SHIPPING TO SOUTH AMERICA

With a total population nearing 372 million and a very Western-friendly attitude, South America can be a profitable region in which to conduct business. Within the continent, there are 12 sovereign countries, two of which are among the top 15 trading partners with the U.S. (Brazil and Venezuela).

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

Our US-SOUTH AMERICA Shipping Services

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

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

Items we can ship to South America

  • 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 is a great choice when shipping items to South America, and includes a wide variety of delivery times depending on your needs.

For emergency situations, FedEx offers South American delivery through International First Flight, while International First offers delivery within three business days, but is only provided for shipments to Brazil.

International Priority offers delivery within two business days to Brazil, and three business days to the remainder of South America. International Economy offers delivery within five business days. Note: All the above options have a 150lb weight limit.

FedEx also provides Flat Rate International Shipping to Australia. 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 International provides several options for customers looking to ship parcels to South America.


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

When shipping a parcel to South America, DHL’s Outbound International Express Delivery offers two options.

Same day services are provided through DHL Jetline, DHL Sprintline, and DHL Secureline. Jetline provides next flight out availability, as well as door-to-door delivery to any global destination. Sprintline is DHL’s vehicle delivery service, which means that it provides regional (versus international) service. Secureline is tailored more toward emergency, high value shipments, and includes the services of a dedicated courier. Time definite options include international delivery by 9am, 10:30am, and noon, as well as next possible day through Express Worldwide.

Because of differences in various countries’ import requirements, make sure you visit DHL’s customs support page when shipping to South America for their customs glossary, paperwork guide, and duties and taxes sections.

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

USPS provides several shipping options to South America, most of which are best suited for smaller, lighter parcels. Before shipping your parcel to South America, be sure to review the Preparing International Shipments page.

USPS partners with FedEx for their Global Express Guaranteed service, which offers delivery times of 1-3 days to more than 180 worldwide destinations. Express Mail International Flat Rate offers delivery within 3-5 business days, and is suitable for items up to 4lbs for envelopes, and 20lbs for boxes.

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

AmeriJet provides extensive freight shipping services to nearly all of South America, whether by land, air, or sea. AmeriJet maintains 12 facilities throughout the continent, which allows exports from the U.S. to be refrigerated, if necessary.

Air Freight options include Standard for general cargo, and Express Air for time-sensitive freight. Ocean freight provides a wide range of shipping options, such as Less than Container Load (LCL), Full Container Load (FCL), and for when nothing else will fit, Non-Containerized Loads (NCL).

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 freight to South America, including air and 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 South America.

FedEx Freight

FedEx Freight provides numerous South American shipping options.

If your freight shipment weighs less than 68kg, FedEx International Priority offers a four-day delivery time, while International Economy provides 4-6 day delivery times. For freight shipments weighing more than 68kg, FedEx offers two heavyweight shipping options, with delivery times between 3-7 days.

Before shipping to South America with FedEx Freight, it might be a good idea to take a look at their tariffs and surcharges schedule, as well as the ever-useful International Shipping Guide.

UPS Freight

UPS Freight offers four freight shipping services to South America:

  • Worldwide Express Freight provides location delivery within two business days.
  • Air Freight Direct provides 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 South America a variety of shipping options, including full container load, less-than-container load, and sea/air combinations. Also, if you export frequently to South America, you may be interested in their TradeDirect Ocean service.

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

Con-Way does not ship freight directly to South America, though their Menlo subsidiary does provide worldwide logistics services.

R+L Carriers

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

Estes

Estes provides airfreight and LCL ocean solutions to South America through their Estes Forwarding Worldwide subsidiary. See their EFW Global Sheet.

Ocean Carriers

APM-Maersk

As the largest ocean carrying company on the planet, Maersk Lines provides eight South American routes. Maersk Lines’ shipping schedule can be found here, and tariff information here.

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 South America. 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 a South American container shipping service that fits your needs. These include XXL Cargo, refrigerated containers, and multimodal services.

Import Duties and Taxes

South American Free Trade Agreements

The U.S. currently has active Free Trade Agreements with Peru and Chile, and a pending agreement with Bolivia.


Value for Duties and Taxes: Non-Free Trade Countries

Because import tariffs can vary widely across non-free trade South American countries, the FindTheData.org South America Tariff Tool can be a great resource to keep handy, especially if you ship to the continent on a regular basis. As a high-level overview though, depending on what you’re shipping to South America, tariffs will range anywhere between four and 28 percent.

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 South American country sets its own independent import taxes, whether or not any additional fees will be assessed on your gift shipment can vary widely. Brazil, for instance, charges a flat 60 percent tax on anything imported into the country valued between $51 and $3,000 USD, in addition to brokerage and handling fees, warehouse and port taxes, as well as a $50 USD “administration commission.” Because many of these fees can be charged to the importer (the person to whom you’re mailing the package), it’s important to know beforehand what you’re looking at.

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 South America, though their cost calculator can help you gauge your expenses prior to shipping.

When shipping to South America, 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 South America for a long time, so contact us if you have questions about hiring a South American Customs Broker.

US Export Requirements

U.S. trade with South America is increasing rapidly, so the reduction of export documentation and harmonized tariffs are a near-future goal with non-free trade countries, though it is still a work in progess.

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 South America, 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 South America 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

Yahoo.com—Tips for Shipping Gifts from the US to South America

VisaJourney.com—Best/cheapest way to mail things to South America

eHow.com—How to Estimate Shipping Costs of Freight to South America