What is AOG Shipping?
AOG Shipping is a service provided to airlines and other aircraft operators to ensure the on-time delivery of components critical for an aircraft becoming air worthy. This could mean anything from a jet engine, landing gear or wing component. AOG Shipping (Aircraft on Ground) is a small but crucial portion of an airlines operations, every minute that an aircraft is grounded means lost revenue and increased costs.
When an airline has a grounded aircraft, it causes a huge disruption in a carefully planned flight schedule. The airline will have to divert other aircraft to pick up passengers or in some cases cancel or reschedule flights all together. Every minute counts when an aircraft is down, ideally the airline wants to minimize the revenue loss and get the bird back in the air as soon as possible.
An AOG shipping and Aerospace Logistics company is on call 24/7 for this type of emergency. Often a new or refurbished aircraft engine will need to be transported from the manufacturer or a MRO (maintenance repair and overhaul) facility to the airport. The airline will call a special AOG Desk at the carrier’s office to receive immediate service. Trucks will be dispatched immediately, sometimes using a team of drivers to ensure that the engine arrives as soon as possible.
As an example, IMT responded to a critical AOG shipping event for a large airline who had an aircraft stranded at Calgary Airport. The new Trent 700 engine needed to be picked up in Ohio and delivered to Calgary immediately. Certain states in the U.S. do not allow oversized cargo on the road at night, so IMT coordinated all of the necessary permits to ensure a non-stop delivery that detoured around states with those regulations. The coordinated efforts of the operations team ensured a timely delivery that would have taken at least a day or two longer if the truck had been forced to stop overnight.
Of course not all jet engine shipments are emergencies, often they are going in for scheduled maintenance or testing. These type of sensitive aerospace components require an experienced AOG shipping carrier, knowledgeable about the proper procedures for transporting this type of cargo. Any part of an aircraft will be expensive, sensitive and require special handling. Aircraft engines are one of the most sensitive components found on a plane, they range in value but can be worth upwards of $80 million for one engine.
The slightest interference, bump, nudge or if the engine is secured improperly results in a mandatory $150,000 diagnostic and inspection. That is the base cost, not including what it would cost to fix the engine if anything were found wrong in the inspection.