How We Craft ATA 300 Aerospace Shipping Cases

psi cases ATA 300 aerospace shipping cases

Discover what goes into creating ATA 300 aerospace shipping cases.

ATA specifications refer to rules created by the Air Transport Association, which includes most major U.S. airlines and shipping companies. The association is now known as Airlines 4 America (A4A), but decades ago, specifications were created, and these are called the ATA 300 Specifications. Category I containers under ATA 300 specifications are expected to survive at least 100 round trips. A case must pass a series of drop or impact tests to meet this rating. Aerospace shipping cases are often used to transport valuable and costly equipment and tools, so the cases must be created with the utmost care. At Packaging Strategies, Inc., our designers are familiar with the ATA 300 requirements. We can craft aerospace shipping cases designed to withstand numerous round-trips while preserving your precious equipment. The process of creating ATA 300 aerospace shipping cases involves following these guidelines. 

A Durable Exterior Construction 

Heavy-duty shipping cases are meant to withstand all conditions and treatment by those handling the case across many environments. The challenge of creating aerospace shipping cases is building a heavy-duty, damage-resistant case that can withstand frequent trips. However, this same case must be as lightweight as possible to make it easy to move and reduce its impact on the aircraft’s total weight.

ATA 300 aerospace shipping cases must have rigid construction and quality, durable materials. Outer walls may be made of .040” thick aluminum, ABS plastic, plywood, or fiberglass sheet. The inner walls may be built from multi-layer plywood at least ¼” thick, with thicker inner partitions. The edges are often high-grade aluminum riveted to the walls. Steel-knuckled ball corners protect the corners from impact damage. 

Protective Cushioning 

Heavy-duty aerospace shipping cases must adhere to the ATA 300 specifications. Cushioning must be permanently attached to the interior walls. The foam then deflects or compresses no more than 60% of its original thickness when the case is dropped from one meter. Bubble wrap and foam sheets are allowed, but newspaper and loose-fill “packing peanuts” are not acceptable forms of cushioning.

Easy Handling 

Cases should always be easy to move. The specification covers handles, skids, and stackability. Handles are recessed and spring-loaded with rubber grips. Their number and position are related to the size and weight of the shipping container. 

Larger and heavier containers should have skids permanently attached to allow for moving on pallet trucks and by forklifts. When the surface exceeds .37 meters (about two square feet), the container must withstand the weight of another stacked container. Stacking ball corners can help make this possible. 

Clear Marking and Identification 

Complying with ATA Specifications requires clear, coherent, and durable case markings. Category I aerospace shipping cases should be painted white to appear even in dark or nighttime environments. However, some companies may waive these requirements if they choose anything besides “very dark colors.” Brighter colors help cases stand out so they are not missed during nighttime transportation or transfer of shipments. By following the ATA 300 specifications, aerospace shipping cases are designed to transport goods for many years without damage. 


Packaging Strategies has assembled a team with over 100 years of experience in design, engineering, development, manufacturing, and sales. We created the Packaging Strategies Design and Technology Center to create and manufacture complete systems integration packages and container solutions of all sizes and materials for our clientele. Many of these clients are federal agencies or in the private sector. No matter what you need to carry, Packaging Strategies is sure to have the right case for the job. You can view our website here, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and LinkedIn.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 26th, 2024 at 9:09 am. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.