Air freight is a safe and efficient way for immediate transportation. Air cargo always has high value-to-weight or have a severe timeline.
At ImportExportVietnam, we want to be your single source for your supply chain solutions. We do this by working in virtually every aspect of the logistics management, including shipping via air.
Here this page will guide you to international air freight, including the advantages, cargo types, a sample airway bill, shipping process, vietnam main airports list and more. Enjoy reading.
Air Freight Terminology
Air Waybill, is a non-negotiable transport document issued by the carrier (Master AWB) or the agent (House AWB), which indicating that the carrier has accepted the goods listed therein and obligates itself to carry the consignment to the airport of destination according to specified conditions.
International Air Transport Association, which supports airline activity and helps formulate industry policy and standards of the world’s airlines.
ETD: Estimated Time of Departure
ATD: Actual Time of Departure
ETA: Estimated Time of Arrival
ATA: Actual Time of Arrival
Estimated Transit Time is for estimation purposes only and commonly can NOT be guaranteed although most shipments will depart and arrive as scheduled.
Commodities classified by IATA according to its nature and characteristic in terms of the effect of its danger to carrier’s flying safety.
Aka Chargeable Weight or Billable Weight. Carrier charge for freight based on the dimensional weight or actual gross weight whichever is higher.
The MOQ is 45 kgs. The rate class is +45kg, +100kg, +300kg, +500kg, +1000kg. Normally for shipment less than 100 kgs, using courier such as DHL, TNT, FEDEX will be much cheaper for most countries.
You can simply take it as air container just like sea container. Not much attention needs to pay.
* If the cargo exceeds below the weight and volume, the carrier can determine the allowable maximum limit and volume cargo base on the flight model, departure and destination airport handling equipment conditions.
Air Freight Advantages
The best thing with air shipment is speed.
In general, the transit time from Vietnam to Everywhere in the world is no longer than 10 working days. Only 3~5 days in most cases. This is a vast reduction compared to ocean freight. Nowadays, the fast delivery time alone can make a huge impact on a business niche and plan especially in the peak season such as back to school time and Christmas time or Tet Holiday
Please note that air freight term means transfer from airport-to-airport only. The shipper or the freight agent needs to handle the custom clearance from the export airport in Vietnam, and inland transportation to the airport warehouse. The consignee in destination country or ImportExportVietnam need to handle the custom clearance separately and inland delivery to the destination warehouse. While courier services such as DHL/FedEx/UPS/TNT can be the one stop to-door delivery provider.
- Air freight = airport-to-airport (the shipper and the consignee will do the custom clearance and delivery inland)
- Air courier = door-to-door (the consignee only need to pay duty and tax)
|Air Freight||Air Express/Courier (DHL, FEEX, TNT, UPS)|
|Weight||100 – 3000 kgs||0.5 – 150 kgs|
|Volume||> 1 cbm||< 1 cbm|
|Transit Time||2 – 7 days||2 – 5 days|
|Upon Arrival Airport||None||Clearance and to-door delivery|
The main advantage of air cargo compare to courier service is the air freight price and the custom clearance to import process, and handle process for dangerous goods.
But in summary, if your goods need to export less than 100 kgs, mostly the courier will be more convenient, if your goods is more than 100 kgs, please follow the quotation from our main quotation for air cargo.
Please note that all shipment under 100 kgs, we will not provide pick up service. However, for under 100kgs, you can use your national post service to send the goods to our office, and we can offer you the discount rate for courier such as DHL, TNT, UPS, Fedex.
Air Cargo Types
By cargo properties, they can be divided into
- General cargo
- Special cargo:
1. General cargo
Such as electronics, book, decoration small things, wristwatches, computer (without battery) are general cargo. The electronics industry accounts for around 40% of the value of the entire international air cargo industry.
They need to be transported in a very good condition. The air shipping cost more than sea shipping, but means nothing compared to the value amount of products.
