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ULD (Unit Load Device) Pallets Glossary of Terms

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Certification, ULD

Approval by the appropriate governmental airworthiness authority indicating that the aircraft ULD meets their safety requirements


The space between the aircraft cargo compartment linings and the ULD.

Combi Aircraft

An aircraft configured to carry both passengers and cargo on the main deck.

Container, Non-structural

A bottomless, rigid shell made of fibreglass, metal, or other suitable structural material used in combination with an aircraft pallet and net assembly.

Container, Structural

A rigid structure that performs the function of a ULD without requiring the use of a restraining net

Contoured ULD

A ULD shaped to fit the aircraft to utilise the maximum space available.

Convertible Aircraft

An aircraft which can be converted from an all-passenger configuration to an allcargo configuration or vice-versa or to various configurations of passenger and cargo

Corner Fittings

Structural fittings at the corners of intermodal containers to facilitate the handling and securing of such units during surface transportation.

Edge Rail

The outer frame on an aircraft pallet to which restraining devices are secured.

External Dimensions

The extreme outside measurements, including any handles or other protrusions of a ULD.

External Volume, ULD

The amount of space a ULD occupies in an aircraft, calculated using the extreme external dimensions of the unit.

High Capacity Aircraft

Equivalent to wide-bodied aircraft. Specifically refers to:

B747, B767, B777, A300, A310, A330, A340, DC10, MD-11, L-1011, IL-86 and IL-96.

Identification Code

The IATA code on a ULD which indicates its type, size, category, serial number and owner / registrant.


A structural or non-structural container contoured to the dimensions of a standard body freighter main deck.


Movement of goods by more than one mode of transport, for example railroad, truck, ship and aircraft

Internal Fittings

A means of securing cargo inside a container.

Internal Volume, ULD

Maximum available space within the container or pallet net envelope

Lower Deck

The compartment below the main deck. Also synonymous with lower hold

Lower Deck Container

A ULD shaped to fit the lower deck cargo compartment. These units come in half sizes and full sizes, related to the width across the aircraft.

Main Deck

The deck on which the major portion of the payload is carried.

Maximum Gross Weight

The maximum allowable combined weight of the ULD and its contents (payload).

Restraint System

The system installed in the floor of an aircraft compartment which secures the aircraft ULD to the floor to prevent its movement during flight.

Seat Track

A standardised device designed to accept tie-down fittings. It is typically a continuous track capable of accepting tie-down fittings at any of the regularly spaced intervals provided. May also be referred to as a cargo track

ShellThe superstructure of any container or igloo

Tare Weight

Weight of the empty ULD. It includes all liners and / or fittings.

Thermal ULD

A ULD built with insulating walls, doors, floor, and roof which retard the rate of heat transmission between the inside and the outside of the ULD.

Tie-down Fitting

An attachment device designed to transfer forces between a load-bearing device such as a net, strap, rope, or bar, and a seat track.

Tie-down Strap

A strap which secures a load to the ULD or the aircraft restraint system.

Unit Load Device (ULD)

Any type of container, container with integral pallet, aircraft container, or aircraft pallet.

Weight & Balance Manual

Specific document for each aircraft that controls the type and number of ULDs that can be loaded, their allowable weight and information on alternate loading arrange ments such as throw-over straps and nets, broken restraint hardware, and loads that exceed normal allowances.


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