Guidelines for selecting Air vs Ocean Freight
- Air freight is best used when the cost of shipping is less than 15-20% of the value of the goods.
- Air freight is faster, safer and more reliable than ocean, but also more expensive – a $195 ocean shipment can cost $1,000 by air.
- Airlines also have stricter regulations when it comes to shipping hazardous materials. Refer below, and discuss with your forwarder.
- Ocean freight offers more capacity and value – one container can hold 10,000 beer bottles!
- Ocean freight is usually much slower than air, and customs issues and port holdups can cause additional delays, Express LCL, increasingly available on more routes and by more forwarders, often guarantees a delivery date and is often not that much slower than air.
- Ocean freight has a much better carbon footprint than air freight.
And for more information to help you decide, here’s some detailed information on the following three issues: