Air, Land or Sea? Choosing the Right Type of Shipment in Texas

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.

5 Easy Ways to Save Money on Freight Costs in Houston

Transportation services eat up a large chunk of business revenues. In 2016 alone, American companies shipped 2,953,348 million ton-kilometers of goods. It’s hard to even imagine the total cost to ship that many products.

Most business owners consider transportation costs something static that can’t be helped, but experts in the industry know how to keep freight costs down. A large part of saving in transportation costs comes from the quality of logistics. Unfortunately, this department is also one of the most complicated sectors of most businesses. It can be difficult to work out the best system for maximum saving. If you’re looking to reduce your transportation expenditure, check out these 5 easy ways to save money on freight costs.


1. Establish Reliable Freight Volumes

Like with most companies, the more you do business, the more benefits you gain from the relationship. Carriers are the same. If you’re loyal to them, the carrier will focus more on your loads than their less loyal customers. It’s easier for a carrier to ship freight volumes that are predictable. Of course, the carrier will prefer the company that models this consideration. Over time, the carrier’s efficiency will improve, saving you money.

2. Avoid Peak Shipping Days

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to avoid peak seasons like the holiday season or the Chinese New Year season. It’s much easier, however, to avoid peak shipping days throughout the rest of the year. If you’re shipping non-durable goods, this savings route may not be possible. However, durable and industrial goods should be able to ship earlier or later if you can work it out with your customer. Most retailers want their product ready for shelves before the weekend, so consider sending it out as early as possible.

3. Use a Consolidation Program

If you’re shipping to the same places as other companies, why not consolidate your freight costs? You would not be the first company to think of this. If huge brands are doing it, you know it much be an effective cost-cutting strategy. Through this method, you will pay a smaller share of transportation costs. It’s like carpooling for goods and products.

4. Improve Advance Notice

Planning is an often overlooked and undervalued part of transportation costs. Poor planning, however, can cost companies a lot of money. One of the best planning strategies to employ is to give your carrier as much delivery lead time as possible. Your trailers will spend less time sitting around, shipment will be more efficient, and you’ll save money in the long run.

5. Involve Logistics More

This is another tip that underscores the value of good planning techniques. Rather than limit logistics involvement to transportation alone, involve them in the packaging stage. Many times, the logistics team will have more insight into how various packaging designs will affect transportation costs than the packaging design team.

Reduce Your Freight Costs

Once you have an outline of the best solutions to high freight cost, it’s easier to make an action plan. Don’t wait to meet with your logistics team and discuss your freight volumes. You can arrange to avoid peak shipping days, give your carriers better advance notice, and include your logistics team in more product design meetings immediately. Once you’ve reduced your freight costs, take a look at our quality shipping containers. They’re a great investment for businesses that engage in both inland and maritime transport.

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