When it comes to the freight industry there is a lot more to consider than simply costing and how long items will take to be delivered. Air, road, rail and sea freight each have their own set of pros and cons, but in terms of effect on the environment, some modes have more of a negative effect than others. While shipping may take somewhat longer than sending items by air, the cost for both your pocket and the environment still make it the better option.
A Guardian newspaper report suggested that shipping produces around 2.5 times the amount of emission that airplanes create, thus making air freight a better option than sea freight. However, this leads to the following question: if the same amount/weight of goods was shipped by sea freight as by air, which mode would produce more greenhouse gases? The derived result showed that shipping 1.5 tonnes of goods created 0.124 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), while sending 0.5 tonnes of the same product by air created 4.5 tonnes of CO2. If these numbers are to be believed then it is definitely worth shipping by sea rather than by air.
Consider the number of companies whose products require shipping (both to the warehouse and to the customers’ doors). With international sea freight increasing, as well as the number of people ordering items online which then need to be delivered, it is no wonder that global emissions are increasing. Companies need to make an effort to find the greenest way of delivering goods as possible, and it seems like sea freight is the way to go. Unfortunately when it comes to providing good customer service, the company needs to take other factors into consideration such as speed, reliability and of course, cost.
When comparing sea freight vs air freight, shipping by sea is slower but cheaper especially if the goods are incredibly heavy. When it comes to long distance shipping, transportation via the sea is pretty much the best way to go in terms of cost and emissions. Next time you require transportation for your goods consider sea freight over air freight, unless time really is of the essence.