While it’s easy to dismiss the shipping industry as just a boring part of logistics, it’s actually more complex than you might think. The containers that arrive at your business every day are just the tip of the iceberg. The whole trip is actually quite intricate, and to make things even more difficult, the industry is quite fragmented. In the United States alone, there are over 14,000 shipping companies.
What do shipping companies do?
Shipping companies work with brokers and transport companies to move cargo domestically or internationally. The shipping company provides details of shipping work on load boards, which are used by the transport industry to advertise loads and allow companies to find loads.
Shipping companies provide shipping services to customers across the world, and you’ll need a shipping company that offers a complete range of services. Ideally, your business understands what is required to ship items using the following:
Moving containers by rail is one of the oldest methods of moving containers, and it’s still utilized across just about every part of the globe. However, it takes a lot more time and money than many people realize.
Shipping containers around the world by sea is most often done by boat. The advantage of shipping containers by sea is that they only take up one lane of highway traffic. The obvious disadvantage is that it takes a lot longer, and there are additional fees attached to using your own boat to transport containers.
Air cargo is a growing method of moving containers around the world, but it’s most commonly seen in smaller cities. Shipping containers can be placed inside airplane boxes, so they can travel by air at least a little bit more efficiently than by sea.
Getting shipping containers from one place to another by road can be the most efficient option for a business, but you’ll need trucks to do it. Logistics play a huge role in this process, so it’s crucial to have a company that can handle things like paperwork and insurance.
There are three main reasons why companies choose to use a shipping service. Some don’t have the capital for their own refrigerated containers or trucks, some don’t want an on-site presence in multiple locations, and some simply want to do it as cheaply as possible.
No matter what you’re shipping, the most important thing to remember is that everything changes constantly. Shipping costs rise and fall according to supply and demand. The faster you want your cargo delivered, the more it will cost you.
What you need to know about international shipping
International shipping is the same as domestic shipping, but you’ll find that it requires a lot more paperwork. Most international shipments will be subject to duties and tariffs, so it’s extremely important to know what you’re getting into before you sign on the dotted line.
Shipping services is a complex industry, no matter how you look at it. Many different forces are at work, and your business depends on all of them working together flawlessly. The shipping industry needs a strong leader to be successful, someone who knows what they’re doing.