What are the costs of shipping by air?

Cargo is shipped in many ways, and there are cargo trucks going around the country every day. However, when shipping internationally, you will have to take a different approach. This is where ocean and air shipping comes into play. When it comes deciding whether you will ship by water or air, however, there are many things to factor in. Usually, two most important factors and the cost and the speed of the shipping. In this article, we talk about the advantages and disadvantages of air shipping, as well as the costs of shipping by air.

What is Air Shipping

There are many advantages of air shipping.
There are many advantages of air shipping.

Air shipping is, simply put, moving cargo by planes. There are many advantages of air shipping – it is fast and reliable. For example, moving cargo by the ocean can take from 20 to 30 days from the United States to Japan. On the other hand, air shipping takes about 3 days. That is quite a significant difference.

There are also two kinds of air shipping – the express and international one. The express shipping is usually done by one company. They handle the package reception, moving it and bringing it to the designated area. Basically, they are in charge of the package from door to door. The cargo here is usually small (less than 1 cubic meter in volume, or less than 200 kilograms in weight).

On the other hand, international shipments are larger. They move from carrier to carrier, and they are a bit harder to handle. However, they still move as fast when sent by plane. Think about these things when finding a moving company, such as Kokusai Express Japan.

What can you Ship by Air?

There are, however, some limitations to what you can ship by air. This is where you need to think about the costs of shipping by air. Sometimes, ocean freight is cheaper, and thus a better choice for you and your company. As is always the case, there are some exceptions to every rule.

These items are usually better off when shipped by air:

  • electronics,
  • clothes,
  • pharmaceuticals,
  • documents and
  • seasonal shipments.

Electronics and clothes are constantly changing. Sometimes, there will be a new model or a new clothing style developed within a week. This is why you need to ship them fast, and you need to ship them safely. That is why many people choose to ship these by air. Also, these are usually smaller and lighter (at least when it comes to clothes) than other items, so the costs of shipping by air are not as significantly different than the ocean freight.

Pharmaceuticals are also very light, and they usually have expiration dates. That’s why getting them to the buyer promptly is important. Seasonal shipments are also included here because it is often a priority to get them to the buyers quickly.

Documents are light and easily shipped, so companies usually pick air shipping for them.

Pros of Shipping by Air

As we have mentioned before, there are many pros to shipping by air.

The first advantage of shipping cargo by air is the speed. The commercial planes can often move up to at the speed of 575 miles per hour. On the other hand, ocean liners develop speeds of 16 to 18 miles per hour. This is around 30 times slower than the speed of a plane. The difference in speed by which the air cargo is transported then becomes quite apparent.

The air shipping is reliable. With the development of technology, there was a need to better track your cargo. Nowadays, many air freight forwarders offer great tracking services. You can see where your package is by going online at any stage of the cargo transport.

Finally, air shipping is safer than the ocean freight. Although the sea piracy has dropped quite a lot in recent years, the air shipping is safer because of many other reasons. The most important one is that the cargo is better handled, and travels significantly less, and thus there is less chance of something bad happening.

Cons of Shipping by Air

One of the main disadvantages of shipping by air is the price. The costs of shipping by air can rise up quite quickly when dealing with heavy cargo or big boxes. Let’s say you are moving a medium sized 2000 lbs box from East Asia to the United States. Whereas sending the box by sea would cost around $1,200, sending it by air can approach $4,000. This is a significant difference, so be careful when deciding the way in which you will ship your cargo.

Air shipping is not quite eco-friendly.
Air shipping is not quite eco-friendly.

Another disadvantage may frighten you if you are ecologically conscious. A Defra study has concluded that 2-ton package carried over 5,000 km by ship emits a 150kg of CO2e (a measure of the relative potential for global warming). On the other hand, a plane carrying the same package will emit 6,605 kg of CO2e. This is a massive difference with terrifying ramifications.

As you already know, air cargo is usually light. Heavy items may boost the price quickly, so sending them by plane might not be effective for your company.

How to Estimate the Costs of Shipping by Air?

There are four properties of cargo that factor into the costs of shipping by air. It is the cargo’s weight, size, but also the distance it travels and the time in which it needs to arrive at the destination.

There are many things that factor in the costs of shipping by air.
There are many things that factor in the costs of shipping by air.

The weight might be the most important one to consider. It is the primary factor that many companies take into consideration when deciding on the cost of transportation. When measuring your package, make sure you measure it with the box and packing materials. You don’t need any fancy scale – the one you have at home is enough.

The size is the second thing to think about. All boxes take up a place in the storage, so a smaller box will cost you less. Sometimes you need to send a light item, but its size is just not practical for planes to carry.

The final two factors that decide the costs of shipping by air are the distance and the speed of travel. If you need to send a package long distance – it will cost you more (and you will need international air freight forwarders). If you need it to arrive promptly – it will raise the costs of shipping.

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