Airfreight services: An overview

An airfreight service is the transport of products from their origin to a final destination using an aircraft.

To maximize their load capacity, cargo aircraft are often larger and carry more fuel. They may also have more wheels to increase stability and larger openings for loading and unloading goods.

While the majority of products are transported by sea, airfreight cargo still accounts for more than a third of the total value of traded goods worldwide.

In this article, we'll consider some of the benefits of using airfreight, as well as the downsides, before considering the products most suited to airfreight transport.
Airfreight plane
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Airfreight transport: What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Suppliers looking to transport goods over long distances need to consider the benefits of air freight cargo against its drawbacks, with regard to their particular requirements. Here are the main advantages and disadvantages of airfreight transport.

Airfreight advantages


The most obvious advantage of airfreight transport is its speed. Sea transport between China and Europe can take up to one month, whereas with airfreight cargo the turnaround time averages several days.

Reliability and safety

Aircraft schedules are strictly adhered to with few delays, while the shorter transportation time means products are less likely to be damaged or mishandled at some point.


Especially for landlocked countries, airfreight transport allows easy access for goods. Compared with road and rail transport, airfreight also passes through fewer borders and customs checks.

Greater security

Airports are highly secure locations for the temporary storage of products while waiting to be loaded.

Lower insurance costs

Increased security, safety, and reliability mean insurance premiums tend to be much lower for airfreight cargo than for sea, road, and rail routes.

Airfreight disadvantages


The most obvious disadvantage to airfreight transport is generally considered to be the cost which, depending on the goods involved, is anywhere between five to ten times more expensive than sea transport.

Limited load

Cargo aircraft can carry a lot of goods but they cannot compete with the load capacity of seafreight.

Cargo restrictions

Unlike transport by sea, road, and rail, there are more restrictions on the type of goods that can be transported by airfreight. Examples of products that cannot be transported by airfreight include explosive or flammable substances, batteries and power supplies, and biochemical products.
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Which products are most suited for airfreight?

These are examples of goods prohibited as airfreight cargo, but which products are best suited to air transport?

Three main factors determine whether or not airfreight is the most suitable method of transport for your goods: the product's value, the total weight and volume, and the urgency.

As such, high-value, light, and perishable products are ideal for airfreight cargo.

So, electrical components and other technological products, as well as spare automobile parts, are often transported as airfreight cargo. Perishable goods, such as flower bulbs and plants, exotic fruits, and fresh fish and meats benefit from the speed of airfreight transport. Other examples include pharmaceutical products for urgent medical diagnoses or treatments.

Airfreight services from Denkers BV

Airfreight transport is the best way of quickly and safely getting your products where they need to be. To take advantage of its benefits though, you need a trusted airfreight logistics partner.

Denkers BV can take care of the entire airfreight process, from the pickup at your location to its final delivery, including all the necessary customs documentation and insurance paperwork. We take care of everything.

If you'd like to learn more about our airfreight services and how they could benefit your business, get in touch with one of our expert advisors and they'll be happy to help.


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