Air Freight v Sea Freight Revealed

Air Freight v Sea Freight Revealed

When considering international shipping, you will discover many alternatives. The most rudimentary is Air Freight v Sea Freight. Regardless if you represent a company that ships internationally on a regular basis or an person relocating, or sending goods to family on another continent, arriving at a verdict about the merits of sea freight compared to air freight is an significant decision. You'll find four important aspects you ought to start thinking about when making this choice.

Price of shipping

It is likely you won't need to be asked to think about the prices. In business you take into account the "bottom line" and as an individual, you've got a budget to stick to. Obviously, you are really going to find out which might cost the least, air freight or sea freight. Usually, you will discover that transport by sea is less expensive than delivery by air. Generally, this is correct; however, this isn't always the case.

To make the smartest decision, it will help to be understand how freight forwarders price for international shipping. Airline carriers charge a fee known as "chargeable weight". This is determined from a mix of the weight and size of a cargo. Sea freight couriers charge "per container rates" for transport in normal containers, 20ft and 40ft are the most popular sizes. Although weight can be a factor, their fee is generally dependent much more about the dimensions of a cargo. If you're transporting less than a container load (LCL), your cost is usually decided by cubic metre. Therefore for much bigger and heavier freight, it's commonly more affordable to ship freight by sea. As the cargo sizes reduce in size, the margin between the costs become less and at times air freight can perhaps wind up more economical.

Speed of shipping

On the subject of speed, without doubt air freight is typically a lot quicker. If time is key, the higher cost may simply not be a factor. Countless sea deliveries will take about a month to be delivered whereas air transport takes only one or two days. For many organisations delivering, faster is far better. It needs to be mentioned that technologies keep advancing in the international shipping industry. Ships are becoming faster and canals are creating shorter shipping routes.


So how does sea freight compare to air freight when it comes to reliability? Air freight has a much more brief history than sea freight, but air freight has a tendency to come out on top for reliability. While, flights can be delayed, airlines are generally extremely well scheduled. Sea shippers are infamously poor at maintaining their schedules. For most, a couple of days will not harm; but, for many organisations, these delays can impact costs heavily. Airlines normally have daily flights to big cities worldwide. Therefore missing a flight is not going to result in a great delay for a consignments. Sea shippers typically to operate on weekly timetables, meaning longer delays if there are problems.

Environmental Affect

Whilst the social consciousness of environmental concerns can transform just how the public sees a business and impact its profits, everyone has a obligation to take good care of the planet. It appears that sea freight takes victory in this classification. CO2 emissions are considerably higher in air freight compared to sea freight. This leads to cargo transportation by air to experience a much greater carbon footprint to sea. Conversely, contemplating incidents such as oil spills and how the ocean environments as a whole are impacted by sea freight, gives cause for thought.


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