When keeping it cool is your top priority
When you need to ship temperature-sensitive commodities – from pharmaceuticals to perishables and everything in between – AC Cool Chain offers a selection of three solutions designed for the specific needs of your commodity: AC Absolute°, AC Pharmacair and AC Fresh. These AC Cool Chain solutions provide a temperature-controlled environments to ensure product freshness and stability.
Considering AC Cool Chain? Please read this disclaimer first.
Air Canada Cargo recommends that customers carefully choose the appropriate AC Cool Chain solution based on the nature of the commodity, the value of the goods, and based on the level of sensitivity to external temperatures of the commodities being shipped.
When it comes to temperature requirements, our customers are the experts at understanding these requirements and are therefore responsible for ensuring that any desired internal temperature of the shipment is maintained at all times during the shipping process (from the moment the goods are tendered to when they are retrieved) by adequately packaging their goods.
Customers must be aware that the shipment will be exposed to various ambient temperatures during transportation and storage while it is in the possession of the airline.
When it comes to external temperature requirements, customers must advise Air Canada Cargo of the preferred external temperature for a given shipment. Provided the proper AC Cool Chain solution is selected, Air Canada Cargo will take all reasonable means to ensure the shipment is continuously exposed to temperatures that are within the desired external temperature range, but cannot guarantee this. The shipment will most likely be exposed to external temperatures that are outside the desired range, be it on the tarmac, inside the cargo hold of the aircraft or in the warehouse where there is no temperature control. It is very important for customers to choose the right solution for their shipment by keeping in mind that it may travel through various climates.
Packaging plays a vital role in maintaining the desired temperature of every shipment and is the customer’s responsibility. It is imperative that sufficient packaging be used to protect the commodity during its entire journey. The different temperatures a shipment will be exposed to during its journey must be considered when deciding on the type and quantity of packaging needed.
Air Canada Cargo offers temperature-controlled containers for lease and optional Dupont Tyvek covers to help you meet your packaging responsibilities.
Different types of refrigerants are commonly used to maintain the inside temperature of shipments. Customers should refer to the current edition of the IATA Perishable Cargo Regulations for specific packaging requirements in order to meet their shipment needs.
Most Air Canada Cargo warehouses provide cool room facilities, however not all stations are equipped with cooler and/or freezer facilities. When making a booking, please confirm with the booking agent whether the origin, transit and destination stations are equipped with cool room facilities. Note that space in cool room facilities, where these exist, is limited, and depending on availability, is not guaranteed.
Although Air Canada has a modern aircraft fleet, not all aircraft have temperature-controlled cargo holds.
When completing the AWB, please be mindful of the following points:
Air Canada reserves the right to refuse a shipment if the information on the AWB is not in line with the solution requested.
Understanding and compliance with all of the above will enable Air Canada Cargo to handle our customers’ shipments with integrity and help maintain an unbroken cool chain.
Please see our Shipping Requirements for more information.
With all three of our AC Cool Chain solutions, you receive:
For added protection, consider: Dupont™ Tyvek® Air Cargo Covers
For temperature-sensitive commodities that require an active temperature controlled unit, this solution offers a variety of containers with dry ice and electrical-based temperature control technologies. AC Absolute° is ideally suited for high-value healthcare, high-value food products and other commodities that are extremely sensitive to time and temperature.
|Canada||Calgary (YYC), Edmonton (YEG), Halifax (YHZ), Montreal (YUL), Ottawa (YOW), Quebec City (YQB), Toronto (YYZ), Vancouver (YVR)|
|United States||Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Indianapolis (IND), Miami (MIA), Seattle (SEA)|
|Europe||Brussels (BRU), Copenhagen (CPH), Dublin (DUB), Frankfurt (FRA), London Heathrow (LHR), Madrid (MAD), Paris - Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Rome (FCO), Zurich (ZRH)|
|South Pacific||Honolulu (HNL), Melbourne (MEL), Sydney (SYD)|
|South America||Bogota (BOG), Buenos Aires (EZE), Lima (LIM), Santiago (SCL), Sao Paulo (GRU)|
|Asia||Tokyo - Narita (NRT), Shanghai (PVG), Beijing (PEK), Hong Kong (HKG), Seoul (ICN)|
This solution is for temperature-sensitive healthcare commodities that do not require an active temperature controlled unit (e.g. vaccines, pills that are pre-packaged to maintain the desired product temperatures).
