If you’re thinking of starting to import goods to Nigeria, you’ll need to compare your options for both sea freight and other methods of shipping. Most importantly, you may want to take advantage of sea shipping to Nigeria in order to save some money while shipping large goods to Nigeria.

Shipping Goods to Nigeria by Sea

Deciding on the best mode of transport for import of your goods can be very tricky. Cost, speed, reliability, as well as transparency, need to be considered so as to maximise profit for your business.

Having said so, it would not be out of place to conclude that shipping goods to Nigeria by sea is a great choice for large quantities of consumer goods. This method of shipping is often used when importing from manufacturers based in the far Eastern parts of the world. 

Within the last few decades, shipping goods to Nigeria by sea has been the most popular method as well as the most cost-effective means of shipping. It is a great choice to consider also where time is not a necessary factor. 

Business decisions are as crucial as their entire existence. Hence the need to understand how using Sea Freight for shipments to Nigeria can affect your business.

What is Sea Freight or Sea Shipping

Sea Freight is the transportation of goods by sea. Goods are packed in large cargo containers, loaded to a vessel and sailed to the destination country by sea. 

NB: Freight, Cargo and Shipping are words that may be used interchangeably as they have similar meanings.

Sea freight is a common method of transporting goods across the world using large cargo ships. It is by far the most widely recognized method of transport that merchants and exporters use. 

A typical cargo vessel can carry 18,000 containers (TEU), exactly what fits a 20ft container.

Sea shipping to Nigeria

Why Sea Freight is the Cheapest method of transportation

Let’s break this down in bits, especially if all of this is new to you.

The total volume in a 20ft container is 33cubic metre (cbm). This can accommodate a sizeable amount of products, for example, as much as about 100 washing machine. Notwithstanding, there may be space for more items.

Your supplier should be willing to provide what your products dimension is in order to determine what size of container could fit. Otherwise, we can handle the collection of all necessary details if you’d like our professional recommendations.

Inside the cargo, products are pressed in transportation holders, the cargo forwarder books the space or compartment with the ship operator, freight is trucked to the delivery vessel at the port of root and sent abroad to the shipper at the destination port.

Sea Shipping to Nigeria

Sea Shipping requires the services of professional individuals that are guided by recognized body and standard all over the world. The service is used for international trading and will always take a longer time than traditional air freight and road freight services.

There are a number of different forms of sea freight, including:

sea shipping to Nigeria

1. Full container load (FCL) in which a single shipment is loaded into a container which might be from 20 – 45 feet long.

sea shipping to Nigeria

2. Less than container load (LCL) where several shipments share a container and are split at their destination

sea shipping to Nigeria
RORO Freight Shipping

3. Roll-on roll-off (RORO) in which wheeled products like cars, lorries and other vehicles drive onto the ship with their cargo, are safely secured for the journey, and then simply drive off at their destinations.

sea shipping to nigeria

4. Dry bulk shipping, used for commodities such as metals or aggregates, which can be dropped or poured into the hold of a ship rather than being loaded on in containers.

Read Also: Groupage Freight Shipping

The two major types of Sea Freight are, however, Full Container Load (FCL) and Less than Container Load.

What are the advantages of sea freight?

As earlier defined, sea freight is a popular method of importing and exporting goods and commodities, particularly consumer goods moving long distances. It has a number of advantages:

  • Sea freight is a cost-effective method of shipping for heavy or large loads. It is cheaper than air freight.
  • Duty charge and VAT can also be less expensive when using sea freight compared to air freight because it’s calculated as a percentage cost of the cost of goods plus the export cost
  • Several different shipping options, (e.g. FCL, LCL, RORO & Bulkbreaking), including taking an entire container, or sharing one between several different loads
  • Specialist operators can ship goods from more or less anywhere in the world using sea freight
  • Sea freight is typically more environmentally sound than air freight.
  • Bigger items, such as vehicles, furniture, washing machines, etc, can be shipped by sea.
  • There is little or no limitation to what can be shipped). However, some countries may place a ban on certain items, yet they still get shipped notwithstanding.

What are the disadvantages of sea freight?

Though the above advantages seem quite mouth watery, it does not leave out the fact that there are no disadvantages. Sea freight does have a few downsides which make it unsuitable in some cases:

  • It is time-consuming – it can take several weeks to move goods using sea freight. It can take almost or more than a month to reach the destination port.
  • Small loads suffer from the pricing structure. It is usually less suitable.
  • Sea freight may be exposed to damage on products during movement compared to air freight.

Based on the above, you might want to consider trying air freight instead, if sea freight isn’t right for you. Check out our post about sending goods by air. Let us know which one works for you here.

Also for you:

China Freight Shipping

USA Freight Shipping to Nigeria

India Freight Shipping

Air Customs Clearing

What Are The Costs Of Sea Shipping to Nigeria?

While there are lots of other sea-freight costs you might bump into in the course of shipping via sea, you’ll likely pay for freight itself first.

There are however some key steps to take in the import process.

First of all, FCL (full container load) and LCL (less than container load) both come with different freight rate flexibility conditions. While FCL is more likely to subject your rate to fluctuation, where LCL may not.


Sea Freight Rates 

Sea freight rates are controlled by the shipping lines. They dictate how much sea freight using their vessels will cost you at any given time. The issue with these freight rates, however, is that they’re known to be flexible. This fluctuation is as controlled by the shipping lines.

If you want to get a rate, contact us to seek consultation for proper professional guides on rates.

Read Also: Customs Clearance in Nigeria

How Sea Freight works

Due to the complexity of customs processes, companies and individuals commonly involve a specialist in shipping, which is helpful and relieving.

The specialist’s responsibility is usually to arrange the company’s sea freight and have their goods moved from the supplier safely and legally, to the company or individual rendered the service.

With the help of our specialists or professionals, a lot of mistakes are greatly avoided. Seeking the services of a professional shipping agent or freight forwarders may be challenging.

So, it is recommended that you seek licensed agents involved. This will help in managing the risks and ensuring the process goes smoothly from start to finish.



The fact that Air Freight is a faster, more secured, reliable and transparent mode of shipping has not ruled out the advantage of Sea shipping to Nigeria. Sea freight shipping is a cheap and reliable method that has been and would continue to be the solution to many business ultimate needs.

Which would you prefer? Airfreight Shipping or Sea Shipping?

Contact Bowagate Global Limited Today

Want to learn more about our Sea Freight shipping or talk to us about your Shipment?

Give us a call: 08147068472. Our lines are open during business hours, so you can speak to a real person. Or send an Email: [email protected]You can also visit www.bowagateglobal.com for more details. 

For your expert and professional freight forwarding, contact BOWA GATE GLOBAL LIMITED. We offer cheap (affordable), fast (swift) and reliable quality cargo services that include Import, Export, Freight, Clearing/Customs Duty Brokerage, Groupage Freight, Warehousing, Consolidation, Air Freight Consolidation, Shipping Globally, Door to Door Freight Shipping, etc. 

Request a Quote HERE. For more information, write to us HERE. To have a chat with us directly via Whatsapp, click HERE.

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