International cargo transportation involves several complex tasks, including finding the right carrier and handing paperwork. If you’re looking for a time-efficient and secure transportation method but don’t want to organise the shipment yourself, consider air freight forwarding. UK logistics companies offer plenty of reliable freight forwarders to help you out. This guide will explain the benefits and drawbacks of air freight forwarding and how to pick the right option.
What Is Air Freight Forwarding?
The term freight forwarding, in general, refers to the organisation and shipping of cargo from point A to point B. Freight forwarders are responsible for each step of the process, from finding an optimal transportation method to packing goods and handling paperwork. While the delivery may be performed by a third party, freight forwarders must ensure the plan is executed correctly.
As the name suggests, air freight forwarding is performed by air. Depending on the cargo type, dimensions, and other factors, it can be transported using passenger or cargo aircraft. Air freight forwarding UK is mainly used for international cargo projects but may also be suitable for domestic shipments in large countries with multiple airports.
Any air freight transportation is heavily regulated and involves a high quantity of paperwork, such as insurance ad customs clearance. Furthermore, some countries have strict product packaging regulations and may return the shipment if it doesn’t comply with local legislation. Freight forwarders must be well aware of international packaging standards to pack and label goods correctly.
Benefits of Air Freight Forwarding
The biggest advantage of air cargo shipment is the speed, especially when it comes to long-distance air freight forwarding. UK-China shipments may arrive in under two days. Some freight forwarders can even find you a next-flight-out option for urgent shipments. Unlike land deliveries which may be affected by traffic or sea shipments that can be held in the port, air cargo shipments are nearly always on time. Therefore, air freight is both the fastest and the most stable option.
Air cargo transportation doesn’t rely on railways, road networks, or coastlines. Cargo can reach the most challenging delivery points, even if they’re inaccessible for other transport. Sometimes, air freight may be the only way to get your cargo to your desired destination point.
Due to strict airport security measures, air freight is also the safest cargo transportation method. The eliminated risk of theft grants peace of mind for freight forwarders and end clients, as well as potentially reducing insurance costs.
As for less apparent benefits, air freight requires less packaging than sea or land freight, which reduces the cargo weight and offers great savings for high-volume shipments.
Lastly, air freight may sometimes be cheaper than sea freight due to its fundamentally different pricing calculation methods. Sea cargo shipping costs are calculated based on the volume, while air cargo prices depend on the weight. Furthermore, sea freight often has minimum weight requirements and strict packaging regulations. A good freight forwarding company will determine which option is optimal for your cargo.
Drawbacks of Air Freight Forwarding
With rare exceptions, air freight is more expensive than sea or land freight. Interestingly, domestic air freight tends to be more expensive than international. Sometimes, business owners and freight forwarders have to compromise between speed and costs.
Air freight is less dependent on weather conditions than sea or land freight, but flight delays can’t be avoided entirely. A couple of days may not be an issue for sea freights that take long to arrive anyway. On the other hand, even a minor delay undermines the main benefit of air freights – speed.
Air freight also has size and weight limitations. Even the biggest planes aren’t nearly as big as cargo ships. Therefore, air freight isn’t an option for extremely large and heavy cargo.
How to Pick the Right Freight Forwarder
Choosing the right logistics company is vital for fast and secure air freight forwarding. UK-based companies can benefit from hiring a local freight forwarder such as GenX Freight. Equipped with the latest technology and worldwide connections, GenX Freight is the best choice for any domestic or international air shipment. And if air freight isn’t the best option for your cargo, an experienced freight forwarder will help you find an optimal shipping solution.