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While ‘air freight’ might seem relatively self explanatory, understanding just how this growing industry works can be a great starting point for making the most out of the services at hand. From understanding the carrier types your cargo could be flying on, to understanding which kinds of cargo are typically sent by air, we’re taking a deeper look at the processes involved with getting your goods from A to B.

The Carrier Types

Little to known to most, the types of planes you could utilise for your cargo shipment can differ and will ultimately suit some shipments better than others. Here are three of the main forms:

  • Passenger

Cargo shipped in a passenger plane tends to be stored under the passengers in the aircraft’s belly. These planes are typically used for smaller shipments and the space is more prominently used for passenger’s bags, though in some cases, urgent shipments may also be shipped using these planes. Some shipments, made during these flights, can also be made using couriers flying as passengers. More commonly, however, cargo aircraft and ‘combi’ aircraft are used. Some better known examples of these planes include the Boeing 737 or Airbus planes.

  • Cargo Aircraft/Freighters

Cargo aircraft, often known as Freighters, are designed entirely for the use of transporting freight shipments from one airport to another. The cargo is typically stored throughout the plane, both in the main deck or in the belly. The whole nose can be opened on some models, though it’s also possible to find cargo aircraft designed with side cargo doors for easy access.

  • Combi Aircraft

Combi aircraft has been specifically designed to transport both passengers and freight from one airport to another. Typically, these planes feature a half-and-half design. The cargo will be stored behind    the passengers in a separate compartment, accessed by an entirely different door. Additionally, cargo can also be stored in the belly of the plane underneath the passengers to make the most of the space available.

What Is Air Freight Typically Used For?

Regardless of which type of plane your freight ends up on, there are certain types of cargo that are more commonly found flying by air freight than others. This can include anything that is expensive to produce and needs fast, reliable shipments with minimal travel time, or for any urgent deliveries that might need to reach overseas destinations in a few hours rather than a few days. It can be a more cost-heavy alternative for those just seeking standard shipments, but for time-sensitive produce or limited delivery times, air freight can be ideal.

Is It The Choice For You?

Air freight may suit some shipments better than others. For those needing a quick shipment via a direct service, air freight offers the choice of having any kind of shipment arrive at its destination in just a few days, if that. This is particularly beneficial for smaller shipments, as air freight is typically charged by weight rather than volume, so you’ll only pay for the weight limit your cargo takes up. Damage is also far less likely than when sending via sea freight, and your goods will be in transit for a much shorter period of time, giving you peace of mind that they are secure, safe and in one piece in most cases.

Of course, the higher costs of air freight can make sea or road freight a better alternative for those on a stricter budget and cheaper options, like consolidated flights, require you waiting until the flight is completely full before it can be sent. Regulation is also strict, so you’ll need to ensure that your goods are able to be sent by air before you come to make your decision.

Air freight offers the opportunity for speed and efficiency, particularly with smaller shipments, but it can often be the higher costs that turn some away from opting for this ideal. Here at Barrington Freight, we aim to offer the best quotes on all kinds of shipments, so fill in our online quote form for a fast quote, today.



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Barrington Freight Ltd,
Bowden House,
Luckyn Lane, Basildon,
Essex SS14 3AX