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when shipping by air makes more sense

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In 2004, I took a carriage tour of the Kilohana Sugar Plantation, pulled by two Clydesdale horses. Following an informative ride through the sugar cane fields, I asked the guide how they got the horses to the island. Amazingly, he said they were sent via Federal Express on a jet, from Chicago to Honolulu. They were then transported by barge from Honolulu to the island of Kauai. This is in agreement with an article posted on the carriage company's website, written by Dennis Fujimoto (2010). Fujimoto (2010) explains that Federal Express was priced $1200 below other modes of transportation, plus had additional benefits to the horses. First the transit time was greatly reduced, which put less stress on the horses. Additionally, a groomer was allowed to fly with the horses to monitor their health and administer medication if necessary.

On a similar note, I flew into Louisville, Kentucky shortly after the Kentucky Derby and saw a Boeing 727 labeled, "First Class Equine Transport." Granted these race horses get first class treatment everywhere they go, but this plane was dedicated to horse transportation, while the Federal Express plane is easily rigged for different cargo.

These examples demonstrate how air transportation, which was once only affordable by the wealthiest of people, has become competitive in the cargo market, especially for cargo which is time sensitive (perishable or needed immediately). Does anyone else have examples of how air transportation has gotten cargo business traditionally reserved for other modes of transportation (truck, rail, water)?

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Shipping PC boards from China almost always goes by air, not just because it is faster, but ...

Solution Summary

The author provides an example where shipping by air can be cheaper than by sea.

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