Alaska Air Cargo

Airspace teams with Alaska Air Cargo for urgent shipments

Airspace teams with Alaska Air Cargo for urgent shipments
Airspace Technologies founder and CEO, Nick Bulcao

Airspace Technologies partners with Alaska Air Cargo for urgent, time-sensitive shipments

Airspace Technologies is a modern, innovative, international freight forwarder specializing in rapid delivery of crucial items in the aerospace, high-tech, and medical industries. The company has developed their own advanced technology platform for real-time, seamless shipment tracking, visibility, and communication throughout the delivery ecosystem.

“We rebuilt time critical logistics from the ground up,” says CEO Nick Bulcao. “We’ve implemented an Uber-like model of delivery drivers — we call them our ‘Commanders’ — for the first and the final mile and we partner with commercial airlines like Alaska Air Cargo to provide the middle segment of the delivery. Our proprietary software then ties it all together while at the same time providing a much better user experience and reducing the potential for human error.”

Nick says the logistics industry has been surprisingly behind in terms of communication and transparency.  “Consumers are intimately familiar with e-commerce technology. When you order from online you can track every step of the journey.  The B2B side lags in comparison. That’s why I started Airspace. In a space that is literally delivering parts for an out of service airplane and lifesaving organs, the customer experience has largely been the same for the past 12-13 years since I’ve been in the business. Airspace is here to change that.”

The relationship between Airspace and Alaska Air Cargo started in 2016, says Airspace Associate Vice President of Operations Brandon Kennedy. “We actually started shipping semiconductor components on Alaska from Portland to San Francisco and we immediately recognized and appreciated the sense of family that Alaska Airlines promotes.”

Airspace teams with Alaska Air Cargo for urgent shipments
Airspace Technologies AVP of Operations, Brandon Kennedy

The personal service is important to Airspace. “It’s crucial for us,” says Brandon. “Most global carriers outsource 99% of their ground operations, but with Alaska I’m able to speak to the same person at the escalation desk that I did four years ago. That is rare in the airline business. The cargo handlers are receptive, nice to everyone, and the way they carry themselves you can tell they’re proud to be a part of the Alaska organization. Our account rep, Michael Yu, has been absolutely amazing. I can email him at 9:30 p.m., and he will get back to me immediately.”

Brandon says the service levels have not been compromised even with Alaska’s network growth. “That type of personal service and responsiveness is unattainable at other large companies. We’ve completed 3,000 shipments with Alaska, and their service has stayed consistent, even as they’ve grown their bicoastal network. Their responsiveness is hugely beneficial to Airspace and has allowed us to grow our partnership.”

Brandon adds that Airspace was initially unaware of the reach of Alaska’s network. “I knew Alaska Airlines as a dominant West Coast carrier. As soon as we started integrating with their flight schedules, my eyes were opened.”

Because Airspace is shipping time-sensitive, often business-urgent or lifesaving medical items (such as human organs or tissue), Alaska Air Cargo has to be exceptionally reliable. “Alaska’s GoldStreak service is a perfect match for our model,” says Brandon. “We can arrive with a package 60 minutes before a flight departs and still make our delivery. That is imperative to our success. Being able to rely on short lead times and offload times is what makes our business in the logistics space.”

Brandon also appreciates the generous next-flight-out GoldStreak policies, which let Airspace do volume-based shipping. “Unlike other carriers for small parcel service, we can ship up to 150 pounds and still get the 60-minute turnarounds on both ends.”

Airspace’s technology has allowed the company to adapt to all the aviation volatility and route reductions in 2020. “We have seen virtually no decrease in service level despite rapid changes in flight schedules” says Nick. “Our application was built to calculate the fastest route with the minimum amount of risk. With flight schedules changing so drastically it becomes imperative that you have automation around these complex tasks. We are maintaining superior service in this COVID world because we can operate with less human error.”

Has Airspace experienced increased business in the medical sector? “Yes,” Nick says. “We saw a decline in aerospace, but more than made up for that in healthcare with COVID testing kits, face masks, and PPE as well as our more traditional commodities.”

Airspace teams with Alaska Air Cargo for urgent shipments
Airspace Technologies employs proprietary routing algorithms to ship time-sensitive cargo quickly and efficiently

Brandon adds that handling medical products requires special attention. “It involves exhaustive attention to detail to make sure everything is carried out to a ‘T.’ Alaska Air Cargo’s station-to-station communication is great. We’ve been able to confirm on-time transport of lifesaving organs and we can communicate directly with the Alaska crew when special handling is needed.”

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