Air freight is not as common as sea freight in work glove industry, but it does play an important role. The sea freight to Europe normally takes more than one month to come, while air freight needs around three days. So it significantly reduces the time spent on road so as to guaranteed on-time delivery under some urgent circumstances. For a certain amount of goods, air freight cost is several times higher than sea freight. When air freight is used, the goods are usually with small quantity. If it was not urgent to ship, nobody would like to ship goods with air freight. In spite of the high cost, it is something we have to have to make a fast shipping and deal with urgent situation.
If you stay in this industry long enough, you will certainly have chances to be asked by clients to ship your glove by air. Sometimes it is your fault to fail to meet delivery deadline, and sometimes it is from clients’ side cause. Knowing how to calculate the air freight rate is a basic skill you need master. Unfortunately few glove suppliers really know how to do it. I believe foreign clients know this calculation more than Chinese glove suppliers, but a vast majority of clients still might not know it.
When you do inquiry to air freight forwarder, you will get a rate from forwarder that is a certain amount per Kilogram. If you use this rate directly multiply your gross weight, you will be wrong. You have to consider the volume the goods take. I just made this same mistake before. Let me show you how air freight cost should be calculated rightly in the following section.
First of all, let us introduce a number, 167. 167 is the kilogram weight for one cubic meter which is a international criteria. It is a threshold value that is used to balance volume and weight. Here you do not need care about how this number comes out. What you need to do is to remember that this is only a threshold value. Air freight cost is calculated in two ways by comparing to 167:
When kilogram weight of one cubic meter is equal to or more than 167,
freight cost = quoted rate($/kg) × actual goods weight(kg)
When kilogram weight of one cubic meter is less than 167,
freight cost = quoted rate($/kg) × [ total volume(cbm) × 167 ]
You see this calculation method takes volume factor into consideration. When the goods volume is large and weight is low, 167 will be used to balance weight and volume to make light goods cost more. Airlines do not want your light goods to take too much space.
By this standard, the weight of one cubic meter for most types of gloves can reach to 167, but there are still some gloves that can not reach it like some types of string knit gloves, PU coated gloves etc.