Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Which is the best shipping solution for me? | The evolution of shipping over time

The proliferation of parcel delivery services in the last couple of decades, and, with it, the emergence of parcel delivery resellers such as Transglobal Express, has made express delivery more accessible and more affordable than ever before.

Once upon a time, most people would go to the post office if they wanted to send a parcel internationally and private courier services were much more the preserve of businesses, or those with an urgent personal parcel delivery that could afford to be undeterred by the high prices.

The use of freight services has also developed over time. While it is still the case that air freight and sea freight are mainly used for commercial shipments, an increasing number of shippers send excess baggage by air, or personal effects by sea, if they are relocating to another country, for example.

The democratisation of door-to-door couriers, air freight and sea freight services, and, importantly, the availability of online quoting and booking facilities in the last five years or so, has meant more and more small businesses and private customers have access to a variety of delivery options.

But with so much choice, it's sometimes difficult to determine which is the best service for you. At Transglobal, we are often asked by our customers about the difference between an air freight service and an air-based courier service, for example.

For that reason, we thought it would be helpful to produce a guide to choosing the right delivery service, which you can access by clicking here.

Generally speaking, a door-to-door courier service is an express delivery option that includes collection from your door, delivery to another address of your choice and, where applicable, any necessary assistance with customs clearance. If you're shipping internationally, your goods are likely to be shipped by air for the majority of their journey, but they still differ from air freight services per se.

Air freight services typically run from departure airport to destination airport, not door to door. Most freight forwarders, including Transglobal Express, can arrange to have your goods collected or can advise an appropriate drop off point for your goods other than the airport, but usually the delivery terminates at the destination airport. For experienced shippers or those requiring more control over their delivery, a back to back air freight service enables you to use your own clearance agent, as well as more choice as to when exactly your goods will be shipping. With a door-to-door courier service, by contrast, your parcel enters the network of your chosen carrier and is consigned to them for the duration of the delivery. A parcel on a door-to-door courier service is delivered through a carrier's network, and while most services are fully trackable, there is often very little advance information about the journey your goods will take. Air freight offers increased transparency and will therefore benefit shippers for whom this is important.

Sea freight is similar to air freight in that it typically runs from sea port to sea port, unlike door-to-door services. Sea freight typically costs much less, takes much longer and is most economical for larger volumes of goods. In fact, many freight forwarders request that you are shipping at least 1 cubic metre in order to get a sea freight quote, given that, with lesser volumes, a door-to-door courier services or air freight service is likely to be the more economical choice.

If you need any help choosing a service, please don't hesitate to call our experienced staff on 0845 145 1212

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