Air Chartering vs Air Freight vs Onboarding Where to Use Which Service?

Air Charter vs Air Freight vs onboard

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Air shipping: the ultimate saviour of the supply chain

The world is running faster than its revolution around the sun. And in this fast-paced world, everything has changed from “need it right now” to “need it yesterday”. One ideal solution to make this happen is air shipping for faster movement of freight across the country and globe. Air shipping allows the shippers to cater to the needs of customers and market quickly and seamlessly. It is express fast and time-sensitive. In this article, let us take a look at air freight, air chartering, and onboarding service and let us demark the difference between each term and see which method is suitable for each transport of different goods.

Defining Air Freight

Also called air cargo, air freight is the transportation of packages and goods by air for quick and safe delivery. Shipment of cargo has always been a preferred mode for faster deliveries. Airfreight is the mode of transportation that proves to be really helpful in times of absolute need. For example, it is the solution to which manufacturer’s turn when the assembly line breaks down. It becomes the primary support when pharmaceutical companies want to transport temperature-sensitive immunizations worldwide. Where trains take two days to transport some goods, air freight does the same work within a few hours.

What is an Air Charter Service?

An air charter service is a type of transportation that falls under the umbrella of air freight. The air charter service is a perfectly customized service to cater to your specific needs for transportation of cargo. In case you want critical freight that meets tight delivery windows then air charter service is just the perfect option. You can precisely select the weight, size, and delivery locations of the cargo. It is perfect to transport goods to remote locations. Let us take a look at some scenarios during which air charter service is used.

  • It is used to satisfy urgent shipping needs in the energy, mining, and automotive industry.
  • For instance, if a sports match is proponed and the essential goods are to be transported then air charter service is for the rescue.
  • It is also used to safely transport movie shooting equipment to the exact location at the right time.
  • In case of medical emergencies too, air charter services are employed

Air Onboarding Service

Air onboarding is also a branch of air freight where the safety and security of the goods is the main concern. Air onboarding has a higher level of security compared to any other transportation facility. During the shipment of cargo, there are only fewer stops as the plane goes non-stop from one place to another. The parcel is securely delivered at the doorstep of the receiver as security is a matter of high concern.

An Overview of the Air Shipping Process

Right from pickup to delivery of the cargo, the air shipping process is straightforward. The process is a web of many vital steps that are taken by the freight service provider and the air carrier. Let us take a look at various steps of the process that is carried out on a daily basis.


The first step in the transport of goods through the air is shipping. This comprises 3 crucial steps which are as follows.


Once you register your order, the service provider will collect the goods for you from the warehouse or holding facility. The collected material is prepared for packing along with a packing list for further reference. After the shipment is assembled the next step is carried out.

Making RFT 

After the goods are packed it is imperative that the package is labelled clearly and neatly so that it can be easily read throughout the process. Once this is complete, the freight forwarder will prepare the required documents that are relevant for security and transportation and ensure that everything is on the same page for hassle-free transportation.

Ordering the Freight

Once every box of the cargo checklist is ticked, the cargo is transported to the warehouse of the airlines or freight forwarders ready for pickup.

Forwarding the goods out

When the goods are exported the following steps are done during transportation. The goods are received from the warehouse and it is given proof of acceptance.

  • An incoming check is done and the goods are sorted according to dates of flights for goods to be transported
  • The labels are rechecked for errors and re-labelled if necessary and security declarations are made
  • All the required customs documents and clear for customs are made ready
  • The goods have to be consolidated according to all regulations of necessity and a master AWB (Air Waybill) is prepared.
  • Arrange transport to take goods to airline and inform receiving end of the incoming package

Transport through air

Tons of steps have to be performed even during transport of goods such as preparing and planning storage, checking and administration of incoming goods, loading onto the flight, and much more.

Forwarding in of goods

Importing goods via air transportation is one of the most convenient ways to transfer packages. The steps followed are:

  • Document pickup once the airline notifies and arranging local documents pickup
  • Preparation of customs documents and helping with clearance and printing the customs release note
  • Local pick up the arrangement of the package from the airline
  • Arrangement of delivery to consignee with all related documentation and receive POD (Proof of Delivery)

Air Freight vs. Air Chartering vs. Onboarding

Now that you have a general idea about how the air shipping process is done let us draw the fine line of difference between Air freight, Air chartering, and onboarding. Airfreight generally refers to the shipment of goods and packages through air carriers.

Air chartering is more specific and it is used in case of extreme emergencies. The air charting process is precise and it works based on the needs of the customer. In case you have to transport some huge goods of products for a product launch, this can be used. On the flip side, air boarding service is all about the safety of the goods. It is used to transport confidential consignments by the government. Or, valuable goods that have to be handled with care are transported using this service.

You can use onboarding services for the transportation of approved chemicals, medicines, and more. The cost of transportation depends on various factors. The charter and onboarding services cost higher than air freight. Keep everything in mind and choose the service according to your needs.

Bottom line

VSL worldwide logistics is providing a clean and hassle-free air freight forwarding service. We provide regular or part or full charters for the timely delivery of the goods. Our vast experience in the field has resulted in a seamless freight forwarding process. If you are looking for the best air shipping service get in touch with us through mail or call for further details.

Further Reading:

Why Optimized Inbound Freight Management is Important for Business Growth?

How to Save Big Money on Shipping Costs for your Business

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