Different types of air transportation used in courier services

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Different types of air transportation used in courier services

Air versus ocean

When considering how goods are shipped, there are many different types of carriers, based on the type of commodity and the clients’ shipping needs. If automobiles are to be transported, they could be shipped using RORO vessels. If large quantities of liquids need to be shipped, such as oil, the vessel option could be a tanker.   Like the ocean freight industry, air freight can be moved with different carriers, depending on the customers’ needs or commodity requirements.

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The different types of air freight carriers

Passenger Airlines

Although their primary function is the transportation of people, certain airline companies will often sell space in the belly compartment of the airplane which is typically where passenger luggage is stowed.  Passenger airlines have many weight and space limitations for the cargo they will accept, but they can be a convenient option due to the number of frequent flights to various popular destinations.

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All-Cargo Carriers

As the name suggests, these carriers move air cargo and offer freight services, but do not offer passenger services.  All-cargo carriers have less weight and dimension limitations due to the wide-body and containerized cargo aircrafts in their fleet which leave plenty of room for larger, heavier items, such as aerospace and automotive parts and materials. This category also includes heavy-lift cargo freighters designed for project cargo. Since heavy-lift freighters are uncommon, their charter services are highly specialized and rarely operate on a scheduled basis.

Integrated Express Carriers 

These carriers will move your goods from the door at point A to the door at point B. They will pick-up your shipment from origin via truck, fly it to its destination terminal, then deliver it to the destination via truck. These types of carriers rely heavily on their air cargo hubs, where they will unload the shipments, sort them by destination, and load them onto the appropriate outbound aircraft – all through the use of automated sorting. This process allows for quick turnaround times and extensive delivery capabilities.

Combination Aircraft Carriers

Carriers that have both passenger and freighter aircrafts in their fleet are known as Combination Aircraft Carriers. Examples of such companies are Lufthansa and Emirates.

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