Sea freight is often the most economical way to transport goods and can be used for both short and long-distance shipments. In fact, 90% of the world trade is carried by the sea. There are many different services available, which vary in terms of price and speed.
What is Sea Freight?
Sea freight is the transportation of goods by a cargo vessel. It is often the most economical way to transport cargo and can be used for both short and long-distance shipments.
The most common type of sea freight is container shipping, which is used to transport millions of containers around the world every year. Container ships are able to carry a wide variety of cargo.
Containerization is a system of intermodal freight transport using intermodal containers (also called “shipping containers” and “ISO containers”). They have standardized dimensions, which allows them to be easily transferred between different modes of transportation, such as container ships, chassis trucks, and container trains.
Main types of containers
What products are transported by sea?
Almost any type of product can be transported by sea, including:
- Consumer goods – Clothes, electronics, furniture, toys, and more.
- Manufactured products – Car parts, machinery, and other industrial goods.
- Raw materials – Coal, oil, ore, and other natural resources.
- Agricultural products – Fruit, vegetables, meat, and other food products.
In reality, the sea freight isn’t in any way limited by the type of cargo you’re transporting, and the general rule is that anything can be transported through sea.
Why use sea transport?
Sea freight is often the most cost-effective way to ship large volumes of cargo and can be used for both short and long-distance journeys. Additionally, sea freight offers several other advantages, including:
- Increased capacity – Sea freight is capable of transporting large volumes of cargo, making it ideal for businesses that need to ship large quantities of goods.
- Environmentally friendly – It is the most environmentally friendly way per unit of cargo, as it produces significantly fewer emissions than other methods of transport.
- Dangerous goods are allowed – Sea freight is under specific packing conditions suitable for shipping hazardous or dangerous goods.
What are the disadvantages of sea freight?
Of course, Sea Freight has also its disadvantages. The main disadvantages of sea freight are:
- Slow transport – Sea freight is often the slowest method of transport, which can make it inconvenient for businesses that need to ship goods on a tight schedule.
- Small cargo can be expensive – Sea freight can be expensive for small shipments.
How to calculate sea freight costs for consolidated (LCL) shipments?
When shipping goods by sea, the cost is typically calculated based on the volume of the cargo, known as WM (weight measurement).
To calculate the cost of shipping your goods by sea, you will need to know the following information:
- The dimensions of your cargo in meters. (Volume = CBM)
- The weight of your cargo in kilograms. (Weight = kg)
For the calculation of final price, we’ll use either volume or weight, depending on which value is higher. Here we take into consideration that 1 CBM equals 1 000 kg.
For example, if your shipment has 1 CBM and weight 1 200 kg the price will be based on the weight.
The calculated price is only informative and real price will be calculated by one of our professionals based on the actual details of the cargo when received into consolidation warehouse.
How does sea freight process work?
At first you have to select the right mode of transport. This is determined of the type of cargo you’re wishing to transports. Different types of sea cargo can be divided to container cargo, RoRo cargo, break bulk and general cargo. When you’re shipping a container cargo, there are few things to keep in mind.
1. Picking the right container
The first step in shipping goods by sea is to select the right container for your cargo. There are a number of different types of containers, including “dry” containers (“reefers” and “high cubes”) and “special purpose” containers (“open tops” and “flat racks”).
NOTE: The type of container you choose will depend on the type of goods you are going to ship.
2. Loading the container
Once you have selected the right container for your cargo, the next step is to load the container. This can be done using a crane, forklift, or other type of machinery. It is important to pack the container tightly to avoid damage during transport.
3. Shipping the container
The final step in shipping goods by sea is to transport the container to its destination. This can be done by boat, train, or truck, depending on the distance and your preferred method of transport.
How long does sea freight take?
The transit time for sea freight can vary depending on a number of factors, including the distance of the journey, the type of container you are using, and the shipping schedule. In general, however, sea freight is the slowest method of transport and can take anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks.
How to track sea freight?
It is important to track your sea freight shipment throughout the transport process in order to ensure that it arrives safely and on time. At 2hm logistics we offer a tracking service that allows you to track your shipment online.
What are different type of cargo ships?
Cargo ships are used to transport freight, often on long-distance journeys. There are many different types of these ships, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Some of the most common types include:
Feeder ship — Feeder ships are small cargo ships that connect larger with ports that are not accessible by sea. They usually carry a small amount of cargo, and they are not able to travel long distances.
Mother vessel — A mother vessel is a large cargo ship that connect only major ports. They carry a large amount of cargo, and they are able to travel long distances. They are usually used for shipping containers.
General cargo vessels — General cargo vessels are large cargo ships that transport a variety of goods, including food, clothing, and machinery. They are used for both short- and long-distance journeys, and they can travel to a variety of different ports.
Roll-on/roll-off vessels — Roll-on/roll-off vessels are cargo ships that transport vehicles, such as cars and trucks. They have a ramp that allows the vehicles to be driven on and off the ship, and they are used for both short- and long-distance journeys. We also know RoLo vessels that are a combination of RoRo and LoLo (Lift-on/Lift-off). These vessels use a combination of ramps and cranes to load and unload the cargo.
Container ships — Container ships are among the largest and the most commonly used type of cargo ship, and they transport containers full of goods. They can travel to a variety of different ports, and they are used for both short and long-distance journeys.
Reefer ships — Reefer ships are cargo ships that transport refrigerated cargo usually consisting of food and other perishables. They are used for both short and long-distance journeys, and they can travel to a variety of different ports.
Dry Bulk carriers — Dry Bulk carriers are cargo ships that transport dry goods, such as coal, grain, and ore. They are used for both short and long-distance journeys, and they can travel to a variety of different ports.
Oil tankers — Oil tankers are cargo ships that transport crude oil and other petroleum products. They are used for both short and long-distance journeys, and they can travel to a variety of different ports. These are actually the largest vessels you can find.
What is a sea freight forwarder?
Sea freight forwarders are companies that offer shipping services for goods that are transported by sea. They can arrange for the transport of your goods to and from any destination in the world, and they can provide you with a variety of different shipping options.
Sea freight forwarders can save you time and money, and they can make the shipping process much easier for you.
What’s the difference between LCL vs FCL?
LCL (Less than Container Load) shipments are consolidated shipments, where your goods are packed into a container with the goods of other shippers. FCL (Full Container Load) shipments are dedicated shipments, where you have the entire container to yourself.
Yes, sea shipping is generally safe. However, there are always risks involved in any type of shipping, and it is important to insure your shipment in case of unexpected circumstances.
Incoterms (International Commercial Terms) are a set of rules that govern the transport of goods by sea. They specify who is responsible for what, and they outline the roles and responsibilities and risks of both the buyer and the seller.
Shipping by sea is generally cheaper than shipping by air.