The choice of air, ground or sea for the transportation of your product may not be as simple as it seems. While air shipment is typically the most expensive choice when choosing a transportation mode, there are some circumstances when it’s the best and/or least expensive option.
It’s 4pm when a piece of equipment essential to the operation of your business breaks down. You need it up by 9am the next morning to avoid substantial losses. Unfortunately, the parts necessary for repair are in California and you are in Texas. What do you do? At times like these, air freight is invaluable. With proper management of the process, it is possible to get those parts to the airport, on a plane and to your business in such a narrow timeframe. However, it is essential that your logistics provider by savvy enough to handle air freight. It requires a precise attention to detail and the ability to track and manage a shipment down to the mile. Without such precision, air freight may end up taking longer and certainly costing more than the use of another method.
You are a start-up company with a small production run and are under time pressure to deliver the goods to your overseas destination. On the surface, a sea shipment seems to be the most inexpensive choice, in actuality, customs and harbor fees in the destination country can quickly drive prices quite high. If you are shipping thousands of goods, this may not be a problem, but for a smaller production, the cost difference between sea and air shipment might turn out to be very little. So when should you use air freight? In situations just like the above examples. Time-sensitive deliveries, often in a reactionary situation, call for air freight. Most other types of shipments do not, mainly due to the cost-prohibitive nature of air freight. If you are able to plan ahead to have something arrive on time, then ground, rail, surface or ocean transportation makes more sense. Obviously, you can’t always plan ahead. Equipment breaks. Items promised are delayed in the factory. An important demo meeting is pushed up, and you need the product samples earlier. When you’re in a panic that you don’t have time to get something from point A to point B, talk to your logistics provider about air freight.
Advantages of Air Freight
- No more time constraints: Choosing airfreight removes the time constraints to which you might be subject since your shipments will be transported quickly from any location to your chosen destination. In addition, the fact that airplanes are one of the safest methods of transportation means that the risk of accidents in transit is relatively low.
- Greater control over the movements of your cargo: Another benefit of airfreight is that you are privy to the exact time when your shipment will leave and arrive at a given location. And once your merchandise has left their airport, you have the opportunity to track it in real-time.
- Less logistic work, and more money savings: One of the common issues associated with freight is that merchandise must sometimes sit in transit zones for hours before getting picked up by another driver. This type of delay may incur additional warehousing and/or handling fees.