Ocean freight shipping is the most cost-effective and efficient way to transport large volumes of goods over long distances. It is also a relatively safe and environmentally friendly mode of transportation.
Here are the top five advantages of ocean freight shipping.
Ocean freight shipping is an economical option for shippers who need to send cargo internationally. As one of the oldest options for freight transportation, it’s also one of the most available since oceans and waterways cover most of our planet. In fact, more than 90 percent of the goods transported in the world are carried by the international shipping industry. But with alternative options, such as air, road and rail transportation, why should a shipper consider ocean transport? Read on to learn the Top Five benefits.
What are the top five advantages of shipping by sea?
Hands down, the ocean shipping industry offers the most competitive freight costs to shippers, especially over long distances. By comparison, some estimates show that ocean freight shipping costs are generally four to six times less expensive than air. With statistics like this one, it is easy to argue that ocean transportation is the cheapest international shipping option.
No matter the size of your shipments, sea freight companies can usually accommodate your needs. Smaller shipments can be grouped together with other cargo to fill a container, allowing for cost-sharing of the transportation services. Larger cargo can fill one or more containers, offering shippers unmatched bulk options. In fact, vessels are the ideal way to move high volumes of cargo as they are designed to carry large amounts of goods or raw materials.
3. Oversized, heavy and bulky cargo capabilities
A major advantage of ocean freight shipping is shipping companies’ ability to handle oversized, heavy or bulky cargo – often referred to as breakbulk or Not in Trailer (NIT) loads. Such cargo could include large vehicles, equipment, construction materials and more. Oftentimes too heavy or large for air freight or even over-the-road transportation, very large cargo is not a problem on many shipping vessels.
Ships are designed to carry hazardous materials and dangerous cargo safely. The industry is well-versed in the handling of such goods and has regulations in place to ensure the safety of the vessel, crew, cargo and environment. Cargo loss caused by incidents during transportation is continually dropping as maritime safety increases, and has dropped significantly in the past decade. Containers are designed to be sealed and locked during transportation for extra security.
5. Better for the environment
When compared to ocean freight shipping, air and many other forms of transportation have much higher carbon footprints – a definite disadvantage for the environment. Ships, on the other hand, provide the most carbon-efficient mode of transportation and produce fewer grams of exhaust gas emissions for each ton of cargo transported than any other shipment method. Technology advances, new ships, and LNG-powered options are reducing ocean freight shipping emissions.
As a whole, the maritime industry is shifting to be more environmentally conscious by adopting new technologies and practices, such as:
- Using cleaner fuels like liquefied natural gas (LNG) and biodiesel
- Improving ship design to reduce drag and fuel consumption
- Investing in renewable energy sources like solar and wind power
- Developing new technologies to reduce emissions and pollution
What are disadvantages of shipping by sea?
Ocean freight shipping is a cost-effective way to transport large volumes of goods over long distances, but it has a longer transit time than air freight and is not as cost-effective for smaller shipments.
How much does it cost to ship by ocean?
Generally, ocean freight shipping is the most cost-effective way to transport large volumes of goods over long distances.
The cost of ocean shipping varies depending on a number of factors, including the following:
- The size and weight of the shipment
- The distance the shipment is being shipped
- The type of cargo being shipped
- The current market conditions
Interested in learning how you can ship your cargo with Crowley’s ocean shipping services?
Get in touch with our team of knowledgeable experts! Crowley offers a variety of ocean shipping services, including full container load (FCL), less than container load (LCL), breakbulk, and ro/ro shipping. Crowley also offers specialized services for shipping vehicles, refrigerated goods, and other special cargo. In addition to shipping cargo by sea, we help customers with all aspects of their supply chain, including inland trucking, customs clearance and warehousing and distribution.