Harmony in Motion: Dynamic Interplay of Air and Sea Cargo

In the current era of globalisation, the smooth flow of goods across borders is essential for the success of businesses everywhere. The efficient and quick movement of goods around the globe is made possible by the synergy that has emerged between marine service and air freight.

Marine service and aircraft types are the two distinct but complementary parts of the logistics sector. Air freight offers unmatched speed and efficiency for deliveries that must be made on time, while maritime transport is a cost-effective means to move large quantities of goods across long distances. They establish a mutually advantageous connection that sustains a robust and adaptable global supply chain.

Despite the fact that flying freight is quicker, cargo ships are the mainstay of bulk shipping across oceans. These large vessels are ideal for economies of scale because they can carry thousands of tonnes of cargo.

A new era of international trade has begun as a result of the seamless integration of air and marine freight, taking businesses to previously inconceivable levels of growth.


Air and Sea Cargo: Two Distinct Spectrums

In the opinion of S. Ramakrishna, Managing Director, Balaji Mariline, Past chairman FFFAI, the type of cargo would determine whether air and sea freight could be utilised together to increase supply chain efficiency since these are two distinct spectrums with different levels of efficiency.

Harmony in Motion: Dynamic Interplay of Air and Sea Cargo

It can be advantageous to use air cargo for certain types of goods and sea cargo for others, depending on the shipments to be transported. The majority of the time, urgent shipments, items with a short shelf life, expensive shipments, and necessary machine spares are shipped via air cargo. The benefit would essentially be the necessity of using it in an emergency situation, and for important cargo, the likelihood of missing or improperly managing it in air shipments is quite unlikely, making it a preferred form of cargo.

For massive and bulky shipments as well as for longer-term inventory storage, maritime cargo is used. There are many benefits to shipping goods by sea. There are facilities for containerized cargo that can come to the doorstep of the recipient; RORO vessels can take cargo that can be rolled in and rolled out of the vessel; Break Bulk vessels can carry over dimensional cargo; and bulk cargo such as scraps, chemicals, wooden logs, etc. that cannot be accommodated in the containers.

There are options for containerized cargo that can be delivered right to the recipient’s doorstep, RORO vessels that can accept cargo that can be rolled into and out of the vessel, and break-bulk vessels that can transport over-dimensional cargo and bulk cargo like wood scraps, chemicals, and other items that cannot fit inside containers. There are instances where combining air and sea freight can improve supply chain effectiveness. Depending on the type of cargo, this would be the case. These are two distinct spectrums, each with a different level of efficiency. It does in the situation of sea/air or air/sea cargoes as far as collaborating is concerned. This is more common abroad than in India. This only indicates that the first leg of the cargo would be made using one of the modes, and the second leg would be made using the other mode. This not only cuts down on time but also on expenses, especially if the entire consignment is being sent by air. This is between the high expense of the air option and the costlier sea mode, but the time required would be substantially less than the sea mode. This would also be determined by the cargo’s origin and destination. 

There are no specific product ranges that benefit more from air cargo except bullion or currencies, which have security as well as cost impacts. Also, the collaboration between air and sea cargo in terms of time-sensitive shipments and cost-effective transportation would depend on the nature of the cargo. In terms of technology, there are two distinct spectrums for air and sea cargo. There is now no tool available to combine these operations in a single software package. This, in my opinion, is also unnecessary because these two are independent and do not require any correlation. 

There are instances where combining air and sea freight can improve supply chain effectiveness


Evolving Interplay Between Air and Sea Cargo in Logistics

Nadia Abdul Aziz Mohammed, President, National Association of Freight and Logistics UAE; Chair, ICC UAE Custom and Trade Facilitation Commission; MD and Partner, UNASCO Cargo air and sea cargo, where speed meets capacity and precision meets scale, are shaping the dynamics of international trade.

