Sea vs. Air Freight — Why & When To Choose The Former?

While air freight is fast and more secured, sea freight can ensure safe delivery of bulky goods at competitive rates without creating a significant adverse impact on the environment. Read the article for more information.

Most traders who deal with export and import of goods generally rely upon two primary means of transport — sea and air. The best choice usually depends on one’s requirements. Those who need to send or receive products within a short period of time pick choose air freight. However, sea freight shipping services are more viable an option for businessmen who wish to keep their expenses down.

In general, it is the goods that dictate whether a trader should go with air or sea shipping services. For example, goods that have to be sold in 1–2 weeks at a particular event may not get delivered on time via water transport. But if the RRP (Recommended Retail Price) is low and the items are large, using an airlifter for transit would not really be a good idea.

Let’s have a look at the major advantages of transporting goods by sea freight:


As has been mentioned already, sea freight is around 5 to 6 times less expensive than its air counterpart. Therefore, it would appeal to those who have a stiff budget and want to keep the shipping expenses low. The cost of any shipment is calculated using the unit of CBM (cubic metre), where 1000 kilograms equals 1 cbm in ocean freight and 6 cbm in air freight. This means that heavy cargo can cost much more to import or export via a cargo jet than a cargo vessel.


Cargo ships are capable of carrying prodigious volumes of goods, unlike airplanes. Besides that, the goods can include anything from cars to heavy machinery. Whatever be the size or shape of the things which need to be moved, marine vessels can handle them all. This is a great benefit for those who want to ship a considerable amount of bulky goods at once.

Environmental Impact

For businesses that are concerned about carbon footprint of their products, sea freight is the most appropriate option because it accounts for less than 3 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions. According to recent statistics, it produces about 15 grammes of CO2 for every tonne of goods moved through one kilometre, whereas air freight forwarding services produce 545 grammes.

Although cargo ships are not as fast as airlifters and cannot undertake urgent deliveries, they are definitely ideal options for traders who have planned everything in advance and need to deliver heavy goods economically without creating any significant adverse impact on the environment.

MNS Freight Services Ltd.

MNS Freight has skilled and competent people providing excellent freight forwarding services.

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