On Tuesday, Southwest Airlines Cargo announced Cargo Companion, an asset tracking service that allows its customers 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 wireless asset tracking devices that monitor the location, shock, light, temperature, pressure, and humidity of cargo during transit.
Customers can track the status of the cargo and are sent e-mail alerts when their shipment crosses predefined checkpoints; arrives at its destination; or if potential issues arise during transit, says Southwest (Dallas, Texas, USA). Cargo Companion also provides early-warning notifications that allow for the initiation of 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. According to Vigliarolo, Southwest provides them with next-flight-out alternatives, as well as a “plan-C” if necessary.
With more than 3,400 flights each day, Southwest Airlines Cargo can provide alternatives for the delivery of high-value and temperature sensitive cargo. 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 be packed with their shipment.