There was a time when the choice of ocean transport as a shipping method would have been an obvious one. In the age of aviation and large-scale road and rail transport, however, the options are not quite so clear cut. Sea freight remains vital but there are certain conditions under which it is favourable and other circumstances that would make it less desirable. So, if you’re weighing up your logistics options for your next shipment, take the following advice into account…
The biggest advantage of sending your goods by ship is that this method can carry almost any weight and number of goods, and it’s far more cost-effective per kilogram than any competing method. If you are shipping in bulk or your products are big and heavy, then sea freight is for you.
When opting for sea freight, however, remember that you are dealing with the longest lead time of any transport method. Your cargo can take months to reach its destination. If you are happy with that, then you can check another box next to sea freight.
Firstly, if you’re in a hurry then definitely look at air freight. As mentioned earlier, your products may only be delivered in a few months going by the “whale road”. If you require shorter lead times then another shipping method may suit you better.
If you have an aversion to paperwork then you should also steer clear of the harbour and head to the airport instead. Although customs paperwork is unavoidable (and imperative) on any import/export transaction, sea freight requires double as much as its airborne equivalent. Having said that, if you have a logistics solution provider like NHFS to help you, that paperwork can easily be taken care of.
Sea freight is not very effective when it comes to keeping a close eye on the shipment you have sent off. Once your goods leave the port, they won’t be trackable until they reach the destination harbour.
Even though there are a few pros and cons to weigh up, sea freight remains an effective, if slow, shipment option and is still the best for large cargos. It pays to be well informed about the pros and cons before make your choice, however. Contact us for more advice on the shipping methods we can place at your disposal.