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StB Cargo


Making air cargo easier, smarter and faster

We need to transform the Air Cargo industry today, as it continues to face the twin challenges of sustainable profitability and customer satisfaction. 
Last year’s Global Shipper’s Survey​(pdf) revealed an average satisfaction score of only 7 out of 10 - a problematic statistic for what should be a premium service.
From the old-fashioned paper-based processes to lack of transparency, customers and partners face numerous pain points and poor quality of service throughout the cargo journey. Our challenge, therefore, is to increase the efficiency and service quality of air cargo. This is why IATA is embarking on the launch of an industry Transformation program:Simplifying the Business (StB)​ for Cargo. The new program will become the umbrella for transformational initiatives in air cargo that will:
  • Simplify and modernize processes
  • Enrich customer experience
  • Improve competitiveness

For a quick summary, check out the introduction to StB Cargo (pdf).

Global Shipper's Survey

Thank you for those who responded to survey this year! The results will be shared here soon.

The 6 goals of StB Cargo

Following an initial consultation process, we have identified six goals for the new Cargo Transformation program:
  1. Modernizing cargo distribution
  2. Capitalizing on e-commerce
  3. Optimizing end-to-end journey
  4. Moving to data on-demand
  5. Developing real-time interaction
  6. Making quality relevant

Strengthen today with the 5 StB Cargo projects

Programs under StB Cargo include technology-driven initiatives addressing the necessity to embrace digitalization and to provide customers with greater visibility – the two main themes on the watch list of IATA’s Cargo Committee.​


e-freight & e-AWB

Started in 2006, this project consists of the development and implementation of end-to-end paperless transportation processes for air cargo. This is made possible thanks to a new regulatory framework, modern electronic messages and high quality data.

Digital Cargo

This project goes beyond e-freight and will be centered around the concept of getting rid of documents and peer-to-peer messaging and replacing them with smart data sharing principles. The initial purpose of this work will be to identify what would be required to ensure single data entry methodology (single input / multiple output) and the creation of one single master Digital Shipment Record (DSR).

Interactive Cargo

Aims at developing real-time interaction and offering air cargo customers responsive air cargo services based on intelligent systems. The latter will be able to self-monitor, send real-time alerts, respond to deviations to meet customers' expectations and report on the cargo journey to allow data-driven improvements. The first step of this project osthe standard-setting activities on piece level tracking and wireless technologies (sensors, data loggers).

Smart Facility

The Smart Facility project focuses on developping a future audit and certification scheme for ground handlers, airlines and other cargo facility operators to have the ability to provide visibility on their facility's capabilities. Also, they will be encouraged to improve the quality of their services through the adoption of known best practices.

ACID - Air Cargo Incidents Database

This database of de-identified airline incident reports will offer a secure environment for airlines and ground handlers to pool safety and operations information, supporting a proactive data-driven approach for advanced trend analysis, predictive risk mitigation and improvement programs.

Building tomorrow with the Innovation framework

StB Cargo program aims also at fostering longer-term innovation for the benefit of the IATA member airlines and the air cargo industry as a whole through:

  • StB Cargo white papers – white papers expected in 2017 will cover topics such as: Automation in the warehouse, Internet of Things applied to air cargo, Blockchain and smart contracts, Data sharing platforms, Drones for tomorrow's air cargo, etc.
  • Innovation awards – the 2nd edition of the Awards is open for submission! More information on the Innovation awards page.
  • Innovation events, such as Horizon, the 1st IATA Air Cargo Innovation forum on the 13th of March 2017 at the World Cargo Symposium in Abu Dhabi. The theme this year is "Transform today, shape tomorrow".
  • Innovation groups, such as FACE (Future Air Cargo Executives).

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