Logistical problems are the bane of any freight moving operation, but they especially affect those that are required to send some goods via sea freight services. However, such problems may be eased with the combination of different services as part of a more complete transportation system. By use of such intermodal distribution, many problems related to the timeliness and difficulty may be eliminated. While they cannot generally work alone, air freight services can expedite shipping in many cases.
An aircraft is usually faster than an ocean going vessel, and it can therefore carry goods more quickly than its marine counterpart. This is especially important in cases where an item truly needs to arrive on a very tight schedule. Medical freight and many types of postal mail, for instance, will need to rely on the speed of shipping by air. However, sea freight services shine when it comes to bulk shipping. An airplane simply can’t carry the high volume of traffic that a ship can. Modern bulk carries have incredibly vast capacities that were once completely unheard of. However, the shipping container has really revolutionized sea freight in the present day.
Intermodal freight transport is the transportation of freight in intermodal cargo containers, using multiple modes of container transportation, including truck, rail, barge and ship. In this method of transport the actual freight itself is not handled as it is transferred from one transportation mode to another, but rather entire cargo containers and their contents are transferred from truck to rail, or from truck to barge/ship, or from rail to barge/ship, or from barge/ship to truck, etc. When cargo is properly packed and sealed in a container, damage should not occur to the container’s contents during transit. Visit CargoMaster to read more about the freight industry and learn more about Shipping Containers to NZ services.
The actual cargo is only handled at its point of origin when it is packed into the container and at its final destination when it is unpacked. Once the container is packed and sealed, that container won’t be opened again until it reaches its final destination. Containers can be transferred from ships to overland transport (trucks and trains) or even to barges for river transport.
There are a wide range of containers designed to transport different types of cargo, including liquids, frozen goods, compressed or liquefied gases, fast freight and even mini containers for smaller loads of cargo. There are also special containers for transporting livestock, tilting containers which make unloading grain easier and faster, fan-tainers that can ventilate the cargo within with built-in blowers or fans, hang-tainers with hanging systems for garments, and even open-end containers designed to transport long items.
On the other hand, the combination of both sea and air freight fulfills a niche that other methods can’t. For instance, the speed of aircraft allow for various samples of new merchandise to be flown between new nations. These samples can precede the actual goods, which could be then loaded in bulk on vessels and sailed to their new destination once the preorder is approved. This sort of useful combination allows both air’s speed and water’s bulk loading capacity to be used to their fullest extent.
No one method of transportation will ever fully supplant all others. By using each to its fullest advantage, a shipper can attain the lowest cost for the amount of freight they’re shipping. Therefore, strategic use of both sea and air freight will allow for the best deal to be worked out. Moreover, one can save a great deal of time by matching up the freight being shipped and the method used to move it.
Freight forwarders act as an intermediary between the company who makes the shipment and the final destination for the goods. Freight forwarders use their trusted contacts with carriers and partners from air transport specialists and trucking companies to transoceanic lines in order to negotiate the best possible price. This may be using established commercial routes with regular frequent departures, or by charter, valuing different offers and choosing the better route that optimises speed, costs and reliability, considering all the variables necessary for the analysis of each case.
Normally a freight forwarder handles a large volume of shipments, even from one international destination to another, so they are a key part in triangular operations. At least three companies are involved in triangular operations (manufacturer, intermediary and final customer), each located in different countries, although there is a single delivery of goods and a single transport. This operation is complex from the point of view of the documentation and, above all, tributary with VAT settlement.
Forwarders use a Transportation Management System (TMS) to maintain transparent visibility throughout each stage of a shipment’s voyage. This critical piece of forwarding requires special licensure—a customs brokerage license. Licensed brokers are the only people qualified to manage and submit the extensive documentation necessary to complete importing/exporting processes.
Some forwarders may have their own warehouses available to harbor shippers’ commodities (or parts of commodities), but for the most part, the service your forwarder will offer is to arrange storage at a warehouse owned and operated by a conveniently located affiliate. Bargaining with carriers for cost-efficient shipping rates is no easy task. The art of this deal entails appealing to carriers’ interests by balancing the pros and cons of your cargo type, time flexibility, credit status, space/tonnage requirements, and more.
Savvy coordination and scheduling of cargo space are the more tangible parts of a forwarder’s skill set. If you hire a freight forwarder to manage logistics, this is where they’ll have the opportunity to display their chops. It takes a thoughtful planner to determine whether it is profitable to consolidate a shipment, to secure timely sailings, and to weigh the feasibility of intermodal shipping options.
Cargo scheduling is the logistics of “Logistics.” Forwarders may have several customers who all need to transport shipments that do not necessitate the use of an entire container. Freight consolidation for less than container load (LCL) shipping is a service forwarders provide wherein multiple smaller consignments are all booked aboard the same container.
In these instances, the shipping cost is spread amongst all participating customers based on the cargo’s space requirements. Forwarders can provide you with a cargo insurance policy, also known as freight insurance. Cargo insurance is intended to reimburse the loss payee in the event that goods are damaged or stolen in transit.
International freight services make life easier for you as they are like one-stop shops that help you organize your shipments to other countries. Sometimes these shipping agents are also the couriers themselves, but more often, they function exclusively as agents who offer you different shipping solutions and use various courier companies, depending on their clients’ needs.
Carriers used are usually planes and ships. Among the common offerings of these companies are worldwide shipping that includes LCL (loose container load) or FCL (full container load) shipments, personal effects / excess baggage shipping ideal for backpackers and foreign exchange students, customs clearance, wharf cartage and, of course, air freight.
These companies know the ins and outs of worldwide shipping, which include processing of documents containing pertinent information, such as commercial invoice, shipper’s export declaration and other documents required by the carrier or country of export, import, or transshipment. These days, these procedures are completed faster and more efficient, since all documents are processed through the Internet. And to make your shipment even more hassle-free, there are some things you should need to be aware of when sending things overseas.
First of all, you need to describe your goods as detailed as possible. You must state what the items are in your package. Write down every item to make sure you avoid delays. Also remember that you need to mention the replacement value of the goods you are sending when shipping to another country.
You will also do yourself and your forwarding agent a big favor if you avoid sending prohibited or restricted items. International air freight companies and even sea cargo agents, generally do not allow sending of articles of exceptional value like precious metals and stones and antiques, real and replica firearms and ammunition, human remains or ashes, live animals, illegal goods and many others. If you try shipping any of these, you may face prosecution, imprisonment and heavy fines.
In addition to this, items like fur, ivory, jewelry made of precious metals and stones, and firearm parts, among others, are restricted in shipments. Delays, surcharges and confiscation may happen if you attempt to include them in your shipment. The best thing to do is ask your international freight services agent for a complete list of prohibited and restricted items.