UNIT LOAD DEVICES
Air cargo is generally transported in special aircraft containers or on aircraft pallets. The unit load devices (ULD) are primarily produced for safety reasons and to protect the cargo on board the aircraft.All ULD dimensions and weight measurements, rules and regulations are subject to the terms and conditions of the individual airline company.On the left, you will find links to a brief description of the different types of ULDs.
Unit Load Devices (ULD) are used as containers for baggage and cargo carried in the holds of suitably dimensioned and equipped aircraft and are secured so that they cannot move within the hold in flight.
On passenger aircraft, a record of which checked bags are stowed in which ULD is normally kept so that if it is necessary to retrieve a particular item prior to flight, it should be known which ULD it has been loaded in. On cargo aircraft, ULDs are often used in combination with netted pallets. In all cases, the aircraft hold must be equipped with a roller floor and the straps and fittings (accessories) necessary to secure the containers and/or pallets in position.
Containers and pallets should be identified by a unique combination of letters and numbers. The IATA standard system comprises 3 leading letters, 4 or 5 numerals and 2 trailing letters. The 3 leading letters (eg AKE, PMC) define the type of ULD, the 4 or 5 numerals are a unique number allocated by the operator and the 2 trailing letters show a 2 letter ICAO code which indicated the owner which may be an airline (eg BA) or a ULD leasing company (eg JG). Full details of the coding standards are found in the IATA ULD Technical Manual. ULDs may also carry a bar code, which will usually replicate the visible IATA-standard code.