Air freight is without doubt a huge global market and you can virtually send any item overseas using a freight service by air. Whether it is an A4 envelope of documents or large and heavy oil drilling equipment – an air cargo shipping service can be used.
More often than not a commercial aeroplane is sufficient for these freight movements, however for larger or heavier cargo, freighter aircraft are utilised. Freighter aircraft also referred to as cargo planes, are typically Boeing 747 planes that purely fly cargo around the world. These can be operated by commercial airline carriers, such as Cathay Pacific, British Airways, Lufthansa and other well known airline carriers. But there are also airline carriers that are dedicated purely to freight only and only operate freighters, such as Cargolux and Martinair.
Using an air freight service offers fast transit times from origin to destination, due to the relatively short flying time between countries. When compared to a sea freight shipping service, where transit times are longer but costs are far more cheaper, air freight is without doubt the fastest routing for any urgent or time sensitive freight shipments requiring international delivery.
Whilst using an air freight service can be expensive, you should always consider checking the following details to see if there are ways of reducing your overall expense.
Direct or Indirect Flight?
Depending on the countries you are shipping from and to, you will usually have airline carriers that can offer a direct service and others that offer an indirect service. The difference is basically that a direct service will depart origin and arrive at destination without transiting another country during it’s journey. An indirect service will mean the carrier departs origin airport and then will transit via 1 or more countries (airports) before arriving at the final airport of destination. Using an indirect flight could offer you cost savings, rather than choosing a direct service. However you should factor in that an indirect service will mean your air freight shipment arriving later than compared to using a direct flight option.
Next Available or Consolidation Service?
When using a next available flight option, this means that your shipment will depart origin using the next available flight to destination, regardless of airline carrier. Usually this will be a direct flight and will mean you having to pay a premium price. Where possible you should always look for a consolidation service, where your air freight shipment will be “consolidated” with other shipper’s air freight shipments travelling to the same destination. This offers a more attractive option from a cost point of view and will save you money against using a next available flight option. One thing to bear in mind is that depending on the consolidator you are using, will determine how often they fly from origin to destination, which can affect the arrival time of your air freight shipment if it’s urgently required at destination.