You have just acquired a new order and it is to be sent by air freight. You are not sure about the procedures to be followed. You wish to keep the business expanding and the customer satisfied. All you need to do is to go through a systematic preparation and implementation
First Things First: Information
You have the contact details for correspondence: Names, email addresses, telephone and fax numbers, name of the department etc. Keep a note of the deadline for shipping. Look up the holidays in the country of the consignee. If consignments stay in the customs warehouse due to holidays demurrage charges will arise!
Use the incoterms in the correct way, so that the freight forwarder does not have to call you and check. Time is precious
EXW, named place
FCA, named place
DAP, named place. Additional information: excluding customs clearance (if you are not paying that)
Do you wish to have insurance cover executed by the freight forwarder? If you do, you “must” inform the freight forwarder in writing.
- Commercial invoices showing the details of the items very clearly. Please include the HS Code (also called HTS code) 8 digits
- Packing list. In some countries it is mandatory. It must include clear and detailed information about the items sold
- Minimum of 3 copies of the commercial invoices, all of them preferably carrying your signature (as far as possible use blue ink)
- Is a certificate of origin required?
- If you in Europe and are shipping to Turkey, you need an ATR
- If you are shipping to India, you need a Country of Origin Certificate
- If you are shipping to China and there is no wood used in packaging you need to include a Non-Wood Packing Declaration
- In certain countries the term “pro forma” on the invoice will create difficulties for customs clearance.
- Some countries need a Legalised Invoice
- If you are shipping to Brazil, the consignee’s tax registration number is needed in the address and is mandatory on the air way bill.
For points 1 to 6, write to your customer and get a list of documents needed. Always keep good digital copies read with you. Mail the documents in advance to the consignee.
If you are shipping dangerous goods, please let the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) go with the consignment. Check the documents and the consignment before despatching the SLI (Shipper’s Letter of Instructions). If any mistake is found dangerous goods recheck fee can be high!
Packaging For Air Freight
For wooden packaging use only treated wood! ISPM emblem must be visible!
Avoid overhang if using pallets. Consignment on pallets must occupy the space within the pallet.
No wobbly contents! Secure the content with dunnage.
The pieces must carry details of the shipper and the consignee
No slits or openings permitted in air freight! All slits to be sealed
If the contents may not be x-rayed, please mention this on the top surface. Additionally mention it in your SLI
Any special labels needed? FRAGILE, DO NOT THROW etc.
If your consignee is paying for the freight, he will decide the freight forwarder
Your freight forwarder will need a time window for picking up the freight. Send them the SLI as early as possible.
Freight forwarders prefer to receive the documents by email.
The Shipper’s Letter of Instruction is a binding contract between you and the freight forwarder
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.
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References for air freight
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.
The air cargo tracking page lets you track air cargo for 177 airlines. A track-trace service.
American Airlines offers air cargo service on virtually every flight we operate to destinations around the globe. Visit aa.com to learn more.