The normal goods also can be carried by air cargo, when speed is the key for your business. For the general goods, you can see the quotation calculator from worldwide to Vietnam from our homepage
2. Special cargo
Including living animals, goods that are dangerous or need temperature control. For example, some chemicals, medicine, battery are dangerous goods, and seafood that requires refrigeration and freezing during the whole-course cold chain transportation.
Perishable or hazardous goods are subject to different regulations, compared to general cargo. They have to pass through various inspections and need to meet numerous requirements, and not every airline can accept these items.
Make sure that you advise in detail about special goods you want to ship. Because leaving out any detail might lead to penalties/extra fees and denial of shipment.
Most of the special cargo can be classified as general after tested by the authority. And there should be a report – Identification and Classification Report for Air Transport of Goods shown to the carrier before loading. Normally these below goods will be classified as Special goods.
2.3 With oil or liquid
2.4 With battery
2.5 With magnet (needs magnet test)
2.5.1 Audio accessory and equipment
2.5.2 With motor inside
Other restrictions will apply due to national laws and regulations of specific airlines.
Please note that most of the airlines are saying NO to the following names or descriptions of the commodity: Lithium Battery Toys, Scooter, Hoverboard, Power Supply, Power Bank, Air Bag, Electric Board, Electronic Board.
In special cargo, there are 4 types of cargos:
|Perishable Goods||We provide special handling for perishable goods such as fresh meat, seafood, fruit and vegetables, flowers and medicines, meeting the needs of Fiji producers who service the growth markets of Japan, Australia, New Zealand, US and Europe. Our freight handlers provide freezer and cool-room facilities to ensure perishable consignments are maintained in optimum conditions.|
|Live Animals||We assist with the carriage of live animals, including commercial livestock, prime breeding stock, valuable zoological species and domestic pets. Our trained staff will provide you with information on regulations to assist with the carriage of live animals. P|
|Dangerous Goods||Dangerous goods including chemicals, compressed gases, flammable liquids and poisons can be carried under special conditions of acceptance, packaging and labeling to comply with International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations. Our staff undergo extensive dangerous goods training using approved Civil Aviation Authority approved courses.|
|Valuable and Vulnerable||Cargo Delicate goods such as antiques, glassware and optical and medical instruments are treated with the greatest of care. High value cargo such as gold bullion, precious metals and works of art are held in special vaults to ensure maximum security.|
With ImportExportVietnam, we have a special team to handle special goods, such as lithium battery toys, Scooter, mobile phones, themormeter, elctric board. Some airlines still acccept the above goods with condition, please let us know detail of your goods, ImportExportVietnam will advice you the best way to handle it.
Please note, our general quotation calculation will not apply for special goods, the special goods will be quote case by case. So, please drop us a message, we will reply within 15 hours.
Air cargo rate is calculated by chargeable weight, measurement unit is kilogram. The measurement unit of valuable cargo is 0.1 kg. Chargeable weight is the heavier one between gross weight and dimensional weight.
|Volume Unit||Dimensional Weight|
|By air freight||cm³||Volume/6000|
|By express courier||cm³||Volume/5000|
* To calculate air goods volume L x W x H in inches divided by 366 = weight in kilograms
Why it has chargeable weight????
How heavy it is vs. How much space it takes up
For example. If a shipper exports cotton, the actual weighing of cotton is very low but occupies a good amount of space as a volume. In this case, if air rates are charged on the basis of actual weighing of cargo, it’s unfair for shipper pay a very large amount money who exports iron plates.
Different cargo types have different volume/weight ratio. Some may weigh less but have a larger volume. Some may weight heavier but have a smaller volume. It’s all about balance for air carriers.
Take for instance 1 ton of steel as compared to 1 ton of cotton. The latter will occupy more space than the former. Here, the volume of cotton is much higher than that of steel, even though it weighs the same and will require more space on the carrier.
Here is the importance of volumetric weight by considering volume of cargo and actual weight of cargo at an equilibrium point. If you consider this factor you will understand the significance of this shipping term and why it becomes important to consider actual weighing and volume of cargo.
Chargeable weight calculator for your import by air freight
In order to calculate how much weight you are going to pay, you need to have measurement of package of goods. In case you have not do the package yet, you can estimate serveral band and do the calculation yourself.
