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Road Feeder Service / RFS

the english Term “Road Feeder Service” literally means “road feeder service”. In logistics terminology, Road Feeder Service – often short RFS – refers to air freight replacement traffic on the road. Transport by truck is chosen instead of transport by plane.

The RFS is part of air freight transport and takes place with an air waybill (AWB) as the document accompanying the goods. The organization of air freight transport over the road has primarily economic reasons. Air freight is mainly transported by airlines between the main airports. Forwarding shipments destined for other airports by plane would often be too expensive – because of landing fees and fuel costs. Therefore, the air freight replacement service is used.

RFS is a time sensitive business. Due to the narrow slots at airports and the high standstill costs on the ground, loading has to take place within a narrow time window. The vehicles for the RFS must already be ready when the cargo plane has landed. After loading, the goods are transported overnight to the respective destination. – distances of up to 500 km can be bridged on the road. The airline’s handling agent usually unloads the vehicles the next morning. The shipments are then stored on site until they are picked up by air freight forwarders or the final recipient. When transporting to another airport, there is often onward transport with another aircraft. Due to the tight time window, the Road Feeder Services have in many cases a special permit for transport on Sundays and public holidays.

Special vehicles for RFS

Vehicles for RFS have some special design features in order to be able to optimally transport aircraft containers or pallets ( Unit Load Devices, ULDs). Swap bodies or trailers are often equipped with roller beds (“roller bed systems”), which enable ULDs to be loaded more easily. Some swap bodies and trailers for RFS purposes are also built particularly high. Road feed services are often offered by special service providers whose clients are airlines or freight forwarders.