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Ocean freight is the method of transporting goods through ocean shipping companies. Transported goods are labeled as household goods, express parcels, or freight shipments. When you need to ship products overseas, be cognizant of the current shipping rates to identify which transport company has the best deal. This is an important concern that you should attend to in order to find the lowest cost levels available. You can even hire one or more cargo agents to monitor the existing shipping prices and find the right information online. Another option for you is to find sites on the Internet that offer free calculation of your freight shipping rates.
There are two ways to send items overseas: via an airplane or a ship. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, approximately eight million short tons of merchandise were shipped by ocean freight in 2007. By weight, the majority of merchandise sent overseas is transported by ocean vessels. Although your products may reach their destination faster if you send them by airplane, there are numerous benefits to shipping products by ocean freight.
Cheaper than other shipping methods
Sending items abroad by ocean freight is cheaper than air cargo. This can be attributed to the ocean freight’s slow shipping times. Because many businesses ship high volumes of merchandise around the world, they can negotiate for lower prices with their suppliers. Thus it is possible for them to pass the savings onto their clients.
Ship larger number of items
If you have a large amount of merchandise to ship, it is often better to send it by ocean freight. You may be required to break up the shipment if you try to send it via an airplane. Not only is this more expensive, it also increases the probability that something goes wrong and part of your shipment gets lost. Sending merchandise by ocean freight ensures your entire shipment will arrive at its destination.
Ship heavier, larger, or unbound items
It may be difficult to transport such items as automobiles and manufacturing equipment by air due to their weight or size. For these items, ocean freight is your best choice. Ocean freight is typically the only way to send unbound commodities, such as grains or oil.
Comply with import/export regulations
Ocean freight companies have a lot of experience with importing and exporting. They can assist your company in making sure the documents required by various government agencies are filled out correctly and filed with the right people.
Shipping your company's exports by ocean freight is a cheaper option than air transportation. It is often the only viable option if you need to transport large items internationally. However, shipping products by ocean freight comes with a number of potential pitfalls that can eliminate the benefits derived from using this cheaper transportation method. The primary concern is the time your goods will remain in transit. Shipping can take weeks. If your delivery is time sensitive, ocean freight might not meet your needs. Sea travel is also susceptible to delays resulting from weather conditions. You may need your delivery by a certain date, but an unexpected delay can shift your delivery date by a week or more.
Changing international regulations
International shipping is highly regulated by every country that sends or receives goods. These laws constantly change. Whenever an incident happens that involves, for example, imported consumer goods, the receiving country may adjust its laws to control the way goods are accepted through customs in the future. An example is the way the United States changed its laws concerning wood packaging in ocean freight in 2011. All raw wood used to ship or pack goods coming into the United States must now be fumigated or treated with heat to kill bugs and fungus. A change like this can exponentially increase your shipping costs without warning.
Responsibility for loss
Ocean shipping is the historical way to transport goods between noncontiguous nations. Many of the laws that govern this mode of transportation are archaic. Of particular concern to your business is the way insurance companies treat the responsibility for in-transit damage to your goods. The law makes a distinction between the transportation carrier and the owner or operator of the ship. You may have a contract with the carrier, but the law may say the ship owner is the only one responsible for losses that happen at sea. Likewise, many jurisdictions limit the liability of carriers to a set amount per package. Unless you have drafted the transportation documents to count your goods in the smallest possible increment, you may find that you cannot recover the full amount of the lost goods.
If you are looking for efficient and affordable shipping services for your business, you should consider using an ocean freight company. If your company relies on transporting large items internationally, using an ocean freight service is usually the most affordable option. In an article written for the Federation of International Trade Associations (FITA), William Corley asserts that long distance airfreight can cost up to 10 times more per kilogram than ocean freight.
The price of shipping by ocean freight is not just based on getting your cargo from one place to the next. The cost of handling and clearance at the ports is also factored into the price. This means your cargo’s destination will have a direct impact on the freight price you pay. It is always a good idea to negotiate for discounts with the freight company. Some companies offer discounts for loads over a certain weight, while others offer attractive discounts for repeat customers.
Ocean freight can provide your business with the option to send high volumes of merchandise abroad at relatively lower prices than air freight. If you need to transport heavy equipment, there is no better way than ocean freight. The main drawback to ocean freight is the long transit time. Occasional delays brought about by weather conditions are normal occurrences that can greatly affect your business operations. Another problem is that laws governing international shipping often change without warning, which usually results in higher shipping costs. In the event of product loss, you need to understand your carrier’s extent of liability and whether you can recover the full amount of your lost cargo.
If you own a business that ships freight overseas, then you might want to learn about the advantages that ocean freight services could offer you. You might find that these shipping services offer a more affordable, efficient option that the shipping methods that you currently use.
Ocean freight services can often move large amounts of products over long distances. You might find, for instance, that your shipment of vehicles or machinery weighs too much to ship by air. The price of such shipping methods could outweigh your potential profits. Shipping via the ocean, however, might help you save money when sending very heavy products to other countries. Many of the freight companies can also help your business adhere to international shipping regulations. By choosing a company that ensures your products will arrive safely and on time, you do not have to worry that you lack the right paperwork for your shipment.
Buziness.com can help you learn more about various shipping options that might meet your needs. The links at left have been chosen because they offer information about using freightliners to send products to international destinations. Explore these websites to help ensure that you choose the best method for your business.
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