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Different Types of Ocean Freight Forwarding Services: A Guide

by Thomas Browne
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There are many different types of ocean freight forwarding services, each with its own unique benefits. Depending on your needs, you may find that one type of service is more advantageous than another. In this article, we will take a look at the different types of ocean freight forwarding services and what they have to offer. Read on to know more about this below. 

Full Container Load (FCL) Shipping:

One of the most popular types of ocean freight forwarding services is full container load (FCL) shipping. This type of service is typically used for large shipments that fill an entire container. FCL shipping offers several advantages over other types of ocean freight forwarding services, including:

  • Reduced handling – since your shipment will not be unloaded and reloaded onto different vehicles, there is less chance of damage or misplaced items.
  • Increased security – since your shipment will be contained within a locked container, it will be more secure from theft or tampering.
  • Faster transit times – FCL shipments typically move faster than less-than-container load (LCL) shipments, as they do not have to wait to be consolidated with other shipments.

Less-Than-Container Load (LCL) Shipping:

Less-than-container load (LCL) shipping is a type of ocean freight forwarding service that is used for smaller shipments that do not fill an entire container. LCL shipping has several advantages over FCL shipping, including:

  • Lower costs – since you will only be paying for the space your shipment occupies, LCL shipping is typically more cost-effective than FCL shipping.
  • Increased flexibility – LCL shipments can be consolidated with other shipments going to the same destination, which gives you more flexibility in terms of delivery times.
  • Enhanced tracking – LCL shipments are typically easier to track than FCL shipments, as they are not contained within a locked container.

Door-to-Door Shipping:

Door-to-door shipping is another popular type of ocean freight forwarding service. This type of service includes the pick-up and delivery of your shipment from door-to-door, which can offer several advantages, including:

  • Increased convenience – door-to-door shipping is one of the most convenient types of ocean freight forwarding services, as it eliminates the need for you to drop off or pick up your shipment.
  • Enhanced tracking – door-to-door shipments are typically easier to track than other types of shipments, as they are not handled by multiple parties.
  • Faster transit times – since door-to-door shipments are not delayed by processes such as consolidation, they often arrive at their destination faster than other types of shipments.

Flatbed Shipping:

Flatbed shipping is a type of ocean freight forwarding service that is used for large or bulky shipments that cannot be shipped in a container. Flatbed shipping offers several advantages over other types of ocean freight forwarding services, including:

  • Increased flexibility – flatbed shipments can be loaded and unloaded at any location, which gives you more flexibility in terms of delivery.
  • Enhanced security – since flatbed shipments are not contained within a container, they are less likely to be damaged or tampered with.
  • Faster transit times – since flatbed shipments do not have to be consolidated with other shipments, they often arrive at their destination faster than other types of shipments.

Air Freight Shipping:

Air freight shipping is another type of ocean freight forwarding service that is used for time-sensitive or high-value shipments. Air freight shipping offers several advantages over other types of ocean freight forwarding services, including:

  • Faster transit times – since air freight shipments are transported by plane, they typically arrive at their destination faster than other types of shipments.
  • Increased security – since air freight shipments are typically transported in a locked container, they are more secure from theft or tampering.
  • Enhanced tracking – since air freight shipments are typically tracked more closely than other types of shipments, you will have a better idea of where your shipment is at all times.

Ocean Freight Forwarding Services: Which is Right for You?

Now that you know more about the different types of ocean freight forwarding services available, you can start to determine which type of service is right for your needs. So, it is time to choose the right type of service provider considering your needs.

Container Shipping vs. Bulk Shipping: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to ocean freight forwarding, there are two main types of shipping services: container shipping and bulk shipping. Both types of services have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to understand the difference between them before choosing a service.

Container shipping is a type of ocean freight forwarding service that uses containers to ship goods. Container shipping offers several advantages over other types of shipping, including:

  • Increased security – since containerized shipments are typically locked and sealed, they are more secure from theft or tampering.
  • Enhanced tracking – since containerized shipments are typically tracked more closely than other types of shipments, you will have a better idea of where your shipment is at all times.
  • Faster transit times – since containerized shipments do not have to be consolidated with other shipments, they often arrive at their destination faster than other types of shipments.

Bulk shipping is another type of ocean freight forwarding service that does not use containers to ship goods. Bulk shipping offers several advantages over other types of shipping, including:

  • Lower costs – since bulk shipments do not require containers, they are often less expensive to ship than containerized shipments.
  • Increased flexibility – since bulk shipments can be loaded and unloaded at any location, they offer more flexibility in terms of delivery.
  • Faster transit times – since bulk shipments do not have to be consolidated with other shipments, they often arrive at their destination faster than other types of shipments.

Endnote:

There are many different types of ocean freight forwarding services available, so it’s important to choose the right service for your needs. If you are shipping a small or low-value shipment, LCL shipping may be the best option for you. 

If you are shipping a large or high-value shipment, FCL shipping may be the best option for you. And if you need your shipment to arrive as quickly as possible, air freight shipping may be the best option for you.

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