Sea Freight is a method of transporting large amounts of goods using carrier ships. Goods are packed into containers and then loaded onto a vessel. A typical cargo ship can carry around 18,000 containers, which means that sea freight is a cost-efficient way to transport high quantities over large distances
Sea freight is the cheapest available option for international freight. It can be more than 50% cheaper than air freight.
With ships consuming lesser fuel and leaving a minimal carbon footprint it is considered the greener option compared to air freight and other methods.
Moving cargo by sea freight is safe and secure as containers are sealed and locked during transit from origin to destination.
Also sea freight has fewer accidents compared to other methods of shipping.
Types of ocean
Containers are a basic instrument, without which logistics would make no sense, particularly in the case of ocean transport. After all, it is estimated that more than 20 million containers worldwide are on the move at any single time.
Choosing the container for an ocean shipment is a decision that mustn’t be made lightly, given the wide range of options available for ocean freight. The main reason for choosing one container instead of another is the kind of freight you want to transport.
Dry Van containers are aluminium or steel containers recommended for general or dry freight.
They are watertight and only have doors on one side. Their dimensions are standard, with a width of 2.40m and a height of 2.60m. As far as length is concerned, the most popular are those measuring 20 and 40 feet, or 6 and 12 metres.
Refrigerated containers, or Reefer Tanks, are used for commodities requiring refrigerated or frozen conditions for their transport, such as fruit, vegetables and other perishable products. The most sophisticated versions even have a CO2 control system for the proper transportation of ripening food.
A flat rack container is usually for the transportation or storage of cargo with unique dimensions. Flat racks only have sides on the short side of the container, the bulkheads, so the cargo can stick out the side of the container during transportation.
The common types of cargo shipped through flat rack containers include machinery, factory parts, heavy industry components, equipment etc. They are ideally transported by flat racks because of the additional space available. However, due to the shape, care must be taken when securing to the base and walls.
Open top containers can be loaded from the top. This is especially helpful when dealing with goods or mortar with a crane or fork lift truck. An open top container has no fixed roof, it can be covered by a tarpaulin instead.
A side opening container or open side container is a shipping container that, in addition to the regular, lockable double doors located on one end, includes an additional pair of bi-fold doors on one of the longer sides.
Tank containers are used for transporting liquids or chemicals. The IMO certification of the tank container tells which type of liquids can be transported in the container.
The half-height container is 1450mm high to allow the units to be shipped in a normal 2900mm high container slot (9’6 high). This can save logistic companies a fortune when returning empty containers.
The half heights are a real multipurpose container. With Rear doors, tipping hatch and hard lid.
The ISG half height is IMDG BK2 certified for transporting dangerous cargo.
Not the ordinary containers, these are the container units, custom made for specialized purposes. Mostly, they are used for high profile services like the shipment of weapons and arson. As such, their construction and material composition depend on the special purpose they need to cater to. But in most cases, security remains the top priority.
Also known as full container load, where the letters FCL refer to the use of a complete container for a single shipment. This means that the container can be loaded and sealed, safe in the knowledge that everything inside it belongs to the same owner.
This kind of container is suitable in the event of having to export a large quantity of goods. Among its advantages are greater profitability for goods of a volume equal to or greater than 15m3, additional security of the cargo thanks to being sealed, and faster delivery, given that the container will make its way directly from its origin to its destination without stopping at ports along the way.
At the opposite end from the scale from FCL, we offer the alternative of the LCL (Less than Container Load), much more suitable and manageable for small cargo volumes. Here the issue is simply cargo groupage, i.e. the grouping of moderate volumes of goods belonging to several shippers until filling a container. Although using an LCL container may be a somewhat slower alternative for maritime shipments, it works out cheaper because you share the costs.
In Bilogistik we supply container shipping services adjusted to the specific needs of your cargo. We collaborate with the different shipping companies and we freight, in all cases, with all kinds of materials, especially bulks, ferrous products and ferro-alloys.
When considering ocean freight there will be two main methods to choose from.
The term FCL stands for “Full Container Load“.
This is when a shipper makes use of an entire container to ship his consignment. This means that the shipment will occupy an entire container without sharing space with other shippers.
- Have control of how a container is packed and how your cargo is placed.
- Less chance of damaged goods.
- Reduce costs in your home country – no bundling & less handling and unpacking.
- Cheaper – When your need to ship cargo that is quite big and ± 15-20 cbm’s it becomes viable to look at utalizing a full container and take advantage of bulk shipping rates.
- Saves Time – If you need your cargo to come in and move it directly from the port to your premises and avoid delays.
The term LCL stands for “less than a container load”.
This is when a single container is occupied by multiple shippers consignments.
This is also referred to as groupage shipments where multiple shippers cargo is consolidated to share space of a full container.
- If you need to ship smaller quantities – Before ordering large volumes this will be ideal.
- Quicker delivery – don’t wait to fill an entire container.