Harmony in Motion: Dynamic Interplay of Air and Sea Cargo

When it comes to time-sensitive shipments and cost-effective transportation, air and sea freight interact differently. Air freight is more expensive but faster, making it ideal for time-sensitive and high-value commodities. Sea cargo is slower but cheaper, making it ideal for bulk materials and low-value goods. A sea-air combination can also be used for time-sensitive cargo, such as in the textile sector. Fabrics can be brought in by sea from the subcontinent, cut and stitched into final garments in the UAE, and then packed for air freight into the European market. This combination saves major costs for importing the fabrics into the country. So the forwarders will be the best people to advise the client on when sea-air shipments are possible and when they can bring in cost savings.


Technology is critical in connecting air and sea cargo operations to provide seamless logistics solutions. The advancement of digital platforms and information technology has resulted in increased visibility and control over the whole logistics process, from cargo booking to final delivery. The use of online markets and booking platforms, which allow firms to quickly and easily compare rates and book cargo shipments across numerous modes of transportation, including air and sea, is one example of technology used to integrate air and sea cargo operations. These technologies also offer real-time cargo tracking and monitoring, allowing businesses to trace their shipments along the entire logistical chain. Advanced logistics software and systems use artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimise shipping routes, minimise transit times, and improve delivery reliability as well as cost. They also provide advanced analytics and reporting tools, allowing businesses to identify potential bottlenecks and enhance supply chain performance. It can give management a snapshot of what’s happening and help in better decision-making based on actual facts. 

Technology is also enabling efficient and cost-effective last-mile logistics operations including the use of autonomous delivery vehicles, drones, and other innovative technologies that can help reduce delivery times and costs. In addition, it enhances the customer experience and saves them time, fuel, and money. As this gives them the option of having things at their doorstep with a few button clicks on various applications. In summary, technology is playing an increasingly important role in integrating air and sea cargo operations for seamless logistics solutions.


There are several challenges and considerations when coordinating air and sea cargo operations. These include: Timing uncertainties: for example, air and sea cargo have different lead times, transit times, and schedules. This can make it difficult to coordinate the movement of goods across different transport modes. 

Capacity constraints, both in terms of cargo space and infrastructure, can also pose a challenge to forwarders. The availability of cargo space varies depending on market conditions, seasonality, and port and airport infrastructure, which must be able to manage the volume and complexity of cargo movements.

Communication and documentation are critical when coordinating air and sea cargo operations. As they must be accurate and up-to-date to ensure smooth operations and minimise the risk of delays or mistakes.

Regulations governing air and sea cargo operations vary by country and can be complex. Businesses must ensure that all cargo is compliant with local regulations, including restrictions on hazardous materials, DGR, and other goods.

Air and sea cargo have different security protocols and risk management strategies. Businesses must implement appropriate security measures to protect cargo from damage, theft, or loss and comply with regulations governing security. 


Air and sea cargo providers can collaborate in several ways to optimise routes and minimise transit times. These include:

Intermodal transportation enables cargo to be carried easily between air and sea, frequently via third-party logistics providers. By minimising cargo handling and lowering the need for cargo to be unpacked and repacked, this can minimise transit times and enhance efficiency.

Consolidation and deconsolidation of cargo allow transportation firms to bundle shipments from numerous customers into a single, larger container. This helps to optimise cargo space, reduce overall transportation costs, and maximise freight movement efficiency. 

Air and sea freight providers can work together to optimise transportation routes in order to cut transit times and transportation costs. This may entail using alternate airports or seaports or utilising intermodal hubs to bring freight as near to its final destination as possible.

Air and sea cargo suppliers can work together to share cargo movement data, such as real-time position tracking, shipment status, and other pertinent information. This enables providers to more effectively plan and manage their logistics operations, reducing delays and increasing overall efficiency.

Effective collaboration among air and marine freight carriers can speed customs clearance, decrease delays, and ensure goods move seamlessly across international borders. Technology integration, such as transportation management systems, can aid in optimising cargo movements by giving real-time visibility and analytics into cargo flows, demand, supply, and capacity.

In summary, air and sea cargo providers can collaborate in several ways to optimise routes and minimise transit times. 

