Newsletter no 58 – May 2024

2024 is moving forward rapidly and we have been busy here at ULD CARE, as we have plenty of news to share with you! Most specifically, we are delighted to provide preliminary information on the annual ULD CARE conference as well as showcasing the next generation of ULD CARE IULDUG which is on the verge of going live.

The Annual Conference

ULD CARE’s annual conference will take place at the Renaissance Polat Istanbul Hotel in Turkey from October 29th to the 31st, with our opening cocktail event on the 28th. As with the last couple of years, the ULD CARE event will be co-located with the Air Cargo Handling and Logistics (ACHL) event. This approach provides some very substantial benefits to our members, as it has always been the ambition of ULD CARE to be able to spread the message on ULD to the broader cargo community. It has proved challenging to attract players from the other sectors of the air cargo industry to a standalone ULD CARE conference but by being in the same location as different segments of the air cargo industry, we can be far more confident of reaching this audience. And through the continuing collaboration with the ACHL organization, ULD CARE will have an increased participation in the common plenary events which will be attended by the entire conference participants. This enables us to give greater exposure to the key initiatives of ULD CARE, which are digitalization, safety, training and sustainability.
Through this approach, we believe our members will have more opportunities to make their voices heard not only in the formal sessions but also through the extensive networking opportunities over the course of the 2 ½-day conference.
Actually, as previously reported, we have already been discussing the increased inclusion of ULD-related issues in the general ACHL plenary, under the guidance of the new chairman Henrik Ambak, as an advisory council has been set up to identify and support the implementation of essential industry initiatives. The current ACHL conference program contains significant ULD content, so we believe we are finally gaining ground in our ambitions to include the larger cargo community in the ULD conversation.
We will, of course, still maintain a certain degree of exclusive ULD CARE content with half-day sessions on the first and second day. It is our expectation that this structure will allow participants to get the best of both worlds.
We would like to emphasize that this year’s event will be of particular value, as after many years of talking about upgrading the IULDUG system, we can officially announce that it will be in service starting on 1 July 2024, replacing the old system. By the time we meet in October, the system will have been in use for over 3 months. Therefore, our face-to-face meeting will allow users to share their experiences and suggest improvements and amendments.
Registration will open in the upcoming days so stay tuned: we very much look forward to seeing widespread participation by the ULD CARE community.

ULD CARE’s E-UCR project

Most of our followers are hopefully aware that we have been working for some years now at expanding the functionality of the five-decade-old IULDUG system. The system functions are nonetheless very adequate but they suffer from the inability to process the multitude of ULD transfer transactions involving multimodal transfers by road to freight forwarders and other off-airport parties. Detailed analysis by ULD CARE indicates that a very large proportion of cargo operations involve such transfers and it is well known that the control of the ULD is very frequently substandard which results in large numbers of ULD being out of the direct control of their airline owners.

With pretty much every process in every industry around the world undertaking some degree of digitalization, it would be a serious oversight to continue to rely on paper and pencil recording of these ULD transfers.

From the very outset, our strategy has been to build the new system on the foundations of the existing IULDUG which has performed so well for five decades. And the new system does exactly that. Not only does this reduce the technical risks of getting the IT right but it also means that for those familiar with the existing system, there will be virtually zero learning curve when using the new system.

And of course, the benefits of the new system are very significant. In addition to being able to handle any kind of transactions between different parties in the air cargo chain, it will also finally enable the tracking and accountability for accessories, cargo nets, cargo straps, fire blankets, etc., as the new system offers the capability to record the transfer between parties of these devices. Hence, the potential cost savings, waste reduction and improved sustainability are also significant.

We believe the new system has achieved a nice balance between retaining the well-loved features of the IULDUG system while providing a modernization of the IT that will greatly improve productivity and interconnectedness.
Furthermore, the system is built to take advantage of all the latest technologies such as smart phone apps and API’s. And it is not too big a step to imagine how AI will help to process the large amount of data the system could possibly harvest with widespread industry uptake.
And the good news is that by carrying out this development as an industry association, the cost to the industry will be much lower than if it was some kind of commercial development that would be looking for a return on their investment.
The planned date of a cut over to the new system is July 1st and pre-advice letters have gone out to all our airline members in this regard. In the meantime, we are pleased to show off some screenshots from the new system.



We are pretty sure that all of our members have taken on at least some engagement or sustainability initiatives. Some probably even have substantial activity in this area. And we are quite sure that this will be a subject of great interest at the upcoming ACHL conference in October and, of course, during the ULD CARE portion as well. We are continuing to work on a couple of interesting projects in this direction and we would certainly welcome hearing from any of our members who have themselves launched any kind of ULD-related sustainability initiatives. We would also like to point out that there is a definite linkage between the above-mentioned ULD CARE e-UCR and sustainability, as the new platform will introduce a great deal more accountability into the multi-party environment of ULD operations. And, with this, should come the opportunity to reduce unnecessary wastage of items like nets and straps and, therefore, significantly improve the sustainability footprint of ULD operations.


ULD CARE is currently working closely with Airport College to develop some additional ULD Sixty Seconds offerings. The focus being on the activities carried out airside such as last-minute checks on the condition of a pallet load before it goes up into the aircraft. The plan is to be able to showcase them during the October conference.