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International Forwarding Association Blog » Air freight in Europe

Air freight in Europe

Meeting Diverse Logistics Needs with Air Charter Services

In logistics, air charter services play a multifaceted role, facilitating urgent deliveries, accessing distant locations, and managing oversized cargo. Their ability to meet diverse transportation needs makes them essential across various industries.   Meeting Urgent Delivery Deadlines Air charter services stand out for their unmatched ability to speed up delivery times. Unlike traditional air freight in Europe, which must adhere to the pre-set schedules and routes of commercial airlines, air charters fly directly to the closest airport to the destination. This speed is not just beneficial but critical for emergency shipments of medical supplies, transportation of high-tech equipment or prototypes,… Read more

How Pilot Preferences Shape Air Cargo and Freight Forwarding

In the competitive landscape of aviation, pilots’ preference for passenger airlines over cargo operations is shaped by factors such as career development, training opportunities, and quality of life. This preference not only impacts the career trajectories of many pilots but also influences the operations of ground freight forwarders.   Career Development The appeal of passenger airlines largely stems from the wide range of career development opportunities available. Pilots in passenger aviation have the chance to fly a variety of aircraft, from smaller jets suited for regional services to larger aircraft designed for international flights. This variety enables pilots to familiarize… Read more

Revolutionizing Air Freight with Infrastructural Advancements

Air freight forwarding is undergoing infrastructural transformations, with key developments such as the modernization of runways and taxiway systems, advanced air traffic control equipment, and automated cargo handling. These improvements enhance airport operations and result in a more efficient, secure, and rapid movement of goods.   Modern Runway and Taxiway Systems A major infrastructural improvement in air freight forwarding is the modernization of runway and taxiway systems at airports. Enhancements involve LED lighting for improved visibility, upgrading the runway surfaces, and installing ground radar systems for managing aircraft movements on the tarmac. For ground forwarders, this translates into fewer delays… Read more

Advanced Security Measures in Air Freight Transportation

Air freight faces the constant threat of theft and tampering, especially during critical points like loading and unloading, storage at airport facilities, and during transit to and from airports. To address these vulnerabilities, port authorities implement a range of security measures, including CCTV systems, biometric access controls to secure areas, and security checkpoints for thorough screening. The implementation of these measures not only fortifies the security of the cargo but also instils confidence among ground freight forwarders that their shipments are protected at every stage of transit. Moreover, measures aimed at detecting concealed items or preventing smuggling safeguard freight forwarders… Read more

Technological Innovations Reshaping Air Freight Forwarding in Europe

The air freight forwarding industry in Europe is undergoing a significant transformation thanks to a range of technological innovations. Each of these, from advanced cargo tracking with IoT to the automation of sorting and handling, introduces improvements that enhance efficiency, strengthen security, and promote sustainability in the sector.   Advanced Cargo Tracking with IoT Integrating IoT (Internet of Things) technology into air freight forwarding has significantly improved cargo tracking. IoT devices, including sensors and RFID tags, now offer real-time updates on cargo location and condition. This is particularly beneficial for shipments that are time-sensitive or condition-critical, including transport of perishable… Read more

The Role of Air Freight in Serving Remote and Landlocked Regions in Europe

In Europe’s diverse landscape, some regions pose logistical challenges due to their unique geographical positioning. Air freight offers a solution for these regions, especially for hard-to-reach areas and landlocked countries. By understanding the importance of air transport in these contexts, European freight forwarders can develop more effective and reliable logistics strategies.   Air Freight in Remote Europe The European continent, comprising not only urban centers but remote, hard-to-reach areas, often leans on air transport to ensure that goods reach even the farthest corners timely. Regions such as the Scottish Highlands and the Alpine areas in Switzerland rely on air transport… Read more

