On-Board Courier: A Go-To for Time-Critical Shipping

On-Board Courier: A Go-To for Time-Critical Shipping

Featured Image

What is an On-Board Courier Service?

An On-Board Courier (OBC) service, also referred to as hand-carry service, involves a person who hand-delivers shipments across commercial airlines, ensuring a secure and reliable chain of custody from pick-up to delivery. They are the unsung heroes of ensuring time-critical shipments get delivered anywhere, at any time. From manufacturing components to medical supplies, on-board couriers are relied upon to transport priority freight across the world, helping businesses get their cargo delivered fast. 
Let’s paint the picture: A manufacturing company in the United States urgently needs a specialized component to keep its assembly line running. Unfortunately, the only available supplier for this component is located in a remote area in Europe. The company can not afford any delays in the shipment, and so they turn to an OBC service.

obc courier with packages

How Does an Onboard Courier Service Work?

The OBC service process begins with a shipper requesting urgent item transport, for which the OBC provider offers a cost-inclusive quote. After accepting the service, the provider selects a courier based on availability and travel requirements, then arranges the fastest possible travel route, including flight bookings and necessary travel documents. The courier collects the item, ensuring its security during transport and expedient passage through customs and security checks. Upon arrival, the courier delivers the item directly to the recipient, securing proof of delivery and confirming completion to the client. 

Let’s paint the picture: A manufacturing company in the United States urgently needs a specialized component to keep its assembly line running. Unfortunately, the only available supplier for the component is in a remote area of Europe. The company cannot afford any delays in the shipment, so they turn to an OBC service.

A courier quickly gets booked for a flight abroad, picks up the component and boards a flight back to the United States. The package is safely delivered to the manufacturing company, avoiding any further disruptions to their assembly line. This is just one example of how on-board couriers play a crucial role in being an incredibly efficient and reliable method to transport critical, time-sensitive freight.

When requesting OBC service from Ascent, shippers are swiftly linked to the nearest courier and receive a detailed quote within 15 minutes. Following booking confirmation, the courier is promptly dispatched to collect the freight, overseeing every aspect from ticketing to customs brokerage to final mile preparation.

OBC Logistics is Rapidly Gaining Popularity

Although OBC logistics has been a relied-upon solution for quite some time, there’s been a significant uptick in demand. With port congestion and backlogs of freight for ocean and air export, ensuring freight arrives safely and on time has been increasingly challenging.

Ascent’s OBC service has seen a 170% increase in volume and a 55% increase in unique customers requesting the service over the last few years. OBC service is an exceptionally cost-effective alternative to purchasing an air charter under the right circumstances – and ensures that shipments reach their destinations as quickly as possible.

onboard couriers moving urgent shipments

How Much Freight Can Be Shipped with OBC Service?

Typically, most airlines limit the baggage to 62 linear inches (L+W+H), not exceeding 50 pounds per piece. However, this can change based on airline, routing, passenger loyalty status and travel season (baggage embargoes). Additionally, each airline’s excess baggage for oversize/overweight luggage varies. Ascent’s OBC team works diligently to help you navigate these frequently changing guidelines to ensure your mission is successful on every booking.

How Does OBC Freight Need to be Packaged?

When preparing larger freight for OBC transport, it’s essential to package the items in durable and secure sealed boxes or crates that adhere to airline restrictions for checked baggage. Since this freight is considered a personal item and gets priority over Next Flight Out (NFO) airfreight, it’s important to pack it in a way that can handle the stresses of travel. For extra security, implementing tamper-evident seals or tape is recommended so the freight remains intact and unaltered during transit.

All pertinent customs paperwork should be prepared and affixed to the package’s exterior in a transparent envelope or given directly to the courier. This approach not only streamlines the customs and clearance process, but also maximizes the efficiency of the OBC service, ensuring your shipment is given priority and arrives without delay.

To streamline the packaging process, Ascent’s OBC service will often repackage freight into luggage-style bags for secure, discreet transport, simplifying handling, customs and security checks.

A Shipper’s Key to Success: A Global Network of Couriers

A sizable network of couriers worldwide is essential to making an OBC shipment run smoothly and quickly. OBC shipments often require urgent and time-sensitive delivery, which means that a courier must always be available, including on weekends and holidays. Ascent has over 180 couriers worldwide, making it possible to transport goods to any place at any time.

hand-carry courier checking documentation

Source OBC Couriers with PEAK Marketplace

When managing complex missions, it’s crucial to use innovative technology that quickly connects to couriers. Ascent’s OBC team uses our proprietary PEAK™ platform to connect our customers with couriers while providing optimal routes and timing for each shipment. With real-time visibility, we can track each shipment at every stage of its journey, from collection to delivery, giving our customers peace of mind and confidence in the service. 

In addition, our platform allows for 24×7 communication with our courier team, ensuring that we can quickly and efficiently respond to any issues that may arise during the shipment’s journey. 

Streamline Your On-Board Courier Needs with Ascent

While the courier is ultimately responsible for the safe delivery of each shipment, the real magic happens behind the scenes. A diverse group of travel experts familiar with every corner of the world and multiple languages works to connect all stakeholders, including couriers, airlines, shippers, receivers, customs brokers and ground service providers, into one aligned solution.

At Ascent, we’re proud to say that we have at least 20 hand-carry couriers in the air at any given time and are ready with over 180 couriers worldwide to transport your critical and time-sensitive freight to its destination. Once you confirm the booking, we dispatch the courier to collect your freight and handle all the details – from ticketing to customs brokerage to final mile preparation – guaranteeing that your shipment runs smoothly and quickly. Learn more about our OBC solution today: https://ascentlogistics.com/on-demand/on-board-courier/


Related Posts

Keep up with the latest insights and stories
Thank you for contacting Ascent!
A member of our team will be in contact within a few business hours.