Talk:Unit load device

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ULD identification format[edit]

The page mentions a 2 character airline designator suffix after the 4 to 5 digit serial number. However, looking at IATA manuals (i.e. AHM587 Container/Pallet Distribution Message (CPM), and PCM27th edition: .U element description in RCP1745) i conclude that the airline designator can be either 2 or 3 positions. The maximum length of an ULD identiication can therefore can be 11 characters, instead of the suggested 10. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:50, 23 October 2008 (UTC)


No mention on this page of 727s. I know that they hold the 88x125 pallets, and I'm pretty sure they hold 12 of them, but I'd love for someone who knows about this sort of thing to confirm. kmccoy (talk) 08:56, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Done. Jigen III
Jigen, I'm pretty sure we loaded 12 pallets into the 727-200F, but you put 11 on the page. Is it a typo, or do we have conflicting information? kmccoy (talk) 05:46, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I looked into it. You're right, it's 12 for the 200F. I was confusing it with the 200C (combi) which can only take 11. Jigen III 10:15, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Thanks. Another amazing example of how much people on Wikipedia know or can find out. If the 200F is full with 12 pallets, loading 11 pallets onto a 200C can't leave much room for passengers, right? Is a combi configurable so that if only six positions are needed, the rest of the area can be used for seating? kmccoy (talk) 02:28, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The 11-pallet load for the 200C is the 0 pax configuration. I guess all the extra stuff that makes the plane convertible takes up a pallet position. And to the second question, yes, mixed config can range from 4 to 9 pallets. Can't be less than 4 because the passenger seats will block the cargo door, and can't be 10 because the pallet will block the passenger door. Jigen III 11:58, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I can remember the 727 having containers in its cargo compartment (1970s, on AA). They looked like the LD3 in the photo in this article, but smaller. The baggage tram would pull a chain of these to the aircraft. I always assumed these were for luggage, though perhaps it was mail or cargo that was added to passenger flights. If they were used for baggage, I suppose that at some point someone decided it was easier to sort out the individual pieces of luggage rather than bring the pods back for unloading and reloading. On a non-727 related note: I've seen main cabin cargo pods that UPS uses. They are shaped in such a way that they'd fit in a narrow-body aircraft when turned one way, but if rotated 90 degrees two would fit side-by-side in a widebody cabin. -- Gyrofrog (talk) 22:53, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Wide-body Only?[edit]

I'm concerned about the characterization that ULDs are only used on wide-bodied aircraft as mentioned in the very first line of the article. Of course wide-bodied aircraft predominate the air cargo world, but there are 737 and 757 freighters out there, not to mention surviving DC-8 aircraft. 09:41, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Agreed, any idea/chance of people adding information for regional aircraft in particular the ATR? -- 15:41, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Also, I thin Air France uses ULD's on its Airbus 320's for passenger baggage. 17:40, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Just to confirm that some A320 can take ULD's. Air Canada has 35 of these. They take 7 AKH ULD. Strangely enough, this completely different standard (only 45" high) does not have its own LDx code. Westmalle 21:58, 5 January 2007 (UTC)westmalle
correct on the 320; all original AC A320s (fins 201-249) take ULDS while the ex-Cdn Airlines and Jetz 320s (fins 401-413) are bulk. also, the A321s (fins 451-460) are all containerized. incorrect on the lack of code. every ULD has codes. this one is the "LD3-45" refer to: Phobal (talk) 06:23, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Not Copyright Violation[edit]

I created this page with original text and the majority of the info within it. The page [1] copied the info from Wikipedia. Not the other way around. Jigen III 12:22, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

Oh, and if you don't believe me you can go see the History. You'll see how the text grew from the original startup article. You'll see how I experimented with different formats and different order to improve coherency to provide the info effectively (notice how the current article has virtualy the same info as the early versions in the History). Clearly you can't copy and paste such an extensive history. Notice how this[2] webpage uses the current version of the article verbatim, in the exact order of the current version (meaning they copied it from Wikipedia recently). Jigen III 12:38, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

