There are shipping companies which offer to pick up some items (e.g. boxes, suitcases), send them by air, and deliver them to some destination. I suppose some would even offer a cheaper option of you delivering the items to some depot and picking it up from some depot at the destination country. But - Can you cut those out as middle-men, and pay some airline - not necessary one which carries people - to carry some luggage/freight for you from one country to another? Where you deliver stuff to the airport and pick it up from the destination airport?

If so, can you elaborate a bit on how this is done, or give an example of the procedure?


  • I will be traveling to the same destination, but at a different time.
  • In case it matters - I'm particularly interested about doing this out of the Netherlands (via Schiphol), to Israel/Palestine (via Ben-Gurion).
  • This is a one-time affair, I don't plan on doing this regularly.
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    Is it a one time shipment or do you have larger amounts? www.afklcargo.com is the cargo part of KLM, they offer such solutions of course, but it seems they handle only large volume shipments.
    – dunni
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 10:22
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    @fkraiem: See my first note. I guess this question is borderline between here and expats.SX,
    – einpoklum
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 11:23
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    Where to? Some airlines do provide the service (called “unaccompanied baggage”), mostly for the case when your luggage exceeds check-in limits (size, weight, max number of items per passenger...), but probably not all.
    – jcaron
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 11:44
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    What’s wrong with DHL/FedEx? Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 14:02
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    @NateEldredge: I'd actually guess the opposite: The airlines provide very little service, and you have to show up and hand over the cargo, which is not at all simple for larger loads. Possibly you need to schedule a long time in advance. And - you also need to show up and get your cargo at the destination.
    – einpoklum
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 17:52

2 Answers 2


Of course this is possible!! It's called airfreight carriers. Most good airlines offer it. For example, Air France does. Theirs is called 'Air France Cargo' and you can book it from the Netherlands here and read about the general conditions here. Their company motto is "freight made personal", so you know it's exactly what you are looking for!!

I had to use Southwest Airlines Cargo once, when I lost my car keys at the beach in Louisiana. My friends in Texas put my spare keys on the next flight to New Orleans for $50 flat rate. Saved my life.


Sort of, but the answer is more complex than a simple yes or no.

It is possible to have cargo shipped by air not through a full-service, door-to-door shipping company. However:

  • Not all passenger airlines offer cargo services.
  • Some airlines are cargo-only (e.g. CargoLux), and some make certain routes only for cargo rather than passengers (e.g. Air Malta can fly cargo, but not people, from AMS to TLV).
  • Some airlines (may) offer such services directly, while some only work through certain agents, or more "bare-bones" shipping companies (e.g. LFS).
  • It's difficult to figure out exactly which carriers and shipping companies/agents are available for you to employ, as well as what the range of prices is - there are no fare aggregators for example. It is thus difficult to tell whether you've gotten "a good offer" or not.
  • Though you can expect this to be cheaper than end-to-end delivery, the price quotes may not include additional fees along the way (e.g. customs, ground services bogus charges) and the cost of transporting your cargo to and from the endpoint storage facilities.

Perhaps more importantly - you can't "book a flight" for your cargo. You can submit some cargo to be shipped, and it will be delivered at the earliest possible time, or perhaps the earliest convenient time, for the airline(s) involved, depending on the volume, weight and possibly other parameters. At best you'll receive a range of dates/hours for expected delivery.

Most of the examples are based on what I ended up doing for shipping my personal affects from Amsterdam to Haifa.

  • How did you end up doing it? I know I put Air France in my example, but they may not have the routes you want? I dont know. Just curious.
    – AussieJoe
    Commented Jul 6, 2018 at 15:20
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    @AussieJoe: See edit. I started asking around based on Googling, and eventually someone referred me to LFS. They were helpful in finding airlines which could carry my cargo more cheaply.
    – einpoklum
    Commented Jul 6, 2018 at 15:22

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