With the introduction of the internet the world is becoming smaller each and every day and that is great news for those who want to sell their goods all over the world. International freight and international shipping options are now essential for those who want to expand their business and grow on the international stage and share their goods all over the world.

Millions of businesses need goods to be shipped internationally on a regular basis, here is a quick overview of what is meant by ‘international freight’, a quick history, and some of the common terms associated with it.

International Freight

As a general rule when international freight is mentioned it describes goods that are being transported in bulk from one country to another. The transportation method can be by road, rail ship or air and often needs a specialist international shipping company to make the process as easy and cost effective as possible.

A Quick Shipping History

It is easy to imagine that international shipping is a modern invention as it uses a combination of modern transportation methods to get goods where they need to be, but the movement of goods can be traced back throughout history. The ancient Egyptians were one of the first civilisations to ship internationally or an organised scale. They developed some of the earliest recorded logistical systems for shipping grain around the world. From this point on all civilisations have progressed and developed the technology needed to ship more and more goods faster and further around the world.

Until the early 20th century, before commercial air transport really took off, all international goods were sent by land or sea, and this included even letters and standard mail. As air travel technology improved light cargo started to be included as the speed of delivery was a huge advantage to those selling goods internationally. It was not until the 1950’s however, that the idea of transporting entire road vehicles with their cargo was born, this now forms the basis of our modern shipping methods.

Common Terms in International Freight

Here is a quick overview of some of the common terms used within international freight and their meanings.

  • Land Freight – This is the shipping of goods by road or rail. This can also be known as door to door shipping and is straight from the place of the goods to the destination. Often made by trucks and is used in most forms of shipping as road or rail is needed to pick up from airports or seaports.
  • Sea Freight – This is the movement of goods on the world’s oceans. An excellent way to ship bulk goods across the world. Often a cheaper mode of transport than air but can have longer delivery times.
  • Air Freight – This is the movement of goods using air transport. In most cases by specialised freight planes, and often the quickest and most convenient way to move goods internationally.
  • Free on Board (FOB) This is a term that refers to the supplier of the goods paying any charges required in the country of origin.
  • Ex-Works (EXE) – This is a term that means the buyer is responsible for any costs or risks along the transportation route.
  • Cost, Insurance & Freight (CIF) – This is a term that means the supplier of the goods will pay costs into the UK, but once the destination port is reached, the responsibility is the purchasers.

To discuss how international freight and international shipping can work for your business talk to the experts at Equator Worldwide and get your goods moving.

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