Instant access to items and services is something we have become used to over recent years. With that, it can be easy to forget the amount of work which goes into services such as ‘same day’ or ‘next day’ delivery. For both small and large businesses, logistics play a significant role.
International shipping has become a more generic term for transporting goods between countries. However, it used to more closely be associated with actual shipping, using large boats to transport sea freight between countries. While this still takes place today, it is often overlooked as air freight has become so popular for its speed, which itself has become a critical factor in shipping goods in today society. Sea freight does still play a key role for businesses of all sizes, and this article will detail some of the benefits it provides businesses.
Costs for businesses
Depending on what your business is looking to ship, sea freight can be a much better option as it can reduce costs. This is particularly true is you’re a smaller company but looking to move larger items. A good example of this is companies who produce furniture. Depending on the load and the shipping provider you use, it can be up to 4-6 times cheaper to use sea freight than transporting the items as air freight.
Furthermore, while you can’t avoid paying them, duty and VAT can also cost less with sea freight when compared with air freight. The reason for this is that these charges are calculated as a percentage cost of the goods along with the cost of the export.
Variety of options
Depending on what is needed, there are a variety of shipping options for sea freight. FCL (Full Container Load) allows businesses to fill a container, which can reach up to 45 feet long, with their products. For larger objects such as furniture, this can be really beneficial as businesses can fully control what is in their container. LCL (Less than Container Load) is the opposite of this, where a shipping container is split between multiple companies, which obviously allows the price to come down. There is also RORO (Roll On Roll Off) where lorries and other vehicles carrying goods drive onto a ship and then drive off when the ship reaches its destination.
Having a variety of options when it comes to how businesses can move items by sea freight allows businesses to use the service still even if they do not have the budget of bigger companies.
A businesses environmental impact should be something every business is concerned with, both this year and in the years to come. This not only relates to how they produce their goods, but how they then get them to their customers. When compared to transporting goods via air freight, using sea freight is usually a more environmentally friendly way of moving goods between countries.
With both air and sea freight, there are opportunities for smaller businesses to develop alongside the larger organisations directly involved in moving goods between countries. With sea freight, one of the best examples of this are businesses which provide services to those operating the ships. To protect boats and their cargo, marine coatings are of vital importance. Small companies can really develop by working alongside larger ones to provide coatings and other essential services. Clearly, the main issue with using sea freight is the time it can take when compared with moving goods with an aeroplane. The benefits highlighted above need to be weighed up against this fact, and for some companies, the benefits will outweigh the time it takes to move the goods. For others, it will not, but it’s important to consider sea freight when moving goods between countries as it could help your business.