Sea freight is another term for ocean freight but also signifies the transport of goods on or through smaller bodies of water. Transporting goods in this manner can be much more cost efficient and environmentally friendly than using strictly trucks or planes. You will probably be looking for a freight company that has close ties with a port near your business or factory. Begin your search here by entering a few details on our convenient form and you'll soon receive up to 5 free quotes from our esteemed freight partners.
Over 90% of Europe's global trade passes through its seaports. A total of 3.5 billion tonnes of cargo is shipped through its seaports every year.
When one thinks of the sea, many visions come to mind: stormy weather, cobalt blue skies contrasted against white sails, brass port bells echoing in the distance, and lighthouse beams guiding the way home for weary sailors. But behind the romance, there is an air of excitement, reminding us of the great wealth that passes through these ports. The hustle and bustle of the port town has exploded over the centuries, giving way to an industrial, technically advanced maritime gateway to the globe. These modern port cities link the sea with rivers, canals, roads and railways, making intermodal transport an ideal way to move goods further inland.
Sea freight cargo vessels are among the 2 million ships that pass through European seaports each year. Safety is essential not just on the ships themselves, but also at the ports. The crew, its cargo, the port environment and the ship itself must be secure at all times. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has worked hard to implement various safety measures over the years. For example, the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) guarantees that any ship anywhere in the world will receive assistance, even if the crew is unable to call for help, because signals are dispatched automatically.
The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) represents over 1200 seaports in 20 maritime EU member states. Committees meet throughout the year to discuss policies which will boost fair competition and economic efficiencies, ensure safety guidelines are met and environmental regulations are enforced. Approximately 2.5 million people are employed in the maritime industry in Europe alone. And each person will play a hand in making sure that sea freight is shipped on time and in tact.
Shipping by sea is a very carbon efficient method of commercial transport and should therefore increase even further in the years to come. In fact, shipping by road is 13 times more polluting than maritime transport! Although sea freight is the most environmentally friendly form of transportation, organisations must be put in place to safeguard marine life from any disasters. The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) is dedicated to preventing pollution such as intentional dumping or accidental spills of oil, waste, sewage, etc.
There are many resources available to increase your knowledge of sea freight. For instance, Witherby Seamanship International is a UK based company that not only sells books, reports, audio books, podcasts, cds, and training courses but also can develop bespoke training materials for your company. The Australia Maritime College (AMC) is also dedicated to educating students to the highest level and preparing them for careers in the maritime shipping industry.