6 tips to make our shipping tools work harder for you

We value being a reliable air cargo provider for thousands of customers moving freight seamlessly across our North American network, spanning more than 100 destinations. As experts in cold-chain shipping and a leader in our industry, where cargo demands change constantly, we want to equip you with the tools you need to work most efficiently.   

Here are six ways you can get quick answers to common questions, calculate cost estimates and stay up to date on weather-related service changes. 

Cities Guide | Calculate Your Costs | Cutoff Times | Dimensions | Embargoes & Restrictions Updates | Live Chat 

Alaska Air Cargo cities: Make the most of our complete guide  

Our cargo cities directory is best-known as our quick reference for station addresses and hours. But each city’s page also offers a wealth of resources to find many answers quickly. Here are four more ways to use our cities guide:      

Confirm inbound/outbound status: Some stations, like Burbank, only accept inbound cargo. And a few handle freight at the ticket counter instead of a cargo warehouse. If you’re shipping from a new city, check our website first to be sure the station can accept outbound shipments.   

Check dangerous goods acceptance: Many stations can’t accommodate cargo classified as dangerous goods. If your shipment includes dangerous goods as defined by federal and IATA rules, check your origin and destination to ensure both cities can handle the items.  

Confirm cold-storage availability: Shipping seafood or other perishables? Most of our facilities have coolers or freezers but it’s important to confirm your origin and destination cities can properly store your shipment.  

Explore premium service options: Need to get your shipment on the next flight using our guaranteed GoldStreak® Package Express service? Confirm that it’s an option in your origin city and verify any cutoff time exceptions specific to that location.  


Calculate your costs: How to get a quick quote  

Our pricing calculator is a fast and easy way to get an estimate on how much your shipment will cost. Simply enter the following details:  

  • Origin and destination  
  • Shipping date: Choose a date up to 30 days out.   
  • Commodity type: This is especially important to get an accurate estimate for perishable foods and plants, as well as seafood. For example, the rate for seafood is different from shellfish like clams and mussels. And produce has a different rate from cut flowers.  
  • Optional coverage: You can choose to cover your shipment’s declared value or insured value – or you can ship without additional coverage.  
  • Dimensions: Know the length, width, height and weight of each item you’re shipping on the flight. The rate will be based on the item’s actual weight or dimensional weight – the amount of space it occupies – whichever is greater.   

You’ll see the estimated costs for shipping your cargo by General Air Freight or Priority Air – and also our premium GoldStreak rates if the guaranteed express service is available.  Note: Exact charges will be determined when your shipment is processed by our Alaska Air Cargo teams on the day of tender.   

For more details on our rates, refer to our rate charts on our website.  


Cutoff times: Factors that can change the deadline 

Keep your shipment on schedule by making the cutoff time. All cargo must be fully processed by our teams and on the way to the aircraft before the cutoff, which varies based on service level, product, type of aircraft and departure city. Shipments not received and processed by our teams before the cutoff will be placed on a later flight.  

Pro tip: Arrive extra-early if you anticipate long lines at the counter. 

These four factors may affect your cutoff time: 

Service level:  

  • GoldStreak shipments must be received and completely processed one hour before departure.  
  • Priority and General shipments must be received and completely processed two hours before departure. 

Products classified as dangerous goods: Dangerous goods must be completely processed four hours before departure. 

All-freight aircraft: Shipments traveling via freighter to, from or within the state of Alaska must be completely processed four hours before departure. 

Departure city: Some cargo facilities may require additional time for processing shipments. Check your departure’s station details on our website for up-to-date cutoff times. 


Dimensions: Will it fit? The numbers to know 

Our 300-plus aircraft are ready to carry your cargo on 6,000 flights each week. Ensure your shipment is sized to fit by checking these dimensions:  

Maximum weight = 300 pounds 

For most destinations, shipments traveling in the lower cargo compartment can weigh up to 300 pounds. But a few regional destinations limit shipments to 150 pounds. Shipping to a new regional destination? Use our Live Chat service to quickly check the weight limit with our customer-service team.  

Maximum height = 34 inches. Maximum width = 45 inches. 

Most cargo flies in the belly of our Boeing 737 passenger aircraft with cargo doors accommodating shipments up to 34 inches tall and 45 inches wide. A few aircraft, including our freighters flying routes to the state of Alaska, can accommodate larger shipments. Find the type of aircraft scheduled for your route and then check the available dimensions on our website.  

Dimensional weight and how to calculate it 

Shipment costs are based on either the actual weight or the dimensional weight, which accounts for the space a shipment takes up in our aircraft. Use our online pricing calculator to determine your shipment’s DIM weight and pricing. 

Oversize? Let’s explore options. Do you have a pallet that’s oversized, but could be broken into smaller pieces to fit our aircraft? Call our customer service team at 1-800-225-2752 or Live Chat with us to find a solution.  


Embargoes and restrictions: Bookmark our updates on temporary service changes  

Seasonal weather changes and maintenance needs can temporarily impact a station’s cargo service capability. For current restrictions and embargoes, check our alaskacargo.com webpage dedicated to keeping you up to date. Examples of the service updates you’ll find:  

  • Unexpected weather impacts – for example, from hurricanes and winter storms  
  • Seasonal weather impacts, such as summer restrictions to protect pet travel  
  • Temporary embargoes affecting a location’s specific services like General, Priority and GoldStreak shipping  
  • Temporary changes in weight limits for a destination  
  • Operational updates related to the coronavirus pandemic  

Also, it’s important to check your origin and destination city pages for any location-specific changes to station hours or service.   


Live Chat: How to make it work for you 

Get answers quickly by using Live Chat to connect with a member of our call-center team in real time. Here are three ways our team can help you get your job done faster: 

Update an existing waybill: Did delivery needs change after booking? Update weights and piece counts. Change a flight. Or upgrade the service level if your shipment needs to arrive faster. Have your waybill number ready for us so we can help you quickly. 

Check DIMs and weight requirements: Not sure if your shipment fits on a specific plane? Our team can get you answers and point you to the correct DIM charts. 

Ask about destination-specific requirements: Shipping to Hawaii, Alaska or Mexico? Our team can help you sort through any restrictions for your destination.  

Find Live Chat on the Alaska Air Cargo Contact Us page. Our team is here for you 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. PT.  Chat with you soon! 

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