Choosing the best mode of transport for your goods

Businesses rely on transportation to receive goods from their suppliers as well as deliver orders to their customers.
When shipping either internationally or locally, it is crucial that you choose the most appropriate mode of transportation to guarantee your products arrive on time and at the best cost. The decision to ship by land, sea or air is determined by a careful evaluation of businesses needs and a consideration of what each mode has to offer. Picking the best possible mode of transportation is imperative for export success.
You can use one method for all your transportation needs or a combination. The mode of transportation your business decides to use will be dependent on a number of aspects such as:

  • The products you sell: are these perishables or non-perishables
  • Supplier production lead times
  • Customer lead times
  • Product availability
  • Source of supply
  • Related Customs and Excise rules
  • The volume of the goods

Transporting goods by truck
Transporting by truck is a widespread method of freight transport used worldwide, though speed and quality of service may drop outside of industrialised areas. A truck is usually responsible for delivering the goods from the port of arrival to their final destination. Although a truck has limited distance travel, for local transportation it is the most cost effective.

Transporting goods by air
Airfreighting is commonly used by businesses for the delivery of goods from more distant suppliers. This mode of transport is more suitable to deliver products with short lead times, fragile goods as well as products that are not bulky. Products that are high in demand and are in short supply could also be transported by air to meet customer demands. The determining factor will be the bulk/value ratio. Besides the cost of transporting goods by air being high, the best advantage is the fast delivery, which can be anything between 24 and 48 hours.

Transporting goods by sea
Quite similar to airfreight, sea transportation is used by businesses for the delivery of goods to distant suppliers. The only difference is most sea transportation is conducted in containers which vary in size.

Goods can be grouped into either a container (LCL) or fill a container (FCL). Sea tankers can be typically used for bulk shipments of loose goods such as oil, grain and coal. The only disadvantage that might hinder one to utilise this mode of transport is that it 's hard to monitor the exact location of transit and there may be a few customs and excise restrictions. Above its limitations, it is ideal for transporting bulky and heavy goods.

As we have read each mode of freight, transport has its own unique advantages. Choosing an appropriate method is dependent on distance, the geographic location of your destination, the nature of your items, your budget, and any necessary deadlines that must be adhered to.