What Are Unit Load Devices (ULDs) And Why Are They Important?

what are unit load devices ulds importance airline cargo air freight shipping

Have you ever wondered how your luggage travels from one flight to the next? Companies maintain air cargo daily through what is known as Unit Load Devices (ULD).

Investors such as ACL Airshop can operate more than 50,000 ULDs daily. This guide will give you the ins and outs of ULD and mass air cargo maintenance during airline shipments.

What Is A ULD?

ULD’s are containers used by airline companies to safely protect and transport baggage through different airports. These containers allow for quick transfers to other airplane bays or baggage claim areas.

This baggage and cargo are secure inside of their respective aircraft. They fasten the containers in a way that does not allow for shifting during mid-flight.

Types Of ULD

ULD’s appear in two different forms: containers and pallets. These pallets are also known as PMC pallets or cargo pallets. There are many types of ULDs such as LD-1, LD-11, Demi, and HMA-Stalls.

To ensure the safekeeping of contents, each ULD contains a shipping list or manifest that details the items inside the airplane.

This itemization can help companies keep track of the items in transport. Also, these lists can contain information regarding damage to the content. In addition, it can report any off-site repairs.

ULD Identification Codes

You can identify each ULD by its unique identification code. This cargo possesses a set of unique numbers and letters. Three letters preface each code to help identify the type of container.

Then, a unique four to five-digit serial number follows the lettering. This helps distinguish the container from the other ULDs. Top ULD cargo companies ensure safe and secure air cargo and clear serial number processing.

The last two or three characters showcase the owner of the ULDs. Most of the time these characters signify the type of airline possessing the ULD.

Importance Of ULDs

Many parties handle ULDs as they pass through different types of airlines around the globe. Thus, airlines began to establish a system to keep track of the passing cargo. So, the international air transport association or IATA brought in a global standard identification system.

These rules and regulations include possessing an identification code. The rules require full visibility on all identification codes. Transporting cargo is becoming an easier process since the standardization of the system.

Safe And Reliable Transport

Cargo workers can now identify specific ULD’s after a glance. The first three letters of a ULD are most important. This code reflects the shape and size of a ULD.

These three simple letters can not only identify the type of shipping cargo but also the specific aircraft. Cargo can only be compatible with specific types of aircraft. So, if there is cargo mishandling, the cargo may not even fit into another common aircraft.

The first letter recognizes the type of ULD. The second letter shows the base size. The third letter showcases the container’s contour or the type of restraining system on the pallet.

Unit Load Devices

Unit Load Devices are reliable shipping containers that are improving each year. Airlines are streamlining their cargo transport by focusing on the ULD containment process. It’s an essential part of the transport and logistics industry to ensure business success.

Follow our business and tech blog for more information on how to safely transport company cargo on your next flight! Visit the Business section of the Everything Entrepreneur Blog to learn more about storage, transportation, and shipping for business.