For a long time in human history, maritime shipping was the best way to transport your goods across the world. About 71% of Earth’s surface is covered in oceans. Therefore, transporting your goods on a ship to another continent was a relatively straightforward operation in comparison to land shipping. However, with the advancements in technology, air-shipping has become a dominant form of long-distance transportation. Still, this doesn’t mean that maritime shipping doesn’t come with its own unique pros that make it a better choice in some cases. Of course, the cons of maritime shipping exist as well.
The pros of maritime shipping
We’ll begin by discussing the positive aspects of maritime shipping. As we said, in some situations, these advantages will be enough to tip the scales in favor of choosing maritime freight services.
There’s a lot of room on vessels and they can transport heavy goods
One of the biggest advantages of maritime shipping is that ships can carry all kinds of rather heavy goods. You will have to use ocean freight services if you’re running a business that imports or exports heavy objects, as airplanes usually cannot transport such goods. And if they can, the cost of shipping will be very high. Automobiles, various machinery, industrial parts, and so on, are just some of the things you won’t be able to transport by air (if you don’t want to spend a fortune, that is).
Generally, maritime-shipping companies provide their customers with much more space than their air counterparts. Not only can they transport heavy goods, but they can transport a lot of them. This makes for high competitive rates and allows maritime shipping companies to easily take care of large demands. Whether you’re transporting heavy goods or a very large amount of lighter goods, maritime shipping is your best option.
Maritime shipping is highly affordable
The fact that there’s so much space on cargo transportation vessels means that it’s not hard to find the space for your goods. Then, there’s also the fact that all businesses whose goods are being carried will share the cost of the specific vessel arriving at its destination. It is primarily because of these reasons that maritime shipping is among the most affordable ways to move your cargo. And when compared with its biggest rival in terms of long-distance shipping (we’re talking about air shipping options, of course), maritime freight services are much (much) less expensive. What’s more, with maritime industry reshaping its supply chain, more accurate cost models are now being introduced.
Vessels are more eco-friendly
When compared with aircrafts, vessels also provide much better options for eco-friendly shipping. Aircrafts use a lot of petroleum, leaving a very large carbon trail. This, in turn, damages the atmosphere. Such carbon trails disrupt the ecological balance and contribute to the negative effects of global warming. Even the slight cirrus clouds that form behind aircrafts contribute to impact these negative effects on Mother Nature.
As vessels don’t use a lot of petroleum, they leave a small carbon trail. In most cases, this makes them a better option for business-owners who are concerned with helping the planet Earth.
The cons of maritime shipping
Now it’s time to talk about the cons of maritime shipping. Depending on the situation, the advantages we’ve discussed sometimes won’t suffice, as these cons could make you choose another form of shipping.
Maritime cargo transportation is slow
If you need to transport your goods quickly, then maritime shipping will prove to be far worse for your needs than air shipping. Vessels usually have a long way to travel and they’re much slower than aircrafts. In a situation where an aircraft would transport your goods in a day or two, a ship would need an entire month to do so (and that is if there are no delays). While the situation is improving and maritime shipping is becoming faster, if you need fast shipping – vessels won’t do.
The key here is in deciding whether faster shipping will bring you more profit. If a much slower transportation speed won’t negatively influence the profits, then opting for much more affordable maritime shipping seems like the right thing to do.
Ocean freight services can suffer from delays
However, keep in mind that ocean freight shipping options can sometimes make your customers unsatisfied, as they’re not as reliable as air shipping options. Namely, ships operate on weekly schedules and different problems often occur. There’s always a good chance that your deliveries will be delayed. And your customers definitely won’t be pleased with that. While you will save some money if you opt for maritime shipping, you better learn how to communicate bad news to your customers.
While their goods won’t get damaged, the possible delays will sometimes make your customers choose another supplier. However, if you don’t have a strict deadline and you don’t need to transport the goods very quickly, then maritime shipping could be the best option for you.
About the author: Originally from New Jersey, Alex Durick has been working for bfslebanon.com for three years now. He specializes in freight services related to relocation and also shares bits of knowledge on his company’s blog. Six years worth of experience in the freight business has made him an expert in many areas related to freight shipping, and he’s happy to share his findings with anyone who’s willing to listen.