Overstocks of ULDs? A problem that many airlines face in corona-crisis times with commercial aviation running out of business. In a prompt reaction to the dire situation, the online exchange platform Skypooling has approached carriers, asking them to report their current overstocks of containers or pallets since, in addition to a surplus of equipment, there is currently an astonishingly high demand.
This news comes as a surprise because it contrasts the general downward trend in aviation: There is fast rising need for ULDs, reports Skypooling. An extremely lively exchange market for loading
equipment has developed in recent weeks, with a large supply and high demand, states a press release aired today (28APR20).
According to Skypooling, the quantities of offered and demanded unit load devices value rose by almost 40% compared to the beginning of the year, reaching new peaks. The swap meet organizer speaks of “around 50 airlines” that are currently offering or searching for large quantities of ULDs. The number of devices required is in the thousands.
"We are currently registering overstocks of ULDs in many places, but about every third entry on our platform is a search query,” states Christine Klemmer, General Manager of Skypooling. Having said this, she asks carriers to report any overstocks, this way facilitating a simple exchange of information and ultimately loading equipment via the sharing platform of her firm. It is a convenient and rather simple mode to bring different players together that otherwise would not have found each other, by creating a digitalized global swap meet. Market experts speak of a “smart move” enabling airlines to help each other balance ULD inventories to ensure benefits and savings for all parties involved.
Skypooling, a brand of ULD manager Jettainer, is a one-stop marketplace that helps participating airlines in managing their containers and pallets more efficiently. Users of the “dating platform” (sic!) provide information about ULD understocks or overstocks. By transporting less empty ULDs, airlines generate additional freight revenue, cost and fuel savings and lower their greenhouse gas footprint.
“The more airlines take advantage of the service, the better the devices can be used for urgently needed freight. At the same time, storage costs for overstocks can also be reduced in some cases," reasons Ms. Klemmer.
Finding suitable matches is the name of the game
As an additional service, Skypooling is now offering all users emergency inquiries to speed up the search for ULDs fitting their specific needs. So far, this tool was only accessible for premium customers. Leasing companies also have the option to offer their ULDs on the platform, so that interested users can contact the providers directly in an emergency, should they fail to find suitable matches by any other means.
Furthermore, since the beginning of April, a new Lost & Found function is available on the platform. This allows users, including ground handling agents, to post lost or found ULDs in order to return the loading equipment to its owners as quickly as possible. Since its introduction, several lost ULDs have been found and were successfully returned to their proprietors.
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