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Starting June 1st, 2023 Our warehouse fee will be $0.65/cubic foot per month

In effort to lower the warehouse storage fee during inflation, we have went narrow aisle racking.This construction took us four months but the project is finally completed. With narrow aisle racking, we are able to drop storage by 24%.We as partners will go through this inflation together.

Starting June 1st, 2023 Our warehouse fee will be $0.65/cubic foot per month

In effort to lower the warehouse storage fee during inflation, we have went narrow aisle racking.This construction took us four months but the project is finally completed. With narrow aisle racking, we are able to drop storage by 24%.We as partners will go through this inflation together.

Blogs/education-series

01/03/2024

335 views

What does the term Air Freight mean? Important guide for beginners

    1. What is air freight shipping?

    What is air freight shipping

    Air freight encompasses the transportation of products and goods (cargo) via aircraft. Various modes of air freight are available, including passenger aircraft, the cargo hold of a passenger plane, or dedicated commercial cargo aircraft. The process of air freight transportation initiates at the airline terminal, where the selected air freight company takes charge of receiving the cargo. Subsequently, the cargo undergoes preparation and is loaded onto the aircraft for transport.

    2. What is Air Freight?

    tHE TERM air freight

    Air freight, synonymous with air cargo, refers to the transportation of goods through an aircraft. This method of shipping becomes particularly invaluable for swiftly moving express shipments globally. Similar to commercial or passenger airlines, air freight utilizes the same gateways for its operations.

    In financial terms, air freight represents the cost associated with transporting goods through the air. As goods move from one location to another, the payment for this movement is termed freight. Hence, air freight specifically pertains to the charges incurred for the air transport of goods.

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    3. What delivery services does air cargo provide?

    What services deliveries does the airline provide

    Airlines provide a range of services for air freight transportation, catering to different needs and priorities:

    • General Cargo: This option is the most economical, involving the loading of goods into the aircraft's "belly."
    • Priority Service (First Flight Out): Referred to as "first flight out" service, this ensures priority for time-sensitive shipments.
    • Over-the-Counter Service: In this approach, you can drop off your goods directly at the airline terminal for air freight.
    • Hand Carry Service: This is the most premium option, where an individual personally takes your package and accompanies it during the flight. Hand-carried air freight is typically reserved for documents, high-value shipments, and expensive goods.
    • Commercial Cargo: Distinct from passenger airline cargo, commercial cargo treats the entire plane as a cargo hold, essentially transforming it into a massive flying container.

    Commercial cargo services accommodate large palletized cargo, boxes, vehicles, machinery, and at times, even animals. These services come in various sizes, ranging from small to medium to oversized shipments. These diverse services offered by airlines allow shippers to choose the most suitable and cost-effective option based on the nature, urgency, and value of their cargo.

    4. How long does air freight take?

    How long does air freight transportation take

    The duration of air freight transportation is contingent on the origin and destination of the goods. Cross-country air freight can reach its destination within an impressive six to seven hours, particularly for critical services. International shipping, while slightly longer, still represents a swift mode of transport.

    However, it's crucial to note that the mentioned time frames exclusively pertain to the actual air transportation phase. Additional time is required for the transportation of goods to and from the aircraft, as well as to their final destination once the aircraft has landed. Despite being the fastest method for exporting goods, unforeseen disruptions or shutdowns can potentially extend the overall transit time, with goods taking up to a week or longer to reach their destination under such circumstances.

    5. Goods are allowed to be transported by air that you need to know

    While air freight accommodates a wide array of goods, the decision on what is typically shipped by this method is often driven by two key factors: speed and expense. Here is a list of common goods frequently transported by air:

    • Pharmaceuticals.
    • Produce and perishable agricultural products.
    • Seafood.
    • Just-in-time production and emergency shipments of parts.
    • Seasonal items with a short shelf life (like cherries in the United States).
    • Plants and flowers.
    • Documents.
    • Production samples.
    • Electronic consumer goods.

    Goods are allowed to be transported by air that you need to know

    However, certain goods may be too large or heavy for air shipment. In addition to size considerations, there are stringent regulations for goods transported by aircraft, particularly for flammable, hazardous, and dangerous items like magnets, batteries, and cellphones. Each airline establishes its own policies regarding acceptable cargo. The FAA plays a pivotal role in determining exemptions and regulations for items allowed on aircraft.

