Air freight is a safe and efficient way for immediate
transportation. Air cargo always has high value-to-weight or have a
At CFC, 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 China air freight, including the
advantages, cargo types, a sample airway bill, shipping process,
china main airports list and more. Keep reading.
Air Freight Advantages
The best thing with air shipment is speed. In general, the transit
time from China 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
Besides, air shipment is safe and can be tracked online via the
airline’s official website.
Please note that air freight is just to-airport delivery. You have
to handle the customs clearance and inland transportation to your
warehouse, while courier services such as DHL/FedEx/UPS/TNT can be
the one stop to-door delivery supplier.
Air freight = airport-to-airport
Air courier = door-to-door
That is the biggest difference between them.
Air Cargo Types
By cargo properties, they can be divided into
1. General cargo
Such as electronics, Jewelry, pharmaceuticals, wristwatches are
high value. 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.
2. Special cargo
Including living animals, goods that are dangerous or need temperature control. For example, some chemicals are dangerous goods, and seafood that
requires refrigeration and freezing during the whole-course cold
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.
3. One exception.
Sometimes you choose delivery by air no matter what the cargo type
is. The manufacturing process delayed, or a market opportunity
right now, or you are pushed by your customers, makes you have to
choose air shipping.
You can plan ahead to avoid most cases, but there are always
circumstances out of control.
4. Prohibited Items
There are additional restrictions on air cargo for items that may
endanger the aircraft or passengers’ health or safety, or cause
property damage, the main categories being:
Explosives: fireworks and firecrackers, detonating fuses, etc.;
Gases: such as compressed gas, dry ice, fire extinguisher, gas
cartridge, inflated ball, respirator, explosive automotive airbag,
aerosol, gas lighter, gas cylinder, and lamp bulb etc.;
Flammable liquid: e.g. paint, gasoline, alcohol, engine oil,
camphor oil, engine starting fluid, turpentine, thinner, mucilage,
perfume, insect sprays, air freshener etc.
Flammable solid, pyrophoric substances, and substances that emit
flammable gases in contact with water: e.g. activated carbon,
titanium powder, copra, castor products, rubber debris, safety
matches, dry white phosphorus , dry yellow phosphorus, magnesium
powder, and solid gum, etc.
Toxic and infectious items: pesticides, lithium batteries
Corrosive items: e.g. batteries, alkaline battery electrolyte
Magnetic substances without degaussing packaging, magnetic steel
and other strong magnetic products: e.g. currency detectors,
Items dangerous to public health: e.g. corpses & bones (inc.
incinerated), untanned hides, animal bones not processed with
Oxidizers, organic peroxides, radioactive materials & corrosive
items: e.g. chemical medicines, lab chemicals (potassium
permanganate, sulphuric acid)
Powder, liquids, pastes, and other items with danger signs on their
Biochemical products and infectious materials of all kinds: e.g.
bacillus anthracis, dangerous pathogens, medical wastes
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.
Air Waybill (AWB) Sample
click for larger view
If you have read our blog about Bill of Lading, you can understand
the AWB above. AWB is almost the same structure as Ocean Bill of
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
The bill format is 2 airline code + 3 numbers as prefix + several
numbers. Example, Air China Cargo, CA as the airline code, 999 as
Tracking & Tracing from Air China Cargo
Some carriers will provide a free service called email alert. When
the goods moved, the updated status will be sent to you shortly.
Take advantage of that.
There are also specialized tools online from third parties for
flexible tracking. You can google and find them easily.
Top 10 International Airports in China
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.
PEK – Beijing Capital International Airport
HKG – Hongkong International Airport
CAN – Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CA/QR/TK/EY/MS/NH to
Middle East and Africa)
PVG – Shanghai Pudong International Airport
SHA – Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport
CTU – Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport
SZX – Shenzhen Baoan International Airport (CA/HU/CZ/MU to Europe
and North America)
KMG – Kunming Changshui International Airport
XIY – Xian Xianyang International Airport
HGH – Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport
Attention: A city can have more than one airport. Make sure there will be no
misunderstanding when you request an air quote.
The -est facts worldwide
King Fahd International Airport in Damman, Saudi Arabia. It takes
up some 780 square kilometers – roughly the same size as New York
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Main Airlines’ Shipping Routes
1. Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand
BR, CA, CZ, FM, GA, KE, MH, SQ, MU, BI, NX, NZ, PR, QF, TG, UO, 5X,
ZH, AI, VN, 9W
PEN CMB DAC DEL HYD SYD MLE BEY DXB JED JNB
SYD MEL AKL BNE
DAD RGN PNH
2. South Asia, Middle East and Africa
EK, EY, ZP, MU, SU, PR, CA, UW, CX, QR, MH, CZ, SV, TG, TK, BI, SQ,
AI, GA, BA, HU, 9W, W5, ZH, ET
AMM BAH BEY DMM DOH DXB KWI JED IKA SHJ LCA LOS ACC ADD JNB CAI
AUH SHJ DWC IST IZM ADA ANK DAR EBB KRT NBO CAI BOM DEL CMB MLE DAC
LOS JNB KRT ADD TUN ALG DKR
CZ, MU, CA, BA, KL(MP), UPS, RU, Y8, GD, EK, SV, CX, EY, KE, OZ,
JL, TK, AY, SU, LX, TG, ZP, QR, BI, HU, MH, ZH, 6U
AMS BER BOD BRE BRU CDG DTM DUS FRA FMO HAJ HAM HHN LUX MUC SNN CPH
ATH BUD LCA WAW PRG AMS BER BRE BRU BSL CGN DTM DUS FMO FRA HAJ HAM
BCN CPH LON MIL NCE ROM VCE VIE
AMS ANR ATH BCN BRE BRU BSL BIO CGN HAM LUX MAD NUE ROM RTM
MU, F4, BR, QF, Y8, UPS, PO, SQ, CX, KE, OZ, JL, UA, AA, CO, AC,
AM, HU, BA, LX, EK, PR, CZ
JFK DFW MIA YYZ YUL ATL CLT PHX BNA CVG CLE DTW IND MCI MKE SDF MSP
STL SFO SEA SDQ STI
GDL GUA SCL MTY SCL SJO LIM BOG EZE
YYZ MEX MTY GDL GIG GRU EZE
AUS DEN DFW IAH MIA SEA SFO SLC YVR ABE ABQ ALB ATL BOS CLT DFW MCI
LAS JFK JAX EWR
ORD JFK EWR GDL MEX MTY SAP SJO SJU TGU CCS EZE