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18 Oct

8 Misconceptions About Marine Cargo Transportation

What are some misunderstandings about transporting cargo and barges?

Marine cargo transportation makes the world go round. With millions of tons of goods and merchandise shipped on a regular basis, even a small hiccup can be devastating around the globe. Many of the largest and most plentiful items, such as lumber, coal, construction materials, gravel, metals, cotton, grain, etc., are transported with the use of barges.

There seem to be quite a few misconceptions about barge and marine cargo transportation. We thought we’d take the time to give everyone a somewhat detailed look at several of the most common of these misunderstandings.

Marine Cargo Transportation Is Very Expensive

While no one can say that marine cargo shipping is cheap, it’s definitely not the most expensive option. In fact, shipping containers via barges continues to be the most cost-effective option for both importers and exporters. This is why it accounts for approximately 90% of world trade.

Any Goods Can Be Shipped on a Barge

It’s obvious that there are certain restrictions on what you can ship because some things are banned and/or illegal. You need to understand that every country has its own set of regulations that govern and control what can and cannot be shipped. There are certain types of goods and merchandise that are prohibited in specific parts of the world. Others would need a special license.

Container Shipping Rates Are Always the Same

This is one of the biggest assumptions people often make, which is funny since it isn’t anywhere close to the truth. Container shipping rates on barges go up and down all the time. These depend on what you’re transporting, the regulations involved, supply and demand, seasonal demand, supply chain issues, etc.

Shipping Contents Won’t Be Accessed by Anyone

Marine cargo transportation and towage companies believe in privacy. It’s important to understand the contents of any barge that may be inspected. This is for the protection of the shipping business, local governments, and the recipients themselves. While it’s true that only approximately 5% of shipments are tagged for inspection, this should never be assumed. In fact, customs requirements in the United States and other countries have become more stringent in recent years.

Shipping Lines Provide Accurate Arrival Dates

No one likes the idea of a shipment arriving late. Especially the shipping company or barge towing company that has indicated to their client an estimated date of arrival. It’s a simple part of doing business on the open seas that the carrier schedule may be altered. This can be due to things like hurricanes, large volumes of cargo, blocked channels, etc.

Delivery Trucks Will Be Available Immediately

In a perfect world, a marine transport vessel would settle into a dock, be immediately unloaded, and then the merchandise would be placed into a delivery truck, which would head off to its destination. The reality, though, is that the United States and other parts of the world have been experiencing a truck driver shortage. This means that it may take a little time for a delivery truck to begin its trek from the port to the merchandise’s final destination.

No Flexibility in Barge Cargo Transportation

Given the nature of barge cargo shipping, a lot of people are under the impression that there’s no flexibility. Usually due to regulations and whatnot. This isn’t exactly true. While there are definitely specific procedures, there is a degree of flexibility in the timing and the shipping materials that are used. Sometimes even the routes that the barge takes change. Some of these options can lower or raise shipping costs, which you can discuss with the towing company.

Shipping Delays Can Never Be Avoided

While it’s true that some delays can’t be avoided, this doesn’t mean that they’re all inevitable. To keep delivery times intact or at least very close to what’s been estimated, a reputable barge towing and marine cargo transport company will plan ahead. They will ensure that all the proper paperwork has been filed, and take great care in considering the most efficient routes.

Contact Dann Ocean Towing for Marine Cargo Transport

Dann Ocean Towing specializes in barge towing, marine towing, marine construction, marine cargo transport, emergency salvage and rescue, and other waterborne needs. If you have any questions about our services or need help, reach out to us at (813) 251-5100 today.