China to the Philippines

All About Sea freight from China | 2022 best guide

What is Sea freight?

Sea freight is the movement of people, goods, etc., by boat, ship, and other vessels from seas, oceans, lakes, canals, and rivers.

Goods shipped by sea usually have a large volume and weight, but that is not always the case; the sea can ship even small goods, but there’s a risk of getting lost, so they always consolidate them with other goods.

Even though sea freight is one of the best methods of cargo transfer, in some cases, the geographical characteristics of the country make it impossible for goods to be shipped because access to open waters is not possible in all countries. But with all these cases, sea transport is the most important type of transport, and a high percentage of world trade is transported to destinations in this way.

In this article, we will read more about this method and talk about its advantages and disadvantages to make the decision easier for you. If you have further questions, you can contact our sales team to answer your question and guide you through the process.

Sea freight

What is the process of sea freight transportation?

When it comes to sea freight, cargo ships, even equipped with special features to carry various goods, come to mind. Many ports, port facilities, and specialized equipment have been developed to ensure this type of transportation, especially during unloading and loading, with high reliability and speed.

Now maybe you’ve wondered what the process of sea freight is? How are the goods loaded and unloaded?

To answer these questions, once the cargo ship has entered the ports and docked for evacuation, and the health officials, having entered and checked the documents, issued a permit to communicate with the port, the customs officers first provide a special office to the ship’s commander that provides general characteristics of the goods and The ship, such as the name, name of the commander, number of personnel and flags, type of ship and ports of origin and destination, weight and number of goods to be unloaded, record the amount of food and prohibited goods, etc.

The warehouse of goods such as food warehouse and warehouse of drinks and prohibited goods, which are not going to be unloaded, is then sealed and then the ship commander or the representative of the transport company lists the cargo he wants to unload in two copies.

Sea freight
Sea freight process

Sea freight Characteristics

Now, like all the shipping methods, Sea freight has its own advantages and disadvantages, which can make it a useful shipping way for you or vice versa; based on the type of shipment and the nature of the product, you can check whether this type of cargo transportation is suitable for your needs or not.

Sea freight Advantages

  • Affordable and Cost-effective

Surely, Sea freight offers the most competitive costs when compared with other cargo transportation methods, especially over long distances; One of the reasons might be goods get consolidated together and send as one therefore the costs per shipment get lower and cheaper.

  • Efficient for all types of goods

One of the best advantages of sea freight is that it is suitable for all types of shipments, It’s a solution to all, smaller ones can be consolidated and sent together to fill the container and lower the risk of them getting lost, the bigger ones that cannot be shipped by airfreight and have big volume and odd shapes are also possible to be sent by sea freight.

  • Suitable for DGR goods

The hazardous and DGR goods usually cannot be shipped by airfreight or similar methods, they have high risk and it’s always a problem, but with Sea freight, there are regulations and sealed and locked containers that assure the safe transport of DGR goods across the globe.

  • Environmental Friendly

Compared to other methods, sea freight provides the most carbon-efficient mode of transportation; Sea freight produces fewer grams of exhaust gas emission and they are also trending downward as the technology advances.

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Sea freight Advantages and Disadvantages

Sea freight disadvantages

  • Slow transport time

This transportation method is the slowest among them all, and the reason is the long wait for containers and ships to be filled and then moved and also moving through the waters to reach the other ports.

  • Higher risk of damage

In the Sea freight method, as we mentioned before, goods are consolidated and sent together, so there’s a higher risk of them getting damaged when combined together, also sea freight has a long transit time and before the ship reaches the destination, the weather conditions might also affect the goods and put them in the risk of physical damage.

  • Limited to seas and oceans

The other disadvantage that might make the sea freight invaluable for importers is that It moves through waters, so it can only move between the countries that are connected with the water, for other countries not connected to Sea, transshipment and multi-modal shipment is suitable.

If you have further questions about Sea freight service and need assistance, contact our sales experts and send us a message.

Different types of sea freight methods

Sea freight method is not just done by one way and there are various methods that the goods can be shipped by sea freight based on their nature, weight volume, the situation of the country, and many other factors, here we’re going to read about some of them.

  • Maritime transport of goods by Cross Stuffing

Cross Staffing is the transfer of goods from one ship to another and the continuation of the route. This method is mostly used in the context of sanctions and small ports.

Large ships usually do not enter ports that are not allowed to dock, ships dock at a nearby port, and the goods are unloaded to small ships, and they go to the port and unload the goods. The cross-staffing method is not only done in the import of goods, but also in reverse in the export. The important point is that in the cross-staffing method, one of the ships must have a crane to unload the desired goods, and sometimes there are dangers during this movement of goods. However, countries that are subject to severe international sanctions use this method, especially for the import of their goods, according to certain conditions.

  • Sea freight transportation of goods by Transshipment method

Transship means the transport of goods to an intermediate port. If direct loading of goods from the port of origin to the port of destination is not possible, the transshipment shipping method is used.

  • Sea freight transportation of goods by chartering method

When the volume of goods to be transferred is large or there is no special packing shipment, the shipping company uses the chartering method or full rental of the ship.

  • Sea freight transportation of goods by groupage method

Transport operators are allowed to pack homogeneous goods that have different sellers and are sent to the same destinations, in groups and send as a shipment, in such cases, the shipowner will issue a group bill of lading. This type of sea freight is called groupage.

  • Shipping of bulk goods

Goods that are in bulk and without packaging are transported in this way by special ships carrying bulk goods.

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Sea freight transportation methods

Top three ports in China

now that you know all about sea freight, it’s good to get familiar with some important seaports in China that are used for transporting thousands of shipments every day, three reputable Chinese ports used for sea freight are:

  1. Shanghai Port


The Port of Shanghai, which surpassed the Port of Singapore in 2010, is the largest port in China and the world and has always been at the top of the rankings.

Shanghai has been designated as one of the four largest port metropolises in the world due to the huge volume of trade through this port and its impact on the local population.

The port is built along the intersection of the Huangpu, Yangtze, and Qiantang rivers. It is bounded on the east by the East China Sea and on the south by Hangzhou Bay.

To manage traffic in shallow water conditions, a satellite port has been built near Yangshan and connects to the main port via the Donghai Bridge. The port’s smaller ports have allowed Shanghai to accept more cargo than other Chinese ports. The port is divided into different work areas โ€“ Yangshan, Huangpu, and Deep Water Zone.


  1. Shenzhen port


It operates as a port of call, has more than 130 international routes, serves more than 50 global shipping lines, and serves nearly 10,000 ships annually. It is the second-largest port in China and the third-largest in the world.


  1. Ningbo-Zhongshan Port

It is the busiest port in the world due to the transportation of more than 1 billion tons of cargo per year. Located on the east coast across Shanghai in Hangzhou Bay, the port consists of the ports of Zhongshan and Ningbo. The merger between the two neighboring ports took place in 2006 and in 2012 surpassed the leading port of Shanghai (in terms of cargo).


Sea freight is one of the most important methods for cargo transportation across the globe, its advantages such as low cost and efficiency have made it famous among many importers, and every day thousands of goods are being transferred by sea freight across the globe.

If you need to ship your goods by Sea freight from China to your country, ERA offers easy, reliable service, which is also affordable and best suits your needs, we also offer Sea freight in DDP way which has made it even better, Door-to-Door service which takes care of everything while you just wait for your goods to be delivered to you without any fuss, contact us now and get your free quote ๐Ÿ˜‰


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