In recent decades, maritime transport has experienced steady growth and has become one of the main pillars of international trade in goods. In fact, it is estimated that more than 5.1 billion tons of goods are moved around the world by this mode .
This means that nearly 80% of all goods transported globally are moved by sea. This preference is due to the numerous advantages it offers compared to land and air transport.
But what exactly are these advantages? More importantly, how should the transport of goods be carried out?
We’ll tell you about it below!
What is maritime transport of goods?
Before learning about the many advantages of this mode of transport, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of its concept.
Maritime transport of goods refers to the activity of moving cargo from one geographical point to another, using ships or vessels with specific characteristics.This mode of transport covers a wide range of products, from bulk goods to large containers.
How should the transport of goods by sea be carried out?
Maritime transport involves several stages in the logistics chain to bring a good from its point of origin (A) to its final destination (B). These stages are detailed below:
Preparation of goods
In this initial stage, the goods are prepared . This involves placing the products in suitable containers and then packing them for protection during transport.
It is important to ensure that the goods are accessible to inspectors, who will perform the necessary checks to ensure compliance with regulations and safety requirements.
Also, at this stage, it may be necessary to take out insurance that adjusts to the specific characteristics of the cargo to be shipped, providing protection in case of loss, damage or any other incident during maritime transport.
Once the goods have been duly prepared, they are transported inland to the selected port . In most cases, this transport is carried out by road.
3. Customs formalities at origin
Before the goods leave the country of origin, they must go through customs formalities. This process ensures compliance with all established conditions and requirements.
In addition, in the case of transportation within the European Union, the corresponding Single Administrative Document (SAD) will be issued. This document is necessary for the control and tracking of the goods during transport.
4. Maritime transportation
One of the important steps in the process is to ship the goods via vessels to the port of destination.
However, depending on certain factors, it may be necessary to use multimodal transport to complement maritime transport and ensure efficiency and timely arrival of cargo.
For more information on freight forwarding options, you can read our article on “What is the best freight forwarding option?“
5. Customs formalities at destination
Once the goods have been unloaded, the customs authorities at the port of destination will review the documents and the cargo itself . Subsequently, they will grant clearance for release, provided all requirements are met and no non-compliances are identified.
In the event of detecting any irregularity or non-compliance, these authorities may proceed to detain or paralyze the merchandise.
6. Transportation at destination and arrival
Once the goods leave the port, they will be transported by land and the process will be completed when the goods have reached the person or company in charge of picking them up.
4 advantages of maritime transport of goods
This mode of transportation has a number of significant advantages that make it a popular choice for many companies and individuals worldwide. Get to know the most important ones:
More economical rates
Maritime transport stands out for offering highly competitive rates compared to other modes of transport, such as air transport.
However, it is important to note that there may be additional charges, such as those related to fuel. Despite this, for transporting large volumes of goods over long distances, shipping remains the most cost-effective option in terms of transportation costs.
Massive load capacity
A distinctive feature of maritime transport compared to other modes such as land, air or rail transport is its massive cargo capacity.
Container ships and cargo vessels have the capacity to store large volumes of goods, supporting weights and dimensions that are not feasible in other modes of transport. This makes it possible to transport large quantities of goods efficiently and economically.
Stability and safety
The vessels have a remarkable ability to maneuver and adapt to extreme weather conditions due to their robustness, strength and reliability. This feature allows them to maintain a stable and, almost always, predictable operation, ensuring the continuity of freight transport operations in adverse weather conditions.
Lower environmental impact
In a world increasingly aware of the importance of preserving the environment, maritime transport stands out as a favorable option.
Ships have a reduced carbon footprint, as they consume less fuel compared to other modes of transportation, such as airplanes. So for companies committed to sustainability, shipping becomes a prime choice to reinforce their environmental goals.
All these advantages make ocean freight an attractive option for companies seeking a cost-effective and reliable solution for their logistics needs.