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Know the Costs and Know How To Save On Air Freight Shipping

Apr 29, 2008
Air freight shipping, in most cases, is fairly complicated when it comes to pricing. But there are of course some areas when all you need is to look at the price list and voila- your parcel is already in mid air.

Letters and parcels are often priced based on the weight, size and the service level the shipper chooses. These are often fixed and seldom would one find great discrepancies in pricing. But as for air freight shipping prices, it is no good to be surprised at how high one item can cost.

The National Motor Freight Traffic Association has provided a system of pricing shipments known as the National Motor Freight Classification. This works on the principle of creating classes for items and for each class are some general prices.

Items are basically grouped into various types to make listing easier. This grouping is based on qualifications like loadability, mixed-environment appropriateness, density and a number of other factors. In general, freight classes apply to all items- from express letters to huge machineries including helicopters and planes. Freight classes range from 50 to 500.

Freight shipments are rated by means of "per one hundred pounds" parameter. However, other air freight forwarders make use of per hundred weight system and cwt.

Each freight class is able to provide discounts on the base rate. Plus, there is always a discount given on the transportation rates.

Nevertheless, such discounts can be set off by charges that are often treated as accesorial yet crucial to the base rate that would later come up for the shipment. The most commonly found accesorial charges and surcharges are discussed below.

To save on these charges, it is best to know your grounds first and study in full the terms and conditions of air freight shipping as provided by the freight company.

Lift gate- When there is no forklift or loading dock available, a lift gate service is billed to help drivers load and unload the shipments for residential pickups and deliveries or commercial pick up and deliveries. To avoid complications during the process, it is best that you notify the air freight service provider in case you see the need of a lift gate since trailers are rarely equipped with this item.

Additional fees in reconfiguring routes- Most air freight shipping are designed to follow a route of some sorts. If you require the company to take another route apart from what is earlier set, they would most likely charge you with additional fees for this extra work.

Extra charges on inside pick up and delivery- When you need to have your shipment picked up or delivered inside an establishment or a building, this will impede the carrier to finish his route on schedule. Thus, to set off the expenses they are likely to use, carriers will require you of some additional charges.

Residential pick up and delivery- To off set the costs incurred for transferring shipments to smaller trailers, most air freight shipping companies require extra charges on residential pick ups and deliveries. This is the case since most local laws restrain larger sizes of trucks from entering residential areas.

There are literally hundreds of possibilities for extra payments that would stock up on your final bill. For Less-than-Truckload and Truckload shipments, it is advisable that shippers seek for intermediaries who would not only guide them through the process but would also realize for them some forms of savings.
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