International shipping is always fraught with worry over how long a shipment will take to reach its ultimate destination. Air cargo is the only form of shipping services that ensures shipments will arrive quickly and efficiently. However, the cost of air cargo shipments can be restrictive to many small businesses as shipments are usually charged by weight and size. Therefore while shipping documents and other small goods or highly valuable items by air cargo might be a good idea, larger items and bulk shipments are generally sent by sea freight. In fact, according to FedEx’s Chief Operating Officer Michael Ducker, ‘air cargo accounts for around 2 per cent of international trade by volume, but around 40 per cent by value.’
As well, the air cargo industry has been going through much fluctuation lately due to the economic shifts that have started taking place all over the world. In October 2009 such cargo shipping services from Indonesia to the United States and Europe was down by a whopping 40%. Meanwhile Indonesian air cargo shipments to China grew by 34.1% last year according Edi Prayinto, a manager of PT Bioretika Semesta/DHL Express. The shifts represent the global change in trade patterns being felt all over.
The air cargo industry offers timely solutions for businesses looking for last-minute or time-sensitive solutions to their international shipping needs. It is also hoping to expand their offerings so that they can safely and effectively transport dangerous goods worldwide. The IATA is at the forefront of an industry-wide push to regulate and oversee this growing area of business for the air shipping services sector. In fact, the air cargo industry is constantly trying to improve the services that its members offer and to find new ways of expanding their reach.
Business that are faced with having to rely on shipping services can choose between several methods of commercial transportation currently available including sea freight, air freight cargo and either shipping by truck or train. The method that a business ultimately chooses will reflect their budgets, their timelines, the fragility and value of the goods they are shipping and the frequency with which those shipments must be sent. Express cargo shipments are the best solution for businesses that have small parcels that need to get somewhere quickly. It is also the best choice for companies sending highly value items long distances and it is the best way to send cargo that needs to be accompanied by an agent or someone else.
Although far too costly to ever become the most widely used form of commercial transportation, the air cargo industry is cementing its position as the shipping service of choice for those looking at getting their packages somewhere in a rush. As well, air shipping cargo offers the distinction of having regular, planned flights to different parts of the world, so it is almost possible to get something to where it needs to go within a 24-hour timeframe – something that is not at all possible with any of the other shipping methods around.