SHIPPING TO AFRICA

While most regions within Africa are not large exporters to the U.S., many of the more industrialized African countries consider the U.S. their largest trading partner, including Chad, Niger, Gabon, and Nigeria, to name a few. Many African countries represent bourgeoning markets for your business, and can present prime opportunities to expand.

Whether you are shipping heavy equipment, machinery, electronics, art, antiques, or furniture, Pack and Post is your US to Africa shipping company! We have been shipping to Africa for 30 years, and we know our business!

Our US-AFRICA Shipping Services

  • Fast Shipping Quotes
  • Freight Shipping – Save up to 75%!
  • Packing and Crating
  • Small Parcel Shipping
  • Insurance
  • Consulting

Need to ship something inside Africa, from Africa to the US, or from Africa to another international destination? We can handle that too!

Items we can ship to Africa

  • Heavy Equipment – including construction, mining, farm equipment, and more!
  • Machinery and Electronics
  • Art and Antiques
  • Household goods and personal effects
  • Furniture
  • You name it!

Shipping Companies – Parcel Couriers

Here is a list of companies that ship small parcels to South America. Each company has their own strengths and weaknesses, and different rules and requirements. Let Pack and Post help you select the best carrier for your particular shipment.

FedEx

FedEx International provides a wide range of shipping options to Africa, and is sure to have something that fits your needs. (Note: FedEx combines Africa and the Middle East into one region.)

If your shipment is urgent and needs to arrive at its destination immediately, FedEx International Next Flight is your best option. Delivery within three business days is available through International Priority, while International Economy provides delivery times to Africa within five business days. (Note: All the above options have a weight limit of 150lbs.) If you have a question about whether or not FedEx delivers to a country using a specific service, take a look at their countries served list.

FedEx also provides Flat Rate International Shipping to many countries within Africa, and has the same coverage territory as International Priority. Their 10kg box can accommodate contents up to 22lbs, and their 25kg box can accommodate contents up to 56lbs.

FedEx provides a full range of international shipping documents, including electronic trade documents. Also, be sure to review their helpful basic, mid-level, and business-level shipping guides.

UPS

UPS makes shipping parcels to Africa UPS International provides several options for customers looking to ship parcels to South America.

Best Flight Available


1-3 Business Day

  • Worldwide Express Plus provides three-day, early morning delivery to 25 countries.
  • Worldwide Express provides 2-3 day delivery times to more than 60 countries, and is guaranteed by 10:30am or noon.

2-5 Business Days

  • Delivery to Africa within 4-5 days is provided through UPS Worldwide Expedited, which services more than 220 worldwide destinations.

Before shipping, verifying whether or not UPS services a specific country within Africa is as easy as visiting the Calculate Time and Cost page. Also, keep in mind that, while UPS does include standard customs clearance fees in their rates, any additional associated brokerage fees, duties, and taxes may be charged directly to the importer.

If you’re new to shipping internationally through UPS, their International Shipping Guide can be a great starting point. Also, accessing their international forms can save a lot of time finding the right documentation for your needs.

DHL

DHL Outbound International Express Delivery offers two African delivery options.

DHL Jetline and Secureline services provide next available flights for emergency shipping situations, the difference being Secureline’s option to include a charter aircraft or on-board courier. DHL’s Sprintline service includes regional vehicular transport, so contacting them about a specific African location is likely your best option.

If you need your shipment to arrive at its African destination before a certain time, DHL provides three options: 9am, 10:30am, and noon. Next possible day worldwide services are provided through Express Worldwide.

Whether you’re shipping to Africa or another worldwide destination, DHL provides several handy tools on their site, including customs support (including paperwork), as well as duties and taxes.

Depending on your shipment’s value, DHL could be a good choice due to their low brokerage/disbursement fee (2.5% of the declared value with a minimum of $7) according to this forum, which is lower than FedEx and UPS for many values.

USPS

While USPS rates can be as competitive as those from private entities, especially if you’re shipping parcels that are small and light, the major drawback of their services is the lack of tracking ability once your package exits the United States. The one exception to this is their Global Express Guaranteed service, through which they’ve partnered with FedEx Express. Shipments to Africa will arrive within 1-3 days to more than 180 countries around the globe.

If your parcel weighs no more than 4lbs for envelopes, and 20lbs for boxes, Express Mail International Flat Rate offers delivery within 3-5 business days. If your parcel is between 4 and 20 lbs, Medium or Large Priority Mail International Flat Rate boxes may be a good choice . Also check regular Priority Mail International service (max length 79″ and max length plus girth 108″). If your parcel is large but light, this could be cheaper than the flat rate.

If you’d like additional information, here is a great overview.

LTL Freight Carriers

AmeriJet

Through AmeriJet’s partnership with Miami-based I.T.N. International, they provide Less than Container Load (LCL), Full Container Load (FCL), and Non-Containerized Loads (NCL) ocean freight services.

AmeriJet has inland and portside stations throughout most of the Central and Midwest portions of the U.S. Their site is chock-full of useful information for shipping to Africa, including ocean tariffs, a Getting Started Guide, as well as packing and labeling tips.

YRC

Through their partnership with MIQ Logistics,YRC Worldwide provides air and ocean freight shipping services to many areas of Africa.

FedEx Freight

When shipping freight to Africa, FedEx provides a few solid options.

