If you need to get goods from one side of the world to the other, pronto, then air freight is usually for you. Costs are often much higher than shipping across the ocean. But there are many different elements to consider too. So is air freighting the best way to transport your goods?
If you ship via sea cargo, the costs are most often calculated by volume, rather than weight. If you’re sending high-value items that need to be at their destination quickly, and the items are smaller, you might consider air freighting. But large shipments are often better off being sent by ship. But for specific routes, the cost of sending items via plane has fallen significantly.
Advancements in technology help, too. The air cargo industry is going digital, making it quicker and easier to send quotes, generate flight routes, and manage air rates. All this means that for small shipments, air can be a good option.
Benefits of air freighting
Airfreight is highly secure. Safety checks are extensive, as for any chartered flight. Sending items in this way usually means they are closely tracked via electronic tracking systems and you can trace your items at every stage of their journey. If your goods are of particularly high value, the security in place for air freighting might be important for you.
Airfreight is significantly quicker than shipping, which can take many weeks. It’s also a great way to move valuable or delicate goods, provided they’ve been packaged correctly. Although air freighting is quicker than other options, it can still take a week or so to arrive, depending on the destination.
Downsides of air freighting
Not everything can be air freighted. For example, if your goods are explosive, flammable, toxic, or dangerous to public health, they will not be allowed into the cargo. There are fewer restrictions for products that are sent by sea, so this might be an option for you in your goods fall into restricted categories.
It’s also typically more expensive than other options. There are additional costs attached, too, since air freighting is very environmentally damaging. If you can avoid shipping in this way, it’s far better for the environment to ship by sea. Modern businesses will factor this into their calculations when choosing a shipping option.
There are other slightly hidden costs, too. For example, VAT and import duty are typically calculated as a percentage of the total of goods and delivery. So that means that you’ll pay more taxes to import products via air since the cost of delivery is higher than via the sea.
How to arrange air freighting
You will usually contact a freight forwarding agency for a quote in the first instance. You will want to agree on a price before the freight forwarder collects the goods from your business warehouse. If your products are already ready for travel and are carefully packaged, they will be good to go. If not, your freight forwarder will package them for you. Your shipment will take a few days to be loaded if you’ve chosen a consolidated shipment option. This is when one flight contains multiple different shipments, which is the most likely occurrence.