Exploring Air Freight Rates per Pound

Jan 9, 2024


Welcome to Cargo Booking's comprehensive guide on air freight rates per pound. In this article, we will delve into the details of how air freight rates are calculated, the factors that influence pricing, and provide useful tips on how to find the best deals in the shipping centers, transportation, and airports industry.

Understanding Air Freight Rates

Air freight rates per pound play a crucial role in the logistics industry. When shipping goods via air, understanding how these rates are determined can help you make informed decisions and optimize your supply chain management.

Factors Affecting Air Freight Rates

Several factors influence air freight rates, including:

  • Distance: The distance between the origin and destination directly impacts the pricing. Longer distances generally result in higher rates due to increased fuel consumption and handling costs.
  • Weight: The weight of your cargo is a significant determinant of the rates. Air carriers typically charge based on the weight or volumetric weight, whichever is higher. It is crucial to accurately measure the dimensions to avoid any surprises in pricing.
  • Urgency: Time-sensitive shipments often command higher rates. If you require expedited services, be prepared to pay a premium.
  • Seasonality: Market demand fluctuates throughout the year. During peak seasons, such as holidays, rates may increase due to higher demand and limited capacity.
  • Customs and Duties: Import and export duties, taxes, and customs regulations may influence pricing, especially when shipping goods internationally.

Calculating Air Freight Rates per Pound

To calculate air freight rates, you need to consider the weight, dimensions, and the specific requirements of your shipment. Most air carriers apply a formula that combines weight and volumetric weight to determine the final rate. Volumetric weight is calculated by multiplying the length, width, and height of your shipment, divided by a volumetric factor.

For example, if you have a 50-pound shipment with volumetric weight of 75 pounds, and the air carrier charges $3 per pound, the calculation would be as follows:

Total Charge = (Actual Weight x Rate per pound) or (Volumetric Weight x Rate per pound) - whichever is higher.

Total Charge = (50 pounds x $3 per pound) or (75 pounds x $3 per pound).

Total Charge = $150 or $225.

In this case, since the volumetric weight is higher, the total charge would be $225.

Tips for Finding the Best Air Freight Rates per Pound

Securing cost-effective air freight rates is vital for businesses looking to optimize their supply chain. Here are some helpful tips to help you find the best rates:

1. Compare Multiple Air Carriers

Don't settle for the first air carrier that comes your way. Research and compare rates from multiple airlines to ensure you are getting the most competitive pricing.

2. Seek Volume Discounts

If your business frequently ships large volumes, consider negotiating volume discounts with air carriers. This can lead to significant cost savings in the long run.

3. Optimize Packaging and Consolidation

Efficient packaging and consolidation of goods can help minimize volumetric weight, resulting in lower rates. Properly utilize available space and consider working with freight forwarders who specialize in optimizing cargo capacity.

4. Utilize Freight Marketplaces

Online freight marketplaces, such as Cargo Booking, can provide you with access to a wide network of air carriers and allow you to compare rates and services conveniently. Take advantage of these platforms to save time and money.

5. Plan Ahead for Peak Seasons

During peak seasons, demand for air freight services increases, potentially driving up rates. Plan your shipments in advance to secure space and avoid any last-minute surcharges.

6. Collaborate with Freight Forwarders

Freight forwarders have extensive industry knowledge and relationships with air carriers. Partnering with a reliable freight forwarder can help you navigate the complexities of air freight rates and find the best solutions for your specific requirements.


Understanding air freight rates per pound is essential for businesses operating in the shipping centers, transportation, and airports industry. By considering the factors that affect pricing, learning how to calculate rates, and implementing effective strategies to find the best deals, you can streamline your logistics operations and optimize your supply chain management.

Remember, when it comes to air freight rates, thorough research, planning, and collaboration with industry professionals can make all the difference. Stay informed, stay competitive, and enjoy the benefits of cost-effective air freight services for your business.