Analyzing Seasonal Variations in Air Freight Forwarding in Europe

Europe’s air freight forwarding industry sees pronounced changes between its summer and winter seasons. These variations are driven by factors like consumer behaviors, tourism, and the particular commodities in demand during each period.     Summer Demand: The Flourishing of Perishables During the warmer months of summer, spanning from June to August, Europe sees a significant spike in the transportation of perishable goods. Warm temperatures stimulate the demand for fresh fruits, vegetables, and seafood. Mediterranean countries, for instance, ramp up the export of their prime produce, including Spanish oranges, Greek olives, and Italian grapes. Additionally, summer sees a surge in… Read more

Transporting Animals by Air: Key Considerations for European Freight Forwarders

When freight forwarders undertake the task of transporting animals by air, they are handling more than just cargo. The process demands a deep understanding of species-specific needs, a commitment to animal welfare, and an awareness of logistics. Among the core challenges forwarders encounter in this sector are temperature and atmospheric pressure variations, prolonged confinement, noise disturbances, regulatory compliance, contamination risks, and dietary requirements.   Regulatory and Documentation Hurdles European logistics providers specializing in animal air transport must navigate a maze of stringent regulations that vary across European borders. When transporting exotic birds into the UK, several details require close attention…. Read more

Safety Risks When Shipping Cargo by Plane

Shipping cargo by plane can be an efficient, safe, and quick way to move goods but there are some risks to be aware of, including human error, extreme weather, turbulence, cargo fires, and shipping hazardous materials. In some cases, a combination of factors may influence outcomes, such as extreme weather, communication problems between the crew and the airport, and pilot error.   Extreme weather   Bad weather such as heavy snowfall, high winds, and thunderstorms can cause cancellations and delays. Thunderstorms, in particular, can produce heavy rain, hail, high winds, and lighting, all of which can cause damage to cargo… Read more

Air Freight Shipping Options: from Cargo Airlines to Onboard Couriers

If you are shipping air freight, there are different options to look into, including cargo and commercial airlines, onboard couriers, and expedited charters. They vary in terms of cost, risk of late arrival, and speed, and the choice depends on the type of cargo and your specific business objectives.   Cargo Airlines Many of the major carriers lease or own aircraft so that they can ship cargo. The majority of freight forwarders use cargo aircraft or freighters, but some operators also use passenger flights. This option can work well for forwarders that regularly ship cargo along a particular route. The… Read more

Air cargo

Air cargo and world trade in a pandemic

The pandemic has drastically reduced passenger flights around the world. But unlike this type of flight, the air transport of goods and cargo continues to take place without a decline. International air freight decreased by 5% compared to 2021 levels between 31 January and 13 February 2022. The imposition of cargo volume restrictions and higher prices compared to other modes of transport did not have a significant impact on the air cargo.   Factors for maintaining the demand for air transport of goods With the onset of the pandemic, a great demand for goods for protection in public places and… Read more

Air Shipping Requirements

Air Shipping Requirements and Guidelines for Pet and Crew Safety

Pet shipping accounts for a significant share of cargo onboard aircraft, with a diverse array of species being transported by air. When moving pets, there is plenty to know when it comes to shipping regulations and requirements and the documents you need to submit. Regulations and Scope Any business or person transporting pets falls under the scope of the IATA Live Animals Regulations, including freight forwarders that are shipping animals for agricultural, scientific, conservations, and zoological purposes. The regulations also apply to everyone who is shipping racehorses and pets. What to Do Before Shipping Before transporting live animals by air,… Read more


Clogged Chains and Travel Restrictions Affecting Air Capacity

The ongoing pandemic is not only a humanitarian and health crisis but it is also a time of economic turmoil and shock. Figures show that air capacity was down by 7 percent between December 2021 and January 2022 compared to 2018. There have also been capacity fluctuations during the holiday season due to the new Omicron variant. On the positive side, airlines have been using aircraft for vaccine distribution around the globe. Yet, a major supply chain disruption factor is the fact that restrictions have left thousands of employees stuck in quarantine. Freight, Airlines, and Clogged Chains Airlines around the… Read more

