Volume 16 | September 2020
Routes Returning to our Network
Starting in August, we added the following routes back into the schedule*
Los Angeles to:
San Francisco to:
New York (JFK) – 3x daily
*Some flights may not operate daily and are subject to change without notice. Please check with us if you need more information.
King Salmon and Dillingham are now year-round.
Our service to King Salmon, AK (AKN), and Dillingham, AK (DLG), has been extended from summer only to year-round.
Flights up from April.
Overall, our flying network continues its gradual return to full capacity. Our low point was 28% of capacity in May. By September we were back up to 60%.
Update from the Managing Director: Demand up, schedules stabilizing, more cargo per plane.
We’ve had an intensely busy summer — navigating strong demand with dynamically changing flight schedules. Though we initially struggled with numerous flight reductions that limited our belly cargo capacity, we are now back up to overall levels approaching last year. Our cargo operations are running much more efficiently, to the point where we’re carrying almost three times as much cargo per passenger flight than in 2019.
Given the disruption in the airline industry, this is nothing short of incredible.
On the freighter side we are largely unaffected by the schedule reductions, and we’ve seen a surge in demand in e-commerce, mail, and critical supply shipments. We’ve also streamlined our freighter-loading processes with a new strapping technique that allows us to load more weight in less time. All this has made a positive impact on the communities we serve in Alaska.
Finally, I want to assure you that all of us at Alaska Air Cargo are working safely and following COVID-19 protocols. We are enforcing proper distancing and sanitizing protocols. And masks are mandatory for all our employees and customers while inside our cargo warehouses. Our mission is to increase the margin of safety for everyone in our extended network at every turn.
We appreciate your business and are optimistic as we move into the second half of 2020. We are wishing all the best to you, your families, and colleagues.
Alaska Air Cargo
Weight capacity doubles for regional routes.
We are now able to accommodate parcels up to 300 pounds (up from 150 pounds) per piece on most of our regional Horizon Air and SkyWest flights.
Exceptions are outbound shipments from Missoula, MT (MSO), Kalispell, MT (FCA), Great Falls, MT (GTF), and Wenatchee, WA (EAT), which retain the 150-pound limit. However, each of these locations can still receive inbound at the higher weight.
Customer Spotlight: Alaska Air Cargo fuels the growth of Pilot Freight Services.
Patrick Allen is the owner and CEO of Transmark Logistics and Pilot Freight Services Northwest franchise (Anchorage, Seattle, Portland, Boise, and Spokane). Bill Raine is perishables manager of Pilot Freight Services. Pilot uses Alaska Air Cargo to ship a range of items, especially perishables.
How did your relationship with Alaska Air Cargo start?
We started shipping hardgoods and some seafood up and down the West Coast in 1990. As Alaska Air Cargo has grown we’ve grown along with them, particularly with more perishables.
What kinds of perishables do you ship?
All kinds, and usually in short intense bursts of time. We just finished our cherry season, for example. Ten weeks of demanding around-the-clock work, dealing with overseas customers, airlines, truckers, suppliers, and growers. Now it’s crab season, shipping live Dungeness crab from Portland, Seattle, and Anchorage. Then it’s salmon and geoduck.
How has Pilot’s business with Alaska Air Cargo grown?
We’ve more or less followed their expansion beyond the West Coast. With perishables, nonstop service is paramount. We need the quickest way from point A to point B. When Alaska Airlines started stretching their muscles and opening up new, nonstop destinations, we were able to open up new seafood markets in those same locations. They’re now our number one domestic perishable carrier.
Where have you grown new markets?
Every time Alaska opens a new route there are potential customers in that city. Whatever they do to grow themselves, we benefit as well. For example, we needed a connection to New Orleans. Alaska opened up nonstop service there, and we went from two stops to no stops. Boston, New York, Houston, and Dallas are other big cities where we can now ship our seafood.
How does Alaska work with you to maintain perishable quality?
Alaska Air Cargo is the best-suited carrier in moving seafood, because they have the knowledge on what is realistic and what isn’t. And they have cooler facilities wherever they have cargo facilities. We take the cold chain very seriously, especially in the summer months. It’s important to ship good, clean seafood. Alaska has extensive experience there. Daily communication is a huge deal. They are quick and responsive. They’ll warn us of flight delays, cancellations, etc. They’re very good at communicating potential pitfalls.
There’s obviously been flight reductions due to COVID-19, how has Alaska Air Cargo handled that?
Of all the carriers, Alaska has been the most communicative during this crisis. And 100% professional. When the virus first hit, anxiety levels were up, and you didn’t know who was working and who was not. Some of the other carriers would not even answer the phone. It’s not easy going into an unknown crisis and continuing to perform at a high level, but they kept in good communication with us, offered up alternatives, and just as importantly, told us when we just should not ship product. That honesty is critical for our product integrity. Our customers expect the straight scoop from us, and that’s what we get, in turn, from Alaska.
What about rates? How do they compare?
Rates are critical, obviously. And there are others that are cheaper, but our customers prefer to pay for the services they are getting with Alaska Air Cargo. Most other carriers have various surcharges. But Alaska has restructured their rates to be “all-in” and that’s very helpful.
Are you using the new website?
Yes, our staff uses it every day. Online booking is simple. We do all our orders in the morning, and by 10 a.m. everything has been booked.
Do you ship on the freighters?
Yes, most definitely. They’ve been good for our hard cargo too. The support we get from Alaska’s Anchorage office has been amazing.
You’ve talked about the Alaska Air Cargo staff. Can you elaborate?
They are on the front lines, performing to the highest standards in the industry. Ravelle Snyder, Adam Drouhard, Jeff Olver, and Rick Bendix are all very responsible and easy to work with. Ravelle is a fantastic rep. And Rick was instrumental in bringing the two companies together to do more business. The folks in the Seattle warehouse are great as well; they really support us, particularly Larry Desmet and Manu Tuiasosospo.
AVI shipment restriction lifted.
Pet Connect is back to normal, and we’ve resumed live animal shipments that require a connecting flight. Earlier this year we were limited to nonstop routes due to flight reductions and cancellations. Our schedule and capacity are now leveling out. We appreciate your patience!
Limited time offer!
Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card.
Get a $200 statement credit + 40,000 bonus mile offer. Plus, earn 3x miles per $1 spent on Alaska Cargo bookings.
**Residents of the US and its territories only. See full disclosure for details.
You can’t mask caring.
Based on reader rankings, Logistics Management Magazine awarded Alaska Air Cargo a 2020 Quest for Quality Award. This validates our unwavering commitment to our customers, no matter how volatile the circumstances. A big “thank you” to our entire cargo team in every location.
Alaska Air Cargo delivers 12,000 iPads to kids.
Our new website is live!
Check out our cargo-specific flight schedule, easily accessible on any device.
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