The Origin Of Air Freight Forwarding

Air Freight

Nowadays, airplanes are considered as one of the primary transportation carriers in the world. This is because they can not only be used to carry people from one place to another, but also forward freight or shipments overseas. The concept of air freight forwarding is not a recent innovation, but it was conceived as early as 1910. As per the history of aviation, the first ever air freight was silk flown from Dayton to Ohio.

After about 9 years later, a second airplane was transformed into a freight carrier. The cargo craft was initially a bomber which weighed more than 450 kilogrammes. It was shipped by American Railway Express and flown from Washington D.C. to Chicago. The journey, however, was not very eventful as the pilot was forced to land the craft in Ohio due to a frozen radiator.

During the 1920s, several airlines started operating as freight forwarders, but they catered solely to businesses in USA. However, it helped companies transit merchandise efficiently and more quickly, which ultimately reduced the time required for concluding transactions. Between the years 1927 & 1931, the size and number of air freight carriers reached almost a 450 tonnes. There were also smaller crafts weighing about 20 tonnes that were used for carrying lighter loads.

It was only after the Second World War that commercial air freight forwarding services  started to operate, even though efforts were made to organise a full-fledged air freight trade before that. The industry was quite lucrative, and that is why several small-scale plane owners started trying their hands at the business.

In order to keep themselves from facing competition, bigger airlines started finding ways to prevent smaller ones from getting into the trade. This is because they felt that small air freight service providers can have adverse effects on status quo of the industry.

Although air freight forwarding did have a good start after the Second World War, it reached its peak when a man named Fred Smith initiated the internationally popular company known as Federal Express (also called FedEx). The company literally revolutionised the entire business and gradually started extending its services to customers from all across the globe. It can be said that because of them, there are now firms which provide air freight forwarding services effectively even at affordable rates. Moreover, the invention of various uber-modern technological tools has made the process faster and easier.


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