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Container shipping to/from Australia from Hawaii

Whether you have a business in Australia or you’re importing/exporting for an Australian buyer, or moving to Australia from Hawaii. Getting to know of freight rules, requirements, and options to shipping container to Australia will be helpful.

In this blog, we talk about what you need to know when shipping a container to Australia from Hawaii, including your freight options, customs clearance requirements, types of goods you can import, and more.


What kind of options you have to ship to Australia ?

1.Less than Container Load (LCL) to Australia

If you are shipping in small quantities or your cargo does not take up more than half the capacity of a standard 20-foot container, you can ship it via LCL. In this freight service, your cargo will be consolidated with shipments from other customers to fill an entire container.

Because of this, there is a tendency for delays with LCL shipping, since the vessel will need to wait for the container to be filled before it can begin its journey to Australia. However, if time is not of the essence, shipping LCL is often the most economical choice.

You should choose less than container load shipping if:

  • You are shipping in small quantities

  • Your cargo does not occupy more than six standard pallets or half the capacity of a container

  • Your cargo is not delicate, perishable, or fragile and can withstand frequent handling and consolidation

  • Your shipment is not urgent and you can afford the slightly longer transit time caused by the process of consolidation and deconsolidation

2.Full Container Load (FCL) to Australia

FCL shipping is ideal for those shipping in large quantities or cargo with a large volume. However, FCL shipping can also accommodate small goods. In this freight option, you shoulder the costs of an entire shipping container and your cargo will be shipped alone. This means that the transit time for your container will be faster than shipping LCL.

Full container load shipping may be more ideal for you if:

  • You are shipping in large quantities or your cargo has a large volume

  • Your cargo is heavy and bulky

  • Your cargo requires minimal and careful handling

  • Your cargo is better off isolated in a single container

  • Your cargo is fragile and delicate

  • You need a shorter transit time than LCL can offer

3.Air Fright Shipping

Air freight is the fastest way to ship. If your items aren't very heavy and fit in just a few boxes, you can consider shipping via air freight. This option will significantly reduce the time between origin and destination.


How long does it take to ship a container to Australia?

On average, you can expect your goods to arrive in Australia from Hawaii anywhere between 45 to 75 days.


How much does it cost to ship a container to Australia?

To determine the cost of your shipment to Australia, you need to look at several factors, including:

  • The commodity you are shipping

  • Your freight service option: LCL or FCL

  • The volume and weight of your goods

  • The distance between the origin and destination.

  • The shipping service selected (port-to-port, door-to-door, etc.)


Customs Clearance in Australia

Australia has unique customs clearance requirements, especially for commercial importers. For goods that are more than $1,000 AUD in value, you need to provide an import declaration form to the Australian customs authorities. There are two types of declarations that commercial importers need to make when shipping to Australia, depending on their unique shipping circumstances:

Warehouse Declaration (N20): Must be completed if you will be sending your imported goods to an Australia-based warehouse licensed by Australian customs

Import Declaration (N10): Must be completed if the goods will be forwarded directly to your facilities in Australia or to the facilities of your customers.

These declarations can be made either in paper form or through Australia’s online integrated cargo system (ICS). Aside from the declaration forms, you should also be prepared to provide standard customs documents that may be required. These include:

  • Commercial invoice

  • Letter of credit/ other payment terms depending on the contract between the parties

  • Packing list

  • Certificates of origin

  • Bill of lading or airway bill, which will be provided by JNR Global Logistics


Processes to follow to ship a container to Australia

The first step of shipping a container to Australia is looking for a logistics provider who can help you with your import. JNR Global knows the ins and outs of shipping to more than 100 countries worldwide, and we can make certain your shipment goes smoothly.

Once you have registered your shipment, it’s time to load the goods into the container and return the container to the port of lading. If you selected LCL shipping, your goods will be consolidated into a container with other consignments.

When all goods have been loaded, the fumigation process begins to kill pests, insects, and other harmful living organisms that may damage the goods and transfer diseases.

Once the goods arrive in Australia, LCL shipments will undergo deconsolidation. This is followed by customs clearance. If you provided all the required documents, customs clearance should proceed smoothly.

When the goods have been cleared for import, they can now be picked up and delivered to the recipient.


Major container ports in Australia


The Port of Melbourne is the largest maritime hub in Australia, mainly handling containerized general freight. The port is considered one of the greatest economical assets of the country, especially in the areas of Victoria and South East Australia. All types of cargo are accommodated, including dry, liquid, and breakbulk.



The Sydney Harbor is a highly acclaimed port, thriving with maritime activities and contributing significantly to the economic development of Sydney. It is considered the busiest waterway in the country, accommodating over 1,200 large commercial vessels annually. The Sydney Harbor moves 212 million metric tons of cargo each year.



Hailed as Australia’s largest capital city port, the Port of Brisbane is one of the fastest-growing container ports in Australia. It ranked as the third busiest port in the country, handling over 31 million metric tons of trade annually.


★Specializing in Long Distance Moves/Container Shipping★

JNR Global Logistics

Phone: 808.353.8441


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