The ‘do’s and don’ts’ for chartering an aircraft for time critical freight

Friday, September 13, 2019

If you have urgent cargo that needs to be delivered as quickly as possible, we know time is money and you want to be best prepared. We have put together some ‘do’s’ and ‘don’t’s’ for you to consider in order to help you to get your cargo on the way, fast and on time.

Provide as much information as possible.

The more information we can obtain from you from the beginning, the quicker and more helpful we can be in obtaining the correct solution for you. Tell us the exact locations for pick-up and final delivery. The closest airport to collection is not always the most suitable and large airports are often busy and expensive. Your charter broker can help you to find alternative cargo-friendly airports which are close to your destination and less congested. After all, it is important to have the freight loaded onto the charter aircraft as quick as possible.

Provide the correct information.

As well as having detailed information about the shipment, it is important that the information is correct so that the broker can focus on the correct solution from the beginning. Giving the exact dimensions avoids the expensive surprise of a larger than expected crate turning up on the day of departure and not fitting into the aircraft.  Similarly, this applies to the weight of the shipment.

Keep the communication alive.

Communication is key; therefore, we understand the need to keep you informed as much as possible so that you can inform your client accordingly.

Ensure you receive the right service.  

We will find the most suitable and economical solution that fits with your deadline. So don’t assume it is always charter, when it could travel by our Onboard Courier (OBC) service or by Express Air Freight. If your charter requirements include a series of shipments, please let us know, because very often, booking numerous flights at the same time will be cheaper than booking each one individually.

Assure you get the right contractual conditions.

Ensure that the contracting terms with your broker are fair and measured to the charter flight and that all costs are inclusive. This is not provided by all brokers in the market place. At Air Partner, we set a high value on reliable and clear contracting terms with no additional costs to be expected.

Ensure your charter partner can provide credit.

Due to the ad-hoc nature of such time-critical flights, the standard arrangement for prepayment of charters and OBC jobs is not always feasible. It is always beneficial to work with a charter broker that is as financially strong and transparent as Air Partner is.

Make sure to have a broker involved to secure the best charter price. 

The benefit in working with a broker rather than directly with an operator is undisputable. The broker has buying power and the full overview of the market availability and pricing. The broker negotiates the best possible terms for the client rather than the airline dictating their own terms. Also, the broker can identify potential charter risks early on, about which an airline might not be so forthcoming.

We have seen a growing number of freight forwarders contacting airlines directly for charter work and consequently, many brokers and airlines have approached shippers directly. However, at Air Partner, we only work with freight forwarders, as we value the expertise and role that each involved party contributes to a time-critical shipment.

Follow the recommendations of your charter broker.

A good broker will be able to provide information on varying factors such as weather warnings and current airport restrictions. It is important that this is seriously considered before the transport is booked. They will have a back-up plan in place or offer alternative options to ensure risks are mitigated, and delivery deadlines are met.

Air Partner offers an experienced, personal and integrated service. We provide quick and reliable charter and OBC solutions and advise you along the entire logistical process, always putting your needs first. With our dedicated 24/7 global flight support, clients can rest assured that the team will find the quickest tailored solution – 365 days a year, 24/7.


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