International air freight can be defined as anything an airline transports except packages, parcels, mail and passenger luggage. Moving goods in this manner is usually faster than using road, rail or sea but with speed comes a higher price tag. Be sure to shop around in order to obtain an air freight company within your budget. Fill in our quick form below to receive up to 5 free quotes from companies around the world.
Many companies choose to send goods via air because there is less risk of damage to the goods. Travelling by truck, for example, can occasionally deliver a bumpy ride.
In the late 1920s, airlines began moving cargo and companies quickly saw the benefits of speedy deliveries and reduced inventory needed on hand. The international air freight industry grew steadily and then finally erupted thanks to the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978. The air cargo industry now brings in an estimated $50 billion each year, which accounts for 35% of all internationally sold merchandise.
The Canadian-based International Air Transport Association (IATA) represents over 200 passenger and cargo airlines. They set global standards for safety procedures, environmental regulations and financial systems. They also host a variety of events around the world throughout the year; their Annual General Meeting is always a hit with over 600 representatives in attendance. Freight and trucking companies, line haulers, brokers and air freight forwarders operating in the United States of America rely on the Air Freight Directory, or Air Cargo Inc. (ACI) Guide, as an essential tool. Air Cargo Inc. was actually the first airline dedicated exclusively to cargo. Another valuable resource in Australia is the Logistics Association of Australia (LAA) and in the USA is the Air Transport Association of America (ATA). Consignors, airlines and the government collaborate together to ameliorate standard operating procedures and as a result, the ATA acts like a library of data and statistics.
An international air freight company will most likely have a strong network of airports in order to ensure daily shipment schedules. They may work with the air carriers themselves, or utilize the services of a cargo agent who will process the consignments and receive a commission from the corresponding airline. These airlines might use the cargo hold, or belly, of a passenger airplane to transport the goods (these compartments are located in the undercarriage of the plane), whereas other airlines have planes specifically dedicated to air cargo. Such all-cargo aircraft are also called freighters and they are built for transporting unit loading devices (ULDs) like pallets or containers. Loose, or bulk, cargo an also be transported through the use of bulk cargo carts which enable the items to move from the plane to another destination, be it a terminal, truck, warehouse, etc. An adjustable belt loader is used during the transfer process to safely load or unload the goods. Bulk cargo is usually stored in the lower deck of a cargo plane, while containers and pallets are kept on the main deck. Experts in the business know that even if the plane has room for more, the maximum gross payload (total weight of the cargo, containers, pallets and their accessories) cannot be exceeded.