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Airfreight clients increasingly seek comprehensive visibility and up-to-the-minute details regarding their shipments. This demand is driven by the surge in e-commerce and the transportation of specialized cargo. Online retailers and consumers want to track their shipments in real-time, while producers of fresh food, perishables, and pharmaceuticals require information on the conditions under which their goods are being transported.  

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Making Cargo Talk

Providing the industry with interactive cargo capabilities is essential for enhancing the value proposition of air cargo and leveraging the growth in e-commerce and specialized cargo. Air cargo providers require detailed information at the individual piece level to proactively address customer and regulatory requirements. This holds true for all product types and is increasingly crucial for Special Cargoes, including pharmaceuticals, perishables, live animals, and high-value items. 

Cargo Interactivity Objectives

The Interactive Cargo project aims to enhance the air cargo supply chain by providing responsive services through intelligent systems. These systems can self-monitor, send real-time alerts, address deviations, meet customer expectations, and provide comprehensive cargo journey reports.

The project encompasses planning, development, testing, deployment, and promotion of standards and guidelines. Key objectives include:

  1. Streamlining and standardizing the process for air carriers’ approval of portable electronic device usage on board aircraft.
  2. Defining IoT device data elements to be shared among supply chain stakeholders, ensuring visibility and traceability within the air cargo supply chain. These data elements will be integrated into the IATA ONE Record Data Model.
  3. Introducing an amendment to the conditions of carriage for cargo in the Data Use Agreement to clarify the legal context of data utilization.
  4. Conducting pilot projects to validate the operational effectiveness of IATA standards.
The Interactive Cargo project means 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. 

Project is for the following stakeholders:

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


  • Recommended Practice - IoT device data sharing in air cargo: This recommended practice establishes a common vocabulary for air cargo, facilitating cargo interactions using IoT devices. It enables data sharing among supply chain actors by integrating these data elements into the ONE Record data model available on the IATA Cargo GitHub.
  • Recommended Practice - Approval of Portable Electronic Devices for Air Cargo: This recommended practice introduces a simplified and standardized approval process for using portable electronic devices onboard aircraft. The standard approval request form - outlining the minimum information and supporting documents that device manufacturers should provide to airlines when requesting approval for their devices - download the Recommended Practice - Apporval of Portable Electronic Device for Air Cargo (pdf)
  • These recommended practices will be included in the upcoming release of the Cargo Services Resolution Manual.
  • Amendment to the Recommended Practice 1601 Conditions of Carriage for Cargo: As the Internet of Logistics is becoming a reality, the legal landscape needs to evolve. This amendment specifies the conditions to use IoT devices for air cargo.
  • Standard Operating Procedures for Cargo Interactivity: These documents provide guidelines to the industry stakeholders on IoT device handling and IoT data sharing.

Find out more about cargo interactivity: Interactive Cargo project (pdf) 


Pilot projects aim to validate the following areas of cargo interactivity:

  • 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
  • Real-time tracking through a web platform compliant with the IATA ONE Record data model
  • IoT data collection, distribution, and reporting
  • Approval of the use of tracking devices for air cargo
  • IATA Air Cargo Device Assessment

Interactive cargo pilots - lessons learned so far (pdf)

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


The Interactive Cargo Task Force meets quarterly to review the project's progress. 


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

  • 20 members representing their area of expertise. They are nominated by the IATA Cargo Operations and Technology Board (COTB);
  • Observers from IATA Members and industry stakeholders, including Strategic Partners, may attend the meetings with the agreement of the Secretary;
  • IATA subject matter experts from other groups such as the Dangerous Goods Board (DGB), Cargo iQ, the Ground Handling Consultative Council (ICHC), the Live Animals and Perishables Board (LAPB), the ONE Record Task Force (ORTF), and the ULD Board (ULDB).
  • Invited experts: From time to time, for specific topics, the Secretary invites industry experts for consultation.

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!

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Interactive Cargo