In most cases, air freight is the most expensive shipping method. Shipping cargo via air freight can be the best option if speed to market is your highest priority. No matter why you choose to ship by air, there are several critical considerations before committing to air freight shipments.
We’ve compiled a list of tips and best practices for businesses that may help save you time, money, effort and avoid potential mistakes.
Considerations Before Using Air Freight
Volume Weight vs. Actual Weight
Airfreight is generally charged by either volumetric or actual weight, depending on which number is higher. This is because large packages can take up more of an airplane cargo capacity than smaller, heavier items, even when they’re comparatively lighter in weight.
When shipping by air, importers must consider the difference between volume weight and actual weight. If an importer doesn’t recognize this difference, there can be costly surprises.
The volume weight is the amount of space the package occupies by its dimensions, converted to an equivalent weight. Actual weight is the weight of the package, as it shows on a scale. You determine the volume weight by multiplying the three dimensions of a package. It allows airline carriers to select the overall size and weight of goods, making it easier to calculate the overall freight capacity required.
It is crucial to consider the product’s dimensions after packaging when shipping via air freight. If the volume weight is greater than the actual weight, the higher volume weight will apply, often increasing your cost significantly.
An experienced air freight forwarder, like Dedola Global Logistics, is looking out for your best interests. They will help you identify the best packaging options for your goods, minimizing volume weight. It’s generally advisable to use lightweight yet durable packaging, helping avoid unnecessary additional shipping costs. The key is to reduce volumetric weight while still providing maximum protection for your goods, thereby optimizing your shipping process.
Special Commodities Such as Electronics
Depending on what you are shipping, there could be packaging requirements to keep the product safe during flight. These requirements may differ considerably between ocean freight and air freight.
An example of special commodities includes electronic items that contain batteries. These items must be packaged and labeled correctly before being cleared for shipping. Failing to package them properly can lead to costly delays or fines. Your supplier and freight forwarder must be aware of any unique requirements before sending your cargo to the airport.
If your electronics product includes batteries, there are some considerations before opting for air freight:
- Review all shipping requirements before your products are packaged and sent to the air cargo company.
- Example: Aluminum sheeting must be placed between the batteries and the electronic devices, preventing the batteries from touching certain types of metals during shipping. This precaution maintains product safety.
When choosing a freight forwarder, make sure they can help you optimize the packaging for your specific commodity. At Dedola, we have in-depth knowledge of air cargo shipping from over 45 years in logistics. Our expertise will help streamline the process and alleviate stress. You’ll know that your goods are safe and your costs are right.
Include All Proper Documentation
Air carriers will require that you assemble, review and complete all necessary documentation, like commercial invoices and packing lists, before shipping. Your forwarder must know what’s needed when shipping via air freight –like the specific details required on those documents.
At DGL, we know what documents you will provide and those we will need to complete on your behalf. We take a proactive approach and always request them ahead of time, keeping on track to meet critical deadlines. Our expert staff inspects all the documentation to ensure a smooth process. This way, there are no last-minute delays, and in most cases, we’ll pre-clear your cargo, cutting its time to market.
Direct Service vs. Deferred Service
Before you book an air freight shipment, it’s essential to know whether you are on a direct or deferred service. Direct service is just what it sounds like – it’s airport to airport, with no stops. Direct air service has a one to two-day transit time. Deferred service can take 3-5 days, depending on the number of stops en route.
Some air freight travels on passenger jets, but some commodities –like electronics with batteries, are not accepted on these flights. An inexperienced forwarder may not tell you until it’s too late, delaying your shipment.
At DGL, we are completely transparent from the moment we start working on your shipment. We make sure to cover all bases to avoid costly delays in any phase of transport. Our goal is always to deliver on any promise we make and make no promises we can’t deliver on.
It’s critical to choose a reliable freight forwarder with a proven track record, like Dedola. We go above and beyond to optimize your air freight from start to finish and empower you to make informed decisions.
Airfreight pricing, despite its higher costs, does not automatically include cargo insurance. Shippers often make the mistake of assuming it does or deciding to go without it to avoid the extra cost.
Cargo transportation is inherently risky, and cargo loss is possible at any point in the shipping process. Each time a shipment changes hands, from your supplier to a local trucker to the receiving warehouse to the airline, mistakes happen. Cargo may be mishandled, exposed to the elements, or stolen. It happens.
Cargo insurance is inexpensive and gives you peace of mind. Your forwarder handles the process from securing the coverage to claim submission, and the insurance company pays claims very quickly. This insurance policy is yours, not your forwarder’s –though experienced forwarders like DGL will always offer coverage through the same carrier providing their company liability coverage.
Shipping via Air Freight With Dedola
Transparency and reliability are critical components of the Dedola Difference. We help our clients make informed decisions on every aspect of the shipping process. Airfreight may be the right choice for your business, but if you decide to ship via air, be sure to consider the concepts we’ve outlined here when selecting your freight forwarder.
At Dedola, we understand that efficient and reliable transport is crucial for your success. It reduces your costs and helps keep your customers satisfied. When it comes to optimizing the shipping process, DGL is the best in the business. By doing our job right, we help our clients be the best in theirs.
Dedola Global Logistics has served over 100 industries and 20,000 customers for over 45 years.
Contact one of our experts for a free consultation at (562) 594-8988 or email [email protected] and experience the Dedola Difference.