It is always about time and costs when you are choosing the correct method of transport. Do you want to keep the costs of your shipment low? Or do you want your cargo to be moved as quickly as possible? In the most of times, you might want to find a balance between them. To help you make your decision, we have some questions listed below about the key factors.
How much are you willing to pay for the transporting services?
Typically, if you want to keep your shipping costs as low as possible, shipping by sea will be your best choice. But the final costs depend on how shipping companies charge for the international shipping.
Air shipping companies charge according to the weight and size of the shipment. Because the space in the air plane is limited, and large items with a light weight need more space than small items with a heavy weight.
Sea shipping companies charge per container rates for shipping in standard shipping containers. They usually charge according to the size of a shipment, but weight is also a factor of price. The costs can be different based on the methods of container shipping: full container load or less than container load. You will be charged by numbers of containers you use in case of FCL shipping, and charged by volume of shipment in LCL shipment.
When it comes to small and light shipments, the price of air shipping comes close to sea shipping. But the price will be much cheaper by sea than by air, when you have larger and heavier shipments.
There are also other factors to consider, such as customs fees, warehousing fees. Even if the sea shipping is cheaper than air shipping, the warehousing fees at seaports could cost you more than the fees at airports. Remember to consult a freight forwarder or shipping company before you choose the shipping method.
How soon do you want your shipment to be received？
When you are talking about speed, with no doubt, air shipping is the fastest way to transport your goods around the world. If you are shipping fruit or seafood to another country, time is the most important factor you should consider. If the shipment is urgent, choose air freight instead of sea freight, because sea shipping usually takes weeks or even months and air shipping only takes days.
Is it important to you that your shipment arrives in time?
If you want your shipment to arrive in time, air freight will be the most reliable shipping method for international shipping. Yes, air freight usually get delayed by poor weather conditions or some other factors, but air planes get back and go forth between cities around the world. So, a delayed flight will not cause much of a delay for your shipment.
Sea freight takes weeks or months to transport your cargo, and there is a higher chance than air freight that something will go wrong and your shipments get delayed. If you miss a ship, you will need to wait days or even weeks to get your cargo on another ship. For many business, a weeks and days delay will significantly damage your business.
We hope this article will help you get a better picture of pros and cons of air freight and sea freight.