Ocean freight is often overlooked by many freight forwarders. Seen as the ever-ageing distribution method and being pushed to the side by more exciting, glamorous modes of shipping, it's still hard to ignore the underlying benefits that maritime shipping can offer. Importers and exporters all over the world have seen, as in most freight forwarding facilities, the demand for consumer products soar, meaning that the need for bigger shipments has also risen. Ocean freight companies have met this cry for more services with the impeccable standards and reliability that has made them a staple of the freight forwarding industry. If you look at ocean freight from an economic point of view, it's safe to say that without the busy shipping lanes and ports, the global economy would be circling the drain. The bulk transport of raw materials and the import/export of affordable food and manufactured goods would simply not be possible. Whilst air freight is great for getting aid to people in hard to reach places, we still rely very heavily on ocean freight to provide the bulk of the aid to maintain situations. The total amount of goods moved for all domestic water-borne freight in the UK alone increased by 16% to 31.4 billion tonne-kilometres in 2016, clearly showing that there is still plenty of room for growth within the industry. Porters continue to be angered by the government's treatment of ports and the shipping industry in general and, with figures like this, it really is no surprise. The reliability of shipping by sea has meant that we have forced ourselves into a dependency on it and one that we're unlikely to give up anytime soon. I know it isn’t as glamorous as some other forms of freight transport, but are any of the most reliable, cheapest, well-used things in life? If this doesn’t convince you, then check out our top four reasons for considering ocean freight to be a true stalwart of the industry... Big ‘n' bulky Perhaps the most obvious of all the reasons is that you can transport big and heavy items across great distances. Luxurious Italian sports cars or cutting-edge Chinese technology all have to make its way around the world, and if we are being honest with ourselves, ocean freight is the only way for the majority of this. Cost-effective shipping Shipping by sea is quite clearly the most cost-effective for most companies. The competitive freight rates derive from the ability to transport more goods over longer distances than other freight methods could manage. Safe and secure One of the reasons that ocean freight has always been a popular option is its security. The percentages of losses caused by incidents during transport by sea are a fraction of those in any other form of freight transport, and with new tracking devices and software being invented, this is only going to bolster the current safety figures even more. Saving the environment The shipping industry is responsible for only 12% of the total of pollution generated by human economic activities. This may seem like a hefty portion, but when compared with air and road shipping, it really is minuscule. With new laws regarding pollution on the horizon for the freight forwarding industry, ocean freight can hold its head high.