Making Cargo Talk

“When something goes wrong, it takes time to get information”. Air cargo customers demand more end-to-end visibility and real-time information about their shipments. The demand for these capabilities is exploding with the growth of e-commerce and increased quantities of special cargo flown. The online retailers and shoppers need and want to know where their shipments are at any time. The producers and manufacturers of fresh food, perishable items and pharmaceuticals want to know the conditions in which their shipments are moving. Equipping the air cargo industry with this capability is imperative to improve the value proposition of air cargo and help our members to capitalize on e-commerce and special cargo growth.

Air cargo suppliers need that information at an individual piece level to take proactive actions to ensure compliance with customers' and regulators’ demands. This is valid for all types of products but is becoming a critical requirement for Special Cargoes (pharma, perishables, live animals, vulnerable, high value, etc.).

Find out more about the Interactive Cargo project here (pdf) 


The vision of the Interactive Cargo project is to equip the air cargo supply chain with responsive air cargo services based on intelligent systems able to self-monitor, send real-time alerts, respond to deviations to meet customers’ expectations, and report on the cargo journey. 
The goal of the Interactive Cargo project is to provide stakeholders in the air cargo supply chain with a set of standards and guidance documents to enable and ease the use of IoT devices to enable cargo interactions.
The scope of the Interactive Cargo project includes the planning, development, testing, deployment, and promotion of the standards and guidelines. The four objectives of the project are as follows:
  1. Simplify and standardize the air carriers’ process for the approval of the use of portable electronic devices on board aircraft.
  2. Define the IoT device data elements to be captured and shared among the supply chain actors and ensure visibility and traceability of the air cargo supply chain. The data elements will then be integrated into the IATA ONE Record Data Model.
  3. Add an amendment to the conditions of carriage for cargo on the Data Use Agreement to clarify the legal context of data use.
  4. Run pilot projects to operationally validate the IATA standards.

Designed for

  • Shippers
  • Freight Forwarders
  • Ground Handlers
  • Airlines
  • International or National Organizations in Air Cargo
  • Aircraft Manufacturers
  • Device Manufacturers
  • ULD Manufacturers
  • IT Service Providers

Upcoming deliverables

  • Recommended Practice - IoT device data sharing in air cargo to be endorsed by the Cargo Services Conference (CSC) by March 2021.
  • Recommended Practice - Approval of the use of portable electronic devices for air cargo to be endorsed by the Cargo Services Conference (CSC) by March 2021.


The following pilot projects (pdf) will validate the IATA standards:

  • Real-time cargo tracking for shipments requiring special handling
  • Visibility, tracking and alerts at the piece level
  • Smooth border crossing by data sharing and logistics transparency
  • Portable Electronic Device (PED) approval for air cargo
  • IATA pre-assessment of cargo tracking devices
  • Other pilots to come.

Contact us if you wish to participate or propose your own pilot project.


The Interactive Cargo Task Force is composed of more than 50 participants representing the whole supply chain:

If you are interested in joining the Task Force or want to find out more, contact us at

Many thanks to the key players involved in the Interactive Cargo project for making cargo talk!

Contact us

Sonia Ben Hamida

Project Manager Interactive Cargo, IATA