As a small business owner, who starts to sell products to distant locations, one of the biggest question is: How do I transport it? This question is depending on the weights and the size of the products as well as the amount of them. Smaller charges within the country can easily be transported by trucks or trains, but as an expiring business, one might have the ambition to also sell oversea.
There are two ways of doing it: Sea freight and Airfreight. In the following those two options are getting compared in order to advise small business owners.
Sea freight refers to shipment of products. The goods are transported to their destination either as general cargo, bulk cargo or with the help of transport units like containers. Sea freight is an easy and popular option to transport large amounts of products overseas.
Air freight means the transport of products in planes, which are flying to certain destinations. This is not solely with cargo aircraft. Since the civilian air traffic has expanded greatly since the 1960s, a lot of passenger aircrafts are transporting goods in the lower deck as well.
Comparing sea freight and airfreight
First of all: Airfreight is faster than sea freight, especially when it comes to medium and long-distance transporting, which is a big benefit towards sea freight. On top of that, the goods are better protected since the danger of nature impacts or damages through shocks and shakings are less likely. On the other hand, ships are more indifferent towards natural circumstances such as storms or bad weather than planes.
However, airfreight has another benefit when it comes to reliability. Because of schedules and meticulous flight plans, businesses can guarantee specific times of deliveries. On top of that, goods can directly be delivered without any waiting times or storage costs.
Nevertheless, one mayor and important disadvantage of airfreight are the higher costs compared to sea freight. Also, not all goods can be transported by airplane and especially larger amounts or heavy, big products are difficult to handle. If taking into account the climate change, one big argument against airfreight is also the higher pollution compared to other means of transport.
Both sea freight and airfreight have in common, that the transportation is – unlike transportation via trucks – bound to a specific place. Sea freight needs harbors, airfreight needs airports. Therefore, the goods may have to be transported further after arriving at the destination, which is connected to higher costs again.
For smaller businesses both airfreight and sea freight are good options to get products to factories or customers overseas. The most important question to answer when deciding is: Do I prefer the transportation to be fast or cheap? Some businesses might want to create trusts amongst their customers by delivering fast and in time. Others might rather want to offer cheap prices. However, for businesses which sell big or large amounts of products, sea freight is always going to be the better option.