Moving abroad for your new job but worried about air freight services? Having a new baby and eagerly awaiting mom’s handmade jumper and special treats? Need important papers delivered on time? Dabbling in business and need your goods on time? Air Freight services today connect a globalised world, fitting in the jigsaw puzzles of people and places, cravings and desires for food, clothing, lifestyle and living. But things changed in 2019, triggered by a pandemic that brought air freight services to a halt. In 2021, a new vaccine in the horizon promises a revival of the thriving air freight services. Here are few things to keep in mind before selecting air freight services in 2021.
Availability of Air Freight Services
With the COVID-19 pandemic causing serious disruptions in sea and air freight consulting services, the former particularly so with long port hauls and custom restrictions, availability of air freight services is the biggest question. According to the International Air Transport Associations’ (IATA) monthly market report, the amount of available airlift for cargo in January 2021 was less than 2019. What it translates to is, pressure on cargo owners and logistic companies, having to pay through their nose and deal with reservation delays to guarantee spots on passenger or all –cargo carriers.
Air Freight to transport COVID-19 vaccines
An estimated 7.4 billion parcels are flown each year, and approximately 2.5 million lives are saved every year thanks to vaccines shipped via air, according to the IATA. Air cargo has been critical in the global fight against COVID-19, transporting vital equipment and medicines to those that have needed them most. With the much anticipated arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine, the air freight industry and the pharmaceutical cold chain logistics companies are encumbered with pressure to execute an unprecedented worldwide distribution effort. Understandably this will be priority over other air freight services offered to end customers.
Freight contributes to supply chain costs
The air cargo services market is segmented into air mail and air freight. That freight is the biggest contributor to supply chain costs is well known. But in 2021, businesses and individual using air freight services have to educate themselves about all aspects of freight including hidden costs, which might affect them. Costs such as duty charges, GST, storage charge, demurrage charges, detention charges, quarantine charges, inspection charges, and waiting time charges can add up to a lot.
Air Freight services are set to grow in 2021, with the industry making recoveries after the COVID-19 slump. According to the “Air Cargo Services Global Market Report 2021”, released by the Business Research Company, air freight services have seen a 15% compound growth from 2020 to 2021, with trends indicating further growth in the years to come.
Time as a factor for Cost
One of the most obvious reasons for businesses and individuals to choose air freight over sea freight is time taken in transit. Air freight is the appropriate choice for those who want their freight urgently and are willing to pay a higher price for shipping. However, before one takes on air freight as the obvious choices for determining urgency, it is good to research all options. For examples shipping
from Shanghai to Australia by sea in some cases can take as little as 13 days. As end consumers and businesses, it is important that all information on time, source and destination is sought before making one choice over another. The other thing to check is insurance premiums for air freight and sea freight before deciding what to go with.
Air Freight and Carbon footprints
Many business and individuals place great importance on having a “green” brand or targeting environmentally conscious markets, and sea freight is generally more environmentally friendly than air freight. One such study taken up by the Department of Education, Food and Rural Affairs in the UK, conducted a study on greenhouses gases and found 44 times more emissions by CO2e by air freight services providers.
Load Capacity and Air Freights
Ocean shipping wins hands down in shipping heavy and bulky cargo much easier than air freight. Air freight is also restricted by fewer destinations, while ocean freights can cover large continents. Ocean shipping offers storage facilities at much lesser costs than air freights which can increase supply chain cost tremendously.
Lastly, throughout the course of this pandemic, air freight costs have risen significantly, partly due to high demand and limited capacity but also driven greatly by increase in e-commerce services and continuing demand for medical supplies. As businesses and individuals make the decision to transport their goods, it is wise to triangulate costs with competitor offerings which may include faster shipping or stock in hand options.