The management of air freight can be complicated and requires specific freight forwarding skills and knowledge. Negotiating with air freight suppliers and performing each task in a timely manner is just the start.

Air Freight and Freight Forwarding Managers can improve their air freight operations with a bit of inside knowledge. This includes efficient cargo packaging, knowledge of flight routes and transshipment points, advance cargo planning, an annual contract with your freight forwarder, cargo consolidation and errorless documentation. It can assist you to save time, cost and effort and make most out of air freight.

Read on to learn 6 secrets every business manager should know to improve their air freight operations.

1) Efficient packaging matters

Air freight is the fastest yet most expensive mode of transportation. Airlines always compare between the gross and volumetric weight and charge on the higher weight. Here, the packaging dimension of your cargo play a very significant role in determining your volumetric weight and every extra centimetre increases your cost.

Further, due to size limitations, a few extra inches in packaging can stop your cargo from being loaded on the plane. It requires proper information of allowable sizes and efficient packaging skills from the air freight provider.

3PL services providers in Australia are the suitable partner for this activity. 3PL providers have the experience to pack your cargo in a most efficient way, without leaving any unused space and to ensure to keep the dimensions within the allowable limit for air freight.

2) Flight route and transshipment points are important

Transit time and safety are the two most important features of an air freight operation and should be managed with perfection for safe, on-time deliveries. The flight route and transshipment point both affect the transit time and safety. Knowledge of this is required to achieve the planned results.

However, in reality, most of the managers skip these factors and concentrate only on loading and unloading points. Long flight routes increase transit time. Multiple transshipment points result in a higher risk of damages by allowing multiple handlings. Collaborating with smart 3PL providers and freight forwarders reduces this risk by keeping you informed about flight routes and transshipment points to improve your air freight experience.

3) Plan air freight in advance to avoid space constraints

Air freight is an option taken for transporting urgent and or high-value cargo. The availability of air freight space can create a challenge and can become a major reason for delays. This of course then defeats the entire purpose of using air freight as a freight forwarding mode.

To avoid this last minute hassle, advance planning of cargo is ideal. Advance planning not only provides you with ample time for cargo preparation and documentation but also assists you in getting better freight rates. Engaging with an experienced IATA accredited air freight forwarder can assist in advance planning, booking and space assurance of your cargo. Forward planning will assist in making the connection to the desired flight and assist your freight to arrive on time.

4) Sign a yearly contract to reduce risk and cost

Air freight rates are dependent on the price of oil and also space availability. International oil prices can change suddenly and affect the air freight rates. Likewise, buying spot rates at the last moment can substantially increase your air freight costs.

Leading business managers in Australia know this fact, they sign annual freight-forwarding contracts with an experienced freight forwarder to achieve consistent air freight prices with minimum fluctuations throughout the year.

5) Consolidate shipments to reduce air freight forwarding costs

Consolidating multiple shipments will reduce your freight forwarding costs. Many costs such as customs clearance, documentation and transportation are based on per shipment and affect the total air freight costs substantially. These costs can be reduced significantly by consolidating shipments that need to be shipped within a similar time frame.

Taking assistance from an experienced air freight forwarder, you can plan to consolidate shipments based on the fixed air freight schedule. A knowledgeable freight forwarder can review your delivery commitments and plan to consolidate and load these multiple shipments as one and meet the same delivery commitments, thus reducing your air freight costs.

6) Correct documentation will avoid detention and demurrage

The short transit time in air freight services provides a very small window for customs clearance and documentation processes. Businesses should be prepared and provide all the documents to your freight forwarder before your air freight cargo arrives at the airport.

Further, any error in documentation will detain the cargo and lead to additional detention and demurrage costs. Experienced air freight forwarders have the necessary knowledge of the required documentation and procedures in place to accomplish the ideal execution of the entire process to ensure a timely and economical clearance of the cargo. Click here to learn what documents are required to get your freight moving.

Air freight services are an important part of your supply chain and improving your air freight operation will assist you in achieving your supply chain targets.

In the air freight market, things are very dynamic and need continuous improvisation. Apart from freight negotiations, every supply chain manager can benefit from being aware of these 6 secrets. Additionally, your air freight forwarder should be aware of your goals and assist you to achieve the desired outcome.

For more than a century, BCR has continued to help small, medium and large businesses achieve an optimum logistics solution with warehousing and transportation, including air freight and sea freight services to and from the major ports including BrisbaneSydneyMelbourne, Adelaide and Fremantle (Perth).