Airport to Airport Shipping: Everything You Need to Know - Shiprocket CargoX (2024)


  1. What is Airport to Airport Shipping?
  2. Comparison with Sea Shipping
  3. Importance of GPS and Tracking in Airport-to-Airport Shipping
  4. Factors Affecting Rates of Airport-to-Airport Shipping
  5. Transit Times and Delivery Estimates in Airport-to-Airport Shipping
  6. Conclusion

The world has come a whole lot closer with air transportation. It has also facilitated the growth of international trade. Ever wondered how air shipping works? Do the shipments reach the consumer’s doorstep? The air cargo industry uses different methods for air freight shipping. Airport-to-airport shipping moves your consignment to the destination airport. From there, the shipper will be required to make arrangements for the last-mile delivery.

This article tells you all there is to know about airport-to-airport shipping, the comparisons with other shipping methods, the factors affecting its price, and more.

Airport to Airport Shipping: Everything You Need to Know - Shiprocket CargoX (1)

What is Airport to Airport Shipping?

Once a consignor has made arrangements for the delivery of items to a consignee using the air cargo shipping services, the necessary paperwork must be completed to proceed smoothly. The items will be packaged according to the requirements of the courier that the consignor has selected. The courier will pick up the parcels from the consignor’s place and ship them to the air cargo terminal. The items will be subjected to customs checks to make sure that the goods are safe for transport and all the paperwork will be double verified. As soon as the goods are cleared for shipping, the items will be placed on a pallet and loaded onto an airplane.

As the air carrier reaches its destination, cargo will be unloaded and the next phase of security check and paperwork verification will be done. The carrier starts processing the goods through its chain of delivery to ensure that the items reach their destination properly.

Comparison with Sea Shipping

The table below highlights the key differences between airport-to-airport shipping and sea shipping.

CriteriaAirport-to-airport shippingSea shipping
Urgency of DeliveryAirport-to-airport shipping is best suited for time-sensitive deliveries and shipping products that have a short shelf lifeSuitable for goods that have long lead times and speed of shipping is not a major concern
Budget ConstraintsLarger shipping costs and cost savings on inventory and storage due to more efficient transit times.Lower shipping costs and more budget-friendly for non-urgent shipments
Type of CargoMost suited for fragile, high-value, perishable, and urgent deliverablesMost suited for bulk cargo, machines, vehicles, and less time-sensitive goods
Accessibility and DestinationSuited for all locations that have airportsNot suitable for land-locked countries
Environmental ConcernsHas a greater carbon footprint and is not suited to align with sustainability goalsEnvironmentally friendlier than other shipping methods

Importance of GPS and Tracking in Airport-to-Airport Shipping

Tracking and the rise of GPS technology have made monitoring orders a whole lot easier in the logistics industry. It is more than just identifying where your vehicle is. It gives additional advantages like the ability to track the valuables within a carrier while in transit. Moreover, temperature-sensitive shipments like pharmaceuticals and perishables need accurate conditions for storage, freight management systems, and transportation.

GPS technology also offers a solution for this issue as delicate items can be monitored throughout the transit period to ensure that they are stored at the right temperatures until they reach their destination. It minimises the chances of damage, spoilage, and loss that can result in financial ruin.

Factors Affecting Rates of Airport-to-Airport Shipping

The following variables may affect the cost of airport-to-airport shipping:

  • Delivery speed: Due to the rise in eCommerce businesses, there is a greater demand for overnight deliveries, which significantly impacts the cost of shipping. The cost will vary depending on the shipping service option chosen. Requirements for faster delivery are typically more expensive.
  • Shipment weight and volume: Since weight and volume are the primary factors that dictate how much room a shipment will take up on an airplane, the cost will become higher as the parcel’s size increases. Therefore, controlling your expenditure requires refining your packaging strategies.
  • Distance: There is a cost associated with transporting a shipment from one airport to another. These include expenses for labor, fuel, upkeep, and other things. The route and location are also important. Naturally, if the place gets farther away and more inaccessible, the costs will also go up.
  • Environmental considerations: The cost of transporting a package is significantly influenced by environmental factors. Due to the increased risk concerns, the cost of transportation will increase during wet and dangerous weather. The need for aviation fuel will also be taken into consideration.
  • Disruptions: These can be brought on by traffic jams, a shortage of fuel, an increase in labour expenses, the inability to find carriers owing to high demand, etc. Airport closures and other unanticipated events can also hinder freight forwarding and increase costs.

