When your company reaches a certain level of success, it just about goes without saying that you will need to start considering different types of shipping methods. Whether you are exporting products overseas or importing machinery or computing equipment, shipping is part of the day-to-day grind of life in business. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of companies out there offering shipping services, but which is right for you? Let’s take a look at three broad shipping categories: land, air, and sea.

Land

This is the most fundamental and basic method of shipping. Overland shipping is still, per capita, the most common way to ship products. This is due in large part to the fact that there will almost always be a portion of the shipping process that, by necessity, will take place overland, either before or after it is loaded onto a plane or ferry. Shipping by land typically takes place within the same country or geographical area. Flight is the preferred method of shipping over long distances, but many companies still opt to ship their products via land, even if it takes longer. The process is often simpler – less changing of hands – and overseen by only a small handful of people vs. the large number of employees that will handle shipping by plane.

Air

These days, the most effective and common way to ship products long distances is undoubtedly by plane. The huge number of airlines active in the world mean that products of all shapes and sizes, from all corners of the world, can be shipped in a moment’s notice. Because of this, shipping by air is also the most complex and costly way to go. Products that are shipped by plane need to change hands on a regular basis, from truck to airport personnel, to pilots and receivers and drivers on the other side. Products moving by air will also very likely be moving across borders, meaning that customs and taxes will enter the equation. It is highly recommended to utilize importer of records in order to smooth out this process and, possibly, save your company thousands in taxes and fees. The cost of shipping by air adds up quick!

Sea

This is probably the least utilized mode of shipment these days, but still an option. The big question here is: What are you shipping – and how large is it? Nearly everything you’ll need to ship will fit onto a plane, but every so often something will simply be too large to ship overseas in the baggage area of a Boeing. Things like vehicles, mass amounts of computer hardware, industrial equipment, and machinery will likely be shipped on a boat overseas instead of through the air. Again, this can be tricky when it comes to border crossing. Consult shipping experts to ensure that your company won’t face unexpected cross-country taxes and fees.

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All these methods are not, of course, mutually exclusive. Very likely your shipping needs will be some combination of these three methods, especially if you are moving product overseas. But don’t get wrangled into paying for unnecessary shipping methods when a cheaper option will do.

 

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