When it comes to transporting large items in the fastest way possible, air cargo is often the best option.
Fitting something that is comparatively the size of a small house into a cargo plane may seem like an impossible task. But with careful planning and preparation, it can be done. And. It’s something Airmacs Aviation do well.
Here are some of the key factors we consider when approaching out of gauge (OOG) cargo flights.
Size and weight of the item:
Before attempting to fit your outsize cargo into a cargo plane, it’s important to determine the exact dimensions and weight of the object.
This will help us to determine which cargo aircraft can best accommodate the shipment and how it will be loaded into the cargo hold. It’s also important to consider any special requirements, such as the centre of gravity, lifting and lashing points, as well as the overall weight and height restrictions. If the item doesn’t immediately look like it will fit into an air cargo plane, fear not – with years of experience, Airmacs have the ability to approach each shipment with a unique and outside-of-the-box approach. So, even if something appears too big or too heavy for air carriage on the surface, we can propose several alternatives that may end in Loadability being confirmed.
Cargo plane specifications
Different cargo planes have different technical specifications, including the dimensions of their cargo holds, weight limits, and maximum payload. Airmacs know and understand the restrictions and limitations well and work to navigate these mitigating factors. It’s important to select a cargo plane that is not only large enough to accommodate the shipment you need to transport, but also to take into account the airport infrastructure at the departure and arrival points. Whilst the cargo might fit, it’s no use sending it to an airport that doesn’t support the aircraft weight. Something as simple as noting the PCN – Pavement Classification Number, could be the difference between a successful flight, or the aircraft tyres sinking into the asphalt.
Loading and unloading equipment.
When transporting large objects, it’s important to have the right equipment for loading and unloading your goods. More often than not, this includes the use of external cranes, forklifts with high-capacity lifting capabilities, as well as specialist aircraft equipment designed for handling oversized cargo. The equipment should be carefully selected based on the size and weight of the items in your packing list, as well as the specifications of the cargo aircraft itself. Airmacs help to support the provision of all ancillary equipment, to ensure the cargo can be safely loaded and unloaded from the aircraft.
Packing and securing air cargo
The correct packing and securing of the cargo is essential to the safe operation of the flight, and to ensure the goods are not damaged during the transport stages. This may involve crating the goods, welding on lifting, and lashing lugs, or commissioning a bespoke cargo frame. Airmacs Aviation has excellent knowledge of cargo preparation requirements when it comes to the loadability of your goods for cargo air transport. This is arguably the most important phase of the air cargo charter process because, without this preparatory stage, a client risks their goods being rejected for carriage by air, which leads to unnecessary delays and significant demurrage penalties.
It’s important to follow all safety guidelines and regulations to ensure the air cargo is properly secured and does not shift during transport. Airmacs work closely with the air carrier, load engineers and the customer to ensure the integrity of your air cargo and safe operation of the flight.
Transporting a heavy and outsized object requires careful logistics planning to ensure that everything goes smoothly on time, and on budget. This may involve coordinating with airport personnel, third-party logistics providers, and other agencies to ensure that all necessary permits and approvals are in place. It’s also important to plan for any contingencies, such as adverse weather conditions or AOG (aircraft on ground) scenarios. At Airmacs, we endeavour to remain one step ahead, meaning we try to spot potential issues and mitigate them, keeping our customers and suppliers informed every step of the way.
Communication and teamwork
Transporting a super-size object requires close communication and coordination. Teamwork and mutual understanding between all parties involved are essential, including the airlines’ operations control, the crew, ground personnel, and logistics teams. Everyone should be clear on their roles and responsibilities, and communication should be open and transparent throughout the entire process. Airmacs places itself in the centre of the logistics chain and often engages in processes outside of our immediate control to ensure all parties are aligned and communication is maintained. It also allows us to spot any potential issues which may lie outside of our immediate control, but which could impact the operation of the cargo flight. For example, documentation errors or poor preparation of a load.
To summarise, fitting something the size of a small house into an air cargo plane is a complex and challenging task. It requires careful planning, attention to detail, and a skilled team with the right equipment and expertise. With years of experience carrying heavy and outsize goods, Airmacs Aviation are well versed in this type of cargo transportation and with our approach and focus on safety and efficiency, your shipments can move successfully.