Supply Chain News / Risk & Compliance / Air Cargo

Southwest Airlines Introduces New Cargo Companion Product

July 18, 2012

Southwest Airlines Cargo introduced its Cargo Companion on July 17, 2012. The comprehensive asset tracking service provides customers with complete visibility regarding the location and environmental status of high-value and time/temperature-sensitive items shipped via Southwest Airlines Cargo.

Designed for freight forwarders, couriers, perishable commodity shippers, and shippers of time-critical and high-value items, Cargo Companion features:

  • State-of-the-art wireless asset tracking devices that monitor the location, shock, light, temperature, pressure, and humidity of cargo during transit.
  • Tracking by air waybill capabilities that enable customers to track the status of their cargo on swacargo.com.
  • Prompt e-mail alerts that inform customers when their shipment crosses predefined checkpoints; arrives at its destination; or if potential issues arise during transit.

"Cargo Companion gives customers a new level of visibility regarding the status of their cargo," said Wally Devereaux, director of Cargo Sales & Marketing for Southwest Airlines. "The information provided by this service will enhance the customer experience and improve operational efficiencies and minimize the impact of delays within the supply chain."

Beyond the service that Southwest Employees provide, Cargo Companion provides early-warning notifications that enable customers to initiate contingency plans in the event of an unavoidable delay or temperature alert en route to the destination.

"We were one of the initial test-customers for this program, shipping organs for transplant, and temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical products that need to be used the moment they are received," said Marie Vigliarolo, vice president of Marketing for Quick International, a priority transportation and logistics provider. "We work with Southwest because they not only provide us with a high level of visibility regarding the status of our shipments, but they also have next-flight-out alternatives that enable us to enact a plan-B, and even a plan-C if necessary."

With more than 3,400 flights each day, Southwest Airlines Cargo provides a wide array of alternatives for the fast and secure delivery of high-value and temperature sensitive cargo. The Cargo Companion service not only helps Southwest's Cargo customers achieve full chain-of-custody and quality assurance tracking on all Southwest flights, but the Customer also has the ability to use the tracking technology beyond the Southwest network, until it is received by the consignee.

Customers using Cargo Companion must prearrange the service for a specific flight the next day. The asset tracking devices are provisioned in advance and sent overnight to the Customer to be packed with their shipment. Complementary reverse logistics are included with the service, and Southwest makes it easy for customers to return the devices for subsequent use.

Cargo Companion is available now, and can be arranged in advance by contacting the Southwest Airlines Cargo Customer Care Center at (800) 533-1222. It is available on a transactional basis and volume pricing is available. For further details, contact the Customer Care Center, or visit the company's website.

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