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Air Freight vs Sea Freight: Which is better for overseas shipping?

Getting a freight shipment from A to B can be a stressful experience, but we here at Barrington Freight are determined to make it as stress free as possible. With air and sea freight services, there’s more than one way to move your items. But which is better? We’ve gathered together some of the most important things to consider when it comes to shipping by air or sea.

Cost

The cost of shipping by air compared to by sea can be drastically different. It’s often found that air freight is more expensive than sea freight, with the costs of both being calculated completely differently for the two different services.

Airfreight is often calculated by looking at the weight and size of a container. Both are calculated together due to the fact that a practically empty container will still take up significant room compared to a just as heavy, but smaller item. Sea Freight, on the other hand, is a potentially much cheaper alternative. Shipping by sea often comes with a set price per container, with no extra costs for the weight. Costs might vary from company to company, but in general, the cost of shipping air can be significantly more expensive than shipping by sea.

Speed

In business, speed can be a vital need, to the point where cost doesn’t factor into the choice made in the end. If the consignment is an urgent one, it’s best to use air freight as opposed to sea freight simply due to its superior speed. Quite often, the speed will make up for the higher costs, especially businesses who may value their time over money. With airfreight taking only days, it’s the fastest option when considering shipping by freight.

Sea freight, however, is a lot slower and it can take weeks to ship something by sea. If you’re not in a rush, however, it can be worth looking into the savings you can make by choosing the slower shipping option, and whether or not paying extra for speed will be worthwhile to you.

Reliability

Reliability is another factor that can play a huge part in the choices made by businesses when considering shipping. While individual shipping companies will also play their part into what is and isn’t reliable, ultimately it comes down to the reliability of flying or sailing.

When it comes to having your shipment sent on time, shipping by air is probably the most reliable option. While weather conditions are a factor for flights, airline companies are far more cautious about making sure they keep to their timetables as well as possible. With flights every hour or so with most airlines, a missed flight for a shipment will only be delayed by a few hours at most. Shipping by sea, however, is a very different story.

With most shipments only going once or twice a week, a missed ship can delay a shipment by up to, or possibly even over a week. There’s a higher chance of delay too, and so time sensitive shipments may very well be better off being shipped by air.

For more information, feel free to get in touch!

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