International Air Transport Association

3PL: the new IATA Third-Party Logistics Code

The new three-character code launched by IATA is a solution for logistic service providers such as freight forwarders, non IATA airlines and GSAs who need to issue their own accountable transportation documents and wish to be uniquely identified. In order to satisfy a market need, IATA launched the new IATA Third-Party Logistics (3PL) code for logistics companies who wish to be identified and recognized by the cargo industry. The 3PL code (three characters made up of a combination of letters and numbers) is used only on cargo or mail transport documents when in conjunction with the provision of transportation services.  Companies that issue their own accountable transportation documents for use over their respective supply chains can apply for this code:

  • Trucking companies
  • Freight forwarders
  • Postal administrations
  • GSAs
  • Independent logistics providers
  • Airlines who do not qualify for a three numeric airline prefix code
  • Others…

The application process is fast and easy. Companies have to submit the 3PL application form with the required supporting legal documentation, such as: articles of incorporation, financial statements, license to trade, etc. And if necessary, according to the type of business, other specific documents or certificates such as IATA DGR certification, wet leased aircraft agreements, valid agreements with airlines, etc, are required. A code is assigned when all documentation and relevant qualifications have been confirmed by the appropriate organisations and when the assignment fee has been paid.

It is important to note that when a company holds a 3PL code it is not a member of IATA.  Moreover the company will be required to validate its qualification on a yearly basis and pay the annual retention fee.

For more information or to download your application form, please click on the following links: