Ocean freight can be considered one of the most significant means of transport in the world. Globally, ocean freights are responsible for nearly 90% of global trade. Therefore, one can guess the importance of ocean freight in the shipping industry. Moreover, with the technological advancements, ocean freight has become a go-to option for the ones who want to ensure safe and economical shipping of goods.
However, before opting for ocean freight, you should know what ocean freight is, what is the process for transportation of goods by using ocean freight and whether it is economic & safe or not.
What is ocean freight?
Ocean freight is the transportation of large quantities of goods via cargo ships. All the products which are to be transported are packed in vessels first. Then, they are dispatched to their destination. Usually, a cargo vessel can carry near about 17,000-18,000 containers. Ocean freight is a cost-efficient way to transport high quantities of goods. It is the cheapest means of shipping goods.
Many countries import goods using ocean freight. For people who buy their stocks overseas, ocean freight shipping is the easiest way. If you are importing a massive bulk of goods, then sea freight is the cheapest option.
Ocean freight shipping time depends on numerous factors including route, distance and season. Roughly, sea shipping takes 20-40 days. There are different forms of sea freight which includes:
- FCL (Full Container Load): In FCL, a single shipment is loaded into a container. The containers are of about 25-40 feet in length.
- LCL (Less Container Load): In LCL, several shipments are loaded into the same container, and then they split at their destinations.
- Roll-on roll-off (RORO): In roll-on roll-off system, lorries and some other vehicles drive onto the ship with their containers, then they drive off their destinations.
- Dry Mass Shipping: Dry mass shipping is used for importing raw materials such as metals and other aggregates. They can be poured or dropped into the hold of the ship, instead of being loaded into containers.
Advantages of ocean freight
Sea freight has several advantages. Some of them are:
- Ocean freight is 4-5 times cheaper than air freight.
- You can ship any goods such as furniture or even vehicles through sea freight.
- Different shipment options are given, taking a whole container or sharing your goods with several different loads.
- Ocean freight is environmentally more sound than other options.
- Duty and taxes imposed on sea freight can also be less expensive as compared to other freight charges.
General steps to apply for ocean freight shipment:
- First, choose a shipment company and get a quote. You can get the quote by talking directly to the shipping agent or you can check for the same online as well, as there are a lot of vendors who have started providing this service online.
- You have to enter some information such as the origin and destination of the shipment, weight and number of items to be shipped and type of product to be shipped.
- The company will collect the goods from your supplier.
- Your shipment will be moved to the port and will be passed through the customs.
- Goods will be loaded in a container separately or will be shared with other goods. Then, they are placed into the cargo ship for the journey.
- Once the shipment arrives, it will be passed through the customs again, which is usually arranged by the agents.
- Your shipment will be released once the duty and taxes are paid.
- The goods will be delivered to you (the whole container if it is FCL, or the pallets if it is LCL).
Using ocean freight is regarded as cost-efficient and more environmentally safe than any other options available in the shipping industry. Therefore, if anyone wants to ship goods in an economical and safe way, then ocean freight is the best option to choose.