United Cargo will completely replace its current fleet of LD3 containers with the purchase of 8,500 new Herculight S containers designed by Zodiac Aerospace’s Rotable Equipment division.
The Herculight S features a new design and weighs only 121 pounds – one of the lightest containers available. United is the first airline to announce the purchase and use of this container and will begin replacing its current LD3s with Herculight S units later this year.
Despite its lighter weight, the design of the Herculight S delivers improved durability and strength to protect the goods United transports for its cargo customers. The container’s reduced weight will enable United to increase the cargo payload on high-demand and weight-restricted flights, Zodiac Airospace said.
The Herculight S weighs 79 pounds less than the containers it will replace. Based on the number of LD3 movements on United, the switch to the Herculight S is expected to reduce the airline’s fuel consumption by two million gallons and its CO2 emissions by more than 19,400 metric tons per year when the transition is complete. United will work with local vendors to recycle the approximately 200 pounds of recyclable material in each retired LD3.
“We are proud to announce that United is our launching customer for the newly designed Herculight S container. These containers help reduce CO2 emissions, maintenance costs and fuel consumption,” said Marc Witteveen, CEO of Zodiac Aerospace’s Rotable Equipment division. “This purchase is the latest of United Cargo’s many strategies to minimise the environmental impact of air cargo transport,” said Jan Krems, president of United Cargo. “We recently also replaced 1,000 of our PMC pallets with a new lightweight design from Zodiac Aerospace.”