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Air Freight or Ocean Freight? (Part Two)

Posted on Wednesday, April 29th by Pallet2ship logo

As expected, the choice of the right shipping service is just as difficult as any other choice in the field of international shipping and that is not only because clients have a number of different choices at their disposal, but also because each of these choices comes with a number of different factors to be considered very carefully. Apart from the financial aspect, which is probably the most complex as well as the most important one, such a choice is also determined by factors such as speed, reliability or the impact on the environment. Let us take a closer look at how these factors apply to air freight and ocean freight shipping services and how exactly they can tip the scales in one direction or the other.


This particular factor tends to tip the scales in the favor of air freight shipping services. While the delivery times can stretch over as long as one month in the case of ocean freight, with air freight transportation they can be as short as one or two days. However, this margin in terms of delivery times draws quite a significant margin in terms of costs too. Thus, air freight transportation tends to be more expensive than its ocean freight counterpart. In this context, businesses and individuals should be differentiated based on their needs once again. Thus, it should be noted that businesses are more likely to pay extra money for shorter delivery times if possible than individuals simply moving out. The technological advances should also be mentioned in the context of speed as a basic factor in the choice between air freight and ocean freight transportation for they have allowed the shortening of shipping routes and implicitly that of delivery times to as little as eight days.


Reliability is as essential when it comes to the choice of a business partner, a product or a service as any other factor. As far as this particular choice between air freight transportation and ocean freight transportation is concerned, it should be noted that the former is much younger than the latter, yet it appears to be more reliable. Changes in schedules and delays are much scarcer in air shipping than in sea shipping. Therefore, the risks of businesses being affected by various shipping problems are much lower. For instance, a problem such as a missed flight can be solved within a day whereas in the case of ocean freight transportation such a problem can take up to one week to solve.

Impact on the environment

Although less striking, the environmental impact should also be considered when choosing between different types of transportation because it is our responsibility to protect the environment. When it comes to ocean freight versus air freight transportation, the former is at an advantage, at least as far as the CO2 emissions go for they are notably lower than with the latter. Implicitly, the carbon fingerprint is much larger in the case of air freight transportation. However, ocean freight shipping comes with its own risks, oil spills and damage to the water ecosystems being the most common. Therefore, the choice between air freight shipping and ocean freight shipping is quite a difficult one to make from the point of view of environmental protection.

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