Freight By Air or By Truck? Pros and Cons


Note: as of 20 August 2020, shipments within Australia and from abroad are subject to numerous restrictions, so the following article is intended for when ‘normal’ conditions resume. Please stay up to date with Victoria (or your state/territory) and Federal Government restrictions as they develop.

With changes to logistics technologies and shipping methods worldwide that have developed over the past few decades, there’s a wealth of choice for suppliers, wholesalers, and retailers to receive shipments from within Australia and abroad.

So much choice is, in general, a great thing, since businesses can fine-tune their supply chains for faster deliveries, lower costs, or any KPI they’re looking to achieve in ways that were difficult or impossible even a half-century ago. Two main ways of shipping in Australia are by truck or by air, so what’s the difference and which is better?

Shipping via Air Freight

Our globalised world is connected and made smaller with the presence of air travel, both for leisure and business travel as well as for shipping air cargo. Air cargo is undeniably the fastest way to receive shipments for obvious reasons: planes aren’t subject to terrain nor do they require distribution centres or warehouses and there’s virtually no traffic to compete with.

Of course, shipping products from Sydney to Perth might make sense for time-saving reasons, for example, but consider that the cost of shipping via air cargo is generally 4-5 times greater than shipping by truck.

When considering the landed product cost on a per-unit basis, a 400-500 per cent jump in shipping prices can quickly make a product with a high profit margin into a loss leader at best. In other words, air shipments should not be your primary way of shipping within Australia.

Shipping via Truck

There’s a reason our motorways are full of lorries day and night. Shipping by truck is one of the most efficient ways of getting goods or products from one point to another. It has its drawbacks, however.

Shipping by truck can take significantly longer than shipping via air cargo. This used to be the case almost all of the time, such as shipping goods from NSW to QLD, but our motorway infrastructure has improved such that shipments which used to take far longer are now sometimes faster than by air!

One of the main points of consideration for truck shipping, however, is that there’s a degree of complexity to routing and scheduling the deliveries to arrive consistently and on schedule. This task can be quite a hassle for a business professional who should be focussing on producing value. For this reason, we recommend you choose a reliable freight logistics broker such as Freightbroker Australia to handle this task on your behalf.

Air Freight vs Truck Freight: Which is Better for Me?

When it comes to interstate shipping in Australia, there’s a clear winner between air and truck freight. Truck freight is better in nearly every way except (perhaps) for ensuring same-day or next-day deliveries.

If your business ships goods via truck, navigating the complexities of scheduling and cost savings are important for you, but they’re also important for us at Freightbroker Australia. That’s why we’ll provide you with bespoke solutions to meet your needs.

Freightbroker Australia

Choose Freightbroker Australia whenever your business requires a professional logistics strategy that can efficiently connect you to suppliers and distributors across Australia.