10 Useful Things You Need to Know about Sea Freight Services

Here at John Pipe International, we have over 60 years of experience dealing with packing for export, as well as sea freight, land freight and air freight. This guide will help you understand some of the advantages and disadvantages of sea freight services.

Advantages of Sea Freight

  1. Sea Freight is cost effective

Shipping by sea is often the most cost effective way to transport your freight, especially over long distances. Some statistics show that the cost of shipping by ocean is 4-6 times less than by air. This is due to a variety of factors, such as much higher efficiency. Saving money on shipping allows you to keep running costs down, and reduce the price of products when sold to end-users, giving you an advantage over competitors.

  1. Sea Freight is very efficient

This type of transport is efficient and able to accommodate a wider range of sea freight cargo sizes than any other form of transportation. Shipping companies offer a lot of flexibility over how cargoes can be stored, with options such as Less Than Container Load (LCL) and Full Container Load (FCL). 

  1. Able to handle large cargo

Whereas land and air freight may often be very limited in the size of cargo that they are able to accommodate, sea freight allows for a wider range of oversized, heavy or bulky cargo. As mentioned above, shipments can occupy a full container if needed, or transport by boat can allow for even larger loads including for example large vehicles or construction materials. 

  1. Safely transporting dangerous goods

Unlike some air and land shipping options, sea freight is often able to accommodate hazardous or dangerous cargo safely. The sailing industry is very experienced in the transport of these types of goods, and maritime safety is continually getting better. The flexibility mentioned above is also relevant to safety, as some items may need to be sealed in a full container alone. Alternatively, groupage loads may be more appropriate, as containers are often more tightly packed and allow less movement of items inside. 

  1. It’s green

Ships have a much lower carbon footprint than other forms of transportation such as road, rail and air. They produce a lower volume of greenhouse gas emissions for the amount of distance travelled than any other form of transport. In a world where environmentally friendly business practices are becoming more important and customers are more environmentally conscious, being green matters.

  1. It makes a lot of places accessible

Transport by boat allows for very easy access to coastal locations, and potentially offers a wider variety of destinations than other forms of transport. In addition to this, there are some places such as Antarctica and The Falkland Islands that are not easily accessible by other forms of transport. In this case, ocean shipping is the smart option.

Disadvantages of Sea Freight

  1. Sea freight takes time

By far the biggest disadvantage of this method of shipping is the time it takes. If your cargo is time-sensitive, sea freight may not be a sensible option. In some cases it could take a month or more for your item to reach its destination. If you are a company that relies on keeping items in stock, you may have to arrange orders in advance to stay ahead. 

  1. It can be risky

Because transport by sea takes longer, it increases the possibility of adverse events during transit. As well as the risk of delays and potential damage caused by bad weather, shipments travelling across certain regions may be at risk of piracy. 

  1. Harder to track

Transport by sea can be harder to track accurately than other methods such as air. Whereas air transport is very rigorously documented and scheduled, ocean routes might be subject to changing routes or timetables, especially when combined with adverse weather conditions. 

  1. It is inflexible

As well as requiring additional modes of transport to move items inland, sea freight is heavily reliant on having proper infrastructure. This is also dependent on the size of the ship, as a small freight vessel may be able to deliver to a wider range of smaller ports than a very large container ship. Shipping routes can also be inflexible compared to other forms of transport such as road freight.

Choosing the right form of transport for your cargo can be confusing, but we want to help. With our wide range of connections and access to expert advice, John Pipe International can assist you in finding the right solution. Get in touch with us now for a same-day callback.

We hope this guide to sea freight has been useful. For more information about our sea freight services, click here.

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John Pipe is Recruiting – Buyer job Poole

We are pleased to be recruiting for a Buyer to join our team in a part-time role, with hours to suit the successful applicant. To apply, please send your CV, with a covering letter to mark.logan@johnpipe.co.uk or post to: Mr. M Logan. Compliance Manager.  John Pipe International. 380 Ringwood Road. Poole. Dorset BH12 3LT. To download the full Job Description, please click here.

Reports to: Compliance Manager
Hours of Work: Negotiable – expectation up to 7 days per month.
Start Date: Immediate


JPI is an established company, offering packing and freight services to local industries and beyond. Although a busy and diverse enterprise, the team atmosphere is professional, supportive and relaxed. In the last 12 months, JPI has purchased near to £1m in materials and stock. To assist the company in obtaining the best value for money, JPI has a fantastic opportunity for a lively, good humoured, and positive individual to join our brilliant team in Poole, in a brand-new position as a Buyer for both branches of the company.

The scope of the role would suit an individual with a flair for research and organisation. Good IT skills are essential, with a passion for getting value for money.

We consider this is a part-time role, with hours to suit the successful applicant. While based at our Poole branch, a once-monthly visit to our Chandler’s Ford branch would be required.