  • For freight shipments weighing less than 68kg, FedEx International Priority provides freight delivery times within 3-5 days. If you can wait a little longer, 6-7 day delivery times are available through International Economy.
  • For freight shipments weighing more than 68kg, FedEx offers two heavyweight shipping options, with delivery times between 3-7 days.

If you’re thinking about using FedEx Freight, you’ll want to take a look at their tariffs and surcharges schedule, as well as the International Shipping Guide.

UPS Freight

UPS Freight offers five primary freight shipping services to Africa:

  • UPS Worldwide Critical Freight is a multi-modal option well-suited for emergency situations. Delivery times vary, though they are as fast a possible.
  • UPS Worldwide Express Freight provides door-to-door service within two business days to more than 40 countries around the globe, and is specialized for freight shipments greater than 150lbs.
  • Air Freight Direct offers day-specific, airport-to-airport delivery within 1-3 days.
  • Air Freight Consolidated provides airport-to-airport deliver within 3-5 days.
  • Ocean freight offers exporters to Africa a variety of shipping options, including full container load, less-than-container load, and sea/air combinations. Also, if you export frequently to Africa, you may be interested in their TradeDirect Ocean service.

To stay ahead of the game, take a look at their Calculate Time and Cost page. Also, it’s always a good idea to take a look at the import/export page for useful information about required documentation, restricted items, and areas served.

Con-Way

While Con-Way provides LTL services only throughout North America, their Menlo subsidiary does provide worldwide logistics services, including locations in Africa.

R+L Carriers

R+L Global Logistics provides international shipping by air and sea, including Africa.

Estes

Estes provides airfreight and LCL ocean solutions to Africa through their Estes Forwarding Worldwide subsidiary. See their global sheet.

Ocean Carriers

APM-Maersk

Because Maersk Lines is the most expansive ocean carrier in the world, they provide numerous options for shipping to Africa. See their Africa routes page for complete details, in addition to their shipping schedule, and tariff information.

Mediterranean Shipping Company

Mediterranean Shipping Company is the second largest shipping company in the world, and offers 170 global container shipping routes.

Their worldwide routes page provides a brief overview of the areas they service, including Africa. However, if you have a specific question about shipping goods from port A to port B, their schedule may be a good place to start.

CMA-CGM

With 650 worldwide agencies, CMA-CGM has an African container shipping service that fits your needs. These include XXL Cargo, refrigerated containers, and multimodal services.

Import Duties and Taxes

African/Middle Eastern Free Trade Agreements

The United States has a few free trades agreements (FTA) with African countries, most of which are located in Northern Africa and the Middle East. These include Bahrian, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, and Oman, the majority of which have significantly reduces tariffs on U.S. goods imported into the country, or have been removed altogether.

Tariff information for a specific FTA country can be easily located using the Export.gov FTA Tariff Tool.

Value for Duties and Taxes: Non-Free Trade Countries

Because import tariffs can vary widely across non-free trade African countries, the FindTheData.org Tariff Tool can be an indispensable tool. The site splits the continent into five regions: Eastern Africa, Middle Africa, Northern Africa, Southern Africa, and Western Africa.

Alternately, FedEx includes an exhaustive tariff list through their WorldTariff service (Note: This is a fee-based service).

Gift Shipments

Because each non-free trade African country sets its own independent import taxes, whether or not any additional fees will be assessed on your gift shipment can vary widely. Most major carriers will be able to advise you of any charges in addition to their standard rate. However, keep in mind that many tariffs/surcharges can be assessed to the importer (the person to whom you’re mailing the package) by the receiving country, and cannot be rolled into rates.

Customs Brokerage

Mail and Small Parcel Shipments

For any items subject to duty or tax, carriers will typically pass along their brokerage fees to the consumer.

UPS does not provide a flat fee schedule for shipments into Africa, though their cost calculator can help you gauge your expenses prior to shipping.

When shipping to Africa, FedEx rates are similar to those from UPS. See the Clearance Entry Fee and Ancillary Clearance Service Fee sections of the FedEx Fees schedule. The FedEx Advancement/Disbursement fee is 2% with a minimum of $6.50.

When using DHL, standard customs clearance is included for all shipments. DHL charges a 2.5% disbursement fee with a minimum of $7.00. This is not documented on their website.

Freight Shipments

Most US – Asia freight carriers do not provide customs brokerage services. Instead, the importer typically hires a licensed customs broker to clear the shipment. FedEx Trade Networks and UPS Customs Broker are good choices when shipping with those carriers, or even when shipping with another carrier. We’ve been shipping goods to Africa for a long time, so contact us if you have questions about hiring an African Customs Broker.

US Export Requirements

U.S. Trade with Africa has remained steady over the past few years, though export paperwork can vary widely depending on the country to which you’re shipping.

If need be, most major shipping companies provide at least some level of document assistance, including FedEx, UPS, and DHL.

Tips to Save Money when Shipping to South America

  • Select the best shipping carrier based on each company’s specific strengths and pricing methods.
  • Make sure you have considered all duties, taxes, brokerage, and miscellaneous fees. For a fast, free estimate on shipping items to Africa, contact us.
  • Check for any required licenses or permits and make sure that you are not shipping a prohibited item.
  • Consider having your item shipped to Africa directly from the US manufacturer. If the manufacturer ships frequently, they already know the associated costs and pitfalls, and may be able to get you a great shipping rate.

Additional References

Tracking a Parcel to South Africa

Shipping a Parcel to Nigeria