What to consider when choosing an air freight logistics partner

Blog Articles

(Updated 25 January 2023)

When it comes to choosing the best mode of transportation for your cargo, there are pros and cons that need to be considered. The same can be said when it’s time to select the right air freight logistics partner for your business.
Air freight shipping has become one of the most effective and reliable modes of domestic and international shipping in recent years. This is because it offers companies flexible, dependable and, when done right, cost-effective shipping solutions that can compete with any other ground or sea transportation methods.
Sounds great right? The trick now is finding an experienced and qualified third-party logistics (3PL) provider that will help you maximise the value of any shipping programme you decide to implement. However, with so many logistics companies and alternative solutions being introduced into the market, finding the right logistics partner that will complement your business, is becoming increasingly difficult.

In this article, M6T takes a look at 8 key considerations that must be taken into account by anyone looking for the right logistics partner.

  1. Customer Service and Reliability
    When searching for a logistics partner, customer service should be your first priority. The 3PL you are looking to partner with should be able to provide consistent delivery times, cargo tracking, open communication regarding potential delivery delays, experience with various cargo types and transport methods, and high-level customer service. Anything short of this and your business could be looking at costly delays and communication mishaps that could end up leaving you frustrated to say the lease.
  2. Diversity of Services
    The ideal air freight forwarder, or indirect air carrier (IAC), should include multiple services such as inland transport pickup and delivery options, and customs brokerage. Partners should have access to the latest technology and automated approaches that make these tasks much easier. Not to mention, an in-depth familiarity with national and international rules, regulations, and compliance expectations to avoid unnecessary delays. Your IAC should also have years of experience conducting a variety of operational and logistic services that have been tested and implemented in different circumstances successfully.
  3. Expertise and Experience
    When it comes to international shipping, exposure to a variety of unexpected events can make it difficult for IAC’s to deliver on their shipping promises. Whether it is due to economic instability, last-minute shipment changes or a global pandemic, a good logistics partner needs to have the expertise and experience to achieve their goals when things are going well but, more importantly, being successful when issues arise and when things are going wrong. The value of experience and expertise is found in the methods, technology, variety and adaptability of their services and cannot be overstated.
  4. Transparency is key
    The international shipping industry has become more competitive in recent years and the IACs offering their services are more abundant than ever. The non-negotiable requirements that separate the average from the elite are ensuring speed, visibility and tracking while inviting customers into their process. Your IAC should make accessing accurate and up-to-date information about your shipments an easy and transparent part of the process.
  5. Are they certified
    Over the centuries international shipping and cargo transportation has evolved and in order to accommodate new laws, rules, regulations, and licensing requirements, IAC’s must stay ahead of the game. IATA-certified IACS, for example, are qualified to safely transport hazardous or dangerous materials and goods by air. Being certified is an indication of that company’s trustworthiness, expertise, and reliability. Certifications should be a basic expectation of any potential IAC customer and should be another key element to consider before partnering up with a logistics company.
  6. Shipment Monitoring and Tracking
    Along with being transparent and utilising the latest technology in the field, you should be looking for an air freight logistics partners that keeps you informed throughout your use of their services. There should be an online system, built-in notifications or a dedicated account manager that helps you track the movements of your shipments and monitor its progress through different customs stages. The pro-activity of an IAC in this area can have a huge impact on your ability to react to changes and repeat successes when needed.
  7. A Proven Track Record
    Have you heard of the old saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover”? This rings true in many instances, especially if you’re looking to find that “right fit” logistics partner. Our advice, take a look at what previous customers say about their experience with the 3PL you’re interested in, look at their reviews (both positive and negative), testimonials, social media, see how they respond to client concerns etc., in order to confirm which 3PL has earned their solid reputation. It doesn’t matter how good the logistics partner may seem or how good they sound, it’s the end result of satisfied customers that will be on your checklist.
  8. Building Valuable Relationships
    Before settling with a logistics partner, be sure that they have a strong network of licensed, certified partners. Having existing strong relationships with various freight partners will mean that your logistics provider will be able to consistently handle your cargo transportation requirements efficiently and at stable rates.


Always choose a logistics partner that offers long-term value over short-term savings. Utilise well-established and respected global forwarders which can leverage their market knowledge and trade networks to curate the most effective solutions for their client’s shipping needs. Their expertise should allow for flexible, custom, and trustworthy solutions that help establish strong working relationships between courier and customer.

Is M6T the right logistics partner for your company?

M6T have been established as a trusted and comprehensive freight forwarding service provider, built on years of dedication and experience. M6T has a global reach that connects all major trading routes. We offer reliable air freight services that are industry-renowned for our on-time, cost-effective and safe shipping solutions that make transporting anywhere in the world much easier.

If you would like to learn more about the wide array of air freight logistics services that M6T provides, have a look here or contact us on 011 397 1241 / 032 814 0280.