Responsibilities and duties

– Planning and arranging annual servicing of company assets, including vehicles, heating systems and machinery.
– Planning and arranging of professional training for members of our team.
– Purchase of all stock materials and ad hoc items, including company uniform and office supplies, using the company’s purchasing system.
– Negotiating improved rates for frequently purchased short lead-time materials and services.
– Conduct a monthly stock count at both our Chandler’s Ford and Poole sites.
– Update records with costs and supplier information.
– Ensure all purchases are made with good value for money and compliance with UK legislation as required.
– Manage supplier performance and quality of service.
– Liaise with all personnel within John Pipe International to contribute to the smooth running of the business.

Skills and Experience Required

– Good IT skills, particularly Excel & Access.
– Polite telephone manner, strong communication skills.
– Resourceful and self-motivating.

Pay & Benefits

Benefits of this position include:

– 20 days paid leave + bank holidays (or part-time equivalent).
– Death in service insurance.
– After the qualifying period.
– Company contributed pension scheme.
– Salary Negotiable, depending upon experience.

Other Details

Typical company expenditure per annum:

– Wood Materials £538K
– Stock £167K
– Utilities £32K
– Repairs and renewals £60K
– Office Supplies and waste £25K
– Diesel £26K

How to Apply

To apply for this role, please send your CV, with covering letter to

Mr. M Logan
Compliance Manager
John Pipe International
380 Ringwood Road
Dorset. BH12 3LT


No Recruitment Agencies Please

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Defence and Aerospace Packing: Bespoke solutions and need-to-knows

When it comes to defence and aerospace packing at John Pipe International, we have more than 60 years of experience in designing and manufacturing state-of-the-art military packing solutions for the aerospace and defence industry.

So when you choose to trust us to export your goods, you can benefit from a wealth of experience and unique solutions we have to offer when it comes to packing for Defence and Aerospace.

Did you know…

The packing of military spares and equipment was started during the 1970s and has subsequently progressed through the necessary quality approval levels from 0521 through to the latest ISO 9001 2015 and MPAS accreditation – proof that we pack to MoD standard.

With our MPAS design capability approval, John Pipe International regularly handles a variety of Defence and Aerospace packing needs from small polybag packing through to cartons, special contents containers, and static sensitive types.

What is MPAS accreditation?

Administered by the Ministry of Defence, MPAS registration assures that Military Level Packaging design meets the MOD requirements for safe handling, storage, and transportation of your Defence and Aerospace packing . 

John Pipe International are also able to support your US Navy (Mil Std 2073) and Rolls Royce packing needs along with many other particular packing specifications that may be required.

What are the Common Military Packing Levels for Preservation?

Here’s a few of the most common Military packing levels for Defence and Aerospace packing, in accordance with the Ministry of Defence Standard 81-41:

  • Level J – Provides protection under the extreme climatic conditions for a period of two years.
  • Level N – Provides worldwide protection in covered, frost free buildings for up to five years.
  • Level  P – Commercial packaging, up to five years storage in frost free buildings.

How Should Military Defence and Aerospace Goods be Packed?

All defence and aerospace exports should be packed to ensure it reaches its end destination in a serviceable condition.

The choice of packaging materials is at the forefront of bespoke packaging designs at John Pipe International – ensuring adequate physical protection is provided.

Bespoke Design, Tailored to Your Needs.

We provide a bespoke design service to create military containers that are designed for specific requirements to suit the demands of your export and ensure that even the most sensitive components and equipment are adequately protected, so you can trust our team of experts to deliver the right solution for your needs and provide an export packing solution designed to keep your goods safe during transit. The design is called a Services Packaging Instruction Sheet (SPIS).

How Does SPIS Work?

The SPIS will dictate the use of an MoD approved outer container, with specific internal furnishing composed of timber, foam or felt to cushion or secure the contents. Our team will provide your shipping barcode and label your containers.

Military contractors can be afforded a ‘same day service’ with cartons made to specification in-house – so you can enjoy peace of mind while we handle the logistics of your project.

Defence Packing – Tailor-Made Export Packing Solutions for Military Defence.

When it comes to defence packing, it’s not always a straightforward task. 

We’ll project manage your packaging requirements on a case by case basis, ensuring your goods are secure during transit and your export packing meets current legislation.

We’ve got the experience and the relationships in place to get your defence and aerospace export to its destination as efficiently, safely and cost-effectively as possible.

From export packed for immediate use on arrival, to situations where harsh transportation conditions and long-term storage are envisaged – John Pipe International have the expertise and equipment to meet every packing needs and standards.

Aerospace Industry Packing

At John Pipe International, we understand that the aerospace industry has different needs when it comes to packaging solutions.

Safety is of utmost importance in the aerospace industry. Unlike many other industries, in the aerospace industry, there is no room for error. That’s why we design our packing solutions to ensure that your export goods are transported safely from A to B.

Because aerospace export is often dangerous and high value, we take great care when designing your tailor-made packaging solution.

Many of our customers approach packing aerospace parts with the same attitude as Defence Packing – which is why we use the Defence Packing Standards as a benchmark for packing aerospace goods, giving peace of mind to all involved.

With decades of experience behind us, you can rely on our team’s expertise to safely handle a variety of defence and aerospace packing needs, no matter the content.

Need to talk to a member of the team about your defence export packing and shipping? Fill out our contact form for a same day callback.

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