ATC Cargo Ad

FlyingTypers Logo
   Vol. 17 No. 21
Tuesday April 10, 2018

  Alibaba has now opened air routes to move cargo from China to Russia.
  Here, first shipment readies March 30 as Cainiao, the logistics affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding loads cargo at Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport in Hangzhou City headed for Moscow.
  The move aims to shorten transit time between China and Russia to as little as five days.
  Europe is now a top destination for China's e-commerce exports, as 1,000 tons of cargo are shipped from China to Russia every month on Cainiao's platforms.
  Three flights per week are operating currently, but more flights may be added, Alibaba said.

     A ULD being loaded onto the main deck or slipped into the belly of a wide body passenger aircraft is the money shot in any air cargo message of late.
     But what about the ULDs, aka “silent partners,” of our air cargo enterprise?
     Watching the daily ballet of ULDs being loaded and unloaded from aircraft at the airport, it is easy to step back a bit and wonder about the stories they might tell.
     I recall just a couple years ago out at JFK Airport casting a long steady gaze at a somewhat dented can sitting alongside the old Lufthansa Building 260, the airport facility where the German carrier pioneered all-cargo main deck B747F service from Frankfurt to New York in 1972.
     But this can had the words “Seaboard World” printed on it and that brought back even more memories to a time when SWA and LAAC operated competing B747Fs across the Atlantic from adjacent cargo facilities at JFK.

Not Alone In My Thoughts

     When it comes to ULDs in 2018 and beyond, the “Go-To Guys” are Bob Rogers and Urs Wiesendanger.
     Both have served over the years as lightening rods for a Canadian organization devoted to ULDs called ULD CARE.
     ULD CARE is a not-for-profit corporation.
     Having started life in the 70s as an IATA special interest group (then named the Interline ULD User Group-IULDUG) and subsequently split off to become an independent not-for-profit entity, ULD CARE retains a close link to IATA through an MOU.
     ULD CARE also maintains a close contact with the Cargo Focus Group at the FAA.
     Its membership is open to organizations whose scope encompasses any aircraft unit load device (ULD) activity.

The Two & Only

     How great to encounter the two most activist ULD spokesmen in the world, Urs Wiesendanger, President, ULD CARE, Air Canada (retired), and Bob Rogers, Vice President ULD CARE, Senior Advisor Nordisk, at the recent IATA World Cargo Symposium in Dallas, Texas.
     The dynamic duo Urs & Bob make their case, pulling no punches, keeping it simple, laying it on the line.
     “ULD CARE is at the forefront in advancing compliant, safe, and efficient ULD operations,” Bob Rogers told FlyingTypers.
     “Over the past 40 years, we have evolved from an interlining tracking system to a provider of comprehensive solutions that advance ULD handling for the air cargo industry.”

ULDs Taken For Granted

     “The global air cargo industry,” Bob Rogers said, “faces many challenges and demands, and with a few exceptions ULD operations are taken for granted, expected to be available and useable when needed, but often put to use in conditions characterised by inadequate infrastructure and under trained personnel, totally unsuitable for what are essentially aircraft equipment that perform an essential flight safety function and are not just a piece of material handling equipment (MHE).”

A Fatal Flaw

     Major (fatal) crashes in 1997 (Fine Air 101) and 2013 (National Air Cargo), both attributable to non-complaint cargo restraint leading to cargo shift and loss of control of the aircraft, require a “sea change” in the approach to safety around cargo loading. All too often, the basics of weight and balance compliance and load restraint are overshadowed by DG and security.
     “There is today a significant gap between what at least some national aviation authorities (NAAs) including the FAA expect from the airlines under their jurisdiction in terms of ULD operations, while on the other hand the unregulated ground handling, cargo terminal, and freight forwarding sectors places very limited attention on ensuring that only airworthy ULD loaded correctly are delivered to the aircraft and that handling infrastructure and activities minimize the damage to ULD, which are lightweight aircraft equipment, and not some piece of MHE to be hammered around the warehouse or ramp,” Bob Rogers said.

