Understanding Ocean Freight and Its Impact on Your Business (Pt 2) | Shipping

In the second part of this discussion, we’ll explore the potential pros and cons of ocean freight that businesses and individuals should consider when making transportation decisions.

The types of goods that can be transported by ocean freight have been expanded and with fewer restrictions, while air freight has rules regarding the shipment of flammable items and other hazardous materials.

In addition, “ocean freight movements also provide their customers with the ability to transhipment and multimodal movement to include land, rail and river movements,” said Beverly Johnson, CEO and Managing Director of JLB International Limited.

“It further provides the best solution for small shipments to be containerized securely, while being moved as loads less than a container by sharing container space, known as cargo consolidation, where multiple shippers share the same container to move their goods to a common destination or transit point, ”Johnson continued.

“Depending on the type of vessel used, cargo insurance is competitively priced, giving customers assurance in the event of damage or the need to claim loss of cargo,” she said.

Typically, sea freight is also a much cheaper option than standard air freight, which can be twice as expensive, with additional charges for express delivery.

However, sufficient planning can help improve the utility of ocean freight because “most ocean freight carriers have fixed shipping schedules and transit times, which allows manufacturers and importers to effectively plan the movement of ocean freight. goods, ”Johnson said.

For socially responsible people, shipping by sea also leaves a lower carbon footprint and produces fewer emissions per tonne than if air freight were used. In addition, increased regulations by the International Maritime Organization will result in further reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from seagoing vessels through the use of cleaner fuels.

However, there are some drawbacks to using sea freight. The main one is the waiting time. Transportation by sea takes much longer than air freight, which can make deliveries within days in many cases. Ocean freight can take up to five times as long, depending on the destination of the goods. For those who choose to use this method, it is important to take into account the longer delivery time it will take for the goods to arrive. In addition, sea freight is sometimes more sensitive to external factors, such as customs delays, port congestion and bad weather, which are considerations to take into account.

Johnson said, “The main downside to ocean freight is the multiple costs associated with handling these shipments. The management of sea freight, carriers, ports, intermediaries impose all their costs on a single shipment; all this, in addition to the customs duties and taxes that will be levied on the shipment by the Customs Department and other government agencies related to permits and licenses.

“Importers and exporters must therefore ensure that they perform an effective cost analysis of all costs associated with the shipment, to determine whether the product can bear the cost at the point of retail sale, regardless of the conditions of sale. or conditions. delivery, ”she continued.

While ocean freight has increased delivery times and involves factors that can lead to less than smooth transportation, it is the preferred method for the majority of businesses due to its low cost, relative safety and convenience. ease of transport.

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