Unit load device

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Unloading LD3 containers from a Boeing 747 at Zagreb Airport

A unit load device, or ULD, (ULD) is a pallet or a container. It is used to load luggage, freight, and mail on wide-body aircraft and specific narrow-body aircraft. It allows a large quantity of cargo to be bundled into a single unit. Since this leads to fewer units to load, it saves ground crews time and effort and helps prevent delayed flights. Each ULD has its own packing list (or manifest) so that its contents can be tracked.

Types[change | change source]

There are two kinds of unit load devices: pallets and boxes. The boxes are similar to shipping containers: they are mostly made with metal (usually aluminum) and have standard attachment points that let them be moved easily. The pallets are usually metal with sides that attach to a cargo net. Below is a table of sizes of ULDs. The volume listed is the internal volume, the size of the inside of the container.

Volume indicated is internal volume.
Container type Volume Dimensions
(base width / overall width × depth × height)
Remarks
LD1[1] 4.90 m3 (173 cu ft) 156 / 234 × 153 × 163 cm
(61.5 / 92 × 60.4 × 64 in)
contoured, half width
LD2[2] 3.40 m3 (120 cu ft) 119 / 156 × 153 × 163 cm
(47 / 61.5 × 60.4 × 64 in)
contoured, half width
LD3 4.50 m3 (159 cu ft) 156 / 201 × 153 × 163 cm
(61.5 / 79 × 60.4 × 64 in)
contoured, half width, dimension according to IATA
LD3-45 3.60 m3 (127 cu ft) 156 / 244 × 153 × 114.3 cm
(61.5 / 96 × 60.4 × 45 in)[3]
double contoured, full width, dimension according to IATA; for loading on Airbus A320 family
LD6 8.95 m3 (316 cu ft) 318 / 407 × 153 × 163 cm
(125 / 160 × 60.4 × 64 in)
contoured, full width, equivalent to 2 LD3s
LD8 6.88 m3 (243 cu ft) 244 / 318 × 153 × 163 cm
(96 / 125 × 60.4 × 64 in)
contoured, full width, equivalent to 2 LD2s; DQF-prefix
LD11 7.16 m3 (253 cu ft) 318 × 153 × 163 cm
(125 × 60.4 × 64 in)
same as LD-6 but without contours; rectangular
Pallet type Volume Linear dimensions Remarks
LD8 6.88 m3 (243 cu ft) 153 × 244 cm
(60 × 96 in)
same floor dimensions as container variant; FQA-prefix
LD11 7.16 m3 (253 cu ft) 153 × 318 cm
(60.4 × 125 in)
same floor dimensions as container variant; FLA- and PLA-prefixes
LD7
(2 pallet variants)
10.8 m3 (381 cu ft)
11.52 m3 (407 cu ft)
224 × 318 cm
(88 × 125 in)
244 × 318 cm
(96 × 125 in)
PAG- and P1P-prefixes
PMC- and P6P-prefixes

References[change | change source]

  1. "747-400/-400ER, Airplane Characteristics for Airport Planning", Section 2, Boeing, May 2011.
  2. "767-200/200ER/300/300ER/300 Freighter/400ER, Airplane Characteristics for Airport Planning", Section 2, Boeing, May 2011.
  3. "Shipping & container guide - Help & additional info - International cargo - Air New Zealand cargo | Air New Zealand". Air New Zealand.

Other websites[change | change source]