Air Freight Forwarder
A service organization which serves the dual role of air carrier (usually indirect) and shipper. To the shipper the air freight forwarder is an indirect air carrier because it receives freight under its own tariff, yet does not actually operate the aircraft. The air freight forwarder provides pick-up and delivery service to and from the shippers dock, consolidates shipments into larger units, prepares shipping documentation and tenders shipments to the airlines. To the airlines, the air freight forwarder is a shipper. Ordinarily an air freight forwarder is classed as an indirect air carrier, however, some air freight forwarders operate their own aircraft.
A shipping document used by the airlines for air freight which services as a contract for carriages and includes carrier conditions of carriage such as limits of liability and claims procedures. It contains shipping instructions to the airline, a description of the commodity, and applicable transportation charges. It is a standard document that accommodates both domestic and international traffic.
Aircraft for the carriage of cargo only, rather than the combination of passengers and cargo. Cargo aircraft carry palletized or containerized traffic on the main deck and either unitized or bulk cargo on the lower deck. Cargo aircraft are normally equipped with special cargo loading systems on the main deck. Also referred to as freighters or all-cargo aircraft.
The rate applies to the shipment of a specific product between specified ports. It is lower than the general cargo rate. In practice, most export goods are transported under the specific commodity rate.
A unit load device (ULD) which interfaces directly with the airplane cargo handling and restraint system. See Unit Load Device.
An unpublished rate established by contractual agreement between a carrier and a regular shipper, usually linked to a minimum volume requirement over a specified time period. Contract rates are sometimes a specified percentage discount of published rates.
The United Nation’s official term for Hazardous Materials. Articles or substances which are capable of posing a significant risk to the health or safety of the general public when transported by air and which are classified according to the most current editions of the ICAO Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air and the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations.
Dimensional Weight (Volume Weight)
A computed weight based on a minimum density requirement. It is used to determine the freight charges for low dense shipments. It is computed by dividing the shipment volume by the minimum density requirement. The Dimensional Weight Rule was developed to insure fair compensation for low-density shipments. When a given shipment falls below the minimum density requirement, dimensional weight rather than actual weight is used to calculate the transportation charged. Minimum density requirements vary from carrier to carrier. Some carriers give discounts for shipments of high-density goods.
An all-cargo airplane. See Cargo Aircraft.
See Air Freight Forwarder.
General public rate
Rates that can be viewed by anyone. These rates are applicable when a shipper or freight forwarder doesn't have any other discounted rate arranged with the carrier. These rates could be the same rates published in TACT or these rates could be a discounted rate offered by the carrier to anyone.
Entire weight of a shipment including the weight of containers (tare weight) and packaging material. On an air waybill, the tare weight (when applicable) and shipment weight are listed separately.
Hazardous materials (Hazmat)
The U.S. Government’s official term for Dangerous Goods. Items of freight that are inherently harmful and classified under Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Hazardous Materials may only be transported under certain conditions relative to packaging, quantity carried, airplane type, location on board the airplane, etc., and in conformance with applicable rules. Also see Dangerous Goods.
A code applied to cargo that requires special handling. Examples include: AVI – Live animal, CAO – Cargo aircraft only, EAT – Foodstuffs, HUM – Human remains, ICE – Dry ice, PER – Perishable cargo, etc.
International Air Transport Association (IATA)
An international trade and service organization for airlines of more than 100 countries serving international routes. IATA activities on behalf of shippers in international air freight include development of containerization programs, freight handling techniques and, for some airlines, uniform rates and rules.
Length & Girth
A limitation on shipment size occasionally used by an airline. The equation used to calculate length and girth: Length + (2x width) + (2x height). The largest measurement is always used as the length in the equation.
The lowest weight at which a freight rate is applicable (see Weight Break).
In the U.S., an agreed rate between an airline and a shipper which is not otherwise provided in the current air freight rate tariff. These rates became legal when airfreight was deregulated in November in 1977.
A platform of standard dimensions on which goods are assembled and secured by nets and straps before being loaded as a unit onto an airplane. It has a flat undersurface to interface with ball, roller, or caster surfaces.
Specific Commodity Rates (SCR)
Rates applicable to certain classes of commodities. Usually these rates are applied to commodities that move in large volume shipments in a given market. Hence, specific commodity rates are usually lower than the general commodity rate between the same pair of cities.
The Air Cargo Tariff. This is a publication that lists worldwide rates for air shipping. These rates are the highest rates that a shipper would be charged. Airlines generally discount off these rates.
A document setting forth applicable rules, rates and charges for the movement of goods. A tariff sets forth a contract of carriage for the shipper, the consignee and the carrier. Tariffs are sometime published by the carriers themselves and by a variety of publishing agencies, such as The Airline Tariff Publishing Company (ATPCO), The Air Cargo Tariff (TACT) and Cargo Rates Services, Inc.
A number of pieces of freight or cargo in a single box or container, or on a pallet held in place by a net, strapping, or similar device to make them suitable for transporting, stacking or storage as a unit. It is also a single large item packaged for transporting, stacking or storage.
Unit Load Device (ULD)
Term commonly used when referring to container, pallets and pallet nets. The purpose of the ULD is to enable individual pieces of cargo to be assembled into standardised units to ease the rapid loading and unloading of airplanes and to facilitate the transfer of cargo between airplanes that have compatible handling and restraint systems.
A calculation used when a shipment's size takes up more room than what is considered normal for the weight of the shipment. For example, a 100kg. box of wearing apparel would be larger than 100kg box of books. Therefore. the box of weaing apparel would be charged at its volume weight instead of its actual weight. Volume weight is calculated by mutiplying the greatest length of the shipment by its greatest width and greatest height. This result is divided by 166 to get the volume weight.
Weight breaks (WB)
Weights at which discounted rates will apply to a shipment so that heavier or larger shipments are charged at a lower rate per lb or kg. Air carriers and some road carriers use a sliding scale of rates or a discount schedule in charging freight. The sliding scale of rates in the air freight may break at 100, 200, 300, 500 and 1,000 kilograms (kgs). As such, an air consignment of 200kgs to 299 kgs has a lower rate than the 100 kgs to 199 kgs. The freight rate breaks in road transport may vary greatly among carriers.