An air freight forwarder is an entity that contracts with a direct air carrier to provide transportation of passengers and/or cargo. Air freight forwarders are also sometimes referred to as “air service providers” or “reservation service providers.”
Air freight forwarders can help both airlines and shipping carriers by creating a supply channel for shipping carriers middle mile logistics needs and demand channel for airlines that wish to fill unused cargo space. A unique application of a specialty license is to use commercial airlines for middle mile logistics of consumer parcels. In addition, air freight forwarders can often offer more competitive rates than direct air carriers, making them a valuable partner through the entire air transportation supply chain particularly focused on airlines, shipping carriers, and the highest volume omnichannel retail brands.
But wait – what’s the catch? Physical sortation, and the associated cost. You can’t just apply for a specialty license and start zone skipping. Wouldn’t that be nice? It’s important to understand the cost to operate an air freight forwarding focused carrier, even for the middle mile alone. While a specialty license is the foundation, here’s everything else you need to consider before actually putting it to work in order to make real time decisions between air carriers, routes, and to navigate around avoidable scenarios that might lead to exceptions:
- Specialty license
- TSA security compliance
- Technology to connect the infrastructure
- First mile/recovery cartage
- Sortation scans
- Sortation logic
- Middle mile air tracking
- Final mile connection
- Final mile carrier label logic
- Physical sortation centers
- Airline cargo relations
Overall, working with an air freight forwarder can be beneficial for both carriers and brands. Air freight forwarders can provide access to additional resources and help to reduce costs. They can also help brands to reach new markets and manage their air travel operations more effectively.
To learn more about air freight forwarding, read about ClearJet’s Services
What is ClearJet?
ClearJet provides air infrastructure for faster parcel delivery. We engineered the ClearJet zone skip air infrastructure that takes packages from your warehouse and drops them off at final mile sortation centers closer to customers than you could ever imagine. The ClearJet air cargo solution helps carriers bring brands closer to consumers.