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A Beginner’s Guide to Sea Freight Shipping

International trade allows people to buy products from different parts of the world in their home countries. International trade isn’t anything new either. For centuries, people have been shipping spices, goods and other raw materials from one part of the globe to another. There are certain sea shipping routes that have been around for more than a millennium. Previously, privateers and merchants would take on expeditions in order to ship goods from one country to another at their own risk. They would purchase items from one country, and then sell them in another.

Today, the whole process has been streamlined. Private shipping companies offer sea freight services. Needless to say, shipping by sea is only preferable when the shipment isn’t time sensitive. The costs of shipping by sea are also significantly lower, so you will need to make a careful decision before choosing a shipping partner. The first thing to know about sea freight shipping is that most companies offer a per-pallet rate. A pallet is a platform made out of PVC or wood. It’s used for keeping heavy loads on top. Items are either shrink-wrapped or tied to the pallet. Forklifts can then be used for lifting the pallets from the ground and moving them from one place to another. Here’s a brief guide to sea freight shipping.

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Create a Shortlist of Shipping Companies

The first step is to create a shortlist of different shipping companies that offer affordable international shipping. There are many factors you should consider when creating the shortlist. First of all, you should compare the rates offered by different companies. Obviously, you’ll want to insure the products before shipping them in the case of damage. Some companies also offer less than container load services. These are perfect for shipping items that aren’t as big, and don’t take up the whole container.

Compare Transit Times

There’s no doubt that sea freight shipping is slower than shipping by air. However, the slower transit times are offset by the significantly lower rates of shipping. You can easily request a quote from the company based on the destination and the time. Most sea freight shipping companies have their own websites. All you have to do is put in the details of the shipment, and the online calculator will return a quote instantly.

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Important Things You Should Know

There are many important things that you should know before shipping your goods by sea. First of all, the goods are checked and sealed at the origin. They are then shipped via rail or road to the ship. Afterward, they are transported to the final destination. Most shipping companies handle the whole shipping process, thus making it easy for small businesses to simply place a booking order and have the items picked up from the source only. Once your order has been booked, the company will send a moving van to pick up the goods and transport them to the warehouse.