Respect thy humble ULD

Lack of proper handling, inventory management and plain old respect for the humble unit load device, or ULD, continues to unneccesarily cost the industry close toUS$220 million each year. Heiner Siegmund has the story. “Times indeed are terrible,” observes Steve Savage, IATA’s manager for cargo standards, “but terrific for optimising our industry”. Optimisation in the […]


LD3 lightweight AKE containers Nordisk ULD Ultralite unit load devices weight reduction


Lack of proper handling, inventory management and plain old respect for the humble unit load device, or ULD, continues to unneccesarily cost the industry close toUS$220 million each year. Heiner Siegmund has the story.

“Times indeed are terrible,” observes Steve Savage, IATA’s manager for cargo standards, “but terrific for optimising our industry”. Optimisation in the air cargo industry is needed in many ways, be it in E-Freight, bar coding standardisation, or by speeding up shipments.

One possibility for enhancing the quality of air transports and save cash at the same time is the ULD field. There, carriers burn up to US$220 million yearly by not paying sufficient attention to their flying assets. By paying more attention to this key area, “this indeed could print a lot of money for airlines,” stated Bob Rogers, VP Asia/Pacific of Nordisk Aviation Products. A statement that was illustrated by a number of alarming pictures presented at a recent seminar on the ULD business that demonstrated the often shadowy existence of ULDs.

Heavily damaged LD3 containers ripped, torn and banged up by forklifts, toppled over trolleys because of false loading, torn up nets, unsecured shipments because of missing straps and dented pallets, to name just a few examples presented by various speakers how ULDs often are mistreated by ground handlers, airline personnel or forwarding agents.