When speed is your priority, air freight is the solution.
In this “instant” world, air freight is the ideal solution for moving goods across borders – or around the world – quickly and safely. It allows shippers to respond to customer and market needs quickly and easily. when an assembly line breaks down and they need a replacement part right away. It’s what pharmaceutical companies use to ship temperature-sensitive vaccines around the world. And that’s what retailers use to quickly get high-value, high-demand electronics onto their shelves.
Airfreight is an essential part of running an efficient supply chain. Keep reading to learn how to ship by air, the difference between domestic and international shipping, the types of aircraft used to transport goods, and more.
How does air freight work?
From pickup to delivery, the process is simple. Your logistics provider will coordinate with a local carrier to receive the goods from your warehouse or storage facility. After the goods are loaded and unloaded, the carrier will transfer the goods to the airport, board the plane, when the goods arrive at the destination airport, your carrier will arrange to receive and deliver the goods.
Domestic vs. international
The travel process for domestic and international air shipments is similar, but there are key differences to keep in mind. If you are importing or exporting goods by air, you will encounter more complicated paperwork and need to clear your items with customs. Other differences include limited time to deliver a shipment and delivery options.
How are air freight rates calculated?
What you ship, the carrier and airline you use, and the billable weight of your shipment affect rates. Billable weight is the gross weight (including cargo, packaging, and pallets) or volumetric weight, whichever is greater. Volumetric weight is calculated by dividing the cargo measure (LxWxH) by the dimensional weight factor. In general, larger items with less weight take up more space than smaller heavy items, which is why air carriers use the billable weight formula.
Although cargo planes are the most common type of aircraft that carry cargo, commercial jets and charter services are also options. See the descriptions below to learn more about each type:
Cargo aircraft are specially designed to transport cargo. They come in a variety of sizes and the interior space is maximized to accommodate all types of goods, from small pallets of goods to large machinery. One of the largest planes, the Boeing 747400, can hold about 26,000 cubic feet of cargo. Since these planes do not carry people, they are subject to fewer restrictions by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which means they can also carry hazardous materials (HAZMAT).
If you are transporting small shipments, it may be more economical to line up in the cargo area of a passenger plane. When cargo is travelling with passengers, additional restrictions will apply. There are also size and weight restrictions based on the type of aircraft, airline, and cargo being transported domestically or internationally.
Air charter services
For critical cargo shipments that must meet tight delivery deadlines, charter services may be the best option. You have exclusive access to an aircraft with a direct-to-destination service. In most cases, this is the fastest way to ship anywhere, including remote locations. Chartering services are commonly used for urgent transportation needs in the energy, mining, and automotive industries, as well as for sporting events, filming, and product launches.
Merits of shipping by air
Speed is not the only advantage. You also get:
Access to anywhere in the world
Most air freight forwarding companies have an extensive network of airlines serving domestic and international destinations. So, no matter where your customers are, you can easily send them goods.
Capacity at your fingertips
Due to the frequency of commercial flights, capacity is not an issue. Even if a flight is missed, cargo can often catch a later flight that day and arrive on time. You and your customers can count on fast and reliable service even with minor delays.
Multiple delivery options
Air shipping offers several delivery options, so you can choose how quickly your cargo arrives:
Domestic delivery options
Same day/Next Flight out: This is the fastest way to ship by air, other than charter service. Select this option for same-day delivery.
Next-day air: Next day air will deliver your urgent cargo to its destination by the end of the next business day.
Second-day air: Second-day air shipping offers a good balance between speed and cost, and the goods will arrive on a second business day.
Deferred air: This is the cheapest and best shipping option for lower-priority goods that can wait to be shipped until space is available on the plane.
International delivery options
Deferred service: This is the standard option for international flights. Freight usually arrives at the destination within 3-5 days.
Express service: This is the fastest option for worldwide shipping. Although more expensive, your goods will arrive at the destination airport within 2–3 days.
Since the TSA closely monitors airports, air travel can reduce the risk of theft. And since cargo often travels on a single aircraft from origin to destination, there is also less risk of damage. Reliable security, combined with one of the safest shipping methods, means reliable delivery to every customer.
Minimal warehousing requirements
Air shippers tend to keep smaller inventory and ship on tighter schedules, so there is less need to pay for warehouse space.
Be sure to contact AMG Logistics for all your Airfreight requirements.