Ground Support Equipment for Air Cargo Transport and Towing


Many of the products we use daily would not be accessible to us without air cargo transport and the air cargo handling equipment used in the process. In addition to the 3 billion passengers who fly yearly, over 52 million metric tons of freight are transported worldwide. Here's a closer look at what air cargo transport involves and the best ground support equipment to keep it running efficiently.

What is Air Transport?

When time is a factor in sending goods, companies look to air cargo transport. No matter what types of cargo you're transporting, air cargo transport can send goods virtually anywhere in the world with time-sensitive efficiency. All types of air transportation aircraft typically consist of a wider fuselage and greater number of wheels when compared to passenger aircraft, allowing for increased capacity and increased stability on landing – even on underprepared flightlines. Freight transportation, or transportation by freight boat, is another option companies can choose. While this method is reliable for both importers and exporters and is still commonly practiced, it's time-consuming to ship general or bulk cargo in shipping containers by sea.

What Is Air Cargo?

Air cargo transport is pretty straightforward, but what types of cargo are sent using this method of transportation? Certain types of air cargo are not suitable for air cargo transport. Generally, air cargo transport consists of handling goods with a high value or commercially critical delivery time. This includes:

  • Airmail and diplomatic mail
  • Live animals, hatching eggs, human organs, human remains and medical supplies
  • Express parcels
  • Perishables (food, flowers and dry ice shipments)
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Valuables (money, gold bars and diamonds)
  • Technical supplies (high-tech equipment, oil and gas, aerospace and automotive products, and ship spares)
  • Luxury consumer goods (electronics, fashion goods, accessories)

Annual air cargo translates into $6.8 trillion worth of goods and represents more than 35% of the global trade-in value. As a result, air cargo transport generates roughly 9% of airline revenues.

If You Use Air Cargo Transport, You Need Cargo Handling Equipment

Air cargo transport would not be profitable, sustainable or even possible without air cargo handling equipment. Various types of cargo handling equipment, like our Bobtail Tractors, are used when transporting cargo from one flight to the next. Air cargo handling can be an in-house function of an airline or be contracted out to a separate company that specializes in using cargo equipment and the delicate handling of goods.

Regardless of the handling agent, speed, efficiency and accuracy are essential to any air cargo handling operation. High-quality ground support equipment is vital to running an effective air cargo handling operation and minimizing aircraft turnaround time (the time during which the aircraft remains parked at the gate).

Air Cargo Equipment Options for Transporting Cargo

If you work in an airline, you're probably familiar with GSE. Within the air cargo industry, specific air cargo handling equipment is used to maximize the efficiency of the transportation of goods. The various types of ground support equipment used to transport cargo include:

  • Dollies
  • Tugs and Tractors
  • Container Loaders
  • Transporters

Which type of cargo equipment an airline or handling service needs will depend more on their specific practices. However, tugs and tractors are essential to practically every air cargo transport operation, especially those that require long-distance cargo hauling.

Eagle Bobtail Tractors – Efficient Air Cargo Equipment Hauling

Essential for efficiently hauling cargo over long distances, our Bobtail Tractors are built on Ford super-duty chassis with a shortened and strengthened drive train. The result is a cargo tractor that can tow more weight at higher speeds. Our Bobtail Tractors last more than three-time longer than other, similar ground support equipment. We offer Bobtail cargo equipment in four variations, the EB2-5 Bobtail Tractor, the EB2-7 Bobtail Tractor, the EB2-8 Bobtail Tractor and the EB2-10 Bobtail Tractor. Each variation is tailored to your exact specifications, offering different levels of pound-force drawbar pull, cargo dolly towing capacities and the fuel source of your choice.

Find Efficiency In Your Air Cargo Transport Operations with Eagle Tugs

To run an efficient operation, you need the best air cargo handling equipment in the industry. At Eagle Tugs, we specialize in designing and producing cargo equipment meant to make jobs easier and air cargo transport more cost-effective for your airline. To learn more about our cargo handling equipment and running a successful operation, call or contact Eagle Tugs. Our knowledgeable representatives would be happy to speak with you and help you find an aircraft tug solution that meets your needs.

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