Downsides of air cargo shipping

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There is a lot of talk about the upsides of air freight shipping. That is not unusual. After all, there are, objectively, a lot of advantages to using air shipping. However, when all that is mention are the upsides, people can come to the wrong conclusion. After all, everything has its cons and downsides, and if they are not mentioned, this could point out to a dishonest industry. Therefore, in this post, we will be going to talk about exactly what are the downsides of air cargo shipping.

First among downsides of air cargo shipping  – pricing

You knew this was coming. If you ever took even a glance at moving companies overseas you will know that air shipping does not come cheap. Not even close. But why is that and how does the price of air cargo shipping compare to other forms of transportation?

First among downsides of air cargo shipping  - dollar pile
Air cargo shipping can be expensive!

Well, the cheapest you can go is by rail. However, going by rail is also not that convenient. First off, you are not going tremendously fast. If you are not in a hurry, fine, take rail, but if the logistical chain is strained, you simply cannot rely upon the railroad tracks to get your items where you need them. Secondly, with railroad transport, you are very much limited in the way of where you can go. If you want to transport something from Paris to Bratislava, fine, use the railroad network. Washington to Seattle? Sure. However, if you want to move items to far-flung regions with poor railroad networks, you will need alternatives (look at Ethiopian situation, Alaska or north Canada).

The second option you got is to go by road. However, this also has a limitation. it is more expensive than railroad transportation and requires a lot of organization. Also, speed is not the greatest, and you are limited as to the size of the thing you are moving, unlike trains (figuratively speaking).

Finally, shipping by sea provides a third alternative to the downsides of air cargo shipping. It is cheaper, but way, way slower. In other words, compared to the alternatives, air shipping is the most expensive, but also the fastest, form of shipping there is.

Weather sets the tempo

However, while flying is definitely the best way to get anywhere in this age, this does not mean that you can just go around the globe any time you want. Airplanes are, due to their physical limitation, limited to good weather. No matter if you are flying some low-grade airline or using Transparent International. The end result is still the same. If there is a storm on the horizon, the airplane is getting landed and will stay landed until the sky is clear again and it receives permission for takeoff.

a storm
Weather conditions are a pretty big factor!

That is one of the definite downsides of air cargo shipping. You can rely on air cargo shipping to be fast, sure, but you cannot rely for it to come on time all the time. For those of you who are running a business and need the logistical chain to run unabated, it can present certain problems. However, it is good that you know about these downsides.

Only when you are aware of your limitations can you truly prosper. You can account for the things that you know can go wrong, therefore preparing for them. And, speaking of which, today more than ever we actually know when the weather can turn for the worse. While ages before a course of history would change depending on the weather at certain points (D-day was postponed because of bad weather, for example), nowadays we more-or-less know exactly what the weather will be like in the foreseeable and actionable future. Thanks to very experience meteorological scientists and satellite data, we can predict if there will be a storm, and plan ahead accordingly.

Your space is limited

One of the other big downsides of air cargo shipping you could have guessed from the first chapter is that space is rather limited. Today, airplanes can haul a lot of tonnages. There are firefighter planes that have hundreds of gallons of water, military transporters that throw whole tanks from the air – and the civilian sector is not far back. Today, you can hire some serious air cargo shipping companies to help you with your international household goods relocationThat being said… space is still limited.

There are some serious and not-likely-to-be-overcome-soon limitations to what you can physically fit inside the aircraft of choice. However, the good thing to know is that a wast majority of what you want transported will probably fit. Only great industrial – size pieces of equipment or some obscene amount of supplies cannot fit a modern plane.

Rules and limitations

If you want to go over downsides of air cargo shipping, simply read up on air cargo tariff and rules. You will find that there are things that are not shipped, special requirements, etc.

hammer and two books
What are the regulations you should know about

All of those are, of course, solvable, and rules don’t set the limitation to tightly. However, they do set them. You should go over them just in case.

Advantages that offset air freight shipping

However, all of the disadvantages of air freight shipping we just mentioned are, luckily offset by the advantages of air freight shipping!

  • Fast as it gets. You want something fast? air freight it. There is nothing that is more than 3 days away when you ship it by air.
  • Far as you need to go. One of the downsides of air cargo shipping distance definitely isn’t. There is no horizon far away enough.
  • Low risk – high safety. Despite what many think, air transport is the safest form of transport there is.

In summary

These are some of the downsides of air cargo shipping. And downsides they definitely are, but that is normal. After all, there are disadvantages to pretty much anything. However, we strongly believe that the advantages of air shipping definitely outweigh the disadvantages and that most of the time, air shipping is the way to go!

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