Air Freight Packaging Requirements At A Glance

Air Freight Packaging Requirements – Introduction

Safety in transport is of primary importance to all the parties involved, either directly or indirectly. This important factor begins with packaging materials and the concept of packaging itself. Air freight packaging requirements can be simplified. One does not have to be a scientist to ensure the safety of the contents being packaged.

An Important Clarification

As far as possible, for the sake of readability, I shall not use technical terms. However, some terms cannot be avoided. This article is written with the common man in view. However, it is not a complete  reference document either and the author cannot take responsibility for decisions taken based on the information provided here. Air freight packaging requirements  are many, but only the most important ones are mentioned here.

This documents aims to present the reader with the most important set of information. Professional packaging services are available for specialised freight. Air freight packaging regulations have been set in place by the concerned authorities.

As and where required technical help from experts in the field should be requested. Information is being given here to acquaint the shipper with factors that he has to consider before making his air cargo “ready for carriage”

Security Factor – Tamper Proof Packaging

Air Freight packaging requirements are not complete without the term tamper proof. Airlines, freight forwarders (air cargo agents) and even lorry companies (truckers) have the term “secured freight” on the top of their lists.

Aviation security officers (government officers) can march in any time, into the warehouse and inspect shipments ready for air transport.  Every aspect of security will be  considered during inspection. Tamper proof packing is, hence, a mandatory requirement.

Tamper Proof Packaging – Measures

The primary question is : Is the packaging prone to an entry? The question means, can someone access the contents of the shipment? Are there any slits, holes or any openings? A foreign object such as an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) can be smuggled into the package through an opening. Since the opening was already present, an entry cannot be noticed. There is no visible damage. Hence, any package, which has any form of opening will be classified as not safe for air transport.

The regulations demand that the openings be sealed. When a shipment is tendered to the airlines for transport, the airline reserves the right to refuse acceptance of the freight, if any such opening are present.

The simplest measure is to package the goods in such a way that no external source can get any access to the inside.

Stress – In Air Freight Mode of Transport

Goods in transport are  subject to various forms of stress. In a broad sense, stress can be classified two main categories

air freight packaging requirements

Dynamic stress is that which the shipment is subjected to during movements. This can be

  • Stress due to Impact
  • Stress due to various forms of vibration

The content of the shipment must be able to survive any of the forms of stress. This is achieved by having a packaging done which will withstand several factors, thus keeping the content safe and sound.

Some very basic points to be considered are

  • Wobbly content : the content of the packaging can move freely, when the shipment is moved (tilted, pushed, shaken etc.) . Solution: provide additional stuffing/dunnage to prevent the freight from moving.
  • Thrust Shock: Any shock from outside (e.g. a hit/ a thrust) can damage the content. If the shipment is “thrown” , the landing can cause damage. Solution: Just as in wobbly content, provide additional dunnage. 
  • Projection : A carton on a pallet with the edges of the carton as overhang. Solution: use a bigger pallet.
  • Exposed freight: uncovered freight on a pallet. An easy case for potential damage. Shrink-wrap alone will not help. Either use a overlapping carton with enough dunnage inside.
  • Sharp edges : Pallets may have short edges. Solution: file the sharp edges
  • Pallets without protected chocks (feet) : Very rare case. Almost all pallets available have the chocks covered by long sheets of wood. This helps to distribute the weight of the shipment evenly on the pallet. Exposed chocks are risky. Read the article on floor load tolerance

The shipment will be lifted, moved, set down and probably even dragged. It may be subjected to movements caused by acceleration or deceleration. For example, when the lorry carrying the freight comes to an abrupt stop, the moment might shift the goods forward. A reverse force might propel item backwards. If the stress caused by such a an impact is transferred to the contents, there is a chance of damage.

In the same way, vibration of the engine will cause loose items to move, thus letting the trapped air to escape, causing a collapse of the top layer. This is especially visible in packagings containing styrofoam chips. The air escaping from the gaps will cause the chips to restructure themselves and sink, thereby exposing the top of the freight they covered. Air freight packaging regulations require that the packaging protects the content from almost all possible forms of stress

Stress – Possible Forms or Causes

Each freight is an individual unit and possesses its own strong and weak points. It is advisable for the shipper to formulate his own air freight packaging requirements. Only the shipper knows his wares better and he can draw up a list a of measures to be be followed. A few points are mentioned below, according to which a list can be prepared.

