The ability of cargo units to maintain integrity and the original geometric shape in the process of performing various logistics operations is achieved by packaging.

Packing is the operation of forming a cargo unit on a pallet and the subsequent binding of the cargo and the pallet into a single unit.


Packaging provides:

  • safety of the product on the way to the consumer
  • the possibility of achieving high efficiency indicators in the performance of loading and unloading and transportation and storage operations due to their comprehensive mechanization and automation
  • maximum use of carrying capacity and capacity of rolling stock on all types of transport
  • possibility of reloading without reshaping
  • safety of loading and unloading, transportation and warehousing


Cargo in a C-5M Super Galaxy from the 22nd Airlift Squadron at Travis AFB, California, April 3, 2015. The flight, which lasted approximately one hour, claimed 45 aeronautical records, positioning the U.S. military's largest airframe as the world's top aviation record holder with a total of 86 world records. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ken Wright)


Unit Load Device (ULD) is a device for forming and bonding cargo in transport units, as a result of which the packaging is provided. Transportation of goods by cargo in containers or on pallets in the cargo hold of air transport accelerates the process of loading cargo into a cargo plane and provides control over the carrying capacity of the aircraft.



  • A packaging cassette is a packaging device that consists of frames, racks, and connecting elements.
  • A packaging sling is a packaging device consisting of rigid and / or flexible elements with a locking device.
  • A backing sheet is a packaging device, which is a sheet that is continuous or with through holes in area and has a smooth surface with an edge (or edges) bent up.
  • A screed is a semi-rigid packer with a tightening device.
  • Packing strapping -is a flexible packaging device in the form of strapping (tape, wire, mesh, tape)
  • Pallet  is packaging device that has a flooring and, if necessary, a superstructure for placing and securing cargo (cargo). Pallets can be universal and specialized. By type of trays are flat, comb, box, rack.
  • Box pallet – is a pallet that made in the form of a tank, with devices for loading and unloading bulk, powder, liquid and gaseous cargoes, with an internal volume of up to 1 m³.


Senior Airman Richard Hunter, 60th Ariel Port Squadron air transportation specialist, uses a forklift to move cargo pallets Tuesday in the hangar they are stored in.



The basic document regarding the basic dimensions of the ULD is the National Aerospace Standard, published by the Association of American Aerospace Industries in accordance with the requirements of the Federal Aviation Rule – Part 25 (FAR25) – Airworthiness Standards: Aircraft Transport Category.

This document, compiled on the basis of information from the largest US aircraft builders, received the designation NAS3610. In 1969, the document was approved by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) under the title Minimum Airworthiness Requirements and Test Conditions for Certified Air Cargo Packaging Means.

The main goal was to create requirements designed to ensure the ability of ULD and on-board systems to hold the load contained in them from exposure to extraneous forces in flight. And although the NAS3610 is a document certifying airworthiness, the fact that it reflects the requirements and details regarding the sizes of base plates of all types of ULDs dictates the need to take it into account by all ULD standards.

Today, a huge number of ULDs are in operation. Taking into account all the characteristics relevant to a particular ULD, IATA has developed an identification code. This code contains essential data describing each ULD, and for further technical information you should refer to the IATA Technical Manual on ULD.





In the literature, the term “unit load device” sometimes includes transport equipment and is defined as any type of cargo container, air container, air pallet with a net, or an air pallet with a net over protective caps. This definition excludes outer packaging as well as a freight container for radioactive materials.

On an air transport unit load device (ULD – unit load device) is considered a device into which the load (ballast) is loaded and which is subsequently loaded into the aircraft as a separate unit. a pallet or container 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 transport package. 

The transport packege is an enlarged, standardized in size cargo unit, formed from several cargo units as a result of the use of packing means.

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 OF aviation ULDs

ULDs are of two types: pallets (pallets) and containers.

ULD pallets are durable aluminum sheets with strokes designed to hold net loads.

ULD containers are closed containers made of aluminum or a combination of aluminum (frame) and lexan* (walls), into which, depending on the nature of the goods being carried, you can install an integrated refrigeration unit.

*Lexan is a registered trademark of SABIC Innovative Plastics (formerly General Electric Plastics) for high strength polycarbonate resin replacing glass where strength considerations prevail over cost considerations.

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