How to Improve your Air Freight Strategy

August 26, 2015 Ken Klaver

freight audit. Controlpay

Air freight as a service attracts a high price. But for products that warrant the costs of being transported via airfreight, this mode of transport is quick, supplies a high quality of service and can provide a much-needed compliance assistance. 

Life sciences products with a steady demand are better suited to be transported by ocean. However, David Bang, Global Head of DHL Temperature Management Solutions mentions that it is in line with the swift supply of new products where airfreight comes into its own.

“New products are constantly being introduced to new markets, which requires speed and flexibility based on smaller batch moves. The need for speed to the market and being able to accommodate fluctuating market demands will continue to rise no matter what.”

He continued:“Speaking of the second advantage “regulatory compliance”, over the last few years, the airfreight industry as a whole has stepped up to the plate to relieve some of the recent regulatory pressure that the life sciences & healthcare industry is facing, for example the EU GDP guidelines.” In line with this focus on healthcare product handling on the rise, some freight forwarders have been aiming to obtain accreditations in this area from health authorities.

Products that are more temperature and time sensitive like biologics and biotechnologies are often more suited to air freight rather than sea. 

This inspiring intro was the motive for Cold Chain IQ to create this guide of elements to consider when optimizing the use of air freight within temperature controlled logistics. We at ControlPay have highlighted the most important elements of this outstanding report.

As Europe's largest Freight Audit company we have a rich experience handling air freight invoicing on a global scale for some of the largest multinationals.  Whether it’s documents, medicines, operating emergency goods, spare machinery parts or other kinds of machinery that urgently needs to be transported to avoid production losses, our Freight Audit & Tender platform are specifically set-up for a fast, reliable and low-touch handling of air freight audit & payment, carrier selection and cost settlement. We work closely together with the largest logistics service providers in this segment. 

Why Freight Audit is a recommended practice for Shipper with frequent air freight

- High transportation fees

- Airlines bill is a chargeable weight

- Accurate carrier selection and performance analysis 

- Sensitive for additional / Extra Transportation costs

- Integrated advanced Tender Platform

On the matter of conflicts of interest between freight orders on a airplain, Greg Giarratana National Airfreight and Branch Manager Mainfreight International notes there are many things to be determined: “You arrive at the airport as cargo much earlier than the passenger does and you are handled and mixed in with other commodities. There could be conflicts of interest, of course, in regard to temperature zones. So there are a lot of things that need to be considered as an international forwarder [when determining how] to position yourself as a piece of cargo and how would you like to be treated.” 

A problematic stage often encountered by pharmaceutical firms occurs after flight when cargo is transferred from the aircraft to the airline warehouse.

In preparation for this stage, some of the promised offerings from airports include cooled transfer trucks, reflective blankets and temperature controlled warehouses en route. However,

Mark notes that he has encountered issues with these on one occasion or another:“...the worst being product left in a non-temperature controlled warehouse for over 36 hours despite being booked, and paid for on a temperature controlled service.”

One solution for this situation is the use of active cooling device, - efficient but can be expensive and can need intervention – re-icing, mains plug power, fresh batteries, etc...

Passive systems can be a good option here, but bear in mind that due to the added bulk this option is likely to increase the weight being shipped and therefore the cost needed. 

Conclusion - How to optimize Air Freight

Air freight is an exceptional tool when applied successfully. While optimizing the use of airfreight it is paramount to pay attention to addressing potential pitfalls that may be encountered. This way your return on investment will be more safeguarded.

25 - 28 January, 2016 Frankfurt, Germany

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