Container Transportation: Sea Freight vs Rail Freight vs Road Freight

Shipping container transportation is an age-old process to move goods from one place to another. Earlier transportation was not an easy task but a shift and advancements in the technological arena and the invention of shipping containers have brought a revolution in the transportation field.

In the 1950s Malcolm McLean came up with intermodal containers after kept waiting for hours in the port to load his cargo. He came up with the idea to make the cargo loading and transportation process an easier job.

Cargo transportation is the key to economic growth and the key element in the global supply chain. It plays the main role in the growth of the economy by connecting it with trade and enhancing social lives. There are different modes of transportation to ship goods from one place to another like sea freight, rail freight, air freight, road freight, and intermodal transportation.

Let’s see in detail about all the modes of transport.

Sea Freight Transportation

Sea freight transportation is one of the most favored and sought-after modes. They are the first choice of business people and shippers as the vast amount of shipping containers carrying huge cargoes are easily shipped in it. Where size and weight of containers and huge cargoes are an issue in air or road freight methods, sea freight tackles these situations easily by being shipped through enormous-sized ships.

It is a cost-effective method to send a larger amount of goods but has the drawback that it takes more time in transiting merchandise. They are known for the movement of bulkier goods, heavy machinery, and engines, tall items, metals, steel pipes, etc. Also, any container type can be shipped over sea route- be it dry van, pallet wide, open top, reefer, etc.

When compared with air freight transport, sea ones offer more environmentally friendly solutions. The air freight movement emits a higher amount of pollution in comparison to ocean freight ones. That is why they are remarked as greener solutions.

Benefits of Sea Freight Transportation

  • They have the capability of carrying large volumes of cargo.
  • They provide economical solutions in comparison to other transport modes.

Rail Freight Transportation

Rail transport is considered a ‘green’ solution for cargo transport. They are regarded as a green option due to less fuel emission in comparison to road vehicles. It is estimated that during longer journeys the overall transfer cost is less by rail. Lots of cargo containers can be easily moved in one go by trains. They are perfect for carrying goods like vehicles, grains, metals, coal, etc.

Benefits of Rail Freight Transportation

  • Fixed schedule and fixed journey timings.
  • The most preferred mode of land transportation.
  • Higher safety than other modes.
  • Environment-friendly solution.

Road Freight Transportation

Road freight transportation is one of the most common modes of transferring goods. The goods are transported via trucks and accurate for shorter journeys. But they pose some drawbacks also as they get affected by rain or extreme weather situations. They also have to brave the traffic and different road conditions as well. They are perfect for daily cargo transfers such as flowers, groceries, fruits, etc. It is widely chosen by retail, wholesale, and other such local delivery and distribution businesses.

Benefits of Road Freight Transportation

  • Cost-effective mode of transfer.
  • Fast and timely delivery.
  • Can reach rural or remotest areas.
  • Easy tracking and tracing facility available for both merchandise and the truck.
  • One of the best and economical means and is suitable for door-to-door delivery.

Air Freight Transportation

Air Freight transport is the fastest mode of transportation. There are many industries and companies that offer ‘fast delivery’ or ‘just in time’ delivery options. They send off their cargoes through air freight transport as the merchandise reaches on time with the airplane delivery. Perishable foods, pharmaceutical medicine companies prefer this transfer. The cargo is safe in such transport due to safe proceedings of cargo handling at airports.

When it comes to a pack of advantages, it has disadvantages of its own. They are the most expensive mode because of the fuel. There is also a weight and size limitation of merchandise in the airplane transfer. The regulatory bodies have set the range and limit of the goods that can be transported by air. Above the given limit none of the goods will be entertained.

Benefits of Air Freight Transportation

  • Fastest transit of merchandise.
  • Lesser goods handling means lesser damage.
  • On-time delivery.
  • The security is to the maximum level.

Intermodal Transport

Nowadays intermodal transportation is becoming more superior in the logistics arena. The cargo can be shipped by combining two or three modes of transport and is commonly known as intermodal transport. By using this method, the shipper can easily send their cargo to distant places without worrying if one of the transport modes doesn’t reach there. They can take help of sea, road, rail, or air and their cargo will reach the destination.

Benefits of Intermodal Freight Transportation

The goods can reach anywhere by using different modes of transport. Cost-effective and better delivery methods. The flexible and easier approach. There are various types of transportation modes to transfer goods to different places. Intermodal transportation of goods is the most feasible option if the goods have to be sent to distant places where one mode of transport cannot reach. There are sea, air, rail, and road options. By choosing an effective one you can make the merchandise reach safely in a cost-effective range. If you need the fastest delivery then go for air transport as nothing can match the speed of the plane in transport mediums. But if you have bulkier goods then choose the sea freight transport system as they carry the heaviest loads.

When it comes to the delivery of goods through land then you can choose rail if the delivery is for the farther place. And road if you have to deliver the goods to nearby places or door to door delivery. Every method comes with its own set of benefits and advantages.

If you want to buy cargo containers in USA to ship your goods in Germany, then you have to look for the option that is best suited by understanding the cargo size and type. It is necessary to compare the costs between the transports so that you can get the best service.

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