Is it all up in the air?  –  International air freight shipping in a nutshell

Global importers and exporters use air cargo in order to transport goods quickly and reliably.  Despite the fact that approximately 90% of goods worldwide are shipped by ocean, air connects the world faster by far.  Research indicates that China-US freight shipping time is drastically cut from 20 to 30 days by ocean to only 3 days by air cargo.

The difference between international air freight and express air freight

International air freight and express freight shipments bear significant differences in the way that they are managed.  Express freight is typically handled by one company that manages and effectively controls the entire shipment lifecycle with a door-to-door turnaround time of usually less than five days.  Such shipments are typically smaller than air freight shipments (less than one cubic metre and weighing under 200kgs).

International air freight shipments are considerably larger and are likely to move across multiple carriers during shipping process.  Of note, the largest cargo airplane, the Anatov 225 is able to carry an entire train!

However, since air cargo shipments can be costly, they are typically limited to smaller, high-value items or time-sensitive goods.

What are the advantages of shipping cargo by air?

  • Speed: An airplane is up to thirty times as fast as an ocean liner.
  • Protection: Goods are more likely to become damaged during ocean freight as opposed to air shipping.
  • Reliability: Research findings have encouraged the freight industry to develop freight services that are far more dependable. Coupled with better air freight data movement, shipping by air enables greater efficiency in air freight tracking and results in peace of mind, assured that the goods will arrive in the right place at the right time.