Future Trends 

In terms of the relationship between air and sea cargo in logistics growth, there are numerous trends and developments that we can anticipate in the future. Some instances include: 

We can undoubtedly anticipate increasing coordination between air and sea freight suppliers in order to optimise and expedite multimodal transportation. This will necessitate a larger usage of multimodal logistics solutions, such as air-sea and sea-air cargo, in order to deliver more flexible, cost-effective, and efficient freight solutions. 

We may anticipate further technological advances, such as real-time monitoring and control systems, drone and autonomous vehicle delivery, and artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. 

E-commerce continues to fuel significant growth in both air and sea cargo, and this trend is expected to continue. As more people shop online, businesses will need to optimise their logistics networks to ensure timely, dependable, and cost-effective deliveries to meet rising customer demand. 

The logistics business is putting a greater emphasis on sustainability, and we should expect this trend to continue in the future. Air and sea freight providers will need to minimise their carbon footprint by investing in energy-efficient transportation, eliminating waste, and introducing more environmentally friendly logistics practises. 

Customers are increasingly seeking customised logistics solutions that match their specific needs, and we can anticipate air and sea cargo providers responding to this trend by providing more flexible and tailored freight solutions that can handle unique customer requirements. 

Overall, one can say the interplay between air and sea cargo in logistics growth is likely to continue evolving and changing in response to changing customer demands, trends in technology, and a growing focus on sustainability and efficiency. “The UAE can be a very attractive sea-air hub, and forwarders can build on the holistic services that the country has to offer, capitalising on the country’s strategic location, connectivity, and digitalized, efficient services.”

The interplay between air and sea cargo in logistics growth is likely to continue evolving and changing in response to changing customer demands, trends in technology, and a growing focus on sustainability and efficiency


Vital Association: Air Cargo and Maritime Services

Dr. Sharmila Amin, Managing Director, Bertling Logistics India, says that despite the additional costs, air freight is preferred for urgent shipments, whereas transporting large amounts of merchandise by water remains inexpensive even though it takes longer.

Harmony in Motion: Dynamic Interplay of Air and Sea Cargo

Air and sea cargo play different roles in terms of time-sensitive shipments and cost-effective transportation.

For time-sensitive shipments: 

Air cargo is generally faster than sea cargo. It offers rapid delivery, often with shorter transit times, making it ideal for urgent or time-sensitive goods. Sea cargo, on the other hand, is slower compared to air cargo. It involves longer transit times due to the nature of maritime transport and is often not the best option for time-sensitive items.

For cost-effective transportation:

Air cargo is generally more expensive than sea cargo. Air freight charges are higher due to the speed, convenience, and additional handling and security measures involved. It is commonly used for high-value and perishable goods where speed is crucial. 

Sea shipping is frequently less expensive, especially for bulky or large items. Sea freight transportation expenses are often lower than air cargo transportation costs due to the economies of scale involved with shipping larger quantities of commodities. 

However, it is critical to consider aspects such as transportation duration, inventory carrying costs, and shipment-specific requirements. The choice between air and sea cargo is determined by the shipment’s individual needs, budget limits, and the balance of time and cost factors. 

Role of technology

Technology plays a crucial role in integrating air and sea cargo operations to create seamless logistics solutions. Here are some ways technology facilitates this integration: 

• Data Sharing and Visibility: Advanced technology enables real-time data sharing and visibility allowing logistics providers, shippers, and carriers to track and monitor shipments, providing accurate and up-to-date information on the location, status, and estimated arrival times of goods. 

• Electronic Data Interchange (EDI): EDI systems facilitate the electronic exchange of information between different stakeholders involved in air and sea cargo operations. This eliminates the need for manual paperwork, reduces errors, and speeds up the processing of documents. 

• Internet of Things (IoT) and Tracking Devices: IoT technology and tracking devices can be attached to shipments, providing real-time data on factors like temperature, humidity, and security. This helps ensure the integrity of sensitive or perishable goods and enables proactive measures to be taken in case of any deviations or issues. 

• Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI): Automation and AI technologies streamline various tasks such as automated warehouse systems can optimise storage and retrieval processes, AIpowered algorithms can optimise routing and scheduling decisions, and more. 

Air and sea cargo operations can be integrated more effectively for improved efficiency, better coordination, reduced costs, and enhanced customer satisfaction with technology. 

Challenges in coordinating

Coordinating air and sea cargo operations within a logistics network presents several challenges and considerations. Here are a few notable ones: 

• Mode Selection: Determining the optimal mode of transport for each shipment can be challenging. Factors such as time sensitivity, cost constraints, shipment characteristics, and customer requirements need to be carefully evaluated to select between air and sea transport. 

• Transit Time Variability: Air and sea transport have different transit times, and variations can occur due to weather conditions, port congestion, customs procedures, or other unforeseen circumstances. 

• Documentation and Compliance: Ensuring accurate and timely submission of documents, such as air waybills, bills of lading, customs declarations, and regulatory permits, can be challenging when coordinating air and sea cargo operations. 

• Infrastructure and Capacity: Airports, seaports, and supporting infrastructure must be capable of handling the volume and demands of both air and sea cargo operations. Adequate infrastructure needs to be in place to support seamless coordination between the modes of transport. 

Addressing these challenges and considerations requires effective collaboration, robust technology solutions, clear communication channels, and strong partnerships among logistics providers, carriers, customs authorities, and other stakeholders within the logistics network. 


Air and sea cargo providers collaborate in various ways to optimise routes and minimise transit times. Here are a few examples: 

• Intermodal Solutions: Air and sea cargo providers work together to offer intermodal solutions by developing integrated services that optimise the transportation route based on factors such as cost, speed, and cargo characteristics allowing seamless cargo transfer between air and sea transport, minimising overall transit times. 

• Hub-and-Spoke Networks: Air cargo providers often establish hub-and-spoke networks, for consolidating and distributing shipments. Sea cargo providers, on the other hand, operate through strategic port networks. By coordinating their operations and aligning their hub locations, cargo providers can optimise the routing of goods, facilitate efficient transfers between air and sea transport reducing transit times. 

• Coordinated Schedules: Air and sea cargo providers coordinate their schedules to align with each other, minimising waiting times and optimising connections. This involves adjusting flight and sailing schedules to facilitate the timely transfer of goods between air and sea transport. 

• Data Sharing and Technology Integration: By exchanging relevant information, such as shipment details, availability, and transit times, they can make informed decisions to optimise routes and minimise transit times. Integrating their systems and platforms allows for seamless data flow and enhances overall visibility and coordination. 

These collaborative efforts aim to create integrated logistics solutions that leverage the strengths of both air and sea transport, resulting in optimised routes and minimised transit times for cargo shipments.

Future trends 

In the future, several trends and developments are expected to shape the interplay between air and sea cargo in logistics growth. Here are a few notable ones: 

• Digitalization and Data-driven Insights: The digital transformation of the logistics industry will accelerate, driven by advancements in technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data analytics, and the Internet of Things (IoT) enabling better data sharing, real-time visibility, and predictive analytics. 

• Sustainable Transportation: The interplay between air and sea cargo will be influenced by eco-friendly practices. Air cargo providers may focus on reducing emissions through the adoption of more fuelefficient aircraft and sustainable aviation fuels. Sea cargo providers may invest in cleaner vessel technologies, alternative fuels, and optimised routing to minimise their carbon footprint. 

• E-commerce and Last-Mile Delivery: The growth of e-commerce will play a crucial role in the fast delivery of time-sensitive e-commerce shipments through air cargo, while sea transport will handle larger volumes of goods.Last-mile delivery solutions will become more prevalent. 

• Evolving Trade Patterns: The emergence of new trade routes or trade agreements will impact the interplay between air and sea cargo. As trade volumes and routes change, cargo providers will adapt their operations to meet the evolving demands, leading to adjustments in the balance between air and sea transport for specific trade corridors. 

