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Ocean Shipping vs. Air Freight - Which is the Best Choice for Your Business?

Ocean Shipping vs. Air Freight - Which is the Best Choice for Your Business?

Ajoke had just started her skincare business, and one thing she noticed was that most of her clients preferred products from international brands, and she had secured partnerships with some. Her first batch of shipments was about to be sent, and she asked me, “Ocean shipping  or air freight, which should I use?”

“Oh, it depends on what you want o. But we can do detailed research on both to help you make an informed decision.” I responded.

Like Ajoke, you might wonder which international shipping method is best for your business. This blog will give you a full scope of what both entail so you can make an informed decision.

What is Ocean Shipping?

Ocean shipping is a method of transporting goods by sea. It is one of the oldest and most widely used methods of shipping. It is equally an important part of the global economy as 90% of goods are transported by sea. Ocean shipping is particularly important for international trade, as it allows goods to be efficiently transported across long distances. It is also a relatively cost-effective method of transportation, especially for bulky goods or those that are not time-sensitive.

Ocean shipping involves the use of cargo ships, which come in a variety of sizes and carrying capacities. These ships transport many goods across the world's oceans, including raw materials, finished products, and consumer goods. 

Pros of Ocean Shipping

Ocean shipping is a cost-effective transport method, especially in large quantities. The cost per unit decreases as the volume of goods shipped increases, making it a preferred choice.

Environmentally Friendly
Ocean shipping is much more environmentally friendly than other modes of transportation, such as air or road. It produces fewer emissions and has a lower carbon footprint.

Ocean shipping is a reliable mode of transportation with predictable sailing schedules. Shipping companies have established routes and schedules, which means that you can plan your shipments in advance and avoid delays.

Ocean shipping has an enormous cargo capacity. Container ships can transport thousands of containers. It is an ideal choice for you if your business is involved with shipping large volumes of goods.

Ocean shipping offers a high level of flexibility. Businesses can choose from various shipping options, including full container loads, less-than-container loads, and break bulk shipping.

Cons of Ocean Shipping

Ocean shipping is usually slower than air or land transportation. Goods can take several weeks or even months to reach their destination. This can be inconvenient if your business needs to transport goods quickly.

Weather Related Issues
Ocean shipping is highly vulnerable to weather-related delays and disruptions. Storms, hurricanes, and other weather events can cause significant delays and damage to cargo. This can result in additional costs and lost revenue for businesses.

Security Risks
Ocean shipping is vulnerable to piracy, theft, and other security risks. Cargo ships are often targeted by criminals who steal valuable goods or take crew members hostage. This makes it risky for businesses that transport high-value items.

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What is Air Freight?

On the other hand, Air Freight is a method of transporting goods by air. This mode of transportation is mostly used when goods need to be shipped quickly, as air travel is much faster than other modes of shipping. 

Air Freight can be divided into two main categories: passenger and cargo. Passenger Air Freight involves transporting goods on commercial passenger flights, while Cargo Air Freight uses dedicated cargo planes. Cargo planes are designed to transport goods and have larger cargo holds than passenger planes.

Pros of Air Freight

Speed and Efficiency
When it comes to shipping goods, air freight is by far the fastest option. Aeroplanes travel long distances in a matter of hours, whereas ocean vessels can take weeks or even months to reach their destination. This makes air freight an ideal choice for time-sensitive shipments, such as perishable goods or urgent medical supplies.

Air freight is also considered to be a very reliable mode of transportation. Airlines have strict schedules and procedures in place to ensure that shipments are delivered on time and in good condition. 

Global Reach
Air freight provides access to markets all over the world, even in remote or hard-to-reach locations. Airports are often located in or near major cities and trade hubs, making it easy to connect with other transportation modes and move goods to their final destination.

Air cargo is subject to strict security measures, including screening for explosives and other dangerous materials. This ensures that shipments are safe and secure during transport and helps prevent theft or damage.

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Cons of Air Freight

High Cost
Air freight is generally more expensive than other modes of transportation, such as sea or land. The cost is primarily driven by the speed of delivery, fuel prices, handling fees, and security measures.

Limited Capacity
Despite the speed of air transportation, the amount of cargo that can be carried on a plane is limited by the size and weight of the aircraft. This means that large or heavy items may not be able to be transported by air.

Environmental Impact
Air freight has a bad environmental impact, with aircraft emissions contributing to air pollution and climate change. In addition, the noise pollution associated with airports and aircraft can negatively affect local communities.

Questions to ask Yourself When Choosing between Ocean Shipping and Air Freight 

It is important to note that air freight and ocean shipping have unique advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on the specific needs of your business, including your budget, timeframe, and the nature of the goods being shipped. 

