Skip to content

Next Flight Out vs. On-board Courier Service

What is the Difference Between Next Flight Out and On-board Courier Services? 

Next Flight Out – also known as NFO or Express Freight – is a fast type of shipping service provides the delivery of shipments as fast as possible. NFO refers to an express freight service that is considered to be high-quality and, as such, comes at a premium. Not something used on a regular basis by all businesses, but for those who rely on fast, efficient delivery, Next Flight Out is essential. Similarly, if last minute shipments are considered to be Time Critical, then NFO gets the job done.  

In the same way, On-board Courier, or OBC, offers fast delivery. Unlike NFO, however, OBC’s hand carry and deliver the shipment in person. Usually relied upon to deliver urgent items or documents, OBC offers the highest level of security from point A to point B. More common (but not limited to) for smaller shipments that can be carried by hand and can be brought on board as cabin baggage. On-Board Couriers can also be used for larger shipments, where multiple OBCs can bring the items on board. This way, they can be kept safe and secure for the entirety of the journey.  

How do you decide which is best for your business? 

Next Flight Out and On-board Courier are both rapid delivery options for business in certain sectors, including aerospace, semiconductors and automotive. When shipments are required for urgent delivery, or when sensitive materials are being transported, many would choose to opt for OBC, as it is often associated with increased efficiency and added security. On-board Courier Services do come with a higher price tag, however, and its advantages can scale down the larger the shipment, as it is possible multiple OBCs would be needed for a larger shipment. 

When small enough to be taken as carry-on, the added security of the delivery is a vital factor in favour of OBC. However, when the shipment is of larger size, Next Flight Out tends to be a better option.  

NFO means your delivery is placed on the next available flight. When your shipment is more sensitive, commercial airlines can offer a premium service, which removes the need for a person to physically accompany the shipment. Partnering with a Time Critical company who has experience in Next Flight Out services usually guarantees a better experience, as they will have relationships with various airlines for shipments. 

Is cost a deciding factor for your business? 

When it comes to time, OBC is often faster than NFO. Many companies offer quotes within minutes – Royale International for instance provide a quote within 30 minutes or less, after which they arrange dedicated OBCs to collect the item and get it safely on board. When it comes to cost, however, OBC doesn’t come out on top. NFO is the more cost-effective choice out of the two options, as you are paying for the space on the flight. This is influenced by the destination, whether the flight is international, and what it is you or your business are shipping. For On-board Courier however, there are more ‘supplementary’ costs. Not only is there the cost of the last-minute ticket of the person travelling with your shipment, but also hotel room (including the compulsory quarantine stays as a result of the global pandemic), as well as the salary for the courier.  

Prices can and do change depending upon what you are shipping, timeframe, and routing. It is an important decision for any business whether the faster delivery time and added security offered by OBC is worth the increase in price.  

Making the best choice 

NFO is, as mentioned, more popular due to being more cost-effective, yet OBC is preferable for certain deliveries. These include small, sensitive shipments that would benefit from a personal handling; shipments with tight connection times; shipments that are using multiple airlines for different legs of the route; and those being sent to destinations with specific customs regulations.  

When deciding upon a Time Critical company to partner with, it is a good idea to choose one with a good level of experience in both options – Next Flight Out and On-board Courier. They will not only be well versed in the intricacies of each service, but will also be able to advise and suggest the one that is most beneficial for your business’ needs. 

Royale International does offer both Next Flight Out and On-board Courier and, with 25+ years’ experience, are perfectly placed to help you make the right decision. With a team of reliable OBCs, and a great relationship with a number of leading airlines around the world for NFO, Royale International offer top tier, unparalleled options. Let their dedicated team advise and help you make the best choice for your business requirements. Find out more here or get in touch today. 

Want to talk to us about our services or get a quote?

Contact us

Get in touch.

    We only focus on commercial shipments, please provide business email address

    Please refer to the Time Critical quote form here for quotations within 30 minutes