Airfreight logistics, particularly when you are shipping a decent amount of goods, are not easy to understand. In fact, it can be quite complex. This is why many companies will use a freight forwarder to handle their shipments. It reduces the amount of hassle associated with airfreight logistics hugely. It can, in some cases, also help a company to save a small amount of money.
If you are shipping small to medium size packages, you may want to look into a consolidation services. Many freight forwarders will buy space on an aircraft in bulk. They get this incredibly cheaply. Companies will then be able to purchase this space from the freight forwarder. The goods will leave at an incredibly specific time and will go to a particular airport. This method is normally used when the goods are OK going to a popular airport. It is very rare that a consolidation service will be used to ship goods to smaller airports.
If you are going to use a freight forwarder, and it is suggested that you do, it is important that you make sure that they meet the following requirements:
- Are they going to be fine using multiple transport methods to get your goods from point A to point B? It is unlikely that your goods will be collected by the recipient from the airport. They will need to be passed on over to rail or road travel. You need to know that your freight forwarder is fine with coordinating this.
- Is the freight forwarder a member of a freight forwarding body? If they are, this is a plus. It means that they conform to very specific requirements. This often means that they have insurance in place which ensures that you are covered should your goods not arrive safely.
- Do they have experience shipping your particular type of goods?
- Do they have experience shipping to the country where your goods need to land?
If you are not shipping huge amounts of goods, you will probably just wish to use a courier service. These will collect the goods from your place of business and deliver directly to the customer. There will be no fees to pay beyond the service cost that you have opted for. The only fee you will have to pay will be duties and taxes in the receiving company, should the customer not wish to cover them. Generally speaking, if your package weighs less than 30kg then this is the best way to go. If you are using a freight forwarding service then that is going to be fine for goods over 30kg, although some couriers may offer that option.
You should always use airfreight if you are shipping goods which can perish. After all, road transport, rail transport, and boat transport are notoriously slow. You do not want the goods to perish before they arrive, right? After all, that will completely ruin your goods and you will not be able to make any money on it!