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Know the International Air Cargo Rates From India

sahil bajaj

Sahil Bajaj

Senior Specialist - Marketing @ Shiprocket

April 15, 2024

7 min read

Air freight is a valuable part of global trade. It is a popular mode of transporting goods to remote places due to its speed, efficiency, and connectivity. It simplifies the transportation of a wide range of items, including clothing, electronics, perishables, valuable goods, and so on. According to data by IATA, 35% of global trade is made up of the USD 6 trillion worth of goods that are transported by air each year. For companies wishing to expedite the shipment of valuable or urgent goods, it offers several advantages. You should know about the air cargo charges and how to calculate them before choosing this mode of transportation. 

Here, we will learn about air freight rates from India to the rest of the world and things to consider while estimating the cost.

International Air Cargo Rates from India

What is Air Cargo or Air Freight Service?

Air freight, also referred to as air cargo service, is the transportation of goods via air. Air cargo makes it possible for merchandise to be transferred more quickly across international borders than any other form of transportation like land or sea freight. It is also a reliable way to send goods, especially when they need to travel long distances crossing borders. 

Air cargo is classified into two types: special cargo and regular cargo 

General cargo includes items of value, including gold, electronic devices, and pharmaceuticals. Due to its speed and dependability, air transport is a good choice for such commodities that have high profit margins. 

Special cargos need special handling during transit to ensure their integrity and safety when they arrive at their destination.  This could involve regulating the temperature, establishing suitable air quality, or using a protective shell. Special cargo includes live animals, perishables, and hazardous materials. 

What is the Cost of Air Freight From India to International Destinations?

When compared to other modes of transportation like road or sea, air freight is often more costly. It can cost four to five times more than transportation by road and twelve to sixteen times more than by sea.  The price range for per kilogram of shipment typically is USD 1.50 – USD 4.05. However, considering the various advantages of air freight, like speedy delivery of urgent items, safe handling of delicate goods, shipping your goods to consumers anywhere in the globe, etc., the cost of air cargo is reasonable.

Several factors determine the overall price of air freight from India to foreign destinations. These include the size and weight of the item, the distance travelled, and the urgency of the delivery. The handling charges for regular cargo vary from 74 paise to INR 2.22 per kilogram, while for special cargo varies between INR 1.47 to INR 6 per kilogram. Items sent from Indian airports are subject to these taxes.

Calculating Air Freight Cost: Factors To Consider

When calculating the cost of air freight, there are a few crucial factors to take into account:

  • Size and Weight: When determining the cost of air freight for your shipment, the size and weight of your item are important factors to consider. The rate changes proportionally to the dimensions.
  • Final Destination: The final destination of your shipment is another important consideration. For example, it may be more expensive for the shipping business to deliver the items securely and on schedule when delivering to remote regions or areas with unique limits.
  • Service Level: There are several service tiers available for air freight. You can choose economy service for more reasonable prices, but it comes with longer transit times, or express service for speedy delivery, which may be available at a premium cost.
  • Flexibility and Speed: Being flexible with delivery schedules and optimising routes can help expedite the shipping process and potentially reduce costs.
  • Seasons: During busy times of the year such as festive or holiday seasons, the price for air freight services can be higher than usual due to increased demand for shipping services.
  • Disruptions: Any event that can lead to delays or route changes can result in additional costs. These include unexpected events such as adverse weather conditions or disruptions in the supply chain. 
  • Additional Charges: There may be extra charges associated with air freight. These additional costs may include fuel surcharges, customs duties, handling charges, etc. You should factor any additional expense into your overall shipping budget to make informed decisions.

Express Air Freight: Service and Charge

Single corporations, such as UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc, usually handle express air freight service. They are responsible for everything from collection of the package to delivery. Express air freight guarantees that the package arrives at its destination within five days of being shipped. Shipments transported via express air freight are usually less than one cubic metre and 200 pounds or smaller as compared to those moved by standard air cargo. The shipping costs vary according to the package’s weight and size, as well as the destination.

International Air Freight: Service and Charge

International air freight service rates are based on weight, volume, and delivery urgency. The typical cost of international air freight is between USD 4.00 and USD 8.00 per kilogram. However, this might vary depending on the type of products being shipped, the amount of space available on the aircraft, and the demand for air cargo services. Other factors that might impact the cost are the route of your shipment and any additional services such as handling, security, and customs processing.

Air freight is essential to international trade as it offers speed and efficiency in transportation and delivery. However, given the high cost of air freight and the slower growth rates, current trends indicate a shift towards more affordable transportation methods, such as ocean freight.

In recent years, there has been a clear change in the use of air freight services in global commerce, with growth rates dropping significantly. As per the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the growth in air freight was only 1.6% in 2019 as compared to 5% in 2014. One element contributing to this trend is an increasing reliance on ocean freight, which is generally less expensive for many importers and exporters.

Since the beginning of 2022, the price of air freight has been declining globally, after having reached record highs during the cOVID-19 epidemic. However, fewer passenger flights have increased the amount of cargo space available, which might eventually result in reduced air freight charges.

Streamline Your International Shipping with CargoX: Trusted Solution for Seamless Deliveries

As the owner of an online business, you understand how crucial it is to have easy and effective shipping procedures. CargoX provides shipping solutions for both local and international customers. With its vast global reach spanning more than 100 nations, you can expand your business internationally. With CargoX, you can benefit from efficient cross-border B2B shipments that are customised to match your needs. It’s a trustworthy partner that takes care of every detail of transporting freight by air internationally. 

You can depend on CargoX’s extensive courier network and dispute resolution system to make sure your cargo gets delivered safely and on schedule. From simple billing to streamlined paperwork, you’ll have total visibility throughout the transportation process. Bid farewell to surprise fees and burdensome paperwork.


As an eCommerce business owner, you are probably aware of the critical role that air shipment plays in your operations. You can expand your business globally with ease and build an online presence throughout the globe. Air freight may seem expensive, but it guarantees that the goods will reach your customers securely.

You can make informed judgments that maximise your logistics strategy by being aware of how the air shipping business operates and determining when it’s the ideal option for your company.  When considering air freight for your goods, examine elements such as distance, volume, and weight that can all affect the cost. With this expertise, you can maximise the effectiveness and profitability of your business while providing customers with lightning-fast and dependable delivery options.

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