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Types of Air Freight Options

Apr 29, 2008
Due to the inevitable changes occurring around the globe and the need to quickly send and receive various items across countries, the airline industry has birthed a new way of shipment- air freight.

Air freights are basically cargoes on the shipment which are typified into various categories to make shipping more organized and easier. Some primary basis of categorizing air freight are:

Type of the item How large is the item, in terms of the number of items in the shipment and size, and, The number of days or hours it takes one shipment to arrive on its pointed destination.

Shipments, on the other hand, are categorized into the following:

Household goods include art pieces, furniture and other similar items which are primarily transported using Household Goods (HHG) carriers such as North American Van Lines and Bekins.

The "Express" category, on the other hand, include personal items and small business goods which are often considered as overnight shipment (or express shipment, express letters, and overnight express). Such transports are carried by shipment companies like FedEx Express, UPS and DHL.

Since most items falling under this category are relatively small and don't normally weigh heavier than a couple of pounds, they often come in the carrier's own packaging.

Service levels vary depending on the service offered by the carrier or the personal choice of the shipper. These normally travel by air and may be delivered on the exact day it was sent to the carrier or may take several days of travel.

Packages that are slightly larger and heavier than express items are considered as parcels. These include boxes of shipments, regardless of the content. Carriers like UPS and FedEx Ground provide the services for this type of cargoes. Parcels cover most of the business-to-consumer items and services and don't often exceed 100 pound-weight category. Since these are relatively small, they often come on the shipper's or carrier's own packaging.

Types of services on this category also vary. However, a number of ground shipping can travel for 500 to 700 miles a day in around 3 to four days, depending on the service rendered by the shipper or the service option the customer chose. Such shipments don't often travel by air, instead they move through road and rail.

Freight shipments cover the largest cargoes in the industry. It is subdivided into two major categories, mainly: LTL of Larger-than-truckload freight and TL or truckload freight.

Less-than-truckload shipments are also known as motor freights. These often cover the bulk of business to business transactions. The range of services vary from carrying 100-pound items up to those not exceeding 15 000 pounds. Since LTL trailers are just as long as 28 inches, most air freights of this kind cannot exceed this length.

Unlike with smaller packages, shipments don't often come in company packaging.

Truckload freight covers larger shipments from 15 000 pounds to 40 000 pounds with a maximum length of 53 inches. This type of air freight differs from all other categories since these don't normally stop along the travel and are not intermingled with other shipments. Most are frequently arranged via freight brokers and online marketplaces.

When availing this type of air freight, it is best that one understands in full all the terms covered including the claims, pricing and insurance.
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