When it comes to international trade, ocean shipping is not the icing on the cake, it is the cake. Ocean shipping accounts for 90% of goods and items freighted in the world. Air and other courier are undeniably faster but costlier and will take a chunk out of your budget. These other services are preferred for smaller, high value and time sensitive goods. But apart from this, ocean shipping trumps all of them.
Supply chain managers are however working hard at closing the time gap between ocean shipping and air shipping by providing fast premium trucking intermediary services and streamlining ocean freight services by utilizing faster ocean services.
 

Why You Should Use Ocean to Ship from Atlanta to Nigeria

Economical
Like mentioned earlier on, ocean shipping has a more competitive cost when compared to other modes especially in consideration with the long distance involved. Ocean shipping cost about 4-6 times lesser than Air freight charges and this lower cost has endeared it to shippers all over the world. For example it is cheaper to ship a car via ocean shipping from Atlanta to Nigeria.
 
Larger Capacity: 
Ocean shipping is not limited by bulk or weight. Planes, heavy duty cranes, materials and even other ships can easily be transported via ocean.
 
Safety: 
Most goods restricted for air freight such as lamp bulbs, perfumes, batteries, chemicals, all flammables are categorized as hazmat and are restricted from Air freight. However.
 
Environment Friendly:
We only have one earth and we need to keep her safe. Ocean shipping has the lowest carbon foot print when compared to other means of transportation.
 

Ocean shipping has a few draw backs and they include:

Slow Pace
Compared to air freight, sea shipping is a lot slower. An air delivery of 6 days could take weeks to deliver via ocean
 
Infrastructure
Some ports may not have the infrastructure to handle special shipments from Ocean freight.
 
Customs and Excise restrictions
International relationships can affect customs and excise restrictions on some goods and from some locations too. 
 

Containerized Ocean Shipping 

There are various kinds of vessels plying the ocean, from RoRo ships , oil tankers, cruise ships, fishing vessels and container ships. For the sake of this article, we will focus on container ships. 
Container ships are vessels designed to carry large containers usually 20 feet or 40 feet, 8 feet wide and 8 feet tall . 
Ocean freight has two major options for the shipper which are either 
  • Full Container Load (FCL) 
  • Less-Than-Container-Load (LCL)

FCL

The term full container load or FCL is used when a container is used exclusively for a single shipment and the container is not shared with other cargo shipments, and the costs are borne by a single party.
 
Advantages:
I. FCL costs less than the LCL (especially if cargo is more than 15 cubic metres)
II. Faster lead time/Delivery
III. Faster clearing 
IV. Container Delivery to final destination
V. Safer with reduced risk of damage by other goods in the container
 
Disadvantages:
I. FCL is not the best choice if you are shipping less than 15 cubic meter
 

LCL 

Less-than-container shipping is when various cargo shipments share the same container and the cost is borne by more than one person.

Advantages:

I.More affordable than Airfreight 

II.Good option for smaller volume items

III.Lowers warehouse cost rather than waiting to fill order for FCL
 
Disadvantages:
 
I.There can be delays while waiting for other goods to fill up the container
II.Issues with other goods like incorrect documentation will delay your own shipment
III.Other goods have the tendency to damage your own goods
IV. LCL is more expensive per cubic meter than FCL

What Makes up your Ocean Shipping Charges?

Below are some of the common charges you will see on sea freight quotes and invoices.
 
I.Customs security surcharges (AMS, ISF)
II.Container freight station charges which are usually consolidation charges and only apply for LCL.
III.Terminal Handling charges (charges by the port authority)
IV.Customs brokerage
V.Pickup and delivery
VI.Insurance
VII.Accessorial charges (fuel surcharges, handling hazardous materials, storage, etc)
VIII.Routing charges (e.g. Panama canal, Alameda Corridor)
 
You can use this tool to get a working estimate of your ocean freight shipping rates from Atlanta to Nigeria; Cost Tool 
 

What Documents do You Need for Ocean Shipping and Clearing from Atlanta, Georgia to Lagos, Nigeria?

