Sea freight shipping enables exporters and importers to transport goods of various sizes all over the globe. This is because of a complex supply chain involving freight forwarders, port authorities, customs agents, and shippers at the international level. Sea freight is much more cost effective than land freight or air freight due to the lower costs of fuel and insurance. In addition, it offers flexible shipment options that can fit your budget requirements and do not necessarily tie you down to a fixed number of dates for shipment.
Ocean freight and sea freight transport goods by ocean-going vessels. This means that these carriers are large and cannot be stopped by sea pirates nor affected by weather conditions such as hurricanes. These sea carriers also carry bulkier and larger goods. They may also cross through inland waters unlike air cargo that have to fly towards the international destination and land at the airport. Some international cargo transportation routes include the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean. However, the majority of shipments are destined for Europe and the United Kingdom.
The majority of importers choose sea freight shipping because it is cost-effective, flexible and convenient. It can be shipped to any part of the world within a few days. Moreover, these maritime transport companies are very safe. However, there are certain pros and cons associated with this type of freight services.
There are two types of sea freight shipping container and truckload. Container shipping can take up to three weeks while truckload takes only about two weeks. Truckload usually has a lower cost than container shipping since the latter has a container tracking system and adequate security measures. Container shipping can be utilized to send single goods or multiple goods. However, truck loads are ideal for large volumes of goods. There are also customs clearance duties that have to be paid for ocean freight forwarding.
A sea freight shipment has to pass through several phases before reaching its destination. It has to clear the customs and clearance departments of the country where the importer is based. The goods have to be declared at the customs office before they can be sent to their final destinations. The payment for custom clearance duties is usually done upon arrival. The importer needs to clear all the formalities in time if he wants his goods to reach their clients safely.
Sea cargo vessels are large carriers. They normally carry thousands of tons of merchandise. This makes them vulnerable to natural disasters like earthquakes, storms and hurricanes. A cargo ship will not be able to sail to a new port due to a hurricane or other disaster. Hence, international ocean freight shipment is highly affected when natural disasters strike. The shipping lines and port authorities will suspend or cancel shipments to avoid damage to the cargo.
International cargo shipping is a highly cost-effective option for small enterprises. With Sea freight, the importer has a great flexibility to choose the best shipping route. He does not have to spend a huge amount of money. He just has to notify his agent and wait for an agreement with the port authority. Once the shipment reaches its destination, he just has to take the goods to his client.
The cost of shipping international cargo by sea is extremely low. This means that small entrepreneurs can access this cost-effective option without worrying about the logistics costs. It also helps them to remain flexible in their business processes because they do not need to maintain a separate logistic department for handling their overseas deliveries. All they have to do is inform their Sea freight forwarding company and they will deal with all the logistics aspect on their behalf.