Know the Costs and Know How To Save on Air Freight Shipping

Air freight shipping, in most cases, is fairly complicated when it comes to pricing. But there are of course some areas when all you need is to look at the price list and voila- your parcel is already in mid air.

Letters and parcels are often priced based on the weight, size and the service level the shipper chooses. These are often fixed and seldom would one find great discrepancies in pricing. But as for air freight shipping prices, it is no good to be surprised at how high one item can cost.

The National Motor Freight Traffic Association has provided a system of pricing shipments known as the National Motor Freight Classification. This works on the principle of creating classes for items and for each class are some general prices.

Items are basically grouped into various types to make listing easier. This grouping is based on qualifications like loadability, mixed-environment appropriateness, density and a number of other factors. In general, freight classes apply to all items- from express letters to huge machineries including helicopters and planes. Freight classes range from 50 to 500.

Freight shipments are rated by means of “per one hundred pounds” parameter. However, other air freight forwarders make use of per hundred weight system and cwt.

Each freight class is able to provide discounts on the base rate. Plus, there is always a discount given on the transportation rates.

Nevertheless, such discounts can be set off by charges that are often treated as accesorial yet crucial to the base rate that would later come up for the shipment. The most commonly found accesorial charges and surcharges are discussed below.

To save on these charges, it is best to know your grounds first and study in full the terms and conditions of air freight shipping as provided by the freight company.

Lift gate- When there is no forklift or loading dock available, a lift gate service is billed to help drivers load and unload the shipments for residential pickups and deliveries or commercial pick up and deliveries. To avoid complications during the process, it is best that you notify the air freight service provider in case you see the need of a lift gate since trailers are rarely equipped with this item.

Additional fees in reconfiguring routes- Most air freight shipping are designed to follow a route of some sorts. If you require the company to take another route apart from what is earlier set, they would most likely charge you with additional fees for this extra work.

Extra charges on inside pick up and delivery- When you need to have your shipment picked up or delivered inside an establishment or a building, this will impede the carrier to finish his route on schedule. Thus, to set off the expenses they are likely to use, carriers will require you of some additional charges.

Residential pick up and delivery- To off set the costs incurred for transferring shipments to smaller trailers, most air freight shipping companies require extra charges on residential pick ups and deliveries. This is the case since most local laws restrain larger sizes of trucks from entering residential areas.

There are literally hundreds of possibilities for extra payments that would stock up on your final bill. For Less-than-Truckload and Truckload shipments, it is advisable that shippers seek for intermediaries who would not only guide them through the process but would also realize for them some forms of savings.

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Your Guideline for Choosing the Type of Air Freight Services You Need

One’s choice of air freight must be dictated by their immediate and long term needs which maximize the services provided by air freight companies. Obviously, one only has to avail of certain services that he truly needs.

There are various types of air freight services specially designed for specific purposes. While many may perform multiple objectives, it is still best not to tax yourself with money and time just by choosing the service that you don’t actually require.

Since not all packages have the same size, weight, type of delivery and duration of delivery, air freight industry has created various methods and categories wherein customers may choose their needed type of service. In this article we would try to discuss in brief the various air freight services that you may choose from. Please read on.

The simplest form of cargo shipment falls under the household goods category which include items such as furniture, house accessories and pieces of goods similarly typed in this section. Since these don’t normally require special services, your cargo may be delivered on the same day it was sent or depending on the service option chosen.

The second class of air freight is the express or overnight express delivery. These normally cover items such as mail letters, small envelops and other smaller items. Since they are relatively light, cargoes of this kind come in air freight company packaging. Two of the most notable air freight company rendering this service are the FedEx express and the UPS.

Depending on the available service options, prices and type of delivery may vary including the duration of travel. Most items in this category travel some distance through air and may go coast to coast in a couple of days or overnight.

The next category available is the ground or parcel shipment. Since items in this type are slightly larger and heavier than the first two categories, the shipping of items may take a number of days and may move anywhere from 500 miles a day to 700 miles. Most ground shipments weigh around 100 pounds or less and each item don’t normally exceed 70 pounds.

Depending on the service provider, parcel shipments may either travel by road, rail and air. However the latter is rarely offered.

This shipment covers most of the business-to-customer type of service and is often used by companies that make use of cash-on-delivery system of purchase.

When you need is the service of shipping much larger and much heavier stuffs, you might want to look into your options covered by the freight shipments.

Less-than-Truck-Load is the service that you must avail if you have cargoes of less than 15 000 pounds. Most shipments of this kind cover business to business shipment and are often referred to as motor freights.

This type of air freight service often comes in mixed freight environment which means that cargoes are combined with some other shipments and can be transferred from one carrier to another, depending on the type of service the shipper has chosen.

Shippers are required to arrange for their packaging since most air freight carriers don’t give any form of assistance in packaging the cargoes.
Meanwhile, Truckload Freights are the largest of this kind. They go anywhere from 15 000 pounds to 43 000 and length can extend up to 53 inches long.

