Air Freight Vs. Sea Freight: Which Is Best?

Air Freight Vs. Sea Freight: Which Is Best?

Sea freight is always going to be the most affordable shipping method, but it isn’t always the best option in every circumstance. If you are moving overseas to work, study or retire and want to bring most of your furniture, surface freight is the only practical choice. But even then, you might want to send a few things by air freight instead. Yes, it is more expensive, but it also offers some real advantages, particularly for some specific types of items you might be sending in your personal shipping.

Air Freight for Urgent Shipping

Planes obviously travel faster than ships. The other reason air freight is faster than sea freight is because planes can fly directly to inland destinations. Sea freight can get your shipment to the port, and then if it is going inland, it will continue by road. If you want something to get to its destination as quickly as possible, air shipping is the only real choice if that destination is very far. 

A small parcel for Christmas or a birthday, or a few items your almost adult child forgot when they left for that year abroad, are prime examples. 

Another item to consider shipping by air is food. Not all food is suitable to be shipped, and you will need to check the customs regulations of the receiving country. Never ship food close to its best by date. But if you are sending some Christmas treats – or just your loved one’s favourite biscuits and crisps – use air freight to make sure they get there quickly.

Shipping Fragile and Valuable Items by Air Freight

Sea freight, while protected as much as possible, is more vulnerable to the elements. It is harder to control the temperature on a cargo ship, and rough seas can get rougher than air turbulence. Items that are very fragile or particularly vulnerable to changes in temperature and humidity are safer in the air than at sea. Wooden musical instruments such as violins, cellos, harps and acoustic guitars should be shipped by air. Ordinary dishes and glassware, if packed well, should be fine going by sea freight, but delicate glasses or glass ornaments are safer in air freight.  

Fragile and vulnerable items aren’t limited to things you can see break into pieces. cosmetics and skin creams are best sent by air because any exposure to moisture or dramatic temperature changes can affect them. Always check the packaging of anything you are shipping to see if it mentions storing the product within a specific temperature range. If it does, air freight is the way to go.

If you are searching for the best personal shipping service to get an item overseas, contact the experts at Spratt. We can help you decide if air freight or sea freight is the best option for your shipment, considering what you are shipping, when it needs to arrive and what your budget is. Our experience and expertise will ensure your shipment arrives safely and on time, whatever shipping method you choose.