There are special pallets and containers that you must utilize when working with air freight. Each cargo pallet has been built to fit inside the various types of aircraft, which have specific specifications for the loads they may carry. This guarantees that the loading and unloading of cargo may happen quickly.

What is ULD?

Creating an airline The counterpart of an ocean container for air freight is a ULDA unit loading device (ULD). It permits swift, secure, and adequate freight transportation on passenger and cargo airplanes. A steamship company can load up to 20,000 stacked containers on a single ship. The plane situation is different, and the loading areas are tiny and atypically formed. To maximize the utilization of the available space, there are many ULDs in various sizes and shapes.

There are two fundamental forms of ULD: a metal pallet that may be loaded with cargo and a closed metal container that contains freight inside. A net is used to cover palletized cargo and is fastened underneath the ULD. ULDs are secured to the airplane’s body to prevent the shipment from shifting, even during the most erratic flights, whether you’re transporting cars, special equipment, or pallets of commerce. Both loose and containerized air freight can be tendered to the carrier, and the carrier loads open freight into a ULD after it has been checked in.

Advantages of air cargo:-

A unit load device is a pallet or container that needs to be loaded onto an airplane (ULD). The ULD can be loaded with various components and fixed safely, making it possible to load cargo all at once instead of in individual containers. By employing this procedure, the aircraft may be loaded more quickly, reducing ground delays.

There is less chance of the products getting damaged in transit if they are loaded into the unit load device before entering the airplane. The cargo plane pallets or container function well with the airport handling machinery that moves the cargo around on the ground and loads it into the aircraft. The shipment is packed much faster than if the individual parts were loaded manually.

Additionally, unit load devices have been created to ideally fit the places offered inside the aircraft. They can be used on passenger jets and freight airplanes with special modifications. The wasted space is reduced since they fit perfectly, maximizing the plane’s efficiency. Some types of unit load devices can be utilized on various aircraft, allowing for rapid transfer between aircraft if required. However, some unit load devices can only be mounted on a few different planes. Before the goods are put onto a pallet or container, deciding on the route and the aircraft used is crucial.

What Kinds of Unit Load Devices Are There?

A pallet or a container can both be considered ULDs. A ULD pallet is made of aluminum sheets, and different-sized pallets are available for various weights and aircraft. For added security, each pallet can be equipped with a net lug over the top that is fastened into the rims.

Size of a Standard Air Freight Pallet

The loadable base of a typical pallet is 304 cm by 210 cm. These pallets can be used on airplanes, including the A300, A310, A330, A340, 747, and MD-11.

10-foot air freight pallet

A 10ft pallet is 304 cm × 230 cm in size and can be used on aircraft like the A300, A310, A330, A340, 747, and MD-11.

20-foot-long air freight pallets

Another option is a 20-foot pallet, which is safely accommodated by 747 and MD-11 aircraft. The base’s usable area is 592 cm x 230 cm.

Pallet for Heavy Air Freight

For more oversized loads, a heavy-duty pallet is 304 cm x 231 cm in size. Several different types of aircraft, such as the A300, A310, A330, A340, 747, and MD-11, may accommodate this.

Pallet Containers ULD

A refrigeration system for perishable commodities may be included in ULD pallet containers, which are entirely closed units. They can be made wholly of aluminum or combined with Lexan for the walls and aluminum for the frame. Several container requirements are produced depending on the load and the intended aircraft. The biggest combined weight that can fit is 6,804kg, and the maximum volume is 14.6 cubic meters.

Unit load devices are a crucial component of air freight because there is very little time allotted for loading and unloading planes once they touch down. It is essential that everything can be loaded promptly and safely so that the aircraft can take off on schedule because every minute a plane is idling costs the carrier money. This is crucial when passengers or connecting planes are involved because even a minor delay could cause more issues at the starting point.

The distinction between a pallet and a container

Both pallets and containers allow for consolidating a substantial amount of cargo into a single piece that may be transported on both wide-body and specific narrow-body aircraft. A net affixed to the pallet’s rim secures the load on the pallet. The conventional lightweight structure of a container often referred to as a can or a pod, includes a base, a frame with side and roof panels, and a fabric or solid door. There are numerous varieties of containers. Some are foldable, those that are insulated, those that are ventilated or chilled, and so on.

Why employ a container?

  • Eases the process of loading and unloading freight
  • facilitates loading and unloading from aircraft
  • improved protection against all weather types
  • provides higher defense against cargo damage.
  • Gives better protection against damage to the plane by the cargo
  • Prevents unauthorized access to the cargo

How come a pallet?

  • more affordable than using containers
  • accepts shipments that are challenging to put into containers (e.g. oversized cargo)
  • agrees with some “Special Load” freight that can only be loaded on open pallets
  • Since they stack, they are practical and simple to store when empty and transported by the airline.


To ship successfully, you don’t need to be an expert in air freight. But it is helpful to comprehend the fundamentals of airline ULD construction, who constructs them, and how these choices affect your cargo’s price and delivery time. After that, you can trust a professional with the specifics.


About swift-technoplast

Leave a Reply