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Thread: How does air freight work?

  1. #1

    Default How does air freight work?

    Can someone please explain to me how air freight or charter works, from a business standpoint.

    I would like to know:

    1. Cost of operations: On a Cessna Super Cargomaster for shorter haul- 90nm each way approx as well as 261 nm each way. From what I've read, it can hold approximately 4000lbs. Could you direct me to an example of fuel calculation if you are unable to show determination on here? What kind of salary and expenses would a pilot require? How many pilots are necessary? Is one sufficient? Is it possible to hire retired commercial pilots or pay per job or hour? What are the approximate costs of standard maintenance with a contingency allowance, and storage of the aircraft in a smaller city?

    2. Where are the charter/freight companies finding vendors? Is there a standard rate of shipment or does this fluctuate? Is the bidding done online? How are they negotiating contractual agreements to maintain profitable and sustainable? Is there access or a list of special one-off requests or shipments? Is the expedite fee's set by weight or time constraint? Are there contracts accessible for short hauls or is time sensitive long-haul with larger payloads necessary to stay afloat, as a business?

    3. How many runs are necessary to ensure profitability with this specific type of feeder plane? Is it possible to remain cash-flow positive or create potential revenue? Is it better to purchase or lease the plane if possible?

    4. Who schedules or books the planes to take off and land? Is there an approximate estimation of insurance? Would this be covered by corporate insurance if run as a small business? Where can I find landing fees for the airports? Who unloads from the airport? Would the company or vendor be responsible to pick up the product from the airport? Is it generally a company truck who picks up for the final delivery point?

    I'm sure there are many things I've forgotten to ask. Feel free to point me in the right direction. Thank you in advance to anyone who tackles my curiosity.

  2. #2


    Hello and welcome!
    This is really a complex question as your first post and i think more a question for a real cargo pilot (No,i am not)! But since I also need some information about this subject i found this vid on youtube! It may helps for the basic understanding of the "Air Freight business":

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