Nowadays, there are a wide variety of things that can be shipped as air freight, ranging from letters, clothes, edibles, cars, industrial equipment, animals, as well as other airplanes. Generally, there are three different types of air freight: goods on passenger airlines, goods that are transported in dedicated freight planes and goods that ride of special vehicles known as super cargo planes.
Freight on Passenger Airlines
Along with the passenger baggage, almost all airlines also carry some amount of freight. In fact, it has been found that most consumer airlines make 5% to 10% of their total revenue from carrying additional freight. This is generally packed together in special containers and stowed away into a hidden storage area under the passenger compartment.
In the “Combi” mode when some of the passenger compartments are used as storage areas, a single aircraft can carry more than 10,000 cubic feet of cargo along with a whopping 266 passengers or even more. As can be guessed from here, a plane that is solely dedicated to transporting cargo can transport even more.
Dedicated Airline Cargo Shipping
Planes that are dedicated to shipping cargo alone are generally owned by international shipping companies. One of the most spectacular types of cargo planes is the Boeing 747-400 which can transport around 26,000 cubic feet of freight at once. Some of these cargo planes are also equipped with safety shipping animals over international borders. They have special types of containers called airstables, for instance, which are used for shipping horses. Some of these aircrafts are also equipped with facilities that help in the transportation of construction or other types of machinery.
Super Cargo Transporters
True to their name, these super transports are allowed to ship huge cargo such as a plane or a helicopter. The idea of a plane inside a plane might seem futuristic but it is being made possible somewhere right at this moment. These super transporters have built in special units above the cockpit. Quite obviously, the cargo fills up most of the aircraft space. They have huge doors that can be undone to load and unload the freight.
New in Air Cargo: Drone Delivery
Stories about how some delivery services around the world have invested big bucks in developing drones capable of delivering goods up to a reasonable weight. Although experiments and trials have been on for many years, experts are of the opinion that the world will have to wait a little longer to witness the first drone delivery. However, the prospect of having an item delivered to you in less than a couple of hours is by one of the most talked about concepts when it comes to air cargo delivery.
Hence, until the drone delivery facility is made available to the average consumer, it can be assumed that conventional air freight will hold its importance for long. Even though drones seem like an exciting prospect, when it comes to bulky delivery, nothing can beat air freight delivery, other than perhaps sea freight. However, aircrafts and super cargo transporters will dominate over air logistics even a few decades from now.