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Smart Facility

Part of the Simplifying the Business Cargo (StB Cargo), the Smart Facility project aims at developing an operational capacity audit and accreditation scheme for cargo handlers, airlines, and other cargo facility operators, with the goal to reduce redundant industry audits by 50%. 

The Smart Facility Operational Capacity audit (SFOC) will assess a facility's infrastructure, equipment and the procedures to operate them in accordance with IATA Regulations and Recommended Practices. Its main goal is to create transparency in cargo handling services and to enhance basic cargo operations capacities to a consistently higher baseline level across the industry.


Currently, the industry spends thousands of man-hours on redundant facility quality audits as each carrier is performing them individually to ensure operating standards are matching agreed service levels. That puts a burden on carriers and facility operators alike.

The SFOC has the potential to reduce this burden significantly by establishing an industry-wide, mutually recognized audit and accreditation scheme that creates trust in the operational capacities of cargo facilities.


Did you know?

In 1 audit cycle, 243’000 airline man days are spent auditing cargo facilities, in most cases duplicating and triplicating the effort.

The Smart Facility Operational Capacity Audit aims to reduce this effort by 50%.

The backbone for the SFOC audit is the Smart Facility Checklist which contains a list of capacities derived from IATA's Cargo Standards against which a cargo facility can be measured. The Smart Facility Checklist is included in the online publication of the IATA Cargo Handling Manual (ICHM).

Benefits of streamlining cargo operations audit processes

Developed at the request of the industry and pilot-tested with multiple airline and cargo handling partners, the SFOC aims to deliver the following benefits: 

  • Standardization of individual audit requirements for handling facilities in the industry
  • Simplification of multiple audits over time through mutual recognition of the SFOC -> elimination of audit fatigue
  • A decrease in audit costs/redundancies for SLA adherence
  • Easy matchmaking between Shipper, Freight Forwarder, Airline and Cargo Handling Agent, through the transparent display of services and capacities offered
  • Easy benchmarking against industry standards and identification of gaps in processes

Objectives for 2018

  • Development of the Smart Facility Publishing Platform
  • Alpha and Beta pilot testing with a variety of cargo terminal operators and airlines
  • Development of the Smart Facility Standards Manual
  • Development of the Smart Facility Auditor Training

Help us improve

IATA is looking for interested cargo terminal operators who would be ready to undergo the Smart Facility Audit within the Beta Pilot Phase between Q3 - Q4 2018.

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