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Ocean Freight Forwarding: Is It Right for Your Export?

Cargo Ship
If you have been selling a product in the United States for years and have decided to expand your sales overseas, then you may wonder if you should arrange to have your products shipped by sea or air. While no method of transporting goods internationally is better than another, one may be a better option for your unique business needs.
While you can always change your shipping method when your shipping needs change, read on to learn three signs that ocean shipping is currently a great option for your product.
Your Items Cannot Be Shipped by Air
The first step in deciding whether to export your products by air or sea is determining whether your items are allowed to be shipped by air on U.S. airlines.
Here are just a few of the items that are currently prohibited from being transported on airplanes traveling within and leaving the United States:
  • Flammable liquids. This includes perfume, air fresheners, insect sprays, etc.
  • Items containing gases. This includes all aerosol products, light bulbs that contain gases, fire extinguishers, etc.
  • Flammable powders and solids. This includes magnesium powder, titanium powder, activated carbon, etc.
  • Corrosive items and liquids. This includes batteries, corrosive chemicals, etc.
This is not an all-encompassing list of items that cannot be shipped by air out of the United States, but just a few examples. Items banned from being shipped by air in the United States are typically a hazard to the health or safety of airline crew or have the potential to damage the airplane itself.
In addition, you must check to see if the country you are shipping your items to allows incoming air shipments of your item. The airlines and governments of countries that allow imports from the United States often have their own air import restrictions.
You Don't Need the Fastest Shipping Option
If you are in a hurry to get your product to your overseas clients, then you should choose air shipping. This is typically the fastest way to export items overseas, since airplanes can travel about 30 times faster than ocean liners.
For example, when shipping freight by sea from a port in Florida to Taiwan, it can take an average of 19 to 61 days for your freight to reach your client in Taiwan, while your shipment may be able to reach your client in a matter of days when you choose air shipping.
However, if you are not in a rush to get your products to their final destination, then shipping by ocean freight may be a better option for you. While your goods may take a little longer to reach their destinations when shipped by sea, this shipment option is typically more affordable, and this affordability can make up for longer shipping times.
You Would Prefer the Most Eco-Friendly Shipping Option
Although over 90 percent of all items shipped internationally throughout the world are shipped by sea, the maritime shipping industry only contributes to 12 percent of all pollution created by activities involved in supporting the economy.
Many ocean shipping companies have reduced their fuel consumption when transporting goods by sea by using a travel method called extra slow steaming. This method of travel reduces the ship carbon dioxide emissions by 43 percent compared to traveling at a faster speed. However, shipping by sea at even traditional speeds typically produces less carbon dioxide pollution than shipping by air.
In addition, the carbon dioxide emitted into the air at high altitudes by airplanes is considered more harmful to the environment than carbon dioxide emitted at ground level due to the chemical reaction it creates at this altitude.
If you have been selling products in the United States that you would like to finally introduce into the global economy by exporting them, then realize that ocean freight shipping has its unique benefits. Contact Dolphin Brokerage International for all of your freight forwarding needs.