When a shipper decides to send their goods via plane, it generally means that the order is urgent or the items are perishable. For obvious reasons, shipping cargo on an airplane is faster than sending it via freight barge, which is easily the most popular option. Of course, it is also more expensive, since cargo planes don’t carry nearly as much freight. That is the main reason why 90 percent of the world’s international shipping is delivered by boat.
Why use air freight?
As we mentioned, it’s much faster, and most international clients expect companies to at least offer it as an option. If they need a shipment right away and they can’t wait the two weeks it typically takes a cargo ship to cross the ocean, they will request an air freight service. And if you cannot provide it, your client might just jump ship!
Who to call?
In the transportation services industry, it is quite common for international carriers to offer both air cargo freight and traditional shipping on a vessel. With that said, these are completely different services that require specialized knowledge and skills. Time-sensitive orders have to get out in a hurry, which means shipping experts must determine the most efficient and effective way to send these goods as soon as they possibly can.
Air cargo freight shipping teams are like the pit crews of international shipping industry—they have to work fast and do their jobs well in order to ensure success. A good team will always try to reduce the total number of steps needed to move cargo from origin to destination. This not only makes the journey shorter and more efficient, it also makes it more affordable.
What to expect from a reliable freight carrier
As with any service, the less involved you are in the process the better. After all, you are availing yourself of their aid because you can’t do the job on your own. Hearing that you have to perform some action to help them out should be seen as unacceptable. But it does happen in the international shipping industry.
Some companies expect their customers to deliver items to the point of departure, whether a port or an airfield. They might even ask them to fill out cargo insurance and customs forms, which are needed to transport your shipment to its ultimate destination. A good shipping company should handle all of these obligations for you.
Question to ask?
In addition to making certain that they will complete all documentation before your order is shipped out, you should check to see that everything is handled in-house. There are shippers that outsource certain jobs to other experts, either because they don’t have a large enough staff or they don’t have experience in that area. This practice almost always makes air cargo shipping more expensive and problematic than it has to be. It is for this reason that we strongly suggest that you hire an air carrier that manages everything on their own, from pickup to final delivery.
You should also inquire about special services. As we mentioned, not all international shipping companies will actually pick up your goods at your factory or warehouse. They expect you to get it to them, sometimes by hook or by crook. So, if there is any question that you will ever be unable to deliver your goods to the carrier, always select one that can arrange for pickup and delivery.
Valued added services
A good, reliable freight carrier offers much more than delivery services. They should also work with you to improve the efficiency and management of your supply chain. This will help you cut costs and improve customer satisfaction. In other words, it will add value to your business. Cargo insurance, in-house customs brokerage, pickup and delivery, inventory management, and trade financing are just a few of the services every reputable transportation and logistics firm should provide.