Overall, the future interplay between air and sea cargo in logistics growth will be shaped by digitalization, sustainability considerations, e-commerce trends, collaborative approaches, evolving trade patterns, and the pursuit of efficient and integrated supply chain solutions. 

The choice between air and sea cargo depends on the specific needs of the shipment, budget constraints, and the balance between time and cost considerations


Coordination in Terms of Time-Sensitive vs. Cost-Effective Shipments

Air and sea freight, explains Pushpank Kaushik, CEO, Jassper Shipping, are integral to the efficient and timely completion of industrial operations for organisations, enterprises, and manufacturers.

Harmony in Motion: Dynamic Interplay of Air and Sea Cargo

Air and sea freight complement each other by providing various advantages that, when combined, result in a harmonious synergy within the logistics business. 

• Air cargo is the quickest and most convenient choice, ensuring customer delivery on time. Sea shipping, on the other hand, is suitable for goods with no time limits. 

• Air shipments offer shorter transit times, whereas marine cargo delivery may be delayed owing to bad weather. 

• Air cargo ensures the safe transportation of precious and perishable commodities, whereas sea transport is appropriate for large and heavy-volume cargos, accommodating a variety of shipments. 

• Air transport is normally more expensive, whereas ocean freight is a more cost-effective alternative, taking advantage of economies of scale in marine shipping. 

For organisations, enterprises, and manufacturers, air and sea freight are critical to the efficient and timely completion of industrial processes. They facilitate the acquisition of raw materials and the timely delivery of completed goods to clients. These modes of transportation are critical for maintaining the worldwide flow of products, supporting demand and supply chains, and preserving price stability. They facilitate timely delivery by allowing things to arrive at their intended locations at the precise moment. The interdependence of air and marine freight is particularly visible in a variety of businesses. 

In the pharmaceutical industry, for example, active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) are supplied through ocean vessels, whereas completed medicines are mostly shipped via air. Both modes of transportation exhibit cyclical behaviour and rely on each other’s capabilities. To properly balance their demand and supply networks, landlocked countries use a combination of air and marine freight. 

Benefits of air mode vs. sea mode 

Different sectors and products have different air or sea freight preferences, which are determined by factors such as product features, timing sensitivity, cost, and geography. Air cargo is ideal for perishable, high-value, time-sensitive, and e-commerce items. Large commodities, heavy goods, lower-cost items, and worldwide supply chains benefit from sea cargo. Air transport is faster, safer, and has shorter transit times, whereas marine freight is more cost-effective for greater volumes and longer distances. To suit their individual needs within global supply chains, industries often integrate both air and marine cargo.

Coordination in terms of time-sensitive vs. cost-effective shipments 

Based on time sensitivity and cost considerations, air and sea cargo play various roles in efficiently moving products. Companies frequently use intermodal solutions that integrate air and marine cargo to obtain optimal results in terms of both time sensitivity and cost effectiveness. This strategy enables them to create a balance between the two forms of transportation based on the unique needs of each consignment. Companies can utilise the benefits of air and sea freight to establish an effective and efficient shipping plan by carefully considering the features of the items being delivered.

Technology for seamless logistics solutions 

Technology is critical for combining air and sea cargo operations and ensuring efficient logistics solutions. It offers effective supply chain coordination, faster operations, real-time tracking, and increased communication. Technology helps with this integration through automated processes, data sharing, electronic documentation, supply chain management software, IoT and sensor technology, and analytics. Air and sea freight operations can benefit from more visibility, faster transit times, cost savings, and higher customer satisfaction by leveraging technology. It also enables the creation of intelligent logistics networks capable of reacting to changing conditions and delivering agile, flexible solutions to suit shifting demands. 


Air and sea cargo providers collaborate to optimise routes and minimise transit times through the following strategies: 

• Intermodal Solutions: Air and sea cargo providers collaborate through intermodal solutions, combining air and sea transport to leverage advantages. Initial air transport to a hub or port, followed by transfer to a sea vessel, enables faster delivery than relying solely on sea transport. 

