An air freight quote is a business document that explains the pricing structure for a freight movement, the cargo routing, the transit times and the terms and conditions to be considered while using air freight services. An ideal air freight quote assists businesses to analyse the landed cost of their cargo, estimate delivery time, handover date, container packing schedule and associated in-transit deadlines and risks. Not having a yearly contract with your air freight forwarder or beginning to trade with a new business partner makes it essential to check the air freight quote for each individual movement. Checking an air freight quote requires expertise and experience, as a small missed out point or assumption can delay the cargo and significantly increase your air freight costs. Established freight forwarding providers in Australia provide individualised, complete and error free air freight quotes each time, as air freight requirements can vary by customer for each shipment. Therefore, to meet shipping targets, it is essential for Freight, Logistics solutions and Supply Chain Managers in Australia to act proactively and understand all the essential points of an air freight quote before shipping the goods. This reduces the risk of mistakes and assists them to meet their targets by using error-free air freight services.
Read on to learn the essential elements that every business should check in an air freight quote before shipping an air freight shipment.
1) Check cargo routing to avoid delays and additional cost
A complete air freight quote states the cargo routing. Cargo routing plays an important role in determining the landed cost and the transit time. Air flights with multiple stopovers take more time and may incur extra freight fowarding costs in comparison with direct flights. It is not always this way so best to double check. Not having knowledge about the route of your air freight shipment creates an information gap as well as a lack of clarity about transit time and landed cost. Proactive managers check the cargo routing and this assists them to meet the targeted transit time and landed cost.
2) Check completeness of air freight charges
Freight charges make up a large part of a landed cost, and the landed cost assists to determine the sale price of a product. To calculate the accurate landed cost of a shipment it is essential that the air freight quote include all the anticipated charges. To make air freight quotes competitive and to try and win new freight forwarding business, many unprofessional freight forwarding service providers provide only half of the anticipate charges or an incomplete list of charges. This type of freight forwarder prefer to keep ambiguity in their air freight quotes and prefers to keep their customers uninformed. Smart freight forwarding managers check the completeness of an air freight quote and confirm the landed cost before shipping any shipment.
3) Check airline frequency to meet delivery deadlines
Air freight is the fastest shipping mode and leaves a very small window for production, export clearance and container packing. All operations should align in a way to meet delivery deadlines. However, governments and airlines have very strict policies and restrictions for safety and security. These norms and changes increase the risk of a last minute cancellation and can delay the cargo for hours or even days. To manage these delays and meet deadlines, air freight cargo should be connected to the next available flight. An air freight quote should include the frequency of the flight so that shipments can be packed and delivered to the airport without disturbing the pre-determined shipping schedule and cost structure.
4) Check validity of an air freight quote
Air freight rates are very volatile and impacted by the crude oil price, seasonality, port congestion and government policies and in line with this, air freight quotes will have a limited validity. Businesses usually gather and finalize the air freight quote days before sending the cargo. If your air freight shipment runs a few days late, you may find you quote has expired. Smart business managers understand this and plan ahead by confirming their air freight quote with their freight forwarding company a week prior to their shipping schedule. This saves them from last minute worry and can assist them to achieve their targeted landed cost.
5) Check terms and conditions
Cost and transit time are two parameters used to check the competitiveness of an air freight quote. It is a wise decision to check terms and conditions as well. Terms and conditions include payment terms, packing requirements, cut-off times, legal aspects and other important information. Not checking the terms and conditions section properly can lead to unexpected charges, instant payments or delay the cargo. To choose the best air freight service provider for your shipment, it is essential to check the terms and conditions section carefully.
6) Check for IATA accreditation
IATA, which stands for the International Air Transport Association, is trade association that represents airlines. IATA also accredits Cargo Agents. Only accredited IATA cargo agents can book air freight cargo space directly with airlines. If you work with a non-accredited freight forwarder, they will book with a wholesaler, which means that one more company will mark up cost for your air freight shipment. This is easily overcome by working exclusively with IATA accredited cargo agent such as BCR.
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 Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Fremantle (Perth).