How fast do you need the goods to be delivered?
If you require your goods to be delivered quickly, air freight may be your better option. Air freight is known for its speed and efficiency, with delivery times ranging from a few days to a week. This mode of transportation is especially beneficial if you need to move perishable or time-sensitive goods.

On the other hand, if you are not in a rush and can afford to wait, ocean shipping is a more cost-effective choice. 

What is the nature of the goods you are shipping?
If your goods are perishable or fragile, such as fresh produce or glassware, then air freight may be your better option. Air freight is faster than ocean shipping and provides a higher level of security, as you can ensure that your items are handled with care and are not being jostled around during transportation.

If you are shipping large or heavy items, such as machinery or construction materials, ocean shipping may be a more practical choice. Ocean shipping allows for larger and heavier items to be transported and provides a more cost-effective solution for shipping bulk items. 

What is the destination of your shipment? 
Your shipment's destination is important information that can help you decide which shipping method is most appropriate for your needs. If you are shipping to a landlocked country, then air freight may be your only option because no ports are available. 

If the destination is a coastal city, then ocean shipping may be a more convenient choice. 

What is your budget? 
It's important to consider the costs associated with each method of shipping. While air freight may be faster than ocean shipping, it tends to be more expensive. This is because air freight requires more fuel and resources to transport goods over long distances quickly. Therefore, if you're working with a tight budget, consider ocean shipping a more cost-effective option.

Ocean shipping is a popular choice for many businesses due to its affordability. While it may take longer to transport goods via ocean shipping, it can be an excellent way to cut costs and save money. Additionally, many ocean shipping companies offer competitive pricing and flexible schedules, making finding a shipping solution that works for your business needs easy.

Do you want to Save the Planet?
Air freight has a higher carbon footprint than ocean shipping. Air freight releases more greenhouse gasses per unit of cargo transported, including carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and sulphur oxides. These emissions contribute to air pollution, climate change, and other environmental problems.

If environmental concerns are important to your business, consider ocean shipping a more eco-friendly alternative. Ocean shipping produces fewer emissions per unit of cargo transported, which can help reduce your carbon footprint. 

How Heroshe can Help You with  Ocean Shipping and Air Freight 

Now that you know everything you need to know about choosing between ocean shipping and air freight, what next? The next step would be to ship your goods to Nigeria with a platform that offers you premium shipping services at an affordable rate.

Heroshe is the platform you need. In the last five years, we've successfully helped over 40K businesses and individuals ship their packages using air freight.

Why Choose Heroshe?

Affordable Shipping
Heroshe understands the importance of cost-effectiveness in the international shipping scene; hence, we provide you with premium shipping service at a good rate.

Proven Track Record 
In pidgin, we'd say, "doings get level." With a successful track record of delivering to over 40k businesses and individuals, Heroshe has 'doings' to back up our claims as a reliable choice for your shipping needs.

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Fast Delivery
Using Heroshe, your items can get to you within 10-14 working days as opposed to waiting long to get them.

Customised Shipping Plans
Recognising the diversity of businesses and their shipping requirements, Heroshe offers customised shipping plans tailored to your needs. Whether dealing with time-sensitive goods or requiring cost-effective bulk shipping, our flexible plans ensure you get the most suitable solution for your unique situation.

benefits of using heroshe

Dedicated Customer Support
At Heroshe, we prioritise customer satisfaction. Our dedicated customer support team is available to address your queries, provide assistance, and ensure a smooth shipping experience.

Transparent And Fair Practices
We believe in transparency and fairness. Our pricing is clear, with no hidden fees or surprises.

With our ocean shipping service launching soon, here is what you can expect:

No Minimum Order Quantity
We understand that businesses come in all shapes and sizes, so we don't have a minimum order requirement. This allows you to ship what you need without worrying about filling an entire container.

Consolidate and Save
Pooling shipments together is a great way to save on shipping costs. By consolidating your shipments, you can share container space with others and receive your items all at once.

Competitive Pricing
We believe everyone should have access to global markets, regardless of the size of their business. That's why our rates are fair, transparent, and competitive, even for small shipments.

Tracking Visibility
With Heroshe, you can track your shipment in real time, even on the sea. Our innovative solution to ocean shipping provides complete visibility, so you always know where your items are.

Bulk Shipping
We've got you covered whether you're shipping heavy-duty or fragile items. With Heroshe Ocean shipping, you can send anything you want, regardless of size or weight.

 Heroshe is all about ensuring that you have access to the global marketplace as a business. Whether you decide to ship by ocean or air, we’ve got you covered, and we are ready to help you meet your shipping needs with love and swift delivery.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up on Heroshe today and get started.

Ilaya Teejay

Ilaya Teejay

Ilaya Teejay is the Content Marketing Associate at Heroshe. She believes words can shape user experiences, and she's turning this belief into a career that helps people and businesses succeed.