Alaska Air Cargo
Volume 3  |  December 2016

Interview with Jason Berry

Alaska Air Cargo

We thought you would like to hear Jason’s end-of-year take on 2016 and what’s coming in 2017 for Alaska Air Cargo customers.

Q: What are you most proud of for Alaska Air Cargo in 2016, Jason?

A: In the 2016 “Quest for Quality Award” given annually by Logistics Management magazine, readers ranked Alaska Air Cargo first overall across five measures of performance: on-time performance, value, information technology, customer service and equipment/operations. This is a global award and the fact that it is voted on by actual customers is a tremendous validation of the innovation and great service we are committed to.

Q: Didn’t Alaska also win the on-time performance award?

A: Yes, Alaska Airlines was named “Number One On-time North American Carrier” for the sixth year in a row from FlightStats Inc., which compiles on-time performance data on millions of flights each year. We are very proud of that, as on-time performance includes the cargo side as well.

Q: Let’s talk 2017. How are the freighter conversions coming?

A: We’re getting closer. Our newly revised timeline is to have the new freighters in service at the end of Q1 when we open several new routes that include Los Angeles, plus Unalakleet, King Salmon and Dillingham in Alaska.

Q: Are the planes still in Israel?

A: Yes. These planes are the first of their kind in terms of conversion prototypes. And we are experiencing what you could call typical engineering and production delays. And there are a lot of steps involved in testing and certification. Once the first aircraft is certified, aircraft two and three will follow very shortly thereafter. We’re very close.

Q: Alaska is also bringing new ULDs into service, correct?

A: Yes, we are upgrading and innovating planes, systems, and equipment across the board. We are putting the new ULDs into service right now, 10-20 a day in Seattle. The new ULDs are 50 pounds lighter, which gives our planes more load capacity, so customers can ship more. We also worked with the manufacturer, Satco, on engineering enhancements to handle extreme low temperatures, which makes these ULDs perfect for Alaska. They live up to their “igloo” name.

Alaska Air Cargo

Q: Can you tell us about the new routes that Alaska Airlines is opening up?

A: We now serve almost 90 cities in the domestic U.S., and are extending significantly beyond a predominant north-south carrier on the West Coast. New East Coast routes, specifically Baltimore, Newark and Indianapolis, complement our transcontinental footprint.

Q: What is driving the East Coast expansion?

A: We are seeing increased demand in both directions. Alaska Air Cargo is shipping more time-sensitive products and perishables between the West and East Coasts including produce, seafood, flowers – and now tropical plants and live fish from Florida. We are also shipping tremendous amounts of overnight eCommerce fulfillment from the big East Coast distribution centers.

Newark (EWR) – San Jose (SJC) Starts March 12th
Portland (PDX) – Orlando (MCO) Starts March 16th
Sacramento (SMF) – San Diego (SAN) 3x Daily  |  Starts March 16th
Seattle (SEA) – San Diego (SAN) Starts May 11th
San Diego (SAN) – San Jose (SJC) 3x Daily
Alaska Air Cargo

Q: Can you tell us about Alaska Air Cargo’s new online booking system?

A: We’ve had feedback that our cargo online booking system could be more user-friendly like on the passenger side. To that end, we are implementing a new SmartKargo online booking system in early Q1 2017.

Q: What is SmartKargo?

A: It’s a new cloud-based, online booking portal. Customers will be able to easily view and book available cargo space online, on a single screen, pre-loaded with IATA regulatory and commodity codes. We’ll be offering sign-ups and free training soon. If interested, please talk to your sales manager or contact us.

Q: Any other service improvements in 2017?

A: Yes, we are implementing a new “QuickDrop” service for frequent shippers. Think of it as “express service,” in which drivers can drop shipments directly at the warehouse and bypass the lobby. QuickDrop is going to be offered in Seattle, Anchorage, Los Angeles, and Portland to start. We will be notifying those customers who qualify.

Previous Issues

Keep up to date! Subscribe to our quarterly online newsletter.