Freight is technically the term used to describe the cargo for shipment. Air freight, on the other hand, is the cargo that is being shipped via air. This may be done using typical passenger airplane aboard the cargo area or through specialized cargo planes dedicated for this special industry.
It is primarily divided into three categories: a) household goods, b) express deliveries, c) parcel shipment, and d) freight shipments.
Each of which is priced depending on the system as provided by the National Motor Freight Classification. Each class also corresponds to the goods that can be shipped. Say for household goods, only those that can be considered furniture and household appliances can be subjected to price ranges and services provided in this area. Express deliveries, in general, include items such as mails, business papers and envelopes. Parcels, on the other hand, include those items that are usually boxed. Freight shipment though covers all other huge items that can’t be accommodated by services functioning in the lower classes.
Air freight is further subdivided into two categories: The Less-than-Truckload Freight which basically accommodate items that are less than 15 000 pounds and have the height of exactly 28 inches or even lesser than that. The other subcategory of freight shipments is the Truckload Freight that covers item weighing 43 000 pounds or less and has the length not exceeding to 53 inches.
Shipments larger than these are often carried by super cargo planes. Those relatively huge items such as military equipments, planes and helicopters are carried through the Antonov AN-225- the largest cargo plane in the world.
For each type of air freight cargo, there is basically some air freight carriers to do the job. Most often than not, smaller items can be shipped using passenger air planes turned into air freight carriers.
Boeing 747-400 is usually configured into air freight carrier since it has space large enough to accommodate items for forwarding. But since it is not purely designed as an air freight carrier, there are some crucial limitations that impedes to its absolute use for this exact purpose. Nevertheless, when used as an air freight carrier, it may function well enough to transport cargoes of various kinds towards their proper destinations.
Air freight carriers like Bekins and North American Van Lines specialize in household goods delivery. FedEx Express, UPS and DHL top rate the field of express deliveries yet it is basically everybody’s game since this field appears to be the easiest route when you want to make money in the forwarding business. Leading air freight carriers in the parcel division (also known as ground shipment) are FedEx Grounds and UPS. While for Less-than-Truckload and Truckload freight areas, air freight carrier names like Old Dominion, AAA Cooper, Averett Express, Roadway, Schneider and JB Hunt are the most trusted.
In the air freight industry, there are also middlemen in the playing field. These are often called as freight brokers since they are the institutions that create arrangements between shippers and air freight companies. Brokers are reached through online marketplaces. They are the best sources for discounts since they have the direct contacts with air service providers.
Major air freight brokers are CHRobinson, Hub Group, Twin Modal and Rockwell.
If you want better and easier access to the names we have listed above, it is best to find sources through online intermediaries such as Transcore DAT, Freightquote.com and uShip.com.