Thousands of packages are shipped internationally every day, and if you have a business which has to transport goods and items to other destinations worldwide, then you need to know which shipping method is the best option for your needs. In essence, you have three options: you have courier, air freight, or sea freight. And whilst you may have a good idea of the differences between each method, it’s best to know each service’s pros and cons so that you can make the best decision for your business, especially in regard to cost, convenience, and reliability. Here, then, is everything you need to know about courier, air freight, and sea freight services: which is best?
Courier services: the pros and cons
You may already know that you have several choices of courier services, such as FedEx, UPS, and DHL. But you should also know that courier services are the best way to send something internationally if you want a quick and efficient service that is customer-centred. The thing about couriers is that they take charge of your item the minute they receive it, and will be responsible for sending it straight to the door of your client or customer. The courier method is the easiest, and there is no doubt about this – especially since you can choose to have them collect your parcel and deliver it straight to the door of your recipient. They can even be in charge of contacting the recipient if there are any taxes or duties which need to be paid.
One pro of couriers is that they are easy to use and convenient; they are fast as well. Another advantage is the fact that they offer one-time fees, and they don’t often have any hidden fees or surprise charges. This is different from air or sea freight because, with freight, you may end up having an invoice with unexpected charges or fees.
One con of courier services is that they can be quite expensive. This isn’t normally a problem if you are shipping a small number of goods or a small package or parcel, but if you are sending a large shipment, it’s not the cheapest choice. Here’s something to bear in mind, though: if you are shipping a few parcels, such as smaller parcels in white postal boxes, it may be better to opt for a courier service.
Air freight and sea freight: the pros and cons
Here’s the thing: if you are moving goods in bulk and need to have them shipped quickly, air freight may be an ideal choice. Your parcels or packages are simply loaded on an airplane and flown to their final destination. But you also have to think about the weight of your packages (the heavier they are, the more expensive the service will be) as well as the limited space on the plane. Air freight service costs are calculated differently from sea freight, so if you’re trying to save on expenses, sea freight may be a better option.
The rates for air freight, as mentioned, are computed differently. For example, the prices will depend on either the shipment’s volumetric weight or its actual gross weight, whichever weight is greater. This is because some items may take up more space on an airplane in relation to the item’s actual weight. For instance, a box of pillows which weighs only 10 kilograms will be larger and take up more space compared to a box or parcel of nails which is also 10 kilograms.
If you want to decide between air freight and sea freight, carefully think about the price (sea freight is, more often than not, about four to six times less expensive than air freight) but think about the size of the items you have as well as the delivery time.
You have to weigh your options carefully – if you are shipping many items and need them shipped quickly, try to find an air freight service which can give you discounts for bulk shipments. If time is not an issue and if you are sending larger or bulkier items, then sea freight may be best, particularly if you want to save money. If you have no issue waiting for a few weeks for your items to reach their destination, sea freight is an option, but if you want your items shipped in as little as four days, then a courier or air freight service may be more suitable.
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