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Air Forwarders - Going Beyond Barriers


The transport of goods between various distances within short times is possible through air forwarders. As the name connotes, air forwarders transport freight through airlines. Because there is no appreciable traffic, air forwarders are able to deliver quickly.

The History of Air Forwarders

In 1910, the first air forwarders transported a bolt of silk between Dayton and Columbus, Ohio. The first air forwarders beat their railroad contemporaries. In 1919, air forwarders became an integral part of the business. Air forwarders such as American Railway Express and Henry Ford's express company had to adjust by increasing capacity.

It was only after the Second World War that the idea of all-cargo commercial airlines came into existence. Among the pioneer air forwarders during this period was the National Air Transport, the American Railway Express (or Railway Express Agency, REA) and the General Air Express. The air forwarders REA and the General Air Express eventually merged to become the United Airlines. Other air forwarders formed included Airnews, Flying Tiger and Slick. In the early competition among these air forwarders, Flying Tiger turned to out to be the winner.

In the 1980s, one of the most popular air forwarders was founded. Air forwarders idea was the brainchild of Fred Smith, who thought that combining passenger and freight air traffic was not cost-effective. His notion that faster deliveries can be made if freight was transported alone and his idea that next-day deliveries was the way to go, eventually gave rise to Federal Express, one of the giant air forwarders in the world. These principles still guide air forwarders today. Fed Ex eventually acquired flying Tiger in 1989.

The other giant among the air forwarders is UPS (United Postal Service) which traces its origins to a bicycle-based service back in 1907. After serving diverse clients and expanding to air traffic, UPS eventually became one of the most trusted air forwarders and gained a rival status with Fed Ex.

What goods can air forwarders transport?

Air forwarders can transport a variety of goods. Air forwarders can accommodate documents, packages, perishable and non-perishable goods. Air forwarders can also transport hazardous materials. Because of their specialized cargo holders, air forwarders are able to handle materials that are time or temperature-sensitive. Air forwarders are also able to handle both single cargo and multiple, heavy freight.

What to expect from air forwarders

Like other companies, air forwarders provide estimates and advice to the client. Air forwarders take into consideration the origin and destination and the special conditions in which the cargo should be transported. Air forwarders are also able to arrange customs clearance, documentation and insurance. Many air forwarders have their own warehouses and branches within a single county. Because of the multinational nature of air transport, air forwarders accommodate different methods of payment and various currencies from their client.

Air forwarders can transport a large amount of goods. Like other providers, air forwarders generally give some discounts on bulk transport. Air forwarders also ensure the security of their cargo by providing tracking numbers. Should air forwarders fail to deliver cargo safely, they have some provisions that ensure the client's reparation. Through this, air forwarders are able to propagate and maintain goodwill.

One of the advantages of transporting cargo through air forwarders is that they are able to completely manage one's shipping needs. Air forwarders can oversee a complex shipping project. When air forwarders are tasked to manage a big shipping project, they coordinate and manage all the parties involved in the shipping process. Because of this integration, air forwarders are able to cut costs and this translates to lower expenses for the client.

Regulation of Air Forwarders

In the U.S., the International Air Transport Association (IATA) gives accreditation to air forwarders. IATA currently has 230 air forwarders as members. IATA seeks to improve safety standards for air forwarders and minimize the deleterious effects air forwarders have on the environment. Another group of air forwarders known as the Airforwarders Association (AfA) assumes the role of being the voice of the industry. In U. K., there is no licensing process for air forwarders but many air forwarders maintain being members of the British International Freight Association (BIFA).

Choosing Air Forwarders

Air forwarders promote services through radio, newspapers, and television. However, the internet has now become the best friend of air forwarders. Because the internet is accessible to anyone, air forwarders can publish their services through the web and gain international clients. The internet is an important marketplace for air forwarders. When a person orders a gadget abroad and wants it transported to his home, he can just access tone of the air forwarders' websites.

It is important to entrust cargo only to air forwarders who have established reputations. Hiring air forwarders can help a person or a business save both time and money. Because air forwarders are professional, they are able to handle their tasks efficiently and effectively. This way, air forwarders are able to increase customer satisfaction and increase their client's productivity.

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Air Forwarders