Newsletter no 38 – Focused on the Future


+ ULD CARE is focused on the future

When we penned our last newsletter in March, we were optimistic that things were looking up and that good news was on the horizon both from a medical perspective and for the extremely battered aviation industry. Well, it seems we may have gotten ahead of ourselves, and although we are seeing some positive signs in domestic markets such as the US where travel has returned to pre-Covid levels, long-haul travel remains very much in the dumps.

The good news, however, is that both sea and air cargo are enjoying enormous demand. A recent article pointed out that the ocean shipping industry is on track to make enough money in this one year to pay off 20 years of accumulated losses. No such numbers are available for the airline industry, but it isn’t hard to imagine that cargo is making quite a difference. We can only hope that by the time our next newsletter is sent out, things will be looking a little better.


+ ULD CARE affairs

New board

Since our last newsletter, we have held and concluded the 2021 elections for ULD CARE directors. Before holding the elections, we took the opportunity to make some changes to the ULD CARE directorship structure, as no changes had been made since we became independent from IATA almost 10 years ago.

First, we adjusted the articles of association so that directors who have retired from their original sponsors but who still wish to continue being involved with ULD CARE independently can do so while giving up the airline or non-airline seats they previously occupied. This created 3 openings in the airline category and one in the non-airline category, with Urs Wiesendanger, Frits Roukens, Chris Notter and Bob Rogers all moving into this new group.

We also created a new category of directors for “umbrella organizations,” such as asset management companies that are members but that also have customers who are direct ULD CARE members. This move opened up the two seats occupied by the asset managers in the non-airline category.

The new board consists of:


In the end, a vote count was not needed, as we had an exact match between the number of nominations and the available seats, giving us a full house! Sadly, just 24 hours after the first board meeting, long-time member and director Emily Groce from FedEx announced that she was moving to a new position within FedEx and would no longer be around ULD as she would be resigning as director. Of course, we wish Emily every success in her new position and her expertise in the ULD CARE community will certainly be missed.

While this reorganization was taking place, the board also established a more formal approach to managing the various projects/initiatives that ULD CARE undertakes. These are very interesting times with both challenges and opportunities, and we want to be sure to put our limited resources to the best use possible. We have six different working groups running simultaneously, led by the following individuals:

  • WG 1 (IULDUG system development): Bob Rogers
  • WG 2 (new KPIs for ULD management): Frank Muelenkamp
  • WG 3 (awareness campaign): Urs Wiesendanger
  • WG 4 (contour + damage check apps): Ulf Hartmann
  • WG 5 (coaching/training): Chris Notter
  • WG 6 (environmental issues): Jos Jacobsen

Various directors have already agreed to take on roles in different working groups but, of course, we invite all our members to take part in any activities they believe they can contribute to or find interesting. If you are interested, please email Danielle at and mention which group you wish to join. We are afraid we cannot offer meetings in exotic locations as we once did, but by joining in these activities, you have the opportunity to help guide the future of the ULD industry!


+ Affordable and measurable ULD safety training

with virtual reality

In late June, ULD CARE held a 90-minute webinar attended by close to 100 people to introduce and debate the use of virtual reality technology for delivering online training on ULD-related subject matter. A full recording of the video can be found here and for anyone who was unable to attend the webinar in person, we highly recommend taking the time to watch it.


ULD CARE believes this could mark the beginning of a whole new chapter in delivering training. There seems little question of returning to pre-Covid methods, as they are simply too expensive and too difficult to deliver effectively. The technology behind virtual reality is developing by the day given its extensive commercial applications, and our first steps into this interesting subject will almost certainly lead us into ever more sophisticated training solutions.

Coaching/Training is one of our working groups which Chris Notter has agreed to lead. If you are interested in this important and rapidly developing area of our industry, please let Danielle know.

+ Paperless ULD Control Receipt


In our last full newsletter back in March, we provided an update on the work we are doing to modernize ULD CARE’s IULDUG system, used by our member airlines. We can now report that the E-UCR developed by Virtual Control is now a fully functional app. ULD CARE has entered into an agreement with Virtual Control whereby our members will be able to access the app (both on iOS and Android) and test it out in their operating environment. Although the app can send data to internal airline systems, we will not activate this functionality at this stage, as it requires too much in the way of procedural processes to transmit data into an airline’s system. In its place, the system will send an email of the LUC to a registered address.

A paperless UCR will unlock all sorts of opportunities to modernize ULD operations, so this is a highly interesting project. We will soon be providing all our members with advice on how to install and use the app and are hoping that with this exercise, we can move to a production version in 2022. Furthermore, the development of this app is covered in Working Group 4, so as with training, we’d be very pleased to hear from anyone who wishes to be involved in this particular activity.

+ In other news…

Virtual conference

As mentioned in our last newsletter, we see no possibility of holding an in-person event in 2021. However, following our successful webinar on virtual reality training last month, we are now in the planning stages of a larger virtual event later in 2021. Watch this space for more details in the near future.

Changes at IATA

Many of you are aware that Glyn Hughes, Global Head of Cargo at IATA, left over a year ago and is now running TIACA. This week, we heard that Brendan Sullivan has been appointed to replace Glyn. We are sure you join us in wishing Brendan every success in his new role.

ULD CARE website

ULD CARE has initiated a website update, along with an expanded communications program, with our long-term partner King Communications. Under the new banner headline “Focused on the Future,” the new material will highlight our vision that there are better ways to perform ULD post-Covid and that ULD CARE is driving these innovations.

Air Cargo World Webinar

On Wednesday, August 4 at 11 a.m. US Eastern Time, Air Cargo World will be hosting the “Spotlight on ULDs” webinar. ULD CARE’s Bob Rogers will be one of the panellists.

Register here