Home > How to determine the cost of air freight and cargo

How to determine the cost of air freight and cargo


Transport and logistics companies constantly receive enquiries on air cargo transportation, specifically on the cost aspect; however, it is difficult to provide a clear reply because the enquiry is usually vague and unspecified.

AsstrA Poland CEO Andrzej Kołosowski explains that air transport is a complex process; to obtain a specific costing on a cargo, the transport company will need to ask specific questions, facilitating a quicker and accurate response for the client.

According to Mr Kołosowski, there are five important elements that will help the transporter determine the right cost for shipping the air cargo.

Determine the place of loading and unloading: Assessment of clearance rates for transport requires the client to not only specify the country of origin and country of destination, but also the particular city and method of transport.

Identify the Incoterms (International Commercial Terms): Selecting a specific transport will help the logistics expert decide what services should be taken into account in the final offer. The final cost of cargo will depend on the client’s choices.

Specify the weight and dimensions of the cargo: Air transport prices are strictly based on the weight of the cargo. However, even the dimensions of the cargo have a bearing on the cost since aircrafts and airports have limitations. For example, the cost of terminal handling of a cargo weighing more than 80kg is higher in almost all the airports of Russia.

Confirm cargo contents: Information concerning the cargo is an important factor given the impact on air transport safety. The freight to be transported by an aircraft will be checked by airport security staff. If the load contains loose, liquid, radioactive or explosive elements, a ‘security certificate’ is required to define whether air transport is possible as well as the conditions under which it may take place. There are also many types of valuable or perishable goods that require temperature-controlled transport.

Provide the cost of cargo: The value of the cargo may significantly affect the cost of carriage. For example, if a 1kg load costs more than $1,000, it will be deemed ‘valuable’ as per IATA (International Air Transport Association) standards and, therefore, will be more expensive to transport. The price of cargo is also directly linked with the cost of insurance charge for the duration of carriage.

Newsletter sign-up

The latest products and news delivered to your inbox