Air freight plays a vital role in the UK freight forwarding industry by allowing businesses to transport their goods efficiently, safely and cost-effectively around the world. And as one of the country’s most significant economic contributors, it is astounding to think that it has only been just over a century since air travel was introduced to the world.

In our latest blog post, we’re celebrating all things aviation with 5 things you didn’t know about air freight.

  1. The first air cargo flight

The first ever cargo flight took place on November 7th, 1910, in Ohio, USA. Philip Orin Parmelee piloted a “Wright Model B” aircraft carrying textiles from Dayton to Columbus, a 105 kilometres journey which took only 57 minutes – a new aeronautical world record.

  1. Cargo planes travel at speeds of 900 kilometres per hour

Air freight is by far the fastest way to deliver cargo, which makes it an attractive option for businesses that need a quick turnaround, such as those who sell perishable items.

  1. Hong Kong is the busiest cargo airport in the world

Holding the top spot for nearly 28 years, Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) is the main airport for the region handling 4,199,196 tonnes of cargo in 2022. It is followed by Memphis International Airport (MEM) in Texas, USA at 4,024,679 tonnes and Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) at 3,461,603 tonnes handled.

  1. The largest cargo aircraft delivered the largest item ever shipped

The Antonov An-225 can carry up to 225 tonnes of cargo, with a maximum take-off weight of 640 tonnes.  In 2009, it delivered a gas power generator weighing a massive 418,834ilbs to Armenia from Germany – a world record.

  1. The longest air cargo route

Emirates began their regular 8,588 mile service between Dubai, UAE and Panama City in February 2016 – a journey taking 17 hours and 35 minutes to complete. Although it is a passenger route, the plane also routinely carries up to 15 tonnes of cargo.

So, should you use air freight for your goods?

Air freight offers many advantages that other methods can’t. It’s faster, more reliable and secure, and allows businesses to ship their goods anywhere in the world. However, because of its many conveniences, it also tends to be the more expensive option when it comes to freight forwarding.

Find out more about whether air freight is the best option for you by checking out our dedicated service web page!


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