air freight

Unitised Cargo – 1 AKE LD3 Lightweight

supath seo unitised cargo

Prologue: For Whom Is This Article

Just as all the articles on this site, this article, too, is for the public and especially for companies that export large amount of small to medium amount freight. The article intends to give an idea of possibilities for transporting freight by flight in the most cost-effective way. If, as an exporter, you ship a large amount cartons or small pallets (American English: skids), this article will prove useful to you. Unnecessary text will be omitted to keep the practical usability of the article.

Introduction To Unitised Air Cargo Consolidation

Unitised Air Cargo is cargo management by using Unit Load Devices (ULD)  done either by the freight forwarder or by the airline. Freight is loaded into specially made containers built to fit into aircraft.  ULDs are also specific to aircraft and hence not all ULDs fit into every plane.  ULD Consolidation not only saves space but also reduces air freight costs.

Organising Freight Space

Although aircrafts are large, there is only limited room for freight and the shape of the fuselage brings in more limitation. Unitised cargo help to organise the pieces to an optimum. Freight forwarders handling a large amount of freight tend to use ULDs to manage not only the freight but also the cost. Since the competition is stiff, one has to optimise as much as one can to help bring down the cost and ULDs help in achieving both the goals in the best way

Flight Decks : LD And MD

The aircraft is divided into two main sections, the upper deck is called the main deck (or MD) and the second is lower deck (LD). On a passenger aircraft (freight forwarder or airline jargon is “PAX”), the passenger cabin is the main deck and the lower deck (also called belly) carries the luggage and freight.

AKE LD3 Lightweight Container

  • Suitable for : cargo in cartons. Palletised cargo will soon reduce the capacity as pallets are heavy.
  • Standard name : AKE LD3 Lightweight Container
  • Synonyms: Pod, can
  • IATA Specification : contoured, half-width
  • Door size :  Width 142 cm x Height 103 cm
  • Maximum Load volume : 3.6 cbm (cubic meters)
  • Maximum Weight Tolerance of the tie-down slots 907 Kg
  • Inner Dimension :  (Length x Width x Height) 146 cm  x 144 cm x 160 cm
  • Maximum Permissible Gross Weight (Payload) : 1588 Kg
  • Aircraft : Airbus (A330, A340, A380)  Boeing (B777, B747, B767), McDonnell Douglas (MD11)

Advice to Exporters

  • If you need to use pallets for transport a cargo of multiple cartons, please use cardboard pallets, as they are lightweight. Please avoid overhang (cartons extending beyond the contour of the pallets)
  • Use strong straps to bind the cartons to the pallet s (cross strapping) to prevent cartons from slipping of the pallet when the aircraft flies into a turbulence.( the base will remain stable, but the momentum on the top will be more)
  • Unitised cargo management optimises air freight. Packaging goods in cartons help airlines in managing the ever-growing amount of freight.

Resource Centre

If you need help with planning air freight for your exports, please send a request with your requirements. You will receive a feedback with what can be done.


Experts in the field are requested to point out any errors . Thank you

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *