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Cargo-XML Standards

Modernizing air cargo communication

The IATA Cargo-XML messaging is emerging as a preferred standard for the electronic communication between airlines and other air cargo stakeholders such as shippers, freight forwarders, ground-handling agents, and regulators, as well as customs and security agencies. This new standard is based on multimodal and cross-border messaging and aims to:

The white paper Air Cargo Digital Connectivity & Data Exchange Methodologies (pdf) provides a guide for the air cargo industry towards efficiently connecting and exchanging digital information across the supply chain.

The preferred messaging standard

Industry’s call on Cargo Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) was to freeze Cargo-IMP messages by end of 2014 and encourage the use of Cargo-XML messages. Cargo-IMP messages can still be used in the industry but IATA stopped enhancing this standard. This implies that:

  • The last edition of Cargo-IMP Manual (34th edition) was published at the end of 2014
  • New upgrades will only be conducted in the equivalent Cargo-XML Messages
  • IATA will only maintain the Cargo-XML Manual and Toolkit

Cargo-IMP to Cargo-XML migration

In order to facilitate the migration, IATA has also published the conversion guidelines (pdf) between Cargo-IMP and Cargo-XML standards. Read more about the differences between Cargo-IMP and Cargo-XML Messages (pdf).

Cargo Messaging Working Group

The IATA Cargo Messaging Working Group (formerly known as the Cargo-XML Task Force) develops the Cargo-XML messages and standards by reusing the components from the United Nations Center for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business core component library. The Cargo-XML Manual and Toolkit publishes the Cargo-XML messages, in accordance with the Cargo Services Conference (CSC) Resolution 670 and Recommended Practice 1675.

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