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Airfreight or air cargo allows the transport of goods by air and is one of the most common types of transport within logistics. Air transport of goods continues to make major advances and is considered to be greatly beneficial as a mode of shipping.

International air transport of goods is extremely fast – often getting goods shipped across continents in just one day, and around the world in a few days more. It also promotes and generates economic growth, and is essential for global business.

Considering using air transportation as a shipping method for your business? See a range of advantages and disadvantages of air transport of goods here…

Advantages of air transport

Speed – this is the main advantage as the greater the distance that needs to be travelled the more time gain is made, and inaccessible places can be reached within deadlines. For urgent requirements, there’s no substitute.

Safety – airline companies have great responsibility for cargo that’s being shipped, and airports have stringent security measures in place to lower the risk of theft. With air shipping, only minimal handling is necessary, reducing potential damage to goods.

Delivery times kept to – airports are typically located near business centres making the journey to the final destination punctual.

Arrival and departure times are consistent – planes fly on average every hour, and you can track your products to ensure they’ll be delivered on time.

Less reliance on storage facilities – small businesses benefit from faster delivery of packages resulting in reduced dependency on warehousing facilities. As cargo can be shipped quickly this can be a huge advantage for inventory control.

Flexibility for global shipping – opening many doors to multiple countries through air transportation means businesses can serve more customers.

Follows the most direct route – mountains and forests don’t cause obstructions, and customs formalities can be quickly compiled resulting in a route free of obstacles.

Disadvantages of air transport

There are a few negatives when it comes to international air transport of goods and these include:

Cost – as air transport takes much more fuel than other options it is simply more expensive, and air freight rates can be extremely high.

Limitations on size of cargo – size and weight regulations will impose restrictions on what you can ship, making this mode of transport unsuitable for bulky goods.

Adverse weather conditions – planes can be grounded and airports shut down in extreme weather, delaying shipment for several days and making the service unreliable.

Risk – with minor disruptions having a major impact air transport is probably the most uncertain choice, with the chances of accidents being greater in comparison to other modes of transport.

Unsuitable for specific products – there’s an entire range of items that can’t be transported by air including explosives, gases, batteries, flammable solids and liquids to name just a few.

Vast investment required – construction and maintenance of airports takes huge amounts of finance, alongside training and sourcing experienced and skilled personnel.

Environmentally unfriendly – compared to shipping goods by other transportation methods such as by sea.

Airfreight companies

Airfreight companies are global providers of premium air freight services in the transportation industry. Choosing an air freight company that suits your business needs can be done online – you’ll be able to get multiple quotes from specific freight forwarding agencies using online quotation tools– but the larger companies will probably offer the most solutions.

The size of airfreight forwarders is a consideration as for smaller businesses you may want to work with international companies that have a responsive customer service. This will ensure any issues are resolved quickly, and all documentation needed is ready to go. Your questions and concerns will be dealt with promptly through effective means of communication.

Experienced companies have extensive networks, so their relationships with various airlines will be first class. Their knowledge and experience will streamline the entire process for you. It’s a good idea to research the security credentials of your chosen airfreight company and to ask for references.

If you need air transport of goods to or from Spain there are many fourth party logistic companies, co-ordinating multimodal solutions of air and ground transportation. The most suitable options will be selected on your behalf – giving you the most effective method alongside the best value for money.

Shipping companies will be able to offer different options for arranging your air freight delivery including:

  • Consolidated freight – often referred to as consols, where one flight contains consignments from many shippers booked under a single master air way bill.
  • Direct services – where a single shipment is transported in the hold of a scheduled plane.
  • Charter services – entire freight planes can be commissioned for a single air freight delivery, but this happens rarely and is extremely expensive.