When it comes to international shipping, the most common modes of transport are sea freight and air freight. These are the two options for transporting commodities whether for private reasons or business purposes. And knowing the pros and cons of these two types of freights are crucial to making the right decision. Apart from the costs, there are many other factors to consider when choosing the appropriate shipping method for your goods. Anytime, you decide to transport some items wherever in the world, here are the advantages and disadvantages of both ways of shipment: Sea freight vs Air freight.

Delivery Time

“Time is money,” said Benjamin Franklin. It is one of the most valuable resources for any businesses. If you need to deliver your goods in a timely manner then, air freight is the best option. Because it is much faster than ocean freight which can take months to reach the destination. Whereas via air cargo, items can be delivered within days. So in term of delivery time air freight has a bigger advantage over sea shipment.

Nature of commodities

Ocean freight is ideal for heavy items such as vehicles, heavy equipment machinery and so on. Most shipping vessels are designed for carrying heavy products. So if your commodity weight is important, the more convenient way to move it, is by sea.  Additionally, with sea freight, you can ship a wide range of goods while air shipping has some restrictions. For instance, they do not allow things like fuel, tobacco, hazardous items etc.  Air freight is usually for smaller shipment such as clothes, shoes, and other non-dangerous items.

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Safety and security

Safety matters a lot when it comes to freight forwarding services. So far, the safest way to international shipping is air cargo. It provides less risk of damages and losses of goods. On the other hand, ocean freights are always subject to delays, due to bad weather and also are constantly under threat of pirates. So, one of the pros of air freight is that it provides better safety.

Pricing: Sea Freight vs Air Freight

As a result of its fast delivery and safer process, air cargo is more expensive than sea freight. However, many individuals and businesses that have a limited budget and do not have a deadline constraint, opt for sea freight. Because it is more cost-friendly. And the budget is one of the main advantages when it comes to sea freight.

Weight and Space

The capacity of the cargo is a huge factor to consider in international shipping. The space in air cargo is considerably much smaller than in sea consignment. Therefore the quantity and weight allowed in air freight are significantly lesser than a sea cargo ship. That is why it is not possible to deliver commodities in large number via air freight even though it is a much faster and safer way to deliver goods. While cargo ships can convey huge amounts of goods. It is an ideal way for many companies and individuals.

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Environmental impact

Ocean freight results in a lesser carbon emission than any other mode of transport. Statistics showed that 1 ton of freight by airplane per kilometer of transportation will release around 500 grams of carbon dioxide. In comparison, only 10 to 40 grams of carbon dioxide will be emitted for the same cargo via maritime shipping. This is quite a big difference.   So air shipping has more impact on the environment than sea freight.

To conclude, both sea freight vs air freight have their pros and cons. So in terms of timely delivery, safety, and reliability airplane cargo is more advantageous than sea cargo. On the other hand, if you need to ship a large number of different commodities on a friendly budget then sea freight is the best mode of transport.

Written by Famio Services Team