There are over a million of them in use, with a collective value of over US$ 1 billion, and every year airlines spend over US$ 200 million maintaining, repairing and replacing them. It’s the Unit Load Device, and despite its familiarity and ubiquity it’s actually a very valuable asset that needs to be managed. Managing global ULD inventories is a major challenge for airlines, but the benefits of effective managementare many and varied:
â€¢ Stock levels at stations are controlled to ensure availability
â€¢ Demurrage charges and revenues arising from transfers of ULDs between interline partners and forwarders are optimised
â€¢ Real time visibility of ULD location and condition enables the ‘inventory buffers’ required to ensure stock availability to be minimised
â€¢ Patterns of delayed return, loss and damage to ULDs assist in identifying causes for reduced levels of operational stock
The realisation of these benefits has been the driver behind the development of CHAMP Cargosystems’ ULD Manager system which is now being production launched. This Java-based and web-enabled application replaces the current system of the same name that is used today by 28 airlines, including carriers such as Air China, Air New Zealand, Gulf Air, China Eastern Airlines and Saudi Arabian Airlines.
With enhanced features including pro-active monitoring and alerting of low stock levels and overdue units, full integration with industry standard messaging and compatibility with barcoding and RFID technologies, the ULD Manager system provides new levels of visibility and control to those responsible for managing ULDs within the airline. With the help of ULD Manager, airlines will be able to exploit the ULD’s value as an asset rather than minimise its impact as a liability.
CHAMP Cargosystems will be demonstrating ULD Manager at Air Freight Asia 2007 and other major trade shows.