Air Freight | Sea Freight | Everything You Need to Know


Air Freight/ Sea Freight: Everything You Need to Know

2021-09-16 02:57:37

Do you know everything you need about Air Freight and Sea Freight? Do you know about the costings, the regulations or even the environmental footprint of the two most popular types of freight forwarding? It is ok if you do not know everything because we do and we are here to help you. In the next few paragraphs, we present the characteristics of these two types of freight in order for you to be informed and make the right decision for your business.

But let’s break it down and take it step by step…

Air Freight


To begin with, we present below the different types of air freight:

Types of Air Freight


  •  Heavy cargo (HEA)
  • Human remains (HUM)
  •  Live animals (AVI)
  • Dangerous goods (DGR)
  • Diplomatic cargo shipments (DIP)
  • Perishable cargo (PER)
  •  Valuable cargo (VAL)

 Starting with the positive characteristics of air freight, we could say that transport by air is the most popular mode of transport nowadays. The volumes of air freight will continue to increase approximately by 3 percent every year until 2025 and possibly until 2030. Air transport is the fastest mode of transport, especially for long distances. Commercial jets can reach speeds of up to 955 kilometres per hour (593 mph), while piston-powered general aviation aircraft can surpass the speed of 555 kilometres per hour (345 mph). The goods that are being transported by air, regularly arrive at the desired destination within 24 to 48 hours.

In addition, there are no physical barriers (except the weather) to prevent or delay an airplane to uplift, and the transportation of goods by air can continue without any traffic or delay in borders. The only delay that can occur is due to bad weather conditions but this delay is significantly less than that of sea transport.

By using air transport, it is easier to track your shipments until the moment they arrive to the final destination. In that way, you can benefit from full transparency of the position and state of your products.

However, transporting goods by air can be very expensive. It has been recommended that air freight is the best option when the cost of shipping is less than 15-20% of the value of goods that are being shipped. For instance, if you want to move an average size of 2000 lbs box from China to USA, it can cost you up to $4,000 by air, compared to $1,200 by sea.

Although air transport is the safest mode of transportation with 0.07 deaths per one billion passenger miles, it has been stated that it is also the riskiest, mainly because one accident can cause substantial and irreversible losses to people and products.

When it comes to the regulations that you have to follow while using air freight, it depends on the products that you want to move and the location that you want to move them to. In general, airlines have the most restrictions when it comes to shipping products across different countries compared to sea freight or ground freight regulations. Thus, you have to study hard and be very prepared about the customs that you need to be compliant with. Or you can book your shipments with an online freight forwarder such as Haulystic, and we can take care of all this chaotic paperwork.

Last but not least, air transport creates a massive environmental impact. More specifically, the engines of an airplane work by burning fossil fuel that produce carbon dioxide, water vapour, heat and noise. In more detail, for every kilometre that an air freight weighing around 1,000 kilograms flies on a cargo airplane, it can emit 500 grams of carbon dioxide (CO2). So if you want to move a shipment of 200 kilograms in a route of 9,000 kilometres (from China to Europe), this shipment will emit 900 kilograms of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

Sea Freight


Moving on to transporting products by sea, we could say that it is the cheapest mode of transport. Ships require less tractive power to move because of the smooth surface of the sea, thus the operational costs are being substantially reduced. Apart from being cheap, sea freight can withstand more capacity and it is suitable for heavy and bulky products with long lead times.

Another advantage of sea transport is that it emits less carbon dioxide than air transport, so sea freight results in a smaller environmental footprint. For example, in an 18,000 kilometres sea route (from China to Europe), your 200 kilograms’ shipment can produce 54 kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2).

Moreover, shipping your products by sea includes the minimal risk of the cargo getting destroyed or damaged, so we could say that sea freight is a very safe option. However, the safety depends on the countries that you are shipping your goods at as the ships can become subject to piracy and in this case all your investment can be lost.

As far as the disadvantages of sea transport are concerned, we can identify several ones that cause problems to companies or individuals who want to ship their products overseas. More specifically, sea transport is very slow. It can take many days for the products to arrive at the final destination, especially when the products are being delivered across the world. In addition, many port holdups can occur that will cause further delays to the shipments. Weather conditions is another major factor that can cause delays to the departure of ships.

Finally, it is hard for you to monitor the exact position of sea freight. The estimation of arrival cannot be accurate every time and since the delays can occur anywhere and anytime, no one can be certain about how many days it will take for the ship to arrive and how much time it will take for the products to be delivered.

It might look very hard to choose the best option but by working with Haulystic you can make the right choice.

We hope that you got all the information that you needed and if you did not, then you can give us a call and we will answer all your questions and ease all your doubts. We provided the information associated with air freight and sea freight so you can decide which one better fits your needs or you can choose both. What matters to us is you to be informed and make the best decision for your company.

Haulystic Innovations is here to help you with your transport and to take care of all the customs. Start your shipping journey by booking your shipments online.



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