The container can be fully collapsed in a minute by hand. It also can be expand or collapse without a specially designed tool in 2 to 3 minutes. It happens when there are too many ULD’s at one airport and less in another. For example, Korea to USA routes, the cargo leaving from Korea is five times less than the incoming from USA. In order to rectify this imbalance empty ULD’s have to be shipped back to the other airport impending the exchequer more so if an entire aircraft is filled with these empty ULD’s. Our FKD concept ULD can be assembled and dissembled in minutes, thus the empty ULD’s can be shipped back to USA taking less space in the cargo deck or ocean container.
As an estimate the new concept ULD’s will have a return ratio of 8:1 when fully collapsed. 98 fully collapsed containers can be transported by 40’ high cube container by ocean transportation. Thus it not only helps in minimizing the imbalance but also helps with storage of additional ULD’s for use during the peak season. Our ULD new concept meets all measures required by FAA. These are easily assembled and dissembled saving on man-hours, increasing storage capacity for additional LDUs during peak time.
FAA requires that the ULD’s to be airworthy meet the required minimum performance standards. In case there is any slight damage or tear it makes the container un- airworthy. Damage to these ULD’s despite following guidelines is not infrequent. Many cargo companies spend millions of Dollars each year to repair and transport of these un-airworthy containers.
According to an estimate repair and maintenance and transport of these ULD’s costs the industry approx. USD220 million per year. Airlines are forced to create large inventory buffers due to the high incidence of damage to the ULD’s. The IATA lays down clear guidelines for handling of the ULD’s to reduce the damages and loss of revenue to aircrafts and cargo companies. But despite all the guidelines laid down the main cause of this high rate of repair and maintenance is improper handling of ULD’s, poor control of operations and lack of effective track and trace according to the IATA.
With the new concept of collapsible full knock down ULD. The damaged portion is easily replaced locally in very less time thus reducing the maintenance costs. These ULD’s are nearly maintenance free and will serve for years before being rendered unserviceable. Due to reduced repair and maintenance as these are full knock down (FKD) much revenue is saved by the airlines or Air Cargo. The damaged part or portion is easily replaced locally .These will last for a long time thus reducing the cost of replacing frequently.
Despite stabilizing of fuel prices and realization of need to collapsible the existing traditional containers, there is a hitch in arranging the finance for replacing the traditional containers. The question remains as to how to finance the change? We are working with a global bank for replacing the traditional containers with their new concept containers. It’s a leasing program and airlines do not need to invest in replacement. They will gain the immediate benefit on fuel saving and can pay the cost of container from revenue saved.