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What Is The Importance Of Air Cargo?


Sanjay Negi

Assistant Director @ Shiprocket

June 3, 2022

4 min read

It’s December 17, 1903. Orville and Wilbur Wright are out there preparing to fly their airplane for the first time. Forget about air cargo, the mere idea of airplanes is unbelievable for people. At this point of time, who would know that air travel is going to revolutionize the world in countless ways?

Cut to the 1910s, man’s dream of flying is now a reality. Airplanes now not only let millions travel quickly every day but also have opened up the space for air freight.

importance of air cargo

During the 1920s, many airlines were started. A number of those airlines also flew freight as the years passed by. With the introduction of the four-engine Boeing 747 in 1968, businesses were able to transport full pallets in its cargo hold, which brought a revolution in the air cargo industry.

Consequently, the world saw the rise and rise of FedEx, UPS and their competitors in express parcel delivery (DHL and TNT). By the 1990s, the amount of air cargo grew significantly. While this was also due to the increased use of the internet and technological innovations, the growth of global commerce was one of the major reasons.

Now, airplanes enable quick travel for millions daily around the globe; and millions of packages are shipped by air freight every day. The rapid growth of eCommerce in the past decade has made the movement of freight by air even more prominent across the globe.

Showing a relatively sluggish growth in the early 2010’s, the global volume of air freight shot up in recent years, reaching 66.2 million metric tons in 2021. For the global eCommerce industry to operate smoothly, air cargo is today more important than ever.

Benefits Of Air Cargo

importance of air cargo
3rd June Shiprocket Cargo Single Image

Highest Shipping Speed

Air cargo is the fastest and the most convenient way to ship goods. When there is a need to deliver your goods quickly, you would always want to prefer air freight over sea freight or road transport due to a certain trustworthiness that comes attached with it.

Reliable Timelines

As air cargo has the speed advantage, it gives you a lot more reliable timelines. Being on top of their schedules, the arrival and departure times of flights are on point. Even if you miss a flight, your shipments won’t be delayed much as there are usually flights departing every hour.

Worldwide Reach

Using air cargo, you can send your packages almost everywhere around the world. It becomes easier to reach areas that are not easily accessible through other modes of transport. Airlines have a huge network and you can leverage that to expand your business reach.

Low Insurance Costs

You don’t have to pay a lot of insurance premium for air cargo. This is because air freight  has relatively shorter transportation time. Even if the rates are higher in this mode of transport, it does save you money in terms of lower insurance costs.

Better Shipment Security

Air cargo offers you the best level of security out of all the shipment modes. Your packages have less exposure to theft and damage due to strict safety restrictions. This reduces the chances of extra costs in the form of losses during transit.

Lesser Warehousing Needs

Air cargo doesn’t require you to keep a lot of items in stock. As the transit times are faster, the warehousing needs become lesser. If the customs clearance, cargo inspection and cargo handlers are efficient enough, most of your shipments would be cleared within a matter of hours.

Lighter Packaging

Unlike ocean cargo, air shipments require lighter packaging. This not only saves your time but also saves your money that you’d otherwise spend on additional packaging.

Timely Status Updates

Many air cargo companies give you the opportunity to track your shipments using a web application. It allows you to constantly monitor the status of your cargo from departure to arrival and stay informed.


To conclude, if you want your shipments to travel long distances in short periods of time with high levels of security, air cargo is the type of freight service for your business to avail. This also becomes the best choice if you have an urgent need to ship a product or if the nature of your goods require special standards of protection. As the eCommerce industry grows across the world, the significance of air cargo is only going to increase.

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