Sea Freight

Sea Freight

Metro Shipping have been sending cargo via sea freight since our inception in 1980.  Sea freight is the backbone of global trade as around 90% of the world’s goods that travel from one part of the globe to another do so on ships. Economists routinely credit the invention of the maritime container as one of the technological developments that made globalisation possible.

Around 250 million container shipments were undertaken last year and that will grow this year. Meanwhile, the size of ships continues to grow – the largest can now carry 19,200 twenty foot containers simultaneously.

Over the years a complex matrix of container shipping services has developed to serve importers and exporters in every corner of the world, with huge transhipment ports such as Singapore, Dubai and Rotterdam evolving as global hubs. Container shipping underpins global supply chains.

At the heart of this matrix lies Metro Shipping, negotiating long and shorter term contracts with carriers worth millions of dollars on behalf of our clients and taking care of all aspects of sea freight transportation, such as the multitude of documentation that has to be produced to ports, customs authorities, carriers and other supply chain participants such as banks and insurers.

Shipping containers are available in a variety of types besides the standard dry cargo container. These “special” containers include open end, open side, open top, half-height, flat rack, refrigerated (known as “reefer”), liquid bulk (tank) and modular. They are all built to same exterior lengths and widths as the standard dry cargo containers. Containers in the global container fleet equate to more than 34 million TEU.

However, the sheer size of the system is also is drawback: shipping markets have become highly volatile in the last few years; demand is less consistent, oversupply of vessels has become a norm and pricing has become highly erratic. Fuel costs have oscillated wildly and shipping schedule reliability has suffered as a result. It takes experience to make container shipping work efficiently for a supply chain.

Some customers prefer to deal directly with shipping lines; most prefer to nominate Metro to undertake those negotiations on their behalf. Either way, Metro Shipping has grown up alongside container shipping. We have spent decades developing an expertise in the maritime industry: handling, packing and stowing the full variety of container types with all types of cargo such as roll-on-roll off units, full or part load containers, refrigerated loads, Garment On Hanger boxes and ISO Tank units.  Metro has the expertise to cover all your requirements.

For a copy of our latest brochure, please contact Grant Liddell on 0121 717 2330 or email

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