Sea – Air


Sea - Air Wholesaler

A Pioneer of Sea-Air Intermodality

  • FCE pioneered the Sea-Air mode of transport via Dubai & Sharjah
  • FCE handles over 700 tons a month of Sea-Air originating in the Asia-Pacific region to Europe
  • FCE rates structure is based on contractual arrangements with major scheduled Airlines operating from/to Dubai International Airport
  • FCE a wholesale operator of Sea-Air provides the most efficient tariff
  • FCE Sea-Air operational team work 16 hours a day, 2 shifts monitoring vessels arrival, immediate in-transit clearance and delivery to the selected air carriers on previously booked flights
  • FCE charges fuel and war risk surcharges based on gross weight and not chargeable weight

Advantages of Sea-Air Vs. Direct Ocean

  • Almost same cost as direct Ocean at half Transit time for low dense/medium -High Value Shipments
  • Ability of consignees to use Sea air in weekly cycle orders,
  • Shipments arrive to airports nearest to End users, as if they were direct airfreight shipments
  • Easy to Customs clear and easy to Deliver to End Users
  • Saves Inventory, Warehousing & Stock Piling Cost
  • Sea-Air delivers to airport most convenient to consignees, while shipping lines deliver at the port most convenient to them
  • Europe has only 5-6 major gateway ports (Rotterdam, Antwerp, Hamburg, Bremen, and Felixstowe) and more than 100 major airports.

Dubai / Sharjah Cargo Hubs

Role in the Region

  • Dubai is the major Hub for 15 Shipping Lines with Feeder Vessels to other Gulf Ports
  • Over 60 scheduled Airlines operate from Dubai Airport
  • Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines operate from Sharjah Airport as a Hub with around 75 Cargo flights a week
  • Sharjah Airport has shown a tremendous growth in Cargo Handling
  • Most Airlines to CIS and Africa operate from Sharjah Hub



A Viable Option

Sea Air mode entails the use of two or more modes of transport under one transport document, CTD (Combined Transport Document) or the usual HAWB and one rate covering all modes of Transport used from origin to destination. A Forwarder’s House Document is acceptable as a CTD.

Sea Air mode is more than 50% less expensive than direct air and over 60% faster than all ocean.


From any Port in the Far East to Dubai Ports, the Ocean cost per CBM is USD 55.00/-. So, the ocean cost per Kg is costed in line with 6:1 air ratio, as the next mode is airfreight. Therefore 1CBM = 166.6Kg divided by USD 55.00 cost of a Cbm = 0.33/Kg

Reforwarding by air to any European major Gateway airport is confirmed by Flying Carpet Express at an average USD 1.20/Kg all inclusive of all transshipment costs and surcharges. Accurate quotes will be given on request.

So, Total cost of Sea Air journey from origin to destination is:

Ocean Segment USD 0.33/Kg Air Segment USD 1.20/Kg USD 1.53/Kg [an example]

Total Transit Time:

Ocean Segment 14 days Air Segment 2 days 16 days (as an example)

Both total cost/kg and total transit time can be reduced in cases where Full container Loads (FCLs) are used for big shipment. FCLs are directly over landed from Port of Dubai to the airport for immediate reforwarding by air— one day Transit time.

While Less than Container Load (LCLs) are broken by Dubai Customs the next day — i.e. 2 days Transit time.

The difference in costs are:
A 20’ can accommodate 25 Cbm and its cost is USD 1325/20’ which means the cost per kg is USD 1325 divided by 25 = USD 53/Cbm divided by 166.6 kg = 0.32/kg

A 40’ can accommodate 55 Cbm and it's cost is USD 2100/40’ which means the cost per kg is USD: 2100/40' divided by 55 = USD 38/Cbm divided by 166.6 kg = 0.23/kg. The best is the 40'.

By the same token, airfreight cost/kg can be reduced to 1 .05/kg inclusive of all transshipment costs in cases where the shipment is over 5000kgs or more.

This quick analysis makes the Sea-Air Intermodality a profitable mode of transport in all respects, as the difference between Sea Air Transit Time (16 days) and that of direct Ocean is almost double that of Sea-Air while direct Airfreight which averages (7 days) is only 9 days or just one week shorter than Sea-Air and 100% more expensive.

Sea-Air Intermodality via Dubai ex the Asia-Pacific region is a viable and profitable mode to consignees in Europe, CIS and the land locked countries of Africa.


Operations/Documentation Procedures (FOR SHIPMENTS HANDLED BY FAR EAST AGENTS)

A. Pre-alert from the Forwarder/ Sea-Air operator in the Far East (origin) or Asia Pacific Region

  • Origin forwarder to pre-alert FCE with the following details on or before vessel's departure from the port of loading :
    1. Vessel's name/voy no
    2. ETD and ETA Dubai
    3. No. pcs/gross wt/vol (cbm)
    4. Airport of destination
    5. Consignee’s full address

B. Following documents required in Dubai to clear and reforward the inbound shipment to final destination by Air:

  1. Ocean Bill of Lading original consigned to:
    Flying Carpet Express P.O.Box: 60881, Dubai, U.A.E.
    Port of Discharge : Jabel Ali
    Telex Release to be arranged.
  2. Copy of House B/L or HAWB or CTD issued by the origin Forwarder
  3. Copy of Commercial Invoice and Packing list

C. Following original documents to be dispatched to destination either through FCE as an attachment to the on forwarding Master Air Waybill or directly to consignee these are required at destination for customs clearance:

  • HAWB/CTD OR HB/L(Original )

What FCE can do for you

Our record time of 6 hours Transshipment Time between Dubai port and Dubai Airport remains unchallenged to date.

Your Sea-Air cargo flow from the Asia-Pacific region via Dubai to Europe, CIS and some land locked Airports in Africa, will be handled as follows:

  • Firm booking on scheduled airline flights from Dubai to the airports nearest to consignees
  • FCE handles over 700 tons Sea-Air a month and therefore, maintains firm allotments with major airlines. We can deliver your cargo to destination airports within 1-2 days of arrival at Dubai ports
  • Feedback of flight details to origin
  • Offer ‘Spot Rates’ usually lower than standard rates
  • Computerized follow-up of bookings and feed-back till cargo arrives airport of final destination
  • 100% protection and guarantee on all your charges ‘collect’ shipments