Shipping·Dec 5, 2022

Shipping to India from USA - Fast & Affordable

shipping a package from the US to India, featuring a minimalist Indian landscape in the backgroundArticle updated on Nov 15, 2023

Shipping to India can be a seamless and efficient process when you have a good understanding of the available shipping services, carriers, and customs regulations. Whether you are an individual sending personal shipments or a business looking to expand your reach, knowing the ins and outs of shipping solutions with couriers and postal services like UPS Worldwide is crucial.

We will explore the importance of understanding different shipping options and customs regulations to ensure a smooth shipping experience. We will discuss the benefits of shipping to India for both individuals and businesses.

Understanding key factors that influence shipping costs such as transportation fees and carrier options will also be covered. By the end of this post, you'll have valuable insights into how to navigate the complexities of shipping to India while optimizing costs and ensuring timely deliveries.

Understanding Duties, Taxes, and Customs in India

a package being inspected by customs officers in India.

Import Duties and Taxes

When shipping to India, it's essential to understand the import duties and taxes that may be levied on your shipments. These charges are imposed by the Indian government to regulate international trade and protect domestic industries. Import duties are fees imposed on goods brought into the country, while taxes refer to additional charges such as Goods and Services Tax (GST) or Value Added Tax (VAT).

Duty and Tax Thresholds

India has duty and tax thresholds that determine whether a shipment will be subject to these charges. For example, for gifts sent to individuals in India valued up to INR 10,000 ($135), no customs duties or taxes are applicable. However, if the value exceeds this threshold, import duties and taxes will be levied based on the item's classification, which can affect your shipping charges and overall shipping experience when shipping to the USA.

Customs Clearance Procedures

Customs clearance is a crucial step when shipping goods internationally. In India, customs clearance procedures involve submitting necessary documentation such as a customs declaration form, commercial invoice, packing list, and any other relevant certificates or permits. These documents provide information about the contents of the shipment, its value, origin country, and intended use.

To ensure smooth customs clearance in India:

  • Provide accurate details: It's important to accurately declare the contents of your shipment with their corresponding values.
  • Use proper packaging: Properly package your items to prevent damage during transit or handling at customs.
  • Follow regulations: Familiarize yourself with Indian customs regulations regarding restricted or prohibited items.

Impact on Shipping Timeframes and Costs

Customs procedures can have an impact on shipping timeframes and costs when shipping to India. The duration for customs clearance varies depending on factors like the complexity of the paperwork involved or potential inspections conducted by authorities. Delays in customs clearance can lead to longer shipping times.

It's crucial to consider any applicable duties and taxes when calculating the overall cost of shipping to India from the USA. Failure to account for these charges can result in unexpected expenses upon delivery.

Importance of Accurate Documentation

Accurate documentation is vital for smooth customs clearance. Providing complete and correct information about your shipment helps customs authorities assess the applicable duties and taxes accurately. Inaccurate or incomplete documentation can lead to delays, additional fees, or even seizure of the goods.

To ensure accurate documentation:

  • Double-check all forms: Review all customs declaration forms and other required documents for any errors or omissions.
  • Seek professional assistance if needed: If you're unsure about the documentation requirements, consider consulting with a freight forwarder or customs broker who can guide you through the process.

Understanding duties, taxes, and customs procedures is crucial when shipping to India. By familiarizing yourself with these aspects, you can navigate the process more effectively and avoid potential issues during customs clearance.

Cheapest shipping options from the US to India

a package being shipped internationally from the US to India.

There are several economical options available. Let's explore some of the cheapest shipping methods and courier services that can help you save money on international shipping.

Comparison of Different Economical Shipping Methods

When shipping to India from the US, choosing the right economical shipping method is crucial. Each service offers unique benefits and features tailored to different shipping needs. Here's a comparison of popular options:


  • Description: UPS offers reliable and efficient shipping services to India, ideal for both personal and business shipments.
  • Unique Features: Known for its extensive tracking capabilities and timely deliveries. Offers a range of options from standard to expedited shipping.
  • Benefits: Provides detailed tracking and proactive delivery notifications, ensuring peace of mind for senders and recipients.

