Modernizing Air Cargo Operations in U.S. Airports

Air cargo contributes about 35 percent to the total value of the world's cargo activity, making it a vital part of the supply chain. With the continued growth in e-commerce, spurred by the pandemic, many airports are experiencing increased cargo activity, including those that had limited or no cargo activity previously. Yet air cargo facilities, supporting infrastructure, and operations at many of the nation's airports are inadequate and inefficient. For example, cargo buildings are often insufficiently sized and have columns and small doors; cargo handling typically still relies on manual labor; and cargo tracking often includes paper waybills. Customers choose air shipment because of its implied expediency, yet these inefficiencies impact delivery times and reliability. Inefficiencies also potentially lead to higher costs, pollution and congestion from trucks, and safety issues. ACRP Report 143: Guidebook for Air Cargo Facility Planning and Development provides important guidelines for cargo facility development; additional research is needed to refine these guidelines and provide recommended practices for air cargo operations and handing. The objective of this research is to develop a standalone supplement to ACRP Report 143: Guidebook for Air Cargo Facility Planning and Development that accounts for changes to the industry since the publication of the original report in 2015. The supplement should complement the original report and update relevant information and guidelines where appropriate. The supplement should address not only airport planning and air cargo facilities, but also general air cargo operations that were not a focus of the earlier effort for ACRP Report 143.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $234893
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591
  • Project Managers:

    Navarrete, Joseph

  • Performing Organizations:


  • Principal Investigators:

    Cocanougher, Marc

  • Start Date: 20231010
  • Expected Completion Date: 20241010
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01918359
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: 03-63A
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: May 14 2024 3:37PM