Logistic services

Advantages of contracting air transport services

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Air transport is now the fastest means of transporting people and cargo over long distances.

The technological development in aviation has allowed to build increasingly larger and more efficient aircraft in the use of fuel, equipped with navigation and security systems of the latest generation.

In inhospitable regions that lack port or road infrastructure, air transport is usually the only means of connection with the rest of the world.

As air transport we understand the service of cargo or passenger transfer by the use of aircraft.

Evolution of air transport

The aircraft built at the beginning of the 20th century were very simple and had little load capacity, so they only served to transport one or two people.

Later they were improving the designs and materials of construction and the aircrafts increased their capacity of load and speed of displacement.

For the First World War the planes could already carry loads like light bombs and machine guns and in a short time there were models that carried merchandise.

This included correspondence, supplies and food for the troops or for remote populations, although in a small amount.

In the Second World War the aviation industry had a spectacular upswing and models with capacity to carry several tons of equipment emerged.

At the end of the war, large fleets of military aircraft were destined to the massive transport of cargo around the world.

In 1958 a group of US and British airlines put into service the first jetliner for commercial transport.

Then, in 1970 the Boeing 747 came into service, the largest jet aircraft of its time, which can carry up to 500 passengers or more than 90 tons of cargo, depending on its configuration.

In parallel, new loading and unloading systems were created in aircraft and special container models were developed for pressurized and non-pressurized environments.

Currently and thanks to the existence of models of large aircraft designed exclusively for loading, this means is the second most used, only exceeded by shipping.

Characteristics of air transport

In 1944, the Chicago Convention was signed, where 57 companies from 31 countries agreed on the first air transport regulations.

In the early 1970s the boom in multimodal transport led air operators to standardize their loading and unloading methods to reduce time and costs.

This process is similar to the one that was already being consolidated in other sectors such as maritime transport as a result of the implementation of the use of metallic containers of 20 and 40 feet in length.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) assumed the normalization of air cargo in 1969.

Among these measures, it established that the cargo should be grouped into container units, with standardized measures and forms, following the example of maritime transport.

In addition, the mandatory use of cargo retention mechanisms was established under the name “Tie Down Equipment”.

The characteristics of the loading and unloading equipment used in aircraft, or “Unit Load Devices (ULD)” were also defined.

Another established norm was that the term FTK (Freight Tonne-Kilometer) be used as a unit of measurement for air transport.

A Freight Tonne Kilometer (FTK) equals 1 metric ton of cargo transported per 1 kilometer away.

The FTK takes into account the fact that distance influences both the freight costs and the load’s own weight.

What type of aircraft are used in air transport?

Commercial airplanes are intended primarily for the transport of passengers and only have a limited cargo capacity in their warehouses.

However, today there are several models of aircraft designed especially for cargo transport.

These aircraft have a wider and higher fuselage than a passenger or mixed-use aircraft (cargo and passengers).

They also have special security and retention equipment for their containers, as well as equipment to facilitate the loading and unloading of merchandise.

Another feature is that they have larger gates to facilitate the entry and exit of containers or large boxes.

The larger ones can even be opened at the front end, separating the cockpit from the rest of the fuselage thanks to a special system of hinges.

Others allow loading by the rear, facilitating the entry of vehicles or longer containers.

They also have a more robust landing gear that allows them to land on low maintenance or unpaved roads.

Advantages and disadvantages of air transport

Air transport has advantages and disadvantages that you must take into account if you want to hire freight through this system.

Highlights its rapi

dez. On average, a cargo jet plane flies over 700 kilometers per hour.

This is important if the delivery time of your products is critical, as in the case of the transport of perishable products.

Once the flight has been lifted, the planes can travel for many hours and cover long distances before needing a landing to refuel.

In addition, air routes tend to be shorter because routes with fewer detours are used than those used for land or sea transport.

Air transport is not limited by geography, such as seas, lakes or mountains.

Regarding their disadvantages, they suffer from limitations in the weight and volume of the load they can carry.

Air transport requires a very expensive infrastructure. The construction of a modern airport can cost hundreds or billions of dollars.

The cost of fuel per tonne mobilized is very high compared to maritime, rail or land transport.
For this reason, it is not profitable to carry low-cost products.

It is vulnerable to adverse weather conditions at the airports of origin or destination, which means that flights must be canceled or delayed.

A dangerous weather condition may also force diversion of flights, which increases costs and generates delays in freight delivery.

To this are added dozens of regulations that limit the transport of toxic substances, biological products, flammable elements and others that can be carried by ship or by land.

Conclusion

If you want to use air transport to get your cargo quickly to destination, it is better to consult with an expert company in the field.

Alfa Trading is one of the most experienced companies in Paraguay in all modes of cargo transport, including shipments by sea, air and land.

At Alfa Trading we have expert advisors in the field, who will guide you on the form, costs and permits you need to take your cargo by air to anywhere in the world.

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