Airfreight or Ocean Freight: Which One Do I Use?

Posted by J.Jordan

Do I Need Airfreight Or Ocean Freight?

When importing or exporting any type of cargo there are 2 main methods to move goods overseas. Airfreight or ocean freight. But which is the right one? It is important to take into consideration the following points when shipping your goods.

Cargo Dimensions

The dimensions of your shipment are an important factor when determining if you need to use airfreight or ocean freight. For airfreight, the rule of thumb is that the maximum cargo size is 3 x 2 x 1.5 metres. However different airlines allow different sizes so please ask your freight forwarder for more information.

For ocean freight, a 20′ standard container can hold around 28 cbm and a 40′ standard container can hold around 60 cbm. If your cargo is above the max 28 cbm for a 20′ container but far lower than the max 60 cbm for a 40′ container. You can use a ’20 container and part-load the remaining amount using an LCL container. For more information on air and ocean freight please click the appropriate links.

ocean freight shipping containersTime Frame of Shipment

The time frame you have to ship your goods is also a large factor in whether you use air or ocean freight. Shipping by sea is a slower process of transport and can take up to 6 weeks depending on where you are shipping from and to. If you have a small time frame then shipping by air may be your only option. Airfreight can be booked for as soon as the next available flight if booking express airfreight.

airfreight boxesBudget

With the rates for shipping always varying it can sometimes be hard to stick to a budget. It is always important to ensure you book your goods for transport as soon as possible to ensure you can use a cheaper method of transport such as ocean freight. If you leave the booking in of your goods too late then you may have no choice but to use express airfreight which is a higher premium cost.

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  • Selection of freight depends upon various factors like type of product, quantity, distance, cost, schedule etc. Thanks for sharing the information.

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