Air Shipping

Air Shipping is An informative guide. Shipping refers to the modes of transporting used to move goods and cargo from one country to another and even within a country. There are 3 basic ways – air, land and sea. Most companies use a combination of methods to deliver products to their destination. The method chosen will depend on factors like urgency, available budget and the kind of goods being transported. Though land and sea shipments are usually cheaper, air shipping is chosen for speed of delivery. There are quite a few companies offering their services in this area as well, making it a competitive choice.

What can and cannot be shipped by air:

Air shipments are transported in 3 ways

  • passenger planes
  • dedicated cargo liners and
  • big payloads in huge cargo planes

Freight service planes are mostly chartered by major courier companies to access economies of scale. Freight companies have specially equipped planes to deliver extremely large items. Most often than not, items that are sent using air shipments are food, documents, medicines, machinery, medical and other equipment and even livestock.

As far as shipping hazardous materials are concerned (and the list is a long one), there are a lot of restrictions. Shippers have to register with regulatory agencies and fill out the right papers. Carriers have to be aware of what they are transporting so that they can take the right precautions to ship and also in case of an accident.

Items sent by air freight are usually high value and important and hence shipped quickly. Cargo planes these days are very advanced and constructed to carry all kinds of cargo safely. These planes are also pressed into service during disasters and natural calamities.

Key factors to consider when choosing a Shipping method:

When it comes to shipping, businesses have to decide which one makes the most sense. The following 4 are the most important:


1. Cost: This will have the biggest impact on the bottom line. Get educated about shipping charges. Whether one is shipping over land or by sea, rates are usually calculated by container size. If containers are not full, then charges tend to be high. Take customs duties and destination fees into account as well. If warehousing fees have to be included, then air shipments tend to be more reasonably priced.

2. Speed: There is no question that air shipments get to their destination the fastest. In many cases, time is money and air shipments offer the best value. Sea shipments take at least a month to reach their destination. In some cases, goods may have to be taken over land too, contributing to delays.

3. Reliability: This is very important to businesses as well as customers. Air shipments have an edge over sea or land shipments. Even with delays due to weather and other factors, airlines keep to their schedules. Since ocean liners have weekly or longer schedules, missing a deadline means longer delays.

4. Impact on the environment: In this category, sea shipments win hands down. Air shipments tend to have a bigger carbon footprint.

How Shipping Rates are calculated:

What a consignment will cost depends on the following:

  • What is being shipped?
  • How big is it?
  • What is the weight?
  • What type of service is required?

If one is shipping a live animal – a pet or livestock, make sure to have all the important clearances from the agricultural authorities and veterinarians. If the cargo is hazardous, make sure that packages are labelled properly. Shipping companies handle documents, perishable cargo, valuables as well as human remains.

Types of Air Freight Companies:

There are different types of air freight shippers like

  • Charter aircraft
  • Cold storage
  • Freight forwarders
  • Courier companies
  • Fumigation companies
  • Government Agencies
  • Hazmat companies
  • Messenger Services

These are just a few. For more information on packaging and shipping information, get in touch with them to get help.

Shipping Services Related