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Airfreight – What do your different freight, clearing and transport rates mean?
Airfreight is perfect for transporting goods reliably and fast! A trip that could potentially take 20-30 days via ocean freight can easily be cut down to 2-3 days via air cargo. When choosing an airfreight company to transport your goods, it is important to be aware of the different ways in which chargeable weight is calculated, as well as the different clearing rates and surcharges you may be subjected to paying. A good understanding of the cost breakdown of airfreight rates will help you make an informed decision between air carrier companies, and may also save you some valuable money down the line!
As you may know, when it comes to air freight shipping, weight and volume are important factors when determining cost – some air freight carriers charge by volumetric weight (weight determined by volume), while others charge according to actual weight, depending on which ends up being more expensive.
Volumetric weight is calculated by multiplying the parcel’s volume in cubic meters by 167. If the volumetric weight exceeds that of the actual measured weight of the parcel, the volumetric weight will be the chargeable weight, and if the actual measured weight of the parcel exceeds the volumetric weight, the actual weight will become the chargeable weight.
In addition to the chargeable weight, you’re likely to be faced with the following charges:
Fuel surcharge: Fuel surcharges are charges meant to compensate air carriers for the fluctuating price of fuel.
Security surcharge: Security surcharges are usually charged by the terminal provider at the origin or destination, and they are only applicable to air freight. This surcharge covers the cost of additional security measures that are sanctioned by the airport authority.
Container freight station handling charge: A container freight station charges a fee for consolidating cargo at the origin airport, and this fee is calculated according to the volume of the cargo.
Container freight terminal handling charge: A container freight terminal also charges a fee for the deconsolidation of cargo at the destination airport, and this fee is again related to the volume of the cargo.
Airport transfer charges: Airport transfer charges are charges associated with the transfer of goods from one airport to another.
Customs brokerage: A fee paid to a customs broker for the preparation of documents and clearing of a customs entry upon the arrival of a shipment to a port of entry. Customs brokers work with senders to complete and submit import declarations that ensure that goods are legally allowed to enter a destination country. They also coordinate payments, provide answers to client queries, and provide informed advice related to the complex rules and regulations that govern imports and exports.
Pickup and delivery (for door-to-door costs): Charges that are paid when transporting goods from the vendor to the origin airport and from the destination airport directly to the recipient.
Cargo insurance: The transporting of goods across the world comes with certain risks. Cargo insurance is an extra fee paid in order to cover the costs associated with protecting shipments from physical damage or theft. Insuring cargo ensures that the value of the goods being transported is protected against potential losses.
Accessorial charges: An accessorial charge is a charge added to an air carrier’s freight invoice for services that the carrier performed beyond the standard pick-up and delivery operation designated at the time a shipment is tendered.
Impact of Covid-19
It is also important to note the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the cost of air freight shipping – air cargo rates have doubled since March 2020 due to increased consumer demand, limited capacity, travel restrictions, and decreased passenger travel.
There’s no arguing against the fact that airfreight shipping is a faster and safer alternative to ocean freight, but the way in which chargeable weight is calculated, as well as the potential costs and surcharges associated with airfreight shipping, are all important factors to consider when deciding between different airfreight carriers. Airfreight charges can change at a moment’s notice, and harnessing a good understanding of freight quotations will help you make an informed decision when comparing different carriers’ quotations – ultimately saving you money.