Why an Air Shipment? Why a Sea Shipment?

Why an Air Shipment? Why a Sea Shipment? 

1 Jun 2020

In the process of relocating from one country to another, you’ll probably have one – or even both of these kinds of shipments. If this is already familiar, the rest of this might be too elementary for you. But if not, this should get you started on the basics of international moving…. 

Sea shipments are for large volume moves, like a house or apartment full of furniture. Typically, they go via a 20′ or 40ocean container and end up on massive ocean-going vessels. Sea shipments are relatively cost-efficient, especially if you can fill up a container. Obviously, sea shipments move slower than air shipments, but since they cost less, you have a time vs. cost tradeoff to consider. 

Air shipments are for high priority items that must be at the destination at, or close to your expected arrival date. Air shipments typically contain clothing (especially if you are traveling to a city with a different climate) and medicines (if allowed). Sometimes we see media players, computers, and high-value electronics. If you have small children, you may want to take toys and other trinkets that make them feel at home. 

Sea shipments are comparatively straightforward. Your goods are wrapped, packed, and loaded in the container. The container weight is computed and you will be charged on a per kilo (or pound) after deducting for the weight of the empty container itself. 

Air shipments are less intuitive. Yes, actual weight is determined but then the airlines do some weird stuff. They also compute the airline chargeable weight (ACW) which is the real volume but multiplied by an arbitrary density factor of 10.4 lbs / cubic foot. The upshot is those couple of suitcases whether its full of cotton balls or clothes and shoes where one is indeed lighter than the other, airlines will change the rules and treat it as the same weight using the above density factor, I know, a little unfair. 

There are many more aspects of sea vs. air shipments. This is only meant to give you the very basic concepts. Asian Tigers can help you with these and other subjects, so please contact us for more details at www.asiantigersgroup.com. 

Good luck with your move!