Everything you need to know about air freight forwarding

Everything you need to know about air freight forwarding

Air freight forwarding explained

The first Airmail service took place in 1911. In just over a century air freight has become a huge and meticulously organised industry, with over 62 million tons of cargo being transported across the globe each year. But what is air freight forwarding and what are the advantages of it? Let’s take a closer look.

What is air freight forwarding?

An air freight forwarder is a company that organises the shipments of goods via air. They find the best and fastest routes to get products from the manufacturer or producer to their final destination, whether that’s a warehouse, retailer or customer’s home. The service also includes the management of relationships between shippers and carriers and ensuring the best costs are secured. 

What are the types of air freight forwarding?

There are three main types of air freight forwarding service: air freight, charter services and onboarding. Regular air freight typically uses scheduled air cargo or passenger flights to transport goods. This type of forwarding is used for efficient delivery of everyday shipments that don’t need to be expedited. 

Charter services are used by time critical logistics specialists when supplies need to be shipped urgently or to remote locations that aren’t typically covered by standard freight services. A plane is rented to transport the goods exclusively, without the need to share space with other senders or adhere to regular flight schedules. Air charter services are more direct and often enable businesses, governments and NGOs to circumvent restrictions and delays. 

On board couriers are reserved for confidential documents, hazardous items, approved medicines or other fragile cargo. With this option, a courier physically sits on the aircraft with the package and personally delivers it to its destination. As such, optimum safety and security is guaranteed. Naturally, this is the most expensive air freight option. 

How much is air freight forwarding?

The cost of air freight forwarding depends on the type of service you choose. International air freight companies calculate their fees on chargeable weight. This is based on the gross weight of the cargo and the volume weight, which converts shipment volume into kilos. The cost of air freight is fairly stable compared to that of ocean freight, but seasonality is a consideration. 

What are the advantages of using a freight forwarder?

There are many advantages to using a specialist freight forwarder. For example, these organisations have multiple contacts within the aviation industry, enabling them to ensure shipments arrive on time and in pristine condition. They don’t work with a single airline; rather, they work with numerous carriers to find the best solution for each shipment. 

Freight forwarders are also able to secure the best costs for their clients. Perhaps it’s quicker and more cost-effective to send a shipment on an air cargo plane, or perhaps a passenger flight with a stopover suits your budget better while still arriving at your destination on time. Either way, they can find the most affordable solution.  

Logistics providers also have real-time tracking technology that enables businesses to monitor the progress of their shipments. As such, the risks of loss or damage is minimised. They can also cover the customs and paperwork requirements to ensure smooth transfer of goods across borders.

If you need air freight forwarding services, contact a reputable logistics company today.