3 Types of Cargo Aircraft in Air Transportation

With the growing demand for domestic and international air transportation in Vietnam, the country’s air cargo volume is expected to increase significantly by 2024. This development raises important questions about the procedures and modes of air cargo transportation, such as whether there are specialized cargo transportation options similar to maritime shipping. 

The choice of aircraft type depends on the transportation needs, weight and dimensions of the goods, as well as operational flexibility and efficiency. There are 3 common types of air cargo service aircraft, including: 

Passenger Aircraft/Passenger Flight (PAX): Aircraft carrying both passengers and cargo Freighter (F)/Cargo Aircraft Only (CAO): Dedicated cargo aircraft Air cargo charter: Chartered cargo flights. 

Passenger Aircraft Carrying Cargo (Passenger Aircraft/PAX) 

This type of aircraft is designed to carry both passengers and cargo on the same flight. The cargo is loaded in the cargo compartment, located below the passenger cabin, while the space above is reserved for passengers. 

Airlines have very strict regulations regarding the size and weight limits for cargo. For instance, with small aircraft such as A321, the maximum size for each piece of cargo is 120x100x100cm, weighing no more than 100kg. In contrast, larger aircraft like the A350/B777 have a size limit of up to 300x240x160cm, and a maximum weight of 4,000 kg per piece. 

The main advantage of this type of aircraft is the ability to transport both passengers and cargo simultaneously. However, the cargo space is limited due to the need to accommodate the passenger cabin. 

Dedicated Freighter/Cargo Aircraft Only (CAO)

This type of aircraft is designed exclusively for cargo transportation and cannot carry passengers. Both the main and lower decks are used for cargo. One significant advantage of cargo planes is their higher cargo capacity since there is no need to allocate space for passengers. In Vietnam, wide-body aircraft are commonly used for cargo transportation, although narrow-body options are also available.  

Size and weight limits for cargo transportation are strictly enforced to ensure flight safety. Silk Way West Airlines, for example, permits a maximum height of 3m and a maximum weight of 6 tons on the main deck, while the lower deck is limited to a height of 1.6m and a weight of 4.5 tons.  

Dedicated freighter aircraft are necessary for transporting oversized and overweight cargo, such as automobiles and machinery that cannot be disassembled. Dangerous goods, as defined by IATA regulations, must be transported separately from passengers to ensure safety. 

Types of Cargo Aircraft in Air Transportation
Dedicated Freighter – One type of Cargo Aircraft in Air Transportation 

If you need to transport cargo such as automobiles or military vehicles, dedicated freighter aircraft are required. 

Air Cargo Charter

Customers have the option to charter a whole flight that suits their specific needs in terms of route, schedule and type of aircraft. Depending on the agreement with the charter airline, the chartered flight can either carry only passengers, only cargo or a combination of both. 

Chartering a flight offers high flexibility when it comes to scheduling and selecting an aircraft. However, the cost of this type of service may be higher compared to using regular scheduled flights. 

SSR Logistics’ Urgent Air Freight Service 

SSR Logistics offers urgent air transportation for live animals with the help of a team of professional and experienced staff. We understand that live animals require special attention and care while being transported. Therefore, we strictly comply with the regulations and provide dedicated vehicles to ensure maximum safety and health for the animals.  

We operate on a daily urgent flight schedule and can meet your urgent transportation needs with the shortest possible transportation time. Additionally, we offer 24/7 customer support services to monitor and update the order status. 

Live Animals Air Freight ServicesUrgent Air Transportation Service for Live Shrimp, Crabs and Animals 

Advantages of SSR Logistics’ urgent air freight service: 

  • Super fast 6-hour flight time from Tan Son Nhat airport to Noi Bai airport. 
  • Ability to transport up to 10 tons per flight. 
  • Professionals trained specifically in live animal transportation. 
  • Use of dedicated vehicles and equipment to ensure an ideal environment. 
  • Strict compliance with international animal transportation regulations. 
  • 24/7 customer support, with continuous status updates.

Through this article, SSR Logistics hopes that customers now have an overview of the 3 types of cargo aircraft in air transportation. For more articles, please visit our Logistics Knowledge section.    

SSR looks forward to becoming your reliable logistics partner, providing optimal solutions for your importing and exporting business. Should you have any question regarding our services, please feel free to contact us for specific advice.   

With our experienced team, extensive network and flexible shipping & customs solutions, SSR Logistics is confident to deliver excellent services to our clients.  

Businesses that need customs and import-export consulting, please contact SSR Logistics via Hotline (+84) 911 988 484 or leave your information here for specific advice. 

With a modern warehouse system and experienced transportation staff, SSR Logistics provides a variety of additional services such as: customs clearance, warehouse leasing, domestic transportation, international transportation by sea and air, and international express delivery

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