This type of shipment is often mixed with other shipments in one equipment and arrives at the exact trailer they were shipped on.

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How Does Air Freight Service Works

Our present day living is driven by the need to communicate, to be informed and to send various items worldwide. And due to time constraint and the immediate necessity to transfer everything in the fastest mode of transportation available, the airline and cargo industry devised ways of carrying cargoes while maximizing time incurred during the process.

Cargo shipment by air is now termed to as air freight service. Items shipped at this mode range anywhere from a couple of pounds to as much as 43 000 pounds. Therefore accommodating almost all items that need for immediate shipment.

Parcels and express letters are typically the easiest to ship due to relatively handy size and weight. For larger-sized items however, various methods of shipment are required for travel and services vary depending on the number of categories including:

  1. The size and weight of the item
  2. The duration (number of days) required for shipment
  3. The type of item

There are four basic categories for shipments namely:

a. Household goods which cover items such as furniture and the likes.

b. Overnight express or express shipments that deliver personal and business items which are observably lighter and smaller in size. These often come in the packaging of the carrier or the service provider and are often delivered overnight or within a couple of days, depending on the choice of service the shipper agreed on.

Parcel delivery, on the other hand, covers those items that are typically boxed. The services vary and packaging may be provided by the company or should the shipper chooses, may be shipped on the box of their own.

The duration of delivery varies yet typical of this kind is the speed of 500 to 700 miles per day, providing it a coast to coast travel of around 4 days.

Beyond this types are the LTL and TL freights. These are the actual air freight services and obviously cover cargoes that need big-time shipments.

Items covered in this category often weigh 15 000 pounds to around 43 000 pounds and have lengths not exceeding 53 inches long.

For each type of service level comes different corresponding prices. Parcel and express packages have pretty simpler system of pricing as compared with cargoes covered in the Less-than-Truckload-Freight and Truckload Freight which have more complicated systems of pricing.

National Motor Freight Classification is the system of pricing that monitors and dictates what price must be given to each item depending on its loadability, density, mixability and a number of other factors.

Theoretically, fragile items require higher costs of shipment since they fall in the freight class 125 to 500.

Denser items such as industrial machineries and steel require lesser care yet take most of the weight falls under the freight class 50 to 85.

Generally, these freight classes have assigned prices for which the assigned class corresponds to the base rate given.

While most air freight service providers can be contacted directly, heavier cargoes require freight brokers for easier arrangements and for the facilitation of savings. Such brokers can be contacted through online marketplaces. They have the hand for directly arranging shipments at much lower rates since they act as intermediaries between carriers and shippers.

It is good to remember that when shipping cargoes with any type of air freight service chosen, you must know in full all the terms and conditions included.

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Factors that Affect the Air Freight Rate

As with all expenses, air freight rates change all the time. This is because of the fact that many factors affect the pricing of various services and resources used in air freight. Learning about the different factors affecting the air freight rate could help you anticipate changes in the rate. This means that you will be able to maximize the costs of shipping.

What factors affect air freight rates?

1) Demand – demand affects the prices of everything. The more that people want to obtain a certain service, the higher the cost is going to be. This is the basic principle of economics. When the demand for certain shipping services rises, the air freight rates rise with it.

Demand determines the willingness of a company to part with its product. Demand determines the price because hey, if people are willing to pay more for your product, then you would be willing to sell it at the highest possible price, right?

2) The containers – the shipping containers, also known as the Unit Load Devices are designed to protect your cargo from the damages caused by the journey. Different items require different containers. If you are looking for a special container to protect your items, it could add a bit more to your air freight rate than what you anticipate.

The containers used in an air freight service are usually suited to different types of cargo. This means that the type of item you are shipping will affect the air freight rates. If you want to include additional security measures to protect your cargo, then you would have to pay more money. This is often applicable if you are shipping pets, livestock, or works of art.

3) Manpower – the amount and specialization of people required to ship your products will also affect the air freight rate. This means that the type of service you require will change the air freight rate. Do you wish your items to be handled by experts who will take care of your items, then you might need to add some cash in order to cover the additional manpower.

Manpower also includes the various people who will handle the paperwork of your cargo. Obviously, it will take the expertise of more than one person to make sure that your cargo remains as safe as possible.

4) Speed – this factor is second only to demand on its effects on the air freight rate. It is often the case that companies have different air freight rates based on the speed by which they can deliver your items. There are companies which offer faster delivery services for additional charges. There are companies who can deliver your items in one day, and some companies can even deliver your goods within a few hours. The speed of delivery is very important because it is often the case that customers stick with an air freight service because of the speed by which they can get the job done.

Of course, there are many more factors that affect the air freight rates charged by various companies. These main factors, however, should prove to be enough information in order to help you save a lot of cash. When you study these factors, you would be able to budget your money easier and thus, maximize your resources. This means that you can ship more goods at lower air freight rates.

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