FlyingTypers Logo
Family Aid 2020
   Vol. 22 No. 14
Sunday April 30, 2023

Let ULD Harmony Play Up There


     In airports and airfreight, harmony in procedures and collaboration are essential to establish a reasonable level of quality in service and ensure the respect for the environment our day and age require.
     Bob Rogers VP & Treasurer says, “here at ULD CARE we get elated when we have a glimpse of such harmony.
     “The recent coverage of ULD matters in FlyingTypers was certainly music to our ears!
     “And a very big vote of thanks to Marco Sorgetti for this extensive coverage of ULD, a subject that all too often remains firmly in the closet.
     “ULD Care fully concurs with Andre Majeres statement that ULD are aircraft parts, and require the same degree of care and attention as any other part, this is a drum that ULD CARE and IATA have been banging for many years with, sad to say, limited results.
     “But on top of the overriding issue of flight safety – and never forget that there have been two major fatal accidents directly resulting from substandard use of ULD in aircraft loading – ULD CARE has also identified a number of other very significant issues, and I would like to list these in the space we were granted by FlyingTypers,” Rogers added.


     “This is a topic on everyone’s lips these days. Now actually the ULD OEM’s have done a remarkable job reducing the tare weight of containers, pallets and net by 40-50% in the past 15-20 years, delivering significant fuel burn reductions to the airlines and consequent benefit to the environment and air quality. But when it comes to the “on the ground side” it is not such a pretty sight, as the waste around ULD operations is extraordinary. We can start with annual repair costs estimated to exceed USD$300 million, and let us be clear, this is almost entirely the result of improper handling of what are lightweight aircraft parts. And then there are cargo nets, so often treated as “throw away” items in the general humdrum of cargo ops and all too often ending up dumped in a corner or cut with knives or driven over by a forklift, eventually ending a shortened lifecycle in landfill (at the owners’ expense) . . . And please don’t even get me started on cargo straps, again certified aircraft parts (TSO C172), yet likely to make just a couple of trips before ending up in a heap somewhere, an estimated 2.5 million such straps are made every year, consuming around 22 Km of webbing and over 2,000 tons of steel, year after year after year! Many sustainability improvements require investment to yield savings, but around ULD it is actually just a matter of reducing waste, with a bit of effort from all parties.”


     “Over the past 4-5 years there has been much talk about “Smart ULD” and indeed there have been some significant innovations. But unfortunately we see very little change to the way the movement of ULD into an “off airport” situation is managed and monitored. ULD CARE’s analysis leads us to believe that some 200,000 PMC make an off-airport move every month of the year, a practice that is of huge benefit to all stakeholders in the air cargo industry. Yet, when it comes to the ULD this practice leaves a great deal to be desired, with a very large number of these off-airport moves not being reported in an accurate and timely manner to their airline owners, which are often half way around the world. ULD CARE estimates that around 8-10% of the global PMC fleet is “off the radar” and overdue for return to their owner at any point in time. There is actually an IATA standard document to record such transfers, RP 1654, the ULD Control Receipt, which is the aviation equivalent of the maritime industry’s Equipment Interchange Receipt. However, as a result of legacy IT and messaging protocols, the UCR process frequently fails to deliver the required efficiency and is long overdue for digitalization. ULD CARE is now well advanced on a project to utilize modern IT such as App’s, hand held POS units and API’s to move this five-decades old process into the 21st century.”


     “One party’s efficiency should not be at the expense of the other party and this is certainly true when it comes to ULD’s. Unfortunately, it may seem efficient to conduct cargo operations using inappropriate facilities and practices ignoring the inevitable collateral damage to the ULD. With a few notable exceptions, ULD operations are often carried out in very “unfriendly” environments and almost always against the clock, with a very extensive use of forklifts. The key to improving matters here lies in establishing an industrywide awareness of the importance of knowing the difference between the right and the wrong way when it comes to working with ULD’s, and in this regard ULD CARE puts significant efforts and resources into delivering a portfolio of solutions through its website (www.uldcare.com). More often than it is actually perceived, the method in compliance is also more efficient in the end.
     “To wrap up, ULD are the oil that lubricates the gears of air cargo: no ULD = no cargo!
     “Just as an engine will seize up if its oil is allowed to deteriorate or be contaminated, so the air cargo industry will seize up without the proper degree of attention to the wellbeing of the ULD upon which it depends. If you wish to fly and do not wish to use care for your ULD’s you must make sure that you are a bird, in all other circumstances ULD CARE is a must!”
Bob Rogers

If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
Access complete issue by clicking on issue icon or
Access specific articles by clicking on article title
Vol. 22 No. 11
Cargo In Freefall
Children Know The Way
Navigating Uncertainties
Why Aare These Men Smiling?
Play It Again Ingo
Letter From Hong Kong

Vol. 22 No. 12
Easter 2023
Chuckles for April 9, 2023
Azizan Pesach

Vol. 22 No. 13
FIATA Up Close
Happy Birthday United

Publisher-Geoffrey Arend • Managing Editor-Flossie Arend • Editor Emeritus-Richard Malkin
Film Editor-Ralph Arend • Special Assignments-Sabiha Arend, Emily Arend

Send comments and news to geoffrey@aircargonews.com
Opinions and comments expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher but remain solely those of the author(s).
FlyingTypers reserves the right to edit all submissions for length and content. All photos and written material submitted to this publication become the property of FlyingTypers Media.
Copyright ©2023 FTMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
More@ www.aircargonews.com

recycle100% Green