Types of Air Freight Cargo Services Available

by | Sep 15, 2014 | Transportation & Logistics

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Shipping items by air is quick and almost anything can be shipped as air freight. There are three different categories of air cargo services, including passenger airline freight, cargo plane freight and super cargo planes. While you may not need to choose the specific type of plane that your cargo will be shipped in, it is helpful to know the different services available for different items.

Passenger Airline

On a passenger airline, there are regular people that use the airplane as passengers. They are simply getting from one area to another, just like your freight. Many postal services and courier services lease space on these planes to transport items, which benefits the companies and the airlines, as commercial airlines can receive up to 10 percent of their annual revenue from hauling cargo.

Usually the packages are from multiple shipping companies and are packed into specialized containers. Each airplane can hold different amounts of cargo, depending on its size. For example, larger passenger planes hold over 400 passengers and can hold the same amount of cargo as two semi-trucks.

When no commercial flights are scheduled, these planes can also ship only cargo, and will use the passenger areas to hold freight, as well.

Cargo Planes

Most courier companies own their own special cargo planes to ship items by air. Many of these planes have multiple levels and can hold as much as five semi-truck’s worth of cargo inside them.

These planes are created for the sole purpose of sending cargo and usually come equipped with electric rollers in the floor of the plane so that goods can easily be moved to the right area of the plane.

These planes can hold a lot of cargo, both large and small, but not everything can be transported using these options.

Super Transporters

A super transporter is a different class of airplane altogether. It is designed specifically for moving very large and heavy items. In many cases, these items include helicopters, machine equipment, construction equipment and even other airplanes.

These planes are built so that almost the entire plane can be filled with freight. Doors open wide enough so that if it fits into the airplane, it will be able to get into an airplane. The super transporter can haul approximately 47 tons at once. While most companies won’t need something of this size for their products, it is important to understand they exist.

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