International Shipping – Air Freight vs. Ocean Freight

Depending on the origin and destination of your shipment, there are a few methods of transporting your goods. If your needs are domestic, air freight and ground transportation are typically the way to go, depending on the distance between departing location and destination. Conversely, when in need of an international shipment, ocean freight also becomes an available option for delivering your items. For those who are relatively unfamiliar with the intricacies of international shipping, it can be somewhat difficult to decide which option makes more sense for your project. Fortunately, there are a few deciding factors that can point you in the right direction.


Arguably the biggest difference between air and ocean freight is the time it takes for goods to arrive. In all most every scenario, air freight is a faster solution than ocean freight. Even though flights can often get delayed, shipments that arrive via air freight almost always arrive sooner than ocean freight. The average duration of an air freight project can range from a day or two to around 10 days time. Ocean freight can take anywhere for a few days to, 50, 60 or even 70 days of travel.


Another substantial factor in deciding whether to go with air freight or ocean freight is the cost of the project. One might assume that because ocean freight is typically slower than air freight, it is cheaper. However, this is not always the case. The weight and physical size of the goods being shipped have a large impact on the total cost of the shipment. Additional factors that come into play are any custom or destination fees.


In today’s age, air freight and ocean freight are typically both suitable options with regards to reliability. Having said that, air freight is considered more reliable than ocean freight for a few simple reasons. One reason is that the weather during a shipment usually has a larger impact on ocean shipments than air freight shipments. Additionally, air freight schedules are typically daily, meaning there are more flights on a daily basis. Conversely, ocean freight shipments typically run a weekly schedule, meaning that if there is a delay, you may need to wait longer for the next available freighter.

Of course, these are just three of the many factors to consider when deciding whether to choose air freight or ocean freight for your international shipment. For more information on the benefits of air freight and ocean freight, please contact us today.

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