Apologies; the history certainly does support your account. I didn't look into the article history when I discovered what appeared to be a copyvio much too late last night. It does bring up an interesting issue which is Blastgard's license violation in the verbatim copying to thier website without the required notice and while asserting thier own copyright on the text (see bottom of the webpage). Has the Foundation gone after anyone for these sorts of violations yet? AUTiger ʃ talk/work 19:49, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
A GFDL violation letter has been sent to Michael Gordon. Jigen III (talk) 00:47, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
As of April 2010, the text remains on that website. See also: Wikipedia:Mirrors and forks/Abc#Blastgard International. -- Gyrofrog (talk) 14:34, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
As the mirroring is no longer an issue, I've removed the listing from Wikipedia:Mirrors and forks. -- Gyrofrog (talk) 14:33, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

Another site copying from Wikipedia: [3]. Notice the second and third tables. Jigen III (talk) 11:41, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

What about the 757's?[edit]

Fedex is replaceing their 727's with the 757's and there is no mention of which uld will be used, as 757's will be going into a lot of cargo conversions.

The FedEx 757s have 15 topside positions with eight (maybe ten?) non-containerized belly bulk positions. One of the tail numbers for one of their aircraft is N901FD; I believe the other might be N918FD. Position 15 requires the use of two Demi (AYY) containers; apparently, it is extremely unwise to place a contour (SAA/SAX w/o DG) in 15. All of the other positions can support either two demi containers or a full contour. In addition, the topside also supports PGP pallets for sure; I'm uncertain about whether or not PMC or PLA pallets are supported topside. An interesting sidenote of information that I've heard from people who've loaded the bulk positions on the 757s is that they're a huge PITA to load. Sarienpalth (talk) 10:33, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
I am actually hearing rumors that they will be loading AAKs topside of the 757s. However, I have no proof, and am not sure of the specifications of AAKs.Turbine2k5 (talk) 01:28, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

Also wiki indicated 767 as a narrow body?? I could see that being the case of the 757 but not a 767 as it is a widebody and bigger than a 757 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:20, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

The 767 has a narrower body than other (implying inclusion) wide-bodies. That meaning, it being in the wide-body family, but relatively narrower compared to other wide-bodies. Jigen III 14:33, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Complete lack of information on main deck ULDs[edit]

I've a lack of info, or really even any mention, of main deck ULDs. The article seems to deny the existence of any sort of main deck load unit other than pallets. I'm going to look at adding some info but as main deck loading schema tend to vary quite a bit, particularly at the express carriers, it can be a bit hard to find data on some of the more obscure types of cans. -- 19:44, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

I've never dealt with main deck ULDs, so I could not include what I do not know. I'm looking forward to what you have to add. Wikipedia:Be bold Jigen III 14:39, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
I deal with ULDs on a daily basis. For example, there are actually two different types of AMJs at our workplace: contour- and square-backed. Beats the heck out of me as to why, but it might have something to do with which planes the containers were originally designed for. It looks like the list is pretty accurate. There are a couple of highly-specialized ballast pallets that might be added if they're not on there already (I'm referring to the PAH, et al) and one Truck Only container that I've come into contact with. Sarienpalth (talk) 10:43, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

BlastGard International Inc.[edit]

Someone deleted my reference to BlastGard International Inc.

More then half of this article is taken word for word from this site and this needs to be cited. Do not removed the reference to this site. You may edit the formating etc but the fact remains that this article is nearly stolen from this website and so this citation need to exist. If it is removed again without the information stolen from the site being removed with it, I will cite this article for copyright violation, (which it should already be given that it is stolen literally verbatim from this site without rephrasing) Aalox (talk) 22:41, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Read the section above "Not Copyright Violation". Wikipedia is the original, blastgard is the copier. Jigen III (talk) 02:21, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
Blastgard has been listed as non-compliant to GFDL. When using Wikipedia content, users must comply to the following: Wikipedia:Copyrights#Reusers.27_rights_and_obligations. Jigen III (talk) 03:15, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
First Time I've ever heard of that, I apologize. Wow. For shame on BlastGard International. Might I suggest citing the sources for (if you remember them). The source I was mainly interested in was where you found "One of the design requirements of the 767's replacement, the 787, was for it to use the LD3/6/11 family of ULDs to solve the wasted volume issue." Aalox (talk) 20:57, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
I have no citation for that part. I may have to reword that so it doesn't sound like original research. Jigen III (talk) 22:34, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Further Research[edit]

According to the Internet Archive, the Blastgard webpage in question did not exist prior to June 18, 2006.

