From newsmagazines hot off the presses to concert T-shirts destined for a sold-out show, Hassett Logistics specializes in shipments with hard-and-fast deadlines. And for more than a decade, Alaska Air Cargo has been a key partner with the Chicago-based freight forwarder to deliver efficient and reliable solutions for the most time-sensitive products.
“When we see the opportunity to work together, communication is key. We collaborate and it’s a true partnership,” says Don Prentice, Hassett’s vice president of network services.
Sometimes that opportunity is a quick-turn, one-time shipment taking advantage of Alaska’s daily flights from Chicago (ORD) to Seattle (SEA), San Francisco (SFO) and Portland (PDX), connecting to destinations across the West, Hawaii and Mexico. But most of the time the Hassett and Alaska Air Cargo teams work together to strategize ongoing daily and weekly shipments on nonstops throughout our 100-city cargo network.
“If we find ourselves with recur business where it’s five or six days a week, we’re going to make sure that it’s good for us, it’s good for you and it’s good for our customer,” Prentice says.
Both teams come into a new project ready to explore all aspects of a recurring shipment’s operational needs. “Before giving us the green light, the Alaska Air Cargo team is going to go to operations and say, Hey, can we handle it on the ground? Can we handle it plane side? And can we handle the recovery?” Prentice says. For one large recurring shipment, the Hassett and Alaska Air Cargo teams worked together to fine-tune an operational plan a year in advance.
“The minute our customer decided to turn it on, the template was there,” Prentice says. “We knew it worked, so with confidence, we told our customer. ‘We’ll start tomorrow if you want to.’ And we did. Alaska performs very well in that type of environment.”
Prentice says the collaboration among Alaska’s teams produces more reliable service and builds trust with customers. “We know that your sales team is going to work very closely with your cargo operation,” he says. “Hats off for doing it that way because that’s the way it should be done.”
With Hassett’s focus on the deadline-driven publishing, entertainment and ecommerce industries, the forwarder often books shipments using Alaska’s Priority and GoldStreak Package Express services. “The one constant in air freight is change,” Prentice says. “And if you don’t adjust the sail to the winds, you’re just going to get left in the dust in this business.”