What You Need to Know About Freight Airport Pickup and Delivery

June 16, 2022
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After two years of high restrictions and risk, the air passenger industry is bouncing back. While this does put family reunions and work trips back on the table for some reluctant individuals, many freight experts are delighted at the news due to its direct correlation with available air cargo capacity. However, air freight costs have remained incredibly high despite the improved capacity status. On May 13, 2022, the Freightos Baltic Index reported that the global container index is at $8,236, a significant increase from the $1,487 index recorded for May 15, 2020. With air cargo rates at an all-time high, shippers must stay informed and strategic about their air freight pickup and shipping needs, starting with these five takeaways. 

Accurate Freight Airport Documentation Is a Necessity

While the design of airport-to-airport freight transportation enables it to move items at a fraction of the time it takes via ocean, the process still requires equal amounts of paperwork. Documents such as an airway bill, commercial invoice, shipper’s letter of instructions, terminal charge challan, delivery order, and gate pass must be accurate and complete before reaching the airport terminal center. These documents clarify the care and direction of each load while moving from plane to freight airport drayage transport. And yet, these vital shipping documents can be lost within a moment with the takeoff of a neighboring aircraft. Shippers benefit from partnering with carriers who utilize the best software to digitize the entire documentation process and ensure everyone has access at the tap of a button.

Unique Requirements From Terminal to Terminal

While one might expect differences between international airport-to-airport freight requirements, some domestic airports even have varying requirements from terminal to terminal. While the terminal charge challan or gate pass may contain some details, other differences might be harder to track down. Are there multiple cargo trucking entrances at the airport terminal center? What clearance regulations must the freight airport pickup and delivery team maintain? Are there separate ordinances for those headed to an airport terminal center? Shipping companies and brokers can skip terminal woes by hiring freight airport drayage experts to move their freight faster.

Differing Trucking Size Needs

As mentioned above, different terminals may require various documents, processes, and even carrier sizing when the moving airport-to-airport freight. However, even if there is no carrier size restriction at an airport terminal center, it is wise for shipping companies to consider how small a carrier can transport its load. For example, one pallet of items can often get configured into a sprinter van which is drastically less expensive and more sustainable than a semi-truck. In other circumstances, LTL or shared trucking is a price-friendly, good option instead of FT. Because every air freight pickup provider is different, it’s essential that a shipper partner with those who have expertise in air cargo processing and the varying practical needs each shipment may have.

Gained Time Can be Lost by Lack of Visibility

While the importance of visibility in air transportation starts at capacity availability, it does not end at freight drop-off. Maintaining an active monitoring system for freight in and out of the air is essential. Due to the fast-paced nature of complex airport terminal center systems, cargo can easily get pushed to the side and mixed up within another order. Shippers who employ a freight visibility platform can easily coordinate with air and ground carriers to get their freight moving. Lack of visibility is often the number one obstacle that can delay an expedited load once it hits the hustle and bustle at an airport terminal center.

Rates Are Often Determined by Weight

One of the most significant differences between air freight and ocean is the method for calculating load quotes. While the time-sensitivity is an enormous factor when choosing between the two, the second driving decision-making factor is weight. While a heavy load does not prevent a cargo ship’s buoyancy, it would significantly impact a plane’s lift. Therefore, even small parcel items may be best sent via ocean freight if heavy enough. This is important to grasp since most shippers working with a freight airport for the first time are focusing on the time and not the cost breakdowns.

Experience Every Airport Terminal Center At Its Best With Carrier 911

Although air transportation can expedite a load significantly, the wrong freight airport pickup and delivery partner can slow transport down immensely. Because the nature of an airport terminal center and the associated documentation are complex, shippers need an expedited trucking partner they can trust with all their air freight needs. To partner with an air freight pickup provider with experts and tech available 24/7 to remedy all of your air freight worries, contact Carrier 911 today.

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