What to Look for in an Airfreight Pickup Provider

January 10, 2024

Few people would confidently enter a plane if the flight attendants greeted travelers with the frantic warning, “There’s turbulence ahead.” Yet, novice and experienced freight forwarders have heard similar messages constantly over the past two years of supply chain disruptions. The continued effects of COVID-19, an aging carrier workforce, increased fuel prices, and the Russia-Ukraine war has impacted every avenue of the supply chain on top of localized issues.

In September 2021, Supply Chain 24/7 released a supply chain survey that revealed that 75.1% of respondents had experienced significant delays and longer transit times, and 70.7% had experienced scheduling issues. These delays have crossed every transportation mode, including airfreight, which rose to a 41% usage by the survey’s respondents. That is only 0.5% less than those shipping via ocean.

What is Airfreight Forwarding, and How Does it Impact Supply Chain Logistics?

Airfreight forwarding is the systematic management of transporting cargo via air from one destination to the next. Though not affiliated with the carrier’s job of literally transporting freight, the airfreight forwarder is responsible for communicating between both sides of the supply chain. With knowledge of airfreight intricacies, experience negotiating freight contracts, and familiarity cooperating with TSA, freight forwarders stay strategic to maximize the effectiveness of each interaction.

Forwarders guide shippers and BCOs through insurance requirements and recommendations, customs, effective transport packaging, and other logistics needs. Ensuring the correctness of these details prevents additional supply chain turbulence such as ineffective capacity use,  inaccurate documentation, a failed customs experience, and broken communication with airfreight pickup providers. Despite the expedited nature of air cargo compared to ocean cargo, fragmented airfreight pickup communication can cause significant delays that require calling Carrier 911.

What to Look for When Choosing Airfreight Pickup Services

The right airfreight pickup solution can be the difference between a business shuttering and shining. Here are several important qualities to consider when vetting airfreight pickup logistic services:

An Array of Solutions

To be well versed in airfreight pickup, a freight forwarding company must have experience providing logistics solutions for an array of circumstances. Forwarders who pitch their services and negotiate a variety of contracts from multiple angles discover the best carrier partnerships and experientially decide between expedited trucking, standard drayage, inland transport and delivery, short-term warehousing, and more. An airfreight pickup provider should know how to solve international regulation and compliance concerns and actively use the best software to stay on top of the industry climate.

Proven Mastery of Trade

Airfreight has the potential to undergo a wide variety of unexpected events. A sudden change in weather conditions can expedite or drastically delay a shipment. Expertise and experience are vital to ensure every shipper knows their air cargo trucking and recovery team will coordinate with their carriers to minimize dwell time and efficiently get the products to their destination. A master of airfreight pickup will not offer cookie-cutter conventional solutions but will have confidence, flexibility, and a proven track record of adapting to unexpected turbulence.

Business Transparency

Transparency applies to more than the location of a shipment. Business transparency invites the customer into the process by providing up-to-date details on carrier or timeline changes that can be passed on to the consumer. As the supply chain industry gets more competitive, airfreight forwarders must partner with companies that value integrity at every level of service. This is crucial amidst smooth transportation coordination and is required if a shipment is in distress.

Adequate Accreditations

When a company is willing to go out of its way to train at and above industry standards, they showcase trustworthiness, expertise, and reliability. Some important freight forwarding certifications and licensing include:

  • ISO 9001 (International Standard for Quality Management Systems) – This certification clarifies a logistics company’s stance and capabilities to provide quality, efficient, and sustainability-focused business.
  • Dangerous Goods Certificate – A specialized certification that broadens the variety of freight a forwarder and their airfreight pickup providers can receive and safely handle.
  • FIATA (International Federation of Freight Forwarders Association) – Experienced forwarders with a full book of business benefit from applying to this association for a badge among the most competent forwarders in the industry.
  • IATA (International Air Transport Association) – This accreditation is rapidly becoming one of the most coveted certifications in the airfreight industry to quickly prove business integrity.
  • AEO (Authorized Economic Operator) Certification – AEO certificates confirm a freight forwarder’s customs simplification and security-and-safety accreditation that promotes a “pre-check” seamless freight transit experience.

Visibility and Long Term Focus

Visibility in cargo pickup is essential, especially with airfreight. Because air cargo is on such an expedited timeline, it’s important to look for an airfreight pickup provider that utilizes a freight visibility platform to minimize delays and provide the quality service that is needed. This visibility is essential to promoting long-term business relationships instead of one-and-done quick fixes. When visibility and customer service are on point, airfreight forwarders know they’ve found a long-term partner for their short-on-time needs.

Maximize Airfreight Pickup Services and Reliability with the Right Industry Partner – Carrier 911

Despite the decades that planes have successfully transported people and goods, there is a saying that no one can explain why planes stay in the air. However, successful freight forwarders know that to create lift for their own businesses, they need the right balance of tools, partnerships, and expertise on their side. Carrier 911 provides expedited trucking straight to the plane to get your freight where it needs to go fast and correctly. To learn more about what this type of airfreight pickup service can add to your business dynamic, contact Carrier 911 today.

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