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Moving goods by air

The airfreight industry consists of a number of interdependent commercial organisations, including airlines, express carriers, freight forwarders and customs brokers. Over 2 million tonnes of commercial airfreight passes through UK airports each year.

This guide provides some basic information about how the airfreight industry operates, and outlines the requirements and regulations that you - as an importer or exporter - must comply with. Included are notes on customs regulations, packaging, insurance, aviation security screening, freight rate and surcharge costs. The guide also explains what paperwork should accompany your shipments. After reading this you'll be in a better position to decide if airfreight is an appropriate mode of transport for your business.

Find out more about moving your goods in our sections on preparing goods for transport and transporting your goods.

Subjects covered in this guide

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International trade

Transporting your goods


Moving goods by air


Current section



Airfreight rates


The role of the airline


Airfreight logistics


Advice on packaging


Security for airfreight


Airfreight industry regulations


Airfreight documentation


Airfreight insurance