The world of freight forwarding is always inspiring innovation and creating new ways to satisfy client needs. No industry has seen progressive growth more so than air freight. The 20th-century gift to the forwarding world has a plethora of advantages, and we have pinpointed exactly some of the benefits to your company and your client’s needs.

There are many ways in which you can choose to distribute your cargo, however, with a forecasted $31.4 billion in net profit in the air freight industry in 2017 alone, you can understand why many businesses are turning to this relatively newer style of transportation.

With air freight, still the least used out of all forwarding services, it is a mystery as to why it is not used by more companies. It does not require huge capital investment in the construction and maintenance of surface track, and cannot have any physical barriers impeding it getting to its destination. This is advantageous to anybody that perhaps needs to send relief to any countries hit by a natural disaster. Air freight is the only form of distribution in a situation like this, so you can really see its necessity.

As we have previously mentioned other factors, such as 10.4% growth in the first half of 2017, showing nearly triple the average growth of 3.9% over the last five years, and with the top 20 airports, within the current EU, on a steady increase between 2014 and 2015, particularly Brussels airport that recorded an increase of 18.4%; 11.7% in the number of freight flights, this is expected to continue to grow. Only five airports showed any form of fall.  It’s easy to see why any forwarder would be massively excited by the advantages in using this form of freight forwarding.

Here are our Top 5 Reasons
to use Air Freight:

The Fastest Transport Method
Perhaps the most obvious reason, cargo travelling by air is currently the quickest mode of transport. Within the freight forwarding industry time is always a huge factor, and if you need to ship important goods on a tight timescale then using air freight will significantly help in getting it to its destination quicker.

Reliable Timings
Due to the rigid timescales that airports need to stick to, you can rest easy knowing that your cargo will depart and arrive when it is scheduled. Custom formalities can be very quickly complied with and this helps avoid delay in obtaining authorisation, which also saves you time.

Low Insurance Premiums
You will always have a lower insurance premium when shipping cargo through the air. Higher security at airports has meant that air freight has now become one of the safest methods of distribution. With most countries having excellent national defence systems in place when it comes to air traffic, if you have precious cargo to be moved, this is one of the safest ways of getting it to its destination.

Updated Cargo Status
Speaking about security, due to the nature of it being so high in airports, they need to track everything coming in and out. This means that you can be safe in the knowledge that your cargo, regardless of what it is can be easily traced. These updates have allowed for a more regular, comfortable and efficient way of distribution for your cargo, not only for you, but also for anyone at your eventual destination.

No Destination Limitations
Think of a landlocked, snowy, remote location. Somewhere that it would be impossible to ship anything by road or sea. This is when air freight is the only way of transportation. As we have also previously mentioned, with no destination limitations and without much air traffic, this is the perfect way to help those affected by natural disasters and get relief and aid to remote destinations.


We aren’t completely unaware of the disadvantages to air freight. There have been several notable limitations with it, and it would be remiss of me not to go over them with you. Noise pollution is something that has plagued communities over a protracted period and something that is not a simple fix due to the nature of aviation. There are also several environmental factors and not to mention it is a very specialised skill.

The air freight industry continues to innovate and adapt to the growing requirements of a more connected and digitalised world, and these disadvantages are constantly trying to be improved. With the UK government launching plans to develop a new aviation strategy to “help shape the future of the aviation industry to 2050 and beyond”, aiming to tackle technological, security, environmental and customer service challenges and make the air freight industry the dominant forwarding method.

All things considered, the air freight industry is steadily bouncing back after what seemed to be a low point over the last few years. The forecasts of growth in the upcoming year make everyone here at Forwarder Magazine confident that air freight is a safe and reliable way to distribute your products, or services, on global scale.

Matt Dailly, Editor, FORWARDER magazine