Stress caused by Impact: Vertical Force

  • Vertical fall, or free fall: Consignment falling from the lorry, from the forklift
  • Tipping: Piece is tilted resulting in the object tipping of the side
  • Bumping: Other pieces bump into the piece or while hoisting or setting down
  • Tumbling:  Careless placed shipment rolls over the edge of the surface

Stress Caused by Impact: Horizontal Force

  • Jolt caused by acceleration of the transport vehicle
  • Bumping into the side of the lorry when the latter navigates a curve
  • Other cargo bumping in when the lorry goes up a gradient.

Stress Caused by Vibration

  • Stress caused by the vibration of the engine
  • vertical force impacting on the freight due to movement of the vehicle: plunging, rising
  • Horizontal impact: Forward acceleration, reverse movments
  • Vertical impact :  upward acceleration: take off, landing, lowering, lifts etc
  • Lateral impact :  Impact caused by sideways movements: banking port ward and leeward

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Air freight packaging requirements are put in place not only to avoid foreseeable risks but also to prevent incidents of damage that would cause unnecessary processing time with insurance cases.

Packaging Material – A repetition

If you are using wood, please read the article on wooden packaging! You should keep yourself up to date on ISPM 15 (

Most of the aircraft have temperature regulations in place. It is your responsibility to use a packaging that is well insulated to avoid any temperature influenced damage. If the content is to be protected from frost, an extra label to the effect should be affixed to the outside of the shipment

Waterproofing is not a must, However, precautionary measures are never a bad decision. If the content cannot be damaged by moisture or by water, no extra steps are needed.

Dangerous goods packaging must be fully compliant to the standards set by the IATA. The current copy of the Dangerous Goods Regulation should be available for reference.

Always use sturdy materials. As mentioned above the shipment will be subjected to stress and the packaging must be able to withstand almost all of them.

If cartons are used, see that the flaps at the bottom are secured by adhesive tape.  The inside floor should be reinforced by a protective board or shock absorbent material layer.

Experience has taught me to discourage  packing peanuts. If you really prefer to use them, it is advisable to fill the packaging with the chips and subject the shipment to vibration (shaking, tilting, jolting) to displace the air between the chips. This will change expose the top of the packaging so that more chips can be used to cover the exposed section.

air freight packaging requirementsCourtesy;  yum9me

Blister-wrap (bubble wrap) is a good alternative but also expensive. Combine the materials as you wish. Always better to test packagings before actually implementing them. Your air freight packaging requirements must be tailor made to your needs and products. The goal to avoid any form of damage.

Smoothen sharp edges (pallets). Avoid using metal under the chocks (feet of the pallet). Metal against metal is not permissible in air freight transport. Avoid using pallets with exposed chocks. Always use pallets that have the chocks covered by strips to give an even running lower side.

Heavy Engineering Goods

Shipments of a higher weight category may not be packaged. The airline will give you instructions on what is to be done. Sufficient space must be available under the shipment for a wooden floor which will be mounted on the air freight pallet (also called ULD = Unit Load Device).

Protect the bottom of the shipment with proper earthing as the load will be placed on a protective plastic sheet (static electricity) .

Vibratory Stress – A Note For Sensitive Equipment

If you classify your shipment as sensitive to vibrations, you should inform your packaging company to use materials that insulate the contents from strong vibrations. Your list of air freight packaging requirements must mention that packaging materials should be able to withstand and protect the contents from vibrations levels which can reach up to 500 Hz

Air Freight Packaging Requirements for Oversize Freight – Very Long Heavy Pieces

Shipments are secured to tie down slots on the floor of the aircraft. Strong belts (lashes) are used to secure the freight. The air freight pallets and ULDs (Unit Load Devices) are locked in place using the locking down slots on the aircraft floor. Providing rings or hooks along the length of the freight will help the loading staff to save time and also give your freight that extra amount of security.

Requirements For Temperature Sensitive Shipments

Is your freight temperature sensitive? You must mention it on your SLI (Shipper’s Letter of Instructions). If your freight does not need “active cooling” during the flight, but should be kept within a certain temperature range (usually between 2°C and 8°C),  no cool container (also called Envirotainer) is needed. The freight will still be transported within the temperature limits.

However, if the flight needs to go through transit, the hold will be opened to remove the freight required for the stop over destination. This will cause a sudden change in temperature conditions within the hold. Hence, include special insulation in your list of requirements.

Packaging Requirements For Temperature Controlled Freight – Passive Cooling

Passive cooling means no temperature controlled container is used. Cooling is done by the type of packaging used. An insulated carton can keep the outside temperature (ambient temperature)  from reaching the content. Calling gel or similar material is inserted into the carton to keep the content at the required temperature. Dry ice, too, may be used for cooling.