    In the United States, air freight is governed by TSA and FAA regulations. Exporters aiming to ship goods domestically and internationally are advised to consult with their freight forwarder to ensure full comprehension and compliance with all rules and regulations. A freight forwarding partner can assist in completing documentation and offer packaging services as needed, providing comprehensive support for a smooth and compliant air freight process.

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    6. Forecasting air freight costs

    Forecasting air freight costs

    Air freight stands out as the most expensive method for transporting goods, with charges typically determined by weight. To predict air freight costs, consider the following steps:

    Consult with the Carrier

    Initiate the cost prediction process by consulting directly with the chosen carrier. They can provide specific details on their rates and services.

    Volumetric Weight Calculation

    Airfreight rates are often based on volumetric weight, where the volume of the shipment is factored into the weight calculation. This ensures a fair assessment of the space occupied by different types of cargo.

    Industry Formulas for Volumetric Weight

    Industry-standard formulas are available to calculate billable volumetric weight accurately. These formulas consider the dimensional size of the cargo, ensuring a comprehensive assessment. For instance, 50 pounds of foam may occupy a different volume than 50 pounds of bricks.

    Varied Pricing by Airline and Flight Type

    Prices for airfreight vary between airlines and also depend on whether the flight is domestic or international. Understanding these variations is crucial for accurate cost predictions.

    Additional Fees

    In addition to weight-based charges, various flat fees contribute to the overall cost. These fees cover handling, documentation, customs clearance, as well as pickup and delivery services.

    According to the World Bank, the demand for air freight is constrained by its high cost, typically ranging four to five times more than road transport and 12 to 16 times more than sea transport. Air freight rates usually fall within the range of $1.50 to $4.50 per kilogram, while the value of air cargo often surpasses $4.00 per kilogram. These cost considerations underline the importance of strategic planning and careful budgeting for businesses opting for air freight services.

    7. Some cases what air transport should be used

    List some cases where air transport should be used

    Choosing air freight for shipping is best suited for specific use cases, where the nature of the goods and logistical requirements align with the advantages offered by air transport. Here are situations where air shipping is particularly advantageous:

    • Expensive or High-Value Goods: Air freight is ideal for transporting expensive or high-value goods. Items that require strict control, security, and shorter transit times can be efficiently handled by air transport, minimizing the risk of losses. The higher the value of the commodity, the lower the percentage of landing costs attributed to transportation.
    • Exporting Small Products: Air shipping proves to be more cost-effective when dealing with smaller goods. The efficiency and speed of air transport make it a practical choice for smaller items, contributing to overall cost-effectiveness.
    • Time-Sensitive Deliveries: When there is a specific delivery deadline or time sensitivity is paramount, air shipping is the preferred choice. Air cargo arrivals are generally more time-stable, with delays often only a matter of days. In contrast, sea containers can face extended delays in ports, impacting shipping schedules significantly.
    • Products Susceptible to Ocean Elements: Goods that cannot withstand the elements of the ocean, such as moisture-sensitive items like absorbent cardboard or sensitive electronics, are better suited for air shipping. The controlled environment and quicker transit times of air transport help preserve the integrity of these products.

    In summary, air freight is strategically beneficial for transporting high-value, small, time-sensitive, and moisture-sensitive goods. Assessing the specific needs of the shipment and aligning them with the advantages of air transport ensures a more efficient and reliable shipping process.

    With practical experience over many years of providing air transport services, Worldcraft Logistics - 3PL company in the US shares with readers some necessary knowledge and instructions about the term "air freight". Through that, we hope you summarize and expand your data sources, contributing to good business development. Thank you for following.

    Simon Mang

    Digital Marketing/SEO Specialist

    Simon Mang is an SEO and Digital Marketing expert at Wordcraft Logistics. With many years of experience in the field of digital marketing, he has shaped and built strategies to effectively promote Wordcraft Logistics' online presence. With a deep understanding of the logistics industry, I have shared more than 300 specialized articles on many different topics.

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