Is Air Freight Economical?

As HELUKABEL's senior international business manager, Hartmut Kellner von Bergen keeps an eye on orders around the world.

Project planning is a complex process; time management and cost reduction play an important role in it. When a construction site somewhere in the world comes to a standstill because an essential part is missing, speed is the only thing that matters. Transport costs suddenly get pushed to the bottom of the priority list. It happens all the time that even the best planning can be derailed by unforeseen events. A quick and spontaneous reaction is then required, though this is usually expensive. This type of emergency can often be avoided by taking a holistic approach to transport in the planning phase. This means accepting from the outset that supposedly expensive air freight is not a last resort, but rather a way to mitigate risks. A key argument in favour of this is the fact that shipping via air freight is no longer as expensive as it was a few years ago.

Portrait Hartmut Kellner von Bergen
As HELUKABEL’s senior international business manager, Hartmut Kellner von Bergen keeps an eye on orders around the world. (© Tobias Bugala)

A comparison of air freight rates from the logistics centre in Hemmingen, near Stuttgart, to 80 strategic industrial destinations around the world revealed an average price of 1.60 euros per kilogram (approx. $0.84 per pound). A standard five tonne (11, 023 pound) delivery thus costs approximately 8,000 euros ($9,246). Project sites are generally closer to airports than seaports, shortening the further transportation of goods on land, known as on-carriage. This not only saves time, but puts the additional cost of using air freight into perspective. At HELUKABEL, our warehouse in Hemmingen and most of our international subsidiaries stock a large variety of products. However, this high warehouse availability only benefits customers if we can quickly deliver the required cables and wires to any desired destination worldwide. We therefore advise customers to consider air freight as a fast-track option from the outset, even if only for part of the shipment. Such an investment can reduce unscheduled costs and risks, and avoid frayed nerves on both the supplier’s and the customer’s sides.