All you need to know about Sea Freight Forwarding

International shipping can be an exhaustive process for businesses. From packaging goods to selecting the correct mode of transportation, there are many things to be considered for the safe and secure delivery of goods internationally.

Air Freight and Sea Freight are the two most common modes of transportation that are used by businesses for international shipping. Both modes have their unique benefits and limitations for shipping goods internationally and you can choose anyone as per your product type and other business requirements.

What is sea freight forwarding?

Sea or ocean freight forwarding is an effective and popular option for shipping goods internationally. As per statistics, approximately 90% of goods are shipped by sea freight across the world.

Sea freight forwarding in India consists of strategic planning and execution of goods supply-chain across countries, on behalf of the shippers. A sea freight forwarder is a person or company that has expert knowledge about processes, documentation, rules and custom protocols etc. necessary to transport goods via the ocean.

What types of containers are used for sea freight?

Two types of containers are used for sea freight forwarding in India. One is LCL which means less than the container load and the next is FCL which means full container load.

  • LCL – Less than container load, used for shipping smaller and lightweight items. LCL is usually a shared container, which is shared among different businesses.
  • FCL – Full container load is used for heavier items or large volumes of goods which require more space. For FCL containers, shippers have to pay the whole cost of the container. FCL secures safer delivery of your goods.

LCL is a cheaper option than FCL. However, there is an increased chance of misplacing the package due to oversight as it is a shared container that might be opened at multiple stops.

How is the cost of sea freight calculated?

Calculating sea freight charges seems like a complex aspect for many businesses. The cost for sea freight forwarding depends upon various factors like what type of containers are used in shipping, handling or unloading charges at the port etc.

For calculating the rate, first, you need to estimate how many and what types of containers you will need for shipping your goods. Then, you need to calculate the total weight and volume of the shipment. Make sure you calculate weight in KG and volume in CBM (Cubic meter). Based on your gross weight, your sea freight forwarding company determines the total charges which could differ from company to company.

Moreover, the shipping cost may have various inclusion or changes, when you receive the final invoice. Sea freight forwarding costs can change as per changes in fuel price. Also, the change in the international economy may have an impact on the cost of sea freight. If you book a cargo ship in peak season, when there is high demand, then be prepared to pay higher for shipping your goods.

What are the advantages of sea freight?

Here are some amazing advantages of shipping your products through sea freight shipping.

  • Sea freight is perfect for shipping heavier and large-volume items, also known as break bulk or Not In Trailer (NIT) loads. Shipping experts suggest that sea freight is the best option, if the product weighs more than 200 kg.
  • Next, Sea freight is a cheaper option than other modes of transport.
  • Sea freight is an eco-friendly shipping option. It generates less carbon footprint as compared to air freight and is considered a good option for the environment.
  • Using sea freight forwarding services reduces the stress and burden on the shipper as the forwarder manages the end-to-end process and provides visibility to the client about product delivery.
  • A sea freight forwarder is better equipped to manage any complications or unexpected disruptions.

What are the disadvantages of sea freight?

  • Sea freight is a time-consuming shipping method. So, it is not a good option for shipping time-sensitive goods.
  • You may be surprised by the hidden fee and extra charges as sea freight charges depend upon fuel prices and season. Having a sea freight forwarder onboard might help manage this disadvantage better.
  • You may have to pay for extra transportation modes (like airways or roads) depending upon the route of your cargo ship.
  • There is a higher risk of delay or losing your goods as sea shipping often gets affected by bad weather conditions.

What is the role of a sea freight forwarding company in shipping your goods internationally?

A good sea freight forwarding company can help you a lot in shipping your goods through cargo ships. Sea freight forwarding companies in India have expertise in handling various important tasks necessary for shipping goods globally. From packaging to delivering goods, they take care of each step and help in delivering your goods safely and securely at their destination.

Moreover, they also handle documentation and custom process smoothly. With their professional experience and expertise, you can be assured that your goods are in good hands.

Typically, a sea freight forwarding company will help in-

  • Shipment Tracking
  • Custom Brokerage
  • Warehousing
  • Negotiating with shipping lines
  • Cargo Space Scheduling
  • Cargo Insurance
  • Documentation
  • Multimodal transportation
  • Specialized packaging etc.

In conclusion, sea freight forwarders take off your shipping stress and reduce all the hassles which are typically associated with shipping goods internationally.