Shipping by Air

Regulations for Prohibited, Restricted, and Dangerous Goods and Shipping by Air

There are certain types of cargo and small shipments that are not allowed to enter most countries by air. The reasons can be different – political, economic, religious, or harmful to human health. Some items are restricted while others are prohibited. Below is an overview of the difference between prohibited and restricted items and examples of goods that cannot be shipped by air. Restricted Goods These are items that are subject to special treatment or inspection or you will need to obtain an import license to ship by air. Prohibited Goods Some restricted items are considered to be dangerous for… Read more

Ships to Join Air Fleets in Vaccine Delivery

The number of coronavirus vaccine shipments is steadily increasing as rollout begins in more countries and more products become available. While the jabs are mostly transported by land and air, ships are also expected to join the race against the global pandemic. According to Financial Times, ships will get involved in vaccine distribution so that shots reach healthcare professionals instead of piling up in warehouse facilities. Why Use Ships? According to European logistics experts, vaccine supply and distribution is expected to exceed air freight capacity by the middle of 2021. Because of the surplus of jabs, the supply chain will… Read more

Uses of Air Freight: Shipping Time-Sensitive and High-Value Commodities

Air freight is expensive compared to other modes of transportation and thus is limited by cost. Freight rates vary between €1.25 and €3.75, which makes it 12 – 16 times more expensive than sea transport and 4 – 5 times more costly than road freight. For this reason, it is usually used for items that are time-sensitive or of high value, including perishable seafood products and agricultural produce, electronics, consumer goods, fashion clothing, pharmaceuticals, documents, and production samples. Air transport is also used for emergency shipments and just-in-time production as well as for exports from developing countries, including commodities such… Read more

Airlines Modifying Planes to Deal with the Cargo Crunch

Some 150 airlines are now carrying cargo in an effort to offset losses. Passenger traffic may take several years to return to normal, and flying cargo helps airlines to reduce the operational and maintenance costs of parked airplanes. Why Ship Goods Onboard Aircraft When the coronavirus pandemic picked up speed, demand for personal protective equipment such as gowns, gloves, and masks soared. Equipment and medical supplies now need to be shipped from waning hotspots to emerging epicenters.With travel restrictions and lockdowns introduced worldwide, demand for fast goods shipment increased as online sales skyrocketed. As China restarted its economy, large volumes… Read more

Types of Aircraft Shipping Cargo and Types of Loads

Planes carry different types of cargo to multiple destinations across Europe, including busy airports such as the Frankfurt Am Main Airport and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Planes Shipping Cargo The main types of planes that carry cargo include Boeing 737, Airbus 340, Airbus 320, and Boing 747. Boeing 737 has an operating range of up to 4,650 km and is fitted with 2 central cargo bays. This plane has a capacity of 2 tons and a volume of 13 – 15 m3. It is considered small aircraft compared to other types. Airbus 340 is another type that is used for air… Read more

The requirements from IATA for air freight forwarding services

When forwarding cargo by air, it is essential that all standards and guidelines by the International Air Transport Association for safety are duly met. The freight forwarders Europe provide their services in full compliance with these requirements and inform their customers about all necessary regulations and possible limitations in regard to the air transport service.   The regulations for forwarding of cargo via air transport The safety guidelines and standards by IATA for air freight forwarding are for the following types of cargo: Lithium batteries Hazardous loads Live animals Cargo of these types needs to be appropriately labeled with labels… Read more

Air transport in Europe for express deliveries

When express deliveries are required, air services from the International Forwarding Association are the best solution.   Types of shipments usually sent by express delivery Perishable goods with limited shelf life Valuable cargo, which needs express delivery to reduce the risk of loss or damage Documents Express delivery of documents Express shipments often contain documents. Sending them is necessary mostly in connection with the increasingly expanding trade. Delivery of express parcels containing documents can be done from door to door at your request. Specifics of contracts between the shipper and the air transport carrier The first thing to do when… Read more