Types of Air Cargo

What do you first think of when air cargo comes to mind? Well, different people have different assumptions about air freight services and one may think it’s expensive. However, the reality differs in most cases. 

Regarded as one of the most used ways of shipping things from one distant land to the other, air freight service remains a popular pick in most cases. In fact, there are various types of air cargo that people can choose from. While some are highly expensive, others can eventually end up saving your way. 

So, the question is, 

What are the different types of air freight that people can choose? 

Let’s dig deep and understand the two main branches of air freight services along with their different types.

Two Branches Of Air Cargo Services

Air freight services never come easy and a lot depends upon the type of shipment. So, here are the two main branches of air cargo and their different types.

A. General Cargo

General Cargo services are heavily used around the world and that’s what makes them popular alongside special freight services. This is a type of cargo that is less expensive and used for the shipping of simple things. However, the transit time can be slightly longer for one’s liking while the shipment should not have any special needs. 

Any shipment with needs like temperature control, fast-moving for short shelf life does not come under the category of general cargo. Besides, the shipment should not be oversized or have dimensions that fall under the off category.

Types Of General Cargo

1. Clothing

Clothing items are amongst the most common cargos that are shipped as far as the general category is concerned. Such items are usually packed in boxes or palletized.

2. Computers 

Computers and their parts can be easily shipped via air freight and fall under the general category. These items do not have any special needs like temperature control and can be packed and shipped easily. 

3. Books

Another item type that falls under the general category, books can be packed and shipped easily. Much like computers, these items too do not have any special needs like temperature control.

B. Special Cargo

Now here’s something about special cargo types that people should know – these are items that should be handled with extreme care as every item has some sort of special need. Most airlines are skeptical about accepting such commodities due to the type of cargo it is.

Types Of Special Cargo

1. Temperature Controlled

This is a type of cargo that requires to be stored under a certain temperature. Such items can be vegetables, medical kits, fruits, and so on. 

2. Dangerous Cargo

There are very few items in the world that fall under the category of hazardous items. Such items are flammable, poisonous, explosive, or even radioactive. What is interesting is that such items are also packed and loaded in a certain space in the airplane for safe transfer. In fact, such cargos are generally the most expensive to ship due to their nature. 

3. Organs

Things like human remains and organs have special handling needs and should be packaged with care. These types of items also require temperature control and are expensive to ship as compared to general cargo.

Also Read: Understanding The Various Models Of Logistics Services In Qatar

Items You Can’t Ship On Air Freight

Things that fall under the category of general or special cargo can be shipped on air freight without any concerns. However, there are certain items that cannot be shipped on air freight. Such items include – 

  1. Fireworks
  2. Dry ice
  3. Fire extinguishers
  4. Illegal goods, etc.

Types Of Cargo Aircrafts Used For Air Freight

There are two types of aircraft that are commonly used for Air freight. Here are the different types that travelers should know about.

1. Passenger Aircraft

Passenger aircrafts are commonly used for air freight services around the world. While such aircrafts are mainly used commercially, they can be used for cargo as well. However, it is important to note that there is a certain kind of priority with which passenger aircrafts handle cargo. General cargo is usually given the last priority in loading. Hence, it isn’t difficult to understand why most general cargo items don’t get delivered as such items get offloaded due to capacity issues.

2. Cargo Aircraft

Specifically used for the purpose of carrying shipments, this type of aircraft does not carry passengers and is only used for the purpose of cargo. It is easier to get your shipment loaded only these aircrafts compared to passenger aircrafts. However, it should be noted that such type of cargo is more expensive even if you carry a general item.

Air freight services have long been a talking point around the world and there are different types of air cargo that travelers can choose from today. While some items are highly expensive to get shipped, other items can actually save people a lot of money. So, if you want to get your shipment transferred to a different, above mentioned are the different types of cargo that you can or can’t ship.


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