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How to include air freight in your logistics strategy

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

In the fast-paced world of global commerce, efficient logistics play a crucial role in the success of any business. Among the various transportation options available, air freight stands out as a popular choice due to its speed and reliability. However, like any mode of transport, it has its own set of advantages and drawbacks that must be carefully considered when integrating it into your logistics strategy.

Benefits of air freight transportation:

1. Speed and efficiency

One of the most significant advantages of air freight is its unparalleled speed. Airplanes can cover vast distances in a matter of hours, drastically reducing transit times compared to other modes of transportation.

This rapid transportation is ideal for time-sensitive goods, such as perishable items, pharmaceuticals, and electronics, ensuring they reach their destination promptly.

2. Global reach

Air freight connects destinations across the globe, making it a vital component of international trade. This widespread coverage allows businesses to access markets and customers worldwide, enabling them to expand their reach and compete on a global scale

3. Reliability

Air freight is renowned for its reliability. Airlines adhere to strict schedules, and the chances of delays due to weather conditions or road congestions are significantly lower than with other modes of transport. This reliability is crucial for meeting customer expectations and maintaining a reputable brand image.

4. Inventory management

Using air freight allows businesses to keep lower levels of inventory in stock. With faster delivery times, businesses can adopt a leaner inventory management approach reducing warehousing costs and improving overall cash flow.

Disadvantages of air freight:

1. Cost

The primary drawback of air freight is its higher cost compared to other transportation options. Shipping goods by air can be significantly more expensive, especially for bulky or heavy items. As a result, businesses must carefully balance the cost of air freight against the potential benefits of quicker delivery.

2. Limited capacity

Air freight’s limited cargo space can pose challenges, particularly during peak seasons or when demand surges. Booking space on cargo flights might become difficult, leading to higher costs or delayed shipments.

3. Environmental impact

Air freight has a significant carbon footprint due to the fuel consumption of airplanes. The higher emissions associated with air transport contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

Businesses must consider their environmental impact and seek to offset it through sustainable practices and strategies.

4. Restrictions on certain goods

Certain dangerous or hazardous goods may be restricted or prohibited from air transport due to safety concerns.

Businesses dealing with such goods must find alternative transportation methods or comply with strict regulations to ensure the safe delivery of their products.

5. Customs clearance and handling

While air freight speeds up the transportation process, customs clearance procedures at airports can still cause delays. Additionally, the handling of cargo during loading and unloading can sometimes lead to damage if not properly managed.

Incorporating air freight into your logistics strategy:

Air freight is a valuable tool in any logistics strategy: offering speed, efficiency, and global connectivity.

While cost and environmental impact are important considerations, careful planning and a balanced approach can help business leverage the benefits of air freight while mitigating its drawbacks.

By analysing your specific needs, calculating costs, and optimising your logistics operations, you can include air freight effectively in your supply chain, enabling your business to thrive in the competitive global marketplace.

1. Analyse your goods and market

Begin by analysing the nature of your products and your target market. Identify which goods require quick transportation due to their perishability or customer demand.

2. Calculate costs and margins

Evaluate the cost implications of air freight for your products and calculate how it affects your profit margins.

Determine the price elasticity of your goods and assess whether customers are willing to pay a premium for faster delivery.

3. Implement a hybrid approach

Adopt a hybrid logistics approach that combines various transportation modes. Use air freight for time-sensitive goods and lean inventory management, while employing sea or ground freight for less time-critical products to reduce overall transportation costs.

4. Choose reliable partners

Select reputable freight forwarders with a track record of on-time deliveries and excellent customer service. Establish strong partnerships to ensure smooth operations and consistent service.

5. Embrace sustainability

Offset the environmental impact of air freight by investing in sustainable practices and exploring eco-friendly transportation options where possible.

This commitment to sustainability can also resonate positively with environmentally conscious consumers.

KATA Global Logistics provides tailored solutions to meet your needs

At Kata Global Logistics, we understand the importance of fast and reliable air freight services for businesses that need to transport goods quickly and efficiently. That's why we offer a range of air freight services to meet our customers' needs, including express, standard, and deferred options. Our team of logistics experts works closely with our customers to understand their specific requirements and provide tailored solutions that meet their needs. Air freight is an ideal choice for those who need to transport their products quickly and efficiently.

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