Transit Times and Delivery Estimates in Airport-to-Airport Shipping

Transit time is the time interval from the moment of loading cargo onto the carrier until it unloads at the airport of the destination. It is denoted in hours or days. It is a crucial timeline any freight forwarding business, airport authority, and shipper needs to understand. The participants in the logistics process should have the estimated transit time of cargo delivery for precise planning and preparation of airport services, customer procedures, unloading processes, handling of shipments, and more.

Transit time and delivery rates can be estimated using several online calculators. They determine these times using several factors like distance, air traffic, clearance times, and more. These might not be extremely precise, but they do provide you with a rough figure to plan your processes.


Airport-to-airport shipping is extremely popular these days with the rise in e-commerce businesses. Understanding how it functions and checking to see if airport-to-airport shipping lies within your budget can help you make your shipping processes more efficient. Airport-to-airport shipping takes a lower transit time when compared to other modes of shipping. It is extremely beneficial when you have time-sensitive and perishable shipments. Although it has a larger carbon footprint, it has several advantages that make it such an appealing shipping method.

Shiprocket CargoX offers a great solution that simplifies international air cargo shipping. It aims to make the process more efficient for businesses. It helps you streamline the complexities of cross-border shipping with a range of extensive features. These include pickup within 24 hours, complete visibility into the shipment process, easy documentation, quick invoicing, and more. CargoX is also committed to reliability and transparency with no hidden charges and restrictions on shipment weight. Moreover, it boasts an extensive global network coverage of more than 100 countries. What’s more? With CargoX, you get customised shipping plans to your business requirements, in addition to compliance for high service level agreements.

What are the benefits of airport-to-airport shipping?

Airport-to-airport shipping has many benefits, with speed, security, and reliability being the most significant ones. Other benefits include lower logistics costs, less heavy packaging required, reduced need for local warehousing, lower inventory holding costs, and lower insurance premiums.

What are the drawbacks of airport-to-airport shipping?

Fuel costs, handling fees, and other charges can still result in higher air shipment costs. Sending shipments via air is also prone to delays due to weather conditions, geopolitical situations, etc. Lastly, air freight has a low carrying capacity and requires specialized handling and packaging.

What goods can typically be shipped from one airport to another?

Airport-to-airport shipping is ideal for sending time-sensitive and lightweight shipments. Some goods you can ship by air include high-value items, fashion and luxury goods, medicine supplies, pharmaceutical products, perishable goods, products that need to be shipped in temperature-controlled conditions, and more.

How can I prepare for sending shipments via air?

You should keep some points in mind when sending shipments via air. Decide an air transportation option that fits your budget, timeline, and needs. Prepare your documents, pack your shipments, calculate your shipment’s weight, prepare for customs and ship. One bonus tip: don’t overpack your goods.

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Airport to Airport Shipping: Everything You Need to Know - Shiprocket CargoX (2024)


How does airport to airport shipping work? ›

Here's a breakdown of the air freight process:
  • Booking. Your first step is to book your shipment with a qualified provider. ...
  • Cargo handling at origin. ...
  • Customs clearance and inspections. ...
  • Transport to the airport of origin. ...
  • Loading onto aircraft. ...
  • Cargo moving. ...
  • Unloading at destination airport. ...
  • Final delivery.
Dec 19, 2023

How do I ship cargo by air? ›

  1. Get an Air Freight Quote. Decide which air transportation option is best for your timeline, budget and specific needs. ...
  2. Fill Out Your Forms. ...
  3. Pack Your Freight. ...
  4. Schedule a Pickup. ...
  5. Transport Your Shipment. ...
  6. Clearing Customs.

