Is air freight cheaper or sea freight

Air freight prices - calculate / inquire about costs

Air freight transport has many advantages. It is ideal when things have to go very quickly, on-time delivery is of great importance or security and reliability are particularly important. These services have their price. You can use our calculator for your Simply calculate air freight prices. This gives you the opportunity to calculate what a shipment by plane would cost you. You will be surprised, air freight is often cheaper than expected.

Air freight: Calculate prices according to IATA

For a better understanding, here are some general explanations of how prices are generally calculated in air freight. The calculation is based on a calculation scheme introduced by the IATA. The IATA - International Air Transport Association - is an international association of airlines. It has developed common standards and rules for air transport, including air freight. They are accepted worldwide.

Dimensional weight or actual weight

There are also certain IATA requirements for calculating prices in air freight. The decisive factor for the price calculation is always the weight. Understandably, not only the absolute weight plays a role, but also the weight in relation to the required / occupied space volume. According to the IATA standards, the so-called volume weight or density is used.


The dimensional weight is calculated according to the IATA formula for a shipment as follows:

Length (in cm) x width (in cm) x height (in cm) / 6000 = volume weight (in kg)

Many senders now also use 5000 as a divisor. The weight result is rounded up to the next half kg.

The determined dimensional weight is always compared with the actual weight of the shipment. The basis of the price calculation is then the higher value for both weights. If the volume weight is greater, this is used as the basis for calculating the air freight prices. Otherwise the actual weight is assumed.

The amount and routes used determine the price

The price for air freight is also determined by two other factors:

  • the amount shipped,
  • and the freight volume on the route used.

With increasing shipping volumes, the freight rates per kg usually decrease. When it comes to the flight routes, it depends on the general freight volume on the respective routes. Routes with a generally high volume, e.g. from or to China, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, Russia, Turkey, United States or the UAE ( Dubai / Abu Dhabi) are cheaper than destinations that are served less frequently or for which there is little overall air freight. So it may well be that the air freight on an intensely used route is relatively cheaper in spite of the greater distance than on a shorter route that is not flown with air freight as often.

We are happy to help

You can use the calculator to calculate your air freight prices and thus gain an initial orientation. We will be happy to make you an individual offer for your specific shipments and advise you on the shipping options. We are also happy to assist you with our experience when it comes to further transport to the destination or collection for dispatch. Simply use our contact form.