5 Benefits of Sea Transportation

Air. Road. Sea. Each has unique benefits for companies that have global logistics needs.


Sea transportation is most commonly used for:

  • Regular, bulky shipments: Large or bulky items like vehicles and machinery often make air shipping out of the question. Trucking multi-ton monsters over roads result in prohibitive fuel costs. Of course, large items coming from overseas must travel by ship. 
  • Restricted items: Shipping restrictions prohibit flammable items and gases, including aerosols, to travel by air.
  • Affordability: We’ll explore this in more detail below, but sea transportation remains the more affordable option and is ideal for companies on a budget, particularly when they can schedule far enough in advance to accommodate a longer shipping schedule. 


Sea Transportation is More Affordable

While it may be faster to ship by air, it’s much less expensive to ship by sea. According to the World Bank, air freight is typically 12–16 times more expensive than sea transport


If you’re looking for a cost-effective solution for shipping your goods and are not on a strict timetable, sea transportation is a more budget-friendly solution for moving your cargo.


Sea transportation has the added benefit of passing along cost savings when containers are shared with other, smaller shipments. Efficiency savings also mean sea transportation is doing its part in making use of available space and reducing necessary trips, making it more environmentally friendly. 


A cargo ship demonstrating the benefits of sea transportation.


It’s More Sustainable

Research shows air freight leaves the largest freight carbon footprint. Airplanes emit 500 grams of carbon dioxide per ton of freight, while transport ships emit 10 to 40 grams of CO2 per ton per kilometer. That’s over a 10 to 1 difference. 


The Guardian points out that the shipping industry itself continues to make improvements to reduce emissions and meet increasingly stricter environmental regulations as cargo travels by sea.


If you’re a company or individual with an eye toward more environmentally-friendly methods of doing business, you may want to consider sea transportation as your chosen shipping method. Consumers are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious; may as well travel along. 


It’s Surprisingly Speedy

While air transportation and shipping by air will likely always be the faster method for shipping your goods, sea transportation and technological advancements in cargo ships have made for robust sea shipping speed improvements.


The speed of sea transportation depends on ideal routes, another aspect that software makes more cost-effective and time-saving. Shipping by sea may not take as much time as you think, given recent advancements.


It’s Ideal for Heavy Shipments

Ocean freight’s ability to handle large, heavy objects makes it the go-to transport choice for the auto, machinery, coal, iron, and construction industries. 


Car carrier ship with imported automobiles demonstrating the benefit of shipping heavy items by sea transportation.


It’s Safe

While air transportation or shipping via road freight isn’t unsafe, when choosing sea transportation, you can rest assured that your items will be sealed away in an environment suitable for those items, free of outside interference, environmental effects, and theft. 


Sea transportation is also the default option if you must ship items on the banned list for air transportation. As already mentioned, those items include but are not limited to flammable items, biological materials, or gases, such as any aerosols you need to ship.


Is Sea Transportation The Right Shipping Method for You?

Shipments by sea remain a tried and true method of shipping. The sea shipping industry is important to the global economy, keeping supply chains moving along as consumers increase their spending online.


If you need more support in deciding on the kind of relocation, shipping, or logistical management that will best suit your needs, let HLOG help you. Trust in our individualized services as we craft the appropriate shipping plan for you, whether that’s by air, by road, or by sea.