If you run a business and start to sell your products to other countries or outsource the production, you probably want to find the best and easiest way to transport your goods. This article will therefore provide an overview of ocean freight: What is it? Why is it useful?
What is ocean freight?
The term ocean freight means transportation by the sea with the help of ships. Ocean freight happens all over the world. The biggest harbors are in China, but also the Netherlands and Germany have some bigger harbors. Ocean freight, especially big products or large amounts of them are transported since their weight is often too heavy for an airplane.
The goods are transported in containers. They have different sizes and types, but all of them can be stacked up. The containers make it possible to transport many heavy products without needing too much space. On top of that, the products are protected from environmental influences like heavy sun, rain, or snow. Also, they are secured in a closed-off room.
Why is it smart to use ocean freight?
Ocean freight is different to other means of transportation, cheap and secure. Even though transportation over sea takes longer than by plane, the costs are immensely less and the products can be heavier than 100kg. On top of that, ocean freight has fewer restrictions regarding dangerous materials than air freight and is therefore especially useful for businesses that are affected by those restrictions.
Ocean freight has also the benefit of being worldwide accessible, which is not the case in transportation via trucks for example. Even though that kind of transportation also has some benefits and trucks drive beyond country borders, there is always a limit of the reach of course.
To be fair, it of course has to be said that ocean freight could not exist as a useful transportation method without air and land freight, which makes it possible to transport products from the destinated harbor to specific places within the country. Those transportation however are good for short-distance logistics, while ocean freight is the best way to ship goods long distance throughout the world for an acceptable price.
FCL or LCL?
When you are convinced that you should use ocean freight, the next question already awaits you: What type of container do you choose? FCL logistics is a shortcut for “Full Container Load”, which means that the container is not going to be loaded with single items into a standardized container, but that it is a fully loaded container that has already been inspected and sealed by customs as a whole.
LCL however describes the other type of cargo and stands for “Less Container Load”, which means that single items are loaded into a standardized container and get inspected and sealed by customs as those. The FCL has, therefore, a big advantage: Less work for the customer service, easier and faster transportation, and secure home-to-home delivery, since the container will be transported as a whole.
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