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Family Aid 2020
   Vol. 22 No. 29
Tuesday August 29, 2023

Digital ULD Control Receipt

ULD Control Receipt

     Reading the lengthy article in the most recent FlyingTypers regarding RACOS by Don Muscatello I can only applaud this initiative, indeed I can only agree with his #1 finding that much of the air cargo industry suffers from woefully inadequate infrastructure. And I have to add that the result of this inadequate infrastructure inevitably plays out in the form of collateral damage to ULD, costing the airline industry in the order of US$ 300 million a year in direct repair costs plus considerably more in indirect costs such as aircraft damage- yes IATA figures tell us that ULD are the number one cause of ground damage to aircraft, caused almost entirely due to loading of damaged ULD to the aircraft.
ULD Damage Poster      ULD CARE has been banging on about this situation for many years now, launching a number of initiatives such as our video SOS-ULD and our publication ULD Explained, and right now are on the point of launching our latest initiative, a Digital ULD Control Receipt or UCR.
     To the uninitiated this may not sound particularly earth shaking, after all what’s a UCR, but for those people whose job involves managing the fleet of roughly 1 million ULD that support the global air cargo operation this is a critical part of their function.
     As with any intermodal transportation ULD are frequently transferred from party to party through a complex chain before and after the goods actually fly anywhere and the purpose of the UCR is to record these changes in custody so that the airline’s ULD management team sitting maybe half a world away can keep track of their assets.      Established as an IATA standard around the beginning of widespread widebody containerised cargo operations 5 decades ago the paper based UCR is well overdue for digitalization, a challenge ULD CARE has been perusing for some years now. And finally, we find ourselves with a following wind, as the use of Apps, API’s and related IT processes become both widely available and affordable.
     It is in the interest of all participants in the air cargo environment that sufficient ULD of the correct size, configuration and in airworthy condition, along with support items such a cargo nets and straps, be readily available to move cargo, and the application of digitalization to tracking and recording the transfer of ULD as they move between these parties goes a long way towards meeting this need.
Bob Rogers     In recent years there has been a lot of talk of “Smart ULD”, referring to the use of BLE or similar tracking devices to keep track of ULD as they move around the global system. ULD CARE is all in favour of such systems and has followed their introduction with great interest but with around 1 million ULD out there, moving between countless airports, terminals and off airport locations achieving a global system wide coverage remains a distant dream. This is why the digital UCR (E-UCR) is a key piece in the jigsaw of ULD management, requiring as it does no more than a smart phone.
     To conclude, ULD are the oil that lubricate the gears of the air cargo industry and just like an engine that has been allowed to run dry will seize up so will the air cargo operation grind to a halt in the absence of adequate efficient ULD operations.
     Digitization of the UCR can deliver very significant efficiency gains to all stakeholders in this industry, the time is right!
Bob Rogers
If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
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Vol. 22 No. 26
Think Ahead To RACOS
Chuckles For August 9, 2023
India Gets Late
Summer Over The Moon
Vol. 22 No. 27
Can Freighters Navigate The Perfect Storm?
India Cargo—Ask Shesh
Air Babies

Vol. 22 No. 28
Tea For The Tillerman, Please

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

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