One of the most important decisions ocean shippers can make is which carrier their cargo will sail on. The decision to ship on one carrier versus another could cause massive headaches in the form of delayed shipments at transshipment hubs, longer than necessary routes, or a higher price for a service you do not need.
Before choosing a carrier for your segment, be sure to prioritize whether transit time, price and/or reliability is the most important factor to the success of your business. Based on that information, it will be easier to choose the best ocean shipping carrier to satisfy your supply chain needs. Keep in mind, carrier preference will change based on your lead time and budgetary requirements. What works for your supply chain today, might not in the future.
Shipping to Venezuela from Port Everglades
Ports of Call: Port Everglades, Caucedo (transshipment), Puerto Cabello, La Guaira
Pro: MSC has a reliable service with great destination benefits at their Venezuelan ports of call. They are usually the cheapest into Puerto Cabello and La Guaira, with a reliable transit time (Puerto Cabello 11 days and La Guaira 16 days).
Con: Not the fastest to Puerto Cabello and La Guaira.
When you should ship on MSC to Venezuela: MSC is our top pick for shipping cargo to Rio Haina and Caucedo. You can save a substantial amount of money if you are willing to tack on an extra 2-3 days of transit time.
Pro: Hamburg Süd has a great transit time into Puerto Cabello and La Guaira. They are a trustworthy carrier with great benefits and no transshipment hub.
Con: The price is occasionally higher than other carriers to these segments.
When you should ship on Hamburg Süd to Venezuela: If you need your goods urgently to Puerto Cabello and La Guaira, choose this carrier. There is a decreased risk of delay as there is no transshipment hub, but be prepared to pay a premium.
FL Caribbean Express and Venezuela Service- Port Everglades, Kingston (transship), Caucedo, La Guaira, Puerto Cabello
FL Caribbean Express and Guaranao Maracaibo Express- Port Everglades, Kingston (transship), Willemstad, Oranjestad, Guaranao, Maracaibo, Colon
Pro: Zim has the cheapest ocean freight rate to the busy port of Guaranao and is preferred by consignees in Guaranao for their fast processing.
Con: The transit time is not the fastest and there is transshipment in Kingston.
When you should ship on Zim to Venezuela: If your consignee is in Guaranao, you should strongly consider this option. Zim’s processing in Guaranao is preferred by consignees in the area. When shipping to La Guaira and Puerto Cabello, you should strongly consider Zim for their frequent sailing schedule. You should only ship on Zim when you are not in a rush since the transit time is longer and there is transshipment in Kingston.
Pro: SCM has the rate to Guanta and best transit time benefits at destination and is the only carrier shipping to Palua.
Con: Sailings are very infrequent (once a month)
When you should ship on SCM Lines to Venezuela: If you have a flexible ship date, you should try to ship on SCM if at all possible for their rate and transit time. Also, they are the only carrier shipping to the inland river port of Palua.
Eastern String- Port Everglades; Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curacao; La Guaira; Puerto Cabello
Western String- Port Everglades, Costa Rica, Panama, Cartagena, Barranquilla, Aruba, Curacao, Maracaibo
Pro: This is a fast carrier, and is tied with Hamburg Süd for fastest carrier into Maracaibo. There are no transshipments on the Eastern and Western string services.
Con: King Ocean is not the cheapest for shippers.
When you should ship on King Ocean to Venezuela: Great option for a fast transit time (with no transshipment) going into Puerto Cabello; La Guaira and Maracaibo, but the shipper should be prepared to pay a premium for that service.
Shipping to Venezuela from Miami
Service 1- Miami, Cartagena (transship), Isla Margarita, Puerto Cabello, Guanta, Maracaibo, La Guaira
Service 2- Miami, Kingston (transship), Guarano
Pro: The best service to Isla Margarita, and the fastest transit time to Maracaibo. Also, Seaboard has the fastest transit time to Guanta.
Con: Not the cheapest service carrier considering the transit time. Also, the vessel (route 2) transships in Cartagena.
Who should use Seaboard Marine into Venezuela? If you are shipping to Isla Margarita, there is no question you should strongly consider Seaboard for their rates, transit time and benefits. If you need your goods into Maracaibo fast, Seaboard is a fantastic option. Be aware that since the vessel transships in either Cartagena or Kingston, there is an increased risk of delay in your shipment.
Gulf Bridge- Miami, Kingston (transship), Cartagena, Puerto Cabello, La Guaira
Caribbean Feeder- Miami, Kingston (transship), Cartagena, Willemstad, Oranjestad, Maracaibo, Guaranao, Guanta, El Guamache, Barranquilla
Pro: CMA has benefits at destination and they are willing to negotiate.
Con: Not the cheapest and the transit time is longer than other carriers going to Guaranao and Guanta. The vessel also transships in Kingston.
When you should ship on CMA to Venezuela: Only ship on this carrier into Venezuela when other carriers do not have space. At this time, CMA does not offer a competitive advantage as far as price and transit time.
Routings on services including Venezuela change frequently due to port congestion issues. If you have any questions about a particular service or route, feel free to call Lilly + Associates International at 305-513-9540.
Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published in October 2013 and has been updated for accuracy.