Sea vs Air vs Land Freight – What is the Best Method of Transport for You?

When considering your shipping requirements, there are a number of transport options to choose from.

Take a look below at our brief guide to the three main types of freight;

This should help you make a more informed choice about which method will work best for your business. If you're still unsure, want to make a time and cost comparison or need to book your shipment, call our team and we'll be happy to assist.

Sea Freight

Sea freight is the transportation of goods across the ocean most often using shipping containers that are loaded onto container ships. Other specialist vessels can carry bulk goods, out of gauge equipment and products requiring specific facilities. All of these ships can carry huge volumes of cargo for a wide range of products all around the world.

There are several benefits to shipping your goods this way, including:

Although sea freight is one of the most cost effective and straightforward ways to ship your goods, you must take into consideration lead times for your orders, as this is often not the quickest way to get your goods from A to B and beyond.

With sea freight you need to make sure you plan your shipping well in advance to ensure your products to their destination in time. If you are running on a bit of a tight schedule, then it may be worth considering another method of transport.

Air Freight

Air freight uses both passenger and cargo aircraft to quickly transport shipments to all parts of the world. This is a far more time efficient method for those with tight deadlines to meet. Due to this, however, it also makes it a comparatively expensive transport method

The main benefits of air freight include:

On the possible downside, there are size restrictions on aircrafts as they can only fit a relatively limited weight and volume of shipments on board. If you're sending a large volume of goods or something awkwardly shaped, then air freight may not be the right option for you. There are also restrictions governing the carriage of certain products, particularly those classed as hazardous.

Land Freight

Land freight comprises two main modes of transport; road and rail.

Rail freight sees goods loaded onto trains, again most usually in containers, specifically used for transporting cargo and can transport goods long distances, even connecting continents if there are compatible rail infrastructures.

Road freight uses vehicles of all sizes, from courier bikes and vans to multi-wheel trailers to take goods from country to country or domestically on their final mile.

The key benefits of land freight include:

Land freight is one of the most cost effective and often quickest ways to send your goods, particularly over relatively short distances (when compared to air and sea freight routes). If you are looking to send goods worldwide and long distance then this is possibly not the best mode of transport. You also need to consider that even the largest vehicles have weight and volume restrictions and deliveries can easily be affected by traffic, weather and road conditions.

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