After receiving the consignment order, an exporter faces a dilemma to choose between ocean freight and air freight. Different suggestions are offered to an exporter as per different perspectives. However, it is important to know the reliable facts and then make a final choice. Traditional shipping industry completely revolves around ocean freights and it was the only means of international trade until air freights came into the picture. With technological developments, air freights have also become a part of the shipping industry. In ocean freight, FCL and LCL containers are used for shipping a cargo where one has an option to choose between the two as per his preference. FCL freights are a much safer and reliable option in this case as you can have an entire container for yourself according to your needs.
Air freights and ocean freights both equally contribute to the growth and development of the global shipping industry.
Air Freights primarily use ULD (Unit Load Device) pallets or containers for shipping. There are various types of ULD containers available for different types of goods that are being transported. The contribution of air freights in the shipping industry has been increasing over time.
Ocean freights and air freights both are extremely useful and beneficial. However, when it comes to comparison between the two, more often than not, ocean freights are more preferred than air freights.
5 compelling reasons that explain how ocean freights are better than air freights:
- Cost-Effective: There is no doubt that ocean freights are pocket-friendly. Just like flight tickets are more expensive than train tickets, ocean freight rates are lower than that of air freights. The charge of shipping your cargo by air freights can cost three times more than the cost of ocean freights. This is because air freight rates vary drastically depending upon the weight of cargo whereas ocean freights provide full container load freight option which is very much economical. Every business runs on a very basic principle of profit maximisation and air freights can decrease your net profit substantially. This is the reason that 90% of the shipping in the industry is done using ocean freights.
- No major restriction on the type of goods: Air freights come with a long list of restrictions on not only the nature of the goods that can be shipped but also on the weight of the goods. Depending upon the airlines and laws of a country, there is a maximum weight restriction on a cargo. The list of prohibited goods includes flammable materials, corrosive items, magnetic substances, oxidizers, gases, etc. Ocean freights do not have restrictions like this. FCL freight is the best option for shipping these types of goods. It is much safer and secure than LCL freight.
- Impact on environment: Environment protection campaigns are spreading awareness about the importance and necessity to build a focus around it. We all have an equal responsibility to look after it and so does the shipping industry. Air freights & Ocean freights highly contribute to the emission of CO2 gases. The environmental reports reveal that ocean freights have a very much better carbon footprint as compared to air freights. It might be safer to choose ocean freights to fulfil our responsibility and do your part in saving our mother nature to some extent.
- Best for heavy loads: The airlines industry and the law of a country regulate and restrict the maximum weight that can be transported using air freights. The air freights not only restrict extremely heavy load goods but there is also a restriction on the maximum weight capacity. Ocean freights are the best option in this case. In fact, only ocean freights are used for transporting heavy loads. FCL container freights are mostly preferable in this case. Ocean freights provide a customer-friendly service in transporting heavy loads too.
- Weather Resistant: Bad weather affects airlines services much more than marine services. Heavy rain can cause a delay or cancellation of air freight services for a day but this is not the case with ocean freights. A vessel resists extreme heat and heavy rain both during its journey in the ocean. Ocean freights are more weather resistant than air freights which is a reason enough to make it better than the latter.
The global shipping industry is running successfully because of the excellent services of ocean freights and air freights both. Air freights do provide faster and reliable transportation services, but its window is much limited. Ocean freights occupy most of the industry because historically, it had served as an excellent mode of transportation in the international import/export industry. It takes a good share of credit when it comes to the growth and development of the international trade market. The FCL freight facility has also enhanced the performance and service of the ocean freight. It is notable that despite the rampant growth of air freight services, ocean freight is still the most sought after choice in the shipping industry.