Air Freight Pallets and Containers (ULDs)

If you are new to the air freight game, the first thing you should know is that air cargo is loaded and carried in pallets or containers, known as Unit Load Devices (ULD).

ULD pallets are robust aluminium plates with hooks to which a luggage net can be attached. ULD containers, also known as cans or pods, are closed boxes made of aluminium or a combination of aluminium (frame) and plastic (walls). The different containers and pallets each have their own International Air Transport Association (IATA) code which uniquely identifies them. Air freight pallets and containers are designed to be suitable for different types of aircraft and this must be taken into consideration when choosing ULDs.

There are 21 different air freight container sizes, coming in all sorts of ULD types. They have different designations such as AKH , AKN, PAG, PMC, and many more. Regarding ULD types, ULDs have a 3 letter code:

In general, for ULD identification the type comes first (AKE) followed by an ID number, followed by the airline code.

Example: AKE02345BA.

Actual dimensions and capacities differ between manufacturers and airlines.

Loadability

Airfreight consignments have to comply with the customs regulations of the country of origin and the country of destination. This is why air freight consignments may only be sent from (or to) airports that have the necessary customs clearance, the so-called “Customs Airports”.

airfreight containers and pallet dimensions

General recommendations:
Within Europe – max. 70 cm
Overseas – max. 160 cm

Container Types and Specficiations

Demi Container

IATA ULD code

AYY contoured container on half pallet base

Rate class

Type 7

Description

Half-width main deck container with top contour

Suitable for aircrafts

727F, 737F, 757F main deck, 747F, 767F, 777F, DC-10F, MD-11F main deck

Maximum gross weight

3,016 kg (6,649 lb)

Tare weight

80 kg (176 lb)

AS1825 volume

5.8 m3 (206 ft3)

Length

Height 

Width

88 in

79 in 

62 in

223.5 cm

200.7 cm

157.5 cm

HMA Stall

IATA ULD code

HMA horse box on P6P pallet base

Rate class

Type 2

Description

P6P base with IATA-specified horse box stalls attached. Available with canvas top or solid roof. Some further modified versions available with position for escort

Suitable for aircrafts

 Main deck 747F, 767F, 777F, DC-10F, MD-11F

Maximum gross weight

3,500 kg (7,716 lb)

Tare weight

1,310 kg (2,888 lb)

AS1825 volume

18.4 m3 (653 ft3)

Length

Height 

Width

125 in

64 in 

88 in

317.5 cm

162.2 cm

223.5 cm

LD-1

IATA ULD code

AKC contoured container

Prefixes

AVC, AVD, AVK, AVJ, and forkable AVY

Rate class

Type 8

Description

Half-width lower hold container with one angled side. Door is either canvas or solid

Suitable for aircrafts

747, 767, 777, 787, MD-11 lower hold

Door Opening

147 x 155 cm (58 x 61 in)

Maximum gross weight

1,588 kg (3,501 lb)

Tare weight

70 to 170 kg (155 to 375 lb)

AS1825 volume

 5.0 m3 (175 ft3)

Length Shorter

Height 

Width

Length Longer

61.5 in

64 in 

60.4 in

92 in

156.2 cm

162.6 cm

153.4 cm

233.7 cm

LD-2

IATA ULD code

DPE contoured container

Prefixes

APA, DPA, and forkable DPN

Rate class

Type 8D

Description

Half-width lower hold container with one angled side. Door is either canvas or solid

Suitable for aircrafts

747, 767, 777, 787 lower hold

Door Opening

44 x 60-in (112 x 152 cm)

Maximum gross weight

1,225 kg (2,700 lb)

Tare weight

 92 kg (203 lb)

AS1825 volume

3.5 m3 (124 ft3)

Boeing volume

3.5 m3 (124 ft3)

Length Shorter

Height 

Width

Length Longer

47 in

64 in 

60.4 in

61.5 in

119.4 cm

162.6 cm

153.4 cm

156.2 cm

LD-3

IATA ULD code

AKC contoured container

Prefixes

AKE, AVA, AVB, AVC, AVK, DVA, DVE, DVP, XKS, XKG, and forkable AKN, AVN, DKN, DVN, and XKN

Rate class

Type 8

Description

Half-width lower deck container with one angled side. Door is either canvas or solid.

