Air freight is the fastest, safest, and most efficient means of moving cargo over long distances. And if you are working with high value goods, perishable goods, or to a tight deadline, it is usually the most sensible solution. However, before you commit to moving your freight by air, there are a few important facts that you need to be aware of.
Four Air Freight Facts to Understand Before Sending International Cargo
Some products cannot be shipped via air freight
Due to safety concerns, there are a wide range of goods that will not be accepted for air freight. So, it’s really important that you check the eligibility of your cargo before you make a booking.
Restricted air freight cargo include:
- Explosives of every kind
- Compressed gas, including fire extinguishers, dry ice, and aerosols
- Flammable liquids, such as fuels, alcohol, and air fresheners
- Flammable solids, including matches and activated carbon
- Items that may be categorised as biohazards, including untanned animal hides
- Biochemical materials, such as medical waste
- Magnetic items
- Corrosive materials – including batteries
- Goods categorised as dangerous, such as lithium batteries, radioactive materials, and any product that includes a ‘danger’ sign on its packaging.
You must be aware of trade sanctions
If you’re a seasoned exporter, you’ll likely be aware of any trade sanctions active in the territories that you’re working in. But if you’re starting out in a new territory, it is always wise to check if there are any governmental restrictions on the freight you are intending to move.
Paperwork is everything
As well as trade sanctions, there are other areas that you need to properly manage when shipping overseas. You have to use the right HS codes. You must agree incoterms with your client. And there is the matter of customs to deal with – and all the related administration.
If you’re new to shipping, or you’re importing from territories where you don’t have boots on the ground, a freight forwarder may be your best option. At Plexus Freight, we offer a range of additional air freight services to our clients, including the completion of all freight administration. Get in touch with our customer service team to find out more.
You need to consider your freight’s entire journey
Shipping by air freight involves more than a single journey. In fact, you have three distinct journeys to consider.
- The point of pick up to the airport.
- The flight.
- The final leg from the airport to your intended destination
You need to find a carrier or freight forwarder capable of safely managing every part of this process. Including any warehousing needs. While it is possible to work with multiple providers, it can become both costly and complicated. Working with a single freight forwarder enables the provision of a cohesive, trackable service.
If you need to quickly move goods internationally, air freight is usually the only viable option. It is flexible, secure, reliable, and the more you ship, the more cost-effective it becomes. But if you are going to take advantage of all that air freight has to offer, you mush understand the limitations and regulations. And one of the best ways to ensure that you are on the right track is to work with a reputable freight forwarder.
Find out more about Plexus Freight’s air freight services.