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Air and Ocean Freight from USA to Tahiti and French Polynesia

Updated: Mar 6, 2023

Shipping items from the USA to French Polynesia via air and ocean freight can be a daunting proposition, which is why our team works to make the process easier for importers and exporters. Take a look at the SHIPIT guide to learn more or reach out to our team.

Access Points for Shipping to French Polynesia

Shipping to French Polynesia can sometimes be challenging due to the remoteness of the territory and the complexity of the island chains found there. However, with the right approach, the process is a simple one.

Altogether, there are 67 inhabited islands within French Polynesia, divided across six separate archipelagos. The largest of these islands in terms of population is Tahiti, representing the key access point for shipping in the region.

Generally, when cargos are shipped internationally to French Polynesia, they arrive in Tahiti first. From here, the consignment is broken down into smaller shipments and distributed around French Polynesia on smaller boats.

Tahiti's main airport and seaport is its third-largest city, Papeete — also known as Pape'ete. Direct shipping services are available from Long Beach, California to Papeete, and this takes between 10 to 15 days to arrive. From here, it may take a further few days for goods to reach their final destinations.

In most cases, shipping from the USA to French Polynesia takes place between Los Angeles and Tahiti. Items are consolidated in a warehouse in Los Angeles, then transported to Long Beach port facilities ready for ocean transit.

Ocean Freight Consolidation Services to French Polynesia

In order to maximize efficiency and reduce costs, sea freight transit to French Polynesia requires consolidation. The individual goods and shipments are sent domestically from a location in the USA and received at the warehouse in Los Angeles. Here, goods are collected together with other consignments en route to French Polynesia. If exporting on Full Container Load (FCL) basis, the consignments will be transferred to the port at Long Beach once enough consignments have been collected to fill a container. If exporting on a Less than Container Load (LCL) basis, the consignments may be grouped with other consignments bound for French Polynesia within a single container.

With buyer's consolidation services, you can ship smaller goods to locations around French Polynesia at a low cost compared to traditional FCL and LCL shipments (for example, if you need to ship from Amazon to Tahiti or elsewhere across French Polynesia).

The consolidated goods are shipped together directly from Long Beach to Tahiti. There are no stops along the way, and no goods will be added to or removed from the containers during transit. Upon reaching Tahiti, the process of deconsolidation begins — containers are broken down and goods with the same destinations are collected, ready for shipping across French Polynesia.

Air Freight to French Polynesia

Freight can be transferred between Los Angeles (airport code: LAX) and Papeete in Tahiti (PPT). This will still be handled via the Los Angeles warehouse before being transferred to LAX.

Preparation of Export Documents

Shipping between the United States and French Polynesia requires the appropriate documentation. If you are working with a Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC) — i.e., a shipping company that handles goods but does not operate the vessels themselves — this company will still need to provide the necessary paperwork. This will include the Shipper's Letter of Instruction (SLI) and US Principle Party of Interest (USPPI) Power of Attorney documentation as a minimum.

If the transit of goods is being organized by the importer in French Polynesia, the required documents are a little different. In this case, a Foreign Principal Party of Interest (FPPI) Power of Attorney document will be required.

Consignment Insurance

You will need to take out the appropriate cargo insurance when you ship to Tahiti and French Polynesia. This means choosing air transport insurance or marine cargo insurance to cover the full value of your consignment.

Choose SHIPIT for Freight Delivery from the USA to French Polynesia

Here at SHIPIT, our experienced team understands shipping to Tahiti and French Polynesia, offering professional loading for FCL buyer consol and LCL (Groupage) consolidation. We have our own LCL Consolidation bi-monthly from Long Beach to Papeete, and offer on-carriage services to the rest of the islands in French Polynesia. We provide expert ocean freight services for a wide variety of items, including vehicles, motorbikes, jet skis, boats, and other complex cargo.

Our partners in Tahiti deliver French-speaking customer service and liaison and are ready to assist our clients with any customs and logistics concerns at the destination. This is part of our commitment to great communication and transparency as we fulfill your needs. Reach out to our team today to find out more and to get a quote. Contact us today to find out more and request a quote to know the costs for shipments to French Polynesia.



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