Expert Tip: Answers to 3 top questions on known shippers, freighters and insurance

Cargo Tips

Our expert: Jeff Cotton, Cargo Network Support manager. Jeff has worked with Alaska Air Cargo for 22 years, and his expertise extends from the warehouse to customer service to Policies and Procedures. His network support team fields questions spanning the entire operation. These are a few of the most frequent questions that come their way:

How can my business become – and stay – a known shipper?

TSA validation: Businesses simply fill out our application online. Once the TSA status is confirmed – usually within an hour or two – our team will issue a customer identification number (CID) and the business can start booking shipments immediately.

Alaska Air Cargo validation: Individuals and businesses not in the TSA database should apply through our Known Shipper Program. Steps include signing a known-shipper contract, providing proof of address and completing a site-verification visit. Allow extra time to complete the full process before planning a shipment. Once approved, Known Shipper Program status must be renewed annually.

All known shippers – whether validated by TSA or Alaska Air Cargo – must report changes in address or phone number. A mismatch on an address or phone number will require restarting the verification process.

What’s the heaviest shipment a freighter can carry in the state of Alaska?

Most of the eight biggest unit loading device (ULD) containers on our 737-700 freighters are capped at about 5,000 pounds in weight. But on each freighter, one ULD can weigh up to net 6,800 pounds (7,200 pounds including the container’s weight.)

Contact our team to schedule a max-weight shipment on a freighter.

What’s the difference between declared value and insurance coverage?

Declared value: If a shipment is damaged, shippers are reimbursed up to their declared value. This covers damage caused by Alaska Air Cargo negligence – but not unavoidable situations like weather – and is highly recommended for perishables and live animals.

All risks insurance: All damages are covered, including weather damage – with a few exceptions like damage caused by improper packaging. Insurance is not available for perishable shipments or live animals.

“It’s pretty cost-effective to protect your shipments,” Jeff says. For a sample shipment valued at $1,000, traveling Seattle (SEA) to Boston (BOS), including declared-value coverage adds $2.50 to the total estimated shipment costs, while adding all risks insurance adds $12.50. Without coverage, damaged shipments can only be reimbursed at the basic carrier coverage rate of $0.50 per pound. 

More on declared value and insurance

What are your top questions?

Email us at [email protected]

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