Unitised Cargo – 9: PLW Pallet With Extension

supath seo unitised cargo

Introduction To Unitised Cargo

Managing space, in an aircraft in the most optimised way is the central idea behind unitised cargo . Freight is  loaded into units (technical term: BUP = Built Up Units) that are loaded into particular positions in the plane. Every bit of available space is used in a mathematically precise way so that the maximum amount of permissible payload can be reached.

Consignors (also called shippers) are generally not  aware of the internal details of freight forwarding by air. Freight is made ready for export and once it is picked up, attention is paid only to when the consignment reaches the destination. However, a bit of knowledge of freight forwarding will help shippers plan their freight, thus helping themselves, the freight forwarders and the airlines.

Space, Volume and Optimisation

In comparison to a ship, an aircraft has very limited space and every bit of optimising is needed to fly the maximum amount of cargo but within the permissible limits. Thus packaging the freight will play a major role. Suggestions for the packaging is mentioned in a category of its own below.

Air freight price is applied to the volume taken up by the freight. Total gross weight and total volume are compared and the air freight rate is applied to whichever is the higher one. Consignments in cartons of standard sizes are helpful in planning the air cargo load. Air Freight pallets used in unitised cargo systems have an inner area for taking in the freight and an outer area with slots (and even rails) to secure the load.

PLW Pallet With Extensions

unitised cargo PLW pallet



The base construction is the same as the PLA pallet. Elevated extension wings  going outwards are the added feature that make this pallet appear different.The extension wings can carry a weight of 350 Kg .

  • IATA Certification : PLW
  • Outer Dimension : 318 cm x 153 cm
  • Usable Area : 304 cm x 139 cm
  • Extensions can carry : 350 Kg each
  • Maximum Permissible Gross Weight: 3175 Kg
  • Aircraft : Airbus: A300 category (A330, A340, A380), Boeing: B747, B777, MD: MD-11

Advice To Exporters

  • Use standard size strong cartons without any side slits (hand slots)
  • If cartons are not stackable. paste labels on the stop saying NO TOP LOAD. (Shipper’s Letter of Instruction MUST carry this information!)
  • Waterproofing is not necessary but is a good protection
  • If cartons are loaded on pallets, avoid overhang (freight should not be bigger than the carrying pallet)
  • Decisions on Unit Load Devices will be taken by freight forwarder or by the airline.


Courtesy: okrajoe

Why your freight needs to be packaged well!!! Not unitised cargo!

Courtesy: GLMGroupVideo

Resources Centre

Anybody needing help or advice to plan air freight Please get in touch using the contact form. However, consultation with your freight forwarder/air cargo agent cannot be stressed enough. 


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References: air freight

Air cargo – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Air cargo is any property carried or to be carried in an aircraft. Air cargo comprises air freight, air express and airmail. Contents. [hide]. 1 Aircraft types; 2 History.

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Author: surenpillai

Experienced freight forwarder. Managed freight movements across all the continents. Highlights were the technology roadshows (EMEA) and Trade Lane Management India. All the above combined with Customer Relationship Management, foreign agent management, dedicated key account management. Previous experience as a teacher of English. Member of the Queen's English Society