Many business owners know that sea freight and air freight services have been competing as freight forwarding modes for centuries. Business owners are continuously weighing up the pros and cons of each transport mode with an objective to achieve economical and efficient shipping with each transaction. In addition, factors such as transit time, choosing the best Incoterms®, product type (high value vs low value, hazardous vs non-hazardous), accessibility, cargo volume, and replenishment cycles need to be considered before business choose a sea freight or air freight service.
Industry knowledge and awareness about the impact these factors have on your business allows logistics solutions and Freight Forwarding Managers to select either sea freight or air freight forwarding services. If the shipping cost, cargo volume, environmental impact and documentation processing times are the priority, sea freight services are the common choice of transportation. Advantages like less in-transit cost, high cargo carrying capacity, lowering carbon footprint and enough time for documentation processing are also achievable using sea freight.
Read on to learn 4 advantages your business can gain by using sea freight services over air freight services.
Maintaining low costs is always an objective for many business owners. Competing environments demand businesses to reduce their freight costs to make their product economical. This often means Logistics and Freight managers must consider whether to use sea freight services or air freight services to deliver their products. Cost components like transportation, storage, detention and demurrages are impacted if the transportation medium is not being utilised carefully. By giving flexibility to ship in bulk, sea freight services provide economic solutions and keep the landed costs of your product down. Unless product availability requires a fast turn-around, smart businesses tend to plan ahead and choose sea freight over air freight.
More time for document processing
Documentation plays an important role in any sea freight or air freight shipment. CAT (complete-accurate-timely) documentation is an industry process that guarantees hassle-free and timely deliveries. Air freight is undoubtedly the fastest transportation mode, however, unless your freight forwarder uses automated electronic processes to complete the transaction, customers are likely to experience documentation related delays. In some cases, it can defeat the entire purpose of using air freight services instead of sea freight. Customers ideally consider the complexity of documentation involved while using any mode of transportation and take advantage of longer sea freight transit times which allows more processing time to achieve CAT documentation.
Sea freight shipping without constraints
Cargo space availability can be a major concern faced by Logistics and Freight Managers when shipping goods via sea fright or air freight services. Shipping goods using air freight services brings space, dimensions and weight limitations. Air freight carriers are restricted in size and space where the total shipment of goods can only be a certain weight and volume for each flight. Therefore, space availability, dimensions and volumetric weight have to be checked before sending the goods for each transaction. In comparison, sea freight services offer much more flexibility in terms of space, dimensions and weight with vessels that can ship almost any size and weight of goods.
Choosing a greener transportation mode
Businesses with supply chain requirements are placing more awareness on the environmental impact freight forwarding services have and often opt to use a greener service to ship their goods. An air freight service emits a higher amount of polluting gases with less space capacity compared to sea freight services which are considered a much greener transportation mode with a higher carrying capacity. If planned with enough lead time, businesses can reduce their carbon footprint by choosing sea freight shipping modes to transport their goods.
Choosing between sea freight services and air freight services is often dependent on whether a business prefers time over cost, volume carrying capacity over speed and reliability over availability. Factors like product, landed cost, transit time, environmental impact and reliability play a critical role in identifying your transportation mode. Smart Australian import and export businesses know well-established and experienced international freight forwarding providers can easily assist with choosing between sea freight and air freight every time.
If sea freight is the best transport mode for your businesses requirement, download our free sea freight checklist to assist in preparing your goods. Alternatively, if air freight is the best transport mode download our free eBook ‘The air freight fundamentals for imports to Australia’ to learn how to prepare and streamline the air freight booking process to get your cargo moving fast.
For more than a century, BCR has continued to help small, medium and large businesses achieve an optimum logistics solution with warehousing and transportation, including air freight and sea freight services to and from the major ports including Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Fremantle (Perth).