Air Freight Vs. Sea Freight

Air Freight Vs. Sea Freight: 4 Factors that will help you choose the right freight service for International Shipping

There are a few things to take into consideration while choosing the best method to ship your goods. Choosing the right service between air freight vs sea freight will help you bring down costs and bring inefficiencies in your shipping process.

Cost / Price

As a business owner, before shipping goods, you need to check out all the costs associated with shipping. Most businesses ship the goods via sea freight because it is cheaper than air. But if you want to deliver goods urgently, you need to go with air freight.

A businessman who has to initiate frequent international shipping needs to be educated about everything that is related to shipping. Airlines bill you by chargeable weight. Chargeable weight is calculated by factoring the weight and size of a shipment. Sea carriers charge per container. There might also be Terminal Handling charges levied by ports.

Exporters / Importers should note that there are destination charges that need to be considered. Whether shipping by air or by sea, there will be customs clearance and destination port fees. While the actual shipping cost of sea freight is usually cheaper than the shipment cost of air freight, the warehousing fees at seaports are much more expensive than those at airports.

Speed / Urgency of Shipping

Air freight is the fastest way of moving goods. Businesses who want their goods to be delivered quickly should choose air freight. Shipping by sea takes around 7-8 weeks in most cases. Ships are getting faster with technology, but yet they do not solve the urgency of shipping requirements.


Seasoned import/export business needs reliable shipping, whether its air or sea. Air freight is the fastest is mostly on time. Flights might get delayed due to extreme weather conditions. Such delays in air shipping are minimal.

Sea carriers are not well known for shipping consignments on time. Shipping by sea needs to take into account the rough sea weather most cargo container ships have to face. Sea freight can be delayed for days and weeks and is not known to be as reliable as air freight.

Environmental Impact

Not everything is about the bottom line and convenience of shipping. While social awareness of environmental issues can change the way people look at organizations and in turn affect its bottom line, we all have the responsibility of taking care of the planet we live on.

Sea freight has a lesser environmental impact. Carbon emissions are much higher in air freight transport than sea freight. This causes cargo shipping by air to have a much larger carbon footprint than cargo shipping by sea. However, considering oil spills and the water ecosystems affected by ocean freight, most businesses might still go with air freight.

GoComet is the world’s best platform to make freight procurement efficient and fast. Our enterprise SaaS product is used by manufacturing companies to drive sharp reverse auctions bringing out the best possible end to end rates for international shipments.

Also, check out our Container tracking software and Sailing Schedule module.