The delivery time may differ significantly. Firstly, it depends on which of the two available forms of delivery you choose: sea or air transport. Secondly, you may decide how much you are willing to pay for delivery to speed it up. Thirdly, the delivery time is also affected by the size of the goods: for some shipments, even if you are eager to pay whatever it takes, your delivery over the Atlantic will not be quicker.
The factors influencing shipping from Europe to the USA listed above are not a complete list. Both the delivery price and time – according to experts from the courier industry – are complex and ambiguous issues.
By sea – cheaper, but slower
It’s no secret that air transport is the fastest way for a parcel to cross the Atlantic. It is enough to say that the delivery time by air is measured in days, while by sea, in weeks. It can be roughly assumed that one day in the air corresponds to an average of one week on the sea. However, for some kinds of shipments or services, or locations, one day may be equivalent to several weeks. You have to pay for this speed. If you are going to send by air a shipment of goods weighing a few hundred kilograms, the goods must be very valuable, and shortening the delivery time very desirable. Otherwise, there is no economic justification for this form of transport. Air shipments, especially heavier ones, are very expensive: the delivery of a parcel placed on a pallet with a volume of about 1 m3 (1 EUR pallet) and weighing 1000 kg means a cost amounting to about $ 10,000 (calculated on the TNT calculator: https: // www. tnt.com/express/pl_pl/site/get-quote.html, at the dollar exchange rate at the Polish National Bank when this article was written).
Light parcels with documents travel the fastest: if sent from one of the countries in central Europe, after two days it could be with the recipient in the USA. Of course, provided that you choose a priority parcel – with the economic option, the delivery takes a week or even two. You can also choose the same day delivery service offered by some couriers – your parcel will be delivered within 24 hours of collecting the package from the customer.
It should also be remembered that the delivery time is not the same as the flight time (from a few to more than ten hours) or sailing time (4-6 weeks). Before your shipment starts crossing the ocean, it must arrive first at the port or airport. And when it reaches the USA, it still has to travel a bit to the recipient. If you ordered delivery to a remote place, far from large airports and ports that support international traffic, you must add another day or two, or sometimes even more.
Not every shipment will fly
It is also worth mentioning that sea transport is not only incomparably cheaper than air transport, it also does not involve any restrictions on the weight and dimensions of transported goods. If you want to ship a car, construction machine or steel structure, maritime transport is not only more economical, but in practice the only possible solution. Suffice to say that the maximum height of a package on a pallet shipped by air can be just over 2 meters. And the air freight prices effectively discourage the idea of transporting even a small truck across the ocean by plane. Technically, it is feasible, but really only available for the US president or an Arab sheikh.
How to check the delivery time?
It is best to call the courier company and ask. You can also do it yourself, using the appropriate calculators on the couriers’ websites. This is really informative because you can get a quick idea how the delivery time depends on the price you are willing to pay and on the weight of the goods you want to send. Awareness of these subtle relationships allows you to speed up the process of decision making and helps you to choose optimal solutions consciously.