Neal Elbaum shares Why Cargo Shipping Is Better than Air Freight

Neal Elbaum
Neal Elbaum

Neal Elbaum says the longer the distance, the more likely it is that you will need to use an air freight service. If your packages travel thousands of miles and a two-day delivery time is what the customer expects, ground shipping just won’t cut it. Transportation costs on the ground are cheaper than in the air, so it makes sense to prefer a truck to an aircraft at a shorter distance.

The shorter the distance between the start and endpoint of your package, the more likely it is that the truck will travel this distance before the delivery date.

While maritime shipping seems to be the obvious answer for handling large volumes, it is by no means cheaper than others, especially when one considers that air freight has a time advantage over both air and sea freight. Airfreight is more expensive (12-16 times more expensive than ocean freight, according to the World Bank), and aircraft have limited capacity compared to cargo ships. Although it is worthwhile to send small shipments by air or sea, the price difference between the two modes of transport is smaller for light freight than for heavy loads.

Compared to the two, air freight tends to be the more reliable option for international shipping. Transport costs are the same for both modes of transport, with the exception of customs clearance and destination charges.

The choice between air or sea depends on your shipment size, weight, and the content you need for your goods. Under normal conditions, air travel is very useful for smaller shipments. Shipping costs more (for example, an 85 kg shipment costs 400 LCL compared to $600 by air), but your goods will arrive within days or weeks.

If your goods are perishable, such as delicate flowers or medicines, air freight is the best option. Air is the right choice for goods such as retail, the rapid turnover of important electronics through air freight, and increased security. High-quality goods are also good for air freight, as they fear damage, theft, time, good value for money, etc.

The term “air freight” is interchangeable and denotes the same concept in shipping. It relates to the fees airlines pay for the operation and transport of cargo. The difference you encounter when you use these terms and conditions is the type of company you are dealing with for shipping.

Airfreight is the fastest and fastest means of transport to get to any point. Fewer transshipments are needed as air shipments arrive at their destination via ocean shipments, and the large network of offers and alliances for air freight helps shippers export and import their freight from all over the world. Forwarding agents offer you a selection of forwarding agents and ship classes.

Depending on which option you choose and how much you ship, ocean freight is the preferred shipping method. Ocean freight offers longer transit times than air freight, but it is also a safer means of transporting your goods at a reasonable cost, which in turn makes it the preferred shipping method for many customers. By choosing ocean freight, you save money and make it more practical to stay within your relocation budget.

According to Neal Elbaum, The speed of maritime shipping pales in comparison to the convenience of air freight overnight, but with technological advances, the time gap is shrinking. Ocean freight prices are less volatile than air freight, and new accelerated sea freight services offer faster transit times. In times without a pandemic, sea freight can be cheaper, especially for larger shipments.

Use our free freight rates calculator to calculate the cost difference between air freight and sea freight. If air freight is used, shipping costs are usually less than 15-20% of the value of goods.

When it comes to speed, air freight is undoubtedly the fastest way to transport your products over long distances. For urgent shipments, choose air freight as sea freight offsets the higher costs, but shipments by sea can take weeks, while shipments by air can take days. You will find that the cost of shipping by sea is much cheaper than by air, but storage charges in seaports can be more expensive than in warehouses or airports.

Neal Elbaum says, if you have to go somewhere fast, it is possible that air freight could be a quicker transport option than sea freight. However, speed comes at a price and air freight rates can be higher.

Ocean freight is the best option if you need to ship on a small budget and you don’t care how long it takes to reach your destination. It tends to be more reliable than air freight and works best if you have a few days. AFP Global Logistics is able to handle shipments of all sizes, whether you need a full container load, less container cargo, or an oversized cargo for shipping.

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The short answer is that, when it comes to air freight versus sea freight, everything depends on the urgent need for freight. If the freight is tomorrow, air freight is the way to go. The truth is that the vast majority of my air freight shipments are carried out by air couriers, the usual suspects such as UPS and DHL.

There are times when we need the equivalent of a small room full of products being delivered to us from China for a few weeks for an upcoming trade fair.

Here are some questions that shippers and freight forwarders should consider when choosing air or sea freight transport. In the following table, we explain how the above-mentioned aspects differ for sea and air freight.

Neal Elbaum says with much progress in air freight transport, it has become the preferred means of transport for retail goods that need to reach a destination, as it reduces the distance between two points. Another factor for air freight over sea freight is distance, with air freight being preferred for direct transport from city to city and direct routes between countries.


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