Shipping has always been a key player in global logistics. In recent years there has been an increase in demand for the use of maritime transport, probably due to the advent of new technologies and e-commerce. Shipping has become an ideal choice to meet these new needs.
According to recent data, it has been estimated that shipping accounts for 80% to 90% of international logistics. These are very relevant numbers to get an idea of the importance of this type of transportation.
But why is maritime transport becoming more and more important? Let’s take a closer look at what maritime transport is and all the advantages it brings. Let’s go there!
What is maritime transport
The concept is not very complex; maritime transport is a term that designates large cargoes transported by cargo ships.
Starting in the 1960s, shipping began to use containers, facilitating the transport of large cargoes, reducing the cost of storage and product monitoring.
With all this, maritime logistics has become one of the main options for the transport of goods.
Let’s delve a little deeper into the special characteristics of maritime transport that make it so relevant in today’s international logistics.
Characteristics of maritime transport
As we have already mentioned, maritime transport is a very important part of international logistics. This is not a random fact; it is due, above all, to the attractive characteristics that define it.
Let’s take a look at the main characteristics of maritime transport:
- Large capacity. The vessels stand out for their high tonnage capacity, which is very difficult to match for other types of transport. This high capacity is one of the great assets of maritime logistics.
- International transportation. Ocean freight is capable of transporting large quantities internationally at a lower cost.
- Versatile transport. Maritime logistics enjoys great versatility; there are vessels of many different types, capable of adapting to any type of cargo.
- Competition. Despite some cases, maritime transport is governed by the principle of free competition, so there is a wide range of supply.
These characteristics mark the attractiveness of this type of logistics capable of adapting to any business and needs.
Types of maritime transportation
Thanks to the great versatility of maritime logistics, it is possible to identify different types of maritime transport . It is the cargo and its volume that usually define the types of maritime transport that we can find.
In the following, we will list some of the most common types of maritime transports within this logistics:
They are the most common type of vessel used for the transport of goods. The organization by means of containers makes it possible to keep a better control and a large volume of cargo.
They are large, modern, state-of-the-art vessels, even designed to offer zero emissions.
General cargo vessel
This is a more basic type of vessel, it does not allow the use of containers. Its most widespread use is for the transport of dry cargo. This type of vessel has its own cranes for loading and unloading goods.
They are also called bulk carriers, as they are used for the maritime transport of bulk cargo (e.g. minerals, fertilizers, etc…).
They are a very versatile type of transport, adapting to different goods and being used for different types of purposes.
As its name suggests, it is a vessel with refrigeration capacity, making it ideal for the transport of perishable foodstuffs.
Because of the type of cargo they carry, the speed of this type of vessel is faster than that of other vessels. Another interesting fact about reefer vessels is that they are usually white, in order to reflect the sun’s rays as much as possible and avoid overheating.
Heavy lift cargo vessels
Special vessels designed for the transport of extremely heavy cargoes. Widely used in industrial projects.
Roll on – Roll off vessel
They are a type of vessel that transports wheeled cargo, usually machinery, cars, trucks, etc….
Vessels designed to secure and fix this type of goods, with professional immobilization elements.
There are many other types of vessels such as tankers, livestock… the great versatility of maritime transport facilitates different types of transport and the design of vessels for this purpose.
Why choose shipping?
As mentioned above, almost 90% of the goods are transported by sea and this has its merit given the existence of other types of goods transportation.
Why do companies choose shipping? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why industries and businesses around the world choose shipping:
- Economic factor. The data show that the cost of maritime transport is 4 to 6 times lower than, for example, air transport. Thus, maritime logistics is more economical than other alternatives.
- Increased load capacity. There is no doubt that maritime logistics has much more cargo capacity than other transportation options. This is one of the great qualities that give greater value to maritime transport.
- Security. Maritime logistics operates under strict security policies and protocols. Cargo losses due to incidents are decreasing every year, proving that this is a very safe service.
All these reasons, together with greater efficiency and respect for the environment, make maritime logistics one of the first options for the transport of goods.
If you need to import or export by sea, contact our transportation and logistics specialists to find the best solution for your needs.