How does airplane shipping work? ›

Loading and Transportation to Aircraft: Once cleared, cargo is packed in Unit Load Devices (ULDs), such as pallets or containers, then moved to the aircraft for loading. Special equipment is used for oversized or heavy items. In-Flight and Transit: During flight, cargo is secured and monitored.

Can I ship a package through an airline? ›

Most airlines also offer cargo freighting services where you pay an additional fee to air freight a package in the cargo hold of the plane. Airline shipping is particularly convenient if you plan on travelling with your shipment as not all airline shipping services offer residential deliveries and pickups.

How does shipping process work step by step? ›

Steps in the shipping process
  • Importer requests quotes and orders goods. ...
  • Freight forwarder organises export. ...
  • Booking of freight through a carrier. ...
  • Goods are transported by freight. ...
  • Goods are processed in customs and placed in transit. ...
  • Goods arrive in the country of destination for import clearance.
Jun 21, 2021

What is cargo rules? ›

Rules associated with air cargo focus on safety, security, and compliance with international standards. These rules ensure that all cargo is properly classified, packaged, and labeled to prevent any potential risks during transportation.

How much does cargo ship cost? ›

The initial purchase cost of a cargo ship can range from $30 million for a small container ship to up to $500 million for a larger bulk carrier [2]. Additional costs associated with owning and operating a cargo ship include crew salaries, fuel costs, and insurance premiums [2].

How much is it to ship cargo? ›

Normal range: $2,000 - $5,000. The average cost to ship a moving container ranges from $2,000 to $5,000 , with a national average of $3,000 . Expect to pay more for heavier items and long-distance moves. The average cost to ship a moving container is $3,000 , but it ranges from $2,000 to $5,000 .

What do I need to know about air cargo handling? ›

The air freight shipping procedure: a complete overview
  • Step 1: Preparation and packaging of goods. ...
  • Step 2: Booking and documentation. ...
  • Step 3: Customs clearance and security screening. ...
  • Step 4: Loading and transport of goods. ...
  • Step 5: Tracking and monitoring of air shipment. ...
  • Step 6: Arrival and delivery.
Aug 4, 2023

How long do cargo flights take? ›

Freight shipping transit time is impacted by factors including distance, shipping mode, route, and season. In very rough estimates: express can take as little as 1-3 days, air freight is typically 5-10 days, and sea shipping can range anywhere from 20-45 days or more.

What is airport cargo? ›

It is the carriage or the transportation of goods through an air carrier. Transport services via air are the most valuable when it comes to moving express shipments around the globe and it consists of air mail, air freight and air express.

Is it cheaper to fly cargo or ship it? ›

Because of the quick turnaround and rapid shipping times, air freight is the more expensive shipping option. Sea freight is less expensive. If you choose to ship your goods with other products in an LCL it can be even more cost-effective.

Do airports have shipping? ›

Virtually every large US airport has either a us post office or a set of private UPS/Fedex drop boxes with supplies. You could ship it home or ahead if you really wanted to, and the item was small-ish. Most people either don't know about it, or don't want to pay up for the shipping.

Can you ship boxes at the airport? ›

On most airlines and to most destinations, the answer is yes. Just keep airline size and weight restrictions in mind, make sure to leave out restricted items and pack your box carefully so it arrives at your destination in one piece.

How much does it cost to ship something by plane? ›

Airline Shipping Costs
CarrierFirst bagThird bag
Frontier$55 to $89$85 to $95
Hawaiian$25 to $30$100
5 more rows
Jan 18, 2023

What happens when you transit through an airport? ›

Passengers who will be transferred to the international lines, receive their baggage and pass through the security checkpoints to deliver their baggage to the airline they have their transferred flight. At this point, border security checks the baggage again in accordance with the rules of the transferred country.

How long do parcels take at airport? ›

A standard customs clearance process shouldn't take longer than a few hours (usually, it's minutes). However, if any problems arise regarding your parcel, this process can take days or even weeks.

What is door to airport shipping term? ›

Door-to-airport delivery services refer to a logistics solution in which a company provides transportation of goods from a shipper's or seller's location to the airport, where the goods are then forwarded to their destination (“named place”) by air.

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