Flight Schedules  Flight Status  Air Cargo Rates


Home > Shipping > How to Ship

How to Ship

Southwest Cargo® likes to keep things simple, and that's why we offer you effortless shipping with fast, efficient service. Shipping Cargo can seem complex with a lot of rules, so here's our 101 lesson on shipping on Southwest Airlines® .

  1. Become a Southwest Cargo Customer by filling out our account application.
  2. Cargo customers must be a TSA approved Indirect Air Carrier or become a Known Shipper by completing the account application process.
  3. Choose the service that fits your shipping needs.
  4. Create an advanced booking (international only).
  5. Utilize the universal air waybill
  6. Bring your shipment to a local Southwest Cargo facility.
  7. Track the progress of your shipment on swacargo.com®.

TSA Information

Whether you're an individual or a large business, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) mandates Southwest Airlines may only accept Cargo weighing 16 ounces or greater from Known Shippers or TSA-approved Indirect Air Carriers (IAC).

A Known Shipper is an individual or business that has an established reputation in the shipping community and is offering their own goods for transportation. To become a Known Shipper, you must complete a Cargo account application. Additional supporting documentation may be requested to complete the application approval process. Once your account is established, please remember to bring the account number to ship with Southwest Cargo.

If you are a Courier or Freight Forwarding company you may be known as an Indirect Air Carrier, (IAC). If you are already a TSA approved IAC, then you will need to provide a copy of your Indirect Air Carrier certification letter along with your account application.

For details on how to become a TSA approved company, please contact:

U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Transportation Security Administration
IAC-Office of Compliance
Mail Stop: TSA-27
601 S. 12th Street
Arlington, VA 22202

Region Phone #
North Central (571) 227-3555
South Central (571) 227-2625
North Eastern (571) 227-1510
South Eastern (571) 227-1334
Western Pacific (571) 227-2230
Fax (571) 227-1947

Southwest Airlines does not accept shipments weighing 16 ounces or greater from an Unknown Shipper. However, we will accept a small package, provided it is one piece weighing less than 16 ounces and a valid government-issued photo identification is provided.

Shipments Weighing Less than 16 Ounces

  1. Choose the service that fits your shipping needs.
  2. Create an advanced booking (international only).
  3. Utilize the universal air waybill.
  4. Bring your shipment to a local Southwest Cargo facility.
  5. Track the progress of your shipment on swacargo.com®.

How to Pickup a Shipment

  • Track the air waybill on swacargo.com to verify your shipment has arrived at its destination.
  • Shipments may be picked up at the Cargo facility of the destination airport.
  • Bring the air waybill number and a government-issued photo ID to pickup your shipment.

International Booking

You must book your international shipments in advance. Please call our Cargo Customer Care Center at (800) 533-1222 to book your shipment up to 10 days in advance.

If you are booking international to a domestic location, please contact your local GSA.

Additional Details to Consider

Before Customers ship with Southwest Cargo, check out cutoff times, items not accepted for shipping, packaging, pickup & delivery, and shipping guidelines.

Cutoff Times

Southwest Cargo facilities have a designated cutoff time before each flight. This means the air waybill transaction and inspection must be complete prior to the Cargo facility's stated cutoff time for all Next Flight Guaranteed (NFGSM) shipments.

Items Not Accepted for Shipping

View a list of items Southwest Airlines does not accept for shipment.


It is important to ensure your shipment is properly packaged.

Pickup & Delivery

To independently schedule a pickup and/or delivery, locate a courier through our partnership with CDLA.

Shipping Guidelines

We want to take the guess work out of your shipping needs. Shipping Guidelines provides Customers with information on weight & size, cutoff times, packaging & marking requirements, and much more.

SWABIZ: Corporate Travel Southwest.com Southwest Cares Proud Member Of:
© 2017 Southwest Airlines Co. Use of the Southwest Cargo® websites and our Company Information constitutes acceptance of our Terms and Conditions. Privacy Policy