Whether you work for a huge organisation or an SME, if you regularly transport goods to other businesses, clients or customers in far-flung countries, it is important to know the best ways of getting your products to where they need to go.
To help you make your decision about how you send your items, here is a breakdown of these different methods.
Sending huge quantities in bulk is best done by sea. It is cost-effective and can get your products to the other side of the world. However, due to the speed at which cargo ships travel and the unreliability of the waters, this is best done for goods that don’t have a set deadline in place.
Companies that create and send out everyday products for around the home, such as salt, sugar and soap, often use container ships. This is largely because these products are not immediately perishable and can be sent in large quantities from countries like the USA, Brazil and Canada. Other items, such as books and steel products, are also ideal for sending over the seas.
The shipping container industry is changing, though, so if you opt for sending your goods this way you could benefit from a green way of getting your goods there. Time will tell if this new method will speed the process up.
Another way of sending goods across the continents is by air. Unlike shipping, transporting goods via the skies is a fast method of sending products that are light in weight. There are two main reasons for opting for this transport option: speed and value.
Sending things by air means they get there quickly, thanks to cargo charters being so reliable, so time-sensitive items with a set deadline can get to where they need to be speedily. Also, as air transport is higher in cost, this mode of transport is typically reserved for the most important or high value products.
These two factors mean that air cargo flights are most suited to industries such as pharmaceuticals, electronics, and any products or produce that are perishable.
Rail is another quick way of getting your goods to where they need to be. This is better-suited to domestic transport, however, and the UK’s rail network means that goods can easily make their way across the country within tight timeframes.
While perishable goods can be easily sent in the air, rail transport is a slightly cheaper option – although it is still pricey – especially for sending home-grown fruit and veg to supermarkets and shops. Other industries, such as steel and waste, also depend heavily on rail freight in order to get goods to production plants and landfill sites.
Like sending goods via the sea, roads are a relatively cheap option. Again, it is probably best suited to UK-based transport if there is a set deadline, although if your products aren’t perishables and don’t need to be there very soon, there are excellent road links across Europe, too.
Road transport is easily tracked, so you can keep a lookout for where your goods are, plus timetables are often a lot more flexible than if you were to use rail. Another bonus is that road travel offers a door-to-door service, so you can get everything there safely and efficiently.
Whatever mode of transport you use for getting your goods where they need to go, assess the best options that work for your company. Which one will you try?