Northwest Airlines Cargo will impose a minimum charge of $125 per trans-Pacific air waybill on all North America-origin shipments, effective March 16. The current minimum is $55. Likewise, the minimum rate for domestic air freight shipments will increase to $32, up from $30 now.
Northwest said the fee is consistent with the carrier's strategy of focusing on large international shipments.'The cost of booking, tracking, billing and collecting an international shipment makes these smaller shipments unattractive at the current minimum charges,' said Tony Notermann, director of network management, NWA Cargo.
While other carriers such as Nippon Cargo Airlines have a minimum charge of just $55, Northwest spokeswoman Liz Schindler said the U.S. carrier does not expect resistance from forwarders.
The minimum charge for shipments to Europe is $70. That rate is under review. The increase to Asia will not affect shipments within North America.
The minimum charge for inbound shipments varies by country. For example, the minimum for shipments from Japan is 10,000 yen, or about $86; from Hong Kong it's about $60.