5 Common International Shipping Methods for Freight


U&I Logistics - Today, the trade in goods between countries in the world is growing day by day. In order to help goods be transported from the seller to the buyer quickly, international freight is an important and indispensable activity. However, there are many types of international freight forwarding depending on different groups of goods. To understand better, let's learn about 5 common International Freight Shipping Methods with U&I Logistics right now in the article below!

5 Common International Shipping Methods for Freight

1. What is international shipping?

To the definition of: “International shipping is importing and exporting goods between different countries. That means, when goods pass through the borders of a specific country into another by ocean, air, or road, the method of transportation is regarded as international shipping”.

Depending on the nature and quantity of each type of item, international shipping rates have many fluctuations and changes. To optimize the cost problem, we need to understand well about international shipping methods to find the right type of shipping.

2. The most popular international shipping methods today

2.1. Seaway

Among the types, international shipping b y seaway is the most important and popular form, accounting for a fairly high proportion. International shipping by seaway is suitable for large-volume shipments, easy to store, and the transit time is not too urgent…


  • Transporting a variety of goods
  • Transporting goods of large quantity and size, superior to other methods.
  • The cost of sea transportation is very low, so it is preferred
  • Low cost of construction of maritime routes


  • Relatively low shipping speed
  • Depends mostly on shipping lines, vessel schedule
  • Depends heavily on maritime conditions, nature, weather, ....
  • Combined with road transport, we can deliver to your door
  • More risk than air freight

2.2. Airway

International shipping by airway is a new form of transportation, developed in the early years of the 20th century. Although present later than other modes of shipping transport, air transport plays an important role and is exploited a lot in the circulation of goods.

This form of transport uses Cargo Aircraft/Freighters or carried in the belly of a passenger plane to transport goods.


  • Shipping speed is very fast, on time, accurate
  • Connect to many countries around the world
  • Goods are guaranteed to be safe at the highest level.
  • Lower shipping insurance due to less risk than other methods
  • Minimizing the loss arising from damaged, broken or stolen goods,...


  • Shipping cost is very high
  • Smaller shipping volume compared to other forms
  • Not suitable for transporting low value goods,
  • Censorship requirements, strict standards
  • Affected by weather, causing flight delays such as fog, storms, thunderstorms, etc.

2.3. Roadways

International shipping by roadways is a type of transport using means of transportation such as cars, trucks, containers, trailers, etc. to transport goods to customers.

However, this mode of transportation is mainly for domestic transportation, and for international freight, it is very limited. Transport by road is only suitable for short and medium transport distances, goods require fast delivery speed, because it is highly dependent on geographical locations between countries.


  • Flexibility in the transportation of goods
  • Actively choose the vehicle, route or quantity of goods to transport
  • The parties can negotiate and agree on the delivery time
  • Efficient freight transport at short and medium distances
  • No transport intermediaries if the goods are transported from the sender's warehouse to the receiver's warehouse, optimizing costs as much as possible


  • Often pay additional road surcharges such as toll stations, fuel fees, tolls, etc.
  • There are risks that may be encountered such as traffic accidents, traffic jams, etc., which greatly affect the goods and delivery time.
  • The volume and size of goods transported is more limited than shipping by rail and sea.
  • Much depends on the weather

2.4. Railways

International shipping by rail is a safe and efficient mode of transport, contributing to smooth trade between neighboring countries.


  • Low freight rates, little fluctuations
  • Transport large quantities of goods, heavy items on long distances.
  • Less affected by weather conditions, climate, traffic jams, road damage, etc.


  • High investment costs for construction of roads
  • Poor flexibility due to having to move along a fixed track

2.5. Pipeline

Pipelines are often used to transport liquids and fuels (gasoline, oil, gas, chemicals) using a system of pipelines connected from one country to another.


  • Suitable for transporting liquids, gases, mines, etc. where the terrain is complicated
  • Minimize loss or damage during transportation


  • Only the specific goods mentioned above can be transported
  • The investment and construction cost of the pipeline system is very complicated and expensive
  • The average speed is quite slow, about 5-7 km/h

3. The process of international shipping by sea and by air

3.1. The process international shipping by seaway

International shipping by sea  will vary depending on the type of item. But in general, the process of customs procedures for export by sea will have the following specific basic steps:

Step 1: Prepare and check goods for export

Step 2: Check the set of documents

Step 3: Declare and transmit the customs declaration

Step 4: Carry out export customs procedures at Sub-department of Customs

Step 5: Complete the customs clearance process

3.2. The process international shipping by airway

International shipping by airway is carried out in a 10-step process. After signing the sales contract, the import-export unit performs the following steps:

Step 1: Booking

Step 2: Packing the goods

Step 3: Export customs procedures

Step 4: Issue the air waybill

Step 5: Send documents (if needed)

Step 6: Receive the voucher in advance by email

Step 7: Arrival notification

Step 8: Delivery order

Step 9: Import customs procedures

Step 10: Importer receives goods

4. U&I Logistics - Flexible and fast international freight forwarding service

At U&I Logistics, we assure your on-time shipments and with our extensive global freight forwarding network alliances we are able to provide excellent service lanes and connectivity to major gateways.

We assure you peace of mind with our expert level Clearance Officers that have sound local customs regulation knowhow for clearances services at major shipping gateways.

Our international freight forwarding service includes:

  • Air Freight Service
  • Sea Freight Service
  • ConsolidationService
  • Courier Express Service
  • Project Cargo
  • Multimodal Transportation Service
  • Port to port Service
  • Ex-working Service
  • Cross-border Forwarding

>>> You may be interested: International Freight Forwarding Service

With the trust of customers, U&I Logistics is committed to making more efforts to bring success to all partners in import and export activities.

U&I Logistics

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