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Unit Load Devices (ULD)

Improving ULD management

An Unit Load Device (ULD) is a pallet or container used to load freight for its air transportation. Every year, the total cost of both repair and loss of ULDs is estimated about $300 million, excluding flight delays and cancelations due to their unavailability.

With the increasing number of wide-bodied aircraft now in operation, ULD management is a key element of high efficiency in air transport. Making sure the right ULD is available in the right place at the right time in the right conditions is critical for airline operations and revenue management.

The IATA ULD Panel (ULDP) develops and maintains standards and procedures concerning the specifications, handling, restraint and maintenance of ULDs and promotes the worldwide recognition and adoption of those standards. 

IATA ULD Regulations

The new ULD Regulations (ULDR) covers both technical and operational standards and regulatory requirements as well as the carrier's requirements applicable to overall ULD operations.

  • Minimum standard specifications for designing and manufacturing ULDs that conform to IATA, ISO, SAE, and other national and international standards
  • Essential and detailed guidelines for all aspects of ULD operations
  • Training requirements and standards
  • Supporting material for airlines creating operations manuals containing ULD related content for use by their own or outside staff

Get a copy of the ULD Regulations now!

2nd ULD Regulatory Forum 

The 2nd IATA ULD Regulatory Forum was held on 21-22 October 2014 at the IATA Montreal Headquarters (Canada). More than 60 delegates attended the event,  including regulators, airlines, aircraft manufacturers, cargo loading system producers, ULD manufacturers, ground service providers and freight forwarders, as well as ULD leasing/ pooling service suppliers.

The first day of the event focused on the FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 120-85 revision on Cargo Operations expected to be published by the end of December 2014, as well as how safe ULD operations contribute to overall ground operations and flight safety. The second day was dedicated to the ULD contribution to fire protection of cargo compartments. The session focused also in the review of the recommendations related to Fire Containment Cover (FCC) and Fire Resistant Container (FRC) from the 2nd ICAO International Multidisciplinary Meeting on Lithium Battery Transport.

It was suggested that the Forum should be maintained as an excellent platform to facilitate industry-regulator engagement

Conference presentations

Day One (pdf)

Day Two (pdf)



Additional information

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