FedEx Economy

  • Description: An economical choice for less urgent shipments, FedEx Economy balances cost and speed effectively.
  • Unique Features: It's slower than FedEx's premium services but significantly more cost-effective, making it ideal for budget-conscious shippers.
  • Benefits: Offers a reliable network and decent delivery times, suitable for non-time-sensitive shipments.

FedEx International Connect Plus

  • Description: This service strikes a balance between speed and cost, offering faster deliveries than the economy service at a reasonable price.
  • Unique Features: Faster than the economy option and cheaper than express services. Ideal for semi-urgent shipments.
  • Benefits: Provides a good mix of speed and affordability, with reliable tracking and customer service support.

APC Logistics

  • Description: APC Logistics specializes in cost-effective and efficient shipping solutions, particularly for smaller or less urgent shipments.
  • Unique Features: Known for catering to niche shipping needs and offering personalized service.
  • Benefits: Ideal for smaller businesses or individual shippers looking for tailored shipping solutions at economical rates.

Tips for Optimizing Packaging Size and Weight to Reduce Costs

  1. Minimize Package Dimensions: Consider optimizing the size of your package by using appropriate packaging materials that provide sufficient protection while minimizing excess space. Smaller dimensions can help reduce shipping costs significantly.
  2. Reduce Weight: Since shipping costs are often determined by weight, try to minimize the weight of your package without compromising its safety during transit. Use lightweight packaging materials and remove any unnecessary items or packaging components.
  3. Consolidate Shipments: If you have multiple packages going to the same destination in India, consider consolidating them into one shipment. This can help you save on shipping costs by reducing the number of individual packages.
  4. Research Shipping Rates: Before finalizing your shipping method, compare rates from different carriers and courier services. Each provider may have varying rates based on package size, weight, and destination. By researching and comparing rates, you can find the most cost-effective option for your specific needs.

Fastest shipping options from the US to India

A package in purple background.

Overview of Expedited Courier Services with Fast Delivery Times

Sometimes speed is of the essence. Luckily, there are expedited courier services available that offer fast delivery times. These services prioritize quick transportation and ensure your packages reach their destination in a timely manner.

Highlighting Express Air Freight as a Quick Option for Urgent Shipments

One of the fastest shipping options for urgent shipments is express air freight. This method involves sending your package via airplane, which significantly reduces transit time compared to other modes of transport. With express air freight, you can expect your package to arrive in India quickly, ensuring that time-sensitive items reach their intended recipients without delay.

Factors Affecting Transit Time, such as Distance and Carrier Capabilities

Several factors can influence transit time when shipping from the US to India. The distance between the two countries plays a significant role in determining how long it takes for your package to arrive. Carrier capabilities also impact delivery times. Some courier services have established networks and partnerships that allow them to expedite shipments more efficiently than others.

Comparison Between Premium Courier Services Offering Speedier Deliveries

If you're looking for premium courier services that specialize in fast deliveries, there are several options available. These services offer features like expedited processing and prioritized handling to ensure swift transportation of your packages. Here's a comparison between some of the top premium courier services:

  • FedEx: Known for its reliable and speedy service, FedEx offers various expedited shipping options with guaranteed delivery times.
  • DHL: Another reputable courier service, DHL provides express delivery solutions designed to meet tight deadlines.
  • UPS: UPS offers expedited shipping services tailored for urgent shipments, allowing you to track your package every step of the way.
  • APC Logistics: APC Logistics is ideal for budget-friendly shipments, with a focus on personalized service for each client's unique needs.

Each of these premium courier services has its own strengths and advantages. It's essential to consider factors such as cost, transit time, and additional services offered when choosing the right option for your needs.

Comparison of courier services for shipping to India

comparing different courier services for air freight.

There are several popular international courier companies that provide reliable services. Let's take a closer look at some of these companies and compare their pricing structures, delivery times, and service quality.


