When to use air, ocean, truck, and rail?

The theoretical equation should factor in cost(s), lead time, and margin impact.

Logistics Calculaiton

Options include:





The Calculation

While an Excel model could be tricky the conceptual way to think about air versus ocean freight includes:

  • Calculate the dimensional weight versus physical weight
  • Price the cost of freight for both air and ocean
  • Factor in the leadtime savings of reducing ~20+ days. This includes the cost of product times the cost of capital (assume 10%) times number of days 20/365.
  • The cost of capital or another factory may need to be added if you expect the sales price to decrease while holding the inventory.
  • The more expensive the inventory cost the more likely air freight may make more sense.