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Air Freight vs. Sea Freight

The airline industry has confronted a plethora of challenges since the onset of the global pandemic, even declaring airline bankruptcies. In a new world living abreast the virus combined with travel restrictions, industries must adapt and adjust to new conditions if they intend to stay afloat. With that in mind, airplanes are now converting passenger seats into space to carry cargo across seas as a response to the increase of air cargo demand.

The sudden upsurge for urgent cargo deliveries, particularly for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has salvaged the dwindling airline industry. However, this brings attention to the question – will air freight surpass sea freight?

Although supply chain channels are shifting to accommodate the new norms for logistics, shipping freight will remain as the predominant cargo transport source. Naturally, sea freight takes longer to move goods, but it allows the transport of substantially higher container volumes, achieving economies of scale. Furthermore, depending on the nature of the goods such as general cargo or livestock, the only form of transport is via vessels.

Depending on what customers value, whether it is time or reliability, which contribute to the overall customer satisfaction, then choosing an air freight service will be the viable mode of transport. In contrast, if price and load capacity is the top objective, then shipping poses as a more cost-effective alternative. Undoubtedly, global logistics is changing and will continue to experience shifts as it tries to establish a stable activity stream.