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Cargo Operations

Safety in the air starts on the ground

Cargo handling is performed at thousands of airports all over the world by hundreds of companies, big and small. This poses a high potential risk for deviations in the quality of handling. IATA actively drives the development of ground handling operations standards, best-practice processes, and procedures, and promotes global consistency and harmonization.

Purpose Manuals Facility of the Future

Working for safe ground operations

IATA works to drive efficiency in all areas of cargo operations. The integration of those efficiencies into operations plays an increasingly critical role in today’s air freight industry.

With a plan aligned to Cargo Committee's (CC) priorities, working with the Ground Operations Group (GOG) and other sub-groups, the IATA Cargo Handling Consultative Council (ICHC) brings together cargo handlers and airlines involved in cargo operations. It develops best-practice processes and procedures to address all aspects of cargo acceptance and handling.

e-Commerce Logistics

The air cargo industry is transforming to capitalize on e-Commerce. Building global standards, creating partnerships, and fostering innovation are critical to making the most out of the growth of online retail. IATA works to simplify the business and embrace new initiatives and technologies.

Smart Facility 

The Smart Facility project builds a common industry audit program focusing on operational capacity in cargo facilities. It reduces audit complexity, redundancy, and cost for cargo handling facilities and airlines, and creates transparency and visibility for customers. 


IATA is aware of the importance of safe, proper, and effective management, use, and control of Load Devices (ULDs). ULDs are also the most frequent cause of damage to aircraft on the ground, according to IATA’s Ground Damage Database (GDDB)IATA will continue to run safety campaign workshops in various locations.


Airmail is also an essential part of IATA's scope for cargo operations. Through the Air Mail Board (AMB), IATA works in close collaboration with the Universal Postal Union (UPU) to guarantee an efficient supply chain for the delivery of e-commerce goods as well as your regular mail.

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