What is the Best Way to Send Freight to and from Australia?

Just about as far away from the UK as it’s possible to be, Australia can be a difficult territory to manage for importers and exporters. There is a strong market for British products in Australia. But the distance and expense of transit can be prohibitive. So, what is the best way to move freight between the UK and Australia?

What to Consider When Choosing Freight Movement Between the UK and Australia

When you are looking to move goods between Australia and the UK, you only have two transport options. Sea freight and air freight. There is no real overland alternative. To ascertain which option will work for you, it’s a good idea to look at the following areas.


If speed is a priority, air freight will always provide the most viable solution. Sea freight between the UK and Australia takes a minimum of 50 days. With air freight, it is possible to move your goods from A to B within a 24-to-72-hour period.


Sea freight is almost always cheaper than air freight. Because the service is slower, ships are cheaper to run, and there are fewer overheads associated with shipping, sea freight costs less. However, what many people don’t realise is that the more goods you ship by air freight, the more cost-effective it becomes. So, with heavy cargo, the pricing difference is nowhere near as drastic as most people expect.


Air freight is hands down the most secure way to move goods. The stringent security protocols adhered to by the aviation industry mean that it’s almost unheard of for cargo to go missing or be tampered with when being moved by air freight. Making it the go-to choice for high value goods.

That’s not to say that sea freight has poor security standards. But it is much easier for sea freight to be accessed. The World Shipping Council (WSC) also reports that up to 1,382 sea containers are lost at sea each year.


There are a lot of large oceangoing ships – between 50,000 and 60,000 – working internationally. So, you wouldn’t think it would be that difficult to move cargo between the UK and Australia. But only around 1% of cargo ships travel that route. So, when you need to move freight, you have to fit in with the liner’s schedule.

The beauty of air freight is that most flights between the UK and Australia carry a mixture of passengers and freight. Meaning that importers and exporters can access multiple flights every day. So, if you work with a reliable freight forwarder, you can find an air freight solution that suits your needs.


Perhaps more than any other form of transport, sea travel is at the mercy of the elements. If the conditions are poor, it’s common for sea freight to be delayed. Sea port delays are also a problem, with ships unable to dock and unload due to a range of factors.

With air freight, the strict timetables and protocols of the aviation industry again work to your benefit. While delays do inevitably occasionally happen, they are far less frequent than with other transport forms. Meaning that if you’re working to a deadline, air freight can provide a better solution.

Air freight isn’t always the first choice for businesses looking to move international cargo. It has the reputation of being cost ineffective. And when you’re importing from a new territory, it can be complicated to arrange if you don’t have boots on the ground. But when you’re shipping goods to or from a destination as distant as Australia, air freight can be the only sensible solution. It is fast, effective, reliable, and secure. And when you work with a professional freight forwarder, all of the arrangements are managed for you.

Find out more about air freight to and from Australia with Plexus Freight.

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