International air cargo refers to the full process of logistics, information flow, and control management from the aircraft to the destination airport, where the carrier unloads the cargo from the plane and delivers it to the recipient. Many people confuse international air cargo with air express, but the differences between the two are quite significant. Below, we'll explain six aspects that differentiate international air cargo from international air express.
Difference between international air cargo and international air express: Transport participants
The transport participants in international express mainly consist of major courier companies such as DHL, UPS, FEDEX, TNT, EMS, and other international express service providers. The express packages we send are mainly delivered to the destination through these international express service providers. However, the main contacts we have in this industry are international freight forwarders who act as agents for these international express service providers.
Difference between international air cargo and international air express: Service scope
International air cargo services can generally only be transported to designated airports, and once the cargo arrives at the airport, any additional tasks must be handled by the customer or the customer's freight forwarding company. On the other hand, international express service usually provides door-to-door deliveries, but it is worth noting that international express services do not include destination customs clearance—only assistance in customs clearance that still requires the recipient's participation.
International express: package export customs clearance agency service, but not destination customs clearance. Destination clearance is performed before delivery.
International air freight: does not include destination customs clearance, and customers need to pick up the goods and handle customs clearance at the airport. It also does not include destination tariffs and will not deliver the goods unless the service explicitly states air plus delivery.
Difference between international air cargo and international air express: Timeframe
The transportation timeframe for international air freight and international express services are similar, generally taking a few days to complete. Depending on the destination, either international air freight or international express service may be faster. For example, when sending shipments to Tokyo, international air freight may be faster. The speed of delivery depends on three factors: the efficiency and strength of the transportation company, the flight schedule of the airport, and the speed of customs clearance at the destination.
Difference between international air cargo and international air express: Billing method
The cost of international air cargo services is calculated based on the greater of the volume weight and actual weight. For larger items, it is called bulky or lightweight freight.
Difference between international air cargo and international air express: Tracking method
For international express services, you can track and check the status of your shipment using the tracking number provided by the respective courier company's website. For international air freight, you can track by using the provided airway bill number through the airline company's website.
Difference between international air cargo and international air express: Weight requirements
International air cargo service has no weight limits and can handle shipments of any size. However, for international express service, a single package cannot exceed 69kg. Anything larger is considered an oversized item.