Apr 8, 2014

Many companies in the manufacturing arena have a need to expedite their products to a partner, vendor or consumer. There may be many reasons for this need from a delay in production, a replacement part or just the simple fact that what they make is a hot commodity.  But how you expedite freight can make a world of difference to your bottom line.  The term “airfreight” is used very often in these instances, but did you know many times it never leaves the ground?  Let’s discuss how to get your product where it needs to go, when it needs to be there, without buying a whole plane to make it happen.

Alternatives to airfreight:

There are alternative methods to get product places overnight without putting them in the air.  Many expedited carriers that you may have used in the past might keep a significant amount of your freight on the ground, yet you pay for “airfreight”.  Did you also know that you can move freight on the ground just about anywhere in the country leaving Friday and delivering it on Monday?  But when you ship airfreight Friday for Monday it is considered next day freight because these airfreight carriers do not count the weekends in their transit times.  Do you think they put it on a plane for you?  Typically not.

Four key questions to ask before booking your next cargo flight:

1)     What size equipment will this fit on?
2)     What is the length of transit time, in hours?
3)     What time do they need it there by?
4)     Do they need all of the product at once?

Asking a few simple questions can help determine more cost effective options.  Instead of flying the product on a plane, maybe it can be moved on a cargo or sprinter van.  Instead of delivering at 8 AM, can it be received by noon if there is a significant savings?  Can we airfreight a few cartons and move the rest of the shipment on the ground?

By avoiding air freight transportation you also avoid paying based upon the dimensional weight of the product.  Airfreight is charged by dimensional weight or actual weight, whichever is greater.  So if you are shipping ping pong balls, feathers or styrofoam overnight, you may be in for sticker shock.

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Here’s the “King solution” in action….

The challenge:

A very successful customer of mine produced commodities that required daily expedited shipping solutions. Their product was utilized by a rather large computer manufacturer in Texas.  They made the product and then they put it on a plane every night and it delivered to Texas the next day!  They were making money and life was good.  Well one day an operations manager looked at their airfreight costs and determined this was costing them a lot of money, but it was the way they always did it.  The feeling internally was that they were profitable and it was just part of doing business, but this operations manager did not accept this answer.  He wanted to make a difference for the company.  He wanted the company to be profitable, but if he could eliminate some of the costs of doing business they could be even more profitable.  This is where King Solutions came in.  We were challenged with finding a solution to lower costs but ensure that the product got to the computer manufacturer in the same timeframe.

The solution:

So how did we do it?  We decided to procure dedicated equipment with team drivers that could load in the evening, drive straight through and deliver the next day in time for production in TX.  So what were the major benefits?

1)      Eliminated the need for an airplane which instantly lowered their costs
2)     Shipped later in the day since we did not have to make a flight cut-off time
3)     Produced more product each day because of the later ship time
4)     Decreased the number of expedited shipments per week

This is just one success story of eliminating “airfreight” for a customer but it is one of the most impactful for me because it changed the way I thought about airfreight and how I could help my customers with creative expedited solutions in the future.

King can help:

The world of airfreight can be very confusing.  Understanding expedited transportation options to move your product in order to meet delivery expectations can be very beneficial financially.  Partner with someone who looks out for your best interests, like King Solutions. We make recommendations on how to do it smarter while managing it for you.  Remember, the term airfreight does not necessarily mean shipping on a plane or being dependent on air carrier.  Take control of your expedited costs now, it is worth it to your business’ bottom line.

Let’s talk solutions.