Understanding Rates

An international cargo rate has multiple parts.   The portion that usually constitutes the highest cost, is the air freight "line-haul" or airport to airport (A2A, ATA) rate that is offered by the airline, the General Sales Agent (GSA) representing the airline, or an Indirect Air Carrier (IAC) that is acting as a forwarder or consolidator who has negotiated rates with an airline and is then offering those rates to the public.

QATAR CARGO 2014 Summer Tariff
  • Across the top is the date which the tariff is applicable.   Qatar publishes rate sheets every six months.  Other carriers will publish quarterly, annually or some electronically.   Carriers will occasionally publish "Promo" or "Special" rates to specific destinations.   Airlines can also be requested for a "spot quote" that is valid for a single shipment.
  • The line in yellow highlight, lists the codes for the applicable origin airports, Washington Dulles, John F. Kennedy, Newark, Chicago and Philadelphia.  Other airlines rate sheets will list groups of airports as originating "zones".  The zones are set up based upon how the particular airline routes cargo from airports where it receives cargo at trucking terminals to the airports where it actually loads the cargo on it's aircraft and departs the USA.
  • Qatar separates its rates into regions representing the various continents or sub-continental regions.
  • Not all rate sheets will list the name of the destination city, but all will identify the destinations offered by airport code.
  • Service Type/Codes listed on this rate sheet include General Cargo and Cool or temperature sensitive cargo, for which the rate is slightly higher.
  • All A2A rates offered by the airline are presented with Minimum charges.   The Minimum charge does not include any +, ++, or +++ charges such as fuel surcharge, security surcharge, Euro fee, etc, which may be added.   The exception is when the rate is specified as an "ALL IN" where these + charges are included in the per kg rate.
  • International A2A rates are generally offered in kilograms (kgs) with a base rate of 100 kgs.   The majority of carriers will offer a 45 kg rate for known shipper / commercial cargo.   Fewer will offer 45kg rates for their freighter / no-passenger flight service.
  • Note that the lowest rates are generally into the airlines "hub" facilities and the discounts for 1000 kgs can be significant.
  • IMPORTANT:  If I have 95 kg to transport from JFK to DOH, do I want the +45 kgs rate at $2.30 per or do I rate my shipment as 100 kgs and apply the $1.55 per rate?   In this case I would apply and request the 100 kgs rate as that would be the lower cost.
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