Advantages & Disadvantages of Ocean Freight Transportation Services?

Throughout the history, seas have been fundamental to people across the earth as a means of transportation. However, ocean freight transportation services perpetually comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages as follows:

Advantages of ocean freight transportation services:

  • Cheap Freight: In comparison to rail, road, and air, ocean freight rates are more affordable and especially more economically viable for bulkier cargo.
  • Less Maintenance Cost: Maintenance cost of water transport is quite cheaper in comparison to maintenance cost involved in air and rail transport. This is also one of the main reason because of which ocean freight rates are not high.
  • Best for Bulky Goods: Heavy and bulky items of shipment can be transported with ease through ocean freight without incurring enormous costs in transportation, as ocean freight rates are cheap. Airplanes cannot transport bulky items such as automobile parts, machinery, industrial parts etc. and ships can carry all kinds of heavy objects.
  • Important for Foreign Trade: While airlines are increasingly used today for international shipping, oceans have been for long connecting the global trade markets. Even till today, foreign trade is highly dependent upon ocean shipping.
  • Eco-friendly: Ships have a minimal carbon footprint as they consume lesser fuel in comparison to aeroplanes. As they are Eco-friendly, large organizations prefer them over other means of transport.

Disadvantages of ocean freight transportation services: 

  • Slow Speed: Ocean transportation is a more time-consuming mode and is ideal for those items which have a long lead time. Other transportation options like air freight can deliver items in maximum 2-3 days while ocean freight might even take a month.
  • Risky: Since there is a high amount of time involvement from shipping to delivery, the risks associated with ocean shipping are higher. There might be delays or weather obstructions which can cause loss or damage of shipment.
  • Lack of Infrastructure: Certain parts of the world might not have the facilities of ports and terminals and can therefore not receive large ships carrying containers. Usually, a significant amount of capital expenditure is essential to handle container based networks.

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