ULD CARE Punches Above Its Weight

     “In its ongoing evolution, ULD CARE’s primary focus is to first create solutions that will support the correct use of ULDs and then promote these solutions using the limited resources of ULD CARE,” said Urs.
     “As a not-for-profit trade association, we rely very much on the efforts of volunteers to give their time and expertise, however we believe that with the portfolio we now bring to the industry, ULD CARE punches well above its weight.”

Time For Code Of Conduct

     “2018 sees the launch of the ULD Code of Conduct, a first for this industry,” Mr. Rogers declares.
“CofCs are widespread in many industries but are not common in aviation due to the highly regulated nature of aviation.
     “However, ground handling, cargo terminal, and freight forwarder activities fall outside the aviation regulatory footprint, and with the airlines having outsourced these activities there exists a considerable vacuum when it comes to adequate ULD operations.
     “Individual airlines may well have their own campaigns to promote quality in ULD operations, but against an overwhelming lack of awareness (interest?) across the various sectors of the industry, one airline will struggle to achieve anything significant,” Bob Rogers added.

ULD Care Challenges Ahead

     “Air Cargo is a multibillion 24/7 global operation and making changes is very challenging, all too often it takes major accident to trigger sufficient attention,” Bob Rogers said.
     “ULD CARE knows what has to be done to ensure safe cargo loading, and has the solutions to assist the industry perform this function correctly. The challenge is to engage and enroll the far-flung corners of the air cargo industry to pick up their game.”

Why ULD Code Of Conduct Matters

     “You cannot go a week without reading about some new facility for Pharma,” Bob Rogers insists.
     “Pharma is a very, very large part of air cargo and attracts a great deal of interest.
     “Yet the treatment of the costly and complex Temperature Controlled Containers that are a foundation of this activity falls far short of what is needed, increasing both operating costs and operational failures.
     “Similarly, Fire Containment Covers and Fire Resistant Containers can provide a vital layer of protection against Lithium Battery fires, a major risk on some trade lanes.
     “But these items are both costly and require proper handling, so often are not present in day to day operations.”
     “ULD CARE’s primary vehicle for change,” Urs Wiesendanger declares, “is the ULD Code of Conduct.”
     “The ULD CARE Code of Conduct,” Bob Rogers insists, “introduces an appropriate element of quality into ULD operations, distilling down into a simple, easy to comprehend statement of intent the core principles applicable to flight safe ULD operations and handling.
     “Based on and complimenting the IATA ULD Regulations, which can be considered to be the ‘bible’ for all ULD operations, it is the intention that the code become the basis for ULD operational standards in organisations regardless of size and scale,” he said.

Rally Around The Banner

     “ULD CARE,” Bob and Urs point up, “remains the only body dedicated specifically to the promulgation of ULD practices.
     “With around 65 airline members and about 25 related members such as ULD manufacturers, ULD CARE is in a unique position to drive ULD specific initiatives.
     “In terms of cooperations, we look to similar trade associations such as ASA, industry publications, freight forwarder associations, and anyone with a vested interest in improving ULD operating standards to assist in driving our message outward.”
     When Is The Mission Accomplished?
     “Easy answer,” is the word in chorus.
     “ULD CARE strives for 100 percent safe ULDs on aircraft, supported by ground operations that use adequate facilities and infrastructure and staffed with adequately trained personnel who know the difference between right and wrong when it comes to ULD!
     “Perhaps such an ambition wont happen overnight, and no doubt adoption will take time.
     “But every bit is a step in the right direction.
     “Ideally if a number of the larger entities take the Code of Conduct on board, we will gain momentum.”