FedEx is a well-known courier service that offers shipping solutions worldwide. They have competitive pricing options based on the weight and dimensions of your package. FedEx also provides different delivery speeds, allowing you to choose between express or economy services depending on your needs.


  • Offers fast and reliable delivery options
  • Provides real-time tracking for your shipments
  • Offers insurance coverage for valuable items


  • Can be more expensive compared to other courier services
  • Additional fees may apply for certain types of shipments


DHL is another reputable courier company that operates globally. They offer a range of shipping options tailored to meet your specific requirements. DHL is known for its efficient delivery network and excellent customer service.


  • Provides fast and secure delivery services
  • Offers flexible pickup and drop-off options
  • Has extensive coverage across India


  • Prices can be higher compared to other courier services
  • Some customers have reported occasional delays in delivery


UPS is a trusted name in the logistics industry, offering reliable shipping solutions worldwide. They provide various shipping options, including both air and ground transportation. UPS also offers value-added services like packaging supplies and customs clearance assistance.


  • Offers competitive rates for international shipments
  • Provides detailed tracking information throughout the transit process
  • Has an extensive network in India for seamless deliveries


  • Delivery times may vary depending on the destination location
  • Additional fees may apply for certain services like customs brokerage


The United States Postal Service (USPS) is an affordable option for shipping smaller packages to India. They offer competitive rates and different delivery speeds, including Priority Mail International and First-Class Mail International.


  • Cost-effective option for lightweight shipments
  • Offers reliable tracking services
  • Provides flat-rate options for specific package sizes


  • Delivery times may be longer compared to other courier services
  • Limited insurance coverage for valuable items

APC Logistics

APC Logistics is a global logistics provider that offers comprehensive shipping solutions. They have a strong presence in the US-to-India route, ensuring timely and secure deliveries. APC Logistics provides tailored solutions based on your specific shipping requirements.


  • Offers competitive pricing options
  • Provides personalized customer service
  • Handles both air and sea freight shipments


  • Limited coverage in certain remote areas of India
  • May not offer as many value-added services compared to larger courier companies

When choosing a courier service for shipping to India, it's important to consider factors like pricing, delivery times, and service quality. Reading customer reviews or ratings can provide valuable insights into the experiences of others who have used these services. Ultimately, selecting the right courier company will ensure your packages reach their destination safely and on time.

Tips on finding the cheapest way to ship to India

cheapest ways to ship internationally via air freight

Consolidate Multiple Packages into One Shipment

One strategy to consider when looking for the cheapest way to ship to India is consolidating multiple packages into one shipment. By combining several smaller packages into a single larger one, you can often save on shipping costs. This is because shipping companies typically charge based on weight and dimensions, so sending one larger package may be more cost-effective than several smaller ones. Consolidating packages can help reduce the number of individual shipments, potentially lowering customs fees and taxes.

Utilize Package Forwarding Services or Freight Forwarders like Forwardme

Another option to explore is utilizing package forwarding services or freight forwarders like Forwardme. These services act as intermediaries between you and the shipping carrier, allowing you to take advantage of their discounted rates. With package forwarding services, you can have your purchases shipped to a local address provided by the service provider. They will then consolidate your items and ship them internationally at a lower rate than if you were to ship directly from the retailer.

Consider Alternative Routes or Carriers That Offer Competitive Rates

When searching for the cheapest way to ship to India, it's essential to consider alternative routes or carriers that offer competitive rates. Some carriers may have better deals for specific destinations or timeframes. It's worth exploring options beyond the well-known shipping companies and comparing prices from different providers. Certain airlines may offer cargo services that are more affordable compared to traditional courier services.

Negotiate Discounts Based on Shipment Volume or Frequency

If you frequently ship items to India or have large shipment volumes, negotiating discounts with shipping providers can be advantageous. Many companies offer volume discounts based on how much you ship or how often you use their services. Reach out directly to shipping companies or freight forwarders and inquire about any available discounts they offer for regular customers or high-volume shipments.

