There are several benefits to air shipments. You can reduce packaging and reduce weight if you want to lower overall air shipping costs. If your goods are small, you can also choose to send them via truck. However, this option may be costly. For this reason, it’s important to consider the costs and limitations of air shipping. Read on for more information. Also, be sure to consider the time frame of the shipment. Ultimately, it will be your choice.
Air Shipping Costs
The global air freight market accounts for 40% of world trade in goods measured in value. This sector has high capital and operating costs due to the cost of airports and aircraft. However, this cost is compensated for by high margins in revenue. The air freight industry generates up to 45% of its revenue through freight shipments. Hence, it is a lucrative option for international companies. However, it also faces challenges such as increased competition in the air freight fares.
In the Northern Hemisphere, air transportation is the only year-round mode of transportation. Air freight rates in this region are the highest. Table 9.1 shows these rates for comparable 300 km aircraft flights. The costs of air shipment are lower for large aircraft, but larger aircraft need longer runways. Gravel runways are generally too soft in spring, and only specially kitted jet aircraft can land on them. Air transport in the North is expensive for both the sender and the receiver.
Air Shipping Limitations
Besides the ease of air shipment, air freight also enables connecting areas that are inaccessible by road or sea. The global coverage network of air freight makes it feasible to deliver goods virtually anywhere in the world, including areas in Central Africa. Another advantage of air shipment is the lack of hassles and bureaucracy, which are associated with shipping. Moreover, different countries have different rules and regulations regarding the transport of goods, and these can affect the air freight shipping process negatively.
However, it is important to consider that not all items can be shipped via air cargo. There are certain limitations to the size of the plane and its weight. A plane’s cabin space is small and it can only hold a certain amount of cargo. Another constraint is the weight, as exceeding the weight limit will reduce the lift of the aircraft. Similarly, liquids that cannot withstand high pressure or high altitude cannot be shipped by air, and must be transported by sea or road.
Air Shipping Safety
When transporting goods by air, safety is of the utmost importance. The United States alone transports more than one million shipments of hazardous materials each year. The industry is projected to grow by 4.9% annually in the next five years. In order to ensure the safe and timely delivery of dangerous goods, airlines must follow strict regulations. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) helps identify risks and works with the ICAO to amend regulations when necessary.
The IATA is the trade association of airlines worldwide. It represents about 82% of the world’s air traffic. It works with ICAO to set standards for air transport of hazardous materials. The U.S. Department of Transportation oversees the transport of hazardous materials by air. The IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGRs) are the bible for air freight hazmat procedures. They are composed of IATA airline procedures, technical specs, and additional safety requirements.
Shipping by air is fast and convenient, but it also comes with its own set of complications. For example, cargo that is flammable and dangerous might not be spotted until it’s in transit. However, if a shipment is time-sensitive and has to be delivered in a hurry, it might be a good idea to consider expediting it. In most cases, expediting adds no more than one day to the delivery date.
The process of air shipping goods is similar for both domestic and international shipments, although international shipments require more thorough documentation and customs clearance. When air shipping goods internationally, time frames are even shorter: most shipments arrive at the destination within two to three days. And because cargo typically travels on one plane from origin to destination, the chances of theft or damage are minimal. This also reduces the cost of warehousing, which helps air shippers maintain smaller inventories.