Air Freight is one of the most widely used and popular modes of transportation globally. We consider it a faster, more reliable, and safer mode of transportation than ocean freight. Air freight is ideal for sending goods to different corners of the world. Air freight plays a vital role in smoothing the supply chain process.
You can send your valuable parcels to your dear ones in any country by choosing air freight. In air freight, specially designed air crafts are ideal for shipments of different goods. Every year tons of goods are transported to different corners of the world through air freight services. So we can say air freight significantly contributes to the growing economy of the countries. It is why the developed countries focus on bringing innovations in the air freight industry.
As we all know, air freight is one of the fastest and most efficient modes of transportation for sending and receiving goods. Almost 35% of global trade depends on the air freight industry. Different airlines follow strict guidelines while transporting goods from one country to another.
Now we’ll discuss in detail when we need air transportation and what type of goods are transported by air.
Types of Shipments by Air Freight
As we told you earlier, the air freight industry has very strict rules; therefore, air transport is unsuitable for many shipments. The following types of shipments are possible using air freight:
- Aerospace equipment and spare parts.
- Automotive equipment and spare parts.
- Energy development goods.
- Pharmaceuticals goods.
- Fashion/garments/ textiles.
- Consumer electronics.
- Hardware & Machinery
- Retail goods
- High-volume goods
- Luxury products
- Food products
- Artwork goods
- Drugs & vaccines
- Intercontinental urgent mail
- Urgent goods
- Hazardous Material/Dangerous Goods
- Heavyweight and over-dimensional freight
Two Main Groups of Air Freight:
There are two main groups of cargo transported by air freight, i.e.
- General Cargo
- Special Cargo
1- General Cargo:
In a general group of air freight, there comes the transportation of retail and consumer goods, textiles, hardware goods, and dry products. General cargo goods rarely require any particular guidelines to follow. These types of goods don’t require special care for loading and unloading; therefore, general group products are easy to handle.
2- Special Cargo:
Under special cargo, there come sensitive goods because of their nature, weight, dimensions, or value. These goods need special packaging, labeling, documentation, or handling techniques during shipment. For the transportation of these types of goods, special regulations need to follow while handling the shipment. Special group cargo group is sub-divided into more categories, i.e.”
It includes the shipment of goods that can explode, react dangerously, catch fire, and emit toxic or flammable gases. Air freight transports these goods because they are risky for human health and the environment. For the shipment of dangerous goods, it is not allowed to transport them unless the shipper has certified that all the shipments comply fully with the applicable dangerous goods regulations. In air freight of dangerous goods, there include the following items:
- Compressed gases
- Flammable liquids
- Flammable solids
- Organic Peroxides
- Oxidizing substances
- Toxic substances
- Infectious substances
- Radioactive materials
- Corrosive materials
Any air freight can only accept human remains for transport in an aircraft if it contains a Death Certificate issued by authorities in the country of death. For transporting human remains, it is essential to follow all laws, ordinances, or government rules in the country of departure, transit, and destination.
Air freight also sent live animals. Before booking your shipment of live animals, it is essential to study the IATA’s Live Animals Regulations and TG’s Regulations. This regulation includes restrictions for the type of animals, type of aircraft, en route and destination, and the availability of animal attendants.
Fragile cargo contains goods that can easily get damaged if handled carelessly. These products can lose their shape because of jolting, dropping, and bumping during the loading and unloading. Fragile items include artwork, Earthenware, Paints, Perfumes, Elevators, TV and radio tubes, Chinaware, antique goods, Glassware, Cast-iron products, Sculptures, etc.
For sending fragile items by airfreight, it is essential to have secured packing in boxes. It is also necessary to mention ‘Fragile’ and ‘This side up’ at labeling these goods.
Magnetized material contains products that exert a magnetic force and have the property to attract or repel various products. On the packaging of magnetized material boxes, always mention “Compass Safe Distance.”
Heavy cargo is defined as items of weight, whereas outsized cargo is defined as individual cargo that does not allow to get loaded in the lower compartments. A unique 3-letter code, “BIG,” is printed in the handling boxes of such products.
Perishable goods, such as goods, can decay, deteriorate, or decompose. The shipment of perishable cargo there includes items like.
- Dairy Products
- Deep frozen products
- Flower bulbs
Perishable cargo needs to get packed in special and separate packaging with “Perishable & This Side Up” labels.
The wet cargo includes shipment of the following goods, i.e.:
- Marine and freshwater products
- Products that contain water or fluids, such as vegetables, frozen or salted casings/seafood
During the transportation of wet cargo, there are chances of getting badly affected by temperature, humidity, pressure, and vibration changes. Therefore, wet cargo can get leaks or spills that can also cause damage to an aircraft. Styrofoam boxes are used to transport such wet cargo with a unique handling code.
Vulnerable cargo contains the shipment of such goods, which are chances of getting stolen. The shipments of these kinds of products include items, i.e., precious cameras and watches, television sets, and semi-precious stones. Airlines providing cargo services for vulnerable goods are restricted from proper surveillance of such shipments.
For the shipment of valuable cargo, there is a particular declared value of USD 1000 per gross kilogram. Invaluable cargo there comes various products, i.e.
- Gold or Platinum products
- Legal banknotes, Securities, Shares, Stamps, Ready-to-use bank cards, Credit cards, and Traveler’s cheques
- Precious stones i.e. Diamonds, rubies, Emeralds, Sapphires, Opals, and real Pearls
- Watches made of gold and silver
In this blog post, we’ve discussed in detail the kinds of products that need to transport by air freight. Although air freight is faster than other freight modes, it is also more expensive than others. So if you don’t have any budget issues and want to get or transport your shipments in a brief time, then air freight is an ideal option.