Air Freight vs Sea Freight: Carbon Footprint

As a successful business owner or as a valued customer, you surely want to know what kind of shipping method is best for the environment. To be fair, none of them are ideal, because all of them leave a carbon footprint. Some more than others for sure. So, today we will talk about air freight vs sea freight and point out the pros and cons of each. All in order for you to choose the best method once you decide on working with one of the shipping and logistics companies. Let us help you make your shipment eco-friendly.

Air freight vs sea freight – who comes on top?

Both air freight and sea freight have their own carbon footprints. The choice between the two largely depends on factors such as time sensitivity, cost, and the size and weight of the shipment. Obviously, logistics companies in Saudi Arabia have a great responsibility and play a vital role in this story. Some companies treat the environment better than others. Hence, make sure you work with such companies to reduce your carbon footprint. Regardless of the way you are shipping your goods.

An airplane inside the hangar.
Even though it is the best way to transport goods, air freight is making a bigger impact on the environment.

Let’s review the air freight first

Air freight has a higher carbon footprint compared to sea freight. This is due to the high amount of fuel required to power airplanes, which emit significant amounts of greenhouse gases. According to some estimates, air freight emissions are approximately 5 to 7 times higher per unit of cargo compared to sea freight. That is why you should work with freight forwarding companies in Saudi Arabia who pay special attention to gas emissions. Some companies are green while others simply do not pay attention to this topic. Luckily, over the past decade, it became mandatory to contribute to a green and healthier environment.

Now onto the sea freight

On the other hand, choosing the ocean freight to Saudi Arabia is generally considered to be a more environmentally-friendly option. Simply because ships are powered by less carbon-intensive fuels and transport much larger volumes of cargo over long distances. However, the shipping industry has faced criticism in recent years due to the increasing levels of air pollution caused by sulfur emissions from ships. Arguably, even though the air freight vs sea freight battle is a tight one, some still say ocean freight is the more environmentally friendly way to transport goods.

A freight ship wins the air freight vs sea freight battle.
The shipping industry is still leaning toward the ocean freight, as it is more environmentally friendly.

In conclusion

It’s important to note that both air freight and sea freight can have an impact on the environment.  Efforts are being made to reduce the carbon footprint of both industries. For example, the shipping industry is working to transition to more environmentally-friendly fuels.  It is liquified natural gas, and airlines are investing in more fuel-efficient aircraft and improving operational efficiencies to reduce emissions.

Ultimately, the air freight vs sea freight encounter is almost tied. You should consider the specific needs of the shipment and take into account both economic and environmental factors. It all depends on the nature of your business, the cargo you ship, and the urgency of the shipment. At least now you know how to differentiate the two. Good luck.

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