International Sea Freight Services

Sea freight forwarding, also known as ocean freight, is a very cost-effective solution for transporting large quantities of goods that are not time-sensitive. Cargo ships are normally used to transport items in bulk and packed in containers, which can be filled by one or several importers. Whether you require FCL or LCL shipping, at Eurosender, we can organise the transport of your goods by sea freight and other efficient shipping services.

Discover shipping alternatives

REASONS TO USE

Why choose to use sea freight services?

Inexpensive service for shipping cargo through long distances

Suitable for transporting hazardous and dangerous goods

Most carbon-efficient solution compared to air and road transports

ARE YOU A BUSINESS?

International sea freight shipments for businesses

Organise the import of goods in bulk with a specialised freight forwarder without binding contracts or minimum volume of orders. Get already negotiated prices and support from an expert team every step of the way.


Advantages and disadvantages of sea transport

PROS

Advantages of sea freight

  • Possibility of carrying a wide variety of cargo, with high availability of routes and vessels
  • Sea freight rates are low for transporting large quantities at once, over long distances
  • Most carbon-efficient mode of transport when comparing the fuel consumption to the weight transported per shipment
  • Shipping by sea or ocean is the safest form of worldwide transport
  • Possibility of safely transporting dangerous and hazardous goods that are forbidden in other shipping services
  • Lower maintenance costs compared to rail or road transport

CONS

Disadvantages of sea freight

  • Sea freight transport is slow, only suitable for shipments that are not time-sensitive
  • Not cost-effective for short-distance shipments
  • Vulnerable to weather conditions such as excessive rain or dry season where the water level in rivers are too low
  • Further inland transportation needed to connect the port to the final destination
  • Tracking of goods transported by ocean freight might be tricky
  • The biggest danger of the sea freight industry is piracy

How to book a sea freight shipment with Eurosender?

We organise international sea freight transport based on individual requests.

Send us your shipping requirements and our logistics experts will prepare a tailor-made offer.

Send shipping requirements

How are the sea freight quotes calculated?

The rates for transporting goods by sea are based on the following:

Dimensions

Size and weight of the goods to be transported by sea

Distance

Sea freight rates are lower for long-distance shipments

Pick-up and delivery

Further inland transportation is needed for connecting the port to the delivery address

Type of item

The nature of the goods may influence the sea freight quote

Insurance

Extra coverage can be purchased for additional protection of the cargo

Customs clearance

Fees may apply for international ocean freight shipments

Incoterms

The sea freight rate may also be influenced by the incoterms



MORE INFORMATION

Frequently asked questions about freight shipped by sea or ocean transport

What is sea freight?

Sea freight, also known as ocean freight, is the transport of goods shipped in sea containers around the world. Containers may be filled by a single importer (FCL) or by multiple customers (LCL). Sea freight is essential for foreign trade, as it is responsible for 90% of all goods transported worldwide. Therefore, sea freight quotes play an important role in the cost of many day-to-day products.

What are the types of sea freight transport?

Sea freight can be divided into three categories:

  • Deep-sea freight services: Intercontinental shipping by crossing oceans, covering long distances using big vessels. Deep-sea shipping is most often used for commodities, for example, iron ore, oil, cement, and fertilisers.
  • Short sea shipping (also known as coastal shipping): Opposite to deep-sea freight services, this is a kind of shipping on relatively short distances. These vessels used in short sea shipping are much smaller and sometimes can also travel inland. They do not cross the ocean but travel along seashores and other waterways.
  • Inland shipping: Shipping by vessels using inland waterways (rivers, canals, and lakes), with smaller volumes compared to both short and deep-sea shipping. Examples of products being shipped using inland waterways are petroleum, mining, and chemical products.

Is it cheaper to ship by air or sea?

The cost of sea freight shipments, either by LCL or FCL, is lower than shipping by air. This is mostly related to fuel consumption, which is much higher in air freight than it is in sea freight. Another factor that influences the price of the shipping service is the costs of maintenance, which is considerably lower in ocean freight transport.

Is it possible to ship dangerous goods by sea freight?

Yes, sea freight courier service is the safest transportation alternative for shipping hazardous or dangerous goods. It is often used for transporting fuel, chemical products, flammable items and several other products that are usually forbidden in other services such as air and road transport. The shipper is required to comply with the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG) that regulates the carriage of dangerous goods by sea. It ensures not only the safe transportation of the products but also minimises the risk of contamination of waterways.

How long does a sea freight shipment take?

Sea freight courier services are the slowest type of transport available. A shipment from the east coast of the USA to the UK can take up to 14 days while a vessel coming from India takes approximately 22-29 days. Besides the time on the water, you should also consider the time required for the shipment to be cleared in customs at both origin and destination countries. Even though sea freight forwarding is more time-consuming, the low price of the service makes it advantageous for transporting a large quantity of goods on intercontinental routes.

What are Incoterms in sea freight shipping?

Incoterms determine the responsibility of both the exporter and the importer of goods concerning the shipping costs coverage, insurance, export & import procedures, loading and unloading. For more information, you can consult our article about the updated incoterms in 2020.