Typically the sender of the cargo has to choose between 4 main methods of transportation: road, air, train or sea transport.

Wondering when is sea transportation most appropriate? Keep on reading…

sea transportationSea transport should be used when:

  1. There is bulk cargo
  2. There is heavy cargo (thousands of tonnes)
  3. The shipping distances are long (i.e. different continents or across oceans)
  4. There is enough time with the delivery
  5. The price of the delivery is crucial
  6. The cargo is unwieldy (has bigger measurements than an ordinary truck or plane can carry)
  7. Door-to-door is not needed
  8. Loading doesn’t have to take place the same or the next day (sea transportation is a service planned in advance)
  9. The loading site and the final destination are close to the port

Sea transport shouldn’t be used when:

  1. The delivery is urgent (less than 4-5 days)
  2. Loading has to take place now (air and road transportation have the shortest reaction time)
  3. The cargo is not bulky
  4. The cargo is lightweight (tens or hundreds of kilos)
  5. The place of departure and destination are close to each other
  6. There is a constant need for track & trace services
  7. There is no port in a reasonable distance from the place of departure or destination
  8. Door-to-door is required

container transportThe mentioned pros and cons of sea transportation are greatly generalized, however they should provide a clear picture of when sea transport is most appropriate to use.

It is important to keep in mind that various transportation methods can also be combined like sea and road transport to provide a door-to-door service, also sea transport doesn’t necessarily have to be the slowest. In many occasions of intra-European transport the ferries can transport cargo faster overall than via road transport.

If you are not sure which transportation method to choose from, be sure to ask your freight forwarder for further advice.