Step by step:
Packaging Data → Volume → DIM Weight → DIM Weight VS Gross Weight → Billable Weight
DIM weight for air shipment from Vietnam,
- If the measurements are taken in centimeters, then the formula for calculation will be total volume (cm³) divided by 6,000.
- If the measurements are in meters then the formula that is applied for calculation will be total volume (cbm/m³) divided by 0.006.
DIM weight for courier shipment (UPS/TNT/FedEx/DHL) from Vietnam,
- If the measurements are taken in centimeters, then the formula for calculation will be total volume (cm³) divided by 5,000.
- If the measurements are in meters then the formula that is applied for calculation will be total volume (cbm/m³) divided by 0.005.
Your supplier in Vietnam will send you a box with the length 100cm, width 80cm, height 60cm, and gross weighing 50kg.
|Gross weight||Dimensional weight||Billable Weight|
|By air freight||50||100x80x60/6000=80||80|
All airlines will check this calculation for their final invoice.
Air Waybill (AWB) Sample
AWB is almost the same structure as Ocean Bill of Lading (OBL).
An Air Waybill is a documentary proof of the contract of carriage between the shipper and the carrier.
It also serves as:
- a delivery receipt
- a receipt of goods for shipment
- a document required for Customs clearance
- a form of invoice for the carriage of the goods
- an insurance certificate (if the insurance cover was arranged through the airline)
- a dispatch note, bearing a list of all accompanying documents, and any special instructions given by the shipper
Difference between AWB and OBL
The rule of AWB played in an international shipping is almost the same as OBL, but AWB doesn’t serve as a document of title. This is the most significant difference.
The words non-negotiable are printed at the top of the Air Waybill, and must not be changed or removed.
The AWB will be delivered with the air cargo. So as soon as the plane departs from the loading airport, the cargo rights will be transferred to the consignee. The consignee can only show their identification to claim the shipments. The AWB cannot be transferred. That’s why you have to pay freight costs before departure from China.
There’s a column called “Rate Charge” in the middle of an AWB. This rate will be automatically generated by the airlines according to IATA, and can NOT be modified. The charge shown is higher than you really paid.
This is the all-in billable weight rate, calculated by:
- GCR (General Cargo Rate)
- SCR (Specific Commodity Rate)
- CCR (Commodity Classification Rate or Class Rate)
- BUC (Bulk Unitization Charge)
Air cargo tracking
Each AWB has its unique number. You can find this number on the head section. By submitting the number on the tracking page of the airline’s official website, all updated tracking information will be available.
The bill format is 2 airline code + 3 numbers as prefix + several numbers. .
Below is the table of frequent airline and details for the tracking link
|Airline name||National||Prefix code||IATA code||Track & Trace link|
|Vietnam airline||Vietnam||738||VN||Click here|
|Korean Air||Korea||180||KE||Click here|
|Delta airline||United States||006||DL||Click here|
|Alaska airline||United States||027||AK||Click here|
|Jet airways||Mumbai||589||9W||Click here|
|Etihad airways||UAE||607||EY||Click here|
|Cambodia Angkor Air||Cambodia||K6|
|El Al Israel Airlines||Israel||114||LY||Click here|
|Royal Brunei Airlines||Brunei||672||BI||Click here|
|Jetstar Pacific Airlines||Vietnam||375||BL||Click here|
|Emirates airlines||UAE||176||EK||Click here|
|Royal Air Maroc||Morrocan||147||AT|
|British Airways||United Kingdom||125||BA|
|Iberia Airlines||Spain||075||IB||Click here|
|PJSC Siberia Airlines||Russia||421||S7|
|China Southern Airlines||China||784||CZ||Click here|
|All Nippon Airways||Japan||205||NH||Click here|
|Air France airlines||France||57||AF||Click here|
|Qantas airways||Australia||81||QF||Click here|
|SriLanka Airlines||Sri Lanka||603||UL|
|Japan airlines||Japan||131||JL||Click here|
|Malaysia airlines||Malaysia||232||MH||Click here|
|Turkish Airlines||Turkey||235||TK||Click here|
|Thai AirAsia airlines||Thailand||900||FD||Click here|
|Qatar airways||Qatar||157||QR||Click here|
|Cathay Pacific||Hong Kong||160||CX||Click here|
|Air Canada||Canada||014||AC||Click here|
|Jetstar Pacific Airlines||Vietnam||375||3k||Click here|
|Jet Airways||India||589||9W||Click here|
|United Airline||United States||016||UA||Click here|
|Asiana Airlines||Korea||988||OZ||Click here|
|Singapore Airlines||Singapore||618||SQ||Click here|
|EVA airlines||Taiwan||695||BR||Click here|
Please note, if your goods have any dimension larger than 140 cm, please check with us in advance before booking, since only the large aircraft can carry a larger than 140 cm goods, and in most case, the space on big aircraft are always limited with a higher price.