Passive cooling is to be used only for freight booked on direct flights. When a transit is involved, there will a lay off time for freight before it goes on to the connecting flight.

Hence, consider, how long the cool packs or gel packs can keep the content cool. Never use a consolidation mode for transporting temperature sensitive freight. Use air freight packaging requirements on a case by case basis.

Additional note for temperature controlled shipments flown using envirotainer containers (RKN):  If you shrink-wrap your shipment, remember to leave the bottom of the pallet open. If you cover the bottom of the pallet with the shrink wrap film, the cooled air will be blocked from circulating.

Cartons On Pallets

Cartons on pallets must be secured using strong steel or plastic straps. Use a contour protection (angular hard board frame lines) to prevent the straps from cutting through the carton. Straps cutting through the cartons will cause the freight to be classified as “in danger of manipulation”. If this happens, the consignment will have to be “made secure” after inspection. This means the slits need to be sealed and secured against any possible manipulation. Air freight safety regulations are very stringent.

An Advice Oft Repeated

All small shipments, flying on long haul flights, save time and energy if kept below the 160 cm limit. Anything above the 160 cm height limit needs a freighter.

All small shipments that need to be re-loaded on the connecting flights  should be below the 160 cm limit. However, there a lot of destinations, to which only “narrow body” aircraft operate. For example if the connecting flight is a B757 (Boeing 757) the height of the freight may not exceed 70 cm and a weight of maximum 150 kg per piece (some airlines may demand a lesser weight per piece).

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Air Cargo Handling Process – For Shipper And Consignee

Introduction To Air Cargo Handling Process

Knowing air cargo handling process is  one of the first steps to a successful planning an air freight shipment. Getting your freight to your customer punctually is the set goal Detailed planning is an important part of air cargo forwarding. Careful planning is made watertight, when right information about freight handling procedures is used.

Air cargo handling procedures commence from the moment the freight is picked up and is sent on its way to the airport. Here is a short list give you a quick view:

  1. Pick up punctuality
  2. Pick up order clarification
  3. Physical condition of the freight before pick up
  4. Driver’s receipt
  5. Warehouse procedures
  6. Airline procedures

air cargo handling processCourtesy: Bernal Saborio

Air Cargo Handling Process : A Concise Overview

The sections below will explain, in a language as simple as possible almost all the points that need to be looked into before preparing a consignment for air freight forwarding.


One of the first points in freight handling is documentation. Without documents a shipment may not even leave the airport warehouse. Invoices, packing lists, Certificate of Origin etc. all fall under the single heading of export documentation.

Pro-Forma or Commercial Invoice and Other documents

Some countries will not accept a pro-forma invoice as a legitimate document for customs clearance. Let your consignee confirm in writing all the documents that are needed. Many countries demand that the document is signed in blue ink! No point in fretting! If the law demands a signature in blue ink, you have no other option!

The documents must accompany the shipment. In many cases copies will be enough. In the majority of cases, originals must accompany the consignment. Retain good electronic copies of all. Make them accessible via email.


One may not believe, but the truth is, many companies do not pay attention to the packaging. I have experienced this on an almost daily basis. Air freight handling procedures include checking the packaging. Stability, possibilities for manipulating (air freight security), overhang, dimensions etc. are all important.

Packaging Materials

Are you using wood for packaging? Including dunnage? Remember to use exclusively treated wood, which carries the IPPC logo and the treatment used. See example below. for more details, please read the article on wooden packaging.

air cargo handling procedures

Packaging Security

Close all the slits, openings etc. No opening should be visible. Secure the cartons on pallet using strong bands. The bands or strips should not cut into the packaging. Affix shipper and consignee details on at least two sides. Make sure to use “This Side Up” label if the box should may not be turned or tipped to the side. The text DO NOT THROW should be mentioned clearly and boldly, if needed. The same applies to fragile contents.

Pick Up

The driver should sign your shipment slip with his name (block letters), registration number of the vehicle, date and time.  It is the driver’s duty to note any damage that is visible on the outside of the consignment. The documents are to be handed over to the driver in person. Attach copies of documents to the shipment in waterproof pockets.

