If you are involved in a company that needs to make periodical shipments overseas and you are wondering which means of transportation would better fit your company’s needs, you should know that each type has its advantages, disadvantages and special features. In this article, we are going to talk about ocean freight and the features that distinguish it from other means of transportation.
The main advantage that might make you consider using ocean freight for package shipping is the fact that it is extremely cost effective, especially compared to air freight. When choosing to ship your packages using ocean freight services, you will be offered a variety of cost-effective ways to ship your products (whatever the size, shape or weight) to just about anywhere in the world. This can prove to be a great way to reduce operation costs for any company and maintain their prices competitive or even give them an edge on the foreign market they enter. However, you should keep in mind that ocean freight is not the fastest means of transportation and if your orders are time-limited, it is better to look for answers elsewhere.
Another thing you should know about ocean freight is that it doesn’t restricts the range of products that can be shipped through it. Basically any type of product, regardless of its size, shape, type, weight or material, can be shipped using ocean freight. For example, larger sized products, such as cars, are almost impossible to send via air freight, because most airplanes cannot handle that kind of size and weight. Even if some of them have that ability, the costs of the transport will be extremely large, meaning that many businesses just can’t afford to send their products using air freight.
The third advantage we are going to talk about is the fact that sending packages using ocean freight means protecting the environment. Ships and trains and the only means of transportation that are relatively eco-friendly. Trucks and airplanes, on the other hand, take in a lot of fuel and generate large quantities of carbon emissions. Compared to airplanes, ships take in much smaller quantities of fuel and leave a smaller carbon footprint. The fact that the transportation of goods is eco-friendly and does only minimum harm to the planet can become a huge advantage for a company that desires to improve its brand image and attract more clients.
When it comes to disadvantages, ocean freight has only two and they are both time-related. As we said before, ships do not have the speed of an airplane and are not recommended for companies that need their product delivered on a daily basis or that have very strict timetables. Moreover, ships depend a lot on the weather and storms can delay their schedule for as much as a week. Also, there are a lot of companies that won’t ship LCL (Less Container Load), meaning that they will wait to get enough orders to fill the entire container and send it FCL (Full Container Load), which means even more waiting time for you.
These are all the factors you should consider when deciding whether to use ocean freight or not. If you still find it difficult to manage your international supply chain, we recommend tapping the services of a logistic specialist with experience in Ocean Freight.