Is it Better to Export Goods Through Air or Ship?

If you want to export goods around the world, you will need to utilize international shipping. There are two ways you can deliver your goods to overseas customers– by air freight or ocean freight.  To choose which option is the best for your customers, you’re going to need to consider various factors such as what goods you’re shipping, the size and weight, and the destination you’re sending them to. All of these factors will have a huge effect on international shipping rates and the profit margin of the trader.

What is an Air Freight?

Also known as “air cargo”, air freight simply means sending products and goods via a plane. Airfreight is by far the preferred method of transporting goods overseas if you need to accomplish a short delivery date.  Air carriers can transport small and expensive goods via an air freight company. These companies can deliver your customer’s order efficiently and quickly. Because it is the fastest way to transport goods, air freights are the most expensive option for international shipping. It is often used for shipping small, delicate, yet expensive packages.

Air Freight Pros:

  • Reliable and fast international shipping
  • Reduced risk of damages
  • Higher level of security
  • Can track the status of your goods throughout the journey
  • Can send goods almost anywhere in the world


What is an Ocean Freight?

Ocean freight is shipping goods around the world via the sea using a cargo ship. Plenty of companies specializes in this service. Your packages will be secured in huge shipping containers that contain other various goods. A freight forwarder will book a whole container or just a certain amount of space on the cargo ship that travels to your package’s destination.

Compared to air freight, it takes a longer time to send goods by sea. Your goods will also need to pass customs at the origin and the final destination. Once all the duties and taxes are paid, your goods will be released for delivery.

Ocean Freight Pros:

  • The best option for transporting heavy and numerous goods
  • More affordable compared to air freights, especially for small to medium-sized businesses



Factors to Consider When Choosing


  • Costs of International Shipping – Air freight will always be more expensive compared to exporting goods via ocean freight. Air freights are great for lowvolume yet highvalue goods you need to ship. Ocean freights are better for exporting bulk orders as there is more space in the cargo ship.


  • Reliability – Reliability is a very important factor for both the supplier and the buyer. Always consider how reliable the freight company is before placing an order with them. Note that air freights are a lot more reliable compared to ocean freights because weather and other unexpected factors can often delay cargo ships.


  • Speed and Time – The fastest method for international shipping is air freight, so if your order is very time-sensitive, air freight is the way to go. If time is not a huge concern, ocean freight is a great choice as it’s better in terms of price.


  • Environmental Impact – It is also important to consider how the method of shipping you choose will impact the environment. More and more consumers are becoming eco-friendly and prefer companies that practice green, eco-friendly methods.


This concludes our short article on air freights and ocean freights. We hope that this helped you learn more about these international shipping methods. Both have their own pros and cons; make sure to weigh them before making a final decision.