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Deciding on which method of shipping best suits your particular supply chain depends on a number of factors. Are your goods needed urgently or are they time sensitive? How much of a factor is cost and shipping rates? Do you need a specialized freight service that offers refrigeration for perishable goods?

Knowing the benefits – and the costs – of each transportation mode can help inform your decision. An experienced logistics company such as Asiana USA, can provide guidance on the best methods for transporting your goods.

Ocean Freight

With shipping by sea accounting for over 90% of the world’s trade, this is certainly the most popular option. While it is an extremely cost effective way of moving goods and raw materials around the world, the disadvantage is that it takes longer to receive your goods so is not a popular choice for time-sensitive shipments.

Its advantages lie in the ability to ship large amounts of raw materials needed for manufacturing and also large weight or awkwardly shaped items.

The pros of shipping by sea:

  • Good for many types of goods that don’t need received urgently
  • Best capability for larger volumes of goods
  • Greenest option of all transportation modes
  • Most economical option where costs are a major deciding factor
  • Virtual global coverage of countries with port access
  • Wide choice of shipping companies, allowing customers to shop around

Rail Transportation

Many people consider that moving goods by rail has geographical limitations. And while that is true when it comes to transatlantic trade, it still offers many long distance solutions.

For example, the first long distance freight train from China arrived in The Netherlands in 2015 after an 18 day journey as opposed to the 44 days it would have taken by sea.

The disadvantage of moving goods by train is that you generally need forwarding options at point of delivery. Over longer distances, moving your freight by train is less expensive than road transportation.

The pros of shipping by train:

  • Railway transportation tends to be more reliable than by road. Trains generally stick to tight schedules and are not subject to delays caused by weather, roadworks, or accidents in the same way trucks are.
  • Most efficient way of moving goods over landmasses. One cargo train can carry the same load as more than 400 trucks.
  • Rail freight is the most cost effective solution for land transportation over distances of more than 500 miles.
  • Less risk of accidents with moving goods by train.
  • The second greenest option and also helps reduce traffic levels on roads.

Air Freight

Using air transportation to move your goods is the fastest and most efficient method. It is the ideal solution for businesses that need a time sensitive supply chain and is much utilized by companies shipping goods such as fresh flowers, fruit, and seafood, as well as other perishables where speedy delivery is vital to maintaining the satisfaction of end users.

Of all transportation modes, it is also the method where damaged or stolen cargo is less likely to happen. The major disadvantage – other than the high rates charged for air cargo – is the environmental impact. There are also more severe limits on weight (and on awkward sized or shaped cargo as well as hazardous products) than there is with other modes.

The pros of shipping by air:

  • Fast transit time
  • Lower levels of documentation needed
  • Reliability of services
  • High levels of security at all stages
  • Lower levels of cargo handling
  • Quick transit
  • Less handling of cargo

Truck Transport

Using freight trucks to move your goods can be an ideal solution over short distances. It remains a very popular choice for freight shipping, especially for smaller countries and for some international routes.

Where regions, such as Europe, have single document customs systems, it also allows for relative ease of movement. A major disadvantage is that if you decide to ship by truck, then your delivery can be delayed by weather or traffic conditions. Another disadvantage is the limit on weight or size of goods carried.

The pros of shipping by road:

  • Cost effective and economical.
  • Can offer door to door shipping options so goods go direct from producer to distributor or retailer.
  • Wide range of distance options from short to long haul.
  • Depending on weather and traffic, deliveries tend to stick to schedules.
  • GPS tracking options to see where your goods are.

Why Choose One?

Depending on point of origin, point of delivery, and timeframe required, many logistics companies may suggest multimodal solutions for delivering your goods. Despite using more than one mode of transportation, this can often offer a cost effective solution to customers.

Final Thoughts

At Asiana USA, we have been providing logistics solutions to a wide range of clients from around the world. With offices in several countries and an extensive network of partners and affiliates, we know we can find the shipping solution for your business. To get more information, or to request a quote, call us at (855)-500-1808.

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