Whenever the subject of moving comes up, one of the first things that need to be decided is which items (if any) will be shipped to your new destination, rather than loaded into a truck or car and carried. Once that decision is made, the next consideration is exactly how those items should be shipped. Air shipping is one of those areas which has seen major advancements over the past century. But what exactly are the advantages and disadvantages of this option?
Advantages Of Air Shipping
Honestly, there really are a number of benefits to using this type of shipping, especially if there is an element of time pressure or sensitivity. Given that, here are a number of positive factors to consider:
- Speed: Obviously, putting your package on a plane is one of the fastest methods to get it from point A to point B. Your possessions can literally be taken across a continent in as little as a day, or even around the world in just a few days, dependent upon local laws and delivery procedures. This is a major advancement and one that can really help folks who are moving internationally or long distances.
- Variety Of Items: With air shipping, you will have more options than if you were using a ground-based service. For example, perishable items can often be shipped via air, since they arrive at the destination quicker than a land-based service.
- Safety: The simplest rule of shipping to understand is that the more times a package is handled, or changes hands, the greater the risk. This includes a risk of damage and being lost. With air shipping, your items undergo only minimal handling. This makes it one of the safest shipping methods.
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Disadvantages Of Air Shipping
As with anything, nothing is perfect. Although the benefits of air shipping generally outweigh the negatives, there are still a few drawbacks.
- More Expensive: As you might imagine, this shipping option is going to cost more, sometimes significantly more. Planes take a lot more fuel than cars and trucks and there is also a pretty strong demand due to the speed of this service, so the air shipping companies know that they can set prices higher.
- Size Limitations: Unfortunately, there is a limited amount of space in the cargo area of the plane, which also means the shipping company will impose some limitations on the size of items you can ship. There are also weight requirements set by the FAA. This means that larger and heavier items such as furniture are not really good candidates.
- Bad Weather: This is an even bigger problem for air shipping than ground since an airport can get shut down and/or planes grounded even when vehicles may still be able to run. In extreme weather, that could end up delay shipment times by up to several days. Bear this in mind when shipping in winter, over mountains, or other areas known for bad weather.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.