Sea freight is still the most cost-effective way for businesses to ship goods abroad. Of course, if you have urgent deliveries, the time taken to sail from one country to another can be prohibitive. It’s important to work closely with your freight forwarding company to find a solution that works best for your needs.
Equator Worldwide give businesses large and small the best advice for shipping their goods across the world. For many businesses, sea freight offers a good deal of flexibility, affordability and it certainly doesn’t have as big an impact on the environment as air freight. In 2016, some 130 million containers full of cargo were transported across our oceans with an estimated value of over $4 trillion.
The Benefits of Sea Freight
If you’re looking for competitive pricing, then there is no competition here. Sea freight beats both air and land freight when there are long distances involved. The latest data suggests that shipping by sea can cost some 4 to 5 times less than air freight.
- The size of the shipment doesn’t generally matter as much when it is transported by sea. Large consignments can be easily handled, and smaller ones can be grouped with other cargo which allows for some degree of cost-sharing. If you’re a business with a small or high volume of cargo and no time constraints, then shipping makes financial sense.
- When it comes to heavy or oversized or awkward cargo, shipping is perfect as it can handle any cargo. Airfreight, on the other hand, comes with many restrictions not least the quantity of goods you can transport at one time.
- If you have hazardous or dangerous cargo, shipping is much the better option. There are a lot of rules and regulations in place and maritime safety has improved significantly over the last two decades.
You might not think about it but, for the amount of cargo that freight-carrying ships transport, they are the more environmentally friendly option. Ships emit fewer emissions than aircraft and the grams of exhaust emitted compared to the amount of cargo they carry is significantly lower. The newer ships coming online are also designed to reduce emissions and be more efficient.
Shipping Goods by Sea
Companies can either ship their goods in one container or share a container with other businesses. The former are handled using full container loads (FCL) while the latter is designated as less-than-container-load (LCL).
LCL can be a more affordable option because the cost is shared between the different companies using a particular container, depending on the number of goods each has. An added advantage is that companies can include pallets of different sizes and shapes.
Certain freight forwarding companies can also guarantee door to door delivery for goods, depending on the location and the delivery point is a commercial location.
The documentation needed for your goods will vary depending on the country that you are dealing with. Your freight forwarding company should be able to organise all this for you and ensure there are no delays because the wrong forms or documents have not been provided.
While the time for delivery of goods can stretch into weeks depending on the location, sea freight still presents the most flexible and most affordable option for companies that are looking to transport across the globe.