When should you use aerial cargo transportation?

There are only a couple of routes you can go when transporting cargo. If you are doing it within the same country, the easiest way might be to transport it via trucks. However, for international freight forwarding, two ways are usually far better – by air and by sea. Now, there are many differences between the two. One is strong in the factors the other one isn’t. And although aerial cargo transportation can be quite expensive, there is a reason why almost 35% of the world cargo shipments is done by air. In this article, we talk about the situations in which you would want to pick air freight forwarding over transporting your goods by sea.

Aerial cargo transportation is faster

A stopwatch - to measure the speed of aerial cargo transportation.
There is no question that air cargo forwarding is faster than the ocean one.

Now, there is no question which wins in the race between transporting your goods by air and by sea. Imagine you are in a need of a good, like a certain machine part, and you need it yesterday. You will obviously pick air freight forwarding options, and get it to you in no time. Where shipments by boat can take up to a month or two, the ones done by plane are only one or two waiting days long. However, since we live in the world where time is money, this is reflected in the cost of these methods of transportation.

However, for your fast delivery to work, you still need proper planning and precision. You need reputable air freight forwarders who can track your delivery to the mile. Shipments can get lost in the planes, and if this is prolonged for even a few days, you will be losing more money than if you decided to ship something by boat.

It should be noted that, with the advancement of technology, sea shipments have been shortened significantly. There are faster ships now, and by building canals, many routes are getting shorter too. Nowadays, there are even freighters that deliver their goods across the ocean in 8 days!

Consider the costs

A piggy bank to save money.
Think about the cost of the transportation.

Now, when you are running the business, one of the most important things you are looking out for is your bottom line. Shipping costs are something that you need to consider here in order to keep working and prosper. And even though aerial cargo transportation is usually more expensive than shipping by sea, this doesn’t always need to be the case.

First, you need to learn about how the different carriers charge for their shipping services. When shipping by air, you get a chargeable weight. This is a combination of both the weight as well as the size of your shipment. On the other hand, sea carriers look at container rates. The common sizes of these are 20′ and 40′. And even though weight does play a small part, you usually get the bill based on the size of the shipment.

The size of the shipment matters for aerial cargo transportation

So, if you are a small business with products less than a container load, you will be charged based on the cubic meters of your product. If your goods are large and heavy, this might not be a problem. However, if you are shipping smaller things, then it may be just better for your wallet to use aerial cargo transportation.

Another thing to consider here is also the destination and customs charges, as well as warehouse fees. So, the sea freight is usually cheaper. However, seaports have warehouses that can be a couple of times more expensive than those at the airports.

Aerial cargo transportation is reliable

People shaking hands, making a deal.
Think about reliability when choosing between aerial cargo transportation and ocean freight forwarding.

When it comes to reliability, there is nothing like aerial cargo transportation. Even though there are some restrictions in air cargo shipments, you can easily fly most of your goods one day and have the customer receive them the next. Planes are going from one major city to the next even a couple of times a day, so transporting things by air has become easy, accessible and fast. Also, the technology is advancing, so there is little room for error with the plane shipments. Even if something goes missing, the plane companies are notorious about keeping their things in check. They will be able to hunt your missing goods in no time.

Ocean freight, on the other hand, can cause many problems with their scheduling. Unlike airlines, they have weekly schedules. It is not uncommon to have a boat be late one or two days. For people shipping personal items, this is not a big deal. However, for companies, one or two days can mean a lot of money. Think carefully about this when deciding between which freight forwarders to use.

Think about how safe your items are

Then, you need to think about how safe your items are. First, the ship journeys can take a lot more time. In this time, there is more opportunity for something to happen to your goods. Then, there are many, many containers on these freighters. If these are not tied well, they can bump against each other or fall over. Finally, there are still some areas of the world where piracy is still an issue. Planes, on the other hand, are often more safe from the attacks, as well as less prone to accidents. Still, you should always think about getting some cargo shipping insurance for your goods.


To conclude, there are many situations where you will want to ship things by air:

  1. Aerial cargo transportation saves you a lot of time,
  2. it can be more cost-effective than shipping by sea and
  3. it is far more reliable and easier to track than sea cargo transportation.

You will still be better off by contacting a freight forwarding company you can trust. Find a company with experience in aerial cargo shipping and communicate with them. They will know the best and cheapest way to get your goods to their destination. This is why it’s important to think carefully before any decision you make.

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