Sea shipping sea freight refers to international shipping of commodities by sea.

The most common method for sending products internationally is by far sea shipping.

Approximately 90% of goods are shipped by water around the world. However, just because something is popular does not automatically make it the best alternative.

The majority of business owners discover that they occasionally need to reassess their shipping alternatives, regardless of how experienced they are with international shipping or if they are just getting started.

Shippingtogo can assess if you need to determine whether sea shipping makes sense in your business.

What is Sea Shipping Worldwide?

Transporting products through the water is known as ocean freight.

It is a crucial component of cross-border trade that enables people to transport enormous volumes of products between nations.

Usually, ships are used to transfer the commodities across the ocean.

For various commodities, there are numerous shipping alternatives available.

Container shipping, often known as containerization, is one of the most common. With this choice, products are carried in containers that typically range in size from 20 to 40 feet.

Although exporting little amounts by ocean is undoubtedly expensive, it scales quite nicely.

For larger shipments, it results in a cheaper total cost.

This explains why it has become such an important part of global trade. Despite this, sea transportation is significantly slower, with most cargo arriving in 40 to 60 days on average.

Types of Sea Shipping services

Container shipping is among the most famous ocean freight options.

This is primarily due to its comparative security and ease of use.

When it happens to come to containerization, there are basically two types of services available:

  • LCL (less container load)
  • FCL (full container load)

FCL shipments entail shipping your goods in one or maybe more containers that you exclusively use. The container will only contain your goods, ensuring that your shipping will remain untouched until you open it yourself.

When you have products that can fill or nearly fill a container, this option is the most sensible.

The goods aimed to be shipped are generally less than what it takes to fill a container with LCL shipments.

So, instead of owning a container, which can be costly, you can split the expense and share the container with other people’s goods.

However, the disadvantage of this choice is that your commodities may be more susceptible to improper handling or harm during the voyage.

How to ship using ocean Shipping?

Ocean shipping, also known as sea shipping, is heavily reliant on the services of third-party freight forwarders.

Freight forwarders are typically defined as a third-party person or company who picks up your commodities, properly arranges them to be packed and onboard for shipments, and then delivers them to their final destination.

This is due to the fact that it is usually necessary to have believed eyes and hands that can assist you in collecting your items from the seller, arranging shipping, and loading your goods onto the ship.


The shipment contract is another important aspect of the process that you should be aware of. Ocean shipping contracts are governed by standard international shipping terms.

These are known as “Incoterms,” which stand for global commercial terms.

It specifies how far along the procedure the seller will be held liable for the goods, and when the buyer will assume responsibility for the shipment.

The most popular incoterms are:

FOB (Free on Board): Sellers and buyers share responsibility for the delivery process under the FOB agreement. Seller is responsible for ensuring that the goods are properly packaged, labelled, and loaded for shipping. The obligations pass to the buyer once the goods are loaded onboard.

EXW (Ex Works): An EXW contract places the buyer in charge of the majority of the work. The buyer collects the goods from the manufacturer and is liable for their transportation to their ultimate stop.

DDP (Delivered Duty Paid): With DDP, the seller assumes all obligations while the buyer assumes none. According to the terms, the seller is accountable for the costs of shipping, insurance, and inland transportation.

Following the determination of your shipment terms, the process of reaching the conclusion the ocean freight will include the following stages:


Export haulage: This is where the shipping journey begins. At this point, your products will be shipped from the seller’s warehouse to the warehouse of your freight forwarder.


Export customs clearance: Most places require that goods intended for export be cleared first. Clearance will entail providing a detailed cargo declaration as well as supporting documentation.

Origin handling: This stage includes all of the activities necessary to get your goods for shipping. The cargo will be transferred to a staging point for checking and confirmation. 

After confirmation, the freight forwarder will issue a cargo invoice confirming receipt of the goods as described. The goods will be piled in their container if the shipment is FCL. If they are LCL, they will be placed in a warehouse to await centralization with other goods in a container bound for the same port.

Import customs clearance: Once the package arrives at their destination port, they must be cleared for import. It also entails filling out the necessary forms, announcing the cargo, and paying the applicable fees.

Destination handling includes all activities necessary to verify the goods, check the documents, including the bill of lading, and transport the canister to the freight forwarder’s warehouse. The products will be opened, checked, and sorted for shipping haulage here.

The last stage of the process is import haulage. At this point, the products will be transferred inland by train or truck to your specified final destination.

Every stage of the process can be delegated to the freight forwarder. Alternatively, you may choose to make other arrangements.

How are Sea Shipping rates calculated?

Ocean freight rates are typically determined by a number of charges, including the cost per weight of goods and the amount of space they occupy.

Ocean freight, for example, costs roughly around 50 cents per kilograms (kg)2. Other fees that may be added to the freight rate are as follows:

  • Customs security surcharge
  • Routing charges
  • Fuel surcharge
  • Customs brokerage
  • Insurance
  • Container freight station (this applies to LCL consolidation only)
  • Pickup and delivery at ports and warehouses

Ocean freight rates are not fixed. Depending on a variety of factors, the price could rise significantly or fall even further. Among these elements are:

Fuel prices: Fuel is essential for shipping goods by sea freight, and prices can fluctuate. When prices rise, rates are likely to rise as well.

Rates of exchange: Slight exchange rate fluctuations can result in significant losses for shipping companies, especially given the length of a single trip.

Supply and demand: People often work less during the holidays, which has an impact on the shipping industry.

As a result, there is generally a spike in demand just before festive holidays such as Chinese New Year, which can drive freight rates up.

Size of shipment: Clearly, larger-sized shipments require a lot more work and cost a lot more.

Containerized shipment is quick, easy, and inexpensive because it is quick, easy, and effective.

Other types of vessels, such as tanker trucks for liquid cargo or bulk carriers for unbagged dry goods, may be more expensive.

When does it make sense to choose Sea Shipping?

If you are shipping large or bulky items, or if you need to decrease your shipping costs to save money, you should consider using sea freight. When there is a high volume of orders within a short period of time, ocean freight works very well.

However, if you choose ocean freight, you should generally allow more than enough time for the commodities to arrive. If you do not have adaptable delivery dates, you may want to look elsewhere.

Overall, ocean freight is a great choice for international shipments, but only in certain situations.

It can be a low-cost option, but this is frequently offset by the confusion of the process.

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