Expedited Air Freight: What is it, When is it Needed, And Why Expertise Matters

October 27, 2022
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If the past three years have taught us anything, it’s that a shipment’s status can change at a moment’s notice. Companies need to have a backup plan in place, especially if they’re moving time- or temperature-sensitive products.


When emergencies arise, it can help to work with an expedited air freight recovery provider. But what exactly are air freight recovery services, and when do businesses need them? Even more importantly, how can shippers know they’ve found a reliable vendor to retrieve their goods in an emergency? These are all questions that we’ll answer in this article.

What is Expedited Air Freight Recovery?

Air freight is the fastest available method of shipping. Whereas moving goods via ocean freight can take weeks, air transportation reaches its destination in a few days (or hours for domestic transport).


But arriving at an airport isn’t the end of the journey. Instead, trucks are needed to pick up cargo from an airport in a process called air freight recovery


Sometimes, there’s a time-critical element to air freight recovery. The shipment must be picked up promptly, or it risks damage and may even be rendered completely useless. The rapid delivery of time-sensitive cargo is called expedited air freight recovery.

What Services Address Air Freight Emergencies?

There are air cargo pickup services tailored specifically to air freight emergencies. These expedited services often make the difference between a shipment getting ruined in transit or arriving safely at a warehouse.


Of course, not all air freight expediters are created equal. There are a few qualities to look for when selecting one.


  • Accreditation – A reliable air freight pickup vendor will prove that they have met or exceeded industry standards by becoming accredited with industry associations. A few to look for are IATA, FIATA, AEO, and Dangerous Goods certification.
  • Experience – Air freight pickup is full of unforeseen events. Weather, shipping delays, traffic accidents, and equipment breakdowns are all par for the course. Be sure to work with a transportation provider who has successfully handled these surprises.
  • Visibility – In expedited air shipping situations, shippers and freight forwarders need to know the location and status of goods throughout the journey. They should consider partnering with a provider that offers visibility solutions, like Carrier 911’s visibility platform.
  • Customer Service – As important as tech offerings are, they must be supported by a team of experts available in an emergency.

Why Your Company Needs Expedited Air Freight Services

Let’s say there is an engine-chain, line-down or aerospace AOG (aircraft-on-ground) scenario. These require immediate freight recovery and delivery to prevent production line revenue loss or provide the needed aircraft component to allow a commercial aircraft to operate.


That’s where Carrier911 comes in with our elite operations team and network of drivers that understand exactly what is required when recovering at an airline. The last thing anyone in the supply chain needs is a driver at the counter without any paperwork being turned away, causing even further delay.

Services Provided by an Expedited Air Freight Recovery Logistics Provider

Large forwarders, shippers, and brokers should look for a few criteria when selecting an air freight expeditor. Each vendor is going to have different strengths, so it’s crucial to find one that’s tailored to a shipper’s individual needs. That said, there are core services that every air freight provider should offer:


  • Cargo Pickup Experience – A reliable expedited freight recovery service should have a few years of experience handling emergencies, especially for your preferred airports and routes.
  • 24-Hour Customer Service – If a shipper requires expedited freight recovery, they also need frequent updates and quick responses to emails or phone calls.
  • Established Relationships With Freight Forwarders and Carriers – Any expedited recovery service provider should know their forwarder and carrier options and have a sense of who can best handle a particular route or location.
  • Freight Tracking and Accountability – The other side of the coin is analytics. A freight recovery partner should measure on-time performance and other metrics to ensure they work with the best carriers.
  • Digital Document Management – Whether cargo is domestic or international, there’s a lot of paperwork involved. A digital platform keeps it all in one place for easier and faster access.

Discover the Value of Expedited Air Freight Services

Little is as critical to business success as shipping operations. When a company can’t get an order on time, it inevitably leads to unhappy customers and damaged goods, with all the associated costs. Businesses can grind to a halt while managers figure out how to get the products they need on time and at the correct location.


Expedited freight pickup services, like those provided by Carrier 911, can add tremendous value. Expedited air freight recovery prevents shipments from languishing on the tarmac and saves shippers the time and expense of dealing with destroyed cargo. To learn more about whether expedited air freight recovery makes sense for your business, contact Carrier 911 today.

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