Logistics Know How

Understanding ocean freight – and what it means for your business

Twill's simple vision is to break down the barriers in logistics and make shipping simple; particularly for SMEs. Here, we explain what ocean freight means and how it can grow your business.

28 January 2021

If you’re reading this, you may already have a slight understanding of what ocean freight means. In short, ocean freight is the method of transporting often large loads of goods by sea – putting cargo in large containers which are loaded onto vessels.

Over 90% of all the world’s trade is carried by sea – and even more in some countries. As a general rule, shipments weighing more than 100kg – or consisting of multiple cartons – will be sent by sea freight. Some further restrictions apply to certain goods from country to country, but most items are allowed.

If you want to learn more, continue reading. Do you want to transport your cargo overseas? Get started with Twill now.

Getting to know the players – and taking your time

The ocean freight market is home to a number of carriers. These are the companies that own the vessels and containers that can carry your cargo.

The largest of these carriers, and the leader for the last century, is Maersk Line – the largest operating unit of A.P. Moller-Maersk, founded in 1904. Through over 115 years of logistics experience, Maersk Line now has offices in 115 countries worldwide and operates 590 container ships.

Twill is an innovation of Maersk and we’re able to call on that 115 years of experience to best deliver for our customers – getting their freight on the best routes at the right price. With our instant rates, you get all costs upfront too, meaning there are no surprises when your cargo reaches its destination!

But as you can imagine, getting all those containers across the sea takes some time. Exactly how long depends on various factors – including where you’re shipping it to and from and the type of shipment. There are several steps that goods go through before they reach a vessel and before they arrive at their destination. You can usually add a week’s time on either end of the process.

At Twill we can help get you on the right route that will ensure your cargo reaches you as fast as possible.

If it can travel by sea, why not air?

Where once we used to take ferries and cruises to go on holiday – now we fly. Why is it not the same for cargo?

Well, there are a few reasons – largely to do with capacity and cost. While air freight is often faster and a bit more reliable (as you’re not at the mercy of the sea!) it’s also more expensive – sometimes four or five times more expensive.

Ocean freight takes more time, but it’s far cheaper and there are fewer restrictions on shipping hazardous cargo. On top of that, there’s much greater capacity for the price you pay. One container can hold 10,000 beer bottles for example!

Ultimately, you want to pick the best route for your cargo – and when it comes to ocean freight, we can help. Choose Twill to get your ocean freight going.

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