Air Freight vs Sea Freight: Which One Is the Best?

Freight is an important issue in the international trade network. Business owners who are concerned about this issue want their goods moved safely and quickly. Air freight and sea freight are the two most common modes of international transportation. Although there is a general perception of these two topics, the majority of individuals are unaware of the specifics of these transportation methods. You may get full information about these two transportation methods in this article.

What is Air Freight?

The first thing we need to understand is what these phrases signify. Although the term "air freight" conjures up images of planes, a more precise description is required. The transportation of business or private deliveries by air carriers is referred to as air freight. Shipments of this nature move through commercial and passenger aviation hubs where planes can fly and land.

At the turn of the twentieth century, air freight became one of the primary types of transportation for imports and exports. Due to the diversity of trade networks and sectors, the rate of preference for air transport has increased significantly in the last quarter-century. Air freight has become an efficient means of transport both nationally and internationally.

What is Sea Freight?

The carrying of products by cargo ships is referred to as sea freight. Sea freight products, unlike air freight, are packed into containers, these containers are loaded onto vessels and then carried to their final destination. 

The type of maritime transportation is selected based on the number of products. Transport vessels are selected according to their product capacities. Whether it's private or commercial transportation, some specific procedures must be followed. It is the most popular type of international freight all around the world.

Now that we have learned the details about these two modes of transport, we can now talk about their advantages.

Pros of Air Freight

Air freight should be preferred according to the type or weight of the products you will import. Furthermore, the benefits of air shipping cannot be overlooked. The following are the benefits of air freight:


The speed of air freight is the most significant one among its advantages. You will receive your products faster compared to other types of transportation, regardless of where they come from if you choose the airway.

Shipment Tracking

The impatience of men is well-known. Just as they want their business to be done immediately, they also want to closely follow the process. For example, even when you order something domestically, you want to know where it is and how soon it will be delivered to you. What happens when you place an international order? It's a more tense and perplexing scenario. When your merchandise is put onto the plane, the air freight company provides you with a tracking number. You'll be able to monitor where your things are and learn when they'll arrive. In short, you become a part of the relocation process as soon as it begins, and your concerns diminish.

Reliable Service

In comparison to other types of transportation, air freight companies have been deemed more reliable in terms of service reliability. The change in delivery date is 15% less than other ways from the first time it is employed. For this reason, it is preferred by those who prioritize the delivery time of the products. On the other hand, packaging or protection methods are a subject of great care in air freight.

Global Shipping

One of the most significant advantages of air freight is global shipment. Like other transportation systems, you won't have to cope with any unexpected issues during the trading process. You have complete control over the delivery path from one country to another. Your products are simple to ship throughout the world by air. A departing plane will arrive at the delivery spot, ensuring that your goods arrive safely.

Pros of Sea Freight

Although the reasons for preferring air freight are quite eye-catching, sea freight is more common. The advantages of this freight system, which is the most preferred worldwide, are as follows:

Affordable Cost

From a cost standpoint, the sea route is the most cost-effective choice. Taxes and VAT are less expensive than other modes of transportation. Furthermore, because a large number of products are delivered in containers, you pay a lower fee. Since the maintenance fee of a ship is lower, this is also reflected in the freight prices.

Bulky goods

A fundamental advantage of sea freight is the ability of freight forwarders to handle big, heavy, or bulky cargo. Large cars, equipment, construction materials, and other heavy cargo can all be conveniently transported by sea.


Compared to other freight shipping modes, sea freight has a lower carbon footprint. In this way, your products are delivered to you in an easy and nature-friendly way. Less exhaust gas per ton of cargo is emitted around the world than any other mode of transport. And with the ever-advancing technology, sea freight is becoming more and more environmentally friendly.

Safe Protection

Another advantage of sea freight is that ships are designed to safely transport dangerous goods. Medicines, gas cylinders, military equipment, and other items are among the items that can be transferred by sea. Every detail, from the safety of the crew to the protection of the environment, is guaranteed by law. Apart from this, perishable products are protected by special cold storage solutions.

How to Calculate Cost in Air or Sea Freight?

Air freight cost calculation and sea freight cost calculation are determined differently. Air transport is calculated similarly to the calculation of baggage with you on civil flights. Because the weight of the product in air transportation plays an important role in the safety of the aircraft.

Volumetric weight is the calculation method used in air transport. The price is calculated by measuring the volumetric weight of the products.

Volumetric weight = (height x width x length) x 167

If the volumetric weight exceeds the actual weight of the items, air freight costs will be charged based on the volumetric weight. 

On the other hand, in the sea freight, the calculation is made as a ton account or a container account. To summarize as a general calculation, we can explain it as a tone calculation. In this freight,  the ratio for shipments measured by weight and volume is " 1:1," which indicates that one tonne equals one cubic meter. If a shipment has a volume of 10 CBMs and a weight of 5 Tons, the 10 CBMs are used in cost calculations.

Aside from this computation, the type of products, the type of vehicle, and the attractiveness of the delivery destination all have an impact on the price.

Should You Choose Air Freight or Sea Freight?

Ultimately, which mode of freight should you choose? The answer to this question is determined both by the type and weight of your products and by your expectations. When making a decision, you need to set your priorities and choose which of the advantages are more important to you.

You won't have to worry about this if your products come with a Turkish Goods guarantee. We have professionals who can assist you in determining the best mode of transportation for you. You just have to choose what you want to import, all stages and legal processes in the transportation process are under our control.