Though sea freight shipping has proven to be the most effective, efficient and economic way of transporting heavy and bulky consignments over long distances, it also has a share of it shortcomings. The disadvantages that relate to sea transport shipping do not however render it as an inefficient service. They only become shortcomings when rated against other modes of transport which can score better in the field of transport. The following are some of the disadvantages that an individual may encounter when using sea freight shipping services.
Sea freight shipping is always considered as a slower means of transport when compared to road and air transport. This is due to the bulk of goods and the weight that it carries. Shipping consignments from one place to another, especially over long distances can take a considerable amount of time to arrive at the destination. Depending on how long the journey is, sea freight shipping can take even a couple of months. This makes sea freight shipping unsuitable when dealing with consignments that are very urgent. One would therefore have to resort to other means like road and air freight. Perishable goods cannot be transported via sea freight shipping especially where there are no special services like refrigeration. The goods may therefore reach their destination when they are stale.
Sea freight shipping is only suitable for heavy and bulky consignments. When dealing with smaller consignments, it will prove to be ineffective. This is because sea transport shipping has a minimum requirement for cargo that has to be transported. It sets the minimum load that one can transport using this service. This means that a consignee who has cargo that is below the minimum cargo requirement will have to pay extra rates to cover for the space and weight that is not utilized. In such a case, air freight can be deemed to be much appropriate.
In the recent times, sea freight shipping has been under the threat of pirates. The pirates hijack a ship together with its cargo and demand for a ransom before releasing it. This can take a considerable long duration before the ship is released. This will mean that there will be disruptions in the normal running of a business if the cargo on board was meant for business. For instance, if one was importing goods for sale in the local market, it means that the stock will be held up for long before the ship is released. Furthermore, goods that are perishable will end up going stale and this will be a big loss to the consignee. The threat of piracy has impacted negatively on the safety of sea transport shipping.
Another great disadvantage of sea freight shipping is that in case of an accident, it is always impossible to retrieve the cargo. Most of the consignment is unrecoverable as it sinks in the deep seas. In other cases, consignments like crude oil can cause water pollution when it spills into the sea in case of an accident. This therefore leads to environmental degradation and poses a threat to aquatic life.