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Air Freight

What is air freight?

Air freight shipping is the transfer and shipment of consignments via an air carrier or air cargo, which can be charter or commercial. These shipments travel out from aviation gateways to planes and can be shipped anywhere in the world. It can be considered as an air freight service which provides transport of commodities from one place to another. Now a day’s there is an increase in volume of air freight due to decrease in shipment time. Greater control over consignment is available along with tracking that to at lower prices. Thus traders are choosing air freight shipping in spite of other shipping modes.

Advantages of air freight shipping

The express shipping options that air freight provides make it more valuable option for coordinating shipments with less shipment time that to almost anywhere in the world. This is usually more advantageous for smaller as well as medium sized businesses because it allows them to participate in international trade more effectively. It makes trades available with an expeditious and effective manner of international shipping. Following can be seen as the key advantages of air freight:

  • It is the fastest shipping mode for global shipping
  • Considered to provide highly reliable arrival and departure time
  • You can send your cargo almost anywhere in the world
  • For air freight low insurance premiums are required which means large savings
  • There is a high level of security along with reduced risk of theft and damage
  • With air freight there is less need for warehousing
  • Less packaging is required as the chances of damage are least
  • You can follow the status of your air cargo by air freight tracking

Types of air cargo

For air freight services, usually two types of air cargo i.e. general air cargo and special air cargo are used.

General Air Cargo

General air cargo is used for dry cargo shipping. Dry commodities are any products which do not contain any liquid for instance textiles, retail or consumer goods, machinery and hardware, electronics, jewellery, pharmaceuticals, etc.

Special Air Cargo

Special air cargo is used for shipping products which can’t be shipped under normal conditions, for which extra care or conditions are needed. Used for shipping goods which:

  1. Needs controlled temperature
  2. Hazardous products/Dangerous Goods
  3. Heavy weight and are over dimensional freight
  4. High Value Items which require extra safety

Air freight services include:

  • Time sensitive as well as high value shipments that can be of any size
  • Competitive Rates
  • Global presence with local expertise
  • Consolidation and deconsolidation
  • Customs clearance
  • Easy Distribution
  • Preparation of all required documentation

Air freight charges

Air freight rates tend to fluctuate along with the air cargo depending on the season (peak season) and the involved locations. The air freight charges can also fluctuate as per the size and weight of the shipment. The charges to be paid become a major concern when the consignment is oversized and very heavy. The air freight comes as an advantage for the shipments which weigh less.

Air freight carriers charge as per the weight. Sometimes oil prices can also have an amount of influence over the air freight shipping costs. This is probably the situations where carriers raise their rates to offset the incurred cost.

So how much actually an air freight cost? Air freight rates and charges can be calculated using three factors:

  1. Type of shipment (size and weight of consignment, any specific requirements in the case of special cargo)
  2. Destination (international airport or local airport / consignment only to airport)
  3. Speed (time within which delivery is required)

Apart from this, air freight may incur some additional charges such as insurance, surcharges and customs duty / taxes.

What can’t go on air freight?

It is a general rule for air freight shipping, explosives and gases are not allowed for shipping via air freight. Even most flammable solids as well as liquids are not allowed. Apart from this toxic substance such as corrosive or biochemical products are not allowed via air freight. Products with strong magnetic pull are also not allowed as it can negatively affect the plane’s instruments.

Managing air freight with freight forwarder

Freight forwarders can help in determining the most reliable as well as most cost effective means for using air freight options. An air freight forwarder can negotiate for the distinct options and determine you the most applicable means for ensuring the on time delivery of consignment. Along with international shipping, customs clearance procedure should be anticipated and working with freight forwarding companies makes this task much easier and efficient for you. Considering a customs broker for air shipping will cover all aspects of freight management, from service through customs clearance procedure to shipment delivery.