Various logistics options exist for different priority substances or materials. Some materials are best transported in hand through the On Board Courier (OBC) option. This option involves the expedited transport of the material by the courier onto the plane, then delivery by hand to the client’s location. Such materials are usually needed to ship materials in an emergency, of extreme importance, or is a high value item. So, it is best to have someone hold it during the entire logistics process.

As expected, such items do not ship for the same price as the regular items. This can be a major downside that customers have to deal with. The events of 9-11 prompted the world to ramp up security at airports, thereby affecting the volume of OBC. However, the need for this service has been gradually growing ever since and is at an all-time-high since 2001. Thus, it is important to know when an On Board Courier (also called Hand Carry Shipments) is the right choice for you.

The Benefits of On Board Courier Services

Although it might seem ridiculous to the layman fly someone halfway across the world with your package in-hand, but certain items validate the OBC model. The benefits of using an OBC include the following.

  1. Preserving a high-value asset: Example of such items include Intellectual Property (IP) documentation, high-value antique paintings or specialty aviation components. These are too sensitive to be trusted to a regular courier option. Therefore, OBC ensures they are able to depart at a moment’s notice to their destination, thereby maintaining their value and/or intended use.
  2. Process visibility and control: Given the nature of the items being transported, the courier is in constant updates with the customer who would be given live updates of the location of the asset. This ensures optimal control of the item’s location and shipment. In contrast to the regular courier service that utilizes the most economical route, the courier uses the fastest and safest routes possible.
  3. Absolute security: Since the item would be listed as a property of the On Board Courier, the item being shipped would remain in their possession at all times. Most carry-on sized packages are not checked into the aircraft, thus ensuring minimal risk of tampering, mix-up, theft, sabotage and also, speedy retrieving.


When to use an On Board Courier Service

  1. When the item has a high value: When an item is of utmost value and if lost or damaged might result in the loss of millions of dollars, the item should be shipped via OBC. Examples include high-end jewelry and product samples.
  2. When the item is perishable: Various billion dollar companies depend on a few high value products that might need to get certain tests or certifications globally. Some of their samples are often perishable. This leaves them with the need to expedite this journey securely via On Board Couriers. Biological, chemical, and medical companies often use OBC to transport their high value and perishable products or samples.
  3. When the item is needed urgently: Whether for professional, medical or sentimental values, various items needed urgently across the country or the world. Utilizing an On Board Courier is the fastest method of getting the item to its destination.


To learn more about On Board Couriers, visit our page on air freight transportation. Ready to ship? Click HERE to plan your shipment today.


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