AC Cool Chain

AC Cool Chain Disclaimer
(Applicable to AC Absolute°, AC Pharmacair and AC Fresh shipments ONLY)

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.

Exposure to Ambient Temperatures

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.

Shipment Packaging

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.

We recommend that our customers refer to the current edition of the IATA Perishable Cargo Regulations for specific packaging requirements to meet their shipment needs and airline requirements.

Cool Room Facilities

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.

Aircraft Cargo Holds

Although Air Canada has a modern aircraft fleet, not all aircraft have temperature-controlled cargo holds.

Air Waybill (AWB) Completion

When completing the AWB, please be mindful of the following points:

  • 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.
  • Points to remember:
    • The AC Absolute° solution must be used when the shipper requires precise temperature control at all times for an extended period of time.
    • For AC Pharmacair and AC Fresh, please refrain from using the following remarks on the AWB, as these solutions are not designed to maintain steady external temperatures at all times:
      • "keep frozen at all times"
      • "keep cool at all times",
      • "keep refrigerated at all times",
      • "keep within +2°c to +8°c at all times"
      • "keep within +15°c to +30°c"

Air Canada reserves the right to refuse a shipment if the information on the AWB is not in line with the solution requested.


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.

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.