Export Warehouse

The warehouse staff will check:

  • Condition of outer packaging
  • Dangerous goods requirements, if the shipment is classified as such.
  • Outer dimensions
  • Gross weight (nett weight/quantity is not relevant except in the case of dangerous goods)


As of the time of writing this article, every consignment must have “secured” status. If the shipper is not classified as KNOWN CONSIGNOR (by the legal authority concerned), the shipment must be screened and declared SECURED by the staff authorised to do that.

Opening the shipment might be needed in certain cases. The piece(s) will be closed after inspection.  This usually happens, when the content has a very high density factor, which prevents the x-rays from penetrating the material.

Screening is an inseparable part of air cargo handling process practised all over the world.

Dangerous Goods

  • Is the Shipper’s Declaration correctly drawn up? (also called DGD = Dangerous Goods Declaration) . Minimum of two originals! Some airlines demand three.
  • Have all the regulations been met in the description?
  • Correctly labelled? No overlapping is permitted.
  • A copy of the DGD (Dangerous Goods Declaration) affixed to the consignment pieces.
  • correct packaging material used?

Remember, if the airline rejects a consignment, because of errors, a recheck fee will be applicable, in addition to the standard dangerous goods fee. When it comes to dangerous goods, the airlines practise a zero tolerance policy!

It must be noted that airline can offload a dangerous goods shipment quoting various reasons. Dangerous goods have no priority!

Floor Board Tolerance

The amount of weight applied on a square meter of space by the freight on an aircraft. Especially important when a pallet with chocks (feet) is used. The amount of weight focussed on one chock is the method of calculation. For detailed information, please read my article on floor board tolerance.

Avoid pallets with exposed chocks. See that the weight of the freight is distributed evenly on the pallet. Avoid overhang (freight projecting out of the pallet area.

Packaging, Dimensions And Weight

Deliberately keeping this point as the last one, so that it sticks to memory.

Air cargo handling process always include these three factors.

Specify the art of packaging on the SLI (Shipper’s Letter of Instructions): Carton/Pallet etc

If there are a number of cartons on a pallet, specify the number on the SLI

Mention the outer dimension AND the unit (cm, inches etc).

Always use the sequence: Length x Width x Height

On long haul flights, the usual maximum permissible height of the consignment per piece is 160 cm. If the freight will need a transit, it can happen that a smaller aircraft will be in operation. This will mean, the shipment must be shorter (about 70 cm in height) and a maximum of 150 Kg in total gross weight per piece!

The air cargo agent or broker must declare the nett weight of the shipment in his customs bill of entry. Mentioning the art of packaging on your documentation will help the export freight forwarder to include it on the Air Waybill or in his pre-advice to the agent abroad.


The salient points of air cargo handling process once again:

  • Complete and correct documentation
  • Right packaging materials and procedure
  • Correct dimensions and weight

Further Reading:

http://Air Cargo How It

Flying Heavy Engineering Goods: A Practical Approach

Introduction To Flying Heavy Engineering Goods

Flying heavy engineering goods by air  is not an impossible task. However, the shipper will be at an advantage, if  all necessary preparations have been made in advance, especially those abroad. Local preparations are to be done together with the freight forwarder.

Keep It Simple

Air freight is fast, effective and expensive. Optimising the planning to save time and avoiding confusion should be the core of the whole process. Set priorities, draw up lists, and set up a team. Flying heavy engineering goods will be a smooth process if a few points are kept within view.


Here is an article for you you.

Timing is the key to sending heavy engineering goods by air successfully and without any stress.  Below is an infographic, that will give a small list of some of the most important points. The list is not complete but a help to draw up your own detailed list.

flying heavy engineering goods
Flying Heavy Engineering Goods – Supath Business Services International


Assign an employee to co-ordinate the whole project. It would be ideal to make another member of the staff available as a back up. Communications lines are to be kept open. Keep all the documents in one file and that includes all the details of the contact persons. Flying heavy engineering goods will require  the best of co-ordination and smoothness in operations.

Freight – Points To be Noted Always: General Information

  • If shipment is 10 tonnes or more, do NOT package it without having a consultation with  the airline.
  • If wood is used in packaging , please  read the packing article.
  • If a crane is needed, have hooks been provided on the shipment? Protection sleeves for chains or cables? or soft but strong abrasion resistent padding to avoid damage to the machine surface while handling.
  • Pressure chambers in the machine (if any) removed? (pressure chambers may be classified as dangerous goods).
  • Pick up: Is a gantry crane available at the facility? Is an external crane service needed? Any special requirements? (Metal rods or solid shafts)
  • Dimensions : Length x Width x Height with unit of measure. Keep the details accurate.
  • Weight: total gross weight of the goods “ready for carriage”. It is good to make the nett weight of the freight available to the airline.
  • Tie-down points are to be made available to the airline. Tie-down points : slots/rings/hooks to secure the freight to the air freight pallet.
  • Pre-export Check
  • Last but not the least, There should be a possibility for a wooden floor to carry the machine. Metal on metal (air freight pallets are metal) transport is not permitted

