The Differences Between Sea and Air Freight

To determine the differences between sea freight and air freight, it is important to first understand how freight forwarding works.

How Freight Forwarding Began

Back in the day when international trade did not need a lot of requirements, products were transported by a shipper to the place of destination. Nowadays, with the standards of global trading, taxes, changing fuel prices, and other economic factors, negotiating with a shipping company directly is considered impractical.

Containers used for shipping can cost a small-time or medium-sized company a lot, which is why a third-party broker called a freight forwarder is hired to do the negotiation and make sure that the goods reach their intended destination in good condition.

The freight forwarding services in Singapore may have started as a shipping company, but the demand for a more sophisticated coordination between local freight, international freight, and transportation services played a role in the creation of a broker specializing in negotiations with different parties involved in freight forwarding.

Logistics services is not simply placing your items in a warehouse where a truck is expected to pick it up and deliver it to its destination. International freight in Singapore, whether for export or import, is much more complicated than that. The cargo may be transferred from one type of transportation through freightmaster in Singapore to another and back again before it will reach its destination. It is up to the logistics company to keep track of its progress and to make sure that it gets to the recipient in the fastest and least expensive route and methods possible.

Roles of a Freight Forwarder

A freight forwarding services company in Singapore therefore has the following roles:

    • Store cargo in warehouses
    • Arrange the distribution of the cargo based on the instructions of the customer
    • Negotiate the freight rates with a shipping company
    • Help the client prepare all the documents, permits, and licenses needed to ship the cargo
    • Assist the client in completing the Customs clearance

Because they will act as your company’s representative when dealing with any logistics company, they specialize in importation, exportation, maritime and aviation licensing, Customs specialization, accounting and legal needs, and bills and payment experts.

Hiring a freight forwarder therefore will give you an advantage over other businesses and will let you save money for shipment of goods. The following are the other benefits of freight forwarding services:

    • Versatility and the ability to handle different situations like delays
    • Organization and manageability or the ability to trace the location of the shipment and determine problems in the transportation
    • No need to tie your company down to one contract if there is a better alternative when it comes to logistics services
    • Save money by utilizing the freight forwarder’s expertise in the distribution of goods
    • Save time and effort by dealing only with the freight forwarder instead of negotiating with different parties yourself
    • International freight is easy because the logistics company can help you choose the right size for your container
    • International freight is manageable because the freight forwarder will be able to look for alternate routes at competitive shipping rates
    • The logistics services will help you comply with the requirements for international freight

Freight Forwarding Process

Before we discuss the differences between air freight and sea freight, you also need to know the process that your cargo will go through in international freight.

The process is as follows:

    1. Haulage of the cargo from the origin
    2. Handling of cargo from the origin
    3. Customs clearance for exportation
    4. Sea freight or air freight
    5. Customs clearance for importation
    6. Handling of the cargo to its destination
    7. Haulage of cargo to its destination

What is Air Freight?

Air freight is the transfer of goods via a commercial or charter air carrier. This type of transportation offers companies possibilities in shipping cargo anywhere in the world, especially if the transaction needs to be completed within a limited period or if the cargo is time-sensitive. It’s the fastest way to get the cargo to its destination and is also the most reliable even with weather delays.

Another advantage of air freight is that it offers opportunities for small to medium-sized businesses in Singapore to participate in international trade, because it has a high level of security and control over cargo. It is often used in combination with other logistics services such as sea freight, rail, and trucking even when it’s for local freight.

However, air freight is the most expensive mode of transportation, although there are three options when it comes for air freight, such as; next flight out, consolidated shipping, and deferred shipment.

Despite the expenses, hiring a freight forwarder will make the shipment of goods easier because they can assist you in Customs clearance and other documentation.

What is Sea Freight?

Sea freight, also called ocean freight, is the transportation of cargo into sea container via terminals and seaports. It is also used in combination with other transportation modes such as air freight, rail, and trucking.