Suitable for aircrafts

 A300, A310, A330, A340, 747, 76

Door Opening

58 x 61 in (147 x 155 cm)

Maximum gross weight

 3,500 lb (1,588 cm)

Tare weight

181 lb (82 kg)

AS1825 volume

159 ft3 (4.5 m3)

Length Shorter

Height 

Width

Length Longer

61.5 in

64 in 

60.4 in

79 in

156.2 cm

162.2 cm

153.4 cm

200.7 cm

LD-3 Reefer

IATA ULD code

RKN contoured cool container

Prefixes

RVN

Rate class

Type 8

Description

Half-width lower hold insulated container with one angled end. Door is solid. Most examples are forkable

Suitable for aircrafts

 747, 767, 777, 787, DC-10, MD-11 lower hold

Door Opening

54 x 55 in

Maximum gross weight

1,588 cm (3,500 lb)

Tare weight

210 kg (463 lb)

AS1825 volume

 4.5 m3 (159 ft3) plus internal volume (as is)

Length Shorter

Height 

Width

Length Longer

61.5 in

64 in 

60.4 in

79 in

156.2 cm

162.2 cm

153.4 cm

200.7 cm

LD-4

IATA ULD code

ALP rectangular container

Prefixes

ALD, AWD, AWZ, DLP, and forkable ALB, ALC, AWB, and AWC

Rate class

Type 8

Description

Full-width lower hold container. Door is canvas with built-in door straps

Suitable for aircrafts

767, 777, 787 lower hold

Door Opening

92 x 61 in (234 x 155-cm)

Maximum gross weight

2,449 kg (5,399 lb)

Tare weight

120 kg (264 lb)

AS1825 volume

 5.7 m3 (200 ft3)

Boeing volume

5.5 m3 (195 ft3)

Length

Height 

Width

96 in

64 in 

60.4 in

243.8 cm

162.6 cm

153.4 cm

LD-6

IATA ULD code

ALF contoured container

Prefixes

AWA, AWF, and forkable AWC

Rate class

Type 6W

Description

Full-width lower hold container with angled ends. Door is canvas with built-in door straps

Suitable for aircrafts

747, 777, 787, DC-10, MD-11 lower hold

Door Opening

120 x 60 in (305 x 152-cm)

Maximum gross weight

3,175 kg (7,000 lb)

Tare weight

230 kg (507 lb)

AS1825 volume

9.1 m3 (322 ft

Boeing volume

8.9 m3 (316 ft3)

Length Shorter

Height 

Width

Length Longer

125 in

64 in 

60.4 in

160 in

317.5 cm

162.6 cm

153.4 cm

406.4 cm

LD-8

IATA ULD code

DQF

Prefixes

ALE, ALN, DLE, DLF, DQP, and MQ

Rate class

Type 6A

Description

Full-width lower hold container angled at both ends. Door is canvas with built-in door straps

Suitable for aircrafts

767, 787 lower hold

Door Opening

92 x 62 in (234 x 157 cm)

Maximum gross weight

 2,450 kg (5,401 lb)

Tare weight

127 kg (280 lb)

AS1825 volume

 7.1 m3 (252 ft3)

Boeing volume

6.9 m3 (245 ft

Length Shorter

Height 

Width

Length Longer

96 in

64 in 

60.4 in

125 in

243.8 cm

162.6 cm

153.4 cm

317.5 cm

LD-9

IATA ULD code

AAP enclosed pallet on P1P base

Rate class

Type 5

Description

General-purpose enclosed container fitted to P1P base. Door is canvas with built-in net door straps, or solid

Suitable for aircrafts

747, 767, 777, 787, DC-10, MD-11 lower hold

Door Opening

118 x 58 in (300 x 147 cm)

Maximum gross weight

Lower hold, 4,624 kg (10,194 lb); main deck, 6,000 kg (13,227 lb)

Tare weight

Canvas door, 215 kg (473 lb); solid door, 270 kg (595 lb)

AS1825 volume

10.8 m3 (381 ft3)

Boeing volume

 10.8 m3 (381 ft3)

Length

Height 

Width

125 in

64 in 

88 in

317.5 cm

162.6 cm

223.5 cm

LD-9 Reefer

IATA ULD code

RAP cool container on P1P base

Rate class

Type 5

Description

 Insulated container with solid door

Suitable for aircrafts

747, 767, 777, 787, DC-10, MD

Door Opening

85 x 58-in (216 x 147 cm)

