Getting manufactured products to the customer as quickly as possible is a primary goal for most industries. Deciding on the optimal transportation method to move cargo involves two main factors: speed and cost. For the fastest delivery option, air freight is the answer.
What Is Air Freight?
In the most basic of terms, air freight refers to the transportation of goods by air. This task is achieved through both charter and commercial airplanes. It is undoubtedly the quickest transportation option compared to ships, trucks and trains. Due to this high speed of delivery, air freight is tremendously effective for shipping goods over long distances.
Air Freight Service Levels
When utilizing air freight for shipping, there are varying service levels. The higher the level, the faster the delivery, but also the greater the cost.
Air Charter provides the quickest delivery time since one company maintains exclusive use of the aircraft. There is no cargo from any other business on board. While highly effective, this is the costliest option.
Part Charter offers high-priority delivery for cargo from multiple companies sharing space on an already scheduled flight. Cost is reduced, but delivery time is lengthened.
Express affords priority air freight service with space on the first available flight with the quickest transit time available. Very cost effective if immediate delivery not required.
Standard is considered general air freight service. It is less costly, but not as fast as higher-level options.
Deferred refers to secured transportation on the lowest-cost air carrier. Longer transit times are expected.
Consolidated, or “consol,” offers the lowest cost for air freight service. Varying cargo is warehoused together and then shipped once the total weight exceeds 1,000 lbs. Although quicker than ocean freight, this is the slowest option of air freight.
Air Freight Planes
There are primarily three types of planes used for shipping cargo via airplane:
A passenger aircraft carries people on the main deck but may include a certain amount of cargo based on weight on the lower deck with passenger luggage.
A cargo aircraft is an airplane that is used to ship cargo only, no passengers.
A combi aircraft is a type of plane that combines both passengers and cargo on the main deck of the aircraft.
Air Freight vs Air Cargo
The terms freight and cargo are essentially synonymous when referring to the transportation of goods from one place to another. The term cargo, however, is typically used for only those goods transported by plane or ship. Freight has a bit broader interpretation and can also be used when referring to the transportation of goods via truck, ship, train or airplane.
Advantages of Air Freight Transportation
Air freight is unquestionably the fastest transportation option available. Shipping cargo by airplane literally allows goods to travel from one continent to another in a matter of hours.
Not only do goods shipped by air travel swiftly, they are also very safe. At the airport, security controls over cargo are tightly managed. And since there is minimal overall handling of the cargo involved, the risk of damage is reduced.
Quick transit times with air freight also means less time goods are sitting in a warehouse. That equates to reduced warehousing expense and quicker revenue turnaround from product sales.
The main drawback of air freight transportation is the higher cost. In many instances, however, the benefits of air shipping clearly outweigh the expense.
Finding The Best Air Freight Option
Air freight services are truly one of the best ways to transport goods over a long distance. Figuring out the logistical details though can be a bit complicated. That’s where we come in.
Grand Aire has been a leading air service provider for over 35 years. Our Logistics Specialists are accessible 24/7/365 to assist with shipping needs and provide reliable air transportation options. Contact us at 1-800-74- GRAND or email our team at email@example.com for more information.