For the normal shipment, normally the rate for loose carton will be cheaper compare to the pallet, since loose cartons are flexible to arrange in the aircraft space compare to the pallet.
Top 10 International Airports in Vietnam
In international air transport, there are standard short name of each airport created by IATA. The airport short name is formed by three capitalized letters for easy recognition.
Air Transport vs. Sea Transport
|Factor||Air Transport||Sea Transport|
|Distance||Air is most preferred for a direct city to city transport and on the most direct routes between countries.||Sea is preferred for shipments that need to travel great distances spanning the vast oceans.|
|Type of Cargo||Unless special aircraft chartered, there are limited dimension and weight for loading.||Apart from the traditional parcel or box freight, sea is also used to transport heavy equipment, cranes, project cargoes, etc.|
|Time Sensitivity||This mode is chosen mostly due to its quick transit time and their usually reliable scheduled arrival and departure times. Benefits may be lower inventory carrying costs and the opportunity to capture market share.||A transit time of a month from point to point is quite normal for a sea freight shipment.|
|Cost||Air cost higher mainly due to the capacity available on a plane, the higher fuel consumption and operational costs of a plane.||A cargo ship can carry much more at once.|
|Safety of Cargo||Airport regulations are controlled quite strictly and these regulations include the storage, handling and securing of your cargo.||If the cargo inside the container is not packed properly, or LCL, there is a risk of cargo getting damaged.|
|Accessibility||As handled quicker, there may not be congestion at the airports as compared to the long queues at the sea ports. Even had, it could be solved in days.||Periods of severe congestion in sea ports could happen, which brings with it its own problems of additional costs like demurrage and detention.|
A shipment may have various requirements regarding the mode of transport to be used, but essentially, it comes down to the nature of the freight: the time frame and how much budget.
You’d better seek a good balance between the service quality offered, cost component, the reliability of the service provider and time frame.
Also, it’s important to always keep an eye on both the air and ocean markets as both are extremely volatile. In many cases, depending on how market rates are moving and other market dynamics, one mode of transport can be chosen over the other.
Send by Courier Services from Vietnam with ImportExportVietnam
There are kinds of delivery methods when it comes to shipping from Vietnam to worldwide. But any type of importer or buyer you are, courier logistics is a must for the following two kinds of specific cases.
- A sample or small quantity goods transportation needs a courier
- Original shipping documents transportation need a courier
With express courier services, you get every package hand-delivered anywhere in the world within 1 week. No need to clear shipments personally if low value, such as under $2,000 for U.S. imports. Besides, you can save on freight charges for smaller package, even more competitive than LCL sea shipping.
As you may know, DHL/FedEx/UPS/TNT (FedEx acquires TNT on May 25, 2016) are the top 4 couriers of the world. All of them have a sizable share of the express market.
Time cost and money cost are the two main concerns when you make a decision in international trade business. We have many chances to compare the time and service between services. The conclusion is there’s no big difference of the top 4. Normally all the delivery can be done within one week.
DHL/FedEx/UPS/TNT are famous brands known by people in every country. They have a worldwide shipping network. So choosing either one of them will never be wrong.
