The International Organization for Standardization has several benchmarks that companies can meet to ensure their own productivity and assure their clientele that they properly and safely handle freight. The organization, known internationally by the acronym ISO, has developed more than 19,500 standards since its founding in 1946; more than 10 percent of them pertain to transportation and the shipment of goods.

Radio-Frequency Identification Technology

RFID shipping tags, which are used to enhance supply-chain management, are addressed by ISO 17363:2013; the tags employ air-interface technologies, which use data syntax and organization requirements to track bulk cargo as it is shipped. The standard contains benchmarks concerning the use of certain reprogrammable shipping tags. The standard, which was first developed in 2007 and updated in 2013, addresses several topics, among which are the data link interface for GPS or GLS services, reprogrammable and non-reprogrammable information on the shipment tag, the means by which RFID data is backed up by other systems, and RF tag reuse and recyclability.

Electronic Seals for Freight Containers

ISO 18185:2007 is divided into several parts and addresses communication requirements during the shipping, tracking and receiving of cargo. The standard recommends using one-time-use electronic seals. Part One describes the radio communications requirements for tracking a package as it is in transit. Part Two details the certification process a company would follow under ISO 18185; Parts Three through Five detail the physical and environmental infrastructure requirements under the standard. Aside from digital tracking devices, ISO 18185 also requires a unique seal for product, manufacturer, shipper and receiver.

Intelligent Transportation Systems

Standard 14813 aims to group similar transportation systems under a practical ISO guideline in order to create a primary ITS network. The standard identifies 11 service domains that classify shipping and transportation systems into groups relating to specific functions, the details of which vary from nation to nation. As these groups evolve over time, ISO hopes to revise Standard 14813 to include relevant data. Currently, ISO considers the standard to be an advisory and informative for transportation companies interested in developing Intelligent Transportation Systems.

Steel Wire-Ropes for Lifts

ISO 4344:2004 covers the minimum safety requirements for automated traction-drive and hydraulic lifts in an industrial capacity. The standard addresses the minimum braking forces for common sizes, grades and classes of steel rope, and is applicable to ropes made from bright and galvanized wire in various constructions from 6 mm to 38 mm in diameter. The standard applies to ropes manufactured in bulk after the standard's publication date; it does not apply to ropes for builder's hoists and temporary hoists not running between permanent guides.

Thermal Freight Containers

When shipping between climates, or when operating exclusively in a cooler environment, ISO 10368:2006 standards will help ensure your cargo's safety and integrity. The standard covers information and standards for complying to a central monitoring system that regulates cargo temperature as it travels between shipper and receiver. These data-logging techniques are, according to ISO, available to all shipping techniques and apply to any future ISO-compliant techniques.