In order to optimize your products for air shipment, as a freight forwarder, you have to consider a lot of factors when making modal decisions regarding cargo. It takes a lot of organization, logistics and planning to reach the supply chain optimization. Still, it can be really worth your efforts and with a few tips and tricks, everything is simpler.
What is Air Freight and how can you optimize your products for air shipment?
At the most basic level the term „air freight“ means transporting goods via aircraft.
There are several reasons why shippers opt out for air freight as their transportation method.
- Speed – The air traffic is the fastest way to get goods from one destination to another. It is especially convenient for transferring goods to distant countries. What can arrive by plane for a few days, it can take three times longer by other means of transportation.
- Reliability – Sure, there can be some occasional weather delays, but in the end, air freight is the most reliable method of transporting shipments.
- Efficiency – The quicker your goods arrive, the more efficiently you can distribute and use them.
The costs of the air freight
The big downside to shipping goods by air is the cost. This is the most reliable and fastest way of transferring items, but at the same time, it’s the most expensive one. In order to save some money, you should optimize your products for air shipment. Also, there are some great tips on how to cut the costs of shipping to Europe that you should look at if you wish to make some savings.
Three primary air freight options
When you want to optimize your products for air shipment first you need to decide which kind of air freight you will use. Anyone of them can be beneficial and suitable for your needs and don’t even have to use the same type each time.
Here are the types of air freight:
Next flight out
As the name says it, this type of air fright means that your shipment is in the air as soon as a flight is available.
This is surely the fastest type of air freight, but it also comes with the highest price. Still, it is very convenient when your product has to be on the other side of the country or globe in a very short time. Also, the biggest expert air freight forwarders are using this type of shipment because it is more effective. Sometimes it’s very beneficial to pay a little extra to ship your goods since you will be able to present them to the market faster, which can really pay off.
This type of air freight combines your air shipment with a cargo of other cargo shippers. That means that there is a specific schedule on which the goods are shipped. In order to consolidate the cargo with other shipments, you need to have enough goods to merge together. This type of air shipment is much cheaper, but it doesn’t suit the small providers that don’t have enough cargo to have regular shipments. Also, this can be a great way to ship your belongings when you are moving long distance. You will certainly have enough cargo to merge, and if you’re moving abroad with professionals they will handle this process so you won’t be bothered with it.
Deferred air shipment as the cheapest way to optimize your products for air shipment
This type of air freight implies that your shipment is lower priority freight and it will wait until there is available space on the aircraft. It is still a regularly scheduled air freight, but the shippers simply defer their air cargo to the third, fourth, or fifth business day. Due to the potential for longer transit times, this type of air shipment is the cheapest one, and a great way to save some money when you need to optimize your products for air shipment.
Ways to optimize your products for air shipment
Implement and use shipping software solutions
It is a great idea to request that all the paperwork is sent electronically. By using shipping software, you will have a clearer picture of your cargo. It will also save you some time, and reduce the risk of making errors. It is easy to integrate shipping software program to your company information system.
Utilize the right service levels
Since shipments come in different weight and sizes, you shouldn’t be applying the same air freight strategy on every type of cargo. Sometimes you want to merge your cargo, sometimes the shipment can wait to be sent off or it will be on the next flight. Different shipments have different characteristics and you need to approach each one as the individual case. The shipment of the dangerous goods, for example, will require special treatment and approach.
Insist on visibility
Tracking the visibility of your air freight is crucial. That will give you the insight to identify potential problems and to know where your shipment is during every time. That way you are eliminating the negative impacts on time, money, and credibility.
Maximize your pallet and optimize your products for air shipping
One of the ways to optimize your products for air shipment is to use the space of the pallet to its maximum. Weight is always a factor, but space is equally important. You can reduce the chance of incurring dimensional weight fees simply by packing your shipment efficiently.
Partner with your transportation providers
Limiting the number of providers you work with creates efficiencies and will optimize your products for air shipment. When you partner with trustworthy transportation providers, it will be very beneficial for you. Big providers can do all types of shipments – large and small one, local or international, routine and urgent ones.
Your credibility is more important than the cost
If the speed and reliability are the core of your business, in order to maintain a certain reputation sometimes you will have to cover the costs for a client. If you miss a deadline because you won’t pay the fees for the urgent shipment, you can lose a client which may cost you a lot more in the long run.