An air carrier in the context of logistics is a company that transports goods by air. They may be a specialised freight forwarder who focuses exclusively on air cargo, or they may be part of a larger transportation company that offers multiple modes of transportation, including air cargo.
Air cargo can be a great option for companies that need to get their goods to market quickly and efficiently. The downside is that it tends to be more expensive than other forms of transportation, such as trucking or rail. So it’s important to weigh the cost and time savings against the extra expense when deciding whether to send your goods by air.
Air carriers can range from small companies to large multinational corporations. Some of the larger freight forwarders in the United States include UPS, FedEx, Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings and DHL. Each of these companies offers a comprehensive suite of logistics services that can cover all your supply chain needs.
One common type of air carrier are the cargo airlines that have sprung up over the last few decades to help ease the burden on traditional airlines that were once strictly passenger carriers only. These cargo airlines offer overnight service to many parts of the world and carry goods other than just express packages; they may also haul livestock or perishables, such as flowers and seafood.
Another option for businesses shipping by air is sea-air intermodal transport. This is when your items move from one mode of transportation, such as a boat or train, to another type of transport en route to their final location. It can be an economical option when your cargo is too heavy to fly (the plane’s takeoff weight limits) but you still need to move it quickly.
Some common types of air carriers include passenger airlines, cargo airlines, specialised freight forwarders, express carriers and sea-air intermodal forwarders.
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