Nowadays, there are many ways in which goods can be shipped from one place to another. Among all transportation logistics alternatives, air freight is one of the most commonly used ones. This happens due to its versatility, costs and shipping time. This way, by using air freight, logistics related to the transportation of goods can easily be controlled and monitored.
Air freight or air cargo is a term used to talk about the shipment of any type of goods via an aircraft. It may be also known as airmail and can take place on a charter or commercial flight, depending on the good that is being shipped. There are many things that need to be kept in mind when using air freight. Some of this aspects will be explored by us in this article.
Why Using Air Freight for Transportation Logistics
Probably the most appealing feature that air freight offers for those who are in charge of controlling the transportation logistics to ship goods is the alternative of shipping them in a short period of time. Air freight offers many express shipping options that can be appealing for those who need to worry about timing pretty much anywhere in the world.
Small and mid-sized companies are probably the biggest customers of air freight all around the world, since being able to control the time in which goods are being shipped to them, allows them to compete with some of the bigger guys in the market. It then becomes a matter of effectiveness regardless of the size of the company.
Also, export and import tasks become more time efficient and logistics related to the transportation of goods can be easily managed since shipping times from one airport to the other can be controlled. Pilots and cargo officers are in permanent communication with their offices and shipped goods can be easily tracked all the time.
Last but not least, air freight offers the tremendous advantage of safety. Shipping goods by air are one of the safeties ways to deliver valuable items that companies can use. The reason to this is that cargo is being controlled all the time and most items are tightly managed by the shipping companies, which often assume the costs of losing or breaking something along the shipping process.
A Fast-growing Industry
Air cargo is one of the transportation industries that have shown a faster evolution during recent years. Since it can be used in cooperation with other forms of transportation (like rail, marine or ground), air freight tends to be present in almost any shipping process or transaction.
Because of its efficiency and affordable costs, air freight became one of the most widely used shipping methods worldwide, allowing more countries and companies to be part of the import and export dynamics. This phenomenon started to become relevant at the beginning of the 21st century when many different types of industries started to get more involved with international and national commercial transactions.
This evolution in the way companies started to interact with each other and within the global market allowed the air freight industry to grow exponentially during the past 40 years. Nowadays, air freight is used as one of the most efficient ways to shop goods both nationally and internationally; also, it is used by companies of every size in most industries.
Different Means Of Transportation
Air freight offers different options to ship goods from one place to another. The most common ones include passenger planes, cargo or combi aircraft.
Passenger Aircraft: At its name says it, passenger aircraft is the one in charge of carrying passengers for commercial purposes. This type of aircraft is meant to carry mostly baggage and the passengers’ personal belongings in their “belly.” However, many passenger aircraft save some space to carry items besides regular luggage.
This is a common practice since many airlines decide to keep some available space to carry some goods that need to be delivered in short. This air freight method is useful since anyone can track the flights and know exactly when items are arriving at their destination. Another name given to this practice is belly cargo and sometimes it even includes the transportation of goods inside the cabin as “on board courier” where all the passengers are seated at.
Cargo Aircraft: This type of aircraft is the one that was actually designed specifically for the purpose of cargo transportation via air freight. Cargo aircraft use both their deck and their belly to carry goods that are being shipped from one place to another. The types of loading used here are both side and nose.
Combi Aircraft: This is a hybrid type of air cargo, where the deck is used to carry both passengers and heavy cargo behind the passengers’ seats. Also, these type of aircraft are side –loaded and also carry goods in their belly.
Related: Everything you need to know about automation in logistics by David Kiger
* Featured Image courtesy of Andrew W. Sieber at Flickr.com