So let’s just focus on the rates. If one is cheaper, we can take it as our primary choice. We’ll select the rate from the 4 official websites (all English version) for a comparison.
- DHL – Get Rate and Time Quote
- FedEx – Rates and Transit Times
- UPS – Calculate time and cost
- TNT – Check a Price
Our courier forwarding services
We offer everybody (business or individual) a really simple and cheap way to book worldwide delivery services from everywhere in Vietnam to oversea.
- ARAMEX from Middle East
We get to deliver dreams from every corner of Vietnam to the world, every day, with every package. We will select the most economical courier for you OR you can select your preferred carrier. With the express’s network and our big discount, it will be more easier for you to arrange shipments transportation whether the destination is located anywhere of the world’s 220+ countries and territories.
Optimize shipping solution.
We select the best carrier for each shipment to help our customers maximize their interests for best safety, price and transit time, also tailor-made services.
Pro-actively monitors your shipments.
We actively keep our customers update about shipment, and if there is a delay, we will be there to help it and solve it. The entire transportation process will be continuous monitoring
Meanwhile we will help you to reduce maximum the risk by choosing the most suitable shipping channel for you. Even when your package will be delay in local custom, we will help you to contact our carrier and solve the problem for you.
Air Shipping Process with ImportExportVietnam
We suggest you sell CIF or DAP rate, and let your buyer only need to sit there and receive the goods. In this case, you will have many advantages to compete with your competitor. You also can increase your price per unit as well, your buyer will feel relax while you can have more profit.
Quote → Book → Pay, job done from your side. Let us do all the rest heavy job without disturbing you.
- You fill and use our quote service to estimate your shipping rates. (Quote)
- If you have any question, would like to negotiate for the rate, you can send us the message, we will reply within 15 hours.
- We discuss more, and come to an agreement.
- You or your customer fill and submit our booking form. (Book)
- Our agent in your country will contact you and recheck everything needed, then book the space from the carrier.
- Our agent will arrange inland delivery to the airport. (if require)
- We confirm the chargeable weight.
- You pay the shipping cost as we agreed. (Pay)
- We arrange the remain process until the shipment reach your customer.
We’ll keep tracking your shipment and keep you updated till received.
As a valued partner we want to deliver more than just savings, we deliver peace-of-mind.
What ImportExportVietnam Can Do for You?
You have goods that quickly needs to be moved from Vietnam?. You have the dimensions, the weight, the timeline and you find ImportExportVietnam as your logistics partner.
We understand that the products we are going to forward are urgent, high-value, time-sensitive or perishable.
What we are trying to do is deliver your shipments as early as possible, and make the process smoothly with a competitive air shipment quote. Whether airport to airport, or airport to door, you can rely on us. We cover all the below service with a careful attitude
- Cargo insurance
- Door to Door service
- Fumigation and inspection
- Direct flight, Fastest flight from worldwide to Vietnam
- Single-source quoting
- Competitive air freight rates
- Customs clearance assist service at origin or destination
ImportExportVietnam has a wide network of agents, which cover most of the country over the world. Our agent networks always provide good service and handle your goods with careful attitude. Depends on where’s your shipment located, and the available schedules to your destination, we’ll choose the best suitable plan for you as your loading airport. We rely on qualified partner carriers that are committed to providing safe, efficient and on-time service to importers across the world.
Low cost, time definite services, and proof of delivery, that’s we are doing and we are good at it. We are always interested in new opportunities and supporting your business.
ImportExportVietnam improves profitability for customers by allowing them to focus on their core competencies while we manage their logistics, providing great air freight solutions.
If you choose delivery by air, we’ll understand that you can’t afford customs issues or any hang-ups, and you certainly don’t have time to deal with them. You can just leave the rest to us, once we come to an agreement about the freight charges and the ETA.
ImportExportVietnam help customers gain more control over their supply chain, become more cost effective and increase transportation management efficiency. Thank you to all our customers for allowing us to be your one-stop logistics provider and helping deliver peace of mind.
Get a free quote now for air freight from USA, UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany and all over the world to Vietnam. We are always ready for your time-critical supply chain management.