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The honest take on airfreight

Airfreight is the best option when it comes to importing or exporting in the fastest way. Whilst sea freight is almost always the cheapest option it cannot compete with the delivery times of airfreight worldwide. We list some of the reasons for each service and give our take on what to look out for when exporting or importing.

Shipments sent via airfreight can be quicker by a matter of months compared to shipments sent via sea but there are times when sea freight is the best option. When goods are hazardous, explosive or flammable there are restrictions when sending via air. It may only be possible to export or import these products via sea, or the costs associated with sending via air may be prohibitive due to the lack of airlines offering services for these goods.

When is Sea freight best?

– The transit time is not important.

– Cost is an important factor.

– The size of the shipment is too big for airfreight.

When is Airfreight best?

– The shipment is time critical.

– The size is small and can be couriered by air more effectively.

– The transit time by sea makes forward stock planning difficult.

Airfreight sizes

The biggest plane in the world is the Antonov AN-225 Mriya. It holds the world records for the largest single item payload (189,980 kgs). This plane is capable of transporting items that no other plane can, like this generator to Australia.

 However, it is far too big (and too expensive) for the average SME.

Most airfreight, and sea freight, works on the basis of groupage. Lots of small consignments grouped together to take up the available space on the vehicle. This makes it much more cost effective than chartering the whole vehicle for just one consignment.

Door to Airport vs. Door to Door

The most cost effective option will always be door to airport when it comes to airfreight. This means that the receiver will have to arrange the collection from the airport themselves.

Door to Door is much more common in the courier world with small packages and parcels and, in these cases, can actually work out cheaper for small packages than sending via the airlines on a door to airport service.

If you’re not sure which option is best for you then give us a call on 0800 270 7009 and we’ll let you know.

Direct and indirect airfreight

Not all airfreight will come directly from one airport to the destination airport. If the route is long haul or  is not often travelled, then the shipment may travel through additional airports before reaching it’s destination. The most direct route is almost always via courier but anything larger than a box is usually more cost effective as airfreight. Much as with airfreight vs. sea freight, there is a balancing act between speed and cost that each SME needs to take.

The larger the consignment the greater the price difference between sea freight and Airfreight. That’s why it’s important for SMEs to know they are getting the best price for each service. At Bridgeway Freighting, we have spent 32 years building our partnerships with the top worldwide players in both sea and airfreight, leaving us perfectly placed to give you the advice and support when it comes to importing and exporting. Call us on 0800 270 7009 or fill in a quote request here and we’ll get back to you.

Due to an exciting new partnership with one of the world’s leading airfreight wholesalers, Bridgeway are able to offer Incredibly quick and competitive quotes to more airports than ever before.

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