AC Fresh is for temperature-sensitive, non-healthcare products (like fresh fruits, vegetables, game meat, lobster, fish and other seafood) that are pre-packaged to maintain the desired product temperatures and do not require an active temperature-controlled unit. Note: For all seafood shipments, special commodity rates (SCR) will apply.
To meet performance expectations and current regulatory and security control requirements, Air Canada Cargo adheres to a rigorous goods acceptance process. Customers should refer to the current edition of the IATA Perishable Cargo Regulations for specific packaging requirements in order to meet their shipment needs.
You have a responsibility to ensure that your shipment complies with all applicable rules and regulations and is acceptable for transport (packaged appropriately, properly identified and labeled, and accompanied by all required documentation).
For temperature-sensitive shipments, packaging is particularly important to protect the commodity from temperature variation throughout the journey, and special identification is required. In addition, a 24-hour emergency contact must be provided at the time of booking.
The following outlines key requirements according to IATA regulations and recommended practices, including, IATA Recommended Practices 1601, 1670 and IATA Resolution 600 a/b and 606, as well as considerations for shipping time and temperature-sensitive cargo:
Shipments are only acceptable for transportation when the shipper, consignee or owner has complied with the rules and regulations of the tariffs and all laws, ordinances, and other governmental rules and regulations governing the transportation of the shipment.
The AWB must be completed in its entirety and all sections must be completed accurately. The handling information on the AWB must coincide with the type of service and solution chosen.
The AC Absolute° solution must be used when the shipper requires precise temperature control at all times for an extended period of time.
The AC Pharmacair solution is to be used when the commodity being shipped does not require precise temperature control at all times, or passive packaging is used (See Marking and labelling your shipment below).
The air waybill must also include the weight, number of pieces, dimensions, nature of goods, all information required by Customs and known/unknown security status. The air waybill must also contain the conditions of contract. An e-Air Waybill is also acceptable (where authorized).
Note: Any adjustments made to an Air Waybill that could impact the expected billing amount, such as re-weighing, calculating or re-calculating the dimensional weight of your shipment, will be communicated to the shipper with a Notice of Correction. This Notice of Correction will be sent electronically to your attention.
When applicable, complete House AWB information must be available for manual input or electronically transmitted to either Air Canada or directly to Customs.
All documents necessary for determining the nature of the goods, along with export, import or transit documents required by Customs or any governmental body, must be completed and/or checked and must accompany the air waybill.
Electronic submission of this information is also acceptable (where authorized) following IATA procedures and standards.
Shipments must be packed in a way that allows for security screening and to ensure that it can be carried safely with ordinary care in handling. In addition, the volume and weight of your shipment when tendered must match those in your booking.
For all Cool Chain solutions, we recommend that customers refer to the current edition of the IATA Perishable Cargo Regulations for specific packaging requirements to meet their shipment needs and airline requirements.
When shipping game meat, specific packaging requirements apply. See Game Meat for details.
All packages in the consignment must be marked with the consignee's name, street and city address, including ZIP/postal code (as on the Air Waybill) OR, have one or more packages marked with this information with an appropriate reference on all other packages in the consignment.
A completed Time and Temperature-Sensitive Label must be attached to each package. Labels must be fully visible and all old labels and markings must be obliterated.
For AC Pharmacair or AC Absolute° healthcare shipments:
All shipments undergo security screening and must be prepared for carriage according to the security control instructions provided by the National Authority and any additional instructions provided by Air Canada Cargo.
Note: Any cargo that cannot be screened to a satisfactory standard may be broken down into smaller pieces in order to obtain a clear image. Breakdown and build-up fees may apply. See Security screening fees in Rates, Charges and Fees.
