Hong Kong-based ULD Partner has signed an agreement with Air China Cargo for the provision of ULD Fleet Management Services. The deal includes the supply, repair & maintenance, track & trace and the control of 13,000 units of ULDs for both carriers, covering more than 80 airports around the globe.
By gaining Air China Cargo together with its major stakeholder Air China as launch customers for ULD fleet management services, operator ULD Partner has landed a big coup, supposedly well noticed
by its European competitors CHEP and Jettainer. To understand the dimension of this scoop it should be recalled that Air China Cargo is a joint venture between China’s flagship carrier Air China
and Cathay Pacific Airways. Headquartered in Beijing, Air China Cargo was up to now also responsible for managing Air China’s ULD operations.
In business since long
ULD Partner is anything but a newcomer in the container and pallet business. This is shown by the 800,000-plus repairs of defunct ULDs carried out since 1998 when operations commenced in Hong Kong, supplemented by a repair shop in mainland China six years after. In addition to reconstituting damaged loading equipment, the company offers the market since many years extensive on-demand rental services for ULD utilization.
The opportunity to widen ULD Partner’s service portfolio came recently with Air China Cargo and Air China deciding to outsource their ULD fleet management. Actually, the company had waited almost four years for getting such an opportunity, entering the global stage of ULD managers. Fact is that already back in 2012 its stakeholders had basically already given green light to set up a new business unit within ULD Partner responsible for managing the flow of loading equipment according to demand of its future clients.
Although the ownership structure appears somewhat intransparent to outsiders, it can be said that ULD Partner belongs to Das Nordisk Limited (DNL), a joint venture backed by Dah Chong Hong Ltd, Nordisk Aviation Products Asia, and Dragon Airlines Limited.
DNL’s vision is to meet the rapid expansion of the aviation industry with reasonable return to shareholders and rewarding opportunities for staff. This includes focusing in provision of quality aircraft ULD and meal cart services as well as providing repair and maintenance, short-term and long-term leasing, and supply of cargo equipment to airlines around the globe.
Ray Lo, VP Service & Operations at Air China Cargo, commented the deal: “It was an important decision to outsource our ULD management to a third party. We selected ULD Partner as they are able to provide us the financial benefits and operational flexibility. We have full confidence in ULD Partner to continue the high level of services from the past, and be able to provide us a total ULD management service that is suitable for our operations in future.”
ULD Partner’s General Manager Angel Cheung responded this: “We are delighted to be able to enter into this long-term cooperation with Air China Cargo, China’s flagship cargo carrier, which now becomes our launch customer for ULD Fleet Management Services. We are confident that we will fulfill our vision by increasing the awareness and operational efficiency of ULD in the industry, and to provide more cost effective solutions to our airline partners around the world.”
Both managers did not say a word about the term of the agreement while announcing the deal, nor did they reveal any financial or service conditions standing in the contract.