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What is air freight shipping and how does it work? The first question most people are familiar with, the second is likely much less clear. Partnerships between airlines and knowledgeable freight forwarders can be a powerful duo.

Air freight shipping is the transference of goods from one place to another via aircraft. Simply put, it is a mode of transportation that individuals or businesses can choose if expedited shipments are needed. But how does this process work? Air freight exports, on a very basic level, transpire in the following way:

1. Shipper reaches out to logistic partner.

2. Logistic partner (or freight forwarder) gathers commodity and shipment details.

3. Air freight forwarder plans the logistics (or movement) of the goods.

a. Forwarder arranges for trucker to pick-up goods from designated warehouse to airline.

b. Forwarder books a flight.

c. Forwarder sends a pre-alert to their overseas agent letting them know a shipment is on the way.

d. Overseas agent begins arranging for customs clearance and pick-up.

e. Forwarder continuously tracks shipment and process to make sure everything runs smoothly.

4. Consignee receives the goods.

This is a basic behind the scenes synopsis of an air freight shipment. There are numerous variants that must be tracked, avoided, and scheduled by the air freight specialist that are not listed above. There are books written on the complexities of freight forwarding and all that must be logistically implemented. This, on the other hand, merely gives you a general idea of the process.

Why ship via air?

The reasons shippers choose to ship their goods on an aircraft are innumerable. Below are a few of the more notable issues:

  • High demand – High quality goods

  • Need for expedited freight

  • Need for added safety and regulations

  • Capacity access (due to the frequency of scheduled flights)

  • Delivery time predictability

Over the past 14 years, worldwide air freight traffic has consistently increased year-over-year by 22.5 million metric tons [according to]. The air traffic surrounding cargo is increasing, so freight forwarder efficiency must follow. While partial automation and innovation are both currently being talked about in this industry, it is vital you find a logistics partner equipped to handle the work load in your supply chain.

Detailed accounts, strategic planning, and deliberate networking are all involved in an air freight shipment, most of which the shipper never deals with if they are partnered with the right logistic team. CLN Worldwide has developed partnerships on a global level with a team of professionals readily available to assist your transportation, customs and compliance, distribution, and legal needs. If you have any other questions or concerns, or if you would like to get a free air freight quote, please feel free to contact us HERE.

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