Pkg Solutions
Air Cargo
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Dimensions
Air Cargo Dimensional Weight  The dimensional, or volumetric weight calculated by IATA follows the
table below.
Dimensional Weight Formula
Dimensional Weight Formula  inches/pounds

Dimensional Weight Formula mm/kilos

Length x Width x Depth /166 = Dim Weight

Length x Width x Depth/366 = Dim Weight

For example: 12" x 12" x 12" box = 1728/166 = 10.41 lbs.
There are a number of factors to be taken into account when
considering the packaging, including the density of the product,
the density of the packaging materials and the amount of air
space included in the product for protection or marketing
considerations. Every effort should be made to reduce the
dimensional weight of products. By reducing the size of packages
significant reductions in cost can be achieved. The table below
examines several general product groups with respect to density.
The lower the Dim: Actual ratio the denser the product. Values of
1.0 or lower pay only for actual weight. Values above 1.0 pay
dimensional weight in proportion the actual weight times the
ratio. From the table below it is clear that the penalty paid in
air shipping costs can increase shipping costs by a third.
Dimensional Weight Ratio Examples  Air Cargo*
Sample Data

Approximate Actual Weight

Approximate Dim Weight

Ratio Dim: Actual

Product A

7.9lbs

10.5lbs

1.33

Product B

.990lbs

1.53lbs

1.55

Product C

9.6lbs

12.35lbs

1.29

Product D

38lbs

38.57lbs

1.01

Product E

16.87lbs

12.09lbs

.72

Product F

20.5lbs

21.2

1.034

*The above analysis is based on shipping case data not
including unitload fit.
Unit Load Layout
Another area where dimensional weight penalties can be paid is
in poor unit load layout. Underhang adds significantly to cubic
dimensions. A 48 x 40 x 48" unitload has 53.3 cubic feet of
volume. The same load with a 4" underhang has only 35.6 cubic
feet of volume. Removing the underhang adds 50% more product in
the same space. When an air cargo company determines the cube
weight of a unitload it measures the footprint and height. In the
case of a unitload composed of product with a 1.33 dim weight
ratio per case (secondary package) and a 4" underhang on the
pallet the shipping costs would double over that of a unitload
with an optimally fitting load and a dim ratio of 1.0.
Squaredoff Tops of Unit Loads
Adding odd boxes on the top of a flat unitload adds
significantly to the dimensional weight of a shipment. Sometimes
it is necessary to keep an order together in a secure unit load
rather than shipping it brokendown. There is, however a
dimensional weight penalty to pay when this is done. Also, uneven
tops may result in problems if anywhere in the transport of the
load double stacking is attempted.
Air Cargo Pallets
Main Deck cargo pallets  MD1's  typically allow airline
pallets to be built up between 96" and 118" high depending on the
position in the aircraft. For general purposes it is usually
safest to assume the maximum height will be 96" (2438mm), unless
you have specific information to the contrary.
Lower Deck cargo typically uses an LD7 sized pallet which is
nominally 60" high but fits into an aircraft door that is 64"
high. The maximum working height of the unitload must not
normally exceed 61" to allow adequate space for the airline
pallet, spacers that may be needed under the load, clearance for
entry, and uneven loads and pallets.
Airline Cargo Pallets
Air Pallet

Name

Max Nominal Dim

Max Actual Dim

Main Deck

MD1

96"W x 120"L x 96"H

96"W x 120"L x 96"H



2438mm x 3048mm x 2438mm

2438mm x 3048mm x 2438mm

Lower Deck

LD7

84"W x 120"L x 60"H

96" w x 120"L x 62"H



2134mm x 3048mm x 1524mm

2438mm x 3048mm x 1574mm

The "Max Actual Dim" is only achievable by shimming up the
pallets on the airline pallet approximately 1" (25mm) to allow
the securing hooks that attach the load to the pallet to be
reversed into the notch that retains it. This method allows for a
matchingup of the typical transportation pallet with dimensions
of 48 x 40 to fit the 96 x 120 dimension on a (48 x 2) x (40 x 3)
fit of 6 pallets per airline pallet.