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4 Things to Consider When Comparing Air Freight and Ocean Freight

Posted on Tuesday, July 8th by

Whether you are running a business or moving overseas, you will always have a lot of decisions to make as far as overseas shipping goes. The most important of them is whether you should opt for air freight or ocean freight shipping. So here are four things you should take into consideration when faced with this particular decision.

1. The costs



Whether you are running a business or you are just a regular individual, budget management is always important. Of course, you will be interested in finding out which is the cheaper of the two. While most people will say that ocean freight is the better option from a financial standpoint, you should know that this is not always true.

You should learn how carriers set their overseas shipping pricing in order to be able to choose properly. The price charged by the airline corresponds to a so-called chargeable weight, which depends firstly on the size of your cargo and secondly on its weight. With ocean carriers, you pay for each container shipped, the charge being set per one standard 20’ and 40’ container. Usually, in situations where the cargo does not fill a container, the charges are set per cubic meter. So, ocean freight is often recommended for shipping large volume and heavy weight cargo. The smaller the shipment, the smaller the margins too, so air freight may prove to be the better choice.

2. The speed



In terms of speed, air freight shipping is usually the better option, even if the more expensive one too. The delivery time with air freight shipping is 1-2 days whereas with ocean freight shipping it can reach up to one month. However, some carriers manage to achieve delivery times of around 8 days thanks to the technological advances made in the field of overseas shipping.

3. The reliability



Reliability is always important, whether in terms of business or in everyday life. Ocean freight may have been available for a longer period of time than air freight, but the latter is usually more reliable. Weather or other factors may interfere with flight schedules, but otherwise they are usually reliable. This is not always the case when it comes to ocean freight shipping and delays, even short ones, can cause quite some financial inconveniences in the business world. Moreover, airlines usually schedule daily flights between major destinations, where ocean lines usually schedule weekly shipments.

4. The environmental factor



When it comes to the environmental factor, ocean freight shipping is the better choice because the CO2 emissions are much lower than with air freight shipping and therefore less carbon is released. However, damage is also caused through ocean freight shipping, more specifically through the oil spilt in the sea or the disturbance of aquatic ecosystems.

Your choice of the best type of freight shipping should be easier now after learning about these four factors. You can find free air and ocean freight rates with UCM.

If you have any questions regarding our services, tracking your parcel or advice, we're here

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