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x1234
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Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 3:50 pm

Airline wide-body ULD types and management

Sat Apr 10, 2021 7:08 pm

I was always wondering about this. So DL/UA use their own ULDs (e.g. LD2 for 767, LD3s for A350, A330, B777, B787) and AA uses Jettainers like Lufthansa. Is the real advantage of jettainer's easier management for new containers as the older ones are deprecated? Is it cheaper? I remember reading that Air France switched to newer, lighter ULDs which can save fuel. Are the majority of airlines using newer, lighter ULDs to save fuel?
 
FGITD
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Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:44 pm

Re: Airline wide-body ULD types and management

Sat Apr 10, 2021 8:47 pm

Jettainer is easier in that they provide the software for tracking and in most cases will manage inventory and that type of thing themselves. From my experience it depends on the contract, but being part of a collective can help when you run short on containers, as jettainer can “loan” some that are actually allocated to a different airline. It’s basically a hands off way of dealing with containers. They’ll track inventory, allocate stock, repair, remove from service, etc.

I always preferred in house. You don’t have some program telling you that a container can’t be assigned because it’s broken when in reality it isn’t. Also far less wild AKE goose chases for a can that is allegedly in your stock. Plus it’s just easier to manage your own inventory with your own people. If you’re good, you know the natural seasonal demands and when you should stockpile extras vs send empty. Since you mentioned them, I briefly worked with AF’s internal system and it was an absolutely marvel in comparison. It was fed directly from other programs, so minimal manual updates. Loved it.

My experience with jettainer was constant cries of “overstock! Send them all back!” Followed the next day by “under stock! How are we going to handle the flights?!”

Most airlines use pretty much the same AKEs. Typically between 58-72kg per. There are some new ones that use some material other than fiberglass, but I haven’t seen too many of them on the line yet.
 
Tristarsteve
Posts: 3695
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2005 11:04 pm

Re: Airline wide-body ULD types and management

Sun Apr 11, 2021 3:49 pm

I see you ask about LD2. In my experience LD2 are not common. We use only LD3 in B767. We can fit enough LD3 to carry all the bags in the rear hold, and they are then able to be through shipped at the hub onto a B777 or B744. We normally only carry pallets in the B767 fwd hold.
We sometimes carry freight in the LD3.
I have seen LD2 used by a charter airline here, but never by a major.
We also use LD3 on the B744 for convenience (not the larger LD1) Does anyone use LD1?

The ramp agent is in charge of LD3 management. They keep track of how many we have, and once a week go over to cargo to check their stock. It is in their interest, don't want to be turning round containers on a transit!
 
FGITD
Posts: 1690
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:44 pm

Re: Airline wide-body ULD types and management

Sun Apr 11, 2021 6:06 pm

Tristarsteve wrote:
I see you ask about LD2. In my experience LD2 are not common. We use only LD3 in B767. We can fit enough LD3 to carry all the bags in the rear hold, and they are then able to be through shipped at the hub onto a B777 or B744. We normally only carry pallets in the B767 fwd hold.
We sometimes carry freight in the LD3.
I have seen LD2 used by a charter airline here, but never by a major.
We also use LD3 on the B744 for convenience (not the larger LD1) Does anyone use LD1?

The ramp agent is in charge of LD3 management. They keep track of how many we have, and once a week go over to cargo to check their stock. It is in their interest, don't want to be turning round containers on a transit!


I believe Delta uses LD2s for their 76 fleet. APE or DPE, something like that. Must be a pain for outstations with multiple types.

I’d forgotten about LD1s. Just like so much about loading 747s, I’d scrubbed it from my memory. Fun plane but goodness me, how much easier is a 787 or 350. Can’t even fall through the floor on most modern wb aircraft anymore!

Otherwise I’m on board with you. LD3 across the fleet. Only variety I’ve seen beyond that is the unusual ones for cargo, AKN, AAPs, RAPs, RKNs, etc.

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