Ocean shipping involves various parties working together to ensure a streamlined and effective delivery. Each of them have to prepare one or more document to ensure a smooth transition of goods from origin to destination via ocean shipping. Let us list some of these documents and who prepares them :  
 
Importer - 
  • Permits and licenses required by the destination country
  • Marine insurance
  • Original bill of lading 
  • Delivery instructions to the shipping line for the release of the cargo
  • Health clearance and other health license depending on the cargo
 
Exporter - 
  • Certificate of Origin
  • Commercial Invoice
  • Packing List
  • Marine insurance 
  • A detailed shipping Instructions for the Bill of Lading
 
Freight Forwarder ( For the Importer and Exporter) -
  • Shipping Delivery Notes
  • Shipping Instructions for the Bill of Lading
  • Marine Insurance
  • Cargo inspection certificates
  • Hazardous cargo packing declarations
  • The Forwarders Cargo Receipt
 
Clearing Agents - 
 
  • Customs Clearance Documents
  • Port Documentation
  • Duty and VAT exemption documents
 
Shipping Lines and their agents-
 
  • Booking confirmation
  • Container release
  • Bills of Lading
  • Shipping Manifest
  • Freight Invoices
  • Container stowage plans
  • Load & Discharge list
  • Dangerous/Hazmat goods manifest
  • Arrival Notification
  • Delivery Orders
  • Discharge lists
 
Banks
  • Letter of Credits
  • Bill of Exchanges
  • Surety
  • Guarantees
 
Ocean shipping documentation is dynamic, each cargo and national port has its unique documentation. 
 

How to Ship via Ocean from Atlanta, USA to Nigeria?

To get it right and save more money, it is advisable to use a third party logistics company(3PL). All you need do is drop-off your cargo or request for a pickup. The steps of using a 3pl is much easy and straight forward. 
But before you choose, do a brief research and verify - 
 
  • Do they have a presence in the USA and Nigeria (an office/Outlet)
  • The Ocean Shipping Rates
  • Insurance Policy
  • Delivery Window period
  • Customer reviews
  • Customer Service
  • Technology and Reliability.
  • Their refund policy (100% refund in 48 hours)

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Shipping companies such as Shiptonaija has these attributes listed above and many more.The company has been in existence since 2009 and have delivered over 2 million items to over 100,000 customers from USA to Nigeria. Shiptonaija has their Head Quarters in Houston and a branch in Atlanta, Georgia with an outlet/Operational office in Lagos Nigeria.
 

Steps to Use ShiptoNaija Services  

1)You need to register first.
 
2)You will get a free warehouse address, so you can easily track and monitor your shipment.
 
3)You can drop off at our warehouse in Houston or Atlanta or you can request a pickup. You can also use a courier service to drop off at our warehouse.
 
4)You will get an update within 24 working hours once your item has been dropped. The update will be accompanied with the invoice and cost of shipping.
 
*please note the cutoff time for payment is Wednesday 2pm
 
5)Ship out is every Thursday and transit time for delivery is in 6-8 weeks. 
 
Ocean shipping from Atlanta to anywhere in Nigeria should not be a daunting affair if you use a reliable and affordable shipping company. With a few easy steps, you can send your goods with 100% delivery assurance using ShiptoNaija and it will be as good as taking it there yourself.
 
Conclusion
 
Although air shipping might be favorable when it comes to speed and getting your items delivered in a shorter time span, ocean shipping should really be considered when one is shipping bulky items, items in large quantities or even an automobile. The cost is greatly reduced and with ShiptoNaija, all the challenges that normally occur with ocean shipping like clearing delays, wharf rats and missing or damaged items, are completely eliminated. ShiptoNaija has a 100% refund policy that ensures that should your items go missing or damaged while in transit, you will get your complete money back. If your items are not delivered at the stipulated time, ShiptoNaija guarantees you 25% back of your shipping cost. Now that you know, what are you waiting for? Start shipping now! 
 
 
 

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