Delivery by sea or by air?

Many customers believe that the cost by sea is cheaper than that by air…Yes,if there are much goods,i.e,more than 1CBM or heavy goods,of course,the shipping cost by sea is cheaper than by air;But if there is a small parcel,i.e,small size parcel and light weight,maybe,the shipping cost by sea will be more expensive than that by air.

In order help our customer to check these two delivery methods,we write the following letters,hope you can understand.

Delivery MethodCostConvenientSpeedSuggestion
By sea1,Sea freight;
2,Warehousing fees at seaports;
3,Fees for customs clearance;
4,LCL Service CHG;
5,Stripping / Reloading fees;
6,Handling Incharges;
7,Documents Fee,ISPS/ GSCCHG ,CSCS,ERS fee,Quay Dues;
8,Custom tax;
9,Inland freight from destination port to your door;
10,For above list,if goods is less than 1CBM,charge same as 1CBM;
You need to look for a local import agent to process importing proceduresOne month more or lessif the goods with large packing size,i.e,more than 1CBM or the goods with heavy weight,suggest delivery by sea.
By airOnly need to pay for air freightAir company will do all procedures and send the goods to your door directly,One week more or lessif the goods with small packing size and light weight,i.e,less than 0.8CBM and less than 100kgs,suggest delivery by air.

1. Cost

Airlines bill you by what is called a chargeable weight. Chargeable weight is calculated from a combination of the weight and size of a shipment.
Sea carriers charge per container rates for shipping in standard containers (20’ and 40’ being the most common sizes). While weight can factor into the price from sea carriers, their charge tends to be based more on the size of a shipment.

If you are shipping less than a container load, your price is often determined by cubic meter. With larger and heavier shipments, it is often much cheaper to ship by sea. As a shipment gets smaller, the margin between the prices gets smaller and sometimes air will even end up less expensive.

Consignee should note that there are destination charges to consider. Whether shipping by air or by sea, there will be customs and destination fees. Sometimes, the shipment cost of sea freight seems cheaper than the shipment cost of air freight, but the warehousing fees at seaports are many times more expensive than those at airports.Especially ,you need to put on destination charges(usually,including LCL Service CHG,Stripping / Reloading fee,Handling Incharges,Documents Fee,ISPS/GSCCHG,CSCS,ERS fee,Quay Dues,custom tax…Different port and different ship company has different charging starndard, truck transport from port to your door.If the parcel is less than 1CBM,it always is charged as same as 1CBM),for small parcel,you`ll find the cost by sea is really higher than delivery by air.Therefore,to make the best decision, it`s better to ask your sea forwarder how to charge for your parcel.You need to tell him your parcel`s weight,CBM,and then he will calculate the cost which will be charged at destination port when the goods arrives..

For more details,you can refer to:

2. Speed

When it comes to speed, there is no question that air freight is usually much Cargo Shipfaster. Since time is money, this factor could more than make up for a higher cost of flying cargo. Many sea shipments can take around a month to arrive while an air shipment takes a day or two. For most business shipping, faster is better. When it comes to the individual moving a household, it is often good to have the extra time to prepare for the arrival of household goods in a new country. It should be noted that technology keeps moving forward in the international shipping world. Ships are getting faster. Canals have created shorter shipping routes. There are many ocean freight shipments crossing the oceans and being delivered in as few as 8 days.

3. Convenient

If ship by air express,what you need to do is waiting for the parcel in your home,airline company will send the parcel to your door directly,they will help you do everything,including clear custom and inland transporation;While delivery by sea,you need to point a professional company to help you process custom clearing and then pay warehousing fees&destination charges(as above mentioned),and then organize truck to send the parcel to your door,really very trouble.

4. Reliability

Reliability is something we all look for in people, businesses, products, and services. How does ocean freight and air freight stack up against each other in this category? Air freight shipping has a much, much shorter history than ocean freight shipping, yet air freight tends to win the battle of reliability. Flights get delayed by weather and other factors, but airlines tend to be very on top of their schedules. Ocean carriers are notorious for being bad about this. It is not uncommon for ships to be off schedule. For many, a day or two here or there doesn’t hurt; however, for many businesses, a day or two could have serious cost effects. With airlines, there are usually daily flights back and forth between major cities around the world. Because of this, missing a flight doesn’t cause much of a delay for a cargo shipment. Ocean lines tend to have weekly schedules. Missing the cutoff at a seaport means a longer delay.

Considering these four factors should help you make the best decision for your cargo shipment. UCM offers free ocean and air rate pricing.