Air shipping may be the ideal solution whenever you want to deliver freight safely and quickly. Air freight involves moving goods from point A to point B via aircraft, but while the process may seem simple, it can get quite complicated and overwhelming. By working with an air freight forwarder, you will forget about the hassle of international trade.
International air freight is the best way of quickly transporting shipments around the globe. This means that air cargo can be transported within days, a lot quicker than ocean or ground freight. However, when delivering your goods via air freight services, they cannot be too oversized or too heavy; you should solely reserve such shipments for ocean freight.
What is An Air Freight Forwarder?
An air freight forwarder is a freight forwarder that specializes in air cargo. In addition, air freight forwarders perform consolidation of consignment in their name.
While you may consider handling the air shipping by yourself, seeking help from an air freight forwarder is recommended. They are vital for international airlines, as they book cargo space on planes more than any other supply chain partner. As stated by the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA), more than 80% of international air cargo activity can be attributed to air freight forwarders.
Companies usually opt for air freight to transport high-value products (money, gold bars, luxury fashion, spaceship parts) or items that have sensitive delivery times (flowers, live animals, pharmaceuticals, perishable food).
Why Use an Air Freight Forwarder?
To consider if air freight is ideal for your needs, you need to understand what the process involves, what documentation you need so your shipment is not delayed, and why it is essential to seek professional help from a freight forwarder.
Once you have decided that air freight is perfect for you, get in touch with a freight forwarder to handle the transportation logistics process. They will ensure that air shipments will be managed smoothly so that they are ready to be delivered by plane.
Because of the volume of business they handle, air freight forwarders are typically in a strong position to drive down prices. It is vital to know that freight forwarders are usually not affiliated with any carriers, so it’s in their best interest to find and negotiate the best freight rates on your behalf. Their experience and knowledge allow them to find the best rates available in your area.
If they are removed from the international trade equation, then individual importers and exporters must study, handle and arrange their charges directly with the carrier. Moreover, an air freight forwarder will handle all the documentation and paperwork involved in international trading, including, but not limited to:
- Tracking inland transportation
- Preparing the shipping and export documents
- Booking cargo space
- Negotiating air freight charges
- Handling air freight consolidation
- Handling cargo insurance
- Filling insurance claims
Stages of Air Freight Shipment of Your Merchandise
For starters, the air freight forwarder will choose the ideal airship cargo company, then negotiate and fix a cost to deliver your cargo. The air freight forwarder will then arrange for your load to be picked-up, pre-packaged, and completed for the delivery.
Your merchandise will then be transported to the airport and undergo custom inspections. Next, the plane will be loaded with your cargo. If your merchandise is part of a consolidated shipment, then the aircraft will stay on the ground until the cargo gets fully loaded. For some shipments, it may take several days.
Once your package arrives at its destination, it will undergo more customs inspections and will not be admitted into the specific country until all taxes and duties are paid. Finally, the shipment will be delivered following the terms of the freight forwarding agreement.
There are many advantages to shipping by air. While speed is an excellent benefit, you will also benefit from access to a wider variety of locations and extra safety.
You will also have multiple delivery options, including domestic delivery (same-day air/next flight out, next-day air, second-day air, deferred air) or international delivery (deferred service, express service). For example, even if a flight is missed, your air freight forwarder will ensure that your merchandise will get on a later flight that day to arrive on time.