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of finding the cheapest way to ship to India. Remember to consider consolidating packages, utilizing package forwarding services or freight forwarders like Forwardme, exploring alternative routes or carriers, and negotiating discounts based on shipment volume or frequency.

Restricted / Prohibited Items to ship to India

restricted and prohibited items for international shipping.

When shipping items to India, it's essential to be aware of the restricted and prohibited items by Indian customs authorities. These are goods that are not allowed or have certain limitations for importation into the country. Failing to comply with these regulations can lead to serious consequences, including legal penalties and confiscation of the items. Here are some important points to consider:

Restricted Items

Indian customs authorities have specific restrictions on certain items that can be imported into the country. While these items may not be completely prohibited, they require special permits and documentation for clearance. Some examples of restricted items include:

  • Firearms and ammunition: Importing firearms and ammunition into India is strictly regulated due to safety concerns.
  • Narcotics: Any form of illegal drugs or narcotics is strictly prohibited from being shipped into India.
  • Certain electronics: There are limitations on importing certain electronic devices such as satellite phones, drones, and GPS devices.

It's crucial to research and understand the specific requirements for each item before attempting to ship them. Failure to comply with these restrictions can result in delays, fines, or even legal consequences.

Prohibited Items

Certain goods are entirely prohibited from being imported into India. These items pose a threat to public health, safety, security, or cultural values. Some examples of prohibited items include:

  • Pornographic materials: Importing any form of pornography is strictly forbidden in India.
  • Counterfeit currency: The importation of counterfeit currency is illegal and can lead to severe penalties.
  • Endangered species: Goods made from endangered species such as ivory or animal skins are prohibited due to conservation efforts.

It's crucial to thoroughly check the list of prohibited items provided by Indian customs authorities before sending any shipments. Attempting to ship these goods can result in severe consequences, including legal action.

Consequences of Shipping Restricted/Prohibited Items

Attempting to ship restricted or prohibited items to India can have serious consequences. These may include:

  • Legal penalties: Violating customs regulations can result in legal action, fines, or even imprisonment.
  • Confiscation of goods: Indian customs authorities have the right to seize and confiscate any restricted or prohibited items.
  • Delays and additional costs: Shipping items that require special permits or clearance can cause delays and incur additional charges.

It's crucial to comply with Indian customs regulations when shipping items to avoid these potential consequences.

Further Information

For further information on restricted and prohibited items when shipping to India, it is advisable to consult the official website of Indian customs authorities. They provide detailed guidelines and resources regarding import restrictions. You can reach out to international shipping companies or customs brokers who specialize in shipments to India for guidance on specific requirements.

Remember, it's always better to be well-informed about the restrictions and prohibitions before attempting to ship any items into India. This will help ensure a smooth and hassle-free shipping experience while avoiding any legal issues or complications.

Shopping from US, Shipping internationally

concept of shipping a package from the US to India internationally

Online shopping has become a global phenomenon, and India is no exception to this trend. More and more people in India are now turning to international online retailers, particularly those based in the United States. We will also provide some useful tips for selecting reliable sellers and ensuring secure transactions.

Growing Trend of International Online Shopping from India

The convenience and variety offered by US-based retailers have made them a popular choice among Indian consumers. With just a few clicks, shoppers can access a wide range of products that may not be readily available in their local markets. Whether it's fashion, electronics, or home decor items, US retailers offer an extensive selection that caters to diverse preferences.

Benefits of Purchasing Products from US-based Retailers

One of the major advantages of shopping from US-based retailers is access to high-quality products at competitive prices. Many renowned brands are based in the United States, known for their superior craftsmanship and innovative designs. By purchasing directly from these retailers, Indian customers can enjoy authentic products without any compromise on quality.

Moreover, favorable exchange rates often make shopping from the US more affordable compared to buying similar products locally or through other international platforms. This allows Indian shoppers to get more value for their money while indulging in their favorite brands.

