When to choose air freight logistics
- For fast moving and high valued goods, sensitive shipments and products with shorter shelf lives – documents, samples, electronics, seasonal products;
- If the shipment has to arrive to a landlocked country – mostly if land transportation in the respective country is not well developed;
- For businesses that need to ship samples of materials before exporting their manufactured products to a client located in another country;
- In general, if the transportation cost is not higher than 20% of the total cost of the shipment.
Air freight nowadays
According to the analysis issued by IATA, following the high growth in the air passenger travel, the air operators have been concentrated their efforts into the expansion of the passenger fleet. This led to a shrinkage of the cargo space in the airplanes.
Moreover, the transportation of some goods has switched from air freight to ocean freight, due to lower transportation rates. Thus, many shippers turn to international air freight transportation only for the most urgent shipments or for highly valued shipments.
As a consequence, air cargo services have registered a lower efficiency in comparison with the previous years.
Nonetheless, there are remarkable improvements made in digitalizing the processes (the start of the transition from paper air bills to electronic ones), increasing the safety and reducing the delays.
The future of air freight transportation
Air freight has already become a crucial part of the international transportation. Even if it implies the highest costs in the transportation industry, air freight logistics have changed the way goods move around the globe.
Improvements are still to be made. The biggest concern is the big environmental impact the air transportation has. Air freight generates significantly higher carbon emission in comparison with ocean liners and road freight. This puts a pressure on air companies to take responsibility and be actively involved in taking sustainable measures to reduce the footprint.
At the same time, because a higher fuel price instantly translates in higher expenses for international freight, it is expected that air cargo transport will become more a part of the multimodal transportation than a single mode of transportation. By combining different means of transport, the total costs of transportation can be better balanced.