Newsletter no 44 – March 2022

With our Virtual Conference now rescheduled for March 29th, we will make the most of this opportunity to provide some advance notice of the topics we will be covering.

To start with some good news, this will not be yet another Zoom conference, as we will be engaging with a different platform, Mien-Tzu designed specifically for conference type events, so although we might not be able to serve coffee we will come close to it. Bring your own brew.

With the global logistics industry struggling to address the impacts of COVID and unprecedented demand, we believe more strongly than ever in the importance of improving ULD operations. Remarkably, Air Cargo has come through COVID better than might’ve been expected two years ago. Nevertheless, increasingly clear signs have come to light that operational aspects of ULD expose very significant shortcomings. Accordingly, the aim of this conference will be determining how we can best resolve such issues.

Last year at ULD CARE, six focus issues to address and advance were identified. At the core of this conference each of these issues will be presented and discussed in 45-minute sessions. Due to the time constraints of organizing such a conference we cannot unfortunately allow sufficient time to run all 6 presentations simultaneously, so we have scheduled 2 concurrent threads of 3 each. Participants will have to choose which grouping of 3 focus forums they wish to attend. We hope that the following brief summaries will assist in making this choice.

+ Focus 1

Why do airlines tolerate significant financial and operational losses by not charging demurrage for late return of empty ULD by forwarders? Hear how ULD CARE answers with solutions.

ULDs make money for airlines when they are flying, not when sitting in a forwarder’s shed. ULD CARE has identified that the use of demurrage as an incentive/penalty to prioritize prompt return of freight assets to their owners is widespread across most, if not all modes of transport. Yet airlines, almost universally, do not employ this practice and instead allow their ULD to be returned at the user’s convenience, leaving significant sums on the table and even worse, promoting inefficient use of their ULD assets. We are in the final stretch of completing a white paper on this subject, and will present findings and recommendations for the next steps during this forum.

+ Focus 2

Industry KPI’s

“If you can measure it you can manage it” is a common industry adage and one that certainly applies to ULD operations. We live in a world where data is king so the challenge is choosing what data to collect and then making best use of it to drive overall industry improvements in ULD operations. In this sphere, data sharing can be of benefit to all concerned, and as the trade association of the ULD world, ULD CARE is perfectly positioned to foster such cooperation.

+ Focus 3

We have much to talk about. ​​Redesigning ULD CARE’s communications and publicity strategy to reach today’s audience.

Which of us does not have some form of social media account, be it LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram or…? It has now been quite a few years since ULD CARE set up its website and newsletter and we’ve yet to go beyond that, but it’s now time we engaged in new communications platforms. ULD CARE has a great deal to talk about and share and we need to make best use of all available platforms to spread the word far and wide. In this focus forum we will be joined by Michael Gevers from King Communications who is working with ULD CARE to implement our progressive strategy.

+ Focus 4

Apps are everywhere, so why not for ULD operations? Hear about the ongoing development of the E-UCR and other ULD related apps.

How could we live without apps on our smartphones? Only in recent years did these little icons first appear and now it seems they rule our lives. We take it for granted that we can check our bank account statements while sitting on a beach and our emails on a mountain top. Given that a great deal of ULD operations take place far from an office desk it would therefore seem likely that “on the go” apps can play a very constructive role in ULD operations, enabling accurate and rapid transmission of data to centralised locations. ULD CARE is anxious to take advantage of this new technology and will use this forum to showcase the electronic UCR as well as the Strap app.


+ Focus 5

Coaching and Training

It is no secret that the entire cargo industry suffers from a high labour turnover problem; low wages and unappealing working conditions deter many people from choosing to work in this industry, and those who do often do not stay for long. Nonetheless, reliance on manual inputs in so many aspects of cargo and the lack of mechanisation means that outcomes are extremely dependent on individual competence. This puts training under the spotlight, and how best to deliver effective training at an affordable cost. ULD CARE has already undertaken steps in this direction with its support for using Virtual Reality for training. Participants in this forum will learn more about ULD CARE’s efforts to support required levels of competence in ULD operations.

ULD CARE | Training

+ Focus 6


Sustainability must remain top of mind for everyone, while demanding action, although one only has to observe a typical air cargo operation to pick out quite a few clearly unsustainable and wasteful practices. Actually, the ULD industry has done a remarkable job in reducing the tare weight of ULD, saving thousands of tons of CO2 emissions each year, but there is a great deal more that can be done and ULD CARE wants to assume a leadership role in this respect. Join this forum to learn about initiatives in sustainability.

ULD CARE | Sustainability

Having read the content summaries for all six forums, we suspect you may be struggling to decide which to attend. The good news here is that all content will be recorded and available for viewing at your convenience following the event, although of course we want to see you there, particularly to participate in the live discussions.

ULD CARE remains optimistic that we will be able to host a live participation event later this year. We are actively involved in planning for this eventuality, and indeed this virtual conference will serve as a springboard for a physical event where we will actually be able to meet face-to-face. Looking forward to seeing you!

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