Tips for Selecting Reliable Sellers and Ensuring Secure Transactions

When venturing into international online shopping from US, it's essential to choose reliable sellers who prioritize customer satisfaction and maintain high standards of service. Here are some tips to consider:

  1. Research seller ratings and reviews: Before making a purchase, take some time to read reviews left by previous customers. This will give you insights into the seller's reputation and help you gauge their reliability.
  2. Check return policies: Ensure that the seller has a clear return policy in case you are not satisfied with your purchase. This will provide you with peace of mind and protect your interests.
  3. Look for secure payment options: Opt for sellers who offer secure payment gateways to protect your financial information. Popular platforms like PayPal and credit cards with fraud protection can add an extra layer of security to your transactions.
  4. Verify shipping options: Confirm that the seller offers international shipping to India and provides tracking information for your package. This will allow you to monitor the progress of your shipment and ensure its safe delivery.

Overview of Shipping Options Available for Indian Customers with Forwardme

Forwardme is a trusted shipping service that enables Indian customers to receive packages from US-based retailers conveniently. With Forwardme, customers can shop from their favorite US online stores and have their purchases shipped directly to their doorstep in India.

Forwardme offers various shipping options tailored to meet individual needs, including express delivery services like UPS Worldwide Expedited and economical choices like DHL eCommerce. Customers can select the option that best suits their requirements in terms of speed, cost, and reliability.

Explaining Forwardme Services and Offering Forwardme for International Shipments from US to India

Forwardme acts as a bridge between Indian shoppers and US retailers, providing a seamless experience throughout the entire shipping process. By signing up with Forwardme, customers gain access to a personal US address where they can have their packages delivered. With Forwardme, all members will receive their own free US addresses that they can use on their purchases.

Once the packages reach the Forwardme facility in the US, they are consolidated into one shipment before being dispatched to India. This consolidation reduces shipping costs significantly while ensuring all items are securely packaged for transit.

What does Forwardme Offer?

a package being prepared for international shipping by workers in a warehouse

Forwardme offers a convenient mail forwarding service that allows users to receive their mail and packages from the US to anywhere in the world. With a virtual mailbox, users can view and manage their mail online, request shipments, and even consolidate multiple packages into one shipment to save on international shipping costs.

Personal Shopper

Our Forwardme services include a personal shopper option, allowing you to shop from your favorite US stores and have your purchases delivered to your doorstep in India. With this service, you can access a wide range of products that may not be available locally, giving you the convenience of international shopping without the hassle.

Cheap Shipping Rates

One of the key benefits of using Forwardme for international shipments from the US to India is the availability of cheap shipping rates. We have established partnerships with leading shipping carriers, enabling us to offer competitive rates for shipping your packages. This ensures that you can enjoy cost-effective shipping options without compromising on the quality of service.


Forwardme also provides consolidation services, which are particularly useful when you have multiple packages from different US retailers. Instead of shipping each package individually, our consolidation service allows us to combine your packages into a single shipment. This not only saves you money on shipping costs but also simplifies the customs clearance process, making it more efficient and convenient for you.

In conclusion, shipping to India requires careful consideration of duties, taxes, and customs regulations. Understanding these factors is crucial to ensure a smooth shipping process. We have explored the cheapest and fastest shipping options from the US to India, providing you with a comprehensive comparison of courier services available. We have shared valuable tips on finding the most affordable way to ship to India, as well as information on restricted and prohibited items. Lastly, we discussed shopping from the US and shipping internationally.

To make your shipping experience even better, we recommend taking advantage of our detailed guides that delve into each topic further. By following our expert advice, you can save time and money when shipping to India. Whether you are an individual or a business looking for reliable international shipping solutions, we are here to assist you every step of the way.

Your questions about shipping to India,

Article written by

Ayberk Onat

Ayberk Onat
Ayberk is always eager to dive into new and intriguing subjects that catch his attention. That's how his current passions entered his life: rock climbing, photography, playing the guitar, digital art, and traveling. The last two are what he's focused on at Forwardme.More links