Transportation of goods over water is what is known as Ocean freight. It is one of the most affordable methods of shipping merchandise anywhere. Be it domestic or international. Though the time period is relatively long, it is still a preferred choice for transportation of goods, especially those goods that are not perishable or are very heavy. Ocean freight shipping is basically classified into two main types; Full Container Load Freight or FCL and Less than Container Load freight or LCL.
In FCL freight the entire 20 ft. or 40ft container is utilized for freight. This is usually done in the case of international shipments. Also, the entire FCL shipment is for one single consignee. The rates of shipping an FCL consignment is much lower than that of the equivalent cargo. However, FCL does not mean that the entire container has to be completely filled witch cargo.
The loading and unloading of containers in Ocean freight is a complicated and tedious process that requires careful attention. Packing the cargo properly is the first thing to be done. Also, as per the rules of freight shipping, the container has to be checked thoroughly from the outside as well as the inside. And the cargo being transported has to be placed in a position that best suits it and also fits in the container perfectly. There is also a need for special packaging for Ocean freight shipping. Appropriated devices are required for ocean freight shipping of cargo to prevent any damages to the cargo while it is being shipped, loaded or unloaded. Forklifts are ideally not permitted for loading/unloading the cargo.
In LCL the amount of cargo being shipped is much lesser than the space available in the container. Thus the rates will be higher. The ships used for Ocean freight are known as cargo carriers. There are many types of these carriers. Those carrying liquid are known as tankers while those carrying containers are called barge-carrying ships. The maximum speeds of these ships are greater than twenty knots. The usual service spans of these ships are pegged at around 20 to 30 years.