Irrespective of the type of item you wish to ship abroad, you definitely want it to arrive to its destination as soon as possible. However, would you mind paying more money to save time? The fact is that certain parcel shipping methods are more affordable than others. And in some instances, this can mean a lot, especially for long-distance shipping. Unfortunately, cheap parcel delivery methods are often not as quick as those more expensive ones.
Every shipping method has its benefits and drawbacks. Deciding which one to use depends on the type of cargo you need to transport, your time, and your budget. With many factors coming into play, it’s not possible to say which one of them is the best among all. You’ll have to decide it yourself. We’ll help you make this decision by giving you information about each of these shipping methods. So let us go through each one of them in more detail.
In international shipping, air freight is the fastest way to deliver parcels and goods. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering that a plane can fly much faster than a ship can sail. Plus, it can arrive at any destination on the planet, something that trucks can’t do. While air freight is far less time consuming than truck freight or ship freight, it has a downside, and that’s cost.
In almost every case, air freight is costlier than any other shipping method. While it may not be a big deal if you’re going to send a small-sized item to a different part of the planet, if your business is international trade, the cost of air freight can take a toll on your company’s profits.
There’s another downside to air freight shipping, and that’s the limited amount of space inside the plane. Compared to a cargo ship, there’s less space inside an airplane. So, weight plays an important role and you may be prevented from transporting your entire cargo in one go.
PROS OF AIR FREIGHT TRANSPORT
It is always better to start with good news. For this reason, here are the advantages.
- Global Reach
- Faster delivery
- Tracking system
- Low risk
The biggest advantage of air freight transport is its global reach. You can send your belongings everywhere you want. Land transport and sea transport have their limit since trucks cannot drive on the water nor ships can sail on the land. However, airplanes can fly over everything. You can receive products all from China and they will arrive in a fairly short amount of time.
If you need to move your goods quickly, then air freight transport is your best choice. Depending on an air freight company, you can expect your package to arrive within the few days from the other part of the globe. For example, if you are moving your family to Maui, you are bound to forget some important things back home. The fastest solution is to have it shipped by using air freight transport. However, if you decide to ship your goods via sea transport, then you will have to wait at least 4 weeks.
TRACK YOUR SHIPMENT
If you want to see where your items are every moment, then choose air freight transport. You will receive your tracking number once you pay for the shipping. With that number, you can check the status of your package and its location. It comes in handy if your shipment is running late since you can see where the problem has occurred. It is always good to hire professional packing and unpacking services for your items in order to deliver them in one piece.
RELIABILITY OF AIR FREIGHT TRANSPORT
Transporting your items via air freight companies is more reliable than any other mode of transport currently available. According to statistics, there has been less than 15 percent of the late arrival. In addition to this, only 2 percent of flights have been canceled. Therefore, when you take all of this into account, there is a high chance you will get your package on time. This a huge advantage when you compare it with sea transport. The shipping date varies since it is hard to know the exact loading and unloading time in ports.
LOW RISK OF YOUR GOODS BEING SPOILED OR STOLEN
Shipping perishable food can be tricky since they can spoil get spoiled quite easy. For this reason, you should opt for air freight transport. Because of the fast delivery, this would be the best choice for you. Your food does not have to spend too much time in the storage units since the delivery time is short. In addition to this, your items will be safer if you ship them by plane. The reason is airport security. Although there are cases where your goods might get lost between the flights, it is still better than other methods of transport. Because of all these aspects, insurance cost is usually 10 to 30 percent cheaper.
CONS OF AIR FREIGHT TRANSPORT
As you could see, there are many advantages to air freight transport. However, not everything is so amazing since there are some disadvantages to this mode of transport.
- Weather dependent
- Size and weight limitations
COST OF TRANSPORT
Since air freight transport is fast, it is also expensive. If you want to have your items within a few days, you will have to pay for it. Even if the distance is the same, air freight transport costs more than any other mode of transport. This is because land and sea freight companies calculate the volume while air freight companies use weight. The price depends on where you wish to ship your items. Domestic air freight is more expensive than the international one. You can always try to determine shipping costs on your own before the transport.
Remember those 2 percent of canceled flights due to weather conditions? Now, they can represent a problem. Although every mode of transport is subjected to the weather condition, it is still a disadvantage. A couple of days of delay should not be catastrophic, but in some cases, they are not welcomed. This especially applies if the date of delivery is of great importance. Luckily, this does not happen too often.
SIZE AND WEIGHT LIMITATION
Last disadvantage of air freight transport is related to size and weight limitation. As you know, planes are not as big as ship nor they can carry as much weight. Because of this, some items cannot be shipped via air. For example, the world’s biggest airplane can lift 250 tons while the huge ship can carry more than 190,000 tons. For this reason, you should look for different options for shipping heavy items.
Planes have weight limitation while ships do not
AIR FREIGHT TRANSPORT
As with any mode of transport, air freight transport has its own pros and cons. If you need to ship or to receive something quickly, then this would be the perfect solution for you. In addition to this, perishable food and valuable items should be transported via air since it is the safest choice. However, all these advantages are not cheap, which means you will have to pay more for them. Some flights may get delayed or canceled since you cannot control weather conditions. In the end, it is your decision on how you will ship your items.
Bulk shipping and sea freight go hand in hand. Why? Because sea freight is relatively cheap. In fact, sea freight is as much as five times cheaper than the typical air freight. Unfortunately, it’s a lot slower, too. So, if you’re low on supplies from some remote part of the world, for example, China, you’ll have to wait from weeks to months for your shipment to arrive.
Sea freight also can’t reach every part of the world. For example, it’s impossible to ship items from one of the big industrial centers in mainland China via sea – a few of the cities are at a distance of over thousands of miles from the nearest harbor. Sea freight is much more eco-friendly compared to air shipping. In sea freight, 15g of carbon dioxide is emitted per ton of cargo on average. This is 40 times less than what air freight produces
Your packages won’t take as long if you opt for air freight. With an airplane, shipping goods from China to Europe usually doesn’t take more than a couple of days.
Pros of Sea Freight
- The cheapest method of long-distance shipping
- Very eco-friendly than air freight
Cons of Sea Freight
- Not available everywhere on the planet
International Courier Companies
Road transport of bulk cargo is one of the most-effective methods when it comes to shipping items. It’s much faster than sea freight and far cheaper than air freight shipping. You can hire couriers to free you of all concerns. All you need to do is hand over the packages to the courier.
Courier services are considered safer than other shipping methods, which is a great advantage. So, if you need to transport fragile items or your valuables, international couriers are the best ones to hire for the job.
Besides using courier services to send or receive small packages, you can use them for bulk shipping, as well. The majority of international courier companies have vehicle fleets with trucks and vans of different sizes. This means that they can deliver your cargo in one go.
With regards to vehicle fleets, certain courier companies use ships and airplanes too, not just land vehicles. And some partner with other freight companies that allow them to use various means of transport to get your package delivered affordably and swiftly.
Pros of Courier Service
- Cheaper than air freight
- Fastest shipping method for short-distance delivery (~1000 mi)
- Perfect for domestic shipping
- Secure, safe, and reliable
Cons of Courier Service
- Not a preferable method for cross-continent shipping
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