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Air Freight

What is air freight and what are the types of goods transported by air

Air freight, also known as air cargo, is the transport of goods via an air carrier. This kind of transport can take place between any place which can be reached by airplane. Air freight is the fastest but also the costliest form of transport, compared to transport by sea, rail, and truck. Products transported by air are often things that have time-sensitive delivery and have a high value.

What is the volume of international air freight shipping

To get an idea of how frequently international air freight shipping is used all over the world, the following questions are essentia

The volume of products transported by air

Roughly 16.3 million tonnes of cargo were transported via air freight in the EU in 2017. The number one handler of air freight was Germany, with approximately 4.7 million tonnes of goods passing its airports, followed by the UK (2.7 million tonnes) and France (2.5 million tonnes). It should also be mentioned that the Benelux area is specialized in air freight with Luxembourg even being the 7th largest freight handler in the EU.

What is the tendency for air freight

After decades of growth, the volume of air freight started to decrease recently. The reasons for that vary from rising fuel prices, Brexit, trade tensions, and other local reasons. However, the overall capacity for different types of goods transported by air continued to increase.

Pros and Cons of international air freight shipping

Shipping your goods by air freight has both advantages and disadvantages.

Pros
  1. Fast: Air freight is the quickest option for shipping your goods and the best options for time-sensitive shipping.
  2. Dependable: As there are very few delays in departures and arrivals for air freight, you can rely on the estimated delivery time.
  3. Security: The security of air freight is higher than with transport by road and sea because security at an airport is tighter. This reduces the chances of the items being damaged or stolen.
  4. Faster Customs Clearance: Air freight is usually quickly unloaded off the aircraft and can, therefore, undergo a quicker customs clearance.
  5. Extensive coverage: Air freight can be sent almost everywhere all over the world.
Cons
  1. Expensive: Air freight costs are much higher than the costs of shipping by sea, rail or road. This is because international air freight rates include the costs for purchasing and maintaining an aircraft.
  2. Limited Size: For large and inexpensive goods air freight is not a good option, due to the limited capacity of an aircraft.
  3. Product restrictions: Not all goods are allowed on board of aircraft, and therefore, there is a range of goods that can’t be shipped by air.
  4. Carbon footprin: Air freight has a much higher carbon emission than transport by sea or road, thus making it less environmentally friendly.

Air freight costs

International air freight rates depend on a combination of factors that together determine the air freight costs.

  1. The measurements: The size of your shipment is essential when determining the costs. These include length, width, height, and weight.
  2. Type of goods: The types of goods could have additional requirements, which adds to the costs.
  3. The distance: The distance is an essential part of the cost calculations. Prices depend on the fuel prices and are affected by fluctuations on the oil price.
  4. Insurance: Additional insurance adds to the price.
  5. Customs clearance: Additional fees may apply for customs clearance service.