Maximum gross weight

Lower hold, 4,626 kg (10,198 lb); main deck, 6,000 kg (13,227 lb)

Tare weight

400 kg (882 lb)

Internal volume

9.6 m3 (339 ft3)

Length

Height 

Width

125 in

64 in 

88 in

317.5 cm

162.6 cm

223.5 cm

LD-11

IATA ULD code

ALP rectangular container

Prefixes

ALD, AW2, AWB, AWD, AWZ, DLP, DWB, and MWB. Refrigerated version: RWB, RWD, and RWZ.

Rate class

Type 6

Description

Full-width lower hold container. Door is canvas. Center post swings clear for loading. The refrigerated version has solid door

Suitable for aircrafts

747, 777, 787, DC-10, MD-11 lower hold

Door Opening

120 x 61 in (305 x 155 cm)

Maximum gross weight

3,176 kg (7,002 lb)

Tare weight

185 kg (408 lb)

AS1825 volume

 7.4 m3 (262 ft3)

Boeing volume

7.2 m3 (256 ft3)

Length

Height 

Width

125 in

64 in 

60.4 in

317.5 cm

162.6 cm

153.4 cm

LD-26

IATA ULD code

AAF contoured container on P1P base

Rate class

Type 5

Description

Full-width lower hold container angled at both ends. Door is canvas with built-in net door straps

Suitable for aircrafts

 747, 777, 787, DC-10, MD-11 lower hold

Door Opening

120 x 60 in (305 x 152 cm)

Maximum gross weight

6,033 kg (13,300 lb)

Tare weight

250 kg (551 lb)

AS1825 volume

13.3 m3 (4

Length Shorter

Height 

Width

Length Longer

125 in

64 in 

88 in

160 in

317.5 cm

162.6 cm

223.5 cm

406.4 cm

LD-29

IATA ULD code

AAU contoured container on P1P base

Rate class

Type 5

Description

Full-width lower hold container angled at both ends. Door is canvas with built-in net door straps

Suitable for aircrafts

747 lower hold

Door Opening

 118 x 60 in (300 x 152 cm)

Maximum gross weight

6,033 kg (13,300 lb)

Tare weight

265 kg (584 lb)

AS1825 volume

14.4 m3 (510 ft3)

Length Shorter

Height 

Width

Length Longer

125 in

64 in 

88 in

186 in

317.5 cm

162.6 cm

223.5 cm

472.4 cm

LD-29 Reefer

IATA ULD code

RAU contoured cool container on P1P base

Rate class

Type 5

Description

Full-width lower hold container angled at both ends. The refrigerated version of AAU has a solid door

Suitable for aircrafts

747 lower hold

Door Opening

 118 x 60 in (300 x 152 cm)

Maximum gross weight

6,033 kg (13,300 lb)

Tare weight

450 kg (992 lb)

AS1825 volume

11.1 m3 (392 ft3)

Length Shorter

Height 

Width

Length Longer

125 in

64 in 

88 in

186 in

317.5 cm

162.6 cm

223.5 cm

472.4 cm

LD-39

IATA ULD code

AMU contoured container on P6P base

Rate class

Type 2BG

Description

Full-width lower hold container angled at both ends. Door is canvas with built-in net door straps

Suitable for aircrafts

747 lower hold

Door Opening

120 x 60 in (305 x 152cm)

Maximum gross weight

 5,035 kg (11,100 lb)

Tare weight

 290 kg (639 lb)

AS1825 volume

15.9 m3 (560 ft3)

Length Shorter

Height 

Width

Length Longer

125 in

64 in 

96  in

186 in

317.5 cm

162.6 cm

243.8 cm

472.4 cm

M-1

IATA ULD code

AMA rectangular container on P6P base

Prefixes

AMF, AMG, AMK, AMP, AQA, AQD, and AQ6

Rate class

Type 2

Description

Main-deck container. Door is canvas with built-in net door straps

Suitable for aircrafts

747F, 747 Combi, 777F center loading only

Maximum gross weight

6,804 cm (15,000 lb)

Tare weight

350 kg (772 lb)

AS1825 volume

17.6 m3 (623 ft3)

