What is air freight and why should you choose it?

Air freight is a fantastic way to transport goods – including luxury cars, collector’s cars and full-scale clay prototypes – over large distances, across oceans and/or to remote locations.

In general, air freight is the longest-distance option, with sea freight for medium distances and road freight for short overland deliveries.

However, there are some exceptions to this, and air freight can also be used to move items faster, with less risk of encountering traffic along the way.

Ontime Automotive can arrange air freight shipping to transport high-value vehicles to locations around the world, including China, Japan, Canada and the Americas.

What is air freight shipping?

Air freight shipping is simply the process of moving cargo by aeroplane. In the case of sports cars and other collectible vehicles, that means securely loading the automobile into a cargo plane and delivering it safely at the arrival airport.

This can be combined with sea and road freight as required to provide a full end-to-end shipping service.

For example, during a typical Formula 1 season, teams often send crucial parts on ahead by fast air freight, while less important components and spares follow via slower ocean freight.

How does air freight work?

Ontime make it easy to send your vehicle via air freight. We will take care of everything, from collection through to delivery.

This door-to-door service includes:

  • Collection from your location in an enclosed car transporter
  • Full preparation for the flight by cargo plane
  • All Customs processes and paperwork taken care of
  • ATA Carnet arranged for temporary export/import
  • Final-mile delivery to destination by road freight

We provide uniformed, fully trained drivers and vehicle transportation experts, with competitive all-risks insurance to cover your vehicle at every stage of its journey.

How long does air freight take?

There are a few factors that can affect how long air freight takes end-to-end, but we will always aim to get your vehicle to its destination without delay.

By taking care of the Customs paperwork upfront, we can reduce the risk of delays during the shipment phase itself.

Standard air freight to China, Japan, Canada and the Americas can take about a week, depending on the next available flight and any Customs clearances that must be obtained before shipment.

For urgent deliveries we can aim to deliver faster, subject to available cargo capacity. If you are facing a deadline and need to get your vehicle there on time, get in touch and we’ll let you know as soon as possible.

Is air freight expensive?

Air freight will usually cost more than making the equivalent journey by road and sea freight, but it offers unique value.

Movements via air freight are fast and unlikely to be impacted by traffic, and there are few limitations on where in the world your cargo can be delivered.

If you have a specific shipment in mind, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to provide you with a bespoke quote for end-to-end transport, including final-mile road freight to and from the airport if required.

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