Cargo airlines (or airfreight carriers, and derivatives of these names) are airlines dedicated to the transport of cargo. Some cargo airlines are divisions or subsidiaries of larger passenger airlines.
Air transport is a vital component of many international logistic networks, essential to managing and controlling the flow of goods, energy, information and other resources like products, services, and people, from the source of production to the marketplace. It is difficult or nearly impossible to accomplish any international trading, global export/import processes, international repositioning of raw materials/products and manufacturing without a professional logistical support. It involves the integration of information, transportation, inventory, warehousing, material handling, and packaging. The operating responsibility of logistics is the geographical repositioning of raw materials, work in process, and finished inventories where required at the lowest cost possible.
Larger cargo airlines tend to use new or recently built aircraft to carry their freight, but many use older aircraft, like the Boeing 707, Boeing 727, Douglas DC-8, DC-10, MD-11, Boeing 747, and the Ilyushin Il-76. Examples of the 60-year-old Douglas DC-3 are still flying around the world carrying cargo (as well as passengers). Short range turboprop airliners such as the An-12, An-26, Fokker Friendship, and British Aerospace ATP are now being modified to accept standard air freight pallets to extend their working lives. This normally involves the replacement of glazed windows with opaque panels, the strengthening of the cabin floor and insertion of a broad top-hinged door in one side of the fuselage.
Antonov An-225 and Antonov An-124 are the worlds’ largest aircraft, used for transporting large shipments and oversized cargos.
A number of cargo airlines carry a few passengers from time to time on their flights, and UPS once unsuccessfully tried a passenger charter airline division.
Originally posted on June 6, 2015 @ 10:31 am