The Small Business Times

4 Pros And Cons Of Air Freight Delivery

Globalization and the growth of e-commerce mean that your business has trading partners in various locations. Most of these locations may not be accessible by road or rail.

In addition, if you’re dealing with perishable products, it’s imperative to deliver them in the shortest time possible. Hence, you need an alternative delivery method that can guarantee this.

Air freight delivery continues to gain popularity in various business fields. Choosing air freight delivery can depend on multiple factors. Some of which might make it less optional compared to other delivery means.

However, the benefits of air freight delivery can help improve relationships with your business partners. Therefore, it’s crucial to look at the pros and cons of air freight delivery below to help you decide whether you’d still want to use other means.

Pro: Offers Fast Delivery

If you’re moving goods within the same town or city, it may be easier to use road transport to deliver. However, once you go beyond your geographical location, it demands you choose an alternative means of delivery. You can select land, sea, or air. However, the distance and time available play an important role.

If you need the goods delivered within days, choosing air freight is safe. This is especially true if you have to decide between sea and air. For instance, if you have inventory for delivery from Australia to the USA, it’ll take a few days when using air freight.

However, if you decide to deliver by sea, it’ll take several weeks. If the items have a short shelf life, they may spoil before they reach the destination. You can lose both revenue and clientele.

Pro: Reduces Warehousing Costs

Your customers expect the availability of products at all times. Hence, you must hold enough stock to cover the period between a purchase order and delivery. This means you need adequate holding space. If your choice of delivery takes weeks to restock, you must order in bulk. 

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With air freight shipping, delivery is within days. Thus, you can have a small holding space and less inventory in the warehouse. This will help reduce your warehousing costs significantly. Furthermore, you’ll have less capital tied up in warehouse inventory.

Pro: Has A Global Reach

While other means of shipping are available in local destinations, they may not have the global connection like using air freight. For instance, if you need to move items from one continent to another separated by an ocean, using rail, road, or sea can offer various limitations. Air freight delivery can reach destinations not accessible by these methods. This can help reduce your logistical planning and costs.

Pro: Offers Better Reliability

Time is a cost factor in every business. Therefore, when you have specific delivery timeframes, it allows you and your business partners to plan your finances better, hence the need to have shipping means that ensure you achieve this.

Air transport has one of the most reliable departures and arrival times. There are significantly fewer delays compared to other shipping methods. In addition, your goods arrive in the same condition, unlike road delivery that might be subject to breakages due to road conditions.

Con: Has Limitations On Size And Weight

For safety reasons, airplanes have load specifications. These restrictions can include landing and take-off weight. Therefore, if your shipment is bulky and heavy, your load may not meet air freight requirements.

Furthermore, you might not get an airplane that can carry loads beyond a certain weight. These limitations put air freight behind other shipment avenues like rail and sea.

Con: Involves Significantly Higher Costs

The benefits of reliability and quick delivery often come at a cost. Thus, the cost of shipping by air is significantly higher than using land or sea. One of the reasons for the difference is due to volume.

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While land and sea shipping may determine cost using volume, air freight calculates shipping rates by weight. In addition, the destination also determines your shipping costs. Sometimes, it might even be costly when you’re shipping domestically versus internationally.

Therefore, before settling on air freight delivery, it’d be best to estimate freight costs first. Furthermore, the overall value of the product involved is also crucial. Air shipping a low-value item may not make business sense if its return is significantly low. 

Con: Has Restrictions On Product Type

Depending on local laws and aircraft policies, you might not ship some products by air. For instance, some regulations may prohibit air shipping highly magnetic, biochemical, or corrosive products. You may also not ship flammable items by air.

This can limit service to your business partners, especially if you need to meet a timeline. Therefore, checking with your local authorities and shipping company if your products are restricted for air freight delivery would be best. 

Con: It’s Highly Dependent On Weather

Sometimes, aircraft cancel flight plans due to adverse weather conditions. Weather patterns like thunderstorms, strong winds, and fog can cause significant flight delays and cancellations. Thus, your product can be delayed, and you might not have a specific delivery time for your business partners.


Using air freight delivery has its benefits and risks. However, it can be the best option to use if you have valuable and perishable products that need to meet specific delivery timelines. Thus, while its cons might make you hesitant, its benefits can be of a more significant value.