However, sea freight will cost less than air freight because the price is based on the cubic meter used. Sea freight services is usually based on the cargo type to make sure that the goods and intact and in good condition when they arrive at their destination. These are containerised, bulk, RORO, chartering, and oversized.

Containerised means that the cargo is packed in a container ship to avoid rehandling the goods, ideal for perishable or sensitive cargo and is also the cheapest form of sea freight. Bulk on the other hand is the storage of unpacked goods in the hull of a ship, while RORO, or roll-on/roll-off, is the transportation of wheeled vehicles that contain cargo on a sea vessel designed for such a task. Chartering is recommended if you want to hire a vessel and crew for specific destinations, while oversized sea freight is the transportation of goods that exceed the standard dimensions.

7 Accounting Mistakes That SMEs Must Avoid

Accounting is the bread and butter of any business, and it’s more than just adding and subtracting. Many Singapore SMEs think of handling their own accounting to save company expenses—though this may not be a good idea.


Messing up with the records can cost a great extent and can impede the growth of the business. Small and medium corporations often make mistakes because of lack of knowledge for proper accounting procedures. Here are the most common slip-ups that Singapore SMEs should avoid.

Mistake #1: Not Using Cloud Technology

With an automated method, all your accounting requirements like budgeting and payroll are managed easily and quickly. It brings better turnaround time, leaving you with more time to take care of other important things.

However, it’s essential to realize that a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet isn’t enough for efficient work. Be aware that Excel is not as interactive and advance as cloud accounting software. With Excel, there’s no way to detect human errors and hence you need an accounting software in Singapore because with cloud accounting programs, errors are automatically deleted and/or corrected with its automated and specialized database.

Mistake #2: Managing Everything Yourself

Entrepreneurs, being passionate with their business, have the tendency to take control of everything. When you first started out, you might have thought that it’s okay to handle everything by yourself. While this can be possible, you cannot expect the same positive results in the long run as your business grows. Learn to delegate responsibilities and take advantage of the technological advancements, such as incorporating accounting software in your system.

Mistake #3: Going For the Cheapest Methods

Seeking for the cheapest accounting software may end up costing you more on the long run. Remember that excellent service comes with a price, so you cannot really expect the best from incredibly low-priced programs. As the saying goes, “you get what you pay for”—spend a little extra if you want better quality of work.


Mistake #4: Skipping Regular Back Ups

Many SMEs don’t fully realize the importance of regular system backups. Aside from cases like stolen equipment or computer crash, occurrences of extreme scenarios such as flood and fire can wipe out all your business records and data. Integration of accounting software that performs automatic backup every certain period of time significantly helps in ensuring you’ll have access to crucial data even after unfortunate circumstances.

Mistake #5: Trashing Receipts

However big or small an expense is, keep its receipt for future references. Paper trails provide answers to any gaps or mistakes in your accounting records, and offer deduction opportunities on tax-paying time. Even more importantly, receipts are your proof to validate the figures on your financial statement.

Mistake #6: Hiring the Wrong Person

Though you’re using a cutting-edge accounting program, which can takes care of almost everything from keeping employee info to sending out invoices and receiving payments, you need to hire someone who understands the ins and outs of your business’ accounting. While you think that your accounting software has got you covered, hiring the wrong person can still jeopardize the productivity of your company. Hire someone whose credentials include formal accounting education and is experienced enough to handle such work.

Mistake #7: Focusing on the Short Term

With the day-to-day endeavour of business management, it’s easy to fixate on the present and lose track of the future. However, accounting isn’t only about keeping track of today’s business performance. Most importantly, it’s about forecasting the company’s growth and identifying possible problems from current financial status. With the need to be always a step ahead, fortunately, many accounting software today are equipped with functions that enables business owners to predict future productivity. Utilizing these tools allows you to get a better prediction of what’s ahead and formulate plans for better future.

The way you manage your company’s financial aspect can make or break your business. Learning what tool to use and when to use it helps a lot in coping up with the struggles and issues of your enterprise.