Length

Height 

Width

125 in

96 in 

96 in

317.5 cm

243.8 cm

243.8 cm

M-1H

IATA ULD code

AMD contoured

Rate class

Type 2H

Description

Main-deck upper contoured container. Door is canvas with built-in net door straps

Suitable for aircrafts

747F, 747 Combi, 777F center loading only

Maximum gross weight

 6,800 kg (14,491 lb)

Tare weight

370 kg (816 lb)

AS1825 volume

 21.2 m3 (750 ft3)

Length

Height 

Width

125 in

118 in 

96 in

317.5 cm

299.7 cm

243.8 cm

M-2

IATA ULD code

AGA 20-ft box container

Prefixes

ASE

Rate class

Type 1

Description

Main-deck container. Door is solid

Suitable for aircrafts

747F, 747 Combi (243.8 cm) 777F center loading only 238.5 in

Maximum gross weight

11,340 kg (25,000 lb)

Tare weight

1,000 kg (2,204 lb)

AS1825 volume

33.7 m3 (1,190 ft3)

Length

Height 

Width

238.5 in

96 in 

96 in

605.8 cm

243.8 cm

243.8 cm

Pallet Types and Specifications

LD-7

IATA ULD code

P1P flat pallet with net

Prefixes

PAA, PAG, PAJ, PAP, PAX, P1A, P1C, P1D, and P1G

Rate class

Type 5

Description

Universal general-purpose flat pallet for lower holds and main decks

Suitable for aircrafts

Widebody: All aircraft lower holds and main decks



Standard-body : 707F, 727F, 737F, 757F, DC8F, DC9F main decks


Maximum gross weight

4,626 kg (10,198 lb)

Tare weight

105 kg (231 lb)

AS1825 volume

10.5 m3 (370 ft3)

Boeing volume

 10.7 m3 (379 ft3)

Length

Height 

Width

125 in

64 in 

88 in

317.5 cm

162.6 cm

223.5 cm

LD-7 with Angled Wings

IATA ULD code

XAW P1P pallet with fixed-angle wings and net

Rate class

Type 5

Description

P1P base with fixed wings for overhang

Suitable for aircrafts

747, 777, 787, DC-10, MD-11 lower holds

Maximum gross weight

5,000 kg (11,023 lb)

Tare weight

170 kg (375 lb)

AS1825 volume

14.0 m3 (495 ft3)

Length Shorter

Height 

Width

Length Longer

125 in

64 in 

88 in

157 in

317.5 cm

162.6 cm

223.5 cm

398.8 cm

LD-7 with folding Wings

IATA ULD code

PAD P1P pallet with folding wings and net

Prefixes

PAX and P1X

Rate class

Type 5

Description

P1P base with folding wings for overhang

Suitable for aircrafts

747, 777, 787, DC-10, MD-11 lower holds

Maximum gross weight

5,000 kg (11,023 lb)

Tare weight

152 kg (335 lb)

AS1825 volume

14.0 m3 (495 ft3)

Length Shorter

Height 

Width

Length Longer

125 in

64 in 

88 in

157 in

317.5 cm

162.6 cm

223.5 cm

398.8 cm

M-6

IATA ULD code

PGA 20-ft flat pallet with net

Prefixes

PGA, PGE, PGF, PSA, PSG, P7E, P7F, and P7G

Rate class

Type 1

Description

Main-deck pallet squared off to 244 cm (96 in) high

Suitable for aircrafts

747F, 747 Combi, 777F 

Maximum gross weight

11,340 kg (25,000 lb)

Tare weight

500 kg (1,102 lb)

AS1825 volume

33.7 m3 (1,190 ft3)

Length

Height 

Width

238.5 in

96 in 

96 in

605.8 cm

243.8 cm

243.8 cm

M-6 (118″H)

IATA ULD code

PGA 10-ft high, 20-ft flat pallet with net

Prefixes

PGA, PGE, PGF, PSA, PSG, P7A, P7E, P7F, and P7G

Rate class

Type 1

Description

Main-deck pallet squared off to 299.7 cm (118 in) high

Suitable for aircrafts

747 Combi, 777F 238.5 in 747F through side cargo door only

Maximum gross weight

11,340 kg (25,000 lb)  

Tare weight

500 kg (1,102 lb)

