ATA Specifications and Your Custom Case

Plane ATA

ATA specifications ensure that shipping containers are standardized.

In 2012 it was reported that American Airlines was getting rid of their paper flight manuals and switching to iPads. It may have seemed like the company was getting ahead of the technology curve and adapting early to the possibilities of tablets. It’s more likely, however, that the reason for the switch had everything to do with weight. iPads weigh much less than paper manuals and weight is a critically important issue that airlines pay attention to. More fuel  for an aircraft is needed when more weight is added. 


It is critical that people understand the requirements airlines have set for packaging containers, especially if they are shipping delicate or expensive items. The ATA devised specifications for packaging containers in order to standardize the field and make it easier for everyone looking to ship their items by air. This is outlined by ATA Specification 300, “Specification for Packaging of Airline Supplies”.

What are the Details of ATA Specification 300?

The specification provides very clear recommendations for packaging materials and best practices. Topics covered include how to package hazardous materials and electrostatic discharge sensitive devices, and requirements for general purpose shipping cases. The ATA lists six reasons why a standardized approach is necessary:

  1. Provides enough protection with a minimum of tare weight and cube consistent with optimal packaging versatility
  2. Ensures correct identification of material and containers
  3. Eliminates shipping damage due to packaging
  4. Reduces packing costs
  5. Promotes environmentally friendly packaging
  6. Accommodates security features in order to prevent unauthorized access during shipment

By following ATA specification 300, you can ensure that your precious cargo is protected well while also keeping the weight of your container down.


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This entry was posted on Monday, December 21st, 2015 at 3:31 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.