Choosing one port or another for your shipments can have a significant impact on your supply chain.
It is therefore essential that you analyze the different options before opting for a port.
It requires constant study, as there are numerous factors to take into account when deciding on the best route for your cargo.
In the following lines, we will list and analyze the main factors to be considered when deciding on the best shipping route. So if you want to know how to choose a port for your shipment, keep reading!
The main factors for choosing a port of shipment
When choosing the port of origin and destination, the most common option is to opt for ones closest to the shipping and delivery points, as they are generally the most economical due to accessibility and lower transport costs.
However, this is not always the case, as many ports, in order to improve their competitiveness, offer direct services to compensate for the longer distance.
This is of particular interest in the case of urgent shipments or high-value cargoes, where the total savings do not compensate for the delay that a change of base may entail.
2. Infrastructure & equipment availability
The port and its infrastructure can affect directly how quickly and safely cargo is picked up, handled and delivered.
For instance, the presence of navigable channels and quays allowing the passage and berthing of large vessels, or the link between shipping lines and port ownership, has an impact on the time and ease of transport.
3. Availability of land transport
Generally, the availability of carriers in a port matches its capacity. However, there are circumstances such as strikes or expansion works that may compromise the service.
On these occasions, opting for a smaller or slightly distant port may bring benefits over the usual options, especially if they improve safety or reduce cargo handling times.
4. Customs regulations and procedures
Customs procedures can differ significantly from one port to another. This often makes it easier to import certain goods through certain ports, which are more agile in certain customs processes. It is especially noticeable in the transport of vehicles or international removals.
The size of the port is another factor to keep in mind before making a shipment. The larger the port, the greater the number of carriers and vessels operating in it, which means more direct services and, most certainly, agility in transport management.
All these aspects affect the capacity of the facilities and also the costs of the carriers, as they have more and better equipment, carriers, customs brokers and other partners involved in the process of freight transport.
The technological modernization of ports or the digitalization in the shipping industry has helped to increase transparency in booking and also in tracking and tracing shipments.
In addition, the most technologically advanced ports have introduced automated gate-in process with biometric identification systems.
7. ADD congestion
Port congestion is one of the main challenges that maritime logistics has faced since its inception.
Congestion in this case means that a vessel arrives in port to load or unload cargo, but is unable to berth and has to wait outside at anchor for an unknown number of hours to complete its task.
This is very common in major cargo ports, especially during the high season, forcing many shippers to look for alternatives.
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