Shipments are acceptable for transportation when:
The shipper, consignee or owner complies with the rules and regulations of the tariffs and all laws, ordinances, and other governmental rules and regulations governing transport of the shipment.
It is agreed that the goods shipped are accepted in apparent good order, are properly packaged, are in a condition for carriage that is in conformity with IATA regulations, and are subject to the conditions of the contract (the Air Waybill).
Shipments are delivered on time and have a confirmed booking from origin to destination.
Volume and weight match the booking at time of acceptance.
Are you ready to ship? Visit the AC Cool Chain Shipper’s Checklist
Required for temperature-sensitive healthcare products booked and tendered using the AC Pharmacair and AC Absolute° solutions.
The Time and Temperature Sensitive adhesive label is a shipment label that must be affixed to all healthcare shipments booked as time and temperature sensitive cargo. This label is mandatory for all IATA member airlines effective July 1, 2012.
The label will help ensure:
It is the shipper’s responsibility (or designated shipper's agent by service agreement) to ensure that the label is properly applied and filled out on all time and temperature- sensitive healthcare cargo shipments booked as AC Pharmacair and AC Absolute°. See Shipping Requirements
Purchasing the Label
The label can be purchased from IATA. The label size is 10cm x 10cm (4 x 4 in).
Filling-out the Label
Full instructions for filling out the Time and Temperature Sensitive label can be found on IATA's website.
Please note: Exposures to temperatures outside of that range can and will occur during normal air cargo operations and sufficient protection must be provided by the shipper to mitigate those risks.
If a shipment is tendered to Air Canada without this label, Air Canada will gladly affix the label to the shipment, however, please be aware that the availability of the label is not guaranteed at an Air Canada station and may result in shipment delay.
All game meat shipments must be booked from origin to destination on Air Canada or Jazz.
Contact your local Air Canada Cargo office for more information.
All shipments of game meat, hides and antlers must be prepaid.
All shippers of game meat are responsible for ensuring that all required documentation including U.S. Customs forms/certifications and Fish and Wildlife Declarations are attached to the outside of the shipment.
Hunters will need a Veterinary Services Special Permit for the Importation of Hunter-Harvested Wild Ruminant Meat, along with one of the following:
The permit can be downloaded from the United States Department of Agriculture website, or obtained by calling the APHIS National Center for Import and Export at: (301) 734-3277.
The intent of the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act (the Bioterrorism Act) is to protect the health and safety of the people of the United States from an intended or actual terrorist attack on the nation's food supply.
The Bioterrorism Act requires that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) receive prior notice from shippers before food is imported or offered for import into the United States. All shipments without a prior notice number will be refused, and shippers may be subject to fines for non-compliance.
Learn more about the Bioterrorism Act and prior notice of imported foods.
As per U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Regulations Subpart B, Section 14.16: Wildlife lawfully taken by U.S. residents in Canada, the U.S.A. or Mexico and imported or exported for non-commercial purposes may be imported or exported ONLY at certain U.S. Customs ports of entry.
For more information on designated ports of entry, please consult the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Please be advised that Air Canada Cargo is required to comply with security regulations as mandated by the TSA and Transport Canada. Therefore no cargo shipment may depart to the U.S. unless they originate from a Known Consignor. Please take this into consideration when choosing a destination that may require a connection in the U.S.
There is an additional charge for the handling and storage of game meat using refrigeration until time for transport.
Booking a Shipment, Cool Chain
The initial booking is a critical step for ensuring a successful Cool Chain shipment with Air Canada Cargo. The details provided during your booking will trigger the specific handling and operational processes necessary for your shipment.
Certain steps are essential, such as ensuring that the temperature range on your label matches the range on your air waybill, and providing a 24-hour emergency contact when you book.
Make sure you have what you need to book a Cool Chain shipment. See our Shipper’s Checklist.
