Intercontinental Transportation. Maritime vs. Air? Which is the winner?
The age-old dilemma of whether to go by plane or by boat, yet as much as you’d like to, we’re not talking about going on vacation, we’re talking about transportation and logistics.
There is a wide range of options in terms of transporting goods, but when it comes to intercontinental transport this boils down to just two: sea and air.
How do we know which is the most convenient option to transport our cargo?
This decision must be made strategically, given the factors involved, such as distance, cost, security, and last but not least, the type of cargo to be transported.
Considerations in selecting air transportation:
Air transport stands out for its speed, it is the fastest way to get to any corner of the planet, as well as the one that best meets the most demanding deadlines. Time is money.
It also allows a wide geographical coverage, thanks to the huge airport network that facilitates the entry into new markets.
Moreover, it provides greater security, with a lower claims rate and lower accident risk. Finally, it is highly versatile, thanks to the existence of aircraft adapted to the different types of cargo to be transported.
However, it is considerably more limited in terms of cargo capacity and volume.
Perishable products: The speed of this type of transport places it above the others when it comes to transporting products with a limited shelf life. We are talking about all kinds of organic products, such as fresh food or flowers. However, this category has some exceptions. One example is bananas, which, given the time they take to ripen, tend to be transported by sea.
Pharmaceutical products: Medical products are often very sensitive to temperature changes. This requires their temperature to be controlled and monitored, as well as usually requiring very short transport times, something that air transport can offer a better guarantee.
High-value products: Despite the security involved in maritime transport, air transport offers greater guarantees for the transport of high-value products, such as precious stones, jewelry, etc.
Dangerous products: This type of products always requires special attention not only to the type of aircraft to be used as well as the product to be shipped where air transport is quite demanding, according to IATA regulations.
Considerations when choosing maritime transport:
Shipping stands out for its affordability as well as its ability to be able to carry various types of cargo on the same ship.
Ships can carry almost anything from solids, liquids, gaseous or bulk, and from large containers to small packages. This includes hazardous materials, which often cannot be transported by air. Variables such as volume or weight are also never a problem with this type of transport.
As for its disadvantages, these include longer delivery times due to the time it takes to transport, as well as the fact that it is more difficult to control times due to circumstances such as port congestion or weather factors. In addition, it is often necessary to have a second means of transport at the port to its final destination. But this also occurs with air transport.
Less sensitive medical and cosmetic products: Despite all this, it is perfectly possible to transport a wide range of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics by ship in refrigerated (refrigerated or ventilated) containers.
Fashion, electronics and household products: The preferred transport of the main segments of everyday consumer products is by sea. Because they are not perishable, they do not require urgent delivery and transport by ship is much cheaper.
Dangerous Goods: Many goods, due to their specificities and degree of danger makes the sea transport the most appropriate solution, especially when the quantities are high, making the transport more competitive and economical, of course complying with FIATA regulations for IMO cargoes.
Both operations have many exceptions as well as benefits, and the factor of price fluctuation has to be considered.
Contact us so we can help you select the best type of transport for you.
Our professional team will assess your situation and recommend the transport that best meets your exact needs, looking for the most advantageous time/price/security combination.