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International air freight shipping services enable time-sensitive imports and exports to reach international airports and pass through customs in a matter of days. Air shipments are integral for supply chains that move perishable or sensitive goods such as food products, medicine, or life science materials.

While much of our global commerce depends on ocean shipping solutions because it is the most cost-effective option, some shipments cannot be transported that way because ocean shipping can take two or more weeks to complete. For items that require a shorter transit time, air cargo is the preferred method.

Global Air Freight Logistics

Air freight shipments travel all over the world daily, and it is the work of logistics companies and freight forwarders to organize the movement of these shipments from airport to airport. This includes the consolidation of shipments for flights, management of customs clearance at foreign ports, and door-to-door delivery.

Freight forwarders prepare advanced shipping and flight routes to accommodate a large number of shipments. This enables suppliers of all types to move cargo across the world.

Some services that air freight forwarders provide other than shipping are consolidation, deferred flights, customs clearance, real-time tracking, and special delivery.

Shippers consolidate when they have smaller cargo. The freight forwarder combines shipments to optimize international deliveries. Sometimes, a freight forwarder delays a shipment a day or two to put it on a flight. This helps the cargo to reach its final destination quicker or cheaper.

When your shipment reaches its destination, freight forwarders also help you manage customs clearance with foreign governments. Your logistics partner should have existing relationships at foreign ports, keeping these transactions easy and streamlined.

A freight forwarder also provides live tracking and updates for the customer, making sure they can see where their shipment is every step of the way.

Air Freight Shipping Options

Depending on your needs and budget, air freight forwarders offer a variety of shipping speeds. For extremely urgent shipments, same-day delivery is available in many areas but prioritizing your shipment to get it on the next plane is the most expensive method.

Next-day and two-day delivery are the following fastest methods suitable for perishable or urgent goods that can travel for a couple of days or so. For less-urgent items, standard 3-5 day shipping is normal.

Other specific shipping options include airport-to-airport delivery, door-to-door shipping, and special charter shipping. Each of these shipping methods is subject to specific details regarding the cargo shipment.

Advantages of Air Freight Services

Perhaps the most obvious and beneficial advantage of air freight shipping is a shortened shipping speed. Supply chains include items and cargo of all kinds, some of which are highly perishable or sensitive. In order to get these items from one place to another, air freight shipping may be the only viable option.

While air freight rates are substantially higher than ocean shipping, the added convenience may be a good enough reason for some shippers. Air freight forwarders can also provide door-to-door shipping, handling the quick flight between the two locations, as well as all local transportation in between.

Additionally, goods and cargo moving through air freight are subject to additional security measures, further guaranteeing and protecting your shipment from loss, damage, or theft. Customs clearance also begins the day the cargo is received with air freight, as opposed to being subject to a several-day waiting period for ocean shipping.

Disadvantages of Air Freight Services

The only real disadvantage for air freight shipping is the cost. Shipping via air freight can be substantially higher than ocean shipping or truck transportation, and may only be suitable for shippers that require or can afford these services.

As a result, the demand is also higher for air freight shipping. Cargo planes and passenger planes both have a limited capacity as to how much cargo they can hold. Air freight shipments may be prioritized according to price or necessity.

Final Thoughts

Air freight shipping is the time-sensitive method of moving perishable or urgent cargo long distances quickly. While most world shipping occurs via the ocean over a longer period, air freight shipping prioritizes shipments that require shorter transit time.

To get the best rates possible for air freight or to explore a shipping option that is right for you, call Asiana USA at (855) 500-1808.

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