The 6 Best Practices for Shipping Oversized Cargo by Air

Shipping heavy or oversized cargo is hardly a smooth, stress-free process. Whether you are transporting outsized items for business or personal reasons, expect to face a few challenges as you go through each step.

Since oversized cargos are different, they come with unique requirements. These include the need for special equipment and specialists for handling them.

And even if you have shipped the same items before, if you need to send them to another place, you’ll need to deal with different international shipping rules that you are required to comply with to avoid delays.

These various intricacies and challenges, though, shouldn’t deter you from shipping heavy cargo. With the right strategies and tips, you can minimize the issues and hassles you will have to deal with.

Managing Oversized Cargo Shipping Efficiently

Working with an oversized cargo charter service provider can pave the way for a smoother, less stressful shipping process.

Many private jets are modified to hold and transport heavy and oversized cargo. They have spacious cabins outfitted with safety harnesses that can keep even the bulkiest item securely in place.

Air charter companies are also usually subjected to fewer or less strict restrictions, especially when compared with sea and road freight services. Because of this, they can accommodate more types of cargo.  

Once you have chosen your service provider, follow these practices and tips for successful oversized cargo shipment by air:

1. Take accurate measurements of the cargo.

Knowing the precise size, dimension, and weight of your cargo is crucial when shipping oversized items. This is because your air charter company needs these details to plan how to load and unload the freight and balance its weight.

Aircraft load planning engineers require a clear, accurate, and understandable packing list to proceed with their assessment.

This packing list should include the content of each box or pallet, the number of pieces in each container, individual weight, and overall dimensions.

Load planning is a crucial process wherein the engineers work with you to carefully map out a plan of action. As such, be prepared for them to speak with you often to get the information they need. 

You may even have to provide your service provider with technical drawings, including those of the cargo base you will use. Because of this, make sure you prepare these documents.

2. Check the aircraft’s lashing equipment.

When shipping outsized cargo by air, you need them to be stable and prevent them from moving at any time for the safety of the crew, aircraft, and your payload as well.

Because of this, your air cargo charterservice provider needs to plan the proper and secure fastening of your outsized item.

Most air cargo charterservice companies useaircraft lashing chains to secure containers and other loads. The number of chains applied to the cargo depends on its weight.

Your service provider will also give you advice on specific requirements for your particular cargo. You have to follow these recommendations to keep your shipment safe and secure at all times.

3. Avoid scrimping on the packaging.

Transporting cargo is a lengthy process. As the shipper, you want to keep your shipment’s integrity no matter what happens while it is in transit. 

When packing your cargo, ensure that the packaging meets the ICAO and IATA requirements for air transport packages. Cargo inside boxes must be secure and fixed regardless of the aircraft’s movement.

If you are shipping large quantities of perishables, ensure their packaging is not airtight. This is because the temperature and humidity in the cargo cabin change when the aircraft climbs and descends.

Your cargo will be damaged if the air pressure inside and outside of the package is not equalized.

4. Ask about the equipment and practices used in loading. 

Different types of cargo require a variety of loading and unloading methods, equipment, and tools. Some payloads are suitable to be loaded into an aircraft with an onboard crane system, while others may require the use of forklifts andother warehouse apparatuses.

Find out if the service provider has a crane system so that you and the staff will have no difficulty loading and unloading the cargo regardless of its size and weight.

Your air cargo charterservice provider should also have the appropriate packing and unpacking tools to use for moving the shipment once it reaches its destination.

Also, find out if the staff are trained to operate all pieces of machinery they need to use in handling your cargo. This will give you the assurance that your shipment will be handled carefully and that you don’t need to hire another company to assist with transporting it.

If you are shipping vehicles or complex bulky items, find out if your service providercan design and manufacture special frames and other features to load, unload, and move the cargo more efficiently.These can include building a ramp or rail system.

5. Find out if the air cargo charter company accepts dangerous cargo.

If you are shipping dangerous goods, such as explosives, compressed gases, and flammable liquids, check if your preferred air cargo charter service provider accepts them.

This is because dangerous or volatile goods require special preparation and packaging that should meet ICAO and IATA regulations.

Also, some types of dangerous goods are restricted so no airline or private charter can transport them under any circumstances.

The earlier you inform the air cargo charter company about the type of cargo you want to ship, the earlier you will know if they can accept it or not. If they don’t, you can look into other options.

6. Check the other offered amenities and services.

Lastly, knowing that your air cargo charter company can cover all bases throughout the shipping process is part of being anagile leader.

All countries have their own regulations and procedures regarding the issuance of flight permits. Your air cargo charter company should be familiar with all these to ensure they get the approvals and necessary permits to fly and transport your shipment within the given timeframe.

Also, ask your service provider if the airport where they are headed has infrastructures that can accommodate your bulky cargo.

It should have proper loading and unloading areas and taxiways that can facilitate easy movement of your shipment.

With these practices and tips, you can avoid various headaches that come with shipping outsized, heavy cargo, regardless of what it is and where it is going.

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