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Moving goods by sea

This guide explains how to use ocean shipping to transport your goods. It shows how the international shipping system works and gives you the information you need to choose the shipping option that's right for you.

This guide also outlines the different vessels used for international shipping. It highlights the main factors affecting ocean freight costs and provides an overview of the key documents you'll need to transport goods by sea.

Find out more about moving your goods in our sections on preparing goods for transport and transporting your goods.

Subjects covered in this guide

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International trade

Transport options for moving your goods


Moving goods by sea


Current section



The different types of ocean shipping


How goods are carried on ships


The main international shipping routes


The costs of ocean shipping


Key documents for transporting goods by sea


Cargo insurance for goods at sea