Common misconceptions about ocean freight

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April 26, 2018

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Have you come across any common misconceptions about ocean freight? Shipping, which refers to the carriage of goods by water, has played a noteworthy role in the expansion and progress of human society over the centuries. Shipping was one of the only crucial links that allowed commercial relationships to be established between widely alienated parts of the world until the internet came around.

Today, there are two main types of shipping services namely:

Shipload services: shipload services are those designed to move cargo in bulk for one or more shippers. Shipload services are the most common because they are inexpensive.

Liner shipping services generally only deal with smaller shipments of cargo that need to be delivered on a regular basis or according to the agreed upon schedule.

Shipping is the least expensive way of moving large quantities of goods over long and extended distances or from one continent to another. The importance of the shipping industry cannot be oversimplified as it plays an influential role in smoothing the progress of export and import trade. About one-third of all global exports and over a quarter of international imports are typically transported by water, and more than half of this is done using liner vessels.

Despite the industry’s importance in global trade, there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding ocean freight. If you are a considering transporting your cargo through ocean freight, it is vital to be aware of these misconceptions so that you can make well informed and deliberate decisions about the safest way to transport your cargo. Here are the most common misconceptions about ocean freight:

Common misconceptions about ocean freight #1: Ocean freight is ridiculously expensive

The prices of ocean freight vary depending on the cargo that you are transporting. Shipping is generally very inexpensive when you are transporting in bulk rather than through liner shipping. Not only is shipping much cheaper than other modes of transport such as air or road freight but there are also not many options available for transporting your cargo from one continent to another besides through air, which is generally costly.

Common misconceptions about ocean freight #2: It is possible to ship anything that you want

Contrary to popular belief, there are some restrictions that prevent you from shipping certain types of cargo by ocean freight. All goods and cargo that is to be transported by ocean must be listed and categorized properly on a packing list that:

  • Contains the Electronic Export Information (EEI) which is utilized in the verification of cargo
  • Is used to issue a Bill of Lading
  • Is used to ensure that all the correct items have been shipped.

Please note that every country has its own sets of rules regarding the shipping of goods and merchandise. If you are not sure about which goods can be shipped through ocean freight, talk to a reliable freight forwarder that can give you professional guidance.

Common misconceptions about ocean freight #3: Shipping rates are constant

Shipping rates are subject to change, which means that they do not remain the same for very long thanks to the shifting economy. At times, shipping rates can also fluctuate as a result of, political, seasonal, as well as economical demand and supply factors. It is important to familiarize yourself with how you can get accurate freight forwarding quote pricing so that you can make the most out of the process.

Common misconceptions about ocean freight #4: You can share or sell space in your shipping container

Although you may be tempted to share or sell your space in a shipping container to another person as a way of saving money, the practice is generally frowned upon and can even land you into some real trouble. People that have a smaller volume typically reason that to put their stuff on someone else’s container is much easier and cheaper. You should never entertain the idea of sharing your container because:

  • The other person could be carrying contraband.
  • The other party may delay payments, which could affect your rate and delivery time.
  • You could experience an emergency that may force you to store your goods at the port for an unforeseen period. What will happen if this should take place?

If you should need to send a smaller volume, there are several viable options that can be used. You should talk to your freight forwarder about some of the possible alternatives for transporting smaller volumes of cargo.

Final Word

These misconceptions and other can make your shipping experience a nightmare. To make the right choice for you and your business, it is critical to conduct ample research so that you can be well informed. Feel free to talk to Sidoman about any concerns that you may have. We are always ready and willing to help you with anything that you might need.

Get in touch with us today!





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