shipping, such as customs clearance, documentation, and last-mile delivery, ensuring that the cargo arrives securely and on time.

A door-to-door service means that we will pick up your item from wherever you need it and deliver it to your selected location, right to your door or stockroom. This provides complete assistance, regardless of whether you travel by sea, air, express and can make your life easier, including:

  • Convenient pickup and delivery at your location
  • Simplified shipping process with one point of contact 
  • Increased visibility and control over the shipment
  • Reduced risk of damage or loss during transit
  • Faster and more efficient transit times
  • Customs clearance and documentation handled by logistics provider

DocShipper info : Looking for a safe and dependable door-to-door service between China and Indonesia? We will gladly assist you in locating the best comprehensive package for you. DocShipper is here to assist you from A to Z and ensure the smoothest possible shipment, with no intervention required from your side as our team will take care of everything. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

custom clearance banner service guide china indonesia

What is the customs clearance process in Indonesia for goods imported from China?

Importing goods into Indonesia can be a complex process that requires compliance with various customs regulations and requirements. One of the most critical aspects of importing goods into Indonesia is customs clearance. Customs clearance is the process of ensuring that imported goods comply with Indonesian customs regulations and requirements before they can be released into the Indonesian market.

When importing goods into Indonesia, it is important to be aware of the items that are forbidden or limited from being imported into the country.

What documents are required for customs clearance?

The specific documentation required for customs clearance in Indonesia may differ based on the type of commodities being imported or exported, as well as the customs authority's specific criteria. However, the following are some frequent documents that may be required for customs clearance in Indonesia:

  • Commercial invoice: This document provides a description of the goods being imported, as well as their value.
  • Bill of lading: This is a legal document that provides evidence of the shipment of goods and includes details such as the type of goods, quantity, and destination.
  • Packing list: This document provides a detailed list of the contents of each package being shipped.
  • Import declaration: This is a document that declares the details of the imported goods, including their HS code, quantity, value, and country of origin.
  • Certificate of origin: This document confirms the origin of the goods being imported and may be required to claim preferential treatment under a free trade agreement.
  • Insurance certificate: This document provides evidence of insurance coverage for the goods being transported.
  • Permits and licenses: Depending on the type of goods being imported or exported, various permits and licenses may be required, such as import permits or phytosanitary certificates.


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