May has been an active month for ACL Airshop and Jettainer, two of the world’s leading Unit Load Device (ULD) manufacturers. Last week, U.S.-based ACL Airshop inaugurated a new manufacturing facility in South Carolina. Lufthansa Cargo subsidiary Jettainer, meanwhile, today celebrated the completion of its renovated “JettHub” logistics center near Frankfurt Airport.
Renewed investment in the ULD industry is a reflection of growing demand for non-palletized lift. Although palletized freight reigns supreme for general cargo transported on the maindeck of widebody freighters, containers are a popular option for freight carriage in the lowerhold of passenger widebody aircraft, and for interline transport across express networks.
ACL Airshop is bullish on future growth of the ULD market and expects the new factory to support the continued expansion of its global footprint. In the past three years, ACL Airshop has doubled the number of ULDs in its fleet from 25,000 units to 50,000 units, according to a statement from the company. Steve Townes, CEO, ACL Airshop said the factory is part of the company’s commitment to offering “better capacity, upgraded facilities” and “new technology and logistics systems” at its facilities around the globe.
Turning to Jettainer’s refreshed logistics center, upgrades to the facility, which is located adjacent to Frankfurt Airport, boost ULD storage capacity without any increases to its 18,000 square-meter footprint. Improved ULD stackers now make it possible to store 6,600 containers and pallets in the space. On a global basis, Jettainer manages an estimated 90,000 ULDs for 22 airlines.