Many businesses require merchandise to sell or resources to manufacture goods however, these resources are not always readily available in the desired local and sometimes shipping becomes necessary. Whilst shipping cross county can most often be achieved by hiring a truck, what happens when you need to transport your product to another country entirely?
Well, this is where ocean shipping comes in. Whilst many of us assume that all of our products come to us via an airplane, this is not strictly true, and for the budget savvy business owner, it is well worth considering embarking on a ship to deliver your freight.
The term freight covers several things in terms of normal shipping. Whilst trucks measure their cargo in terms of pallets and trailers, in ocean shipping freight is logistically referred to in container size, refrigerated containers and/or roll on and off vehicles, such as in the transportation of cars.
There are many benefits in deciding to use an ocean shipper as it allows for larger loads then air travel, can reach almost anywhere in the world, even where there isn’t an airport, and can hold a vaster variety of cargo. It’s also the most ecological transportation method out of all the large cargo shipping options.
However, as with all things, there are disadvantages to ocean shipping. These include slower arrival in comparison to air transport and ships are much more likely to be held up due to inclement weather, resulting in delays.
As previously mentioned, ocean shipping logistics runs on containers. These mainly come in two sizes, those being a 20′ and 40′ container. This is so it is easier to store and stack the containers on the ocean liner. As an estimation, a 40′ container will hold 21-25 pallets of stock.
As with most modes of shipping, it is not always necessary for you to purchase a full container for your goods, though it is recommended if you have fragile or high-value items. Otherwise, you can bring your costs down by sharing a container. If you have LCL (less then a container load) and it is sharing space with another clients freight, on arrival in port it will have to go through the Container Freight Station for deconsolidating. This can add further time to your product arriving at its destination, and so is worth bearing in mind.
Whilst all method of transporting good requires at least some insurance to protect your commodities, with ocean shipping the investment is much more worthwhile. Due to the nature of the sea and its unpredictability, some or all of your freight could potentially be subject to what is known as a general average scenario. This is when, in particularly bad conditions, it becomes necessary to lose some of the cargo to re-balance the ship so it can continue its voyage safely. Unfortunately it is one of the sad realities one must come to terms with if using ocean shipping but thankfully is highly unlikely to happen in today’s day and age.