When it comes to shipping freight overseas, the wealth of options available to you is extensive. If you’re someone who has limited experience in this field, you may be wondering what all the jargon and acronyms stand for. Having a good understanding of these will help you to make the most informed decision that fits your requirements and budget. When shipping internationally via air freight, there are 2 main options – Back-to-Back AWB and Consol. In this blog, we’ll discuss what both options are and how to identify the most suitable one for you.

What is Back-To-Back AWB?

Otherwise known as a back-to-back bill of lading, this is a process by which goods are transported under their own Master Air Waybill (MAWB) along with other shipments. This service is normally offered by Freight Forwarders and is also known as a direct service. It essentially means that this single shipment will be transported in the hold of a scheduled plane – the space is entirely booked out for this purpose.

This allows you to minimise the risk of damage, benefit from direct flight paths and ship larger cargo quantities together without risking a loss on the way. However, back-to-back shipments are costly as they require you to fill and commander an entire plan for yourself.

What is Consol?

In contrast, consol shipments are freight from numerous shippers that are consolidated together and then shipped by air. Each shipment travels under its own individual House Air Waybill (HAWB) and is delivered to the end destination in unison.

Unlike back-to-back shipments, consol allows you to take advantage of cheaper shipping rates. Essentially, you are buying a proportion of the airline’s storage capacity rather than the whole thing. It is also an effective way of optimizing supply chain logistics. Bulking numerous shipments together on one plane minimises the demand, saves on flight times and helps to reduce costs overall. In this instance too, the damage is kept to a minimum. The entire shipment, including your cargo and that of other shippers, is delivered to the same end destination. There are no additional stops, movements or touchpoints that could result in damaged goods.

Which is right for me?

Generally, the most popular shipping option out of the two above is Consol (Consolidated Shipping). It is regarded as being the most cost-effective, friendly to the environment and suited to businesses of all sizes. However, if you’re dealing with very large cargo loads, have very specific requirements for your shipments or are looking for a premium method by which to transport rare goods, back-to-back shipping also has its place.

Radius Warehouse and Logistic Services have been offering an independent freight forwarding service to our clients for over 20 years. We have an in-depth understanding of international freight movement and can assist you to ensure you make the most cost-effective and suitable choice for your business. Request a quote or speak to a member of our experienced team here today.