Shipping prototypes, pilot production or unique parts?
People usually call upon Air Time Critical® for emergency shipments!
And yet, some customers use ATC®’s services for shipments that do not require urgency, but a high level of reliability. For instance, shipments with high technological value, unique prototypes, pilot production, equipment destined for a consultancy or R&D centre, etc. Read our USA case study below.
Shipment of prototypes – A case study
Case study: Our customer, a Paris-based technological unicorn, needed to ship replacement parts to the United States for one of its prototypes being tested in an American research lab. With 10 days available for delivery, the customer had plenty of time to use any other standard freight solution. However, they came to us for a turnkey solution, despite the obvious extra cost. Let’s find out what drove their decision.
Reliability level and tracking quality
There’s nothing more frustrating than losing track of a shipment and having a call centre as sole recourse. This is even more true if the cargo necessitated lengthy research and a large investment! Tailored air freight (or premium freight) guarantees that each of your shipment is processed to your specifications. In practice, this means you know on which flight your goods will be loaded, the backup flight in case of problems, the scheduled day of arrival, whether it is a direct flight, etc. Your parcel travels with a single AWB number and does not get ‘drowned’ in a consolidated shipment with other parcels.
You know you’ll be advised promptly of any setback, without needing to chase anything
You will also be updated proactively: You know you’ll be advised promptly of any setback, without needing to chase anything or to enquire through a call centre. On the contrary, you’ll enjoy proper tracking (done by a human being) and a high level of reliability. Some shipments really deserve this treatment. In our case study, we had to ship tailor-made parts worth upward of 50,000 EUR each for a long-term R&D project involving European and American research centres. This certainly called for tailored freight!
It was a long-term R&D project involving European and American research centres
Advice and assistance
Your job is to develop a new driverless car prototype, or to manage the launch of a new production line, not to juggle commercial and proforma invoices, incoterms, or ATA carnets!
You will really appreciate our advice and assistance with the preparation of invoices in English, ensuring they include all mandatory mentions, and with the payment of import duties and taxes.
ATC®’s assistance with paperwork and procedures
Although customers retain ultimate responsibility for the final documents, ATC® helps them with any amendments (as needed) before the shipment departs. Here are a few common ones:
- Commercial invoice written in French when the goods are being sent abroad
- No accurate description of the goods or missing customs codes to allow customs agents to apply the relevant taxes on arrival
- No mention of applicable exemption or free trade agreement
- Invoice currency not specified or inconsistent with destination
- Incoterm not specified, which could affect payment of import taxes on arrival
- 2 invoices are present: one from the supplier and another for the consignee, which could lead to a trade dispute with the consignee
- Missing packing list or vague weights and dimensions
- Importer’s status unknown so customer doesn’t know whether consignee has a broker
The above only lists a sample of the potential problems that ATC® brings to the attention of its customers on a daily basis.
All of these elements have their importance in the international transport industry and will have a bearing on whether the shipment is delivered timely or with several days’ delay, or if it even gets lost ‘in transit’.
Tailored freight can secure a project launch
Of course, we’re not suggesting you send all your shipments via premium air freight!
However, you should consider premium freight for a critical shipment or one that is going to a new country (USA, Mexico, Turkey, etc.), or a new customer, if only to avoid all hassle. You can then use standard transport, which is more economical, for future production. Many of our customers in R&D centres, new technologies, or car manufacturer and car supplier consultancies, adopt this winning strategy for their project launches.
Many of our customers in R&D centres adopt this winning strategy
Control costs with a choice of 2 service levels
You have 2 options when trying to maximise the security of your strategic shipments through premium freight:
Option 1: Priority freight – MustGo, aka NFO (Next Flight Out)
Priority booking, expedited processing, priority access to first flights to chosen destination. No freight consolidation, speedy delivery (1 to 3 days on average for international shipments). This is the air freight option by excellence, but also the most expensive.
Option 2: General cargo freight + premium ATC® tracking
The cargo doesn’t get priority access to flights and is not considered urgent by the airline (average delivery in 3 to 6 days for international shipments). Goods are loaded on flights with free hold space. ATC® combines this standard air freight service with premium tracking: dedicated express pre- and post-carriage, customised import and export procedures, direct flights (PAX flights with established national airlines), flights running daily or several times a week, and full shipment tracking until delivery to the consignee.
Unlike priority freight, this option doesn’t offer the best delivery time frames, but an intelligent compromise between cost and service level. Shipment tracking far exceeds the general cargo freight market standards. Cost-wise, customers save on average 20 to 30% compared to full priority freight. In our USA case study, the customer saved almost 1,200 EUR on transport. This is a smart choice for air freight that is important, but not urgent.
An important shipment to arrange?
Get in touch. We remain at your disposal for advice on shipments requiring a particular level of tracking, or on anything else.
We look forward to working with you on other fascinating missions!