As vital as air cargo is to trade and logistics, it is also necessary to maximize cargo and passenger security. Implemented and run by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Known Shipper Management System (KSMS) does just that.
The multi-layered security program verifies and awards shipping entities the “Known Shipper” status, allowing them access to passenger plane routes.
When transporting life-saving therapies and specimens via our Next Flight Out service, MCI can only tender shipments that originate from known shippers. Read on to learn why and how getting the KSMS certification benefits our customers.
What is the KSMS?
The KSMS is a database of shippers that the TSA deems safe to transport their cargo on passenger aircrafts.
Before 2001, the KSMS was predominantly a manual identification process developed by the Federal Aviation Administration. The original goal was to cut down on the increasing trend of anonymous shipments on airplanes originating in the U.S.
After the 9/11 attacks, the TSA was tasked with the responsibility of automating the KSMS database to strengthen passenger and cargo security. Now, the Known Shipper program involves identifying, authenticating, reviewing, and maintaining the KSMS. The classification process is rigorous, but the benefits are manifold.
What is a Known Shipper and How to Get on the List
Any freight tendered to passenger airlines must come from a known shipper in the KSMS database. Becoming a part of the program requires a shipper to satisfy a list of confidential TSA requirements. Because of such measures, the known shipper status is a privilege that can act as a competitive edge over unknown shippers.
To be classified as a known shipper, an individual or a company undergoes a preliminary evaluation by a regulated entity, such as an air carrier or certified freight forwarder with whom they share a business relationship. The authorized entity then submits the profile of the verified domestic shipper to the TSA. The TSA completes a comprehensive risk assessment before adding the shipper to the KSMS.
How Being a Known Shipper Benefits Our Customers
In the healthcare sector, every second counts. As a medical carrier, we aim to deliver life-saving therapies, specimens, and equipment safely and on time. MCI’s practice of working with only known shippers for air transport carries a slew of advantages for our customers in terms of flexible shipping, last-minute scheduling, and financial benefits.
Access to Passenger Planes
One of the biggest advantages of being a known shipper is the access to passenger planes in addition to cargo-only aircraft. The transport options become diverse, and the transit time is reduced because all-cargo planes operate with fewer routes and less frequency than passenger airplanes.
While we have access to our own nightly cargo plane In California that isn’t subject to KSMS regulation, our country-wide Next Flight Out service is made possible by our practice of using only known shipper locations. It allows us to fast-track pickup and delivery via the earliest available commercial airlines.
Agile and Expedited Shipping
At MCI, working with KSMS-qualified shippers enables us to schedule last-minute pickups for our clients, re-route or make order modifications and still meet our deadline. We can access a host of passenger airplane routes for our medical deliveries instead of waiting around for a cargo-only aircraft.
Another factor that adds up to faster shipping is that unknown shippers have to clear a more rigorous screening. But cargo from TSA-approved consignors is typically subjected to similar checks to passenger luggage.
Being on the KSMS is Cost-Effective
Cargo planes run on limited routes and with lower frequency than passenger air crafts. Thus, they are more costly. However, with our customers being known shippers, we are able to pass along better rates while offering quicker deliveries.
MCI has been a leader in the healthcare logistics space for over five decades with an impeccable track record. By working with entities that have the “known shipper” status, we provide our customers with a reliable, flexible, and secure logistics platform.
If you’re a known shipper do not hesitate to reach out to us by clicking here.