Air freight forwarding services are a blessing for those who wish to send shipments quickly over long distances. As per information gathered from various sources, air freight represents around 0.5% of the total international cargo, but simultaneously accounts for more than 30% of worldwide shipment value. It also features different aerial transport options, including passenger, combi and cargo grade planes.
From the viewpoint of a customer or potential shipper, the international market of air cargo can be branched into 4 main supplier categories as per their fundamental business:
- Integrators or International Express Companies – ship parcels and envelopes up to a weight of 75 kg.
- Freight Forwarders – take consolidations and parcels greater than 75 kg
- Couriers or International Courier Firms – same as integrators (transport cargo weighing up to 75 kg).
- Postal Companies – ship anything weighing up to 30 kg
The part involving real air transport is outsourced by the above mentioned firms to an operator. The integrators, however, are an exception because they operate an in-house fleet to provide for their own transport requirements and outsource partially.
But in the middle of everything, air freight forwarding service providers are still the most important and traditional handlers of the kind of work they do. They book, contract and process more than 80% of the total international aerial cargo consignments. They effectively compile and customise, wherever necessary, D2D (door to door) supply chains of cargos for customers.
Typical air cargo includes goods that have a commercially or operationally critical delivery time or a high value:
- Diplomatic mail
- Hatching eggs, live animals, human organs and remains, medical supplies
- Express parcels
- Perishables (flowers, food, dry ice shipments)
- Technical supplies (oil & gas, ship spares, high tech, automotive, aerospace)
- Luxury items (fashion goods, accessories, electronics)
- Valuables (diamonds, gold bars, money)
An usual supply chain generally consists of five primary steps:
- Shipping (assembling shipment, making ready for transport and ordering the transport)
- Forwarding out (pricing, booking and preparation of shipment)
- Forwarding in (pick up of shipment documents)
- Consignment (acceptance of the shipment, unpacking and inspection)
While planning to ship goods via air transport, it is important to find a reliable and efficient freight forwarding service provider. There are many reputed companies in UK, such as MNS Freight , with excellent overseas shipping services at cost-effective and reasonable rates. These firms usually provide one agent per customer, along with a substitute who can offer assistance to the client party in absence of the agent.