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4 benefits of using Sea Freight for international shipping

If you currently use sea freight as your choice of international shipping or are considering using sea freight, you might be evaluating the advantages of this freight type. We’ll be sharing the top Four benefits of using sea freight as your transportation choice,  if you have any questions our team at Personalised Freight Solutions will be able to help you. If you would like to see more of our range of services in regards to sea freight – please don’t hesitate to visit our Sea Freight page here.

1. You’re able to save money on heavy + large freight loads

In any business, money is an important  part of decision making – especially when it comes to transporting large quantities or bulky items. 

Your average commercial ship  exceeds the size of an average commercial plane by at least 5:1 in terms of cargo space, in fact some commercial ships can hold over 20,000 shipping containers -by using sea freight  you’re benefiting on savings that is able to occur in these huge vessels by sharing the overheads with other companies that have containers on the ship. Even greater savings can be found with sharing containers with other shipments (this is called less than container load or LCL).  

 2. Freight size is less restrictive for oversized, heavy or bulky items

If it fits, it ships! When transporting large quantities of items, oversized or bulky goods,  a 20ft shipping container which has approximately 25-28 cubic meter of usable space could be an option, alternatively, a 40ft container has approximately 58 – 62 cubic meters of usable space. Need more space, consider a Roll on Roll off or Break bulk freight option. If you have smaller quantities of cargo, consolidation could be a better fit and is charged based on a minimum of 1 cubic meter. Typically if you have around 13 -15 cubic meters of cargo, ask your freight forwarder to provide a comparison cost between FCL and LCL shipping.

3.  Fewer restrictions on permitted goods

Unlike air freight, sea freight doesn’t have the same strict level of requirements and restrictions in place – enabling a greater range of cargo being able to be transported. This by no means that there are no restrictions when it comes to using sea freight to transport goods internationally, but by having fewer restrictions in place it does eliminate as much red tape along with being able to actually transport an additional range of items.

4.  You have more options in sea freight types

Unlike air freight, which is restricted to rigid size limitations based on the type of plane, sea freight can provide options for transporting cargo with different pricing structures  based on the method chosen:.

Sea freight services include; 

  • Less than Container Load (LCL): is used where the goods being transported won’t fill the entire container and share the remaining space with items belonging to different people/ businesses.
  • Full Container Load (FCL): refers to the company and/ or person transporting the items within the entire container, only belonging to them. The containers have standardized dimensions. They can be loaded and unloaded, stacked, transported efficiently over long distances, and transferred from one mode of transport to another—container ships, rail transport flatcars, and semi-trailer trucks—without being opened.
  • Roll on/Roll off (RORO): Vessels designed to carry wheeled cargo, such as cars, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, trailers, and railroad cars, that are driven on and off the ship on their own wheels or using a platform vehicle, such as a self-propelled modular transporter. This is in contrast to lift-on/lift-off (LOLO) vessels, which use a crane to load and unload cargo.
  • Breakbulk (LOLO): also referred to as “lift on/ lift off”, Break bulk cargo or general cargo are goods that must be loaded individually, and not in shipping containers nor in bulk as with oil or grain. Break bulk cargo is transported in bags, boxes, crates, drums, pallets or barrels. The cargo is brought to the quay next to the ship and then each individual item is lifted on board separately.

If you are looking to order your first overseas shipment, or just want to bench mark your current freight forwarder, please contact the PFS team to discuss your personal requirements and how we can add value.