Sea or Air Freight | What’s for me?

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With the popularization of the Internet and the progress of transportation, the scope of trade has gradually expanded from the same city to the whole country and even the world.

More and more businessmen will take advantage of the cost advantages of different countries and choose to import goods from other countries to get more profits.

The mode of transportation is a very important link in international trade.

But no matter big B or small B or self-employed, every buyer will face a dilemma, should I choose air or sea?

In this article, I will analyze the pros and cons of both, and help buyers to know more about the relevant knowledge and choose their appropriate mode of transportation.

Related reading: China Source Guide: How To Import From China In 8 Steps

Weight of your parcel

For small and medium-sized novice buyers, they are confused about how to choose the transportation method when purchasing unused commodity stones. So today I will tell you, first of all, you need to calculate the weight of your package because when you go by sea, there is generally a billable lifting (single piece 21KG, multiple pieces 12KG). So if your package is only 5kg, then when we choose to ship by sea, the logistics will also be charged according to the price of 21KG. Very uneconomical.

So if your parcel is just for 5KG, you can choose to ship by express(air), the shipping cost would be much cheaper than the sea, and the delivery time would also be quicker.

Air Freight

Price and delivery time

Price and service are often proportional, the better the service, the higher the price. The point of air freight is that it is fast, but the disadvantage is that the price is high. Shipping is just the opposite. Therefore, when buyers are purchasing products, they must comprehensively consider the cost of the product and the transportation of the product. Because of the high shipping costs, the total cost of shipping and products is often higher than the domestic procurement cost. At this time, we have to consider how to reduce costs to maximize profits. Choosing the cheapest sea freight is the best solution.

The cheapest shipping time by sea is often two months, while air shipping only takes 10-15 days. Between the two extremes, we will also provide clippers, the general aging is 20-30 days. This is not a good solution for guests who need to consider both timeliness and price.

Regional factors

Basically, every country that relies on the sea will have a port, and for inland countries, it is the way of sea + inland transportation. For large B-type buyers with a large purchase amount, logistics companies will provide many transportation solutions. For small B-type buyers with small purchases, this will be a problem again. At present, the coverage of countries that can take DDP is not very wide, and most small landlocked countries can only take air transportation. And shipping costs would also be high.

Safety and instability

Due to the long distance of international transportation, there will be many uncertain factors in the transportation, so in many cases, we also recommend customers to buy insurance.

Weather factor: whether sea or air will be affected by the weather factor. During bad weather, flights are suspended for safety reasons.

Too many goods lead to longer waiting time in the warehouse: Too many goods lead to the extension of the queue into the warehouse: every second half of the year, is China’s export peak, coupled with the impact of holidays. Shipping companies are faced with a shortage of ships or aircraft. Goods will be pushed into warehouses, resulting in longer transport times.

Customs inspection: In the process of import and export transportation, customs inspection is a process in each country. When some sensitive goods are inspected, the customs need to collect various certificates, resulting in the entire container of goods will be detained in the customs department. This is also a form of force majeure.

Outbreak: Since 2020, COVID-19 has been a major global outbreak, which can not only spread from person to person but also stay on items for a few days. So customs will not only check the security of the goods but also check whether they carry the virus. This process also greatly lengthens the speed of customs inspections. In recent years, we often hear about months of congestion at the Port of Long Beach, the main reason being the impact of the epidemic.

Air Freight

Environmental Impact

If your business is concerned with the carbon footprint that your products leave then sea freight is probably the option for you. While sea freight accounts for 3% of the globe’s total greenhouse gas emissions, it is certainly still a long way more environmentally friendly than air freight. In fact, as shown in our graphical representation, sea freight emits 15g of CO2 per tonne of cargo moved a km, whilst air freight emits a massive 545g per tonne moved a km.

Ease of operation

As we all know, international trade requires customs clearance in both countries, and different countries have different tariff policies for different goods.

For some individual buyers who do not have the ability of customs clearance but want to carry out cross-border procurement, they can choose the trading method of DDP.

DDP means double customs clearance and customs duty is included. Logistics will directly arrange to deliver the goods to the guest’s home without the guest doing anything.

DDP is available both by sea and air.

However, due to the policy of DDP customs clearance and customs duty, its price will be higher than the general DAP (express delivery), so it is still the preference of the guests, to take what they need.

Finally, if you still have any doubts about the mode of transportation, you can click consult, we will check your message and reply to you the first time.

Related reading: China’s import and export tariffs in 2022

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