Yes, Size Matters, and Other Answers to FAQ Concerning Air Cargo

 In Air Freight, export, import, International Shipping

As a friend to your business, Universal Cargo Management has helpful information all over our site for businesses that import or export and potential international shippers.

With over 25 years as a trusted freight forwarder, we’ve heard all kinds of questions concerning ocean freight and air cargo shipping here at Universal Cargo Management.

Air CargoWe especially hear many questions when it comes to air cargo. On our air cargo page of the Services section of Universal Cargo Management’s website, you can find answers to frequently asked questions.

Below, we’re sharing the answers to those frequently asked questions with all our blog readers. Perhaps this will help you prepare to import or export by air or decide between air cargo and ocean freight international shipping.

Air Cargo FAQ

Size & Weight

Q: Does size matter for air shipment?

A: Yes, air freight is based on both the actual weight and changeable weight of the cargo.

Q: How is changeable weight calculated?

A: There is a special formula.

Just give us all three dimensions and we will calculate the chargeable weight for you.

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Q: What is the maximum size or weight?

A: This varies depending on the airline so please ask us.

As a rule of thumb, maximum normal cargo dimensions: 120x80x60in.

As the weight and size increase so will the cost. If your cargo is oversized or requires special handling, ask us about special rates.

Pick up & Drop off

Q: Do you have warehouse where I can drop off the cargo?

A: Yes, we have receiving warehouse near all major airports.

Please let us know your cargo location and we will advise you the closest receiving warehouse.

Q: How and where can we pick up the cargo at destination?

A: We will provide you with the necessary paperwork for customs clearance. Once customs is done, you can go to the warehouse to pick up the cargo.

We also advise you to check with destination customs prior to shipment departs, just to make sure if there’s any special rule & regulation at destination for certain commodities.

Q: Do you have office at destination who can help us?

A: Yes, we have a lot of agents who we work with at different location.

Please check with us; they will be able to help you for any destination services.

Q: Can you handle door delivery at destination? Can you handle pick up from residential area?

A: Yes, please help to provide us your door address, and we will check the cost for you.


Q: What are some of the destination charges?

A: There may be airport fees, warehouse fees, custom clearance charges, duty/tax and door delivery charges.

Of course, if your cargo is chosen for custom exam at destination, please prepare to home charges and delays for getting the cargo.

Q: What’s the best way to save money on air freight?

A: Ship only the most important items and pack in as small of a box, crate or pallet as possible.

If you can route from/to a major hub (JFK, LUH, BJS) instead of a smaller airport, this may help to lower your freight rate.


Q: Can I pack my items in suitcases, bags or plastic bins?

A: No, the airlines will reject any cargo that is not properly packed. Must be packed in a box, crate, or on a pallet. If there are any oversized items or cargo requiring special packing, please ask.

Q: What is typically transit time?

A: Airport to airport 3-5 days on average. Door to door varies depending on customs clearance, estimate 5-7 days.

Delays and/or changes to schedules can happen. Best way to make the cargo ship as quickly as possible is to make sure all paperwork is properly filed before hand, this eases the customs process.

Q: Are there types of cargo that cannot be shipped via air freight?

A: Yes, anything hazardous, flammable, dangerous, chemicals, computer batteries, live animals, perishable items, etc.

Q: What kind of paperwork will I need to fill out ahead of time?

A: We will send you some paperwork for you to fill out the basic information, Such as shipper and receiving party contact information.

Don’t worry, we will take care of all the export custom and paperwork for you.

For an air cargo rate quote, click here.

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