Ocean freight ships can transport a variety of items, from household goods to merchandise and resources. Most ocean shipping is performed with container cargo ships, which use two or more cranes to load and unload containers quickly – as fast as four hours for some ships. Ocean freight ships that use containers to transport cargo are also safer, both for their crews and the items they are shipping. As containers are sealed, theft is definitely less of an issue.
Ocean freight shipping utilizes two different terms for shipments: less-than-container loads (LCLs) and full-container-loads (FCLs). LCLs may be eligible for sharing a container, an option which cuts costs for both the customer and the ship. FCLs are more expensive, but can be used to transport vehicles and other large items.
Ocean Freight Rates
Keep in mind that ocean freight rates are rarely inexpensive. As previously stated, you can cut down the costs of ocean shipping rates by:
- Sharing a container if you have an LCL.
- Booking an order well in advance.
- Packing items tightly and securely for efficient, quick loading.
Ocean container rates provided by most cargo ships will not include the cost of loading and unloading a container. This may cost several hundred dollars extra on top of the standard shipping costs. Compare your ocean freight quote by using a freight forwarder or logistics broker to get multiple quotes. The majority of ocean freight rates should be in the $2,000-$3,000 range, though shorter distances and smaller loads may be priced lower.
Ocean Shipping Companies
Always be sure to choose one of the more reliable ocean shipping companies based not only on their price, but also their reputation. Consider one of the following ocean freight companies for your shipment:
- Maersk Shipping Line
Of course, the ocean shipping lines you choose from will depend on the countries you are shipping to and from. Know that not all major ocean shipping companies ship to every seaport, and ports in areas like the Middle East and Africa may be difficult to ship to, certainly if the country is involved in a major conflict.
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