Airline staff usually inspect the machine before tabling a quotation. Once the airline contract is in place, a loadmaster will inspect the goods and advise, if anything special needs to be done. It is important that, by this time,  the consignee is ready for the import (documents are in place, broker is informed, equipment ordered etc.). The airline that will fly the heavy engineering goods needs to plan the transport through one or more channels. Airport of despatch and airport of departure and airport of destination.

Airport of despatch means, it is not the airport from where the consignment will fly. The shipment needs to be transported to another point, from where it will finally fly. Heavy engineerings goods need detailed planning: warehouse, positioning in the aircraft and moving it in the right order when the loading process begins

Documents are to be passed on in advance (always better to send them in PDF format). The consignee needs all papers in advance, so that he can pass them on to the broker who will be responsible for the customs clearance. The consignee is usually located in a different time zone and he cannot wait for you to be in office.


Remember: Consignment sitting in a customs warehouse means cost! A large shipment will cause an enormous amount of charges which will need to be paid immediately.

Resources Centre

Anybody needing help or advice to plan air freight, please get in touch using the contact form below. However, consultation with your freight forwarder/air cargo agent cannot be stressed enough. 


Your feedback is important. Please share your thoughts and ideas. They are welcome.


Experts in the field: please point out any errors or changes. A feedback from readers will be highly appreciated. Please share your thoughts by commenting. Any recommendation on bettering the content is welcome and will be highly appreciated.


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Planning Air Freight Consolidation – A Short Description

Planning Air Freight Consolidation

Planning air freight consolidation is directed at those who are new to air freight consolidation. A few points are for the attention of shippers (aka consignors). Unnecessary theory will be avoided. Only practical points.

Air Freight Consolidation Goals

An example of what happened in the real world : A large piece of freight belonging to the class of heavy engineering goods was picked up at the customers facility, transported to the airport, right to the apron for a nose load (freight loaded into the nose of the aircraft. Boeing 747). Freight is placed on the lift platform to load and lifted. all goes well, until the moment of shock. The size of the freight is too big! It cannot be loaded into the aircraft!  No names mentioned and none will be revealed.

Those who are curious to know what a nose loading process is, here is an image that shows exactly what it is. 

Why did I post this example. What can be deduced from the above? The above occurrence points us to one particularly important item on the list of a freight forwarding professional : organisation. The incident above point out:

  • Carelessness
  • time wasted
  • loss of money
  • dissatisfied customer

Such a terrible mistake should never happen. However, they open our eyes to where the focus has to be in the field of air freight operations. Consolidating freight is only one side to the freight forwarding industry.

So what are the goals that need to be kept in mind while planning air freight consolidation?

The whole process of consolidation can be wrapped up in one phrase, air freight optimisation. All the activities that go into what is technically called air freight consolidation (“consol” as freight forwarders name it) is aimed at optimisation.


Although people talk about quality, there is no doubt that the market of today is price driven. Cheapest possible price, rock bottom price etc. are terms that a freight forwarder hears every day. Planning air freight consolidation  does not need a university degree in logistics. It is a simple and straightforward process.

Optimising Price

Consignments travelling to a one destination are booked under one master air waybill. One can call it a “single freight consisting of several pieces”.  The airline does not sell flights, but freight space. Freight space is booked in advance and is filled as the week goes by.  The more the freight, the lesser the rate. Since it is space that is being sold, it should be clear to the shippers that “volume” is of importance.  20 Kg of cotton and 20 Kg of iron weigh the same, but occupy a totally different area.  Heavy freight occupying less space (high-dense pieces) should be found to contain the volume weight within limits.

Optimising time

All the pieces of freight move in one lot and not at different times of the week. Shippers and consignees can organise their order processing to achieve a price benefit. This will help, all the parties involved, to save money.  Move the freight on a weekend consolidation to save money and nerves! While planning air freight consolidation one should always keep the focus on time. Air freight is a fast transport mode and time is precious.

