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How Live Cargo Shipping Works with Air Freight


Live animal shipping makes up a surprisingly large portion of air cargo. Given the unique needs of dealing with live cargo, there are some specific guidelines that carriers and shippers need to consider.


Anyone shipping animals - whether shipping race horses, pets being relocated, or animals being transported for zoological, conservation, life science, or agricultural purposes - needs to follow IATA Live Animals Regulations.


IATA Live Animal Regulations

The International Air Transport Association, Live Animal Regulations (LAR) provide the guidance that shippers and carriers need when it comes to shipping live animals. The LAR covers everything from carrier regulations to handling, documentation, government regulations, and shipper and carrier responsibilities.


Carriers are responsible for the welfare and safety of animals throughout delivery. This includes reviewing the animals’ documentation, safely loading animals into aircraft holding areas, properly securing animals, and delivering them to their destination.


There is a myriad of procedures that carriers must comply with to ensure that animals are transported safely and humanely.


The Process in Action

Turkish Cargo offers an example of a carrier effectively implementing LAR and safely delivering live animals as they recently transported 63 horses from Chicago to Istanbul. The horses were transported in 21 specially designed stalls. Per the IATA regulations, the horses were accompanied by both their keepers and Turkish Cargo personnel that were certified by the IATA.


Turkish Cargo offers shipment of animals to 127 countries, providing a good model of a carrier that is experienced with shipping live animals in accordance with all IATA regulations.


Let Us Handle Your Logistics Needs

Shipping live animals highlights some of the complex issues involved in shipping and logistics. Thankfully, the LAR provides clear, albeit extensive, guidance on the responsibilities of all parties, including the shipper, freight forwarders, airline staff and handlers.


If you have questions about animal shipping or any other logistics needs, contact our team of global logistics experts and we’ll develop a personalized solution to meet your business’s unique needs.

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