Situations and goods in which to use air freight

April 20 2021

When transporting different goods between countries, air freight is another of the services that can be taken into account.

Speed, security or comfort are some of the characteristics that make us consider this type of transport when we need to move different goods to other parts of the world. However, although it is true that there are certain keys that will undoubtedly make us opt for air transport, there are also some points to keep in mind that will make us perhaps have to choose another type of transport; Either by legislation or because the needs of our journey do not comply with what air transport offers.

Next, we list some of the situations in which to choose air transport and on the other hand, some points to take into account when our merchandise meets certain characteristics related to dangerous or even prohibited merchandise.




When to use air freight transport


Air freight transport is today the ideal transport when it comes to urgent shipments, as it is a fast and safe transport. Some of the most ideal situations to use this type of transport are:


  • We need our merchandise to arrive urgently.
  • We carry very important merchandise where we want to avoid all kinds of risk, so the security offered by air transport is a very interesting element. It is important to take into account the possibility of tracking the load at all times.
  • Our merchandise must reach the most remote places quickly and safely, so air transport becomes a good option.
  • Our starting point is not close to the sea, however, we have different airports relatively close. It will be faster and easier to move our merchandise by land to one of them. In the same way, merchandise collections can be made from anywhere in Spain.
  • There is the possibility of “door to door” when we choose air transport.


Ship dangerous or prohibited goods by air freight


The IATA regulation distinguishes three types of goods: prohibited, dangerous and unrestricted. When we talk about dangerous ones, for which a UN coding criterion is used, there are those that can be transported by passenger plane and those that can only be transported in cargo planes.


  • Dangerous prohibited goods: We are talking about substances or goods that can explode, react dangerously, catch fire, emit toxic or corrosive or flammable gases under normal conditions of transport.
  • Unrestricted goods: If an item or substance does not meet any of the criteria for Risk Classes or Divisions and is not on the Dangerous Goods List, it can be transported without restrictions.
  • Dangerous goods: are those articles or substances that, when transported, are capable of putting health, safety, property or the environment at risk, and that are classified in accordance with the risk criteria established by the Subcommittee of Experts on the United Nations in Transport of Dangerous Goods, or included in the list of dangerous goods.
    In the group of dangerous goods there are already two groups:
  • Suitable for commercial passenger aircraft
  • CAO (Cargo Aircraft Only, cargo only)

The differentiation does not always have to do with the type of merchandise. Sometimes the type of packaging or the net quantity of the merchandise to be transported is taken into account.


Alternatives to transport dangerous or prohibited goods by air


When our merchandise is within the aforementioned groups, especially if we talk about merchandise prohibited by air, we must bear in mind that there are alternatives that we can use. The ideal in these cases is to be advised by the transport company that will manage the merchandise, taking into account factors such as distance and urgency.

However, if your merchandise can reach its destination by land, you should know that the most popular transport for the transfer of dangerous goods is inland transport. In fact, in Spain, the transport of dangerous goods by road is the pioneer modality with 75% of the total operations carried out.


If you have doubts about how to move your merchandise and you need more information, CST Group as professionals in the sector is at your disposal to show you a range of possibilities. Contact us and we will solve your doubts.