• Route Planning and Optimisation: Logistics providers collaborate to analyse trade routes, market demand, and factors like distance, fuel consumption, and transit times, optimising the mix of air and sea segments to reduce overall transit times. 

• Hub and Spoke Networks: To minimise transit times, air and sea cargo providers strategically establish hub and spoke networks, locating hubs for efficient transfer between transport modes and consolidating and distributing cargo effectively. 

• Information Sharing: Effective collaboration between air and sea cargo providers relies on timely information exchange, including shipment details, schedules, and container availability, enabling synchronised operations, bottleneck identification, and proactive measures to minimise transit times. 

• Integrated Booking Systems: Integrated booking systems optimise routes and transit times for air and sea cargo providers, allowing seamless bookings for combined air and sea transport, streamlined services, real-time visibility of shipments, and optimised routing based on capacity and schedules 

• Collaborative Technologies: Collaborative technologies like logistics software, tracking systems, and data analytics tools empower air and sea cargo providers to boost efficiency by monitoring, analysing, and making data-driven decisions to optimise transit times on various routes. 

By integrating their operations, strategically planning routes, sharing information, and utilising technology, air and sea cargo providers enhance efficiency and meet customer demands effectively. 

Future trends 

The interaction of air and marine freight in logistics will boost efficiency and save costs. Through route optimisation, technological advancements, and sustainability, collaboration between air and sea cargo will boost efficiency and save costs.

Based on time sensitivity and cost considerations, air and sea cargo play various roles in efficiently moving products


Hybrid Solutions To Optimise Time and Price

According to CV Kumar, CEO, CCI Logistics, port and airport terminal integration occurs on two levels: substitution, where one mode of transportation—maritime or aviation—takes the place of the other, and complementarity, where both enable novel distribution models.

Harmony in Motion: Dynamic Interplay of Air and Sea Cargo

Most high-value and time-sensitive shipments travel by air; these include perishables, electronics, pharmaceuticals, life sciences, servicing equipment, high-fashion apparel, and samples.

Air transports products that need sensitive handling as well, while shipping ocean freight includes moving machinery, containers, and refrigerated goods. Some products can’t be airlifted because of their intrinsic material properties or cost sensitivity. 

The cost of shipping is significantly different between the ocean and the air. Therefore, the mode will be determined by the urgency of the item and the amount of time that may be allowed for transportation. 

The type of the consignment itself is another aspect. Some products don’t meet the requirements for ocean shipping, whereas others don’t meet the standards for air shipping. Therefore, the mode of travel will ultimately be determined by the interaction between Transit time, Product, and Price. 

The optimum product for balancing cost and transit times is a mix of sea and air. The travel will be partially through the air and partially— possibly entirely—through the ocean. It is simple for a company like ours to provide hybrid solutions—Sea and Air—that optimise prices and transit times because we have both Sea and Air products. The best-positioned companies to offer these kinds of specialised solutions are integrated service providers that provide both air and sea freight services. 

The key to a successful supply chain is obtaining the goods at the right place, at the right time, and at the right price. Any customer would anticipate a mixture of Sea And Air, combined and matched exactly to be economical and effective. To prevent keeping materials unnecessarily in an airport or seaport, coordinated connections between air and sea are crucial. Reworking the documentation to allow for an easy transition from Air to Sea or vice versa is another crucial component. 

Proper customs documentation and adherence to customs procedures are crucial when moving cargo from an airport to a port or from a port to an airport.

The anticipated benefits won’t materialise if these problems are not carefully planned and implemented


Dynamic Logistics Industry With No Room for Complacency

Chaitaly Mehta, Director, EKF Global Logistics, explains that when a package requires both air and ocean transportation, there are many aspects and variables to consider in the planning phase, and back-to-back preparations are required to ensure everything goes as planned.

