Air Freight VS Sea Freight

January 26, 2021

With the continuous threat of COVID-19, more and more businesses now rely on freight forwarding services to continue their operations and serve distributors and customers worldwide. Today, there are many shipping methods available in the Philippines: air freight and sea freight. If you’re a business owner, choosing the best for your business might be a little tricky. Costs such as duties, goods and services tax (GST), storage charges, demurrage charges, detention, and inspection charges, are running in your mind, including other business factors. We feel you! That’s why, to help you decide between an air or sea freight service, we’ve listed several considerations for your business to take into account.

Delivery Time

Airfreight is much faster than sea freight. If you require urgent shipping and if you’re willing to pay a higher price, it can take as little as 5-10 days. However, considering all the delays due to bad weather, checkpoints, warehousing, and damaged infrastructures, air freight usually delivers packages within 7-14 days. Meanwhile, sea freight typically ranges anywhere from 20-45 days. Make sure to compare transit times between different freight forwarders to see the best deal for your business.


Prices always vary. As stated earlier, depending on how much you are willing to pay (considering urgency), your packages may arrive within a shorter time frame with air freight. Furthermore, air freight is expensive and best suits time-sensitive shipments of smaller and mid-sized companies. On the other hand, if long transit time is alright with you, sea freight is much more cost-efficient, especially when transporting high quantities over large distances as per business owners.


Airfreight and sea freight services from trusted forwarders in the Philippines are both reliable. However, currents, harsh weather, checkpoints due to community quarantine, warehousing management, and unexpected damaged infrastructures can cause unexpected delays. Accidents are possible too. Fortunately, forwarders in the country also offer insurance policies that can back you up in the event of damage or total loss of cargo.

Load Capacity

Airfreight parcel delivery is the transfer and shipment of goods via an air carrier, which may be charter or commercial. As stated earlier, it’s perfect for time-sensitive shipments of smaller and mid-sized companies. Meanwhile, sea freight is a method of transporting large amounts of goods using carrier ships. Packages are put into containers and then loaded onto a vessel. A typical cargo ship can carry around 18,000 containers – best for businesses with high quantities of heavy loads to ship.

The Takeaway

Air freight and sea freight services in the Philippines are reliable but differ in several factors such as speed, costs, and capacity. In deciding which one you should choose for your future business operations, it’s crucial not to consider each factor alone, but rather the combined effect on your overall business.