AS1825 volume

39.6 m3 (1,400 ft3)

Length

Height 

Width

238.5 in

118 in 

96 in

605.8 cm

299.7 cm

243.8 cm

M-6 Twin Car Rack

IATA ULD code

PRA 16-ft flat pallet with twin car racks as VRA

Prefixes

PMA, P4A, P4M, and PZA

Rate class

Type 1P

Description

 Main-deck pallet with special moulding for car rack attachments. The support racks are available in pairs as IATA ULD code VRA

Suitable for aircrafts

747F, 747 Combi, 777F (center loading only)

Maximum gross weight

8,900 kg (19,621 lb), vehicle for upper rack must not exceed 1,800 kg (3,968 lb)

Tare weight

400 kg (882 lb)

Car Support weight 

130 kg (286 lb) per pair

Note: The same system is available for longer vehicles on 20-ft pallet. The only increase in weight is the pallet tare weight: 500 kg (1,102 lb).

MDP

IATA ULD code

PRA 16-ft pallet with net

Prefixes

PMA, P4A, P4M, and PZA

Rate class

Type 1P

Description

Main-deck pallet with net

Suitable for aircrafts

747F, 747 Combi, 777F

Maximum gross weight

11,300 kg (24,911 lb)

Tare weight

410 kg (904 lb)

AS1825 volume

27.6 m3 (9

Length

Height 

Width

125 in

64 in 

60.4 in

317.5 cm

162.6 cm

153.4 cm

PLA Half Pallet

IATA ULD code

PLA half pallet with net

Prefixes

PLB, FLA, P9A, P9B, P9P, P9R, and P9S

Rate class

Type 6

Description

Half pallet is contoured for lower hold and main deck

Suitable for aircrafts

747, 777, 787 lower hold; 707F, 727F, 737F main deck with contoured load

Maximum gross weight

3,175 kg (6,999 lb)

Tare weight

91 kg (200 lb)

AS1825 volume

7.1 m3 (250 ft3)

Length

Height 

Width

125 in

64 in 

60.4 in

317.5 cm

162.6 cm

153.4 cm

PMC/P6P Pallet

IATA ULD code

P6P 10-ft flat pallet with net

Prefixes

PLB, FLA, P9A, P9B, P9P, P9R, and P9S

Rate class

Type 2BG

Description

Universal general-purpose flat pallet for lower holds and main decks

Suitable for aircrafts

747, 767, 777, 787, DC-10, MD-11

Tare weight

120 kg (265 lb)

AS1825 volume

H 162.6 cm H 243.8 cm H 299.7 cm H 162.2 cm H 243.8 cm H 299.7 cm

Boeing volume

(64 in), 11.5 m3 (407 ft3) (96 in), 17.0 m3 (600 ft3) (118 in), 21.2 m3 (750 ft3) (64 in), 11.7 m3 (415 ft3) (96 in), 17.0 m3 (600 ft3) (118 in), 21.2 m3 (750 ft3)

Length

Height 

Width

125 in

64 to 188 in 

96 in

317.5 cm

162.6 to 299.7 cm

243.8 cm

PNA Half Pallet

IATA ULD code

 PNA 767 half pallet with net

Prefixes

PQP, FQF, and PPC

Rate class

Type 8

Description

Half pallet squared off for 767 lower hold

Suitable for aircrafts

767, 787 lower hold

Maximum gross weight

2,449 kg (5,399 lb)

Tare weight

83 kg (183 lb)

AS1825 volume

5.5 m3 (194 ft3)

Length

Height 

Width

96 in

64 in 

64 in

243.8 cm

162.6 cm

162.6 cm

Type A Pen

IATA ULD code

KMA sheep and goat pens on P1P base with net

Rate class

Type 3

Description

 Triple-deck sheep and goat pens

Suitable for aircrafts

 Main deck 747F, 767F, 777F, DC-10F, MD-11F

Tare weight

Triple deck, 610 kg (1,344 lb)

AS1825 volume

15.9 m3 (560 ft3)

Length

Height 

Width

125 in

96 in 

88 in

317.5 cm

243.8 cm

223.5 cm

Free Downloadable Shipping Containers Guide

You can download a FREE PDF version of this page below:

AIR FREIGHT CONTAINER GUIDE
[2020]

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