It was in 1910 that a bale of silk cotton was transported in Ohio and it signaled the start of the air freight carrier. In 1919, a much heavier load which was a converted bomber weighing 1,100 pound was shipped by the American Railway Express. Thereafter, more and more business organizations made use of the airplane in shipping their merchandise since traders found it effective in hastening the process of trading.
Later on, the manufacture of the air freight carrier was being contemplated on since shipments had increased, reaching almost a million pounds. The matter of organizing the way air freight business was to be carried out was yet to be established. It was only after World War II that the system was finalized and put into operation.
Once the system was formulated, four of the top airlines namely: American, TransWorld, Eastern and United, joined forces to form the Air Cargo, Inc. mainly to provide the air freight carriers for the shipment of goods by air. Later, United Airlines and TransWorld Airlines found the business to be lucrative thus branched out their planes into air freight carrier to support a flourishing business on their own.
The pricing system adhered to was devised by the National Motor Freight Classification. However the classifications were only applicable to household products, mail and parcel deliveries as well packages that made use of boxes. Freight shipment rates for goods that deviate from those mentioned are based on current local rates and will be determined per weight. In time it became more economical to use air freight carrier services over small package services for goods that weighed at least 150 pounds.
Air Freight Carrier
It used to be that air freight carriers for cargo services made use only of airplanes that also carried passengers. However, the demand for this system of transporting goods became high that manufacturers of airplanes structurally designed the air freight carrier aircraft as either a combination passenger-freight plane or one that is purely dedicated in carrying our air freight services.
The type of air freight carrier used depends on the weight, quantity and destination of goods. The most commonly used commercial air freight carriers are the Boeings, the Douglas DCs, and the Ilyushin II and may also include the ATRs.
The use of Boeing 747-400 as air freight carriers have limitations though since they were not designed for transporting all types of cargo shipments. The North American Van Lines and Bekins are air freight carriers often used for shipping household goods.
Basically, as freight is categorized into Less than Truckload Freight (15.000 pounds below and 28 inches height below) and Truckload Freight (43,000 pounds less and 53 height inches below), the specific kind of air freight carrier will be designated to undertake the task, although most often the cargo haul of ordinary passenger airplanes will suffice.
Extraordinary cases of shipments are often related to military equipment which may even include shipment of airplanes and helicopters. Super cargo planes like the Antonov AN-225are utilized as the air freight carrier for this type of task, them being the largest air freight carrier in the whole world.
Nevertheless, the air freight carrier is only part of the air freight system, the speed and efficiency of this service will still depend on the effective participation and implementation of all other organizations involved.