If you have something to transport, then you might think which option is best for you, and how you can do it correctly. Of course, the rules and regulations for heavy lift cargo vary for each country. But we will consider some general rules that will help you draw conclusions about the pros and cons of sea transportation.
So what are pros and cons of sea transportation?
Advantages of sea transportation
- It is more than 50% cheaper than air transportation. That sounds just fine!
- It is scaled in the long term because it is more realistic that the business cuts costs. You can save money and increase profits by sea shipping.
- This can be a good experience for your business. You will learn how to find potential suppliers, you can find out all the hidden costs associated with your products. And ultimately can establish relationships with many suppliers to help your business grow. You will learn a lot by shipping ocean freight, and this will definitely benefit your business. And that can be one of the things that will help you decide whether to use air freight or ocean freight.
Disadvantages of sea transportation
- It is cheaper, but sea transportation requires more documents than air travel. You can pay suppliers to help you cope with these problems.
- It takes a lot of time. Shipping through ocean requires 4-6 weeks, depending on your location and final destination. It is much longer than sending through the air for 3-7 days.
- This requires more inner costs. It is cheaper, but there are also many fees, duties, taxes, etc.
Some useful tips for sea transportation
- Fill out your documents, and you usually need to provide the following in order to move forward: a business account, a packing list, the final destination, the size and weight of the products shipped, the terms and conditions.
- You can get a lot of quotes from different companies to have an idea about the cost, the services offered and who can become a good partner for the future. Try to get information about a commercial invoice, packing list, supplier and recipient in advance and make it easily accessible. That can speed up getting quotes faster and compare suppliers. Time is money, and you have to save your time as much as you can!
- You need to write down all the important details. For example, you need to write how you packed your cargo, the number of boxes, the size, weight, and the number of boxes.
- As an importer, you need to know about completing the Importer Security. Because before sending and arriving the shipment you need to provide basic information.
- You need to be aware of all hidden costs since there are a lot of costs associated with sea cargo. It’s not that someone deceives you, but it’s important to know some small details. Here are some of the costs that you need to know: cargo insurance, customs clearance, customs fees, commission fees for arrival, fees for warehousing, delivery etc.
Some important abbreviations
BoL (Bill of Lading) is a document in which the shipper and carrier make together. You need to have it for all items shipped (air, ocean, railway or land). And the shipper, the carrier, and the recipient must sign it. BoL contains information about the type, quantity, and destination of goods.
CIF (Cost Insurance and Freight) means that the shipment is delivered to the import port. All costs associated with duties, taxes and delivery are the duties of recipients.
DDP (Delivered Duty Paid) means that the goods are delivered to the final destination. And all duties, taxes and shipping fees have already been paid.
FOB (Free on Board) means that the supplier will incur all costs for the delivery of cargo to the port. From this point on, all international shipping and related charges are the buyer’s duties.
LCL (Less than Container Load) is a process where your cargo does not fill the entire container for shipping. The transport supplier will ship your product with a different consignment until they fill the container. LCL is an advantage since you can send products in a quantity convenient for you. And you can send them as soon as your products are ready.
FCL (Full Container Load): When you ship FCL, you have exclusive rights to use a full container for shipping.
What after considering all pros and cons of sea transportation?
Before you make a decision about the way you will transport your things, think about pros and cons of sea transportation carefully. And if after that you decide that sea shipping is for you, then you should hire one of the sea freight forwarding companies. Their representatives will gladly help you with everything you need. With their assistance, you can make this, otherwise tiresome process, a really easy and pleasant experience. It is simply about hiring professionals.
If you decide to try to do it yourself, you can face various problems. Documentation is not always easy to fill in. Also, there are some things that only professionals can handle. For example, they know what the best solution for you is, what size of a container you need, as well as how to pack a shipping container. They are usually very polite and ready to help with everything they can. Employees of those companies are well trained and know their job. Also, do not try to be smarter than them, they simply have much more experience than you do. And, of course, they are here to help you as much as they can.