While ocean freight is typically the cheapest international shipping option for freight, we know that air shipping is by far the fastest route. For high value, urgent, or perishable food deliveries, aviation is frequently the transit mode of choice. Freight that would take 10 days to a month by sea, depending on the type of ship, can arrive in 1 or 2 days by plane.
Air freight can be anything from flowers and chocolate to life-saving pharmaceuticals. Whether you are shipping from Canada to the US, or from the US to the UK, you may choose air shipping due to the nature of the goods and delivery demands.
Here are some suggestions if you are shipping by air:
Consolidation and Cost Savings
Typically the cheapest way to ship by air by utilizing consolidating freight. Similar to ground travel or ocean cargo (freight), sharing storage, or consolidating your own shipments into one load allows you to receive a better rate. In air travel, you typically aim to fill a Unit Load Device located in the front hold of the plane. This storage space is approximately 307 cm long, 213 cm wide x 193 cm high. It’s a good option depending on how urgent your shipment, as consolidated shipments don’t leave as quickly as regular consignments. Due to shorter travel times, you are subject to lower insurance rates than by sea. There is also shorter procurement, and less need for warehousing stock, translating into savings.
Risk and Visibility
One of the advantages of air shipping is the reliability factor. Weather can impact flight schedule, but the choice of daily flights make it easier to catch the next flight as opposed to a shipping port that tends to operate on a weekly schedule and arrival dates tend to vary. Another advantage is there’s less opportunity for cargo theft as well as damage due to the extensive level of security, monitoring systems and personnel within airports. This layer of security is especially beneficial for high value, or very fragile items.
Using an Air Freight Forwarder
For logistics management, an air freight forwarder can take on the role of consolidating shipments along with coordinating airport terminal pick-up and delivery services, customs brokerage, and access to very competitive air carrier rates. This takes the load off of vendors for easier and streamlined shipping.