- When you need to source from multiple suppliers – avoid bulk volumes from one supplier only.
- Pay for the volume you need – say you need to ship less than 10cbs it will be likely to pay LCL rates and avoid paying for a full container.
- When your warehouse space cannot accommodate large volumes of stock.
What is a
Bill of Lading
A bill of lading (BL or BoL) is a legal document issued by a carrier to a shipper. It provides the type, quantity, and destination of the goods being shipped. It also serves as a shipment receipt when the carrier delivers the goods at a pre-agreed destination.
EXWorks is where the buyer accepts most of the shipping risk and responsibilities.
The seller is required to make the product available at his warehouse or a predetermined location, and the buyer has the responsibility of shipping costs and arrangements.
Once the buyer collects, all other responsibilities, including transport to the port of destination are accepted.
The seller of goods is responsible for the delivery to a destination specified by the buyer. “Free” indicates the seller has to deliver the goods to a nominated location for transfer to a carrier. This might be a shipping terminal, warehouse, or another location where the carrier operates.
Cost of transport is included in the sellers price and the seller takes the risk of damage or loss until the goods are received at the agreed location or carrier. From here the buyer takes responsibility.
FOB means the seller delivers goods, cleared for export and loaded on board the vessel at the port of departure.
Once the goods have been loaded on board the vessel, the risk transfers to the buyer, who now bears all costs, including import clearance and duties.
FAS means the seller clears goods for export and places them alongside the vessel at the selected port of departure. The port of departure can be a loading dock or a barge, but not a container terminal.
Here buyer’s responsibility is to loading the freight onto the vessel, as well as handling local carriage, discharge, import formalities and duties and onward carriage to the final destination.
FAS is popular with bulk cargo, such as grain and oil.
CFR means that the seller is responsible for export clearance of the goods, delivery thereof onboard the vessel at the port of departure, and the payment for transport of the goods to the named port of destination.
Although with a cost and freight sale, the seller is not responsible for procuring marine insurance against the risk of loss or damage to the cargo during transit.
CIF is where the seller delivers the goods, cleared for export, onboard the vessel at the port of shipment, pays for the transport of the goods to the port of destination, and also obtains and pays for minimum insurance coverage on the goods through their journey to the named port of destination.
The buyer assumes all risk once the goods are on board the vessel for the main carriage; however, they don’t take on any costs until the freight arrives at the named port of destination.
Under the CPT Incoterm, the seller is responsible for bringing the goods to destination. The transfer of risk is made when the goods have been handed over to the carrier. However, the seller is responsible for contract for the carriage of the goods from delivery to the agreed final destination.
CPT is an incoterm that can reduce some risk for the buyer as they may not pay for goods until they have arrived at the agreed destination via any mode of transportation. CPT is where the vendor of the goods is financially responsible for delivering them to a carrier, forwarder, or whomever else they choose. They also bear all risks related to the shipment until they’ve been accepted by the carrier, forwarder, etc. In this case, the vendor covers all costs to get the goods to the buyer’s agreed destination and the buyer is only responsible for import and custom clearance expenses and local delivery once the goods have arrived.
Carriage and Insurance Paid To (CIP) is when a seller pays freight and insurance to deliver goods to a seller-appointed party at an agreed-upon location. The risk of damage or loss to the goods being transported transfers from the seller to the buyer as soon as the goods are delivered to the carrier or appointed person.
commodities you can SEA FREIGHT with
Sea freight of personal effects has become popular for relocation when looking to send a bulk consignment.
Alternatively smaller consignments that are too large to air freight can also be sent via sea freight making use of LCL shipping.
Shipping excess baggage through Billion making use of sea freight is a more cost effective method when you are not in a hurry.
Commercial and Industrial Machinery and Equipment (except Automotive and Electronic) Repair and Maintenance.
When in need of a cost effective method to ship large machines sea freight is the most effective method of bulk shipping.
With mining equipment and natural resources taking up large volumes the most effective method of moving these goods are ocean freight where one to multiple containers can be utilised to send a large consignment of material or equipment.
Perishable goods sea freight has become the dominant option of moving bulk temperature controlled products. Specialised refrigerated containers allows control and temperature logging to ensure these products are kept under the required conditions.
Examples of such goods are:
- Fruit and vegetables
- Meat, fish and seafoods
Some medical equipment and consumables are bought in bulk orders and are ideal for full container loads as well as less than container loads.
With our international footprint we can arrange collection, packaging, sea freight and delivery between hospitals and medical labs.
We sea freight the below and more:
- Lab and hospital equipment ex. PCR Machines
- Medical PPE
Dangerous goods are defined as articles or substances which are capable of posing a risk to health, safety, property or the environment and which are shown in the list of dangerous goods in the Technical Instructions or which are classified according to those Instructions.
A simple product such as nail polish or a battery might seem harmless to you, but pose a different threat when it comes to shipping.