Freight shipping plays a major role in the world’s economy. In the US alone, it’s estimated that long-haul freight shipping will equal 460 million miles a day! When it comes to choosing the right type of shipment for Houston businesses, there are three major types: air, land, and sea. Keep reading to learn more about each type and how they’re best used.

Air Freight

Shipping by air is great for items that are smaller, lighter, and need to get there fast. It’s also recommended for valuable and breakable items.

Airline Shipping Times

Shipping by air takes 5-12 days. Fast courier services offer quicker delivery if needed. In general, airlines run on-time shipping schedules that you can count on.

Airline Shipping Fees

Airline shipping fees are based on “chargeable weight” which equates to the size of the shipment along with its weight. Destination or customs fees apply in some locations on top of shipping fees. In general, air transportation is the most expensive type of shipping.

Shipping by Land

If shipping from Houston to anywhere in the United States, land transport is usually the best option. Land shipping includes railroad and truck services. It is the most used type of shipping since both air and sea shipments also use land deliveries to get the goods to the final destination.

Land Shipping: Costs and Delivery Times

Land-based shipping services charge based on distance and size. It’s more affordable than air and takes no longer than 14 days for delivery. Shipping by truck is best for small to medium items, breakable goods, and high-value merchandise. Very large items do well on railroad cars.

Sea Transport

Countries trade most goods via ship. China is the largest exporter of goods and the United States is the largest importer. Transporting goods by ship is the life-blood of international trade. In fact, after World War II, transporters started renting shipping container space on ships to help lower and facilitate long-distance transportation costs.

Shipping Times for Sea Transport

Shipping items with sea transport services can take from 8-12 weeks. If on-time deliveries are vital for your business, keep in mind that ships often have unforeseen delays. They usually run according to weekly, rather than daily, schedules so plan ahead.

Overseas Shipping Costs

Charges are based on the number of containers and sometimes weight. Don’t forget to factor in destination and customs charges as well. Because it’s more expensive than other methods, shipping by sea is best left for big, heavy items.

Final Thoughts: Which Type of Shipment is Best?

The type of shipping method to choose depends on individual company needs. When deciding, consider budget, time limits, and type of merchandise to ship. Sometimes more than one type of shipment may be needed. Again, in most cases, the preferred shipping mode from Texas to within the states is by land.

Also, try to find a shipping company that provides online tracking for peace of mind and better planning capabilities. Looking for additional ways to save money on shipping costs? Check out our like-new used shipping containers.