The recently released SOS ULD video must take top place in this newsletter. With a huge effort from the ULD CARE team, the video was ready for use at the IATA World Cargo Symposium in early March.
Only one month after its launch, the SOS-ULD microsite which we introduced to you in our Newsflash of March 26, already had 1255 visits which, while it cannot be said to be going viral, is still extremely encouraging. What is even more promising is that of this exceptional number of visits of which 45% were from airlines, there were 16% from Ground Handlers and 8% from Freight Forwarders. Furthermore, 146 ULD CARE newsletter new subscriptions were also processed during that month.
SOS ULD is without a doubt an effective communication tool to convey that ULD are important aircraft parts that require responsible treatment. We urge all our members to forward the link http://sos-uld.com to as wide an audience, both internal and external. The more people that will see this video, the better. And, whenever you can, please use it as a tool to encourage anyone having even a remote connection with ULD to join ULD CARE and so be part of the discussion.
SOS ULD is the outcome of the workshops held in Mainz last September during which ULD CARE members put forward a wish list. Over the coming months, work will continue on implementing this wish list, with the objective of being able to sit together in Bangkok having completed the majority of what we set out to do.
Moving on, we can also report that SOS ULD was well profiled in the IATA WCS last month. In addition to the ULD Regulations workshop and the ULD virtual track, we were also able to achieve attention in various industry meetings and it is safe to say that people came away from WCS knowing more about ULD than when they arrived. While it would be hard to put down specific numbers, there is certainly a sense that an ever greater part of the air cargo/airline industry is starting to pay more attention to ULD, a very welcome trend.
And… ULD CARE was successful in obtaining a slot at the Ground Handling International Conference in Macau during March, at which the SOS ULD video was shown to the plenary audience along with an accompanying presentation. This sort of activity fits very well with the ULD CARE ambition to reach out to all sectors of the industry. There will also be ULD content at the IATA Ground Handling Conference (IGHC) at the end of April in Istanbul.
On a slightly more sombre note, as some of you are probably aware, the United States NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) has published their initial investigations of the National Air Cargo crash in Afghanistan 2 years ago. The material can be found at: http://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms/search/hitlist.cfm?docketID=57043&CurrentPage=3&EndRow=45&StartRow=31&order=1&sort=0&TXTSEARCHT.
While it would not be appropriate for ULD CARE to prejudge the final conclusions, it does appear to be very strong evidence that this accident was a direct result of cargo miss loading and that the quality of the ground handling was less than adequate. This leads us to expect that at least the FAA and maybe other authorities will be taking a long hard look at the whole question of cargo operations as they did in the aftermath of the Fine Air crash in 1997.
And in that same vein, we are expecting at any time the release of the revised and updated AC 120-85 Air Cargo Operations. From the material put out by the FAA late last year for public comment, there would seem to be a considerable increase in the training and supervision requirements associated with the ground-based operations of ULD. Based on the experience from 2005 when this AC was first issued, ULD operations will face increased scrutiny. Once the revised AC is published, ULD CARE will be bringing it to your attention.
Turning now to the subject of the ULD CARE Annual Conference. We are pleased to advise that preparations are well in hand for this event. One particular highlight is that we will sit alongside the Air Cargo Handling conference and plans are to achieve a couple of sessions at which ACH delegates will join the ULD CARE membership, bringing us closer to the ambition of creating a forum for all stakeholders in the ULD process. Work is progressing on the agenda and we expect to inform our membership by the end of May, giving everybody plenty of time to get the necessary approvals to attend this event. For your information, both conferences will be held at the Bangkok Shangri-La and registration details and hotel negotiated rate will be provided soon.
Working towards a positive development for the ULD Industry, we have for some months been holding discussions with IATA on the creation of a Memorandum of Understanding between ULD CARE and IATA to establish some kind of formal cooperation agreement. Furthermore, it was tentatively agreed at the recent ULD Board meeting in Nashville (15/16 April) that the Fall ULD Board meeting will be held in Bangkok directly after the ULD CARE Conference.
Coming soon, two important activities will be conducted within the ULD CARE membership:
- Election for ULD CARE Board members
- Survey on ULD Types Obsolete Codes
In both cases, the membership will be advised by email of the applicable processes to be followed.
In our February newsletter, we told our readers that we expected 2015 would shape up to be an eventful time and a year of developments. Two months later, this prediction seems to be coming true. Of course, ULD CARE is limited by its human and financial resources. Nevertheless we intend to keep punching well above our weight!
Now for this month’s featured articles:
Fire Containment and Lithium Batteries
This edition of the newsletter contains just two articles instead of the usual three, however the article on Fire Containment in particular is rather lengthy, not surprisingly given the complexity of this whole subject. It would be beyond the focus of ULD CARE to go through all the technical details of the subject but we hope that this article will serve to provide our readers with an understandable and comprehensive guide to where things stand on the subject today.
The article on Lost ULD comes as the result of an enquiry on the subject from one of our readers. This is a subject that seems never to go away, every airline loses some ULD every year, but there is nevertheless good reason for ULD CARE to give this issue some focus, so we will be placing this item on the 2015 Annual Conference agenda and requesting some information from our members via a simple questionnaire in the meantime.