14: Variations in Airfreight

I like to share my experience in airshipment of dogs to foreign countries and I hope that this  would help others avoid being duped.  Luckily, being an accountant and my past experience in banking has helped a lot in discovering this anomaly in good time.


Last Sunday, I send out the choco bitch puppy  to Heidi and about the same time, she shipped the choco boy to me.  My airshipment was done thru a broker because here in the Philippines, we cannot ship directly with the airline company.  Since my shipment was on credit, I got the billing of US$767.30 for the shipment;  US$682.50 for the airfreight and the balance as charges by the broker for his services the following working day.  This figure was way way above my expectation for my airshipment expense.


My secretary asked the forwarder for a copy of the airway bill and after much delay, we were given one that matched their billing.  The broker insisted that there was no mistake.  I called the airline company and asked for the amount in their copy of the airway bill and the amount given was US$139.05…that is a big big difference!  I asked for a copy of the said airway bill but the airline representative refused saying that they have to ask the forwarder first.  Since I could not get the proof of the anomaly, Heidi eventually emailed me a copy of the document that she has received and, it too,  had the same figure as that quoted by the airline company. ..US$139.05.


When my secretary confronted the broker,  he eventually backed down and claimed that it was all an honest mistake.  He then issued a new airway bill with the amount of  US$144.45  and eventually, we received a new billing of US$223.63(Pesos10, 887.16) inclusive of airline charges of US$138.05…which again does not match the second airway bill he gave us.  Neither does it match the correct figure US$139.05 as  quoted by airline in their copy and that of Heidi. 



I reported the matter to the owner of the forwarding company giving him copies of the anomalous papers for his action.  In the meantime, I will be saved from this excessive overcharging.  My advise to people shipping dogs to a foreign country is  be sure to get a copy of the airway bill of the outgoing shipment.  Whenever possible, compare this figure with the airline company, and if not, compare it with the consignee(or recipient of the dog).  Theoretically, since the airway bill copies are typed in carbon paper, they should be identical...the copy of the airline, the copy of the consignee(recipient), the copy of the shipper(sender) and the copy of the broker.  If it is not the same, there is something awfully wrong.  If there is a broker, the same figure should be there plus broker charges in the billing statement.  


The owner later on tells me that the IATA rule book has 2 provisions for shipments for live animal.  The higher rate is 150% of normal gcr and the lower rate is 200% of the applicable minimum charge.  This is very good information for me because I remember when I wanted to ship some dogs from the US some months back, a US airline was asking for something like $2,600 for 3 poms. In contrast, another  airline charged only $512.50.  Perhaps, reminding the airline of the IATA rule of 200% of applicable minimum rate instead of the 150% of gcr would result to a lot of money being saved.


I hope the reader of this blog find this information useful.


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