Relay Cargo

In the process of shipping ocean containers, sometimes the containers may move from one ocean freight vessel to another vessel. While there are numerous reasons why this might occur, often you might hear the term of relay being used to describe this process. Relay is the term used to describe the movement of ocean freight containers between ocean vessels that are owned and operated by the same carrier or shipping company. It should be noted that this is different from a relay terminal, which is where truck drivers switch roles. Sometimes also, the term relay gets confused with transshipments, which means moving freight to a middle destination in between vessels, and they occur more often than relays.
When a relay does occur in the ocean, it is normally completed on a feeder vessel. In essence, a feeder vessel is a smaller version of a shipping vessel. These ships only contain about 300 to 500 20-foot containers. They are slower in speed and involved in short sea shipping. They are also used for ports that are smaller. For doing a relay of a container, these feeder vessels will be used to move containers from the ports and terminals to the larger ships. In turn, the larger ships will move the cargo to the destination country. Typically, a crane will be used to relay the cargo.
When you receive a container shipping quote, you may not even be aware of the importance of having to relay your cargo. Now, you understand more about the term.