Optimising co-ordination

What the shippers and consignees conveniently forget is that the freight forwarder has snot finished his task once he has given the shipper the flight data. It is the freight forwarders job to co-ordinate the freight at the destination. The air freight agent at destination needs to be informed, documents need to be passed on, customs formalities need to be put in place are all unavoidable tasks. The advantage of consolidation is all the freight can be co-ordinated at once in one go. Planning air cargo consolidation is all about co-ordinating various aspects  within a tightly defined frame.

Destination based freight management

Once the freight has cleared final export customs clearance and has been tendered to the airline, the air freight agent at the airport of destination needs to be informed. documents need to be passed on. The customs bill of entry needs to be processed, data capture has to be done. The agent at the airport of departure (AoD) should be in a position to help his counterpart, when it comes to any documents, information etc. Planning air freight consolidation means planning a co-ordinated movement in such a way that it is smooth and efficient. Managing the freight abroad by managing communication lines.

A new business going to the US for example needs a few things to be checked in advance.

  • Has the consignee a bond in place?
  • Does he have his own broker?
  • If the consignment is NOT going to the airport closer to the consignee, but to a destination far away, would the broker be prepared to do a remote filing?
  • If he cannot, he should be ready to give a sup-power of attorney to your agent at the airport of arrival.
  • A bond has to be in place BEFORE the arrival of the freight, in order to save warehouse charges (demurrage)

Attention Shippers.

Pay attention to your packaging. If you are using wood keep to the ISPM norms. For more information click here.  Avoid overhang! If you are using pallets, try to use pallets with encased chocks (feet) .

Planning – A Concise Layout

Accurate dimensions are important. An aircraft has limited space and freight is always transported on or in  ULDs (Unit Load Devices)

Reference : ULD Unit Loading Devices

  1. AKE LD3 Lightweight
  2. AKE LD3 – 45
  3. AKW LD3 – Val
  4. AVA LD3 – Val
  5. AMH 10 Ft
  6. AMJ 10 Ft
  7. PMC 10 Ft
  8. PLA Half Pallet
  9. PLW Wings

Only those with valid certification are permitted to build  ULD consols  (built up units). Visit Lufthansa site for detailed information on ULDs.

Weight: No guesswork, please! Consignments are often weighed by the airline. Wrong weights mean, loss of time. Since several pieces make up  a consolidation, a few wrong weights can accumulate to form a large difference. An overloaded ULD might  collapse under weight. Think about floor load weight tolerance limits. Planning air freight consolidation doesn’t have to become a thesis. It just needs to be as accurate as possible

Documents : Original documents should be included in the consol pouch. Recheck if needed. Be a pedant when it comes to freight going to South America. Spelling mistakes can invite penalty (Venezuela, Brazil), Signatures on AWBs (Brazil). War risk declaration (Israel), No weight discrepancy (India) on AWBs. No “Pro-forma” on invoices (India)

ULD Consolidation

Check dimensions of the pieces! No sharp edges! Check the ULD before loading the freight :

Some of the points to be checked:

  • Rivets missing?
  • Tie down slots damaged?
  • Torn walls/Slits?

Third Party Freight In Consolidation

Check the pieces. Neutralised effectively? Labelled properly. Documents removed? Accompanying documents in consol pouch or on the consignment?

No ghost pieces! Consignee and shipper details to be mentioned on pieces.Airlines do not deliberately misplace freight. Since air freight is a fast mode, handling is a fast process and human beings can make mistakes.


Table calculators may be good. But not for consolidation jobs. Use a spreadsheet. Enter the consignment details (length, width, height, gross weight). Get the computer to calculate the volume (cubic metres ) and the volume weight.


Update the airline on time. Freight management can function well only when the agent and the airline work in harmony.

Update your agent at the airport of arrival. He needs to make preparation for the bills of entry.

Update your customer with flight details. He will update his customer abroad of the arrival of the freight.

Planning air freight consolidation : keep the aircraft in mind

Attention shippers: Keep your consignments, as far as possible to a maximum of 160 cm in height. That is the limit for all “lower deck” (belly load). If your freight is going to smaller airports (no direct flights) , try to keep the pieces to 70 cm in height or less and if possible limit the weight to maximum 150 Kg. On long haul flights 160 cm is quite normal. However, if the freight needs to be offloaded at the main airport and then go by transit to another, it is quite possible that a “narrow body” aircraft is used (B757 maximum height 70cm. Lufthansa takes 80cm. A319/A320: 110 cm)

MD 11 Main deck loads : maximum 244 cm in height.

B747-400 : standard is 295 cm height. In certain versions a bit more may be possible.

Remember: the length and the width of the consignment matter!!


To be continued….