Southwest Airlines Launches New Cargo Booking Portal for Coast-to-Coast Shipping

Dallas-based Southwest collaborated with Hangar A, a leading supplier of digital air logistics solutions, to create a user-friendly platform for online cargo bookings to keep products moving. Some "Next Flight Guarantee" shipments can be booked up to 10 days in advance.

When you want to get something to a distant city really fast—like the fresh seafood in the photo above—simply putting it on a plane can be the best way to go. Now Southwest Airlines is making the process easier than ever with its new Southwest Cargo booking portal.

Available at, the new cargo booking experience lets customers quickly search for available space and book select “Next Flight Guarantee” shipments up to 10 days in advance.

Southwest’s new platform is designed to keep products moving and help shippers secure space on thousands of daily domestic flights in advance.

Cargo demand forecast

That user experience is key as cargo operations are important source of revenue for airlines. Cargo demand is showing the best performance in four years. The category is expected to generate 30 percent of industry revenue in 2021, reports Freightwaves, citing the International Air Transport Association.

Southwest’s new online booking answers the call from customers who want an “easier, quicker, and more customer-friendly booking experience to move their products from coast to coast,” said Wally Devereaux, managing director of Southwest Cargo and Charters. It gives them peace of mind and provides an improved, expedited experience in Southwest’s cargo facilities, he says.

Collaboration with Hangar A

Southwest developed its new online booking platform through a commercial collaboration with Hangar A, a leading supplier of digital air logistics solutions.

Hangar A collaborated with the Southwest Cargo team to design and implement “a state-of-the-art online cargo booking platform that enhances the Southwest Cargo shipping experience,” said Kevin Kerns, CEO of Hangar A, who calls it a “best-in-class platform”

Shipments up to 100 pounds are eligible

Southwest says that qualified customers booking Next-Flight Guarantee shipments up to 100 pounds are eligible to use the online booking portal. The shipments must be within the U.S.

Southwest Cargo planeside scanning automation [Photo: MillieT, Southwest, 12-2020]

Plane-side scanning automation

In 2020, Southwest developed and implemented something else that streamlines their cargo logistics right on the tarmac: new tracking functionality. Southwest can now give customers confirmed onboard status of shipments through plane-side scanning automation. This allows Southwest’s internal teams to track and trace cargo as it moves throughout the airline’s network from start to finish.

Plane-side scanning creates the ability to view timestamps of the moment cargo is loaded on and off the plane. Customers can opt in to receive additional tracking emails for their cargo’s confirmed departure and arrival. 

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