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Perishable goods (such as fruits, flowers, and vegetables) were among the first commodities carried by air. However, such goods deteriorate over time and under extreme temperatures and humidity, and must thus be handled with particular care.

With years of operating experience, airlines have developed effective handling techniques for chilled and frozen products, providing shippers with optimum, cost-efficient packaging methods.

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From the field through cool chain

The new Perishables Logistics and Air Transport whitepaper (pdf) explores the unique challenges of perishables transport by air and draws attention to the efforts and initiatives undertaken by the air cargo supply chain to address them. For more information on sustainability concerns specific to transporting perishables, please read the new Sustainability Considerations for Perishable Cargo Transportation (pdf).

Perishable Cargo Regulations (PCR)

The Perishable Cargo Regulations manual is an essential reference guide for all parties involved in the packaging and handling of temperature-sensitive products. The manual is endorsed by the IATA Live Animals and Perishables Board (LAPB) and underpinned by the expertise of major airlines and scientific data supplied by research institutions.

In response to the pharmaceutical industry's need and request for a standalone regulation, all content related to the transport and handling of pharmaceutical products was extracted from the Perishable Cargo Regulations (PCR), into the standalone specialized publication Temperature Control Regulations (TCR). Therefore, the 16th edition extracted all content related the PCR into the standalone TCR.

The next edition of the PCR will come into effect on 1 January 2023

Perishable shipping training

The Shipping Perishable Cargo course provides professionals with detailed insight into both the handling of perishable cargo and the practical knowledge of the most up-to-date regulations.

Perishable Cargo Working Group

The Perishable Cargo Working Group (PCWG) is a subgroup of the Live Animals and Perishables Board (LAPB). The objective of the PCWG is to provide recommendations to the LAPB on the development of perishable cargo transportation and handling standards. These recommendations include:

  • Propose new, or amendments to existing IATA Industry Standards, Resolutions (including the Perishable Cargo Regulations), Recommended Practices, and guidance material on effective handling and transportation techniques to ensure the quality and the integrity of healthcare cargo.
  • Propose training that relates to the above.
  • Report regulatory developments affecting the handling and transportation of perishable cargo.
  • Develop and promote sustainable practices aligned to the IATA sustainability framework and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

Additional information