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International shipping involves covering great distances, making it one of the most costly shipping options. On the other hand, freight shipping deals with heavy cargo, which is also expensive. Combine the two, and you’ll end up with international freight - the priciest of all shipping services. However, there is an affordable way to send heavy cargo overseas, and it’s called container freight. While it’s not the fastest way, it can allow you to cut shipping costs immensely. Let’s see how you can achieve that.
Container freight is a form of maritime shipping. The sender’s cargo is packed inside a shipping container and loaded onto a cargo ship. As the name implies, international container shipping is the overseas version of this type of freight delivery.
Regarding overseas freight, container shipping is one of the most popular options. That’s because it’s much more affordable than air freight, which is the only other option.
The main factor influencing prices is that sea freight shipping uses cargo ships to transport goods. A boat uses much less fuel than a plane, which translates into lower shipping costs. In addition, a cargo ship can carry an immense load. Cargo planes can take heavy shipments, but nowhere near as heavy as a freighter. Coincidentally, max weight limits for air freight are much lower than their sea freight counterparts.
Container shipping has another trick up its sleeve regarding postage rates. Like trucking freight, you can pay for full container load freight shipping if you have a lot of cargo to ship. However, if your shipment isn’t enough to fill that container up, you can get less than container load freight shipping. In that case, the provider will combine your items with those of another customer, resulting in lower postage rates for both sides.
If you’re wondering about LCL vs. FCL shipping, they’re both great for their respective purposes. It’s only a matter of how much cargo you need to ship.
We’ve established that maritime freight is the cheapest way to transport a container internationally, but how cheap is it? Ocean freight is much cheaper than air freight as its only true rival. Notably, the price gap only gets broader as the size and weight of your cargo increases. Therefore, sea freight can help you save significant amounts if you’re shipping hefty cargo.
Use a container shipping calculator to find out the exact price for your cargo and its intended journey. You’ll get a precise price estimate by entering the dimensions and appropriate locations. A good calculator will also estimate the transport time, so you can know when your cargo will arrive.
Unfortunately, it does. The shipping times of overseas container freight are much slower than those of international air freight. The journeys that take mere days by plane last weeks by sea. However, in most cases, the speed of air freight is overshadowed by its cost. Sea freight, on the other hand, usually manages to offset its slow transport times by being very affordable in comparison.
Another slight drawback is that sea freight is dependent on ports. Therefore, things can get tricky if your destination country doesn’t have access to an industrial port. However, it’s not an unsolvable problem.
International shipping is costly, and heavy freight shipments increase the price. That’s why maritime container freight should always be your first choice when looking to transport heavy cargo overseas.
While it’s not the quickest way to get your cargo to its destination, the affordable price makes for a very attractive proposition. Air freight is speedy, but its prices are always sky high. We would consider using it in highly urgent situations, but sea freight is the way to go for everything else. Regardless, make sure to do your research before deciding on a shipping method, so you can be satisfied with the result.