Harmony in Motion: Dynamic Interplay of Air and Sea Cargo

To survive and develop, the world requires air, rail, road, and ocean transportation. Both air and ocean modes of transportation are required for international trade. When goods are required urgently or have a shorter life span, air transport is the preferred mode, but ocean transport is used when the commodities are heavy, oddly shaped, not urgently required, or the value of the commodity cannot support the air prices. Certain destinations cannot be accessed by sea and must be reached by air. The World Trade is progressing because we have both air and ocean means of transportation; yet, one must not forget that, in addition to these two modes of transportation, roads are equally important because, without roads, how would commodities reach airports or seaports in the first place? There should be no competition between air and ocean because, in my opinion, they are the siblings that the world cannot live without and the reason for the Logistics Industry’s sustenance. 

Role of Technology 

Integration in any industry cannot be achieved without technology. Realtime insight provided by technology aids in improved shipment planning, cuts down on paperwork time, and lowers costs. The majority of customs related documentation is now completed online, and where shipments need to use both means of transportation, technology is unquestionably crucial to the smooth operation of the cargo. 

Challenges within logistics network 

When managing air and sea cargo operations within a logistics network, there are noticeable challenges. Each means of export, whether by air or sea, has its own set of difficulties. Because items must now be transported and customs cleared based on the clearance date provided by the airlines, air shipments must be organised practically to the minute. 

Because we only have 12 hours of free time each day to work in India, if the products are cleared early, there will be demurrage, and if they are not cleared in time, the airline may decide not to transport the cargo. Once the shipment has been delivered and raised, you go on to the next one. This is how air freight works. 

On the other side, if there are problems, ocean shipments can take weeks. Depending on where the cargo is coming from and whether the clearance takes place at an ICD or at the port itself, the period required from the moment the cargo is shipped until the container is boarding on the ship could be anywhere from one to two weeks and even more at times. Planning for LCL shipments is done based on when the co-loader will load the container. There are challenges when bookings are not available or, even when bookings are issued, containers are not available at the empty yards or the allotted container is damaged or unclean, etc.; breakdown of the vehicles; congestion; vessels skipping the port of call even after the containers have been gated in; or Form 13s are stopped after the containers have been customs cleared and waiting for the gates to open. There are several things that can go wrong at any one time, and there are days when everything goes perfectly. Ocean exports are like long, intense sessions, with a bit more breathing room than air exports. 

If a shipment requires both air and sea transportation, the planning must account for numerous circumstances and variables, and there must be backto-back plans to guarantee everything runs smoothly. 

In general, whether by air or sea, a backup plan is always required because anything can go wrong at any time, so one should never be overconfident. Confident, yes, but not overconfident, because our industry is notorious for being overconfident.

When everything goes very smoothly, look out because one needs to be prepared for a curveball being thrown at you. That is why the logistics industry is a tightrope walk with little room for complacency. 

Air freight or sea freight? 

The choice of mode of transportation varies depending on the kind of items to be transported as well as the urgency of delivery. 

Perishables, newspapers and magazines, fashion items, fast-moving consumer products such as cell phones, laptop computers, and related accessories, cosmetics, and life-saving medicines and drugs Handling pathological samples, fruits and vegetables, ready-made garments, AOGs, and certain products related to the oil and gas industry, telecommunication, manufacturing industry, pharmaceutical industry, aviation industry, and telecommunication industry all necessitate airlifting of goods. 

Ocean exports are used for products such as vehicles, heavy earth moving equipment, manufacturing equipment, certain pharma products, chemicals, textiles, made-ups, handicrafts, sports equipment, FMCGw products such as televisions and music instruments, the logging industry, and bulk agricultural products such as rice, wheat, oil, and grains. Certain industries, such as pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and agricultural products, use both techniques depending on the quantity, destination, and urgency. Even perishable goods require both air and ocean transport. 

There are numerous products and sectors where employing the ocean method is preferable simply because the cost of transportation is less than that of air transport.

In general, whether by air or sea, a backup plan is always required. The dynamic logistics industry requires meticulous planning and preparations to ensure smooth operations.

With numerous challenges and variables to consider, complacency is not an option in this ever-evolving sector

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