Air Freight Service

Although the majority of the vehicles which we ship are shipped via ocean, we do move a great deal of vehicles via air freight on a regular basis as well.

A few years ago, we flew 17 vehicles to Europe for a very famous collector and delivered the vehicles to Paris. The vehicles were exhibited at Les Arts Decoratifs Museum in the Louvre for six months. At the conclusion of the event, we transported the vehicles from the Louvre in Paris and flew them all back home to the United States. Included in this incredible collection which we delivered to the museum were a 1962 Ferrari GTO, 1964 Ferrari 250LM, 1996 McLaren LM, 1955 Mercedes Gullwing, 1929 Bentley, 1930 Mercedes SSK and the piece de resistance which is a 1938 Bugatti Atlantic. These are some of the most magnificent as well as expensive vehicles in the world !!!

Air freight service is the service of choice for clients shipping rare collector automobiles as well as race cars, armored vehicles or high-end vehicles which need to arrive to their overseas destination expeditiously and within a very specific time frame. Air freight service is also used for commercial cargo with an urgent need to be received at its overseas destination.

There are two options for flying vehicles to an overseas destination which are lower deck & main deck service on the aircraft.  The say a picture is worth a 1,000 words. Our photo gallery includes a few photos of cars which we have flown overseas and illustrates the difference between lower & main deck service.

The first few photos illustrate how a car is built up on the airline’s pallet and stowed in the lower deck of the aircraft. The car is loaded onto a 10’ pallet so it can fit into the contour of the width of the aircraft. Since a 10’ pallet is the largest pallet which can be used in the lower deck service, there is usually an overhang on the front & rear of the pallet as shown in the photos.

The remaining photos illustrate cars loaded on the main deck of an aircraft. Main deck service allows vehicles to be loaded along the length of the aircraft. Consequently, there is much more space between the vehicles and the aircraft walls. The vehicles are loaded on a 15’ or 20’ a pallet, which avoids having any overhang in the front or rear of the vehicles.

How much does this service cost?

The cost for air freight service, like all other shipping services, is based on the size of the cargo being shipped as well as the origin and destination of the cargo. Therefore each quotation is individualized. Due to limited cargo space on an aircraft as compared to an ocean vessel, the cost is substantially higher than shipping by sea.

What do I need to know about using this service?

When air freighting cargo it must first be ascertained if the shipper is a “known” or “unknown” shipper. This will determine if the cargo being shipped can be loaded on board a passenger flight or if it will be required to move on an all-cargo flight. The TSA maintains a database of all qualified Known Shippers who comply with a range of specific security requirements to qualify as Known Shippers.

What documents do I need to use this service?

To air freight a vehicle overseas, the original Certificate of Title or Certificate of Origin is required for clearing the vehicle for export thru U.S. Customs. When a Certificate of Origin is used in lieu of a Certificate of Title, U.S. Customs will also require a copy of the bill of sale from the car dealership, showing that the vehicle was paid for in full. Once U.S. Customs & Border Protection has processed the documents, they will stamp the documents and return them to us. We will then return them to you via FEDEX Courier.

What else do I need to know about using this service? 

Although many aircrafts fly without any incident, it is always strongly recommended that proper air freight insurance be obtained on any cargo being exported. The insurance coverage begins from the moment your cargo is delivered to the airline’s terminal at the airport of departure. Your domestic insurance will not cover loss or damage while your cargo is in transit in the air and the liability of all air carriers is limited to $500.00. All Shore Forwarders can offer you prime insurance from top rated insurers who specialize in air cargo insurance.