Cargo Aircraft in Freight Forwarding

Cargo Aircraft

Air Cargo companies fly their cargo on various aircraft. Even passenger aircraft is used to transport consignments. Freighter planes are made to carry only freight both on the lower and the main deck.

On passenger aeroplanes freight goes into the forward and aft compartments and in the hold, which is right at the back. Doors are provided on the sides with varying amount of clearance, depending on the type of aircraft, Some of the planes have lower door clearances, while some are high enough to take in a maximum of 160 cm in height.

Freighters have  a bigger capacity but limitations as well. MD 11 freighter has a general limitation on height of the consignment. The permissible height in this case on main deck is 244 cm. Boeing 747 (various versions) have a main deck hight clearance of 295 cm. However, the width and the height, too, matters. Although there are many different types of freighter planes, some of them have become famous: Antonov, Ilyushin 76, Boeing 747 (jumbo), MD 11, C17 (military)

An-124 ready” by DtomOwn work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

 cargo aircraft

Beluga n3” by Duch.sebOwn work. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons.

cargo aircraft

C17.globemaster.arp“. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.


Boeing 747 freighter planes have a possibility for nose loads, where the nose is opened to allow freight to be loaded into the compartment below the cockpit. The general hight clearance is 249 cm ( obviously in relation to height and width, as well)

Very heavy loads are usually placed towards the centre of the aircraft and this type of loading goes by the name of centre load. Some of the airlines do not accept centre loads.

The freighter floors have embedded rollers to help slide the freight into position. Hook locking facilities are provided along the floor to secure the freight.

Some of the freighters (Antonov) have winches built-in to help lift or lower freight, which is a bilge help to move and position heavy loads in the cabin.

Certain dangerous goods are restricted to freighters. such goods are classified as CAO (Cargo Aircraft Only). Special rules are in place that determine where and how dangerous goods are to be positioned inside the plane.


cargo aircraft  Courtesy : FLYTOBARCELONA

In the above photo you can have a closer look of the inside of a freighter






Courtesy : Air Charter Service








References for air cargo and freighter planes

Air cargo – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Air Cargo is any property carried or to be carried in an aircraft. Air cargo comprises air freight, air express and airmail. Contents. [hide]. 1 Aircraft types; 2 History.

Cargo airline – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cargo airlines (or airfreight carriers, and derivatives of these names) are airlines dedicated to the transport of cargo by air. Some cargo airlines are divisions or …

Alaska Air Cargo Home | Alaska Airlines

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Author: surenpillai

Experienced freight forwarder. Managed freight movements across all the continents. Highlights were the technology roadshows (EMEA) and Trade Lane Management India. All the above combined with Customer Relationship Management, foreign agent management, dedicated key account management. Previous experience as a teacher of English. Member of the Queen's English Society