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When to Ship Your Freight by Land, Air, or Sea: Which Freight Option Is Right for You?


A cargo plane flying overhead

The freight and delivery system is a complex network of land, air, and sea byways traversed by hundreds of millions of shipments every day. Before you send a shipment, you’ll need to decide which part of that network you need to use.

If you need to ship freight in the U.S. or Mexico, keep reading to learn from an international freight broker about which type of freight is right for you.

When To Use Land Freight

Land freight is a great option for reaching spots that are out of reach for other types of freight. Land freight can easily be used alongside other types of freight, and shipments can be combined to reduce costs. Land shipments can also be easily tracked using modern technology. Land freight is most often used by small businesses and businesses looking for low-cost options. Land freight is broadly split into two categories, rail and truck.

When To Use Truck Freight

Truck shipping is faster than rail shipping thanks to the country’s extensive network of roads and highways. The rail network is tiny in comparison. This also means trucks can reach many more places. Trucks can also be more convenient than rail freight, making loading and unloading easier. 

When To Use Rail Freight

Rail shipping is more fuel efficient and lower cost compared to truck freight. Rail freight is also more convenient for large loads since one train car is the equivalent of four semi-truck loads.

When To Use Air Freight

Air freight is a great option for high-value shipments thanks to the high security at airports, ensuring your shipment arrives safely. Air shipping also offers long-distance routes and fast travel. Air freight can be vulnerable to poor weather, and it may not be as affordable as land freight. Air freight is a good idea if your shipment is perishable or fragile, or if you need your shipment to be delivered more quickly relative to land or sea freight. An international freight broker can help you decide if air freight is right for you.

When To Use Sea Freight

Sea freight’s biggest advantage is its low cost. Sea freight is generally considered the cheapest freight option. Shipping by sea also means you can send larger loads compared to land or air shipping, and sea freight produces lower emissions. 

One potential problem with sea shipping is its relatively slow speed. Sea freight can take longer than other types of freight, weather may cause further delays or damage, and not all locations have an accessible seaport. 

In general, sea freight is best for large cargo and big businesses.

Your International Freight Broker: Santos International

Planes, trains, and automobiles all play an important part in the international freight industry. While air freight has certain advantages over land, and sea has certain advantages over air, no one type of freight can do the whole job, and it’s important that you know which type of freight is right for your business.

To find the best shipping option for your international freight needs, reach out to us at Santos International. Our freight experts can help you save money and speed up deliveries.

Get your freight where it needs to go. Reach out to Santos International today for all your international freight forwarding needs.

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