What are sea freight shipments

Sea freight, which is also known as ocean freight, is the transport of goods shipped in sea containers around the world. This form of freight forwarding is suitable for large shipments that are not time-sensitive. Sea freight courier services are often chosen for the following reasons:

  • Inexpensive: Low fuel rates and the possibility to ship large quantities at once, make sea freight shipments a cheap option for large shipments that have to travel long distances.
  • Suitable for hazardous goods: Unlike air freight, sea freight is ideal for shipping dangerous goods.
  • Flexible: There are many possible variations when it comes to size and shape when using sea freight, and therefore, there are various sea freight rates.
  • Environmentally friendly: Compared to air freight and transport by road, sea freight has a much smaller carbon footprint.

There are several types of sea freight, for example, deep-sea freight services, which will be identified in the article below.

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What is the volume of international freight shipments shipped by sea and ocean and other quick facts

Here are some basic facts about sea freight shipments to give you an idea about the scale and size of the industry.

  • About 90 % of all goods are transported by sea and ocean freight.
  • There are about 55.000 vessels which transport sea freight all over the globe.
  • The sea freight industry employs about 1.5 million people worldwide.
  • Greece, Germany, and Japan are the countries with the biggest fleets when it comes to international sea freight.
  • The largest sea freight ship can carry no less than 18.000 containers.
  • Without sea freight, the transport of many raw materials would not be possible. Therefore, sea freight quotes play an essential role in the cost price of many products.
  • One of the biggest dangers for the shipping industry is piracy. However, shipping by sea or ocean is still the safest form of worldwide transport.

Types of sea freight

Sea and ocean freight can be divided into several different categories, with different sea freight rates, which are described below.

  • Deep-sea shipping: Deep-sea freight services means intercontinental shipping by crossing oceans, covering long distances and the use of big vessels. Deep-sea shipping is most often used for commodities, for example, iron ore, oil, cement, and fertilizers.
  • Short sea shipping (also known as coastal shipping): Opposite to deep-sea freight services, this kind of shipping of commodities on relatively short distances. These vessels, which are much smaller compared to deep-sea vessels and sometimes also can travel inland, do not cross the ocean but travel along seashores and other waters. Short sea shipping is also often used for commodities, although the volumes are smaller and involve different sea freight rates.
  • Inland shipping: This means shipping by vessels using inland waterways, which include rivers, canals, and lakes. The volumes are small compared to both short and deep-sea shipping, and the vessels are designed for inland waterways. Examples of products being shipped by inland waterways are petroleum products, mining products, and chemical products.

Alternative to sea freight

Sea freight can take a long time, and depending on your shipment, there could be faster and cheaper solutions. Below you find the alternatives to sea freight quotes and for which situations they are suitable.

  • Road freight: When you are looking for transport by road, there are several options that Eurosender provides.
  • Standard Shipping Service: For small items, for example, luggage, paintings, or a shipment of spices, our standard shipment service is the best option. With the size calculator below you can immediately see if your shipment qualifies for this service.

Check which service to choose

  • FTL: Full Truck Load shipments are shipments on pallets that fill up an entire truck, which is occupied by only one shipper.
  • LTL: Less than Truck Load shipments are shipments on pallets that do not cover an entire truck. The truck is shared by multiple shippers, and it stops at several delivery addresses. LTL shipping is a cost-effective solution when your shipment is too small for FTL but too big for standard shipping.
  • PTL: Partial Truck Load shipments (also known as Load to Ride shipments) are shipments that are shipped in an individual truck, but that may not need the entire load space of the vehicle. Benefits of PTL shipping include faster delivery, less transferring of the shipment, and increased security.
  • Dedicated Van Delivery: When your shipment is too big for standard shipment but not big enough to fill a truck, then dedicated van delivery might be an option. The van is dedicated solely to your shipments, and just as with FTL shipping, will directly go from point A to point B.
  • Rail Freight: This means the transport of cargo by trains using both national and international rail networks. Although rail forwarding has seen a decrease in popularity, it is still responsible for a fair share of cargo transport and an alternative for sea freight courier services.
  • Air Freight: This means the transportation of cargo by using aircrafts. This kind of transportation is the fastest option for shipping cargo. On the other hand, it is also the most expensive option compared to rail, sea and road transport. It mostly used for shipments that are time sensitive and for items with high value. Shipping through Eurosender sometimes involves shipping by air, depending on the location and the time-frame.
Sea freight quotes and Eurosender

As described above, Eurosender offers a wide range of efficient shipping services that help you decrease your shipping costs and help you optimize your logistics process. For now, sea freight courier services are not part of the services we offer. However, we strive to continually expand our business with the goal to ultimately meet various shipping needs and be a comprehensive platform for different logistics services.

When you have any questions about our shipping services, or you would like to find out what the best option is for your individual shipment, then contact our team of logistics experts, that will be glad to give you with all the advice and support that you need. Don’t hesitate and get in touch now.