Freight transport: By land, air or sea?

The transport of goods is one of the fundamental phases in any type of commercial exchange. Given the choice of the best type of freight transport, some questions may arise such as: Which transport is suitable for my goods? Which one is the cheapest? The decision is not easy, since the choice of the type of freight transport is one of the strategic decisions that will be decisive for success in the transport of goods, both economically, tactically and logistically.

Due to the importance of this decision, in today’s article we give you all the keys to choose the type of transport that best suits your needs.

The variables in the decision

“I want the cheapest option” is something we often hear when offering industrial solutions to our customers, however, the cheapest option is not always the most appropriate. A priori may seem the best choice and it is understandable to want to lower costs, however, popular wisdom tells us that, sometimes, cheap is expensive.

The best strategy to get the cheapest costs is the suitability of the transport chosen according to your circumstances, in this way, if you choose the transport that responds to your needs, in the end you will save costs.

Therefore, the variables that you will have in mind to know what you need are: speed, transport capacity, security, cost and type of merchandise.

And based on these variables you can choose the type of transport with the necessary characteristics to respond to your situation. The transport routes are: maritime, air, land (rail and road) and multimodal.

Below we present each type of transport and its characteristics in each key factor.

Marine transport

It is the medium with more transport capacity, and the cheapest because of its low speed. For all this and its security, it is one of the most popular means for international transport. It is necessary to have another means of transport to complete the shipment to the customer.

Speed: Low
Capacity: Very high
Security: High
Cost: Low
Type of merchandise: The merchandise that is transported in large containers and in bulk.

Land Transport: Road

Road transport is very efficient at medium and long distances in operations with a radius of 3000 km. It has easy access to all places. The loss ratio is the lowest.

Speed: High
Capacity: Low
Security: Media
Cost: Low
Type of merchandise: It admits all types of merchandise.

Ground Transportation: Railway

Rail transport is not very efficient for urgent shipments. It is very efficient for fixed routes. It presents a great security.

Speed: Medium
Capacity: High
Security: High
Average cost
Type of merchandise: Container or bulk transport

Air Transport

It is the best option for urgent shipments and fragile or valuable merchandise. It is one of the means with higher costs. In addition, it is the medium with the lowest accident rate.

Speed: Very High
Capacity: Low
Security: Very High
Cost: High
Type of merchandise: urgent merchandise, of great value, agile and perishable.

Multimodal transport

It is a combination of the means of transport necessary for the logistics operation. The advantages and disadvantages depend on the chosen combination.

Speed: High
Capacity: Medium
Security: Media
Average cost
Type of merchandise: Admits all types of merchandise

As mentioned at the beginning, the cheapest decision is not the most appropriate, since, for example, shipping is the cheapest, but if it is a fragile or perishable goods, in the end this option is more expensive, since it leads to the loss of an important load because the product breaks down along the way. The key to logistics lies in the optimization of resources and knowledge of the merchandise itself and the environment to adapt accordingly.

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