In modern times, the service of air freight forwarding is playing a very important role in international trade. It is being used for transporting almost anything and everything – letters, cars, consumer goods, construction materials, animals, manufactured items and what not. Some super-sized planes are even hauling multiple tanks and small airplanes.
Many people think that air freight forwarding companies utilise special cargo flights for moving goods. Although this is true to some extent, there’s more to it than just that. Given below are the major types of air freight carriers:
Nearly every single passenger flight in the world carries a certain amount of freight in addition to passengers and luggage. In fact, the industry of commercial airlines earns around 5% to 10% of its revenue from shipping cargo. The packaged items are normally loaded into special containers and then fitted in a designated section situated beneath the passenger compartment. Some items are kept on pallets and in other open spaces as well.
Cargo planes are dedicated freight airlines used by most shipping companies to cater international air freight services. An excellent example is freighter version of Boeing 747, whose loading capacity is nearly 736 cubic metres (equal to that of 5 semi trucks combined). Its main level can also hold around 30 pallets of cargo. It even has special containers known as airstables that are utilised to ship horses. There is yet another lower level inside the craft that can house 14 containers and 5 pallets.
A super transporter is a special plane designed to move very big & bulky cargo such as small aircrafts and helicopters. It consists of a large cargo space situated right over the cockpit area, which takes up almost the entire volume of the plane. It can usually carry around 47 tonnes of cargo.
Antonov AN-225, the Ukrainian aerial giant, is the biggest plane to have been ever made by man. It has a loading capacity of more than 250 tonnes and can haul up to 4 military tanks at the same time. Its wingspan is equal to the length of an average football field, and the plane’s cargo hold can accommodate 80 cars.
So, these are the main players in the field of air freight forwarding. While the first two types in the list are used everyday, super and big transporters serve special purposes and are therefore, utilised less often.