We had every intention to print in the United States from now on, but come to find out, all the printers that responded to our request for estimates were open enough to tell us they would be printing in China or another foreign land. There were many reasons we wanted to print in the US and shipping was the second biggest reasons, right behind bringing jobs back to the USA. Since we learned that the US Printers would actually be printing in China, we decided to cut out that middle man and do it ourselves as we have done before.
Because of our last experience with overseas customs we have demanded our printer to now ship aircargo through a US-based company UPS or FedEx. Even though we are shipping by air, there are two normal ways to ship from a foreign land:
1) By Sea Cargo Freighters: The manufacturer in a foreign land packages the goods and gives them to a Forwarder. Those Forwarders ship the goods as part of a larger shipment. This takes around 2-3 weeks over sometimes rough seas. They then arrive at a US port on the West Coast such as Seattle, San Francisco, or Los Angeles, or go through the Panama Canal to reach ports from TX to Chicago Illinois.
When the cargo container carrying the goods arrives at that port, it is then stored until it is inspected by US Customs, then shipped again from storage to the final destination. If your goods come by Sea, the company ordering the goods will need to hire their own Customs Agent to work out logistics of working with Customs and shipping the goods the rest of the way. This is the least expensive way to ship but includes the most fees at the US Ports in addition to the 3-4 extra weeks in shipping.
See more about this process and the history of Sea Cargo Container shipping: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeZFc7b42gg
2) By Air Freight: The manufacturer either passes it to a Forwarder who bundles it with their larger shipment of every type of goods, or the manufacturer can ask UPS, DHL, or FedEx to pick up the shipment from their warehouse and ship it straight to the final destination. When the goods arrive in the United States, they are again inspected by US Customs and then finish their journey. FedEx, UPS, or DHL take care of all the logistics all the way to the final destination. This is much more expensive but the shipping process takes 7-10 days.
This is where we are today. Right now FedEx has the shipment and it would arrive in the United States tomorrow, December 28th. After being inspected by US Customs in Tennessee, the goods will then take one more flight to Kansas City and arrive at our doorstep. That night and the next day we will fill all of our pre-orders and ship them within 24 hours.