ULDs Get No Respect
     A common saying goes, “you can’t see the forest for the trees.”
     This also seems to be true for the ULD (or Unit Load Device).
     Most everyone in the air cargo business can identify the common types of ULDs and has seen them in all-day use for the purpose of carrying cargo, mail, and baggage.
     Few people, however, are familiar with the latest developments around ULDs, the requirements applicable to their use, and the regulatory background edicts for their usage.
Rodney Dangerfield     Thinking about ULDs and their common perception in our business, we are reminded of the great American comedian Rodney Dangerfield who used to tell his audience about his woes and travails:
     “You see, I get no respect,” Rodney would say, and that phrase usually brought down the house.
     Legally speaking, ULDs are part of the aircraft’s equipment and thus subject to stringent airworthiness requirements.
     In other words:  A surplus of missing rivets, damaged doors or locks, bent edges, broken base plates as well as improper repairs, the wrong tiedown equipment, and overload or unevenly distributed load will cause the ULD to be used out of its specifications and thus not be in compliance with applicable FAA, EASA, and IATA rules.
     Aircraft manufacturers including Airbus and Boeing as well as ULD manufacturers have developed stringent guidelines which, apart from airline-internal guidance such as the COM (Cargo Operations Manual) or the ASM (Airport Services Manual) can most easily be viewed in the IATA AHM (Airport Handling Manual) in its current 38th Edition and the IATA ULD Regulations in its current 6th edition (the IATA ULD regulations have replaced the IATA UTM, the ULD Technical Manual, about three years ago, when the manual was revamped and substantially updated).
ULD history


  Go deep dish into air cargo with a heavy contact, two-day Northern Europe event in Stockholm, Sweden, April 16-17.
  The 11th Nordic Air Cargo Symposium meets at Clarion Hotel, has a speakers agenda, table displays, and plenty of networking lubricated with great Swedish hospitality, including food and drink and a lively bunch of people.
  Airport consulting service Euroavia International organizes the event. Euroavia is spreading out and now also puts up the Caspian Air Cargo Summit, Asia Air Cargo Summit, and Africa Air Cargo Summit.
  But don’t let the words “symposium” or “summit” throw you off.
  These events are basically local shows that are like a breath of fresh air when compared to the big, overblown, and overpriced industry gatherings elsewhere all year long.

  Good to see Nordic Air Cargo Symposium includes some session speakers like Rainer Muller, Saudia Cargo; Turhan Özen, Chief Cargo Officer, Turkish Airlines Cargo; Leif Rasmussen, President & CEO, SAS Cargo; and Janne Tarvainen, VP Head of Cargo, Finnair Cargo.

Subscription Ad

Dear Geoffrey,

     It has been a pleasure reading and relishing your eZines over the years.
     Besides being informative and insightful the writings bring a touch of perception and sensitivity that is so heartwarming and rather uncommon to trade publications.
     You and your team deserve all the plaudits for your sincere and sustained efforts to enlighten us with your craft.

Best regards,
Deepak Dadlani
LNew Delhi

Editor's Note: Deepak, It is our readers who make us better, more concerned reporters; who share information that lifts everyone; who make what we do such a pleasure. Thank you.

Click To View

  If you like air shows, undoubtedly the best part of any event, from Le Bourget, France, to Swayne Field in Toledo, Ohio, is formation flying.
  Most of the time formation flying is left to military jets at the bigger events during the summer.
  But here are some big transport aircraft from the A350 family at Airbus.
  Watch them make some moves directed in part by laptop computers aboard each aircraft.
  Talk about family spirit!

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. 17 No. 18
Lufthansa On Top
Chuckles for March 26, 2018
Good Night And Good Luck
History Alive At Lucerne Museum
Vol. 17 No. 19
Tracking The Big Bounce Back
Chuckles for April 3
JFK Air Cargo Expo May 17
FIATA Reports IATA Dallas
Single Africa Transport Market
March Toward Oneness
Holy Week 2018

Vol. 17 No. 20
Building A Global AirBridge
Chuckles for April 5, 2018
India Pharma Rules Simplified
Towers Above All
Sea Bream Fly Turkish
King 50 Years Later

Publisher-Geoffrey Arend • Managing Editor-Flossie Arend
Film Editor-Ralph Arend • Special Assignments-Sabiha Arend, Emily Arend • Advertising Sales-Judy Miller

fblogoSend comments and news to
Opinions and comments expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher but remain solely those of the author(s).
Air Cargo News 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 All Cargo Media.
All Cargo Media, Publishers of Air Cargo News Digital and FlyingTypers. Copyright ©2018 ACM, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

recycle100% Green