All sections within the ULD article predates Blastgard webpage (See history):

  • The section "Aircraft Compatibility" existed on Wikipedia on January 18, 2005.
  • The sub-section within "Aircraft Compatibility" called "ULD Capacity" was added to Wikipedia on January 20, 2005.
  • Section "Identification" with its sub-section "Common Prefixes" was created November 25, 2004.
  • Section "Miscellaneous Information" was also created November 25, 2004.

Jigen III (talk) 01:46, 3 December 2008 (UTC)


As of January 2015, the Blastgard website no longer mirrors the Wikipedia content about ULDs. (At least, not that I could find.) -- Gyrofrog (talk) 14:31, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

Improvements to the Article[edit]

This is a list of question, comments, ideas. Help me out; or add your own questions and ideas.

  • I know IATA uses the 3-letter prefix for identifying ULD types. But who designates the LD-number? (LD1, LD2... etc) Is it designated by the manufacturers?
  • Can someone verify the proper usage of the name "LD7"? It seems like people who work with the equipment use loosely it to refer to any 10-foot pallet (125-incher). I would like to see a citation of some sort, because I'm starting to think it really refers to one specific pallet.
  • To hyphen or not to hyphen? (LD3 vs LD-3)
I don't think it matters; I don't usually refer to containers by their LD(k) notation. I usually just use the tripartite preamble when I'm at work. Sarienpalth (talk) 10:39, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
  • It would be nice to have diagrams/drawings of some ULDs, like in this PDF.
I know I've personally worked with a few of the containers listed here myself. I might see if I can take a tape measure in to work and take some container measurements for rough orthgraphic diagrams. If anyone can suggest a decent open-source CAD/CAM program, I'd be willing to build the orthographic drawings using that software. Sarienpalth (talk) 10:39, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Jigen III (talk) 23:22, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

I would like to know whether or not these containers can also be loaded on ships or trucks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:02, 26 April 2014 (UTC)

Directly on a truck or ship, as is? No. ULDs can be loaded into a trailer (container in another container). It's not unusual for a trucker to pickup a loaded ULD, have their own warehouse people unload it, then truck the empty ULDs back to the airline. Though, most of the time it is unloaded at the airline's warehouse and the trucker picks up their cargo on a skid. In theory, a ULD should fit in a ship's container, but that isn't done. Airlines are very possessive of their ULDs and want them back in the system as soon as possible; so loading them on a ship going to who-knows-where is a no-go. Jigen III (talk) 07:41, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

LD3-46 for A320[edit]

I'm not an expert in cargo containers but I write a lot about airplanes. And in the "cargo capacity" section of A320 I keep seeing LD3-46 designation. Does it mean that (a) the height of the container is 46 inches (and not 45 as the article states) and (b) that this is an official designation for this type of containers? I'd be thankful if anyone could comment on this. BadaBoom (talk) 22:58, 30 October 2012 (UTC)


Who invented/developed the ULD and when? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Robertbrooker (talkcontribs) 00:22, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

How do shippers use ULDs?[edit]

There ought to be a section describing how haulage companies make use of ULDs. Ie are they rented from the airline? Given that many companies will ship only one way, is there one way rental? Are ULDs transported to the sending depot to be packed there, then transported by truck to the airport, then flown, then transported by truck from the destination airport to the final depot for unloading before being returned to the owner at the destination airport? Or are they packed and unpacked by airline staff at the airport? If the latter, how do shippers ensure that they maximise the space utilisation in a ULD? FreeFlow99 (talk) 11:35, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

It depends on the contract. Most of the time airline contractors load and unload ULDs on site at the airline's warehouse. But occasionally the shipper will borrow ULDs and load it themselves in their own warehouse. I don't know if they pay an additional cost to do that. It's usually shippers that are moving large amounts of fresh produce that prefer loading ULDs themselves. Jigen III (talk) 11:32, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

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Helps prevent delays?![edit]

Arguably, it doesn't help prevent delays because the flight schedule is designed around the shorter ground return times. If the unit didn't exist, the schedule would just have to be slower.--Cancun (talk) 09:45, 29 May 2017 (UTC)


How is the volume of a pallet determined if on does not give the thickness or height? Peter Horn User talk 18:56, 16 April 2018 (UTC)