To book your shipment, you will need to:
Before you call, please see our Shipper’s Checklist
When making a booking, please confirm with the booking agent whether the origin, transit and destination stations are equipped with cool room facilities. Note that space in cool room facilities, where these exist, is limited, and depending on availability, is not guaranteed.
Due to some aircraft types, weight, weather and regulatory restrictions, we may not be able to transport your shipment to all the destinations we serve. Your Air Canada Cargo station can help.
You will need to set up an account with Air Canada Cargo. See Accounts.
Visit Cargo Portal Services (CPS) to access your existing CPS profile or to register for one. Cargo Portal Services offers a self-service booking tool, rate estimation, House Air Waybill entry and tracking services.
View our CPS Quick Reference Guide
Tender & Retrieval
Tendering (or dropping-off) your shipment is the process of consigning the shipment to Air Canada Cargo for transport. Retrieving your shipment is the process of picking up the shipment at the destination location.
The Air Canada Cargo location for tendering shipments depends on the type and destination of the shipment. Your booking agent will provide you with the applicable Air Canada Cargo locations for tendering and receiving your shipment.
You will need to tender your shipment in advance of your flight to allow time for security checks, inspections and ground handling time. There is also a set period of time for retrieval of your shipment at the destination.
Tender Time(s): Tender cut-off time is the latest time a shipment can be ready for shipment and consigned to Air Canada Cargo in order for it to travel on a specific flight. The tender time is calculated by counting back from flight departure time.
Retrieval Time(s): Retrieval time represents the amount of time it takes to process a shipment and have it available for pick-up after the flight arrives at the final destination. Please note that storage charges will apply if a shipment is not collected within a reasonable delay.
Tender and retrieval times vary by solution and service level. To find your tender and retrieval times, select the origin and destination of your shipment. Then choose the applicable Air Canada Cargo solution, service level and indicate if you are using a shipping container (Unit Load Device).
|Tender Times (from Canada, United States)||Retrieval Times (to Canada, United States)|
Before tendering your shipment, see our Shipper’s Checklist
* Subject to Dangerous Goods Inspection
** No single piece over 32 kg
Our goal it to provide you with a smooth, seamless shipping experience for your temperature-sensitive cargo. This Shipper’s Checklist will help you understand the booking and shipping process and the things you can do to make your shipping experience even better.
For fast and easy booking, follow this checklist to make sure you’ve got what you need before you call to book your shipment.
Check IATA regulations (general and perishable goods), customs requirements and country-specific shipping requirements and restrictions to ensure that you can ship your cargo.
Note that AC Absolute° and AC Pharmacair are not available at all Air Canada Cargo locations. In addition, due to some aircraft types, weight, weather and regulatory restrictions, we may not be able to transport your shipment to all the destinations we serve. Your Air Canada Cargo agent will help you determine the best route based on your shipping needs. Routes & Network
AC Cool Chain offers three solutions for temperature-sensitive cargo, with two levels of service available for AC Pharmacair and AC Fresh. There are also several options to consider: leasing a temperature-controlled shipping container, adding protection with a DuPont™ Tyvek® covers and using GPS tracking for your shipment. Be prepared to discuss your Cool Chain shipping options.
Note that shipping rates can vary significantly depending on the AC Cool Chain solution, service level and options that you select. Your Air Canada Cargo agent will help you evaluate your shipping needs and total shipping costs. General information about Rates, Charges and Fees
Know how to arrange your booking.
Ready to drop-off your shipment? Make sure the tender process goes smoothly by following these steps to ensure your Cool Chain shipment is ready for carriage.
For details about completing your Air Waybill for temperature-sensitive cargo, see Shipping Requirements.
This will be provided when your booking is complete.
This will include any applicable forms, declarations or disclosure documents required for your shipment.
For perishables and temperature-sensitive cargo this involves proper packaging, protection from temperature variations and appropriate labelling and identification. In addition, all shipments must be in compliance with all general IATA shipping requirements. See Shipping Requirements
They must match with the details provided on your AWB.
For more information visit Tender & Retrieval.