To Fly or Not to Fly

You have a HOT shipment that needs to be delivered ASAP, your 1st instinct is to contact your Freight Forwarder to get in on a flight or book it with a cargo carrier like Fedex or UPS for their overnight morning delivery. But is that the FASTEST way, is that the CHEAPEST way, is that the BEST way? Have you thought about doing a “Hot Shot”, which is basically a cargo van, sprinter, van, or straight truck that picks up direct from the shipper and takes it straight to the delivery it’s expedited, it’s exclusive and many times it’s the better option.

Maybe it is , maybe it isn’t. There are some factors to look at…

Hot Freight

1. How far away is the delivery? If it’s clear across the country then flying is most likely the fastest, but if it’s within a 300 miles radius the trucks can normally beat the plane arriving due to flight schedules and because the truck is able to load and head straight there. With overnight services deliveries within a 700 mile radius can most likely be delivered the following morning (estimated time depending on pickup time) and beat or meet other overnight flight options.

2. How far are the pickup/ delivery from an airport? Some people don’t take into account the distance they are from the airports, if you are 1-2 hrs away from an airport and the delivery is 1-2 hrs away from an airport, but a truck could drive from the pickup to the delivery in 6 hrs, the truck will be faster.

3. How big is your freight? In airfreight the size and weight of your freight is very important, bigger freight simply cost more to ship and has the possibility of being bumped from your planned flight due to space. On top of that both Fedex and UPS had an increase this year, and each had changes to other charges such as Fedex now charges over-length fees for 12 feet instead of 15 and its $150 instead $88, their dim factor also went from 166 to 139 making your freight “heavier” than it was before. Both carriers increased their residential fees. Many times bigger freight can be put on a truck for the same or less money and you don’t have to worry about missing a flight due to space availability or getting excess weight or length charges since you are paying for the whole truck.

4. How fragile is your freight? If your freight is super fragile than flying it is normally not the “safest” way to go. In just handling alone, it would be touched getting put on the pickup truck, touched dropping off at the airport, touched getting onto the plane (assuming a direct flight), touched getting off the plane, touched being picked up from the ai

rport, and touched once more for delivery. When using a Hot Shot, it gets touched 2 times- to get put on the truck at the shipper and to get taken off the truck at delivery.

5. Will it be after 5pm for picking up? Cargo carriers overnight services have a cutoff times for pickup each carrier and area varries, if its a later pickup you may not be eligible to use that service. If you are trying to get on a next flight, pick up time doesn’t really matter, since it would just go on the next available flight.

6. Will you know about this shipment earlier in the day? Due to space on a plane, if you can’t get it booked with some advanced notice there may not be space available on the plane. Most smaller shipments, under 100 lbs and under 12 x 12 x 12 inches can usually get booked and flown pretty quick since they don’t take up much space.

7. What matters most? If time trumps cost, looking at realistically the shortest transit will be best or if cost needs to be kept as low as possible looking at all options even longer transits like a 2 day  or 3 day transit could be beneficial.

No matter which way you choose, a qualified freight forwarder will help you look at opti

ons and direct you to make the best decision possible based on what is most important to you. If you need help with your Hot, OMG, Uh-Oh shipments give PEI a call at 888-SHIP-911!