What are the options?
Your company has a shipment of 8 pallets with car parts that need to be transported from China to France. Normally the logistics team uses sea transport, but shipping routes have changed because of the current situation. Due to the rerouting around the Cape of Good Hope, the transit times to Europe increased on average by 30%, and also the shipping costs are rising. As the goods need to arrive on time, alternative transport modes are being considered.
Air freight emerges as the only transportation mode for this shipment to reach its destination on time. What type of time-sensitive air freight solutions are available and which steps should be taken to arrange the air freight?
Type of Air freight services
In certain critical situations, special air freight services can be the most viable and reliable mode of transport. When seeking time-sensitive air freight solutions, it is crucial to identify the service that best aligns with your company’s specific requirements. We specialize in three distinct types of air freight services handling special goods and time-critical deliveries.
With an air charter, an entire aircraft is exclusively rented to transport goods that require customized air freight services. This is different from a normal air freight shipment that can consist of goods from multiple companies. Air charter provides maximum flexibility in scheduling, routing, and loading. It provides solutions for organizations that need to ship sensitive goods ( e.g. medicines, exclusive spare parts) or with limited route schedules to a remote location.
When to use an Air Charter?
It is mainly interesting for goods that have a high financial impact if not delivered in time. For example, if a car component for a production line is delayed, it can have a high financial impact when production needs to stop. In such emergency situations, the cargo’s schedule must exactly align with the charterer’s requirements.
Air charters can offer a cost-effective solution for transporting specific types of cargo that may not be feasible with traditional air cargo services. This includes large, heavy, or high-value items, as well as goods that require specialized handling or equipment. While air freight services are generally pricier compared to sea or road transportation, the overall cost can be balanced out through savings in areas like insurance and logistics maintenance.
Next Flight Out
As the name already suggests, Next Flight Out (NFO) is an express air freight service. In emergency situations time-critical goods will be dispatched onto the next outbound flight that is heading out to its destination. It is a premium service whereby the air freight team searches for the fastest route for the shipment.
The difference between Next Flight Out and Air Charter is that with NFO, they will make use of scheduled flights. While with Air Charter, the flight is scheduled according to the exact needs of the company that needs to ship its goods.
Opting for Next Flight Out
Businesses in different industries sometimes have to make use of NFO. Not only for medical supplies, but also to keep production lines running, avoiding downtime. Manufacturers that miss the delivery deadline, make use of NFO to send the critical components over. When using this service, the components are picked up, and placed onto the next available flight without delay. A door-to-door service can be added to get the components to their end destination.
A car manufacturer that usually ships its pallets via Sea transport from China to the United Kingdom, was experiencing serious shipment delays due to the current Red Sea conflict. The company consulted us for Air freight solutions to make sure the car parts arrived on time at the factory, avoiding costly production stops.
An On Board Courier (OBC), or similar used terms such as ‘Hand Carry Service’ or ‘Personal Courier Service’, is used for the secure and fast delivery in person of high-value items or time-sensitive goods to its final destination. It mostly concerns small packages and parcels. An experienced transport team connects all stakeholders involved and arranges all necessary steps: from trustworthy courier, ticketing to airlines, customs brokers and the final mile. A dedicated courier will personally accompany the goods, ensuring safety and timely delivery. An OBC can hand-carry the cargo as a passenger on a commercial airline, ensuring a safe and unbroken chain of custody. The customs clearance process is done on priority.
This service is not only used by the fashion industry for luxury goods but in fact, it is used for a wide range of goods, including intellectual Property documentation, medical supplies, and manufacturing components.
Considering OBC Service?
In a nutshell, OBC can be considered for time-sensitive or high-value goods that require special handling and urgent delivery. Items such as samples, prototypes, confidential documents, or supplies that require personal supervision and secure handling. Our transport team keeps the customer well-informed via real-time tracking.
OBC services do have restrictions on the dimensions and type of cargo they can handle due to safety regulations and air travel. The limitations depend on the luggage regulations per airline and should be checked per OBC request. Also the destination, and any other regulatory requirements may impact the limitations for goods. In general, 1 item cannot exceed the maximum weight of 32 kgs.
Obviously, dangerous goods and items containing any hazardous materials or liquids are not allowed. Common commodities being shipped via OBC can be aerospace parts, electronics, documents and automotive components.
A recent OBC shipment we took care of was for a manufacturer of cooling fans.
The business needed to transport 3 boxes of 12 KG each with spare parts from a specific location in Lithuania to their factory in Germany. Pickup and delivery needed to be done within a specific time frame and under high-security conditions.
Our Time-Sensitive Air Freight Solutions
Our well-trained team of air freight experts has a strong worldwide network and is connected to 300 airlines in over 120 countries. They know their way with general cargo but also specialize in express solutions for pharmaceuticals, dangerous goods, and perishables. If your company would like to know more about our air freight solutions or desire a tailored quote, please get in contact. We are happy to support you, 24/7.
Read more about air freight here.