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What Are Sea Freight Services?



Sea freight is the term used for shipping goods by boat. It is a method of transportation often used for large consignments or when time is not critical. International container shipping companies provide many sea freight services, and there are two main types of service, liner shipping, and tramp shipping. 

Liner services operate on set schedules with ports of the call published in advance, while tramp ships are available for charter and can sail to any number of destinations. Understanding what ocean freight shipping is and how it works is key.  About 90 percent of everything we buy comes through ocean transport.

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What is Sea Freight?

Ocean freight is a method of transporting large quantities of products via cargo ships; the goods are bundled into containers, and the containers are loaded onto a ship, from where they will sail to their destination country. 

Since a typical cargo ship can carry 18,000 containers (TEUs), ocean freight is a cost-effective way to transport large quantities of product.

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A typical cargo ship can carry 18,000 of these containers. Since there is so much space available on board a seagoing cargo ship, the price of space is less expensive than in other modes of transport, such as aircraft.

How Long Does Sea Freight Take?

There are multiple factors to account for when explaining the time it takes for ocean freight.

The time spent on the water and the time it takes for door-to-door shipments are different; due to the ocean freight process, there are many steps the cargo has to go through before it reaches the ship and once it leaves the ship.

The location of the merchandise also influences the time it takes for sea freight. For example, if you are importing from Japan to the United States, the time at sea maybe 30 days, but you will have to add two weeks to those 30 days for customs in both countries.

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There can be delays in shipping that can add time to your shipment. Major delays usually occur when importers need to have all the necessary documentation or their goods are held up at customs.

Who uses Sea Freight?

People importing from mainland China or any other part of the world usually use sea freight. Sea freight is usually the cheapest shipping method for people who buy their stock overseas. Ocean freight may be the best cost-effective option for you if you are importing many goods.

Advantages Of Sea Freight

  • Profitability: Ocean freight is undoubtedly the most cost-effective option for companies wishing to transport large quantities of merchandise compared to other transportation modes. Ocean freight is four to six times less expensive than air freight, as ocean freight taxes and VAT are cheaper than air freight.

  • Ideal for bulky shipments: Heavy or bulky cargo, such as large trucks, machines, industrial parts, construction materials, etc., can be easily handled and shipped by ocean freight, which is different from air freight. Airplanes do not allow the transport of heavy and bulky cargo, whereas ships can transport all kinds of heavy items.

  • Eco-friendly: Ocean shipping has a very low carbon footprint, as it consumes less fuel than other modes of transport, making it much more environmentally friendly than other transportation methods.

Disadvantages Of Sea Freight

  • Time Consumption: Ocean freight is a lengthy mode of transportation, as it requires much more time than other transportation alternatives. There are better modes of transport for smaller and more expensive items than ocean freight, as it can take days, weeks, or even months to deliver.

  • Increased chance of damage: Given that it takes a long time from shipment to arrival, the risks associated with ocean freight are also increased. There can be significant time delays, and bad weather can cause cargo damage or loss.

How Much Does Sea Freight Cost?

The cost of ocean freight depends completely on the terms and conditions you have with the buyer or seller. There are many types of terms with the seller. The shipping cost increases depending on the liability assumed by the seller. If the cargo is delivered at the door of your property, the cost will be higher. You will also have to pay for the freight if the freight is insured. The total cost is determined before the goods are shipped; most reputable carriers can help you with that. Agemarin is one of them.

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Other variables that affect the cost are the price of fuel, frequently volatile exchange rates, seasonal demand, and shipping container capacity.

In short, sea freight is a method of shipping goods by boat that is often used for large consignments or when time is not critical. Understanding what sea freight services are available and how they work is key to correctly utilizing this transportation method. 

Continue following Agemarin for more news and information about ocean transport options.