Understanding Your International Air Freight Bill

October 12, 2023

Air Freight

If air freight is a crucial part of your operations, you’re in the right place. Your international air freight bill holds the key to comprehending the costs associated with shipping goods via air, ensuring transparency and informed decision-making.

We’ll walk you through the essentials of understanding your international air freight bill, shedding light on air freight charges, how to calculate chargeable weight, and more.

Understanding Air Freight Charges

The first step in understanding your international air freight bill is grasping the concept of air freight charges – various elements that contribute to the overall cost of shipping your goods by air. They include but aren’t limited to:

Freight Charges: These are the basic charges for transporting your goods by air. The exact amount depends on factors like the type of goods, origin, destination, and airline rates.

Fuel Surcharges: Given the volatile nature of fuel prices, airlines often include a fuel surcharge to offset any fluctuations in fuel costs.

Security Fees: These fees contribute to ensuring the safety and security of your goods throughout their journey.

War Surcharges: These cover the increased risks associated with transporting cargo in regions or times where there is a greater likelihood of hostilities or other risks to the aircraft and its cargo.

Customs Charges: International shipments involve customs procedures, and the associated charges cover the administrative aspects of these processes.

Handling Charges: This encompasses the cost of handling your goods at airports, including loading and unloading.

Insurance Premiums: If you choose to insure your cargo, insurance premiums will also be included in your air freight bill.

How to Calculate Chargeable Weight

The Chargeable Weight plays a pivotal role in calculating your air freight costs. This weight isn’t necessarily the actual weight of your goods but is determined by both the weight and volume of your shipment.

The Chargeable Weight for air freight shipments is determined by either the Actual Weight (Gross Weight) or the Volumetric Weight (also known as Dimensional Weight), whichever value is higher. Volumetric Weight is derived from the package dimensions (length, width, and height) and is often expressed as the product of these dimensions (L x W x H). Notably, larger items with relatively lower actual weight may occupy more space on an aircraft compared to smaller, heavier items. This explains why airlines apply charges based on the Chargeable Weight, ensuring fair compensation for the space utilised.

Calculating Air Freight Costs

Calculating air freight costs involves understanding how different factors contribute to the final bill. Here’s a simplified breakdown:

Weight and Volume: The chargeable weight heavily influences the cost. The heavier or bulkier your shipment, the higher the charges.

Distance: The distance between the origin and destination affects the freight charges. Longer distances often result in higher costs.

Urgency: If your shipment requires expedited delivery, it might incur additional charges due to priority handling.

Customs and Regulations: Depending on the destination country, you might encounter customs duties, taxes, or other regulatory fees that contribute to the overall cost.

Service Level: Different service levels offer varying features, such as tracking capabilities and delivery speed. Each level comes with a different price point.

As you explore the complexities of international air freight, having a reliable partner by your side can make all the difference. We specialise in providing comprehensive logistics solutions, including international air freight services, and our team of experts understands the nuances of the industry and can guide you through the intricacies of air freight.

Understanding your international air freight bill is pivotal to making informed decisions and managing your supply chain costs effectively. With air freight charges, chargeable weight calculations, and various contributing factors in mind, you can navigate the world of international trade with confidence. Contact our team today to discuss your next shipment, and for all of the latest AGI news, don’t forget to follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook!