If you have a large amount of freight that needs to be shipped overseas, you have two options. You can either have it shipped by air or by sea. There are pros and cons to each method so it really depends on several factors. There is no right or wrong option, but in many cases, one of these two options is going to have more benefits for you than the other. Before you decide if you should ship by air or by sea, you should learn how the two differ and research the different advantages of each. Here are some questions to ask to determine why one or the other of these options may be better for you.
How Fast Do You Need Your Freight?
Do you need to have your freight delivered within a few days or a week? If so, air transportation is really your only option. Air freight can be transported around the world within a few days so you can have it whenever you need it. Shipping something by sea, on the other hand, can take weeks if not longer. If you’re shipping something for your business, air freight is going to be preferred since you usually cannot wait for several weeks or longer. On the other hand, if you’re shipping something personal such as your furniture and household items to your home in another country, you may not be in a rush.
Where Are You Located?
Figuring out where to get sea freight shipping if you’re located in or are shipping to a landlocked area can be a challenge. In some cases, the cost to ship your items to a port city and then put them on a ship adds up, and you may find that what you save in shipping by sea instead of air is offset by the ground transportation cost. If you’re on or very near a port city, sea freight is no problem at all. If you’re not, it may not really be an option.
What’s Your Budget?
Sea freight is much more affordable than shipping by air. You can often ship a large amount of freight via sea for the same price of a few crates by air. The savings can be considerable, so if you’re working on a budget and don’t have to have something right away, shipping by boat is a much better option. However, it’s important to understand how shipping is calculated because it’s done differently for air and sea. For air, you will pay a price that is determined by both the size of the package and its weight. For sea, however, you’ll usually only be charged by the size of the container.
If you’re shipping large heavy items, then shipping by sea is almost always going to be the more affordable option. If you’re shipping smaller packages, especially if they are lightweight, the price difference may not be as much as you think. You also have to remember to factor in the cost of customs and other fees added on at the destination.