Sea freight is the transportation of goods and materials via ship. It involves moving cargo, which can range from live animals to large factory equipment, between seaports or between land and sea. It is a cheaper option for transporting bulky items than air freight, but slower than road transport.
Trucks, trains, ships or barges carry the cargo as well as passengers’ luggage. Vessels that carry cargo are called freighters. The most commonly used method of business shipping items by sea is containerization.
Below are some tips to choose a sea freight company:
Sea freight companies should have a good reputation. Check the companies that offer sea freight services by asking friends and relatives who have had past experience with them or ask people you know who regularly engage in this kind of shipping business and their opinion about them. Make sure they are accredited companies by looking at their website.**
The company should be affiliated with World Shipping Organization (WSO), Maritime International Freight Association (MIFA), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) or Intermodal Equipment Register (IACO). These organizations ensure that the company adheres to certain standards when it comes to safety, tracking and insurance of items being shipped.**
Get references and ask questions
Visit the company’s website and see if they offer a list of references that you can reach out to for more information about their services. You should also call and ask questions about the pricing, what type of shipping containers they offer and where their company headquarters is located.
Ask about insurance
Any good shipping company should be able to offer you some type of insurance for your cargo that covers accidents, theft or damage that occurs during transit. Be sure to ask how much the insurance will cost in addition to your shipping fee and check online reviews from other customers who have used their services before signing a contract with them.
Consider your schedule when selecting a shipping date
If you need to get something shipped quickly, make sure to find out if the company can accommodate your schedule and if so, what kind of additional fees they might charge for rush delivery. Sometimes these fees can be quite high and might not be worth it if you don’t have a lot of time.
Be flexible on time frame
If you want a deal on airfare, expect to pay more for a last-minute flight than you would during slow travel times like January through March or September through November. Similarly, since cargo ships are often at capacity during peak season and holiday travel time, you might be better off booking a later departure date.