19 March 2018


Determine the most appropriate international transport mode


Transport and distribution play a key role in international trade. Road, sea, rail and air are the forms of transport for import and export. First, the company must consider the volume, weight and type of goods (perishable, food, non-food products, etc.). For example, for the transport of food or fruit, it is important that the cargo arrives at its destination as soon as possible.


The destination, the legislation of the countries, the value of the goods, the risk of transport are other elements to be taken into account and depend on the needs of the company, the country of destination and the customers. Therefore, in order to assess international transport, quality, cost, time and conditions must be balanced.

It is necessary to choose the appropriate method of transport to ensure efficient and cost-effective shipping. To select the most suitable formula we take into account the following factors:

Logistics feasibility: International transport is likely to require different modes of transport: the combination of land and sea or even air transport. This will create a first filter of transport companies, which may not be able to meet intermodality needs.

Characteristics of the goods: Freight transport costs vary according to the mode of transport chosen. Air freight is the most expensive, but viable for high cost, low quantity or perishable materials. Then there is land transport, suitable for short distances and, finally, sea freight is the cheapest and is intended for the transport of goods in large quantities or when the weight is significant.

Load stirrup factor: To know what a tonne of load occupies, we must establish the relationship between the volume (m3) and the weight (kg) of the load. The result, expressed in tonnes, will allow us to know whether a load is much heavier than bulky or, on the contrary, useful for determining the most convenient mode of transport.

Safety and risks: Although all modes of transport are safe if good practices are followed, each mode has its own characteristics in terms of risks. The air mode is the safest, while the railway mode usually presents more risks (although it depends on its management in each country). The maritime transport presents a high security, especially for the use of FCL containers.

Additional costs: When exporting goods we must pay tax warehouses if the shipment is by land; port terminals if the shipment is by sea and airport terminals if the shipment is by air. These costs will be factors to be taken into account when choosing the most efficient and profitable mode of transport. We must also value freight forwarders, who will advise on the best formula for international transport.

At Transportes F. Ramos we will advise you on the best method for your transport needs. Contact us and ask for a quote.




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